Friday, February 29, 2008


So if the devil wears Prada, I want to wear Alexander McQueen. Specifically, this dress as seen on ASOS (would that be ASOASOS?). It's completely American Apparel with splashes of sequins, and that hits many of my buttons.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Certains Details

Thank you Lola, I went on a Lou Doillon spree after watching the gorgeous Lee Cooper video, then fell enchanted with a reading of Bonaparte from Lettres Intimes, a show I'd wish I'd been in Paris for. Take a look...

I've Got Your Back NYT

I can almost smell the salt air; what a delight to see the NY Times feature some of Sydney's beach restaurants and to include Swell and Bonsai at Bronte, neighbouring favourites.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Nobu's Miso Cod

Andrew and I went to Nobu while in New York in 2003. Actually, it was Nobu Next Door, since back then the cult restaurant was booked out for months, and this neighbour took no reservations. Just as we were across the road, my heel snapped right off. So we had to cab it back home, get changed, and cab it back. It was full so we had a drink around the corner which involved a very funny case of misunderstanding, then dinner. Back then, the Aussie dollar was a useless 53 cents, and we feared how much the dinner would cost us (especially after one of the worst dining experiences ever at Cafe Boulud). I had the famous miso cod, Andrew a plate of the freshest sashimi. My cod came out on the plate as is, just a fillet of cod, with no vegetables, or decoration - I was cynical. But it was incredible. Tender, sweet, salty cod with nothing to distract you from this delicious new food.

It had always been in the back of my mind to make it, but I felt stocking up on all these Japanese ingredients - sake, mirin, miso - was superfluous. Now I can't imagine a kitchen without them. The fish marinates for 2 days, plus or minus, and 'toughens' up slightly soaking up the flavours for so long. A quick roast under a hot grill, then baking, leaves it flakey and golden. I served it with a little round of brown rice noodles and a dot of reserved marinade. It's a dish to serve someone you love, and that includes a double portion for yourself it's that good. Find the recipe here.

Worst photo ever. The fish flaked as I was taking it out of the oven, but it was so incredibly delicious it was one of the rare cases of not caring how the shot turned out - I just wanted to eat more of it.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Recipes From Home

(I've decided to put some of my favourite recipes on this blog as well to tie in with flickr etc).

Andrew sent me this recipe the other day, using pork chops, a similar recipe to one Kath makes with lamb chops. Since our Islamic shop is somewhat short of pork, I used lamb chops.Sick of eating tuna salads and vegie soups and sandwiches, I was craving a real meal, both the cooking and eating, and this was it, good ol' meat and veg.

Seal the chops and remove. In the same pan braise fennel that has been cut into 8, along with spring onions, a head of garlic and my Dutch addition of mini brussel sprouts. They are really good. Cook until the vegies have some nice caramalisation then pop into the oven for 15-20 minutes, then top with the chops and roast for 5 minutes. The chops will be perfectly pink and juicy.

The smell of the caramalising fennel is out of this world, transforming the aniseed bulb into sweet, milder leaves. Try it even if you don't usually like fennel.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Darling Clementine

Like samphire in the previous post, clementines were something I'd been hanging to try since they are not available in Sydney but in abundance here. They look so beautiful, piled in crates stamped with sunny destinations like Morocco and Italy, many with their dark green leaves attached. I have been annoying Dani since we got here - what could I make with them? look how pretty they are! wow, 2 kilos for 2.49E! - so I decided to finally buy some and make something with them.

This Clementine and Olive Oil Cake recipe from Cafe Fernando is so easy. I've never made a cake with olive oil before but it makes the cake moist and light so I'll be seeking more recipes like this out. The scent of citrus, from rubbing the zest into the sugar to taking the cake out of the oven, brings such a happy, sunny smell to the house. Serve the cake with a dollop of creme fraiche.

So what are clementines like? Exactly like mandarins, seedless and maybe a touch sweeter. But don't you just love the name?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Cult Steak and Irish Mash

I have wanted steak and mash for yonks. A simple, good piece of meat, cooked to juicy beefy perfection. Mash, maybe with a twist in the form of Heston Blumenthal's Irish mash. And it was the perfect excuse to try out an ingredient I'd heard about on The Cook and The Chef but couldn't find at home, yet here is in abundance: samphire.

I also thought it was time to try the now-infamous "choice into Gucci prime" salting method started by Steamy Kitchen, whereby you heavily salt steak and let it rest for between 15 minutes and one hour. The steak sucks in the salt, which then draws out the moisture. But then the steak drinks in the salt water - osmosis? - and leaves the meat tender and seasoned throughout.

And it absolutely works. The steak was lightly salted, juicy and a gorgeous aged deep red, with a lovely crust. I will definitely be doing my steaks like this from now.
Heston's Irish mash is made by cooking chopped spring onions in a little milk for 3 minutes so they still have bite, then adding the onions and onion milk to mash. His is of course butter-rich (250g for 4-6 people) but it doesn't need more than a tablespoon.

As for the samphire, these beautiful salty, crunchy beans only need to be poached in unsalted boiling water for a few minutes. They went very well with the dish.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Dutch Blog

We have started a blog so we can both write about our year in Dutchland. It's invite-only which means you just need to put your email address in when you click to read it, so if I haven't dinged you please email me and I will add your addy (or if I don't know you please send me your blog). Thanks!