food

Easy Roasted Tomato Sauce

Easy Roasted Tomato Sauce

The New Year has begun, and I’m easing myself into it very gently. Last night I woke to the constant drumming of rain on the tin roof outside our bedroom window. Today it’s actually starting to pelt down, the temperature so cool I’ve put on my favourite oversized sweater and am curled up on the sofa slowly going through emails that have been piling up, unanswered, over the Christmas period. These are the days I love, be it summer or winter; for me they are food days. And on these days I like to have something cooking slowly in the oven, or simmering on the stove.

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Three Little Classics

Three Little Classics

I know I’ve talked about Elizabeth David here before, and what an inspiration she has always been for me, her food and writing evoking a satisfyingly delicious life, filled with fresh ingredients and flavours that were a part of her every day living. Her descriptions of what she was cooking and journeys to local markets and quiet provincial villages has always made me want to dive into the pages and be apart of her journey of discovery with food and wine. 

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Grazing Tables and a Romantic Wedding

Grazing Tables and a Romantic Wedding

Recently, I was asked by Sydney boutique caterer Delectable Dishes to be part of a team to put together a wedding at the National Art School in Sydney. This venue has quite a history, having been a prison from 1841 –1914. It’s one of Sydney’s oldest, and best-preserved examples of colonial architecture; the buildings are a gorgeous yellow sandstone, and I’m sure if they could speak would have so many amazing stories to tell. And after this evening there will be another story to add: one of a beautiful bride, loving families and friends, long banquet tables in the old cell block covered with flowers of sunset hues and glowing candles, and in the courtyard, two grazing tables groaning with fresh seafood and antipasti to be devoured by guests before the main course.

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Autumn Plum and Walnut Cake, and a Bowl of Gorgeous Poached Plums

Autumn Plum and Walnut Cake, and a Bowl of Gorgeous Poached Plums

I don’t know about you, but I love plums. A bowl on the kitchen bench glistening in the morning light; the autumn colours reminiscent of precious gems. They are delicious as they are, or so versatile to cook with. Every year, at the end of their season, I make what seems like a bucket of plum jam – it’s become a bit of a ritual for me. I feel like I’m preserving a little jar of sunshine to see us through the winter.

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Twice Tomato Tart

Twice Tomato Tart

It’s summer, and that means tomatoes. So when I was at my farmers market last week it came as no surprise there were lots on display. I was particularly attracted to a pile of tiny Roma tomatoes - the colour was incredible! When they’re this small they roast perfectly as they’re not too fleshy, so I thought maybe I would make a tart: something slightly organic, with a little spice.

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Anytime Hash

Anytime Hash

I really don’t like to waste food it’s just not in my nature, so when I find myself with a few odds and ends in the fridge I throw it altogether and make a kind of a hash – this time literally. I like it for dinner with some Greek yoghurt drizzled on top, and with a sprinkling of my homemade Dukkah. The secret is to cook it evenly.

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Poussin with Chestnut and Pancetta stuffing

Poussin with Chestnut and Pancetta stuffing

A few years ago our eldest daughter requested Poussin stuffed with chestnuts, pancetta and various other exotic ingredients for our Christmas lunch. I asked her where she had seen this recipe, and she replied, “ Just make it up!” So I did, and as luck would have it, it was delicious.

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Castagna Vineyard Open Day

Yes, wine is the new Beechworth gold. And moreishly delicious it is… especially from my favourite vineyard.

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Truffle Farm

… this is a truffle farm. And this truffle farm, although still in its early stages, is already producing a small amount of delicious truffles.

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Chestnut Soup

To prepare chestnuts first slit the shell, with a small sharp paring knife, and peel it away. Bring the chestnuts to the boil in a small saucepan of cold water. They are ready as soon as the water boils. Left any longer they’ll go grey. Not very appetising. Remove the pan from the heat, then take out one chestnut at a time and slip off the papery skin. Now you can start on the soup.

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Russian Easter 2013

Russian Easter is the most important religious celebration in the Russian calendar, more important even than Christmas, and as such is accompanied by a table groaning with wonderful traditional Russian dishes. Not just a feast for the tummy but a feast for the eyes as well.

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