Tuesday 29 January 2008

iced apricot drink

In July 2006, Fanny from Food Beam was bragging about the luscious apricots she harvested from a tree in her garden and made me incredibly jealous.

Apricots used to be one of my favourite fruits when I was a kid and lived closed to the orchards, but these days all the apricots I buy taste floury and not very sweet.

Fanny had a drink recipe that would be excellent for both sweet apricots is also good for using up apricots that aren’t good enough to eat on their own.

The iced drink recipe looked so good it stuck in my head until last weekend when I finally made it.

Fanny was so pleased that she could make her version without sugar, but my apricots weren’t as sweet as the beauties from her backyard, so I did need to add some sugar syrup to this drink.

Iced Apricot Drink
Fanny’s recipe. Serves 2.
4 apricots
2 cups ice cubes
¼ cup iced water
Ice cubes, extra for serving
1. Put everything into a food processor and blitz for at least 40 seconds.
2. Pour in tall glasses and add extra ice cubes. Serve and chill your mouth!
Anna’s Variations: (serves 4)
10 apricots, halved & stones removed
2 cups ice
½ cup ice water
¼ cup sugar syrup

It was sweet, flavoured strongly with apricots and very refreshing on a hot day.



Sunday 27 January 2008

zhoug, spicy yemeni sauce

Zhoug is a spicy Yemenite condiment made from chilli, coriander, garlic and spices. It starts out as a spice blend, then adds wet ingredients to create a sauce that can last a month or so in the fridge if sealed with oil.

I amalgamate the sauce in a blender, but the traditional way is to use a mortar and pestle.

I tried zhoug for the first time in Israel, where it has become a really popular condiment on the Israeli national snack, falafels. I became quite addicted to this sauce and would pile it onto my falafel-stuffed pita rolls.

Others seemed to like it too and I remember one woman splashed the green liquid all over my arm in her excitement. Although I couldn’t understand what she was saying to me, I knew from her red face and giggling that it was an accident.

In Yemen, it is eaten with bread or provides a spicy topping to stews. You could also use it as a marinade or sauce with beef, lamb or fish.

Anna’s very own recipe. Makes ½ cup sauce.

½ teaspoon coriander seeds
1 green cardamom pod
¼ teaspoon caraway seeds
¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
¼ teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove
2 fresh red chillies
1 cup fresh coriander, leaves and stalks
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
4 tablespoons olive oil
1. Mix coriander seeds, cardamom, caraway seeds, cumin seeds and peppercorns then dry roast in a sauce pan for approx. 5 minutes until the spices become fragrant. Cool.
2. Grind spices in a grinder then transfer to blender or mortar and pestle.
3. Add fresh coriander, parsley, chilli and garlic and pound into a paste.
4. Add a little olive oil and salt then mix to combine.

Yemen (Arabic: اليَمَن al-Yaman) is the only republic on the Arabian Peninsula. The country is made up of around 20 million people and 200 islands, is bordered by Oman to the east, Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west and the Arabian Sea to the south.

For almost 3000 years, Yemen was part of the kingdoms controlling the spice trade along the Arabian peninsula. In fact some 10,000 Singaporeans and 4 million Indonesians with Arab ancestors can trace their roots back to Yemen’s spice traders.

It’s spice wealth attracted Ancient Rome which failed to annex it, yet Ethiopia, Persia, the Ottoman Empire and Britain had control at different times.

Unlike most Arabian groups, who are nomadic, Yemenis have lived in villages along the coast and highlands. The population is predominantly Arabic but there was a significant minority population of Jews who developed their own distinct culture. It was their migration to Israel that brought zhoug into the international spot light.

This is my contribution to Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Anna from Anna's Cool Finds.

References & Photos:


Monday 21 January 2008

emu w pepperberry & rosella sauce

Anna from Anna’s Cool Finds is hosting her annual event, Taste of Terroir, where she invites bloggers to cook or blog about food from their local area.

Last year I blogged about Sydney rock oysters and this year I’ve gone all out with three native Australian ingredients: emu, pepperberries and rosella.

