Jungle curry goat

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Jungle curry goat…

Good enough to make me gloat

Hot enough to take you by the throat

Definitely worth more than a single groat

(Is this what my life has become?) And that shall be the jingle for my new goat curry café. Or maybe it won’t be. In any case I’d need to get a goat curry café to warrant making up a jingle and I don’t see that happening any time soon. Granted I am not Nostradamus but still, it just doesn’t appear on the horizon for me.

Something that is quite literally on the horizon at the moment is a cracking afternoon sky. I’m basking in the warm glow of my first glass of really old grape juice (doesn’t sound so sexy now, eh) and preparing the evening meal.

This is holiday life for me. Hash tag that shit!

After the cracking lunch we had at Spirit House a couple of days back Jennee really wanted “something spicy, Thai and exotic”. Now, for Jennee to say that to me was a pretty brave move, and I do feel I really should’ve taken it a lot further then I did, but you know what? Sometimes I am just a genuinely nice guy, so jungle curry of goat it was!

The paste
The paste
Mmmm, jungle curry
Mmmm, jungle curry
Still mmmmm
Still mmmmm
The kitchen in the cottage/house/place to be on holidays in
The kitchen in the cottage/house/place to be on holidays in

JUNGLE CURRY OF GOAT

1-1.5kg piece of goat leg or shoulder, bone in for extra flavour, cut into 4-5 pieces on the bandsaw (your butcher will do this for you unless he is an absolute prick, in which case why the hell are you still using him???)

250g green beans or snake beans if you can get them, prepped into edible sized pieces

2 tomatoes, cut into wedges

2 tablespoons sugar. Castor will do if you don’t have palm sugar

2 cups stock

2 tablespoon tamarind pulp

1 tablespoon fish sauce, plus a little more if needed

4 kaffir lime leaf

1 lime for that final pornographic flourish

Red onion, pickled cucumber and steamed rice to serve

  • Cook off the goat with the curry paste in a pot or large pan over a medium heat
  • Once it starts to smell lovely and aromatic (like your best friends mums undies) add sugar and cook for a minute or two until it starts to caramelise. Add stock, tamarind, fish sauce and kaffir leaf and cover. Simmer over low heat for probs 2 hours, maybe a little more if it’s not doing its thing. Give it a stir every 20 minutes. If it starts to thicken up too much add a splash of water, we’re going to sort this baby out at the end
  • After two hours check if the meat is tender. You can do this by poking it with your finger or a stick. If it is ready it will yield quite easily
  • Remove the lid and simmer down until almost at desired consistency (I suggest a slightly thick gravy), add beans and tomatoes and simmer for another 10 minutes
  • Get that puppy on the table, top with some thinly sliced red onion and have the other garnishes on the side
  • Write a poem about how much you like to gloat when you cook goat because it really floats your boat… or probably don’t

 

PASTE

1 brown onion, diced

3 long green chilli, sliced

3 dried long red chilli

1 tablespoon grated ginger

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 stalk lemongrass, sliced, white part only

1 bunch coriander, roots and stems washed and chopped for paste. Leaves reserved for garnish

1 teaspoon white peppercorns, pounded in a mortar

A splash of oil to get the party started… Friday night styles… in the back garage… hmmm

  • Blitz everything for the paste until it is a paste like consistency

The crepe crusader

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The crepe crusader

Sails Cafe, Margaret River.

Don’t tell anyone but I’m thinking about ordering the crepe for breakfast. And yes, apparently they do make crepes for men now.

The crepe. It sounds like something with a frilly edge that you might place your cutlery on. Or maybe something crocheted to put on your toilet seat…

And here I am. Sitting here, looking at a menu and contemplating ordering it.

