This morsel of tastiness was an entree to a great meal courtesy of The Strand in Williamstown. The fat, juicy scallops nestled on a pea puree with a drizzle of grapefruit sauce were magnificent. They were sprinkled with a zesty toasted gremolata that provided another texture to the dish. This inspired offering was followed by a squid ink risotto topped with seafood, and a citrus tart with mango coulis and macadamia ice-cream. Beautiful quality food that left you enjoying the meal, but not overly stuffed by volume.
As decadent and delicious as this meal was, the celebration was to mark the success of a project at work. Big wins are to be acknowledged and reveled in. Reinforcing the great work with a sensory experience builds a lasting memory. Make sure that you enjoy and pay tribute to the moments of success, as it will sustain your energy and drive. Celebrate the victory!
It’s been a while since I drooled over a dessert in this blog, but this was exceptionally yummy! It was called a Hazelnut Charlotte crunch, from a restaurant in Southgate on the Yarra. The complexity of food in this day and age is amazing. Not just a chocolate mousse. There was a thin base layer of chocolate cake, upon which a milk chocolate mousse with a liquid cherry center sat. This morsel was then covered in a chocolate glaze with gold dust and crunchy bubbles of chocolate puffed rice. The plate also contained a smear of red velvet chocolate, chocolate soil and Persian fairy floss.
No longer is food cooked once and then served. No longer is a food served solo. Hours of preparation and stages of construction are involved to present a rich and decadent experience. The flavours blended well, along with the textures. The one curiosity – How something so delicate can be plated up without fingerprints or squashing of any elements? These desserts are something to be savored, so when indulging, take your time and experience all of it, even the mental stimulation.
Devonshire Tea to be exact. Simple recipes are the best. Simple ingredients makes it even easier. In a bowl add four cups of self raising flour with a tub of cream and a can of lemonade. Mix with a knife. Flour a board and flatten the mixture (not too much) and cut out scones with the rim of a glass. Makes approximately 16 scones. Bake at 200ºC for 15 minutes. Done. Too easy.
The scones are best enjoyed straight out of the oven with jam and cream and friends. Something to try, something to taste, something to share. So give this simple recipe a go. It is a good excuse to have friends and family over. You don’t have to follow the traditional Devonshire tea with jam and cream, you can mix it up and add cheese (or anything else) and enjoy them with a spread of butter. Just use your imagination.
The tartness of blackberries and the vibrant purple of the juice made this tasty and delicious blackberry sorbet a lovely counterpoint to the rich chocolate mousse with a bitter dark chocolate glaze. The fruitiness of the sorbet complemented the creaminess of the mousse, and the overall smoothness of both was balanced with crunch from the obligatory chocolate ‘soil’. Who calls food on your plate ‘soil’? When did we start eating dirt? For those uninitiated, the ‘soil’ is crumbled biscuit toasted lightly with real butter for a distinct salty crunch. It adds another dimension of flavour and texture to the dessert.
Visually simple on a plate, but a lot of technical preparation in the background. All these elements combine to be elegantly presented as a dish. Food is life, but good food is to be celebrated. I tripped over this morsel at a luncheon at the ‘G’ – and celebration it was, with several courses and matching wines. Is there a better way to spend a Wednesday afternoon? Is there a better way to finish a lovely luncheon? I ask you!
As a treat, I took myself and some family off to a regional longest lunch event. The food and wine was delightful as expected, but there were two unexpected morsels of serendipity.
The first was the stalls of local tastes with knowledgeable produce purveyors. We could sample and enjoy a range of breads, olives, dips, jams, vegies, etc. Try before you buy! all whilst being plied with bubbles and delectable canapes made from these ingredients. The second was the luncheon menu which explained the picturesque and fragrant offerings on one side, and on the reverse side gave the supplier names and distance in kilometers to their farms. It was a delicious and very local affair, very low food miles indeed. Special mention goes to the rhubarb and macadamia tart. The crumble crunch, beautiful treacle, tart sorbet and smooth quark were lovely subtle counterpoints [Yes, we had a quark – and it wasn’t a subatomic building block of physical matter]. The flavours were delicate and unexpected, an enticing and light finish to the meal and a treat to the senses. See what you can find that is yummy and local!