Emu is a wonderful meat. The taste is very strong and very gamey: deep red and full of iron. They combine very well with rosella, which is a wild hibiscus bud that tastes like strawberry and rhubarb.

To counteract the sweetness I used pepperberries, which have a very complex flavour that reminds me of cardamom, oregano, chilli, mustard and eucalyptus all in one.

Emu Steak w Pepperberry & Rosella Sauce
Anna’s very own recipe. Serves 2.
400g of emu fillets
3 garlic cloves, crushed
5 dried pepperberries, chopped roughly
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons rosella jam
½ cup white wine
8 dried pepperberries
1. Whisk balsamic vinegar, mustard and olive oil until combined.
2. Add pepperberries and garlic and whisk through.
3. Pour the marinade over the meat and toss to combine. Leave for 3 hours.
4. Drain marinade off emu and reserve liquid.
5. In a frying pan over a low heat, add 8 pepperberries and the marinade and cook to soften the garlic.
6. Add the rosella jam and the white wine and bring to the boil, melting the jam. Stir the sauce continually so it doesn’t stick to the pan. Also squash the pepperberries a little so they release their colour and flavour. Remove from heat.
7. On a grill or barbecue, fry emu fillets for a maximum of 2 minutes on each side. Meat should be served rare since it’s very low in fat and overcooking makes it very tough.
8. Plate emu and drizzle with sauce. Serve immediately.

The emu is an Australian native bird that features alongside the kangaroo on our coat of arms and, just like the kangaroo, it has a delicious, healthy red meat.

Emus are huge, flightless birds similar to ostriches and cassowaries. They can grow to around 2m tall (6ft7in) and have very long legs and necks. Their feet have three toes and the middle toe has a sharp claw that is used as a weapon when attacked.

Emu eggs are a beautiful dark green colour and carving patterns on the egg reveals layers of lighter green shell underneath.

Commercial emu farming started in Australia during the 1980s and has spread to large scale farming around the world including the US, China and Peru.

Emu is a very healthy meat and contains less than 150 calories per 100g. Compared to beef, venison, buffalo, turkey, deer and even ostrich, emu meat is higher in protein, iron, magnesium, potassium and Vitamin B while lower in fats, calories and sodium.

Emu fat can be turned into oil hailed by many as a wonder-cure for an assortment of external problems such as a burn treatment, anti-inflammatory, disinfectant, moisturiser, arthritis treatment, muscle and joint relief and pain killer. Both the American and Australia drug approval boards are currently reviewing research to see whether these claims are true and so far so good.

Australians consider the rosella, or Hibiscus sabdariffa, to be a native tree but apparently it was brought to Australia’s tropical regions thousands of years ago by Indonesian fishermen. High in vitamin C, rosella flowers are the calcyx of the plant and can be poached or turned into confit, tea, chutney and jam. As mentioned previously, they are a tart combination between strawberry/raspberry and rhubarb.

The pepperberry or Tasmannia lanceolata has also been known as the Australian Native Pepperberry, Mountain Pepperberry, and Alpine pepper. The shrub is native to the Australian south-east coast with the most populous stocks in Tasmania. Bushes grow to around 5m tall with large canopies and both the leaves are black fruit are edible.

It has long been used by east coast Aboriginal tribes for culinary and medicinal purposes.

Initially pepperberries have a fruity, complex flavour with almost no heat, but as the oils are released from the tiny black seeds the heat starts to resonate strongly and you can end up with quite a sensational burn. Growers advise to use one tenth the amount of pepperberries than you would use black pepper. The delayed release of the heat compound (polygodial) means you get a significant flavour from the pepperberry.

Berries can be freeze dried and then ground up in spice mills or you can purchase jars of berries in liquid. They are great in pepper mixes, marinades, stews and sauces and always impart a bright, purple hue to the food.


So this is my contribution to the Taste of Terroir event. Visit Anna’s Cool Finds to discover what other special recipes and foods appear from around the globe in 2008.


