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Good Food for Good People.

My daughter Alex is home! Yay! and double Yay…!

Three months in Europe and now she’s back. I’m so happy to have her home. She had an awesome time and I finally got to wear the chef’s hat she bought me from Paris – I wear it every time I cook…It’s awesome!!!

She did however come home to the news that my beautiful mum, who taught me to cook, had suffered a heart attack the week before. Mum will be fine but it has taken a lot out of her. She is one tough cookie so I have no doubt that she will be up and doing her thing soon enough but for now she needs rest…and apparently, Salmon Mornay. She asked me to make her Salmon Mornay for lunch the day after she got home from the hospital – she’s a funny woman!

Alex also came home to the house having been totally rearranged and one less person living with us…15,000 less DVDs,  no more major hi fi equipment or horror movie figurines everywhere.

Our place has a very relaxed vibe. It’s bright, airy and spacious. We love it…

To celebrate her homecoming and our new space we all got together and enjoyed some tasty treats and some very nice wine.

Here’s what we had:

Hoisin and Soy Pork Meatballs

Lime and Coriander Chicken

Sweet  Chilli Prawns

Vietnamese Coleslaw

Steamed Jasmine Rice

Lima and Coriander - always a favourite on chicken...

Lima and Coriander – always a favourite on chicken…

 

Could've made hundreds of these and still wouldn't have been enough!

Could’ve made hundreds of these and still wouldn’t have been enough!

 

The Prawns were delicious...

The Prawns were delicious…

 

Some tasty side dishes completed it all - good times!

Some tasty side dishes completed it all – good times!

 

 

What a Pearler!

Pearl Couscous with Prawns

I’ve made a decision about couscous – I only like it in very small doses, and by that I really mean, hardly at all.  I haven’t made it since last year when I went out to the shops to buy hair dye and instead came home with couscous (read the post as I really would rather forget that day). I think I liked couscous that day but I’ve decided that I don’t, but will eat it if someone served it up to me, as long as it’s only a little bit.

What I do love however is  Pearl Couscous; I guess because it’s almost like pasta and not really like couscous at all. I love how it holds it’s shape and soaks up any flavour you add to it. Anyway, at the moment, I’m a little addicted to this nutty flavoured little pearler!

I made a rather large salad with it, with prawns, avocado, cherry tomatoes, lime and coriander and there is absolutely none left. My handsome man, who has never eaten this before, just devoured the lot – he’s a mighty good man and I love how much he loved it.

Not much of a post tonight as I’m shattered after a long week at work – I have had to take on a Coordinator position at work in addition to my teaching role, and I just have to get my head around that, my shoulder is killing me and my left shin hurts after my run (must get new runners!) so all I want to do right now is take a pain killer or two, finish my Vodka and drift off into lala land, even though it’s only 9pm on a Friday night.

Here’s the recipe and the pics

Cheers and good times 🙂

Ingredients

Dressing

  • 1 juice of a small lime
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup shaoxing wine
  • 1 tblspn sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch pepper 
  • bunch of coriander

Method

  1. Add spices to oil in a deep pan and slightly heat, then add couscous and stir through very well over medium heat for 1 minute.
  2. Add boiling water ( see packet for quantity of water ) to the pan and stir periodically for 8 – 10 minutes.
  3. Once water is absorbed and the couscous is soft remove from heat and stir through 1 teaspoon of olive and then spread out evenly, so that you don’t get any clumps.
  4. Stir carefully about every 5 minutes till the couscous is cooled.
  5. Add more oil to the pan and saute onions then add the prawns and stir until almost cooked then add dressing. Remove prawns once cooked and set aside to cool.
  6. Cut  cherry tomatoes into quarters.
  7. Peel and dice avocado.
  8. Add dressing to the couscous and mix through well.
  9. Add all the other ingredients gently and mix through well.
  10. Top with coriander and lime wedges.
Love fresh ingredients!

Love fresh ingredients!

I could eat this every day!

