Rosemary jungle

March 18th, 2012 by Tina

rosemary jungle

Rosemary potatoes… We pulled up a rosemary plant as we accidentally planted the spreading ‘ground cover’ variety and not the nice upright straight-branched one, so it’s rosemary on everything this week.

Apple cider

February 19th, 2012 by Tina

So, it seems I’ve jumped on the apple cider bandwagon. Those who know me will smile at yet another new found food addiction. I started with Magners (Irish), late last year, which is refreshing with ice, but I now have others which I prefer, given the choice. I’ve been enjoying Monteith’s (NZ) which has a crisp, sweet finish, and Dirty Granny (Matilda Bay, WA) which has a drier finish, which, growing up drinking dry white wine on special occasions suits my palate. I also like the name. :)

I quite like 5 Seeds cloudy apple cider, and they are doing a lot of advertising at the moment. I’ve tried the pricey Rekordorlig Strawberry Lime and the Pear. I haven’t tried the Apple yet. I found both of the ones I’ve tried to be delicious but too sweet for my taste to drink a whole bottle. Also the price seems exorbitant for buying while out, $12 at our local, almost $6 a bottle at big name booze stores.

I don’t mind pear cider – I think the Monteith’s is less sweet than the apple, which can be nice to have a drier drink with food – but I prefer the apple if drinking it on its own. I’m looking forward to trying the apple and pear blend.

Bilpin ciderThe newest kid on the block is Bilpin original cider, bought today at Marrickville markets. They were $4 each, and after chilling all afternoon in the fridge it’s going down beautifully while my spatchcock chicken marinates in Chris Manfield’s recipe for Spicy roast chicken. Freshly made garam masala, ground ginger, chilli, garlic, turmeric and yoghurt. Can’t wait to roast it up and eat it with some BBQ corn. Might do the corn Mexican style with a little chilli jam and grated parmesan to finish.

Where was I? Cider. Drink some. Is nice.


Marrickville Markets

February 8th, 2012 by Tina

142 Addison Rd Marrickville, Sundays…

Another blissful Sunday morning at the Marrickville organic markets. Coffee first, to aid important decision making. The best coffee I’ve tried at the markets so far is from the building on your right as you enter the market from Addison Rd. Note the installation art on the side wall of the building of milk crates, took me a few visits to notice it and that it spelt out a word…

Next pick up Sicilian olives and hummus for casual pizza  dinner with friends, salami and soft French white mould cheese, a small Tuscan kale seedling for never ending batches of minestrone made with veal stock and thick lardons of pancetta.

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The lovely Kate, who has moved back home to Orange whom I miss dearly as she’s so entertaining, has a new food blog http://piesandkates.com/

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If you get sick of walking around, a cup of chai while sitting on woven mats in the sunshine is pretty nice… you can also get a $10 haircut at the stall next door. I haven’t been brave enough to try.

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There are both conventional produce and organic stalls, the conventional ones are labelled as such. The advantage of having both is sometimes the organic range is limited and if you have your heart set on cooking a certain something you’re more likely to find it having both options.

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The Common Ground bakery always smells good and they have a super juice with more good things in it than you could could think of. They usually sample it so you can try before you buy. They have lots of options for gluten and wheat free eaters. I bought a rice flour banana bread for my sister which she said was great. The also have spelt, rye, wholemeal, with and without nuts and seeds and all slow fermented sourdough (read maximum flavour development). They deal directly with a wheat grower too so their flour is really fresh. I just liked all the info they passed on, it shows how passionate they are about their product. They also had a rice flour lamington, the first of it’s kind I’ve come across, haven’t tried it yet though.

There’s also a Brasserie Bread stall where they try to lure you with delicious brownies and danish pastries. I’m sold on the sour cherry loaf and the quinoa and soy seed loaf if you like seeds. There is also a German bread stall with darker rye loaves, pretzels and tiny chocolate chip buns. I think the chocolate buns are best served toasted with butter, but they’re also good straight from the bag while browsing.

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Char kway teow at Jackie M Malaysian

Shopping just about done (and cash nearly depleted) and I settle on nasi lemak and otak otak, D has a lamb wrap from another stall which is a more appropriate portion size than mine, which is enough for two hungry people, so we take the rest home for lunch.

I bought some coffee beans from the fair trade stall and had a delicious coffee at home made from PNG beans. Flavoursome and strong without being too acidic or bitter.

I’ll try and get a picture of the corn fritters next time, they’re my healthy option for when I’ve had an indulgent Saturday night!

Darwin markets

September 24th, 2011 by Tina

Thursday: Mindil (Indigenous art, food stalls, light and breezy summer clothing by Gita http://www.gitaz.com/)

http://www.mindil.com.au/

Friday:Palmerston http://www.palmerstonmarkets.org.au/

Saturday: Parap (food stalls, fruit and veg, clothing)

Sunday: Rapid Creek (fresh food and specialty fruit and vegetables) and Mindil

http://www.darwindiary.com.au/markets.php

Parap Markets

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The queue for som tam (green papaya salad)

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Iced coffee

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A little French busking to set the mood…

Breakfast at Il Lido

September 16th, 2011 by Tina

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The view from Il Lido, Darwin, down at the waterfront.