Photo sources:


Sunday 20 January 2008

rice w palm hearts

I recently found a can of palm hearts in the grocery store across the street from my apartment. These delicious shoots are ridiculously expensive and, despite the fact that they’re canned, have the most exquisite, completely moreish flavour.

This vegetarian side dish tasted wonderfully rich and the palm hearts brought on a sweet, saltiness reminiscent of scallops. In fact I was shocked just how much this dish tasted of scallop mornay.

It was very good.

I found a recipe on a Costa Rican recipe website but soon discovered that many of the instructions did not make sense and that the measurements were totally incorrect.

Below is my own recipe based vaguely on the original.

After making the dish I thought it was funny to note that I chose a Costa Rican recipe since Costa Rica seems to be one of the largest global producers of palm hearts (I think Brazil is the largest).

Arroz con Palmitos (Rice w Palm Hearts)
Anna’s very own recipe. Serves 6 as side dish.

400g can palm hearts, cut in small pieces
1½ cups cooked white rice
½ cup crème fraîche
5 garlic cloves, crushed & fried until soft
½ onion, very finely chopped & fried until soft
150g butter
4 tablespoons flour
½ cup white wine
1 cup cream
½ cup milk
2 egg yolks
¼ cup chopped parsley
½ cup shredded mozzarella
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground white pepper
1. Preheat oven to 180’C.
2. Melt the butter in a pan, add the flour and whisk briskly until completely combined. Continue whisking for 5 minutes as the sauce foams and cooks.
3. Remove from the heat and leave for 5 minutes.
4. Meanwhile combine the egg yolks with the wine.
5. Add the egg mixture to the cooled sauce and whisk quickly. It will form sticky dough.
6. Add the cream and mix until it becomes a thick sauce.
7. Add the milk in batches to thin out the sauce to desired consistency.
8. Add salt, garlic and onion and combine well.
9. In a bowl, mix the crème fraîche and white pepper with the rice and spread out evenly in the base of a baking dish.
10. Cover with hearts of palm, dispersing evenly.
11. Pour over creamy sauce.
12. Sprinkle with parlsey and then shredded cheese.
13. Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes or until heated through, cheese has melted and edges are starting to brown.

Palm hearts are the edible core and bud of a variety of palm trees: Cocos nucifera (coconut palm), Euterpe edulis (juçara palm), Euterpe oleracea (açaí palm), and Bactris gasipaes (pejibaye or peach palm).

When harvested from the wild, the process kills the trees and this makes the palm hearts a very expensive food product. In fact palm hearts are used most commonly in salads and one of the most famous is the millionaire's salad.

It’s interesting to note that during the Depression it was known as swamp cabbage in Florida because only the poor were desperate enough to undertake the difficult task of chopping down the trees with axes and hand saws.

Commercially bred varieties, such as the Bactris gasipaes, have multiple shoots leading to a significant harvest that doesn’t kill the plant. Harvesting is still complicated so costs are still very high for the product.

Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Hawaii are all mass palm heart producers whereas France is the world’s largest importer.

They are eaten widely throughout tropical climates and have many names: palmito (Spanish), kalada (Indonesian), nyur (Malaysian), ubod (Filipino), pol bada (Sri Lankan), kaoteran (Thai).

From a 3m tree a 60cm, 1kg segment of trunk is sent to the factory where it is peeled down to the 100g core. The most tender sections are near the root and have a stronger flavour due to the concentration of nutrients within the tree.

They are high in fibre, low in calories and contain no cholesterol and very little fat.

I have never tried fresh palm hearts but apparently there is no comparison. Canned varieties taste very similar to artichokes and asparagus, which you could substitute in recipes.

Weekend Herb Blogging is being hosted by Rinku from Cooking in Westchester. Tune in for the recap over the next few days.



Wednesday 16 January 2008

liquor cabinet contents

Now I just want to point out that I'm not an alcoholic.

How can you be sure?

Well if I was all those bottles would be empty, wouldn't they?

