September Newsletter Welcome to Spring in Australia/Autumn in UK
Enjoying (?) Breakfast with the Orangutans at Bali Zoo
Apologies for my two week’s silence but I have been travelling, first to Singapore for a few days with my daughter and family where we mostly stayed home with the new baby. Then I presented on a P & O cruise from Singapore to Bali, finishing with a couple of days relaxing at the lovely Sofitel Nusa Dua. I can’t say flying back on Friday overnight on Virgin Australia was lovely but I got back safe and sound. Although I was working hard on the cruise with three presentations, I did get to enjoy a lovely dinner at Salt Grill, the restaurant on board by restaurateur and chef, Luke Mangan. Food and service were excellent with lovely starters of Grilled arrow squid and the Luke’s classic crab omelette which also stars at Glass Brasserie. I was delighted to see Rump cap on the menu, from Tajima Crossbred Wagyu with a BBQ rub. Perfectly cooked and rested and well with sides of Zucchini with bacon, parmesan and lemon thyme and Steamed mixed vegetables with lemon olive oil. My friend enjoyed the Tuna, grilled (rare) with soba noodles, ginger and leek. Excellent Luke Mangan branded wines too. We couldn’t resist sharing Luke’s famous liquorice parfait with lime syrup and tuile.
More about Bali, including the zoo next week.
L; Grilled arrow squid with lemon aioli, Szechuan dressing & cucumber and
R: “Glass” Sydney crab omelette, enoki mushroom and herb salad & miso mustard broth
Fresh from my kitchen to you. I have just released the first of my new youtube series of fast & fabulous recipes shown in less than 1 minute. Perfect for the weekend. Click here. If you like it and would like to see more, please subscribe to my Youtube Channel.
Next Monday is the official farewell to Australia’s much-loved Margaret Fulton OAM. The family have accepted the State government’s offer of a State Memorial Serviceto which family, friends and admirers are all welcome. I am honoured to be giving the eulogy about her professional life. I wrote my personal tribute to her, soon after she passed away.
Spring brings with it a wealth of wonderful fruit and vegetables
Apples: Lady Williams
Mandarins: Honey Murcot
Onions: Green (Shallots)
The best in fruit and veggies this week in Australia
Strawberries, the last of the winter lemons and tangelos
Avocados contain 14 vitamins and minerals including vitamins B1, B2, B3, C and E and despite their creamy texture, avocadoes provide valuable fibre – plus they are versatile for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
The sweet memorable fragrances of fresh strawberries are at their best at this time of year, so while strawberries are in peak supply its time to sniff out a bargain. For maximum flavour, wash strawberries just before hulling (removing stalk).
Kon Fruit also sold as Sumo are large mandarins, resemble a large tangelo in shape, with a thick, wrinkly rind this fruit is easy to peel, seedless and ultra-flavoursome and juicy. Enjoy now as the season is short.
Sweet eating and aromatic small, North Territory rockmelons are a thrifty buy.
Early supplies of Kensington Pridemangoes from the Northern Territory are a bargain.. Supplies of large, antioxidant-rich blueberries from Caboolture and Coffs Harbour are delicious eating.. Did you know that purples foods like blueberries can protect your brain health.
Make the most of the last of the winter lemons. Juice and lemon zest add flavour to marinades, cakes, steamed puddings or make your own preserved lemon. Select lemons that feel heavy for their size, this indicates good juice content. Whip up an easy lemon curd in 15 minutes or this lemon delicious pudding is always a lovely treat.
L: TOP; yellow beans BOTTOM; brown onions and R: radicchio
The delicate aniseed flavour and crunchy texture of fennel complement fish, chicken, lamb, pears and citrus. For a quick entrée or salad, combine shredded fennel with shaved parmesan, crisp slices of pear and watercress.
Stock up on basic like carrots or brown onions, both well-priced.
Toss a few bunches of Asian leafy greens into a steamer or wok this week, they are good at value, quick to cook and nutritious. Look out for Bok choy, pak choy, choy sum and gai lum.
Early supplies of Australian grown asparagus are now available at your local greengrocer. Look out for that rather than the imported asparagus from Peru. Prices will drop over the next month, as the harvest is in full swing.
With its reddish maroon coloured leaves, radicchio looks like lettuce however it is a member of the chicory family. Its mildly bitter taste is delicious enjoyed in salads but heads for radicchio can also be cut into wedges and lightly sautéed and served with grated cheese. If you pan-fry it in olive oil with garlic, add a squeeze of lemon juice to brighten the colour Try this Radicchio, fennel, pear & blue cheese salad.
