Ling with asparagus, confit mushrooms, hollandaise and fresh herbs for me ol’ mate Sammy

So me ol’ mate Sammy the Gelfling is back… And I think she is of boyfriend, or girlfriend, or jungle bunny, or gigolo, or something… who am I to pass judgment? I’m just a lowly cook. Anyway I think that’s really quite cute. There is nothing cuter than a Gelfling with boyfriend. I think this is maybe why we haven’t heard from her for so long. But that’s none of our business really is it…

For my recipe challenge today she has offered me ling (which is a fish for anyone out there who thinks it may be something other then a fish), mushrooms, asparagus and Mexican chilli beans in a can. Sometimes I think Sammy may think I am a magician. Other times I think I am a magician and I have the ability to pull flowers from my sleeve, or a rabbit from a hat. But alas, the only flowers I know, I will pull from the neighbour’s prize winning rose garden on Valentines Day, and often I wear a hat while cooking rabbit chasseur… Mostly because I think it makes me look more authentically French. It’s an old school Euro hunting cap. Anyway, that said, I shall not be using the chilli beans for this challenge. Save them for your nachos tomorrow.

This could be our most audacious venture yet…

Roasted fillet of ling, confit mushrooms, asparagus, and hollandaise sauce

Confit mushrooms. Yes confit mushrooms. Poached in the magical amber fluid gold that from this day forth shall be known as butter. And then we’re going to dress that little puppy with more butter AKA hollandaise sauce. Don’t be afraid. If you’re gonna be afraid there’s heaps more scary things to be afraid of. Like spam… Or those cooked fertilized chicken embryo eggs you can get in Asia… Or carnies. And let’s face it. This is not everyday food. Everyday food is something like fruit… or pork.

The ling
Grill or panfry or roast (It’s a firm fish. Firm like David Hasselhoff’s buttocks. And is suited to most cooking methods) the ling like you would grill, panfry or roast a piece of ling. 10-15 minutes should do the trick depending on the size of the fillets. .

Blanch or steam the asparagus briefly so it stills has a little crunch. You can handle that one by now for sure, eh.

Confit mushrooms
A big handful of mushrooms
500g butter (It’s your friend)
A few sprigs of thyme
A few cloves of garlic
• Trim the stalks off your mushrooms and poach in your butter and other stuff, just ticking over, for 15 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on absorbent paper to serve.

Hollandaise sauce (make this just before you cook the fish)
3 egg yolks
250g unsalted butter, clarified (heat to separate the butter fat from the milk solids. Leave the solids behind)
2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed please
A splash of lukewarm water
• Place a large bowl over a medium pot of simmering water. This is called a bain-marie… Or a bain-maria if you are an apprentice I work with (sorry Shantell but you gotta work this shit out)
• Add the egg yolks and whisk continuously until starting to thicken – not scramble
• Remove the bowl (get your flat mate to hold it for you now. The bowl, that is you grotty little effer) and very gradually whisk in the butter. Bit by bit. Very slowly. And you will see it start to bind and thicken. Add a drop of water when it starts to get tar thick, just to loosen it up a bit
• Once you have whisked in all of your butter add lemon juice and a little seasoning. You could also add a teaspoon of chilli sambal or a splash of hot sauce if you’re into that. If it tastes like it needs a bit more salty or sourness, use your smart brains to rectify that

To plate up
Plate it up like you are a champion of French bistro fare. Douse it with some fresh herbs. Parsley, chervil, chives, tarragon… EAT IT IN YOUR FACE!

And lets finish todays lesson with a word to use in conversations about this blog to your friends (I’m sorry but that was sarcasm. It is clear to me that you don’t talk about this blog to your friends by our bad ratings. Thanks a lot)


Definition: misuse or strained use of words in error or for rhetorical effect.

1. Misuse or strained use of words, as in a mixed metaphor, occurring either in error or for rhetorical effect.

And the result from Sammy. Great work I say. And she did comment that the mushrooms were particularly delicious and easy. I’ll leave it at that…

Hommus…and other stuff Sammy likes

Sammy likes hommus… and a heap of other things that I probably shouldn’t tell you about.

I don’t know if you guys remember Sammy, but way back at the start of this piece of crap top notch blog Sammy would regularly tell me what was in her larder and I would create a recipe for her din-dins. Well Sammy is back with a double header… and this time she’s brought her mum. That could be a wild assed double header right there but for now I’ll just stick to the questions… for now.