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The French toast with poached pear, raspberry sauce and King Island yoghurt.

I would also recommend the PLT, thin crispy pancetta, lettuce and tomato on a toasted panini with a housemade aoili.

Sari Rasa

September 13th, 2011 by Tina

First up, please note that Sari Rasa is at 24, not 29 Cavenagh St Darwin, and it’s down an arcade so you can’t see it from the street. I’ve mentioned this first as the address is incorrect on a few other websites and I had a bit of trouble finding it. Luckily there were some friendly locals nearby who had heard of it and pointed me in the right direction.

I had the chicken curry, fish curry with okra and dry beef curry with a little sambal oelek on the side. The dry beef curry is firm, chewy and moreish, almost in the style of beef jerky, and seems to be a local favourite as Jay from the coffee cart who gave me this recommendation insisted I try it.When I was eating my lunch at Sari Rasa a robust man came up to the counter and seemed very happy there was some dry beef curry left as he missed out the other day and was highly disappointed. I love to see people enjoying quality food made with love.
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It’s $10 for a small plate, or $11 for a large and you can choose whichever three dishes you like. It was so good I brought some home for Phee, Joel and I to eat for dinner.

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Doughnuts

August 27th, 2011 by Tina

Doughnuts

A weakness of mine is a trip to Haberfield for cheese, salami, prosciutto, olives, passata, Italian bread – that’s the official list; and then there’s those few items that always seem to make their way into my bag, sometimes for sharing, sometimes not. Custard filled doughnuts, amaretto-soaked cherry-filled almond biscotti from Sulfaro, cheesecake from Pasticceria Papa… but the doughnut has to be my favourite.

That’s why I was so excited to find a feature on doughnuts in my newly favourite magazine, Feast. Love the food features and the background stories. There’s so much info, it seems like a bargain. I had to try their version of custard doughnuts, Bola de Berlim, from Portugal, but I’ve twisted it slightly. The dough I’ve made the same as the recipe but for the creme patissiere I used Stephanie Alexander’s version which uses cornflour instead of plain flour, and I used tonka bean instead of vanilla bean for something different. Yum. You can buy tonka beans at Herbie’s Spices in Rozelle. Credit goes to Olivia Andrews and Jerrie Redman-Lloyd for a flawless recipe that’s easy to follow.

This seems dangerous, to be able to make doughnuts on a whim. :)

I’m off to Marrickville organic markets tomorrow to check them out. Maybe I can ease my conscience with some nice fresh produce.

Great coffee near St Peters

August 5th, 2011 by Tina

I’d been looking forward to a week at home, starting each day with a coffee from my Rancilio Sylvia before venturing out into the world; and then Sylvia went and got sick and I had to take her to the vet.

While at the ‘vet’- Dibartoli coffee centre in Bondi Junction, we got to chatting about great cafes near St Peters and one of the guys there recommended Coffee Alchemy, a coffee house in Marrickville who roast their own beans. I went there the next day and had a delicious coffee and was determined to go back. I did read on their website that they close at 2pm but somehow in my caffeine deprived state the next day, I forgot. So I found myself coffee-less. Luckily I took a wrong turn on the way home and found the Petty Cash Cafe, whose coffee rivals that of Coffee Alchemy, or was that just to do with the sunshine on Enmore park and the balmy smell of summer in the air? Either way, I’ve found just two of what I’m sure are many more great local cafes to discover…

Oh yeah, and Sylvia is all better too :)

Shark’s Fin & Sichuan Pepper

August 1st, 2011 by Tina

I’ve just finished reading Shark’s Fin & Sichuan Pepper by Fuchsia Dunlop; A sweet-sour memoir of eating in China.

I have been somewhat obsessed by the tongue numbing tingly effects of the sichuan peppercorn for sometime now and am learning how best to cook with it. I have picked up a few tips from Kylie Kwong who advocates making a sichuan pepper and salt mix, filling your kitchen with its alluring aroma as you toast the two together in your pan.

I have enjoyed it as a spice rub on tiny succulent quail at Non La in Surry Hills. I have been overwhelmed at Spice Temple by Neil Perry’s heavenly facing chillies and sichuan pepper fish where the waiter scoops away ladles full of chillies to reveal a broth swimming with sichuan pepper.

So if you have any curiosity about sichuan pepper or the food history of China’s regional cusines, in particular the region of Sichuan and the city of Chengdu then pick up Fuchsia’s book, it’s fun and will have you running to Chinatown for your next meal, or indeed for the sichuan pepper and salt in your own kitchen.

If you’re looking for a wide range of cookbooks, check out The Cookery Book in Northbridge, or Kinokuniya opposite the QVB in the city.

Beef Pho

July 10th, 2011 by Tina

I seem to be living off beef pho at the moment, and my favourite right now is phd Vietnamese restaurant at Marrickville, only $9 for a delicious takeaway dinner, yum. I’m also hoping to try Yen For Viet a few doors down soon as every time I walk past they’re packed. We tried to get in one night without a booking and they were fully booked, so will have to plan ahead for that one.