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Items tagged "white plate":

  1. My lips stung with pleasure.

    Sometimes Thai food can make your face burn like you’ve been in a kissing marathon.

    A Som Tam (ส้มตำ) style green papaya salad was made because we ate a slice of my homemade mango & passion fruit cream sponge for afternoon tea. I rarely eat creamy food - so a dinner that stirred the metabolism was in order.

    Papaya contains enzymes that can aid digestion and I find it helps soothe my gut after eating very rich food.

    The Som Tam dressing satisfied my need for sharp, clean flavours with home grown limes, garlic, shallots, tamarind, chilli, dried shrimp, lemongrass, palm sugar and fish sauce.

    A few crisp fried dried shrimp and anchovies plus crushed peanuts added crunch, another layer of texture to the salad.

    On the side I made a fiery kaffir lime leaf curry using Hartdale Park Venison that made sweat bead on my nose and brow. Naturally I used home grrown lime leaves for the full effect. All up, a deliciously lean and exhilarating culinary ride!

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  2. Sumptuously juicy Gypsy Pig pork leg rubbed with Asian style fennel salt. The tender full flavoured flesh was offset by the sharp sourness of lemon juice mixed into my fennel and sweet corn slaw with homemade macadamia oil mayonnaise. On the side roast pumpkin completes the palate. These pleasant textural layers made it hard to resist a second helping. (Taken with Instagram)

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  3. Because sometimes there’s an itch you just have to scratch. Spaghetti Bolognese using @greenvalefarm pork & @Warialdabeef, home canned tomatoes and my own passata, homegrown herbs, onion and organic pasta. Simple, uncomplicated, basic magic. (Taken with Instagram)

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  4. Another Chinese homecooked meal. Wor Ba - crisp sizzling puffed rice cakes with a hot and sour sauce.

    I opted not to deep fry the rice cakes as per the tradition, in order to keep the dish lean. But instead puffed the rice in the oven. When they’re hot and the sauce is poured on they sizzle and crackle. It captured my imagination as a child and now eat it with a deep sense of noshtalgia.

    In the spicy tomato based sauce is smoky pork stock, Chinese red vinegar, Cha Sui, prawns, shitake, tofu, preserved vegetables, garlic shoots, chilli and seasonings. On the side, blanched choi sum.

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  5. The Gold Coin Slider. Awesome, if I say so myself.

    Anthony Kumnick of Greenvale Farm knows I love an offal challenge. Australia is so prime cut focussed that I have devoted myself to showing how secondary cuts of meat should not go to waste, but can be a delicious and economical part of our diet.

    So Anthony gave me some pig snouts to play with. After a bit of head scratching I resurrected an old Chinese barbecue recipe called gold coin chicken, which actually uses pork offal.

    The name is derived from old Chinese coins that characteristically had a square hole in the centre. Creating the coins, a skewer goes through alternate rounds of marinated lean pork meat, pigs liver and slices of fat.

    In my case I used pork liver from my usual Viet/Shanghai butcher, Anthony’s snouts, pig cheeks and back fat. The cheeks and snouts were first pressure cooked in my master stock before marinating.

    Pigs liver is rich and strong tasting, so I started by soaking them in salt water with mandarin peel, then slicing to add to the marinade. The marinade is Cha Sui style. I used Dad’s recipe, learned when he trained to be a Chinese Roast meat specialist.

    The back fat was steamed then sliced and alternated with the other items on a long skewer. I grilled them first on medium heat then finished on high to crisp the edges, basting frequently with marinade.

    When this was done cooking I basted it all with honey, though Dad’s recipe uses maltose instead. As always with meat, I then rested it off the skewer and tossed it in its juices before serving.

    To complete the dish I steamed mantou buns and garlic shoots. Mantou are easy to make and freeze but are also available frozen in Asian Grocers. This ‘burger’ style is a new addition to the many available, I’m presuming David Chang may have created a demand for them commercially.

    The meat was tender and tasty. The rendered pieces of pork fat giving an extra richness against the pâté textured liver and gelatinous snout that crisped around the edges. The garlic shoots acted as a relief and textural foil. In season, cucumber would also be an ideal accompaniment.

    Essentially this bears a similarity to a Cha Sui Bao, but lifts it to the sophisticated level you might expect from a restaurant like Golden Fields or Momofuku Seiōbo. But it’s cheap and easy enough to cook for yourself.

