Long Weekend

 

In Bennelong Restaurant in our glorious Sydney Opera House with Neil & Debra

Welcome,
I hope those of you in Australia are surviving the challenging weather we are having at the moment? And those of you in the Northern Hemisphere not feeling too cold?

In honour of the Long Weekend in Australia I wanted to get a quick short newsletter out  before I fly to Narrandera for Leeton on Thursday as Australia Day Ambassador. I am looking forward to learning more about the area and meeting up with friends old and new.

I had a very special dinner last Saturday night. My friends Neil and Debra generously took me to Bennelong Restaurant as my birthday present from last year. So lovely to have a shared experience in this world class location. We were there for daylight as well as sunset and fireworks! While the fabulous Peter Gilmore is the Executive Chef, the Head Chef, Rob Cockerill worked with him for 7 years at Quay and has been in Bennelong since the Fink Group took it over. He, too, is a fabulous chef and the food was superb, as was the service and the ambience sitting beneath those wondrous sails.

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: King George Whiting, scallop, asparagus, leek, kai-lan greens and R:Crème Caramel vs Mille-Feuille

Recipes of the week

PROSCIUTTO-WRAPPED STUFFED SUMMER FIGS
Figs are bountiful right now so enjoy this summery dish
GET MY RECIPE HERE
CELEBRATORY SLABLOVA
I know, another slablova but this one is in green and gold to celebrate Australia Day
GET MY RECIPE HERE

In the Kitchen with Lyndey

 

Baked Eggs with Capsicum, Pancetta and Mushrooms

Planning brunch over the long weekend? Try this easy recipe. You can prepare all but breaking the eggs in and baking the day before if you wish.

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.

BBQs and Picnics

Muffaletta

Picnic Tips
Summer means outside dining. That means keeping it cool, and keeping it manageable so easy-to-eat finger and fork food is best. Keep it light with Mediterranean and Asian flavours working well but don’t do a multi-cultural mix as the flavours need to go together.Planning takes the pain out of picnicking so pack carefully. Remember to pack the heaviest food in the bottom of your esky – ideal for the muffaletta! Don’t forget the napkins and some garbage bags for rubbish and also to keep dirty plates and cutlery together. And put in a board and a sharp knife.

To drink- Keeping it cold
It’s always a challenge to keep drinks cool, so choose them wisely (less alcoholic drinks work best) and preferably with a screw cap so you don’t have to worry about a corkscrew. Ensure they are well chilled before you leave home. Freeze a bottle of water to act as both an ice-block and as it melts, thirst quencher. Use freezer bricks or else a frozen sleeve to go around the wine like Vacu-Vin Rapid Ice. Otherwise wrap bottles of water and wine in a wet handtowel and pop in the freezer for half an hour before leaving. The damp cloth is great later for sticky fingers! If there are no little ones around, I always prefer glass to plastic for my wine.

Some Picnic Recipes
Potted Prawns
Muffaletta
Moroccan chicken, chickpea, carrot and spinach salad
Prawn Salad with Macadamia Dressing
Smoked Trout Mousse with Cucumber Salad
Pork terrine, Pear & Potato Relish
Glass Noodle Salad
Panazanella 

Avocado, prawn & coriander rice paper rolls
Avocado, herb & chicken finger sandwiches
Chinese Roast Duck Salad
Muffins Three Ways
Passionfruit and Lime Cupcakes

BBQ Tips
I have recently published a blog on BBQs so hop over here to read that.

All About Strawberries

STRAWBERRIES
Strawberries are actually not berries, but a fruit and belong to the rose family – well, they do have a wonderful fragrance. Their seeds are on the outside.

Good for you as well as delicious
The Ancient Romans believed they had medicinal powers and were used to treat everything from depression to fever and sore throats. Certainly they are are an excellent source of antioxidants, vitamins A, C, E and the B-complex group as well as minerals such as, potassium, manganese, fluorine, copper, iron and iodine. Vitamin C also contributes to formation of collagen and thus plays a role in healthy gums, teeth, bones, cartilage and skin.
They provide folate, a B vitamin needed for normal blood formation and dietary fibre, which is important for the normal functioning of the intestine.
They also contain lutein, one of the carotenoid family that is involved in normal eye health.