Here's the stockpile:
42 Below Manuka Honey Vodka;
Absolut Citron;
Absolut Kurant;
Absolut Mandrin;
Absolut Pears;
Absolut Vanilia;
Alize Gold;
Amarula (elephant fruit cream);
Amsterdammertje Jonge Genever;
Bacardi White Rum;
Bacchus Butterscotch Schnapps;
Bailey's (Irish cream);
Baitz Blue Curaçao (orange);
Baitz Crème de Menthe (mint);
Berentzen Sour Apple Schnapps;
Berentzen Kirsch (cherry);
The Big Strawberry Sparkling Wine;
Bombay Sapphire Gin;
Campari (bitter orange);
Chambord (black raspberry);
Cointreau (orange);
Continental Cinnamon Schnapps;
De Kuyper Peach Schnapps;
De Kuyper Strawberry Schnapps;
Disaronno Amaretto (almond);
Frangelico (hazelnut);
Green Fairy Absinthe;
J&B Rare Scotch Whisky;
Jose Cuervo Reposado (tequila);
Kahlua (coffee);
Kirsberry (cherry);
Liquore Galliano;
Malibu (coconut rum);
Marie Brizard Crème de Cassis (blackcurrant);
Midori (melon);
Montenegro (bitter orange);
Mount Gay Dark Rum;
Mulberry Port;
Poire Williams Eau di Vie (pear);
Sambuca Galliano;
Soho Lychee Liqueur;
Toschi Amaretto (almond);
Umeshu (Japanese plum wine);
Vok Triple Sec (orange);
Wyborowa Vodka.

Monday 14 January 2008

nectarine & rooibos punch

This is my first time participating in Blog Party, an event where you submit a drink and finger food to contribute towards the party.

I imagine the idea is to throw a cocktail party, but mocktails are more than welcome too.

This time the theme is veggie-friendly so I thought it would be a great opportunity to share two very summery cocktails, even though Sydney’s weather has turned from a sweaty 35’C yesterday to a glum 22’C today.

My latest cocktail, Nectarine & Rooibos Punch, was inspired by some overripe nectarines that needed immediate use and the launch of Lipton’s rooibus ice tea onto the Australian market (but you could easily make your own ice tea using some delicious, quality rooibus leaves).

This has been my favourite cocktail this summer.

Nectarine & Rooibos Punch
Anna’s very own recipe. Makes 1 drink (or approx 4 drinks).

125ml rooibos ice tea (500ml)
70ml gin (280ml)
35ml Cointreau (140ml)
35ml peach schnapps (140ml)
5 torn mint leaves (20)
½ chopped nectarine (2)

1. Muddle mint leaves and nectarine in a shaker.
2. Add alcohol and further muddle.
3. Add ice and rooibus ice tea. Shake vigorously and serve in short tumbler.

The appetiser, a watermelon & feta salad, is an excellent summer snack and was introduced by a Greek friend over seven years ago. It’s also a very common dish in Turkey.

This version, by Aussie food guru Michele Cranston, turns this traditional Mediterranean salad into stylish squares that make the perfect finger food.

Watermelon & Feta SquaresBased on a recipe from Marie Claire Food+Drink by Michele Cranston. Makes approx 25.Ingredients:½ large seedless watermelon
50g feta
1 teaspoon sumac
6 black olives, seeded and finely sliced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Method:1. Cut the watermelon flesh into 3cm (1¼ inch) cubes. Using a melonballer scoop a tiny amount from the top of each cube.
2. Cut the feta into 1cm (½ inch) cubes and place a piece on top of each watermelon square.
3. Sprinkle a little sumac and oregano over each square then top with a slice of olive. Serve immediately.

These are my contributions to Blog Party’s January theme veggie-friendly. I hope I have enough inspiration to take part again in the coming months.


Sunday 13 January 2008

zucchini & basil salad w verjuice & currant dressing

Jonas and I made this salad for our Christmas buffet. Although it’s served cold, the richness from the basil and the sweetness from the currants would still work well on a winter Christmas table.

We grilled the zucchini on the BBQ (a kitchen grill works just as well) but the interesting touch in this salad is the verjuice.