All my fave combos were there; nasi goreng, crab omelette, chorizo baked eggs… But I just keep looking back at the crepe. I realise a lot is at stake. I’m not just contemplating breakfast here. Now it’s personal. Sexual. I’m about to cast a deciding vote for the sexuality of the big bearded (yes I am both big and bearded… And quite tall too. Bahaha ha haha ha hmmmm) men every where. Can I do what I have to do? Am I strong enough? Yes! Well grease me up then woman, cause nothing goes faster then a greased big bearded man.

It’s done.

Like waiting for the results of a gonorrhea test, all I can do is bide my time. The outcome will soon be realised…

With fan fare not totally dissimilar to the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, the crepe arrives.

Man, if this crepe was thinner it would have won for sure. But instead it leaves me yearning, knowing the dizzying heights it could have achieved. Like the married woman waiting for an orgasm I am left with a not deeply satisfied feeling in my belly, lying in a wet patch… Maybe without the wet patch…

But why the hell am I so keen to see the crepe succeed? When did I decide to become a crepe crusader? Who fucking knows?

After further investigation I deem the sensible part of my brain was on its lunch break… Or morning tea, or afternoon tea, or maybe one of the 20 smoko breaks is has a day… Come to think of it, I reckon it’s on break more then it works. That’s it, I’m getting rid of it! So anyway it was on its break (now a permenant holiday) and it came back to discover that we had decided that we were now crusaders for the plight of the crepe.

I know. WTF?

Well it could certainly be worse…

Crepe (or pancake it seems) with ham and local cheddar and potato salad

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Paul’s Caul, typos and all… and more photos to boot! Holidayfoodisthebestshitever (part 2)

So three days have passed since my last post and many meals have occurred, we have left no stone unturned, we listened to our friend’s advice, local’s insider knowledge and even just took a punt. I must admit the kind of place we didn’t try was a cheap place as my bank account will attest too.

I like to live my life with balance now-a-days as for many years I (in the words of Anthony Bourdain) treated my body like an amusement park, so to even up the scales I thought it only right that for the next 20 years I give the body/mind a little rest. That being said my version of treating my body well is not quite the same as say a monk or anyone that actually means what they are saying. My definition pretty much means no drugs, other than that simple rule the rest is up for grabs.

So what I do for balance is get up and go for a nice run or train in the gym, followed by a nice swim and coffee in the sun, all sounding grand so far, healthy even, hang on… then the days eating begins with a breaky (photo attached) cooked by Suzie (my bbq) and more delicious black coffee. The breaky seemed to consist of a little something different every day, in fact it was like one of those memory games you play as a kid where you have a tray of items then you cover it with a t-towel and they take something off, then show it to you again and you have to remember. If you have never played this game you may be thinking I’m a little mental, but at least my parents played with me and not in I will need therapy kind of way. Back to the breaky game, yeah each day we would always have hash browns and eggs but that was the only consistent, bacon, snags, black pudding, spinach all seemed to appear and disappear with no reason, I guess we’ll never know, or care ☺

Wow I just bored myself with that tale of breaky madness, so let’s move right along, next on the days balance scale is lunch and whilst we’ve been away this has been the main attraction of the day, generally 3 courses with at least 1 bottle of wine. So I reckon by this point the balance is already tipping into I’m a fat bastard who just happens to run in the morning side of things.

On Monday we went to Knee Deep Winery for the ‘trust the chef’ lunch I’m very familiar with this concept as it was the focal point of most of the pick up lines circa 2000, and I reckon Knee Deep probably has a lot more satisfied punters as what they do is very good, and what I did… well lets just leave that one alone. They have what I call good honest food, food you’d let baby sit your kids, you understand the menu which is always a good thing now-a-days, but it is all crafted with love, my favourite dish was a ‘pea veloute, brioche crumbs, Persian feta’ simple yet balanced and morish. But the ‘cone bay barra, homemade cheese’ was great and the homage to the lamb roast (photo attached) was close to being exquisite, it looked good, the cauli cheese was banging, the lamb & potato pave was a cracker but I think they used gravy instead of jus for the truffle sauce and it just took away from such a great dish, shame! They had a dessert and another dish both weren’t memorable for me to remember in this big week of eating but they where tasty.