Premium quality large snow-white cauliflowers are a bargain.. Cut a head of cauliflower into large slices (to make cauliflower steaks) Pan fry or roast until tender.
Zucchini may be mild tasting however its extremely versatile and suitable for combining with a myriad of flavours to create scrumptious meals. Pick up a kilo of zucchini this week and whip up a delicious zucchini based mealthis week.
Look after your eyes and enjoy spinach and silverbeet or kale which are good sources of lutein also known as the eye vitamin. Its role as an antioxidant is to protect the lens and retina from the absorption of harmful blue – UV light and to mop up free radicals produced through oxidative stress in the eye area.
Ginger is a choice buy. Storing ginger correctly optimises the natural juiciness, flavour and crispness of fresh ginger. I scrape the skin off with a teaspoon though very young ginger doesn’t need this treatment. You can also place freshly-scrubbed and dried unpeeled ginger into airtight jars, cover with Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry.
Recipe of the week
Crisp Pork Belly with Blood Orange Pickle
Preparation 20 minutes plus optional 2 hours – overnight refrigeration
Cooking 1 hour 20 mins
1k boneless pork belly, ideally of even thickness
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon five-spice
Juice of 1 blood orange
60 ml (1/4 cup) soy sauce
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
55 g (1/4 cup) brown sugar
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 cm piece ginger, grated
Stir-fried greens or green salad, to serve (optional)
Blood Orange Pickle
3 blood oranges, peeled, sliced into rounds
½ cup (125ml) blood orange juice
½ – 1 tablespoon caster sugar (optional depending on sweetness of blood orange)
1 large red chili, finely sliced
1 small cucumber, seeded and cut into long matchsticks
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into long ribbons
1 bunch coriander, leaves picked, reserve some sprigs for serving
Using a very sharp knife, score the pork belly rind by making diagonal cuts 1 cm apart across the whole surface. Place in a colander or on a rack in the sink and pour over a kettle full of boiling water to help the rind separate. If necessary, score more lines. Dry well with paper towel and place, uncovered, in the refrigerator for 2 hours or even overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to cooking.
Preheat the oven to 220°C. Wipe the pork well with paper towel to remove any excess moisture, rub with salt and place, rind side up, in a baking dish (see note) not much bigger than the pork and roast for 25-30 minutes.
For the sauce. Combine all ingredients in a jug.
Remove the pork from the oven and reduce the heat to 180°C. Lift the pork from the baking dish, pour out any fat, then pour the sauce into the baking dish and replace the pork on top, ensuring no sauce gets on the rind. Return to the oven and roast for an additional 50 – 60 minutes or until the rind is crisp and the meat juices run clear. If the juices are clear and the rind is not crisp enough, grill for 5 minutes or until the rind blisters. Remove to a wire rack to rest.
Meanwhile prepare the pickle by combining the blood orange juice with the caster sugar (if using) and chilli in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves, increase the heat, bring to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Pour over the blood oranges, cucumber and carrot and set aside. Stir through coriander leaves just before serving.
To serve. Cut the pork into thin slices, drizzle the flesh with some sauce and serve with the blood orange pickle topped with the coriander sprigs. Serve with stir-fried greens or salad if desired.
Lyndey’s Note: Small disposable aluminium trays are great for this. Use double and fold the inside one inwards to keep the sauce up around the pork flesh. Saves on washing up! Use a vegetable peeler to slice the vegetables for the pickle. The blood orange juice replaces vinegar in the pickle so it needs to be tart, perfect at the beginning of its season.
With a wave of its aromatic wand, garlic transforms the simplest foods into flavoursome – that’s why cuisines across the world incorporate this versatile and delicious ingredient.Garlic is a species in the onion genus, Allium. Its close relatives include the onion, shallot, leek, chive, and Chinese onion. Garlic is native to Central Asia and north eastern Iran, and one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world, with a history of several thousand years of human consumption and use.
Its usage predates written history; Sanskrit records document the use of garlic remedies approximately 5000 years ago. Legend suggests that Egyptian pharaohs prized garlic very highly and slaves building the pyramids were given a daily ration to keep them fit and strong. Its use was well documented by many major civilizations, including the Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans and Chinese. However, throughout ancient history, the main use of garlic was for its health and medicinal properties.
How to select and store
Australian garlic is at its best from mid Autumn to mid Spring. Each segment of a garlic bulb is called a clove. There are about 10–20 cloves in a single bulb, depending on size. There is also a variety of large single clove garlic.
