Category: Book Club

Adam’s Big Pot and Some Golden Rings of Aussie Deliciousness!

“I hope somewhere in this book there is a dish or two that you choose to serve to your family.  Something that gets asked for again and again, and each time you make it, it becomes a little more your own.  Then one day, years from now, when the people you cooked for have left and live their lives and come back to visit, you make that meal for them again.  And that’s what makes them feel like they’re home”

Adam Liaw, Adam’s Big Pot

Okay.  Now that there’s not a dry eye in the house we’ll talk Tasty Reads. 

 

Golden Rings - Salt & Pepper SquidOur latest theme has been Asian food and I kind of lucked out in that I already owned one of of the book choices, the absolute classic Charmaine Solomon’s Complete Asian Cookbook.  But ‘s that’s not what we’re going to talk about today.  Because, on high recommendation, I bought Adam’s Big Pot.

For those of you who have not heard of him, Adam Liaw was the winner or runner up or something in Master Chef a few years ago.  But you don’t need to know that.  What you do need to know is that apart from his annoying man-bun, Adam Liaw is immensely likeable. 

I on the other hand am not intensely likeable, in fact I am a contrarian at best and part of my reason for choosing this book was to take it down,  It was SO highly recommended I thought there was no way it could live up to the expectations that had been set. 

I stand corrected. 

This book is AWESOME.  

I have not been so excited about a Tasty Reads book since Persiana  – only 17 recipes to go after I totally botched the baklava on the weekend.  But we’re not here to talk about my cooking disasters.

OK, fine, seeing as you insist.  I overcooked the sugar syrup so when I poured it over the pastry it set like toffee so the top of the baklava is tooth breakingly hard and the bottom is, to use some Australian vernacular, as dry as a dead dingo’s donger.  My fault entirely, because after cooking the syrup for the requisite amount of time I thought it looked too watery.  And because having made Baklava precisely…let me see…never before, I considered myself a bit smarter than the recipe.  (Sigh, eyeroll, face palm).

But lets not focus on the bad, let’s talk about why I am excited by this book!

Adam’s Big Pot – Highlights

  • This is a very good primer in Asian food, lots of counties are represented – Japan, China, Thailand, Vietnam, India.  A great variety without being too daunting.
  • There are lots of super photos
  • Adam’s descriptions of each recipe are great
  • He’s not too prissy – he offers lots of alternatives – eg if you don’t have a master stock handy, use chicken.
  • His tips are great
  • The book is beautifully presented
  • The meals are quick, easy and approachable
  • Cooking from this book is like cooking with an old friend.  He’s just so damn likeable!
  • The food is super delicious.  I have only made one thing I didn’t like (see Dishes Made below).

Adam’s Big Pot – Weaknesses

I feel like I’m being super picky here but you know, just so you know this isn’t paid for by Adam or anything (ha!  I wish!). 

  • If you were utterly unfamiliar with Asian cooking and you wanted to try a lot of the recipes in here you may have to buy a lot of ingredients that you may not use again if you did not love the dish and / or they may make you break out into hives (see below).
  • I think the Bits and Pieces section which is the very first in the book and contains the recipes for the curry pastes, the stocks and all the other base ingredients would have been better placed at the end of the book. 
  • No bread!  No roti, chapati, naan or paratha! I would have LOVED at least one bread recipe in here!

Adam’s Big Pot – What I’ve Cooked

Carrot and Cumber Som Tam. 

So good.  This is Adam’s version of my favourite, green papaya salad.  Lovely, fragrant, spicy, fresh. 

Adam's Big Pot - Som Tam (2)Tuna Takaki Salad.

Just divine!

Adam's Big Pot - Tuna Tataki SaladTuna, Corn And Avocado Salad

This is on high lunch rotation!  I have made it pretty much every week since finding this recipe.  The recipe calls for raw corn, I have used tinned and leftover grilled corn.  All super.

Adam's Big Pot - Tuna SaladChicken and Cashew Nuts

Something in this recipe made me break out into a horrible rash and massive hives.  I suspect it was the dark soy sauce because it was the only thing I have not used before.  This probably says more about the excitability of my skin than a real flaw with the recipe because the fussiest eater in the world was perfectly fine.  He had seconds and took it to work the next day. 