That night to once again appease the gods of balance, we made hotdogs and god damn they where incredible!!! (sorry no photo we where to busy putting sausages in our mouths, then we had hotdogs… ah thankyou)

Tuesday morning was the same again, train, coffee, eat then get in car and drive… this day we hit up Gabriel chocolate a place which make single origin bean to bar chocolate, I was in heaven as they had the tastiest cacao nibs I’ve ever had and dark choc up to 99% (unheard of) definitely worth a visit. Then we went to the caves for the touristy part of the day, quick overview… caves good. Bogans on tour with you, shit house.

Vasse Felix was our lunch du jour and it had come highly recommended by well just about everyone, and with expectation that high it was going to be hard to live up to. But it really was high quality food, the menu read beautifully and our entrée where a triumph although Laurens picked a better dish, this is a rare occurrence so lets take a minute to say… “well played Lauren” the dish was ‘cured torched kingfish, smoked eel sushi’ (picture attached) it was incredible to look at, smell and thankfully to eat. Mains was a different story my pork belly kicked her gnocchi’s arse (yes I am competitive) in fact I tried to savour the dish but it took less then 4 minutes for me to clear my plate (photo’s attached)… his food was all well executed and cooked to perfection but it was a little to pretty at times, I prefer my flowers on the table not the plate, but that’s just me.

Today was started with a magnificent 2 and a half hour hike around the cape, then we decided to listen to a local who said that Cullen Wines had a great restaurant that only used its own vegetables from its garden, sounds great yeah? Well it really wasn’t, I decided to order completely vego in keeping with the concept, this was a first for me! We both ordered ‘goats cheese soufflé with baby peas, rocket and pesto’ it was a twice cooked soufflé which was the first surprise then as I was getting over that I took a bite of the peas in the rocket pesto and holy fkn Christ that shit was the most bitter chemical tasting shit I have ever eaten, so I happily ate around it and when they cleared the table I politely told them I think someone may of added the wrong ingredient to that pesto as it was inedible… they went of to the kitchen to find out and came back with this answer “it was rocket picked fresh from garden this morning, and that’s what rocket tastes like”… no it fucking doesn’t you bunch of organic hippy twats, that’s what fkn soap tastes like not rocket, I couldn’t give a flying turd whether it was picked this morning or if you haven’t washed for so long that it grew out of your fucking ears… now that is what I wanted to say, what I said was “thanks it must just be our palate” I literally have no balls ☺ my main was a couple of slices of shitty haloumi with some veg (sound boring as shit, well it was) Lauren had some tasty prawns which where meant to come in a creamy coconut curry, well unless organic coconuts are red then I reckon it was tomato kasaundi most likely made by Goan cuisine, hence why it actually tasted good. So as you can see I don’t recommend that place.

With less then a day left of this amazing holiday, I can’t help but think that food is what drives me, food is what makes me happy and getting to share that with someone else just punctuates the point that foodisthebestshitever!!!!

Paul’s Caul, typos and all… Holidayfoodisthebestshitever part 1

Holidayfoodisthebestshitever (part 1)

It’s been way too long since I’ve been on a proper holiday… proper holiday? You ask, what is this proper holiday you speak of. Well for me it’s not a real holiday if you’re going somewhere to catch up with heaps of people you already know, it’s the anonymity that I love on a holiday, and of course it the food that you eat, that can make or break your experience. Lack of sex, bad accommodation and being locked in a foreign jail are also things that can effect a holiday, but I still think food is at the top.

As I’m extremely lucky to have a girl that love’s food as much as me (by that I literally mean that she love’s food as much or more then actually loving me J ), our holiday pretty much revolves around our next meal. Lauren (this is what I call her, as it is her name) and I packed our car on Friday morning, well I packed it as she did… to be honest I have no idea what she achieved whilst I loaded bag after bag into my car. But regardless of who did what, I looked at my car that resembled a car that was about to make a trip across Australia, when in fact we where only driving 3 hours to a 5 star resort in Bunker Bay.