I could eat this every day!

Pino Gris! My Prawn Balls are on Fire!

Deep Fried Prawn Balls

Yesterday I went to the Yarra Valley to visit a few wineries with my school teacher girlie friends. No, it’s not enough that we see each other every working day, we actually have other things in common…specifically….wine and food!

It was a stunning day in Melbourne…warm and sunny…just the perfect day for visiting wineries. Tasted lots of wine and I really was all in a tizzy…so much to buy. We bought some lovely wine and ate some wonderful food at Domain Chandon (didn’t do the wine tasting there…charging $5…blah!…but we ate lunch there and the pork belly was wonderful as was the view!

My great holiday continued today, as I spent the day with my bff…we have been friends since the age of 12 and as we are considerably older than that now, it’s safe to say that bff means just that for us…we’ve known each other longer than we haven’t known each other…I adore her dearly and we only live a street away from each other so we do see each other quite regularly but we never seem to connect over the holidays…except for these ones!

Last night I dreamt about the episode in one of Nigellas’ series where she made prawn cakes/balls for her friend that comes to visit and as I knew my best friend was coming over so we could spend the morning meat shopping, I knew that I needed to buy some great prawns and make these prawn balls for my bestie!

Seriously, the noises she made whilst eating them would have made my neighbours believe that we were more than ‘just friends’ and that my handsome man either had something to worry about, or was indeed, the luckiest man alive!

Being the great friend she is, she brought around some crisp, chilled Pino Gris and we ate these prawn balls, with a homemade very chilli aioli (spicy man!) with lime and vietnamese mint and downed that bottle…all this at around 11:30 am…hot outside in Melbourne today…just so happy to be on holidays and loving life. It’s absolutely true that I am a much nicer person to be around when I’m on holidays 🙂

Ingredients

  • 1 x glove of garlic
  • two spring onions
  • 250g of raw prawns
  • 50g flour
  • Chinese Cooking Wine
  • Sesame Oil (just a splash)
  • Vietnamese Mint (chopped)
  • Coriander (chopped)
  • veg oil for frying
  • lime quarters for garnish

Method

  1. Into a food processor put the Garlic and roughly chopped spring onions, vietnamese mint and coriander and blitz.
  2. Add prawns and flour with a splosh of Chinese Cooking Wine and Sesame Oil, and blitz again.
  3. Leave to rest in fridge for at least 10 minutes before deep fat frying.
  4. Fry until golden brown. Enjoy.
  5. Serve with chilli and lime aioli and fresh Vietnamese Mint

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seafood Pie


Seafood Pie

I haven’t blogged for a while. I’ve cooked a lot but that’s about all the time I’ve had to spare. Mid year exams and reports are over now, so I will have to go through the last two weeks worth of food and start posting again.

One more week of work and a wonderful 2 week break from school begins! I’m so looking forward to this break. Term two is always a killer. It’s getting colder here too, so stews, casseroles, pies and soups are always on the go at my place.

When my daughter isn’t around, I get to indulge in the things I love to eat. She hates seafood! I love it!

Most people associate seafood with summer but I love a seafood pie. Prawns, Scallops and Calamari Rings in a thick white sauce with leeks, parsley and dill covered with a sheet of puff pastry.

I start off by making a bechamel sauce, adding grated nutmeg, salt and a little pepper. Once it has thickened I add the chopped parsley and dill, cover and leave until I am ready to use it.

Then I add butter and garlic oil to a large pan and add the finely sliced leeks and spring onions and saute. Next I add the seafood and saute until the seafood is half done. I tip this into a deep and wide pie dish and pour over the bechamel sauce, mixing everything together. I add a bit more dill over the top and cover the pie dish with puff pastry and brush the top with a mixture of egg and milk.

Place in a very hot preheated oven and wait for the pastry to puff up and turn a gorgeous golden colour. Spoon into wide bowls and enjoy with a glass of your favourite wine…That’s what I did last night and it was wonderful!