Well, the seasons have moved on and the sun in migrating to the northern hemisphere, as can be seen by the increasing wedge of sunshine coming in through the kitchen window. In summer the sun is overhead and the sunshine doesn’t come directly into the north facing window, keeping the kitchen cooler than expected. But in winter with the sun’s more northerly aspect, the sun shines in and fabulous snoozes on the strategically placed couch are to be had with the sun warming your back on a winter’s afternoon.
The other way that I can tell the seasons have moved on is the plethora of passion fruit that my vine is throwing at me. It had been decorated like a Christmas tree with large round green balls, but you have to wait until they turn colour before picking them. So all summer I watched, and I watched. But the time is now! Here is the modest haul from this week. So now come the choices: smoothies, mixed with natural yogurt, dressing to a fruit salad, or O-natural. Not to mention the cooked options of cheesecake, passion fruit slice… the list goes on. See what fruits are in season at the market and indulge in what the season has to offer. It is after all the time of harvest.
This was an extraordinarily fancy-pants dessert. I was lucky enough to be presented with this dessert last week at a luncheon. No longer do you have to choose the lemon tart or the apple crumble, some desserts have it all. Cherry sorbet, white chocolate mousse, macerated Morello cherries, moist dark chocolate cake, milk chocolate mousse covered in a bitter chocolate glaze, chocolate soil, chocolate sauce, a crumble of meringue and a squiggle of chocolate to garnish. How do they get the chocolate to squiggle solid in three dimensions?
This was Schwarzwalder Kirsch, otherwise known as Black forest cake – deconstructed to taste each and every flavour. It was an amazing flight of fanciful tastes, visual richness and well portioned morsels. So next time the opportunity presents itself, don’t choose, just indulge!
Sometimes you just need to spoil yourself. This dinner was magnificent. No photo’s of the canapes as they were presented on platters and juggling a camera was beyond my skills when eating with fingers, but they were delicious morsels of Hervey Bay scallops, seared lamb and goat’s curd; to be followed by warm confit of cured salmon and butter poached prawns, roast beef with mushrooms and truffled pea, washed rind cheese, and a chocolate tart with pear sorbet and Gewurztraminer jelly.
Do we need to go and have a lay down after all that? As wonderful as it tasted, it was also visually rich. The detail and the micro decorations on every plate suggested a perfectionist was at work. The coming together of several foods and flavours on a plate created a stunning effect [do I sound like I’m on Masterchef?]. This was a work of art in taste and texture as well as beautifully crafted.
It is well worth spoiling yourself when this is the fare on offer, so I recommend that you find something to wow the senses and indulge. There are no do-overs in life.
I had a lemon tree given to me as a house warming present many moons ago. It suffered greatly at the hands of Gall wasp and I was at my wit’s end on how to save the tree and rid it of the pest. A friend came over and pruned it back to a forked stump. It was going to either survive or perish, but at least the source of disease was gone. A bit of food and a couple of hanging sticky yellow tubes to stop reinfection and it bounced back with new growth and green leaves last year.
Yesterday, I braved the cold weather and headed to the garage, walking past the lemon tree. It now has large blemish-free yellow fruit. It must have been sneaky, flowered and grown the immature green fruit without me noticing. Cold weather has reduced the number of forays made into the backyard. The proof was the refreshing and tart flavour, which was well received as lemon icing in birthday celebration melting moments [see other posts on these treats]. So never give up on living things, health can be restored with some love, care and judicious pruning. Recovery tastes that much better when surprised with a bountiful harvest. …And yes that is a passion fruit or two growing in the lemon tree 🙂
Sometimes there are new adventures, sometimes the fun comes from an old favorite. One of my early posts was of a recipe for Melting Moments. There’s lots of debate over Yo-Yo’s versus Melting Moments, but in my paradigm they are known as Melting Moments.
I haven’t made these for several weeks [which is strange for me]. Tonight I made another batch. Sometimes they are average and sometimes they are spectacular. My friends in the country are in for a treat as these are quite above the norm. Cute and small delicate morsels, fat and three-dimensional. The mixture works so much better in cooler temperatures as you really ave to work it to mix all the ingredients, but the pay-off is a smooth silky dough. The lemons for the icing were full and tart so the tang comes through the shortbread flavour.
This is one of my best efforts, which is a good feeling. So have a go, as they say, at an old favorite and make something wonderful.