Wooli Seafood Spread

Fishy, fishy, fishy
Fishy, fishy, fishy

I don’t got much for you today.

All I have is a couple of points that have come from my ponderings and the tail end symptoms of a nasty little rash. Not exactly “strap yourself in and get ready for the ride” reading but like I said, it’s all I’ve got.

1. It is almost Christmas. That came around really effing quickly. Before you know it you will be waking up on boxing day wearing a santa hat, all areas of visible skin blanket-filled with an interesting choice of colour that could only be called sun burn red*, hungover like something that has been drinking in the hot sun for the entirety of the previous day and, if you are one of the truly lucky peeps amongst us who have chosen to work in the hospitality industry, you may even be late for the breakfast shift!
2. I have decided that the lead up to Christmas may or may not be the best time to launch a catering company. And the day job too… what was I thinking?
3. I don’t care what you’re doing right now because we are getting a bit of serious NDAFT (not doing an effing thing) time in. We have transported our asses to Wooli on the north coast of New South Wales via motorized chariot on the actual highway (as opposed to the interweb super-highway). Yes, back to Wooli. I am drawn to this place like the weight sensitive person is drawn to an extra slice of chocolate cake… We are enjoying the idiosyncrasies of staying in a cabin on the river, sampling the local seafood (those who remember my last Wooli post would probably remember that I mentioned the local oyster supplier and fish shop… a lot), swimming and kayaking in said river, fishing and just doing nice shit in general. Really feeling the love, you know?
4. I feel there is a good chance that posts may become dodgily intermittent because of my work load with catering and my day job… this is something you most probably wouldn’t offer a single shit for, which I would agree is a wise decision.
5. Once, sometime in my past, something happened to my head and made me heaps skilled at talking random rubbish all the time.

Proof that I fish
Proof that I fish

That’s it. Ponder that load of complete and utter bollocks (or don’t). As for me, I am going to enjoy these few days we have away from the centrifuge (That’s right. Big fast spinning thing) that is our lives at the moment and give it up a little for a bit of eat, drink, fish, swim, quality family time etc… you get the picture.

Proof that my children have not yet worked out which side of the kayak they should be in
Proof that my children have not yet worked out which side of the kayak they should be in

So in closing I would like to say this; enjoy your Christmas if I forget to tell you on the day, if you need someone to cater your Christmas party I am not the man (sure, mostly I am “the man”, but in this case I am most certainly not the man), I love getting the heck outta dodge and I have not forgotten about you if I don’t write for a while… just in case.

Kick-ass prawns
Kick-ass prawns

Kick-ass oysters with kick-ass bacon
Kick-ass oysters with kick-ass bacon
All round kick-ass-ness
All round kick-ass-ness

RIVERSIDE SEAFOOD SPREAD (for 4)

1 fish that you caught earlier that day, seasoned with a little salt and pepper and cooked on the barbecue. Give it a good squeeze of lemon as you are about to serve it up
500g cooked king prawns
2 dozen fresh oysters shucked before your very eyes, shown the love with the addition of a few bits of crisp bacon
3 rashers of bacon, chopped and fried until crisp to go on those oysters
Cabin marie rose sauce, aka cocktail sauce (recipe below)
Kimchi
Salads that you and yours enjoy eating – We had a Greek-ish salad with quinoa and my nana’s potato salad

CABIN MARIE ROSE SAUCE

½ cup mayo
1 tablespoon or so tomato sauce (ketchup)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Extra seasoning if you need it

• Combine all ingredients and whisk together… unless your cabin does not have a whisk included in it’s bucket of kitchen utensils, in which case, if your name is MacGyver I would suggest you fashion a whisk from an old bicycle pump and the skeletal remains of the fish you caught today. But, as you are most likely not MacGyver, a fork will do the trick just fine. If your cabin does not have a fork I would suggest that you may have paid good money to stay in a cave or possibly a hole in the ground and it is people like you who make me question how the human race has got this far…
• Normally this sauce would also contain Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce and possibly a splash of brandy, but we’ll making use of what we’ve got because I will garnish my prawns with the juices from the bottom of the wheelie bin before I use that Masterfoods stuff from the store

BTW, THE FOODISTHEBESTSHITEVER CHRISTMAS ADDRESS IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER. YOU’VE GOTTA BE PUMPED FOR THAT!