For the best flavour and maximum health benefits, buy fresh garlic. Select large, plump, firm, dry bulbs and do not buy garlic that is soft, shows evidence of decay or is beginning to sprout. It is best stored at room temperature in a well-ventilated cool, dark place away from exposure to heat and sunlight. Storing it in this manner will help prevent sprouting. Depending on its age and variety, a whole garlic bulb will keep fresh from 2 weeks to 2 months. Once you break the head of garlic, it reduces its shelf life.
Fresh young garlic on the stem is sometimes available and should be used within a few days. Garlic in flake, powder or paste form is convenient, but it is not as good as fresh garlic.
Good for you
With an assertive pungent flavour and aroma garlic is a natural health food recommended to help lower blood pressure and cholesterol with antiviral and antibacterial properties. Eaten raw it can be a nasal decongestant! Cooking sweetens the flesh and reduces pungency.
Calorie for calorie, garlic is incredibly nutritious containing Manganese, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Selenium, calcium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, iron, fibre, vitamin B1 and other anti-oxidants.
Garlic also contains trace amounts of various other nutrients. In fact, it contains a little bit of almost everything you need. It is said to be beneficial in fighting the common cold, helping reduce blood pressure, helps lower LDL, the “bad” cholesterol
Read Why garlic is a good prebiotic food for gut health One clove (3g) has 4.5 calories, 0.2 grams of protein and 1 gram of carbs.
If you love eating raw garlic but hate the lingering aftertaste, try chewing parsley as it works very well as a breath freshener.
To peel a clove of garlic place it on a chopping board and press down firmly with the flat blade of a large knife. Then sprinkle with a little salt to make it easier to chop finely. Alternatively crush in a mortar and pestle
Place lightly crushed whole cloves of garlic in vinaigrette or olive oil to impart flavour. Store in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before use.
Add crushed garlic to softened butter and use on vegetables or to make garlic bread
Add crushed garlic to mayonnaise to make aioli
To clean knives and fingers of that pervasive aroma, run your fingers up and down the flat sides of the blade of the knife used to cut the garlic, under a cold running tap.
To roast a head of garlic Remove any extra layers of papery skin. Slice the top off the entire head to expose the cloves. Oil the garlic and put cut-side down into a baking dish with 1 cm water. Bake in a moderate oven at 180? for 45 minutes until quite soft when tested with a fine skewer. The oiled head can also be wrapped and roasted in oiled aluminium foil. Try putting roasted garlic through your mash for a taste sensation.
L: Michael Hill-Smith & Martin Shaw plotting and scheming about starting a wine label, around 1989 – 1990 and R 2000 at their new winery at Balhannah
Adelaide Hills-based winery, Shaw + Smith, is celebrating 30 vintages. Founded in 1989 by cousins Michael Hill Smith MW and Martin Shaw, Shaw + Smith has spent the last thirty years growing a modern Australian wine brand recognised for quality cool-climate wines, as well as their well-established national and international trade education programme which continues to develop. Shaw + Smith also support leading wine programmes and organisations in Australia, including the Len Evans’ Tutorial, which trains promising young peopl ein the wine industry in how to judge wine, at which Michael Hill Smith MW is a tutor, The Dan Pontifex Award and Sommeliers Australia.
To celebrate the launch of the 2019 Sauvignon Blanc they again hosted a Yum Cha lunch at Mr Wong, which is not an occasion to miss. they are wonderful hosts and tell great stories about their wines. It is an opportunity to try all their current releases and catch up with wine industry colleagues. Regular readers will know I am not a huge fan of sauvignon blanc, but this one is appealing, being much more restrained than its New Zealand cousins. Sure it has tropical and grassy characters but it is delightfully crisp and dry – and great with yum cha! All of their wines are good – I especially like their pinot noir which is miraculous with Peking duck.
Two Fabulous Hosted Trips in 2020
Come Travelling with Me? The next tour I am escorting is with By Prior Arrangement to Morocco 16-27 April 2020. This is an extraordinary destination, but one best visited with specialised knowledge and contacts to ensure a happy and seamless experience. Carol Prior of By Prior Arrangement focusses only on Morocco, a country she has known for 30 years and where she lived for over a decade. I could think of no-one better to plan the tour with.
This trip will see us travel from Rabat the capital, to spiritual Meknes and Fes, and to Marrakech the red city. On the way you will explore the archaeological site of Volubilis, visit a Berber village in the Atlas Mountains, and relax by the coast in tranquil Essaouira. You’ll discover the delicacies of Moroccan and French food, dine in local eateries through to upmarket restaurants, and experience the making and flavours of Moroccan dishes during cooking classes. Luxury accommodation is in charming, authentic riads. sometimes in exclusivity. Only 10 – 12 guests. $8850 pp shared, or $10,550 single. Details here
In Puglia, you too can experience traditional bread making and sea urchins fresh from the sea
Culinary Adventures in Puglia 4 – 10 October 2020.