    Try it - you can cheat by using a jar of Lee Kum Kee Cha Sui marinade and a slug of gin in the mix instead of Chinese rose liquor. Use slices of any lean, secondary cut of pork and why not save the smoky fat from bacon to use in between? Offalicious!

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  6. Soft, crisp, gelatinous, salty, sour, sweet, chewy. To the Chinese, balance is mandatory to the perfect meal.

    On Saturday I parked in the oven a Warialda Belted Galloway Beef cheek in Chinese millet vinegar and leftover Vietnamese pho soup with a dice of daikon and onion, star anise, mandarin peel, and Sichuan pepper. It cooked for three hours on low heat. It came out wonderfully rich and gelatinous, but outside of a traditional Chinese meal with a bowl of rice and side dishes, I wasn’t quite sure how else to serve it.

    But tonight I realised that because it was a North/Central Chinese style dish it would be a perfect companion to the Flower Thread Mantou, a traditional version of the steamed rice flour bun made popular by NYC Chef David Chang of Momofuku). The Flower Thread bun is rolled into a scroll and can contain shallots. I had some in the freezer, as they can readily be bought in Chinese grocery stores. I then added some fresh spring onion to relieve the gelatinous intensity against the soft, faintly sweet, yielding bread.

    To balance it, I added crisp, creamy Warialda sweetbreads rolled in homemade breadcrumbs made by blitzing some leftover crusts in the food processor. Super fresh sweetbreads are easy to prepare, remove any suet (fat) from around them, then soak the creamy bundles in salted water for an hour and drain before cooking. My tip is to refrigerate the crumbed morsels for at least 10minutes before shallow frying.

    The vegies included some home grown salad greens, a sweet blanched homegrown baby beet and a mini Japanese turnip. I just put them in a container of boiling water and cover with a lid. No stovetop cooking required.

    Sounds complicated? No, it was dead easy. I did it all sitting down in my tiny kitchen. Being composed of ‘nose to tail’ style secondary cuts and home grown vegetables it was really flavourful and kinder on the budget than prime cuts. As Mr Sticki says “Looks like restaurant food….but it’s is better than a bought one”. Homecooked Slow Food rocks.

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  7. Hungarian comfort food. A simple meal of spiced bulgur with barberries, lemony celeriac remoulade, chervil and Gypsy Pig Schnitzel.

    As Slow Food, everything was made from scratch by me. Even the sourdough bread from which the crumbs were made as well as the mayonnaise. Farmer direct fresh produce, nothing from a supermarket, no preservatives or chemical treatments that might upset the body.

    (Taken with Instagram)

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  8. My version of Flamiche, a leek quiche originating in Flanders. Mr Sticki prepared the shell with shortcrust from Pastry by Patersons. I made the filling, using baby leeks, goats cheese, eggs, quark, nutmeg, cream and pinenuts. The watercress is home grown. A simple vegetarian meal prepared from ingredients sourced at Melbourne Farmers Markets.

    (Taken with Instagram)

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  9. Cantonese home cooking - we used to eat this kind of dish for a weekend lunch or a late supper with my grandparents in Hong Kong.

    I made crisp fried noodles with Milawa Free Range chicken thigh fillets, shitake and wild fungi, gai lan(Chinese broccoli) and beanshoots. The aromatics were simply white pepper, garlic, ginger and onion. The sauce was made with gelatinous home made masterstock, mushroom stock, Chinese cooking wine, fish sauce, a splash of soy and finished with half a teaspoon of fermented bean curd. Finally I garnished it with delicious homegrown coriander leaves.

    It’s actually quite a light dish, quick to cook and very tasty.

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  10. A simple vegetarian supper with a quaffable glass of Mike Press Sauvignon Blanc.

    After our fancy pants lunch (see previous post) I opted to make a light, late supper.

    Here’s my salad of mixed greens - mizuna, mustard, oakleaf, tatsoi and rocket dressed with a honey dijon vinaigrette. Served with a proper free range egg omelette with Yarra Valley Dairy marinated goats cheese, leek and pumpkin. Which turned out fluffy and rich with flavour.

    Mr opted to have a few more crumbed sweetbreads as at lunch time.