Adam's Big Pot - Chicken & CashewsTandoori Chicken

Starting with homemade tandoori paste!  I was RIDICULOUSLY proud of myself for making this. Who makes their own tandoori paste?  Isn’t that  what supermarkets are for?  But it was so easy to do.  I will never buy it again!  And you know, seeing as I am Ms Allergic to the World, the more things I can control in my diet the better!

Adam's Big Pot - Tandoori PasteAnd then the chicken:

Adam's Big Pot - Tandoori ChickenSalt and Pepper Squid

I love squid.  The Fussiest Eater in the World will, however, not touch it with a ten foot barge pole. So, I quite often make it for one.  Adam’s recipe is so quick to cook, it is a great after work meal for one or many! It’s also why I bought rings instead of tubes – easier to control portions.  Although there do seem to be quite a lot of rings in the pictures…I really like it.

I also had absolutely no idea that Salt and Pepper Squid was not a thing everywhere. 

Adam says

“You could argue that salt and pepper squid is Australia’s national dish.  It’s universally loved and you can buy it in just about any pub, Vietnamese, Thai or Chinese restaurant or Italian café around the country.  On top of that, it’s not commonly found in any other country.  It’s a truly homegrown favourite”

So, here it is rest of the world.  What are you waiting for? Make this tonight.  And thank me later! 

Salt and Pepper Squid

Salt & Pepper Squid
A super quick, easy and delicious dish from Adam's Big Pot.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 litres peanut oil for deep frying
  2. 500g squid tubes, cleaned (or rings)
  3. 3 tbsp rice flour or cornflour (cornstarch)
  4. 2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  5. 1 bird's eye chilli, thinly sliced
  6. 2 spring onions, trimmed and sliced
  7. 1 tsp salt flakes
  8. 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  9. Coriander leave, lemon wedges and aioli to serve
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil to 200C in a wok or large saucepan.
  2. Cut down one side of the squid tubes and open them flat. Lightly score the surface in a cross -hatch pattern, cut into bite sized triangles and toss in the flour.
  3. Shake off excess flour an deep fry the squid din batches ffpr about a minute per batch or until just cooked and lightly golden.
  4. Drain well.
  5. Remove the oil, leaving about a tbsp in the wok. Heat the wok over medium heat and add the garlic, chilli and spring onion.
  6. Toss in the wok for about a minute, or until the ingredients are lightly browned.
  7. Add the squid and toss constantly scattering with the salt and pepper.
  8. Remove the squid from the wok, scatter with coriander leaves and serve with lemon wedges and aioli.
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
Now that you have seen some of the contents with this book, maybe you can help me to make a decision on what to cook for our book club meeting next week. 

I have some of the tandoori paste left so it would be sensible to make the tandoori chicken again.  And the naan and the rojak I made from the Charmaine book when I made the tandoori chicken were super and the flavours went really well together.

However, with so many other delicious recipes still left to cook, including:

  • Prawn and Grapefruit Salad
  • Tom Yum Fried Rice
  • Kuku Paka which is an African chicken curry
  • Whiting With Nori Butter
  • Tiger Skinned Chicken
  • Baked Thai Fish Cakes
  • Canonigo which is a Filipino desert made from meringue, orange custard and caramel

It’s a pretty hard decision to make. So what do I do?  Go for the tried and tested or branch out with something new?

Oh and seeing as I’m asking questions, do you cook asian at home?  What is your Asian favourite cuisine?  What is your favourite Asian recipe?  You know I’m nosy and love to know your business so please leave comments!

Anyhoo, I’ve loved cooking from this book and I’m awarding it Five Golden Rings of Squiddy Delciousness!

Let’s see if the rest of the Tasty Reads  team agrees!

Have a great week!

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Safavid Style Beef Pastries

Hey, lovely people of retro food world.  I feel like I have been totally neglecting you recently but believe me, you are not alone.  Top o’ the list of neglect as been myself.  There was a night last week when my dinner consisted of 1 cronut and  2…ok…3 glasses of red wine.  Oh and tears. Which I figure counts for grains, fruit and salt.  That’s three of the food groups isn’t it?  

