Saturday, 28 May 2011

Georgia has discovered Copernicus exists...

And she loves him. She gets very excited when he is nearby. Her little arms and legs flap excitedly and she laughs and laughs. Copernicus? Let's just say he is a little wary.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Georgia's first art work

Yes, there was mess involved.

Who knows, by the time she is four...

Sopra for lunch

This is the first time we've been to Cafe Sopra since head chef Andy Bunn had moved on. Thankfully, as far as we mug punters go, you'd be flat out knowing he was gone. Whoever has taken over hasn't fiddled with the menu too much and all the old favourites are still on. Having said that when I saw a new special, fried liver, I had to try it. I used to hate liver as a kid. It was usually foul of taste and had the consistency of rubber. Sorry mum. Back in 2007 I accidentally ordered liver in a restaurant in Lyon. I think it was one of Paul Bocuse's Nordsud Brasseries - Le Nord or Le Sud or L'Este or L'Ouest. My French skills are sorely lacking when it comes to translating menus and I mentioned to Michelle as long as we don't get offal I should be okay. Oops. But the liver dish I got was exquisite so I'm not quite as afraid of being served up liver as I once was. This fried liver, while not the delicate exquisite meal of Paul Bocuse, was pretty bloody good.

Pan fried liver on spuds.

Vitello tonnato.

Bresaola, gala apple, parmesan cheese, green salad.

Eton mess

Creme brulee.

Macaron heaven just down the road from Cafe Sopra at Patisse. Patisse's macarons, especially the salty caramel macarons, are as good as Adriano Zumbo's. Maybe they aren't as adventurous (or weird) as Zumbo as far as flavours go but for straight freshness and taste they're second to none.

Patisse is in the PYD Building 197 Young Street Waterloo.

Cafe Sopra is in Fratelli Fresh 7 Danks Street Waterloo and has been awarded one Chef's Hat by the Good Food Guide.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Lovin' Ad Hoc At Home & Cuisine du Temps

We're slowly working our way through Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc At Home. Almost every recipe is easy enough to make at home... Oh.
The buttermilk fried chicken is pretty damn spot on. Best fried chicken I've made. Throw in a home-made coleslaw, a beetroot and orange salad and fried cavalo nero and we don't need to eat out again.

Fried chicken and salad

Jacques Reymond's Cuisine du Temps is also proving doable at home. Modern French Asian Australian fusion it is. Who'd have thought of glazing a lamb rack with oyster sauce and soy sauce? Throw in mint oil and celeriac puree and embeurree of cabbage we have haute cuisine at home. Yet, it was easy... ish. The mint oil was surprisingly easy and delicious.

Lamb rack with mint oil

Ad Hoc and Movida

I got a little adventurous recently and actually opened a couple of cook books. Since Georgia came along I've been doing a fair bit of the cooking and I have got really good at cooking stews. But even I can get tired of stew so I cracked open Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc At Home and Frank Camorra's Movida Cookbook.

Thomas Keller owns the legendary French Laundry restaurant in California. There's little chance I'd attempt one of his recipes from the French Laundry but Ad Hoc At Home is as it says. A cookbook for the home. Lots of basic but tasty recipes. I've tried his fried chicken recipe and it is sensational. This time though I made his Pan Roasted Duck Breast with Butter Braised Brussel Sprouts, Radishes and Kohlrabi. Before I attempted this I'd never even heard of Kohlrabi. Click here to read up on it. Thankfully are local green grocer, Fratelli Fresh, had it.

The duck breast was fairly easy to prepare. Simply marinated in various herbs then fried and finished off in the oven. The vegies took a little more preparation including cooking the radishes in emulsified butter. Butter emulsification? Hadn't done that before either. Anyway, it all came together reasonably successfully I think. The reason I chose duck is because Michelle loves the duck. Really. Loves the duck. She was even impressed with mine.

Pan Roasted Duck Breast with Butter Braised Brussel Sprouts, Radishes and Kohlrabi

Frank Camorra runs Movida in Melbourne. Movida is a Spanish restaurant cum tapas bar and serves extraordinary tapas and raciones. Best we've had outside of Spain so I was keen to try his pork recipe from the Movida Cookbook.

The pork had to be marinated is all sorts of herbs and liquids including sherry vinegar, white wine and sherry and then cooked in the oven. For something that isn't cooked for very long it comes out soft and succulent. I also felt like patatas bravas - potatoes in a mayonnaise base sauce. And yes, I hand made the mayonnaise. I over did it on the sauce when I mixed it in with the fried potatoes though. Still, it was pretty good. Patatas Bravas recipe here.

Marinated and braised pork with patatas bravas and broccoli

Two fairly involved and complicated, for me, meals in two days. I don't know what I'll try next.