    One of the wonderful things about this meal was the provenance. All the ingredients were purchased fresh and farmer direct, even the mustard and olive oil - and the crumbs on Mr Sticki’s sweetbreads were made from homemade sourdough bread.

    It was so tasty that seasoning just wasn’t necessary.

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  11. Another meal of first world waste made delicious: eel and dill risotto with crisp crumbed lamb sweetbreads.

    Today I hit a mental block work-wise so retreated to the kitchen where upon once cooking, the thoughts began to flow. This meal was the result.

    The waste component is actually both of the key ingredients. Sweetbreads are not popular because there is a generation of home cooks who only know prime cuts and there is no demand for them. Hence they become waste.

    But they’re simple to prepare and deliciously light and creamy to eat. Just soak them until all blood is leeched from them and remove the fatty caul. Then dip in beaten egg, crumb and fry in canola oil with a little butter for taste.

    The eel component came from Garfield Barramundi. I knew that they discarded the eel heads prior to smoking the bodies so asked if I could purchase some. For a nominal charge they obliged and Leo is happy to grab me more whenever I want them.

    I made stock in my pressure cooker with the heads, adding mandarine peel, ginger, Chinese wine, bay, dill, parsley, green cardamon pods, pepper and rock sugar to the pot after the initial warming. Once done, it was strained and some of it used to make the risotto. The stock will also go into any seafood dishes I cook in the future.

    I flaked the flesh off some of the eel heads and added it in with garlic, white pepper and fresh dill towards the end of cooking. In Chinese cooking, eel is often cooked with a great deal of white pepper and garlic as it diffuses the strong fishy smell and complements the flavour.

    Another Asian touch I used was to add smoky pork dripping - more waste - that I had rendered from the Greenvale Farm pigs head I barbecued with apple chips a while back. I did this to finish the dish with another subtle layer of flavour - in place of the cream or butter used in the French style of risotto. Eel and pork are great companions.

    So topped off with peppery homegrown watercress this was a delicious plate of waste to clear the mind. It wasn’t heavy, had lovely flavours and worked well texturally.

    Proper sustainable Slow Food, saving the world from the embarrassing tons of first world waste, one meal at a time. I hope it will inspire others to consider what we waste while others starve, to think about how we can better sustain our resources ethically for future generations. That’s how we roll chez Sticki.

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  12. It’s been a extraordinarily tough week, climaxing with a death in my family. I was in need of comfort food. Something a little bit naughty.

    So alongside a huge salad of producer direct sourced rocket, mustard, chervil, oak leaf lettuce and watercress - dressed with a classic honey vinaigrette - I opted for creamy pasta. Something we usually steer clear of.

    Here’s my Fettucini with polpetini made with Greenvale Farm Toulouse sausage meat, formed into tiny meatballs and sautéed with onion, garlic and pine forest mushrooms.

    I deglazed the pan with the pasta water, then added Schultz Organic cream and homegrown sage and French tarragon. The dish was finished with white pepper and grated nutmeg. It really hit the spot.

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  13. I’d promised to bake a pithivier but the oven blew up. So my oversized jaffle maker came into service with great piping hot results.

    I used Paterson’s Pastry and filled it with minced Hartdale Park venison, onion, tomatillo’s, pine forest mushrooms laced in a sauce of homemade beef stock, Milawa Mustard and Amontillado. I served it with creamy julienned zucchini and baby leek salad.

    This seemingly eccentric meal, made with local, producer direct sourced ingredients, turned out to be a deliciously unpretentious form of pithivier with a quirky Aussie twist.

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  14. I hadn’t ever cooked lamb ribs before but had some beautifully trim ones raised by the Kumnick family of Greenvale Farm, I did some research and most of the recipes said to slow roast them for between ninety minutes and three hours. You’ve got to be kidding!

    These ribs were delicate. There was no way I would cook them for more than twenty minutes.

    So I embalmed them in a Persian style marinade and grilled them until the house was filled with an aroma that made us salivate. Once the meat was well rested I served it with a salad of mint, coriander, barberries and buffalo mozzarella with a squeeze of lime.

    They were succulent, fragrant with a subtle hue of honey, garlic, cumin and rosemary. It was finger licking. We knawed the bones.

    The fresh herbs and sweet-sour berries cut through the richness of the meat and the creamy Shaw River buffalo mozzarella added a wonderful mouthfeel. I’m definitely going to cook this again. And again.

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