I have been working all the hours and even though it has been crazy busy, I have also been loving it. 

The tears were because that night I realised I had not only missed a book club meeting but I had missed the emails advising of the book club meeting so I was basically a no show which I hate.  Because that’s just rude. 

Safavid Style Beef Pastries

So, there has not been much cooking done at all.  One of the few things I have made was the Safavid Style Beef Pastries from Persiana.  My plan was to get home by 7, maybe 7:30 and then  make a yoghurt sauce and some salad and the pastries – I had already made the beef mixture –  and we would eat, drink and be merry and marvel over the elaborate pastry swirls and curlicues I had formed.  Except I didn’t get home til closer to 8:30 and those pastries were thrown together with the love and attention that you would normally give a a not very interesting advertisement for something you have no intention of buying.  There was no yoghurt sauce.  There was no salad.  There were some badly formed pastries on a plate with a blob of ketchup mixed with tabasco sauce (me) and HP sauce (him).

BTW, these should have looked like this:

Safavid Style Beef Pastries3

I felt I had done really badly on this meal. So when I asked a very tentative “So what do you think?” I was pretty much bracing myself for critique that contained all the things I was berating myself for, being all the missing parts of the meal I had planned in my head.  And that the pastries looked like they had been made with someone with no opposable thumbs.

“These are great.  I really like them”

“What?”

“Are there more?  Can I have some more?”

Sabrina Ghayour, this is why I love you. 

Speakin’ of which

The Persiana Project

Last time we spoke I had 32 recipes left to cook from Persiana.  Somehow, and I don’t even know how I managed to do this, we are now down to 26. 

I made the Safavid Beef Pastries, the Cod with Relish, the marinated feta, the feta cigars from the marinated feta and….two other things  that I have no recollection of making.  Such is the fugue state of my brain. On the other hand, this challenge is going really well.  And OMG…the marinated feta and the feta cigars?  Delightful, delicious, delovely! 

 

Persiana Marinated Feta

Turkish Feta Pastry CigarsNext on the list to cook is the Chicken and Artichoke salad which I am planning to make tomorrow night.  Then again, I was also planning to make it tonight and ended up having a jaffle made with some leftover curry instead.  This is actually one of the very best ways to eat leftover curry – and a special little trick – instead of just plain butter on the bread, make a little garlic butter.  Leftover heaven!

Curry JaffleInbox Zero

Because I have been so busy my personal inbox is out of control. At last count I had about 2700 unread emails.  My challenge for April is to get this under control i.e. no more than one page of unread.  I have found in the past, the best way to do this is to pick the latest email, search for all from that sender and work through them in a batch.  This is particularly good for anyone who is selling anything as you can do a mass delete and voila that’s 30 emails gone in 10 seconds.  But if anyone has any tips on how to control a crazy inbox, please let me know!

 Watching

I reinstated our Netflix subscription over Easter so I am finally watching Making A Murderer.

I am also binge watching The Librarians…this is almost like someone make a show EXACTLY for me.  It’s set in a library and its about really smart people solving supernatural stuff. Who even knew I had that many buttons that could be hit? 

Reading

The Midnight Watch

Loved it, loved it, loved it.  Best book I have read thus far this year.  And I feel like I have read a lot of good stuff already. Stay tuned.  There will be more. Soon.

The Method

I loved this too.  How is this for a premise?

“Imagine a helpless, pregnant 16-year-old who’s just been yanked from the serenity of her home and shoved into a dirty van. Kidnapped . . . Alone . . . Terrified.

Now forget her . . .

Picture instead a pregnant, 16-year-old, manipulative prodigy. She is shoved into a dirty van and, from the first moment of her kidnapping, feels a calm desire for two things: to save her unborn son and to exact merciless revenge.

She is methodical – calculating – scientific in her plotting. Leaving nothing to chance, she waits . . . for the perfect moment to strike. The Method is what happens when the victim is just as cold as the captors.”