Here’s what Sammy asked:
1. Could you please tell me some other ways to eat hommus? Love hommus but I’m getting sick of crackers.
2. Sammy’s mum (aka. The gelfling mother) is visiting and Sammy wants to cook her dinner. She did come all the way from England after all. Probably got sick of making cups of tea for all those bloody Greeks and their running races. Anyway, dinner. And she would like a nice piece of salmon.

How to tackle this one?

I guess it’s like having a good time with a goat – so many ways to tackle it. Actually there’s probably only one way to tackle it sensibly, and I do believe that’s roughly from behind. A chicken on the other hand… well a chicken is a totally different story.


There is no way hommus should be reserved for a pack of crackers and a lonely night in watching Sleepless in Seattle (I think that will prove beyond a doubt how out of touch I am with the chick flick rom-com type scene) as you slowly over-season it with your tears…

Hommus is good shit. It deserves better than that.

Firstly, brush some pita bread with oil and sprinkle with za’atar, bake for 15 minutes at 180C or until crisp. Basic hommus consumption for beginners at it’s very finest. Try it on a burger with some za’atar, tomato, red onion and lettuce. Use it to garnish a piece of meat (no. I don’t think we could call it a garnish in that application…) because lets face it, it’s just a chickpea puree, albeit a damn tasty one. Fish and lamb are especially susceptible to the love of a good chickpea. And don’t be afraid to warm it up a little either. Back on the sandwich tip and you could make a nice marinated vege number on warm Turkish with some homemade pesto or red capsicum paste and… you guessed it … hommus! A-maz-ing.

For Sammy’s dinner I have combined the best of both worlds, which is really quite clever. Pat, pat, pat (that is either the sound of me patting myself on the back or the old lady at number 42 calling out to postman pat?).

2 180g-ish pieces of salmon, scaled and pin-boned
Lemon wedges
Hommus, recipe down there
Shepherds salad, recipe down there
Flat bread so you can mush everything onto and eat like a bruschetta
• Season your salmon on the skin side (this helps it get extra crisp), and cook it skin side down in an oiled non-stick pan. Once it starts to turn a lovely golden brown whack it in a pre-heated oven 180C for 4-5 minutes
• Take it out, turn the fillet over, rest for a minute and then plate up
• Put a bit of hommus down on the plate, fish on top of that, salad to the side, lemon on the side, sprinkle with sumac, serve flat bread separately

1 tomato
½ small cucumber, deseed
½ red capsicum
2 red radish
½ red onion
½ cup toasted walnuts
½ long red chilli, deseed
1 handful mint and parsley
1 handful cooked big cous-cous (or quinoa, burghul, freekah… any grain you like)
juice of half a lemon, olive oil and salt and pepper to dress
• Chop everything into evenly sized cubes
• Dress and eat… which is almost the same as your date on Friday night but I do believe that would be “un-dress and eat”.

2 cups cooked chickpeas
4 cloves garlic
2 Tbls tahini
¼ cup lemon juice
½ cup chopped parsley
¼ cup olive oil
½-1 cup water
• Blitz all except parsley and olive oil, adding a little extra water if needed to make a smooth puree
• Emulsify olive oil into mix
• Season and fold through chopped parsley

Gelflings exposed

Gelflings… the real story


People have been getting confused. Confused as to why I call Sammy a Gelfling. Well clearly it is because that is what she is.




So I am here to dispel a couple of myths about the myth that is the Gelfling.


  • Gelflings are neither gypsies, nor dwarves. Although small, and known to have gypsy-like characteristics (like theivery and tomfoolery), they are not related
  • A Gelfling is known from time to time to cut lose a wicked tune on his or her pan-pipe like flute type thing. I don’t know what this is called
  • They love to play pictionary, but don’t like to lose
  • They extend their families with others they grow a bond with. I don’t think this makes actual sense
  • Gelflings are vegetarian. Sammy has  a lot of meat cravings going on right now so there is a chance she could be booted out of Gelflingness by the Gelfling Grand Poobah (maybe she’s craving a different type of meat?). She raises her fist in defiance and challenges any Gelfling who is apposed to a sausage every now and then (once again not sure if we’re talking about the same thing).
  • Most Gelflings live in huts made of stone and other old school shite. They don’t have computers, TV or the 21st century, but they do have an awesome old three eyed old chick who does a random 3D cinema thing
  • They have strange looking pets. See photo above.
  • Most importantly, or touching or just whatever, Gelflings make friends for life, so if you are lucky enough to come across one you know she’ll be your friend forever. Awwwww…


And what have Gelflings brought to the table that is the world we live in today? Well that’s a toughie… I’m certainly offending Gelflings everywhere right now… I don’t know… cuteness? A job for pointy ear ear-muff factory workers?


That’s all I got…