But I had a plan and in the words of Baldrick “a VERY cunning plan indeed” my idea was to bring lots of food down with me, as well as my latest buy a brand new Webber Q (a beautiful bit of equipment I’ve named Suzie) so being the anal chef that I am (lets all get our minds out of the gutter) I obviously had to bring my own salt, oil, t-towels, tongs, fish slice, two eskies full of meats and seafood… we’re talking sausages from two different butchers, kranski, Cumberland, black pudding and chorizo from Dubrovnik’s and hot Italian from princi’s, t-bones, lamb chops, scallops, prawns and free range bacon. The concept was to cook a grand breaky in our studio apartment every morning then go visit the local wineries and restaurants for opulent lunches then get back to the serenity of our resort to drink much wine, eat grilled goodness and well the rest isn’t for public consumption.

Good plan, nay great plan but then of course me being me thought I’d better include coffee making into my arrangements, so I packed coffee grinder and cafeteria and foolishly sent Lauren over the road to get coffee. What happened next is one of the worst things to happen on this holiday so far, if I wasn’t such a fair and reasonable man then young Lauren would be walking home. Long story short she bought decaf beans and we didn’t realise till I went to make a coffee, which at the time was very well needed. I know it was a terrible as it sounds, who on earth wants decaf coffee? fkn weirdos that’s who! And I am certainly not one of them.

But this crisis averted we have already managed to eat out 3 times in two days, the first was a nice organic café (liars) in Dunsborough where they did produce tasty food but insisted on lying about the organic nature of their food and the homemadeness of their hollandaise, but they where hippies so my fault I guess for trusting them.

The next meal was a 3 course meal at the Bunker Bay resort, the menu read extremely well and the food was cooked reasonably well, but it was lacking a certain something and although Laurens ‘cauli & blue cheese gnocchi’ was alright it was not suberb and  the same goes for my ‘pork belly with eggplant 3 ways’ could of definitely made some thing rude out of the name 😉 , then mains where ‘venison on a beetroot and barley risotto, brussel sprouts’ and my ‘4day marinaded beef cheeks, truffle mash, baby veg’ now for fuck sakes people and by people I mean chef’s, please just engage your imagination just a little and put on a twist on these magnificent classic’s instead of leaving me feel like I have either just eaten in a tafe restaurant or stepped foot out a a tardis or delorian. Dessert had one saving grace a stunning basil and raspberry parfait served with a choc fondant… which was the polar opposite to the flavourless almond tart with dates that I foolishly ordered. All in all I had a great dinner but nothing special when all the ingredients where there

Then after a 2 hour hike on Saturday morning we walked into a small café called ‘Bunkers’ I had been here many years ago and had heard good things about it since, but I have a sneaky suspicion they have heard good things about them selves and act like they are exceptional, and well they just ain’t… I had a taste plate which read really well (hence me ordering it) but when you think so highly of a blue cheese that you place in by its self on an entree taste plate then at least get it to room temp so people can taste it, but their ‘dates stuffed with ricotta, white anchovy and stewed rhubarb’ was surprisly good, it reads like a god damn train wreck of a dish but it worked (rhubarb most likely didn’t need to be there) and Lauren had the best fish and chips she’d had in ages ‘battered garfish & chips with aioli’… chuck in a couple of poorly made long mac’s and that was Saturday lunch.

It’s now Sunday morning and I’m about to go for a walk whilst Lauren is going for a long horse ride along the beach (sounds awful but she seems to like it) and tonight its going to be t-bones with broccolini, local cheese and a bottle of Hensche Hill Of Grace to drink… good times me thinks J

 

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That’s Suzie-Q and the other pic is Pauly looking good in the pool. You pick which is which… G