*Possibly only applicable to peeps living in the Southern Hemisphere

Kimchi – my new love

kimchi
I have a new love and I am not shy to tell you her name is Kimchi.

Contrary to what you may be thinking, Kimchi is not an oriental lady-boy. My lady-boy’s name is Mi Long and she has kinda lost favour in my bedroom court, if you get what I mean. Mi Long has been relegated to the minor leagues, currently residing in the onion cupboard next to the carnies… they seem to get along just fine.

No, kimchi is a fiery looking fermented chilli cabbage condiment. Like seriously fiery looking. Like this shit is redder than my ginge minge, and you know they say you can’t stinge on the ginge minge? This is also true of the fiery kimchi.

This shit is addictive like meth or herion. If we could get this into circulation there is the possibility of a better life in many western suburbs, the possibility we may now walk the streets with out being asked for a durry or 2 bucks for a train ticket by your local neighborhood whiny assed, walking dead, ebola looking mofo and maybe, just maybe, the rabid old junk yard dog that is matching addidas tracksuit may finally be allowed to crawl into the corner and die the death it has been yearning for for years…

My recent love for kimchi has found me cooking simply steamed rice for dinner so I can eat it with a fat pile of kimchi (this is not an exaggeration) and, at the advice of someone in blogland but I can’t remember who (maybe you could be so kind as to remind me if you are reading this) often enjoying a toasted cheese and kimchi sandwich or even taking it one step further and going the karaage fried chicken, kimchi and Japanese mayo toasted sandwich deluxe. I have also made cucumber kimchi which has found me cooking burgers so it may have a friend on it’s way to my belly, or simply just eating them straight in my face. Cucumber kimchi is also very addictive. If kimchi is the meth, cucumber kimchi could certainly fill the shoes of the crack cocaine.

Just one more thing to note about kimchi is, as with all fermented cabbage products, this shit is really good for your… well… shit. It will keep you as regular as a medium coke at McDonalds.

Get Jennee to chop it up while you take a photo. Chop Jennee, chop
Get Jennee to chop it up while you take a photo. Chop Jennee, chop

This is the chilli paste. It is definitely redder than my ginger minge
This is the chilli paste. It is definitely redder than my ginger minge
Get it into the cabbage and mixy mixy
Get it into the cabbage and mixy mixy
Oh my lovely
Oh my lovely

Go now child. Try it.

KIMCHI

3 wombok (Chinese cabbage, napa cabbage)
1.5 cups salt
2 tablespoons castor sugar
1.5 cups fish sauce
1.5 cups garlic, crushed
1 thumbsized knob ginger, chopped
1.5 brown onions, chopped
2 cups chilli flakes, soaked in enough hot water to cover

• Quarter the cabbages through the length and then cut them into 5cm-ish pieces, discarding the core
• Place cabbage in a large bucket or tub (or a clean sink) and fill with enough water to cover. Add salt and give it a good ol’ mixy
• Leave cabbage to soak for 4-5 hours, turning every hour. Once time is up, rinse and drain cabbage
• Add all other ingredients to a food processer or blender and blitz into a coarse paste
• Spread mix over cabbage and return to clean tub. Seal and store on the bench for 2 days until starting to ferment. It will start to bubble a little bit and the smell will intensify.
• Whack it into jars or plastic containers and store it in the fridge to halt the fermentation
• It is ready to be eaten straight away but I like it most after a few days in the fridge so all of the flavours can truly get to know each other and really develop lasting friendships
• This stuff will last in the fridge for a year, but good luck not eating it all before then

Gimme Some Sugar, Baby… Or Not

paleo dessert
I’ll keep this short and sweet. Heheh.

We live in a world that is slowly turning it’s collective nose to the use of refined sugars. One big, fat nose the size of South America being scrunched up so it looks like it belongs to a bulldog, and the noise of an almighty “hmph” from just below it’s Antarctica moustache. Very Freddy Mercury-esque. Well-played sugar haters. Get a famous moustached musician onto your cause.

