Dec 27th

the christmas aftermath

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I’m sorry I have been missing in action of late (try for the last 7 months eek!), but with the camera back in operation and an early new years resolution; to keep up to date and on top of my blog, I’m back!

This might be the last thing you were wanting to see/read about after the last few days, but it has to be done…

I have a kilo of left over ham in the fridge, my mum has another kilo in her fridge and I am pretty sure just about everyone who celebrates Christmas does too. Christmas ham is almost a celebration in itself, yet by the time christmas is over, nobody can stand the sight of it…until of course another year goes by and christmas rolls around again.  I have stuffed myself silly with it and can not bring myself to to eat another piece of sliced ham. I could however be persuaded if it was disguised as something else… if it was not so blatant as a slab on a plate with a dollop of mustard.


Here are some ways to enjoy the last of your ham…


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May 4th

chicken san choi bao

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I love meals that involve some sort of self assembly… meals where you have some input into or involvement in the final product. When we go out to dinner, josh thinks that this is just lazy…wondering what it is we are paying for if we have to put our own meal together, but I think it is fun! Some examples; tacos, burritos, yakiniku, or my current favourite, san choi boa!  Although I do like the pork version, I prefer to make chicken ones at home.

make your own san choy bao

We recently had pork san choi bao at Libertine, the renowned french vietnamese restaurant and bar located in the Brisbane Barracks complex. They were delicious, but I think these are just as good, and don’t come with a hefty price tag.

PS. I am very aware that I may have misspelled san choi bao… I had a great deal of trouble finding the correct spelling which may or may not be one of the following – sung choi/y bao, san choi/y bao, sang choi/y bao…if any credible source out there has the answer, please feel free to let me know! lettuce cups


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Jan 24th

roast pork belly with cranberry & elderflower relish

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roast pork belly with root vegetable puree and cranberry & elderflower relish.

I absolutely love roast pork belly … the combination of the crispy skin and the soft, rich layers of meat that melt in your mouth (when it’s done right) is delicious! But I am a little bit afraid of most pork cuts that depart from the usual suspects, so I have been hesitant to try this myself. That, and for this recipe you need to make yourself reasonably available for around 4 hours on and off.  I probably didn’t leave this cooking for long enough (I followed the recipe, however the crackling could have been…well…more crackly!) So just a word of advice, don’t be afraid to keep roasting it for longer than the recipe says to, it is pretty hard to mess up – the longer you roast it, the more tender it will become.

Seeing as it is so rich, I can only ever really stomach an entreée size portion of pork so it is a good idea to supplement it with something subtle and hearty to serve as a main, like root vegies or as i have done here, root vegetable puree. The relish in this recipe is delicious and cuts the rich flavour of the pork, while adding a sweet dimension to the meal. The watercress is a nice garnish and adds something fresh and untouched to the plate.

elderflower cordial, mustard & ginger

The recipes for the roast pork belly and the cranberry and elderflower relish are based on recipes by Ottolenghi’s creators; Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi.  Both born in Jerusalem, their food has a strong middle eastern influence and is very much about colour, texture, presentation, of course flavour and the freshest of fresh ingredients.  They don’t over complicate the cooking or preparation process and their food is not wanky. Their successful stores are located in London and are very hard to label one thing or another – they themselves sum it up with the words ‘food shop, patisserie, deli, restaurant, bakery’ and yet this still doesn’t do it justice … and to think I have never actually set foot in one of their stores! (although I have seriously considered forking out the $3000 + for a plane ticket just to do so). Thank the lord for their recently released cook book ‘Ottolenghi, The Cookbook’. Yotam and Sami’s passion for, nay, obsession with  food is so evident in every dish… something which I hope is true of my own creations.


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