Let’s Share Some Real Love

 

With Celebrity Chef Curtis Stone, at The Madame Tussauds World’s Greatest Shave Event

Welcome,
You may have noticed last week that I refrained from mentioning Valentine’s Day or even Galentine’s Day? Someone I know used to call it “Singles Awareness Day”  but my favourite this year was one of my pilates friends who said “Happy Mass Consumerism Day”. Certainly a lot of it is about retail and spending money. I would prefer to see the spread of love of humankind with understanding and tolerance in Gaza, Ukraine, banning of guns in the USA (s sad in Kansas aftEr their Superbowl victory) and respect for first responders to storms and fires.

I was incredibly moved to listen to Eleanor from Newcastle speaking of her role as a Blood Cancer Support Co-ordinator (BCSC) for the Leukaemia Foundation at the launch of The Madame Tussauds Sydney World’s Greatest Shave Experience. This runs until Sunday 18 February, featuring Dannii Minogue, Curtis Stone, Amanda Keller, Jimmy Barnes and Dylan Alcott with different hair!.  It’s well worth a visit and you can donate, take photos and even get your hair cut, coloured or shaved for a donation. See a clip on my Youtube Channel here.

As a part of the Living Well team across Australia, the Leukaemia Foundation BCSCs have expertise and extensive experience in the health field, whether that be in blood cancer, psychology, dietary requirements or getting back to work.They help with a range of issues from food and petrol vouchers, transportation to and from appointments, accommodation or access to allied services. They speak to people all day, every day so anyone going through a blood cancer diagnosis, is not alone via the blood cancer support line on 1800 620 420. She spoke movingly of her experience and two cases.

I also had fun this week, with Peter Conistis, Executive Chef and culinary genius behind Ploós restaurant in Campbell’s Cove, Sydney. You may recall I did a Greek cooking demonstration with him last year at his other restaurant, Alpha for Oceania Cruises. We were giving an insight into the Culinary Centres on board their ships with an example of recipes from their Greek cooking classes. It was a joy to liaise with him again and then have the most stunning meal.

SPECIAL READER OFFER
If you would like to join me as I emcee two wonderful female winemakers for the Celebrate Women in Wine on International Women’s Day March 8 at Sala Dining, use the word taste at check out for a 10% discount on tickets. Book here.

As ever, keep up to date with me on Facebook and Instagram.  Please always feel free to email me with your requests or comments. 

Keep cooking and you’ll keep smiling– Lyndey x

L: with chef Peter Conistis at Ploos and R: with good natured Jo Turner, from the Leukaemia Foundation letting me spray her hair (and ear!)

Recipes of the week

HAINANESE CHICKEN RICE
I love the subtle flavours of this dish, perfect for Lunar New Year
GET MY RECIPE HERE
CARAMELISED STONEFRUIT BOMBE ALASKA
Try this impressive do-ahead dessert – it’s actually not that hard!
GET MY RECIPE HERE

Fun with Wine

 

Fun with Wine – is it worth decanting?

Are decanters worth using? Click on the arrow and find out.
If you would like to see more of my videos on both food and wine, subscribe to my YouTube channel 
HERE or follow me on Instagram.

Ask Me

Questions and Answers:
These are just some of the questions I have been asked recently. Ask me yours too?

Di asked: How can I maximise my use of black garlic?
Answer:
First, I think we need to explain what it is. Essentially it is an ordinary white garlic that has been aged in a specific way which turns it black. It therefore has a sweeter, milder flavour. Black Garlic can be stored for up to 3 weeks at room temperature. It can also be stored in the refrigerator for up to 6 months and wrapped in air tight containers to store in the freezer for 1 year.

  • Use the cloves as you would roasted garlic: stir through mashed potato, on pizzas, in pasta sauces
  • Purée them with oil, then smear the paste on crostini, incorporate it into dressings, or rub it onto chicken or fish before roasting.
  • Mix into compound butter.
  • Grate over a brunch plate of smashed peas, feta, mushrooms and poached eggs – or even avocado on toast.
  • Finely slice over focaccia.
  • Dice and sprinkle onto a bowl of warm congee.
  • Blend with olive oil or butter and rub under chicken skin prior to roasting.
  • Shave over grilled mushrooms.
  • Powdered, it’s like umami fairy dust: Sprinkle it on anything that wants some earthiness and depth.

Garlicious Grown are an Australian company which has won many Sydney Royal Fine Food Awards. Enjoy their recipes.
Watch How to Make Black Garlic on YouTube

Here’s How to Cook with Black Garlic and recipes from The Huffington Post.

Jacquie asked: Can you really make risotto in the microwave?
Answer:
A resounding YES. I am known as something of a Risotto Queen – and much as I can take you step-by-step through the traditional method, if you are short of time, I highly recommend my Microwave Mushroom Risotto. Five minutes max to put it all in a bowl, then in the microwave on high for 20 minutes, while you do other things, then rest of five minutes. You can also watch me make it on Youtube here.