I guess it’s not really a herb or vegetable, but I thought it might be interesting to focus on verjuice for this week's WHB.

Verjuice is a nifty little ingredient and has been the subject of much fuss in Australia over the last few years, even though it is an old ingredient and was used in 42% of recipes in Medieval Europe.

Verjuice is an acidic juice made from unripe fruit. These days it’s mostly made from grapes, but in the past the English were very fond of crabapple verjuice as well as varieties made from plums and gooseberries.

It’s funny to think that “the verjuice, the pomegranate juice, the bitter orange juice, the mustard and wine compounds . . . were the acidifiers of 16th and 17th century Europe". These days it’s all lemon juice and vinegar.

In fact it was the introduction of the lemon after the Crusades that signalled the beginning of verjuice’s downfall.

I guess, like most things, food fashion is cyclical and we’re seeing a emergence of verjuice, orange juice and pomegranate in our cooking.

Zucchini & Basil Salad w Verjuice & Currant Dressing
Recipe from Vogue Entertaining + Travel Dec/Jan 08. Serves 8.
70g currants
80ml (1/3 cup) verjuice
125ml (½ cup) olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
¼ teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
¼ cup torn basil leaves
8 small zucchini, sliced lengthwise 4mm thick
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
1. Combine currants and verjuice, cover and leave 2 hours or overnight.
2. Combine olive oil, paprika and garlic. Season and then reserve half.
3. Preheat grill to high.
4. Lay zucchini in single layer batches, brush with the olive oil mixture and grill for 2 minutes on each side or until golden. Transfer to serving platter.
5. Combine reserved olive oil mixture, white wine vinegar, currants and verjuice to form a dressing.
6. Scatter basil and spring onions over zucchini then dress with verjuice and currant mixture. Serve immediately.

The word verjuice is from the Middle French vertjus which translates to "green juice". This is in reference to its immaturity, rather than its colour, since it can be produced from both red and green grapes.

Verjuice can be used to replace the acidic content (lemon, vinegar) in salad dressings, deglaze pans after roasting, poach fruit, drizzle over seafood and as a cordial with soda water.

The benefit of using verjuice is that it doesn’t impact the flavours of accompanying wines as much as vinegars and lemon juice.
Unfortunately, and supposedly to place it as a gourmet product, it seems to be sold in small quantities for high prices (A$10 for 750ml). For further information on pricing and tasting notes on the various qualities of some Australian verjuice products, this article was very useful.

I remember there was often a bottle of verjuice in our fridge when I was growing up. When I was about 13 there was a moment of thirsty desperation when I tried to drink it straight and recoiled at the sourness. It definitely needs to be mixed with something.

Although I don’t recall seeing verjuice in Italy (I never looked for it, mind you), apparently it’s called agresto there, argraz or agrazada in Spain, abghooreh in Iran and hosrum in Arabic.

Australian gastronomic celebrity, Maggie Beer, has been a huge advocate for verjuice and even produced her own brand and a cookbook showing people how to use it. It was her encouragement that peaked my mother’s interest in the mid 90s.

More recently, Maggie produced a pretty pink drink using verjuice from cabernet grapes. It’s called Desert Pearls and is a non-alcoholic beverage with a “champagne bead” and “mouth feel of a good wine”. She says it has the “delightful aromas of rose petal and crushed strawberries are complemented on the palate with green tea characters that finish crisp and dry with citrus and sour cherry flavours”. I’ve only ever seen it in one or two shops, but I’m eager to get my hands on some.

WHB is hosted by Vani from Batasari, a food blog focusing on recipes from Andhra (India). I had a look around her blog today and there are loads of yummy things to try!



Friday 11 January 2008


Moghrabieh is technically Lebanese couscous.

All couscous are made from semolina flour although the most common form is tiny and fluffy, serving the same purpose as rice in North African cuisine.

Israeli couscous is a medium sized couscous that is eaten much like pasta and is added to stews or salads and moghrabieh is the gorgeous large couscous that is most commonly eaten like pasta. I adore it.