This week I am hoping for a bit more time away from work to get my life back under control.  I am planning to cook the salad from Persiana as mentioned but also Anthony Bourdain’s Onion Soup Les Halles, and a mixed mushroom strudel. 

Your turn now.  What are you cooking, reading, watching doing this week?  I love to hear from you so let me know.  Also., please send clearing email tips.

Oh and if anyone out there is a jam maker?  I have an A-Z of Cooking Project just for you – get your  1970’s jam on!  Just let me know.

Have a super week!

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Lamb Kebabs Without A Herbed Sauce

The original name of this recipe in The A-Z of Cooking is lamb kebabs with herbed sauce.  Except I needed a bowl to make the salad and in a moment of madness threw out the marinade so I could wash and reuse the bowl it was in. 

About ten minutes later I went to make the sauce…”Hmmm…better get started on that sau…..oh….oh….” The marinade which is the basis for the sauce…oh, who am I kidding, it is the sauce, heated up was at the bottom of my bin bag and now covered in onion skins, an empty can of cannellini beans and other detritus.  Oops. 

There was no yogurt to make some more and really, any sauce/ marinade I had made in the moment would have also lacked the lambiness that would have come from marinating those chops for a good 24 hours. 

Lamb Kebabs

Despite the lack of sauce, the chops had sat in the herby marinade for ages and I made not one but two of Sabrina Ghayour’s Salads from Persiana to go with the kebabs and they both had heaps of herbs, so I’m calling “H is for Herbs” done.  It’s just a shame I made these before the start of the Persiana Project so these will not count towards my numbers.

These lamb kebabs are delish!!!.  I used lamb chops instead of diced lamb because that’s what I had.  I also really wanted the meat to stay tender and I thought that rendering the fat off the chops as they cooked would do that.  Combined with the marinade, this worked a treat.  Even though they were fairly big chunks of meat the chops were incredibly juicy and tender.

Lamb Kebabs2The lamb kebabs were a colourful, fun meal and quick to cook and so pretty with all the different vegetable colours. I will definitely make these again. And maybe even make the sauce next time – I’ll keep you posted!

Lamb Kebabs3 The veg I used were mushrooms, red onion, red peppers out of a jar, cherry tomatoes and green olives because that was what I had on hand.  Zucchini would be nice here or eggplant or tiny par boiled potatoes – really whatever veggies you like could be used!

The marinade / sauce contained tomato juice which seemed weird to me.  I would have normally used tomato paste. 

And with the lamb kebabs we are done with H in the A-Z of Cooking! There was also H is for Home Baking but I already made the brioche here.

Here’s the recipe for the lamb kebabs, I would love to know if you make these with the sauce!

Lamb Kebabs 1970

The two salads I made from  Persiana were:

Turkish White Bean Salad

Tomato Salad With Pomegranate Molasses (PS,this links to an awesome blog which you should all be reading)

Have a wonderful week!

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The Dishiest Dish – Rhubarb, Rose and Passionfruit Sorbet

 We are having a lovely spurt of late summer…OMG, it’s autumn now….warm weather, just perfect for enjoying this delicious rhubarb, rose and passionfruit sorbet.

Rhubarb, Rose and Passionfruit SorbetLet’s talk about it shall we?

  • It’s fruity, tangy and not too sweet so incredibly refreshing on a hot day.
  • It is the most glorious shade of pink.
  • The passionfruit and rose water make it smell like a summer garden.
  • It has a  Rhubarb Almond Shard
  • And is sprinkled with Rhubarb Crumble Dust
  • And for the cherry on the top, it’s got…well…a cherry on the top.

I based this recipe on the Rhubarb and Rose Sorbet in Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s River Cottage, Light and Easy which was my selection when we did a stint on Celebrity Chefs for Tasty Reads. I usually find Hugh very engaging, hence choosing the book, however I admit I have struggled with it a bit.  I’m all for dairy and wheat free however it just seemed like a bit of a chore, not to mention expense to have to buy new ingredients for just about every dish – this one has buckwheat flour, that one had chestnut flour, the other had chickpea flour.  Never even mind the expense.  Who has the space?