It is true that soon such sugar shall only be available from shady looking characters dealing their wares from the boot of their car in an undisclosed location near you soon. Pastry chefs across the world shall be soon made redundant, pan handling their wares in a back alley, right next to the blue dumpster… They shall be given a wide birth, now the outcasts of society, like the red headed step child, a leper or even Billy Ray Cyrus.

Sugar should be treated akin to, say, cocaine, masturbation or showering with your team mates after a tough game of football; it’s all good and well and a heap of fun for a period of time, but you don’t want… no wait, you can’t physically do it all the time. People flip out a little, genitals become red and inflamed… and then there’s the masturbation and cocaine.

My Jennee is one amongst many it would seem, who would be more than happy for that legislation to pass. I am of the opinion that most things are OK if consumed in moderation… sugar included… and let’s chuck cocaine on that list too, but, as it was Jennee’s birfday recently and not mine I did not insist that she eat 4kg of refined sugar that was just barely being held together with a couple of eggs, a stick of butter and a handful of gluten (more work of the devil that I will be more than happy to discuss at a later date). Instead, I was more than happy for my cousin Amelia to make Jennee a lovely raw, vegan, refined sugar and lactose free, PETA approved, energy efficient, chocolate, raspberry and coconut slice.

It was pretty damn tasty, too. Someone with smart brains put some serious thought into this one! The original recipe was the brainchild of @lissywilson. Kudos to Lissy!

Jennee loving the bonfire effect on her birthday slice
Jennee loving the bonfire effect on her birthday slice

Have a piece or two the next day while you type away on your computer
Have a piece or two the next day while you type away on your computer
Just damn good. I don't care what fucking diet you're on
Just damn good. I don’t care what fucking diet you’re on

PRETTY DAMN HEALTHY CHOCOLATE-RASPBERRY-COCONUT SLICE

RASPBERRY CHIA JAM (makes approx. 2 cups. Half for now and half for toast later)

3 cups frozen raspberries
7 dates
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ cup hot water
2 tablespoons chia seeds
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
½ cup coconut oil
A few cacao nibs and shredded coconut to garnish

• Blitz all ingredients, except coconut oil, in a food processer until pureed
• Reserve 1 cup of jam for later use
• Add coconut oil to remaining jam and blitz until combined. This will help jam to set nice and firm on your hippy slice
• Set aside until needed

CHOCOLATE-COCONUT ROUGH MIXTURE

1.25 cups coconut oil
1.25 cups coconut sugar
1.25 cups cashew butter (if you don’t know what this is ask any passing hippy or yoga instructor)
¾ cup raw cacao
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ cup water

• Combine all ingredients in a cake mixer and beat until thoroughly combined and free of lumps
• Set aside until needed

PRETEND BISCUIT BASE

12 dates
1 cup raw almonds
1/3 cup tahini
½ cup desiccated coconut

• Blitz all ingredients in a food processer until well combined and a dough-like product has formed
• Cover the base of two – loaf tins or one larger baking tin with baking paper and evenly press a layer of pretend biscuit base into each
• Place tins in fridge for 30 minutes to set

NOW TO GET THE WHOLE THING TOGETHER

• Just divide the chocolate-coconut mix over the bases and smooth over a little with a spatula
• Divide the raspberry layer over the choc mix, garnish with a sprinkle of cacao nibs and shredded coconut, if using, and get that shit in the fridge to set. A couple of hours should do the job

Also, our friend Inga the usually-so-damn-health-conscious doctor made a cake for Jennee that did contain the white death (real sugar), which was a little out of sorts for her. I wasn’t concerned about that though, as… well… these types of things just don’t generally concern me. The cake was gluten free though, so she got a couple of points for that. I did taste fucking delicious too. I think I ate a third of that cake, and because of that I thought I’d best include this recipe too.