I highly recommend moghrabieh, and it can be eaten with vegetables, meat or cooked in soups. It’s very versatile and delicious.

Recipe from Taking Tea in the Medina by Julie Le Clerc. Serves 2-3 as main.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
1½ cups moghrabieh
4 cups stock (vegetable or chicken)
15g butter
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 2 lemons
Salt & pepper to taste
¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup finely chopped fresh coriander
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint

1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan and sauté onions and garlic until soft but not browned.
2. Boil water in a large saucepan. Cook moghrabieh for 5 minutes then drain.
3. Add moghrabieh to onion mixture, add stock and bring to the boil.
4. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring regularly. The moghrabieh should become tender and most of the liquid should be absorbed.
5. Stir through butter, herbs, lemon zest and juice. Serve.

I added 10-15 chilli threads.
You could add chunks of poached chicken or strips of grilled zucchini to bulk out the meal.

I added the pretty, vibrantly coloured chilli threads which are apparently the filaments of a chilli plant (the part of the stamen that supports the anther). Since I’m not very familiar with chilli plants I don’t know whether this is true or not but they look like dried stamens so it sounds plausible.

They are not very spicy, but they do add a very mild heat and at least a little chilli flavour.

This is my contribution to Presto Pasta Nights, hosted every Friday by the lovely Ruth of Once Upon A Feast.


Thursday 3 January 2008

parmesan mousse w red wine pears

Lucullian Delights is one of my favourite blogs because it's author, Ilva, combines gorgeous photography with simple recipes using quality ingredients.

And Ilva is based in Italy. Sigh.

This latest Recipe Road Test is a perfect example of Ilva’s cooking, even though she found the recipe in a magazine.

The mousse in this recipe is salty and delicious, while the sweet pears add texture and colour. I highly recommend this dish as an elegant entrée (starter). I served it as part of my Thanksgiving feast.

Spuma di Parmigiano con Pere al Vino Rosso
(Parmesan Mousse w Red Wine Pears)
Sourced from Ilva at Lucullian Delights. Serves 4.
100gr freshly grated parmesan cheese
1¾ dl fresh cream (175ml)
200gr sweet and tasty pears, diced finely
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1½ dl red wine (150ml)
1. Bring the cream to boil.
2. Add the parmesan cheese, stir really well so that it all dissolves.
3. Pass through a sieve or muslin into a bowl.
4. Put it into the fridge for 30 minutes or until it has set.
Put pear, sugar and honey into frying pan and cook gently for a minute.
5. Add the red wine and cook until it has become quite thick and syrupy.
6. Use a spoon to make quenelles of the parmesan mousse, put them on small plates and then spoon some of the pears and sauce around them. Serve.
Anna’s variation: I added a little pinch of white pepper to the parmesan mousse.
Anna’s note: You can make both components in advance, but it’s important to take the mousse out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving so that it softens a little and is easy to serve. The pears would be better closer to room temperature too, rather than over-chilled.


Wednesday 2 January 2008

sinh to bo - avocado smoothie

Ever since I first heard about a sweet avocado smoothie I have been desperate to try it.

When I was in Bali last July I ordered a similar version in every restaurant I went to, but since it wasn’t avocado season it was never available.

It sounds a bit weird but given that avocado has a creamy consistency it makes sense that it would go well in a creamy drink.

Jonas isn’t very keen on what he calls my “weird drinks” so he was very sceptical when he heard whizzing and blending noises coming from the kitchen. I refused to tell him what I was making but when he saw the pale green hue of the drink he wrinkled up his noise and said “it’s not that avocado one is it?”.

I lied. He drank it. He wasn’t happy.

Jonas didn’t like the drink at all, but I thought it was nice. There is a gentle avocado flavour and a creamy sweetness from the condensed milk, so it’s important to use ice water and ice to ensure the drink is frosty and refreshing.

I think the flavour is quite pleasant and moreish, but you probably won’t want seconds since it’s very rich.

It's definately worth trying.