But I pretty much had everything for the sorbet, except the rhubarb already.  I also had a little passionfruit left over from the Valentine’s Day Soufflé so I popped that in as well. 

Rhubarb, Rose and Passionfruit Sorbet26 Week Challenges

These have been a bit of a disaster.  I downloaded an update to my phone weekend before last. And it killed it.  #epicfailnexus5  The phone would no longer read the sim card.  So after spending the weekend trying every fix available on Google on Monday I got a new sim card, even though I kind of already knew it wasn’t the sim card.  On Tuesday the phone went in for a service.  Then there was a WEEK of daily calls of “Is it fixed?  “Is it fixed? Is it fixed?”  Then after seven days they said “Oh, we now know it’s not hardware, it’s software” and they got a “I KNOW IT’S NOT HARDWARE I TOLD YOU IT WASN’T HARDWARE ONE WEEK AGO.  YOU HAVE SPENT A WEEK WASTING MY TIME AND YOUR TIME. JUST PUT IT BACK TO WHAT IT WAS BEFORE THE UPDATE” And an hour later it was fixed.  Seriously I hate being such a bitch to service people.  But really.  A week.

A week where, I was without my meditation app and my flexibility app.  So they fell by the wayside.  I downloaded some mediation podcasts to my ipod.  Which promptly broke. 

Oh and my car wouldn’t start this morning.

Technology hates me. 

On the more positive side, my March resolution of 6 weeks without Candy Crush is going amazingly well! 

Silver linings!

I’m starting a new challenge today:

The Persiana Project

As of now, I have 32 dishes left to cook from the very many I marked as “Want To Cook” in Persiana.  Sabrina Ghayour’s new book comes out in 50 days.  Technically, I can cook them all between now and then.  Realistically, it is unlikely however, to raise the stakes, I have made a deal with myself not to by Sirocco until I have cooked the 32.  And I REALLY want that new book.

We’re going to be eating a LOT of Middle Eastern Food over the next few weeks.   I can’t wait!

Reading

The Shut Eye – Belinda Bauer

Loved it – a great thriller about a missing child and a suspect psychic.

When We Were Invincible – Jonathan Harnisch

I feel really bad about saying that I am not enjoying this because it seems quite ungrateful seeing as I got it for free off Net Galley.  But I am half way through and I ‘m really struggling.  The plot…what there is of it….revolves around a teenager who suffers from Tourette’s and his life at an elite prep school.  I’m finding it all bit too stream of consciousness-y; with not nearly enough context for me to be able to enjoy the story.

Ummmm….let me think of some positives….

  • It’s very likely a very real description of being in the head of someone who is mentally ill. 
  • It’s short. 
  • I love the cover.

Watching

I watched the movie Compliance and it totally ooked me out.  Seriously, watching it made me feel dirty.  Several times I wanted to turn it off  because it was painful to watch. Having said that I would actually recommend it.  But be warned it is TOUGH going.  It will also make you question every person who ever calls you on the phone.  Not a bad thing really seeing as it is based on true. 

Then I watched The Breakfast Club.  Damn, I love that movie!  And it made everything all right with the world again.   And I spent about three days walking around singing “Hey, hey, hey, hey….”

I’m still not trusting anyone who calls me who is not on my speed dial though.

Cooking

I haven’t been cooking much as I have been working all the hours!  I have been living on toast or things from the freezer.  Hopefully things will slow down soon because next week I have marked out to cook:

  • Margaret Fulton’s Quail in Vine Leaves with Muscat Grapes
  • Sabrina Ghayour’s Safavid style beef pastries
  • Laurie Colwin’s Broccoli Salad

Ok, here’s the recipe for the Sorbet:

Rhubarb, Rose and Passionfruit Sorbet
A lovely light, refreshing sorbet, not too sweet with a glorious pink colour.
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Ingredients
  1. 750g rhubarb
  2. 75ml orange juice
  3. 75g passionfruit pulp
  4. 100g caster sugar
  5. up to 50g icing sugar
  6. up to 2 tsp rose water
  7. 100g passionfruit pulp
Rhubarb Crumble Dust & Almond Shard
  1. 18 Rhubarb Crumble boiled lollies (or any fruit flavoured boiled lollies)
  2. 100g flaked almonds
  3. Oil
To Serve
  1. Ice Cream Cones
  2. Maraschino Cherries
Instructions
  1. Trim the rhubarb and cut into 3-4cm lengths. Place in a large saucepan with the caster sugar and the orange juice.
  2. Bring to a simmer and cook gently until the rhubarb is completely soft. Puree in the pan until smooth.
  3. When cool, stir in the passionfruit.
  4. Taste and add the icing sugar as required.
  5. Stir in the rosewater. Start at about 1/4 teaspoon and add it gradually until you get your desired level of rosiness.
  6. Chill until cold and churn in an ice cream maker until soft set, then transfer to a freezer container and freeze until cold. Alternatively, pour the mixture into a freezer container and freeze for an hour. Then remove from the freezer and break up the frozen sides, pushing them into the softer centre. Return to the freezer and repeat every hour until the mixture is soft-set.
  7. Then let it freeze solid.
Rhubarb Crumble Dust
  1. Place the boiled lollies in your blender and grind into a powder.
  2. Remove a third of the mixture to sprinkle over the top of your sorbet as your dust.
Almond Shard
  1. Heat your oven to 180C
  2. Line a baking tray with baking paper and lightly grease. I used coconut oil.
  3. Sprinkle the paper with the almonds, then with the remaining crushed lolly powder.
  4. Place in the oven until the lollies melt.
  5. Remove from the oven and all to cool.
  6. Break into shards
To Serve
  1. Place two scoops of sorbet into an ice cream cone.
  2. Sprinkle a teaspoon over the Rhubarb Crumble Dust over the icecream, stab with an Almond Shard and top with a cherry.
  3. Enjoy!
Adapted from River Cottage Light and Easy
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
Have a great week!  And let me know what you’ve been cooking, reading, watching! 

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Belly Stuffed Rainbow Trout & Orange Salad

Hello Friends!

Today we are celebrating Lunar New Year, and the Year of the Monkey with a delicious belly stuffed rainbow trout.  Lunar New Year, often called Chinese New Year  is celebrated all over Asia, and all over the world via the Asian diaspora.  It is a time for families to get to together, for the exchanging of gifts and of course food. 

Chinese Lantern Banner

I read this article in Serious Eats recently and as soon as  I read that whole fish was a common item at Lunar New Year dinners I knew exactly what I wanted to cook.  I have been waiting for an occasion to make Sabrina Ghayour’s Belly Stuffed Rainbow Trout for AGES and this seemed like a perfect opportunity.   Fish is considered lucky for New Year, particularly at the Reunion (New Year’s Eve) Feast because the word for carp sounds like the words for good luck and gift.

Belly Stuffed Rainbow TrouNow I know some of you might be a bit freaked out by cooking / serving a whole fish.  And believe me, I used to be right there with you.  If you do not like the idea of a whole fish, you could certainly pan fry or bake fillets of rainbow trout and serve with the stuffing mixture.  However, in Chinese symbolism a whole fish represents togetherness and abundance. 

Chinese Lantern Banner

But first, let’s talk Chinese Astrology.  We are about to enter the Year of The Monkey.  Famous people born in Monkey years include Leonardo Da Vinci, Elizabeth Taylor, George Lucas, Charles Dickens, and Lord Byron.  Gillian Anderson is also a Monkey.  Dragging that list down a notch or two from the great and the good,  other monkeys are Miley Cyrus and me!

What can you expect in the Year of The Monkey?

It is a year to act, to innovate and to take your destiny into your own hands.  However, the recklessness of the monkey also cautions us to think before we act so do not be  too hasty in making decisions.  Setting clear goals is important this year.  The monkey is also a sociable creature so this is a good year to nurture and expand your relationships with those around you. 

Chinese Lantern Banner

Belly Stuffed Rainbow Trout

I guess I should have made something a bit more Asian to celebrate however Sabrina Ghayour’s recipe for belly stuffed rainbow trout is delicious at any time of the year!  Incidentally a rainbow trout is the only fish I have ever actually caught for myself. 

