Flashback to a time of joy, gathering produce at The Agrarian Kitchen in Tasmania when filming Lyndey & Herbie’s Moveable Feast
Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
And all the clouds that lowr’d upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths;
Our bruised arms hung up for monuments;
Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings.
The first line of Shakepeseare’s Richard 111, 1594
OK, OK, OK, so I know some of you are in the Northern Hemisphere and facing Autumn, then Winter, however, I was not speaking about season or climate, but rather my hope for the future. A metaphor for better times ahead, as was Shakespeare’s intent.
Many of us know the above as a single line. However, if we consider the second line, it appears that Richard is not talking about his unhappiness, but is actually celebrating: the unhappiness is over, replaced by the wonderful summer. I have to say, I love the pun of “sun” for “son”, the crown having been taken from Henry IV, the oppression which was on his house (of York) is over with the clouds removed and the sun shining. (My old English teacher would be impressed – but I do remember in 3rd year of high school loving this Shakespearean play, brought alive by an enthusiastic teacher.)
Back to Shakespeare and with all the issues of COVID, lockdowns, closed borders, bushfires, storms, international discord between Australia and China, an election in the USA which sometimes looks like a Sitcom (let’s hope that is not the outcome) may there be better times ahead for all of us. We all need hope and something to look forward to.
On Sunday night I will be again be hosting Facebook Live, this time teaching Australian produce to speak Spanish at 6:00 pm AEST or 9:00 am BST. More below, including ingredients.
May there be some hope for all of us, wherever we are in the world, whatever our situation.
Chargrilled Octopus with Cabbage Slaw
I think it is BBQ weather in much of the world right now as Australia warms up, and Europe and North America enjoy the last of their summer. I have also looked longingly at holiday snaps of those lucky enough to travel to Greece recently, so I thought I would re-create the feeling for all of us, with my foolproof recipe to make tender octopus which can be finished on the BBQ or chargrill. Watch me make it on YouTube here. You’ll find thewritten recipe here.You can subscribe to my channel here, so you can see other videos including my meals in a minute.
Now read on or scroll down, remember there’s something for everyone in this newsletter wherever you are in the world.
Recipe of the Week
Tortilla Espagnol or Spanish Omelette
This very traditional recipe is sweet with the onions and can be eaten warm or cold. It is great for brunch, lunch or cut up as finger food for tapas. Tapas are an integral part of the Spanish lifestyle and a great way to entertain. Originally a slice of jamon (cured ham) was served on a glass of sherry to keep the flies out, Tapa being the Spanish word for cover or lid. Over time the range has extended and there is no limit to their size, ingredients or sequence of serving. They can be eaten as a snack, pre-meal or for the perfect cocktail food with friends. Find the recipe here. Another favourite Spanish recipe Paella
Paella Photography: Brett Stevens
Rillettes of Salmon with Horseradish Creme Friache and Mustard & Dill Pikelets snapped after I finished Facebook Live
If you are planning to cook with me on Sunday, here’s what you will need for 6 as an entree : 24 medium-sized green prawns
½ cup (125mls) extra virgin olive oil
400g canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 long red chillies, finely chopped or 1/2 red capsicum, diced
½ cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind
1 medium lemon, cut into wedges
1 loaf crusty bread (optional)
See you then?
A Fun Casual Dinner
Bar snacks to share, clockwise from top: Colin’s Fish Fingers, lemon, house tartare; Salmon, Dill Croquettes, black garlic aioli; Suckling Pig Sausage Roll (served pink) apple sauce
We made a safe outing this week, reserving a small private room upstairs at The Terminus Hotel, Pyrmont to be very careful, though the COVID-safe practices there are excellent. Four of us shared a fun, early dinner. The menu has been designed by Colin Fassnidge with really well-executed elevated pub classics.
There’s a bar downstairs and casual courtyard. Upstairs, Vera’s Cocktail Lounge, spills out onto the large, outdoor terrace with a retractable rooftop. This is also where the private rooms are.
We decided to share, there was so much we found appealing: Colin’s Fish Fingers, lemon, house tartare ($16) comprised five small fillets of fish in panko breadcrumbs, crisp and lovely. I’ve since found the recipe here. The Salmon, Dill Croquettes, black garlic aioli ($16) were creamy on the inside and appropriately crisp outside. The star of this show, though, was the Suckling Pig Sausage Roll (served pink) apple sauce ($14). The meat was shredded after cooking, rather than mince, soft, unctuous and oh-so-moreish.
Pasta being prepared in the cheese wheel
Stars of the mains were the Wednesday night special Cheese Wheel Pasta, cheese, truffle ($25) which was as stunning as the photo above suggests. Blackboard Specials of Colin’s famous Porchetta and a seriously good T Bone steak, successfully cooked pink and tender. with some well-priced wine to wash it all down, we were very happy campers.
L: Cheese-wheel pasta and R: Porchetta
Brilliant Cut Knife Offer
I am continuing the offer this week for my knife. It is my own design and brand, the Lyndey Milan Brilliant Cut Knife which we launched some years ago. I tested this knife for over 12 months before that. The reason? Most homecooks have blunt knives, made more so by putting them in the dishwasher so I wanted something that would stay sharp and could go in the dishwasher. Why?
The blade will stay sharp up to 45 times longer than steel knives. The blade technology is a world-first with an alloy that combines diamonds, silver, ceramic and titanium
DIAMONDS a world first for incredible performance and durability SILVER with unique anti-bacterial properties for good health CERAMIC for sharpness and holding the cutting edge for a very long time TITANIUM is corrosion resistant, flexible and lightweight to reduce fatigue
It is comfortable, lightweight and perfectly balanced. It is dishwasher safe. The blade is sharp and flexible and with a double bevel means it suits both left and right-handed cooks to be able to tackle all kitchen jobs such as slicing, chopping, shredding and dicing with ease and precision. However, because it is so fine, just don’t use the blade on bones or hard pumpkin.
World leading testing organisation, CATRA (UK) have confirmed that this revolutionary alloy blade, hand-finished by a master Japanese craftsman, will holds its edge up to 45 times longer than steel
Next week we’re travelling the world with Japanese food and recipes, so there’ll be a Japanese recipe for my Facebook Live. There’ll be a mushroom recipe, a throw back to partying times and some grown-up brownies to indulge in – perhaps to make as a gift for Father’s Day?
There’ll be more too, so don’t miss out, join me on Facebook and Instagram this week!
Travel with me in 2021 or 2022?
Enjoy sea urchin, fresh from the sea in Puglia
MY HOSTED TOURS RETURN IN 2021 or 2022?
I am full of hope for next year – but also realise we may not be travelling internationally that soon. So we have delayed my planned Moroccan trip from May to October 2021, straight after the planned one to Puglia. Makes it worth being that side of the world and it will be fun to do back-to-back. Many more details to come, but here’s a heads up, although it is too soon to be thinking about travelling overseas again. Here are the dates: Culinary Adventures in Puglia and Basilicata: 10-16 October 2021 Full details and prices here, Morocco culinary tour probably mid-October 2021 – some information here.