The candle was upside down but I really didn't give a damn as I filled my face hole
The candle was upside down but I really didn’t give a damn as I filled my face hole

I added some cream because I could
I added some cream because I could
Last pic
Last pic

NOT SO HEALTHY BUT STILL NOT HEAPS BAD FOR YOU CHOCOLATE-RASPBERRY CAKE

2 blocks of dark choc
125g unsalted butter
1.25 cups almond meal
5 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1 cup of raspberries
Cream or ice cream to serve

• Melt chocolate and butter over a bain marie or in the microwave (keep an eye on it), stirring to combine
• In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients except raspberries. Once combined, fold raspberries through mix
• Pour into a cake tin lined with baking paper, cover with foil and bake at 180C for 1.25 hours. Uncover and bake for another 20-30 minutes or until a skewer comes out almost dry… not quite though… still a little moist
• Serve it with cream or ice cream
• Eat it and love it (that is a direct quote from an actual doctor, so I suggest you do it. Do it now)

Karaage Chicken, Kimchi Omelette, Miso Beans & Other Awesome Things To Put In Your Face

karaage chicken
I really can’t be assed ironing the table cloth, and there is no way I can convince Jennee to do it, so if anyone is ever keen give me a call…

I work with a chap who has spent time in Japan and is trying to school me in the ways of correct pronunciation of Japanese words. Or one Japanese word to be more precise; karaage. I have told him numerous times that I have enough problems as it is with the English language, so I do not have the surplus time to put effort into another language. But why karaage? Karaage, however it is that you pronounce it, is without a doubt my new favourite chicken. It is Jennee’s new favourite chicken, too. And, as it is gluten free, she can eat it and not have to pay it back ten fold with a currency of stomach pains and cramps, and an annoying moan, like that of an old gypsy woman dying slowly in the corner. While we’re on the subject of whose favourite chicken this is, it is also the favourite chicken of our children, Seba and Obi, as it is fried and we eat it with mayonnaise. I think that was all it took. They really are shallow little younglings sometimes… So, when facey told me it was my lovely Jennee’s birthday this past weekend, the product of my cerebral activity declared I should be making that chicken for her birthday dinner. Lesser self tried to argue for a moment, suggesting maybe we should buy her flowers and perfume. Smart brains brought to self’s attention that we were already surrounded by a country shows worth of flower display and also noted the place had started to look like someone had just awoken from a three year coma… Finally, after a brief melee, self agreed that we would be cooking that chicken tonight… But we would give her some other really awesome shit too (don’t worry. I had this shit sorted). If you kept up with that monologue you are doing a mighty fine job and the human race should be proud of you… and, you’re welcome to date my sister, I might add.

dusty, dusty
dusty, dusty
Hot oil bath
Hot oil bath
That chicken, that work, the knowledge that there is a good time a brewin'
That chicken, that work, the knowledge that there is a good time a brewin’
Just one more chicken snap
Just one more chicken snap
OK, last one, I promise
OK, last one, I promise

KARAAGE FRIED CHICKEN (for 8 peeps as part of a feast) 1kg boneless chicken thigh fillets*, skin on if possible 3 cloves garlic, finely grated 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger ½ cup light soy sauce 2 tablespoons mirin 2 cups potato flour (potato flour is the business for this fried chicken but if you seriously can’t find it use rice or corn flour) Oil, for deep-frying A pinch of salt, sliced shallots/spring onions/scallions and lemon wedges to serve • Combine all ingredients except potato flour and mix thoroughly. Marinate for 30 minutes • Put flour into a large bowl. Remove chicken pieces from marinade one at a time and coat with flour. Really get it in there and give it a damn good coat. Don’t leave a bare assed bit of skin any where on that piece of bird. This coating is going to be the crispy goodness that will in turn delight your mouth as the chicken prances between your teeth and your tongue, as you shatter the brittle love about the place • Heat the oil in a large saucepan or wok to 180°C. Dust excess flour from the chicken, and place the chicken into the oil. Deep-fry for 1 minute. Transfer the chicken to a rack and rest for 30 seconds • Return the chicken to the oil and fry for another 1 minute, and then rest on a rack for another 30 seconds • Return the chicken to the oil and fry for a third and final minute, and then rest for 1-2 minutes in a warm place • Serve it up with or with out a heap of good shit. We had mushroom and kimchi omelette (recipe below), more kimchi, cucumber kimchi (yeah we like it spicy, OK? If you think the dinner table has some heat in it you should see our bedroom! Winky smiley face), wakame salad and miso asparagus and beans (recipe below). Oh lordy lordy