The fussiest eater in the world is a keen fisherman (yet curiously cannot eat anything he catches; he just throws them back).  A few years ago we rented a holiday house in the mountains and one afternoon set out to go berry picking.  Well the berry farm was closed but the trout farm was open.  He went to the most difficult area and started catching fish left, right and centre.  I was content to read my book but, seeing how easy it looked said that I would have a go.  Well.  We slowly moved from the most difficult to the next most difficult to the next most difficult,  ending up in what was basically a wading pool.  The four year olds (who were the only other people using this pond) and I eventually caught our fish.  Then I cried because I felt bad about killing something.  But my rationale was “If I’m going to kill something then I ‘m damn well going to eat it” so we stopped on the way home and bought some almonds and I made us a lovely Trout Almandine for dinner.

He refused to eat it.  Which resulted in a blazing row where the phrase “I killed a fish for you.  How can you not eat it?” and variations there of were thrown around the room.  Miraculously his piece of trout stayed in the pan and not over his head!

Lesson learned.  This time, we  bought a trout.

Rainbow TroutThe stuffing is a very tasty and gorgeously colourful mix of spring onions, pine nuts, garlic, chilli, coriander and preserved lemons.

Belly Stuffed Rainbow Trout2Sabrina’s recipe for Belly Stuffed Rainbow Trout can be found here.

My notes on this recipe were that even though I halved the stuffing ingredients  because I was only cooking one trout I still had a lot of it left over. 

This is not really an issue as it is totally delicious and I had the following ideas for the remainder:

  • Scatter over cooked vegetables
  • Add a little olive oil and toss through pasta, maybe with some crispy breadcrumbs
  • Serve on flatbread crisps with a dob of hummus as an appetizer
  • Stir through rice for a pilaf effect
  • Sprinkle onto mushrooms and grill. 

Or you could just do what I did and just eat it by the spoonful while waiting for the fish to cook!

Chinese Lantern BannerBelly Stuffed Rainbow Trout3

Orange & Arugula Salad

To serve with my Belly Stuffed Rainbow Trout, I made a very simple orange, black olive and rocket (arugula) salad.  Citrus fruits are a symbol of prosperity, good luck and abundance and lettuce symbolises spring.  So, despite not having Asian flavours my salad has come celebratory significance.

It’s almost too easy to call a recipe but here we go:

Orange, Olive and Arugula Salad
A delicious, fresh and simple salad that is a perfect accompaniment to seafood.
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Ingredients
  1. 100g rocket / arugula
  2. 1 orange
  3. handful of black olives
  4. 1 tbsp orange juice
  5. 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  6. 1 tbsp olive oil
  7. S&P
Instructions
  1. Place the rocket in a salad bowl.
  2. Segment the orange removing all peel and pith. Do this over a bowl so you catch the juice - this can be used for the dressing
  3. Toss in a handful of black olives
For The Dressing
  1. Mix the orange juice, lemon juice, olive oil and seasoning to taste.
  2. When ready to serve pour over the salad
You can fancy up this salad with any //all of the following
  1. Chopped toasted walnuts or pistachios
  2. Toasted pinenuts
  3. Pomegranate seeds
  4. Thinly sliced fennel
  5. Thinly sliced red onion
  6. A smattering of feta
  7. Some tarragon leaves
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/

Chinese Lantern BannerSome other lucky foods to serve at Lunar New Year include:

  • Spring rolls represent gold bars
  • Celery for wisdom
  • Plums for mental acuity
  • Dumplings for wealth
  • Long Noodles for a long life.

My work is celebrating tomorrow with a yum-cha lunch.  Bring on the dumplings!

Lunar New Festivals will continue until 22 February so you have plenty of time to join in the celebrations. 

Just for fun, I took some fortune cookies to a family dinner and we all chose one to pick our fortune for lunar new year.  This was mine:

Fortune cookieIf you are celebrating Lunar New Year, or even if you are not, you are all my garden of roses and I wish you all a year of joy and abundance!

Have a wonderful week.  I’m off to eat my weight in dumplings!

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2;
 

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