Choosing
Select berries which are bright, red with an evening colouring. The calyx (leaves on top) should be vivid green and fresh, not wilted.

Storing
In their punnet in the fridge, or on a tray or plate lined with a paper towel to absorb moisture. Bring to room temperature to eat.
Make sure you wash them just before you want to eat them (to avoid speeding up spoiling) and only hull them AFTER they have been washed.
You can also freeze them by placing on a baking paper-lined tray and freeze until firm. Once frozen, transfer to an airtight container. Thaw in the fridge, again on a paper towel.

Strawberries go with
Yoghurt, chocolate, basil, balsamic vinegar, mint, goat’s cheese, cream, cinnamon, hazelnuts

Strawberry Recipes
Summer Pudding
Best Ever Scones with Quick Berry Jam
Slablova with Strawberry Curd
Strawberry Sponge Puddings with Strawberry Sauce
Strawberry Tart
Almond Flour Strawberry Cake
 (gluten-free and paleo)

Moroccan Culinary Tour



Moroccan food to enjoy

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.

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 OAMexcellent 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:herbs & spices in the souk and R: glorious hand-painted ceramics

Puglia Culinary Adventure



Monopoli and glorious sunshine

WE HAVE HAD A LAST MINUTE CANCELLATION TODAY – SO THERE IS CONFIRMED SPACE FOR A SINGLE OR A COUPLE
There is possibly space for more depending on availability at our hotels.

Culinary Adventures in Puglia and Basilicata 11 – 18 May, 2024, 8 days, 7 nights
Spend an unforgettable week with me learning the secrets of a deeply passionate and undiscovered region of Southern Italy. Puglia is the sun-drenched heel of the boot that spans two seas, the Adriatic and the Ionian. Basilicata is its neighbour to the West. Both agricultural regions are abundant with healthy soil, over 50 million olive trees and a tradition of wine growing that has seen a fabulous dynamism in the last ten years. This area produces some of the most exciting food and wines on the planet. With award-winning Southern Visions Travel.

Trip Highlights 

  • An in-depth visit to the UNESCO site of Matera, with free time to explore and shop
  • Bakery visit in Altamura at a DOP bakery
  • Visit to the Trullo Capital, UNESCO Heritage Site, Alberobello
  • A hands-on cooking class with a Nonna and me 
  • Insider’s look at burrata cheese making from cow to table 
  • Salsa di Pomodoro tomato experience
  • Olive grove tour and oil tasting at an ancient olive oil estate
  • Private lunch at Li Veli Winery
  • Visits to Lecce and Ostuni (the White City)
  • A half day on the water from Polignano a Mare followed by a seafood lunch
  • Lodging in authentic, family-run noble estates and palaces.

Testimonial
“My trip to Puglia in May 2018 was a fantastic experience. The trip was organized through Southern Visions Travel and Lyndey Milan was our host. Puglia is a wonderful region full of history and it has a rich tradition in wine and food. We were so fortunate to have Lyndey as our host as she had so much knowledge and interest in the area which made the the whole trip very entertaining. We were also fortunate to be able to experience all the things we did – visiting wineries, a cheese factory , an artisian bakery and an olive oil Masseria. We ate the most amazing food and drank fantastic wines.  It really was a truly authentic wine and gastronomic experience. Our tour guide Max also had a wealth of knowledge about the region and kept the group amused and entertained with all of his anecdotes throughout the trip. The group size was small and everyone was friendly and very relaxed. It was certainly a trip to remember with thanks to Southern Visions Travel and to Lyndey Milan for their expertise in putting this all together – we couldn’t have been in better hands.”

Nicki

Cost $7439 per person (twin share).
Full itinerary and enquiries here or email me.

L: orechiette with broccoli raab and R: the freshest seafood on the planet in Puglia