Sinh To Bo - Avocado Smoothie
Recipe by Kurma Dasa. Makes 4-6.
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
5 small or 2 large ripe avocadoes, about 800g
2-3 cups iced water
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 cup crushed ice
1. Make sugar syrup by combining the sugar and ½ cup water in a small saucepan. Bring the syrup to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
2. Cut the avoicadoes, remove the stones and put the flesh in a blender or processor.
3. Add sugar syrup, 2 cups iced water and blend to purée.
4. Add condensed milk and ice and process again.
5. If it is too thick for your tastes add more iced water and blend.

I’m also pleased with myself since by making this drink I have already knocked off one of my 2008 food challenges.

This is my contribution to the first WHB of 2008, hosted by the event founder Kalyn. Since I have already waxed lyrical about the avocado previously, I’ll leave you with a link to my old avocado information instead and encourage you to visit Kalyn’s Kitchen for the event round-up.


Tuesday 1 January 2008

2008 food challenges

I can’t believe it’s 2008.

I remember 1998 so clearly. I started university, met two of my closest friends, moved to Italy. It was a big year but now it was 10 years ago!

This year I have a lot of new year resolutions, but focusing on my gastronomic interests, I have set myself some goals over the next 12 months.

Wish me luck!

Cook Recipes I’ve Coveted
1. khachapuri – Georgian cheese bread completed Feb 2009
2. coeur a la crème – French dairy dessert completed Jun 2011
3. pesche ripiene – Italian roast peaches w amaretti completed
4. sinh to bo – Vietnamese avocado milkshake completed
5. rujak – Indonesian/Malay salad completed

Taste Test
1. pheasant
2. sapote (tropical fruit)
3. crocodile completed
4. wines from South Africa completed
5. wines from the USA completed

Cook w New Ingredients
1. mastic (Greek resin) completed Feb 09
2. qamar el-deen / amardine tart, soup
3. quinoa stew, breakfast, salad
4. hibiscus flowers drink
5. squid ink risotto

Recreate Food Memories
1. Grandma’s banana cream pie completed
2. Dad’s pickled eggs completed
3. Mum’s lemon roasted chicken completed
4. Mum’s cornbread completed
5. Nonna’s vegetable sauce for pork completed

Find Recipes & Cook
1. česneková polévka (Czech garlic broth) completed Dec 2011
2. Königsberger klopse (Prussian meatballs)
3. rasam completed
4. sorbat susu completed
5. tan tan men completed

Invent My Own Recipes
1. musk ice cream
2. crepe gratin
3. risotto cakes completed
4. dang myun noodles completed
5. fruit dessert soup blueberry, apricot

Learn More About Food from
1. East Africa Ethiopian spice blend, Ethiopian main, Mauritian salad, Eritrean main
2. West Africa Senegalese main, Burkina Faso stew, Ghanese fritters
3. Andean nations Peruvian stew, Argentinean main, Bolivian salad, Ecuadorian soup
4. Caribbean Bajan dessert, Jamaican main, Jamaican spice blend, Cuban side dish
5. India (different regional styles) Tamil Nadu soup, Kerala curry, Punjab drink, Andhra Pradesh curry

Cook a Multi-Course Meal
1. East African feast
2. Indian banquet
3. Seafood dining
4. Italian formal dinner completed
5. Balinese banquet completed

Cook From These Cookbooks
1. Pier by Greg Doyle (seafood)
2. MoVida by Frank Camorra & Richard Cornish (Spanish) completed
3. Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home by the Moosewood Collective (vegetarian) completed
4. Made in Italy by Giorgio Locatelli (Italian) completed
5. Cook with Jamie by Jamie Oliver (home cooking)

Buy These Cookbooks
1. Creole by Babette de Rozières in the bag!
2. Secrets of Red Lantern by Pauline Nguyen in the bag!
3. Thai Food by David Thompson
4. Cheese Slices by Will Studd
5. one by Greg Malouf: Saha or Turquoise

So that's it, although I do think it's going to be a real challenge to get through all of these while still aiming to cook my way around the world at the same time.

Good luck to everyone else in achieving your own new year resolutions.


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