Diane asked: How do I use black vinegar?
Answer:
Black vinegar aka Chinese black vinegar with Chinkiang, the best known is one of my favourite condiments. It originated in China and is also made in Taiwan, Korea, and Japan. It has also been adopted and is used in countries like Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia where there are a lot of Chinese immigrants. Black vinegar is a broad  term for a grain-based vinegar—sometimes aged for years and sometimes infused with flavor. Most black vinegars are aged for at least six months and up to several years, which gives them their signature colour. Traditionally, they’re made in a similar process to balsamic, where the vinegar is aged for years to develop complexity.  The key differences between black vinegar and balsamic are that black vinegar is made with grains instead of grape juice and aged in clay pots instead of barrels. And whereas balsamic vinegar is made using liquid-state fermentation (only the grape juice is fermented), Chinese black vinegar is made by fermenting whole steamed grains.

Many vinegars are used to cut through fat, to counterbalance oil in a dressing, or to add sour notes in a complex sauce. But black vinegar is far more. With hints of licorice and malt held together by a distinct umami earthiness that permeates the whole condiment, it’s transformative, providing both acidity and complexity to round out a dish.

I use it simply as a dipping sauce with steamed dumplings and yum cha – try adding some shredded ginger. It is widely used in Asian cuisines, adding umami, sweetness, and a little acidity to recipes. It can be added to marinades and bastes for fatty meats and fish, used in dressings and sauces, and even in cold dishes like a smashed cucumber salad and dressing noodles. It can complement any soy sauce-based dish and can replace lemon juice in seafood recipes.

Regional black vinegars are typically used in dishes specific to that region. Chinkiang, is ideal in salads—from tofu to wood ear or shredded chicken. It can be reduced with some rock sugar for sweet-and-sour ribs (or use it in any sweet and sour recipe), splashed in to brighten a Chinese cabbage and pork belly stir-fry. Try adding to vegetables and Western sauces, tofu, marinating meat or to deglaze a pan.

Chris asked: How do I get my son who is a young adult who loves food, to be interested in cooking?
Answer: 

Full marks to you that he loves food, that is half the battle. When introducing anyone to cooking, of any age, there are just a few golden rules:
1. Make it foolproof so they can eat and enjoy what they make
2. Make it easy
3. Make it fun – is it something you can do together? Or he can invite some friends to join in?
4. Make sure it is something they like eating and keep it contemporary – the sort of food he would choose to buy

Having said all of that, you could try starting with the Microwave Risotto recipe above. Soooooooo easy.
Spaghetti alla Carbonara. I taught my son, Blair,  how to make this when he was a young teenager. Once you know how to make that, you can adapt it. He made it to impress his friends and girls – as it all gets tossed together at the end. Very impressive yet inexpensive. He and his sister, Lucy, made it one night when it was their turn to produce dinner when a group of us were in Spain, just using local ingredients.
A curry – it is fine to use a curry paste to start off with – or make this simple Quick Fish Curry with just a few spices.
San choy bau – or this Minced Beef in Lettuce Leaves

Please let me know how he gets on?

Moroccan Culinary Tour



Moroccan Mint Tea – served as a courtesy, a sign of hospitality and to refresh

Join my next culinary tour to Morocco from Saturday 27 April – Wednesday 8 May 2024 organised with Carol Prior from By Prior Arrangement who has 40 years experience and peerless contacts there. I have a lovely group of people coming with me, couples, singles, mothers and daughters. The mix always works and some have travelled with me before which is wonderful.

Taking in the best Morocco has to offer, this authentic gastronomic experience will see you visiting ancient palaces and medinas and enjoying exclusive dining experiences.

We will travel from Rabat the capital, to spiritual Meknes and Fes, and then onto intoxicating Marrakech, the red city. On the way, we will explore the archaeological site of Volubilis, visit a Berber village in the Atlas Mountains and relax by the coast in tranquil Essaouira. Together, we will discover the delicacies of Moroccan and French food, dine in humble local eateries and upmarket restaurants, and experience the making and flavours of Moroccan dishes during cooking classes. Luxury accommodation is in charming, authentic riads.

Inclusions:

  • Personal hosting by me
  • 11 nights accommodation
  • Meals as per itinerary: breakfast daily, 7 lunches, 11 dinners with ½ bottle of wine per person
  • Transportation throughout in luxury air-conditioned vehicles with professional experienced English-speaking driver, including related expenses and allowing for physical distancing
  • 4×4 pick up & drop off ton the day trip to a desert camp with optional camel riding.
  • Bottled mineral water and hand sanitiser in the vehicle daily
  • English-speaking local licensed guides in Rabat, Volubilis, Fes, Marrakech and Essaouira with all entrance fees included to the sites visited with the guides
  • Atlas excursion including mules and the specialist trek guide
  • 2 cooking classes
  • Local tourist taxes
  • Porterage
  • Restaurant tips
  • Drivers and guides gratuities
  • Bank transfer and currency fluctuation fees

Testimonial: 
“It was the most amazing experience – sights, smells, and sounds of Morocco still a wonderful memory. Beautiful accommodation; outstanding local guides; perfect host in Lyndey Milan OAM; excellent meals of local delicacies; brilliant group camaraderie; and one-off experiences and all of this made easy peasy by booking though By Prior Arrangement. Perfect organisation – nothing for guests to do, apart from imbibe and enjoy. Outstanding value.”
Brenda September/October 2022

Cost $10,000 per person (twin share).
More information HERE, full itinerary HERE or email me or travel@bypriorarrangement.com with any questions.

L:Bread for sale everywhere and R: delicious briouts