I ate a lot of this omelette
I ate a lot of this omelette
The garnish alone is enough to give me an errection
The garnish alone is enough to give me an errection

KIMCHI, MUSHROOM & BACON OMELETTE (for 8 as part of a feast) This is a relatively simple omelette that I’m sure even you could make. Shit gets real with the different garnishes giving your face a one-way ticket to flavour town. A smaller version of this is also a cracking breakfast, don’t be doubting. 1 large handful of bacon, chopped 1 large handful of kimchi (I will post a kimchi recipe real soon folks), sliced 2 large handfuls of mushrooms, sliced 10 eggs, lightly whisked Oil Light soy sauce, Japanese mayo, crisp fried shallots, sliced shallots and toasted sesame seeds to serve • Sauté bacon and mushrooms for a few minutes to soften. Set aside • Heat oil in a 25cm skillet/pan over medium-high heat. Add egg mix followed by kimchi, bacon and mushrooms • Cook for 2-3 minutes. Don’t touch it. While that is going on heat your grill (broiler) • I like to flip the omelette in view of a pretty girl because I am convinced this makes me appear fucking awesome. Do that if you have the minimals, but it is a darn sight easier (and safer) to take the pan from stove top and place under the grill for 4-5 minutes until just cooked through • To turn out place a plate over the top of the pan and, with your hand firmly securing the plate to the pan, invert the whole damn lot. Remove he pan and the plate should be holding a sexy assed looking omelette… or possibly some tasty assed scrambled eggs • Either way, garnish with a few drops of soy sauce, Japanese mayo, a handful of crisp fried and fresh shallots, and toasted sesame MISO BEANS & ASPARAGUS (for 8 as part of a feast) Too busy eating to get a photo of these, soz. They were damn tasty though… 300-400g green beans, trimmed 1 bunch asparagus, woody ends trimmed and cut in half 2 tablespoons miso 1 teaspoon castor sugar 1 tablespoon rice wine ½ teaspoon light soy sauce A splash of sesame oil 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds to serve • Combine all ingredients except beans and asparagus, and whisk until smooth and dressing-like consistency. Add a splash of water if it is too thick • Boil or steam beans and asparagus for 2-3 minutes • Strain, add to dressing and toss to coat • Top with sesame seeds and serve *I have previously used boneless thigh for this but this time I used thigh and leg pieces and it worked really effing well. I gave them 10 minutes in a medium oven after frying just to be sure they job was done

Sri Lankan-esque Prawn Curry a la Peter Kuruvita

SAMSUNG CSC
This is a prawn version of the pork and black pepper curry recipe that I was given by Peter Kuruvita, and when I say given to me I really mean I fair and square pulled the recipe straight off his website. Cheers Peter! Smiley face all up in my head right now as this is my new “go to” curry, my default curry setting, my special blanky that I cuddle when I am afraid of the night horrors (or uncle Bo, which ever comes first), if you will. Also, Peter Father Christmas (as I shall now know him because of his generosity and give, give, give attitude) gifted me with the knowledge of the carrot and coconut sambal, which I now make often as it is effing delicious and a great side dish with curry.

So recently, when I came across a nice big pile of prawns, I came to the conclusion this curry sauce was going to flavour them and also provide a conduit and worthy lubrication for the prawn’s final journey into my stomach. Also, the carrot sambal would stand by its side, much like the wife of an adulterous politician.

I feel it is worthy of mention that when I went to visit my peeps at the local seafood joint the 1kg of prawns that I’d asked for quickly turned into an amount that was easily closer to 2kg. They must’ve got a few too many off the boat that week, which was not a problem for me as I love eating prawns, and there was not a chance in hell I was going to be peeling them. On this day I would rather swim naked in raw sewage then peel prawns. Neinen peel prawnen for Grazza.