Puglia is a relatively undiscovered part, in the boot of the heel of Italy, it’s where Italians go for holidays!
“I loved every moment of the tour, Lyndey is an excellent host, great fun & very knowledgeable in wine & food while our tour guide, Max, knows the history of Puglia so well, which was great as we visited lovely old towns with amazing old buildings.Our accommodation was 4 to 5 star & wonderful & we had some truly amazing meals & wines.” writes Julie Tulloch, a fellow traveller in May last year.
It was such a fabulous experience, we are repeating it in October 2020 to share an unforgettable week of culinary and cultural exploration. Think hands-on bread, cheese making and cooking class; visits to wineries, olive farm, tours of UNESCO sites Alberobello & Matera & other cultural centres with local guides. All sensational meals and wines included. You only need money for the very inexpensive shopping you will find there. Group size: an intimate 8-16 places only
Price: $5499 per person for all ground arrangements (single supplement $799)
Lodging in authentic, family-run noble estates and palaces
Operated by: Local Puglia specialist Southern Visions Travel: the leading experiential travel company in Southern Italy
Full brochure here
Fine Food Australia is on next week, a must for food professionals and I am pleased to be giving a couple of presentations
In Australia Fine Food Australia- 9 – 12 September 2019 – ICC Sydney
Fine Food Australia is the leading foodservice, bakery, retail and hospitality trade event in Australia. Passionate end-users see Fine Food as the heartbeat of the food industry’s future. Unrivaled by any other Australian show, this is the foodie-mecca where our trade unites as one. See over 1,000+ exhibitors and thousands more products, discover the latest trends and learn from the industry’s best. finefoodaustralia.com.au
Talking Trends – Culinary Tourism and Regionalism in Australia
Culinary tourism is defined as “The pursuit and enjoyment of unique and memorable food and drink experiences, both far and near” (World Food Travel Association). What does this mean in a country like Australia which did not have traditional regionalism as occurred naturally in the isolation of centuries past? What is contemporary regionalism? What do customers want in food and beverage? How can local communities, restaurants, cafes, pubs and clubs embrace it to value add for tourists and customers?
I will talk about Culinary Tourism & Regionalism in Australia and discuss how restaurants, cafés, clubs, pubs, hotels and the local communities can embrace this significant trend in the Australian Foodservice market and create value for tourists and local customers alike. More information here
Mentoring in Foodservice – Talking Shop Stage – Thursday 12 September, 11:45am-12:30pm
Being able to create the next leaders in hospitality is a privilege for anyone who has worked their own way through the ranks. I am pleased to host a panel to explore the essence of inspiring staff, hearing from both mentors and mentees around creating positive impact on staff retention, engagement in the workplace and the various ways to guide your staff. These small changes will not only bring about the best workplace culture, but will save serious money on reducing staff turnover.
Sample Food Festival – Saturday 7 September, 2019- 8am until 4pm
Bangalow Showgrounds, 1 Market Street, Bangalow
Tickets upon entry are $5 per person and children are free
Guest chefs include Matt Moran,Federico Zanellato of LuMi Dining. Luca Ciano, and Alex Munoz Labart of the award-winning Restaurant Labart on the Gold Coast. Sample restaurants battle it out to win the title of best $10 or $5 tasting plate of the year.
The one day event will celebrate the diverse and rich produce, chefs, artisans and producers of the Northern Rivers of NSW. $5 and $10 tasting plates showcase the menus of local restaurants, cooking demonstrations from attending chefs will come to a head at the TAFE Celebrity cook off. To help cleanse the palate over the day, award winning Byron Bay brewery Stone & Wood will serve a range of beers, alongside offerings of local wines from Jilly and spirits from Lord Byron Distillery, Cape Byron Distillery and Husk Distillers. Visithttps://samplefoodevents.com/sample-food-festival/
Classic Pavlova – only one way to use left-over egg whites
Talented chef Josh Niland from Saint Peter is featured in the new issue of Selector
There’s lots to please in the new Selector with an over-arching theme of Character – and it’s packed with them. From chef Josh Niland of seafood restaurant Saint Peter, who learnt the joys of cooking through recovering from childhood cancer to Matt Golinski who returned to the stoves after a terrible family tragedy. There’s the Brown siblings of All Saints Estate who took over their family winery after the loss of their father. There’s also my tribute to Margaret Fulton and a feature on Women in Food.
You can travel to India with the manifold flavours of this colourful country, enjoy a dream verticle of Rutherglen’s Morris wines and the Tasting Panel has reviewed 20 standout Australian Rosés. I celebrate Spring lamb.