Enter Jennee’s dad, Dr Chris.

Upon hearing of my lack of interest (no interest, in fact) he summoned the regions finest carnie mobile prawn-peeling troupe. As this prawn-peeling troupe was clearly fictitious, Dr Chris decided it was time he scrubbed up. For the next 30 minutes he would not answer to the nom de guerre Dr Chris, but would be know simply as Chris the Prawn Peeler!

You really need to try this curry whether it is with pork, chicken, prawns or dry roasted endangered wood-pigeon hearts… I really don’t care. One thing I do care about though is a small monkey-man named Kevin. He fetches my slippers. Nice Kevin.

I don't even know how to make this look nice… you need to be able to smell it with your nose… but you can't so do me a favour and go cook it would you
I don’t even know how to make this look nice… you need to be able to smell it with your nose… but you can’t so do me a favour and go cook it would you

I've seen worse pics than this one
I’ve seen worse pics than this one
I couldn't leave you with at least one overhead shot
I couldn’t leave you with at least one overhead shot

SRI LANKAN-ISH PRAWN & BLACK PEPPER CURRY (for 4)

Marinade
1kg fresh prawns, peeled and deveined
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 tablespoon roasted curry powder
2 black cardamom pods
½ bunch coriander, chopped
1 sprig of curry leaf
½ teaspoon ground chilli
1 teaspoon salt

To cook
1 brown onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 thumbsized knob ginger, chopped
1 tablespoon tamarind pulp
1 tablespoon ghee or oil
1x 400ml tin coconut milk

• Marinate prawns for 1 hour so it can get to know the spices, have a little party, a couple of drinks – you know the deal
• Add all “to cook” ingredients except tamarind and coconut milk to a hot wok and cook out for a minute until aromatic… as apposed to acrobatic… which would have them jumping about all over the place and not flavouring your food like they should be
• Now add prawns and cook out for another 2 minutes
• Add tamarind and coconut milk and simmer for another 2 minutes until the prawns are cooked and the gravy has thickened

RICE
Cook some rice or buy some already cooked from someone who knows how. Asian or Indian take-aways are usually a good spot to start

CARROT SAMBAL
1 large carrot, grated
1 
green chilli, finely chopped
1
 small onion, finely diced
2
 limes, juiced
1 
clove garlic, very finely chopped
½ cup 
shredded coconut
2-3 
curry leaves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
• Combine all ingredients and allow to sit for at least 15 minutes for the flavours to amalgamate

The Sunday Sesh… with my old mate Toodles

This is a little suggestion for your next Sunday roast typed by the hand of my old friend, confidant and peer (Peer? What an ass spank of a word. Who the fuck created that word anyway? It sounds like a word that should be reserved for exclusive use by the royal family… although I guess they wouldn’t have much cause to use it. What, with not having much of a peer group and all), Todd. Or has we know him, Toodles.

I was working in kitchens with this lad when he was a wee pup and very quickly he stepped up and proved he could cock his leg and piss like a big dog, and is now rocking the restaurant scene in Sydney Australia.

I know full well that this is most likely gracing the eyes in your head a little too late to affect anything you may being today, but shit happens and you should try and get over it quickly.

Grazza

SUNDAY SESH

Who says being able to cook good is a bad thing. Probably no one ever, actually. But, any way, I feel like a roast. It’s a Sunday. End of a massive week & I feel like getting this shit started. Enough reason for me.

Personally, I don’t drink cider because I just don’t see the point in drinking cider when there is beer??? So when the Mrs leaves cider in the fridge for 6 months I decide to find it a home.

Image
Apples roasted with muscovado sugar & cider.

Image 3
What goes great with a pork roast? More pork of course.

Image 2
Roast is almost ready….

Image 1
Pork roast, brussels sprouts with bacon, roast pumpkin, onions, truss tomatoes, roasted apples & gravy baby. Sounds terrible, hey?

Image 4
Some Turkish delight from my mates at Christopher’s Cake Shop for dessert and I’m done. I’m as happy as a pig in a pile of mud.

Happy Sunday people.

#foodisthebestshitever