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

King Prawns and Chorizo with Broad Beans and Apple Cider for the Anniversary

SAMSUNG CSC
For many of us gentlemen of the world the time will come that you have been with the lady of your dreams for that year marker, or possibly two, or even ten years, etc (or possibly just stuck in a shitty relationship that you have no hope of relinquishing any time soon). Whatever you may or may not think your lot in life denotes that the female of the relationship will know this date as “the anniversary” and as the male you will be required by law to acknowledge this. You will say some nice things, possibly buy her a nice gift and you need to cook her something a little special. This scenario is also perfectly relevant for the man who possibly hasn’t got “a bit” for a while… or a long while and you are gagging for it more than an inmate on a conjugal visit. Maybe you want to make something a little more appealing than your usual steak and chips or pasta carbonara or vegemite on toast or whatever it is you usually cook for dinner… or maybe you should just try changing the sheets on your bed. It is a good sign that your sheets need a wash when they follow you to the bathroom.

Just a little disclaimer before I go on; I don’t have any problems in the horizontal mambo department. My tackle is more sorted than a commercial fisherman and I am baited up and ready to go. I’m just trying to hook a brother up (pun intended). Not hook up with a brother though… that’s just not my styles.

Prawns and chorizo with broad beans (you gotta get some green things in there. Girls love their green things) is a pretty easy way to go about getting yourself some good points – yes, I would say even for you if you are still reading this blog. Team that with a few cracking but simple sides and you brother, are on a sure ticket to I-got-me-some-ville.

I feel I have made it very clear I am not in need of prescription help for my libido, but it was recently our wedding anniversary. I styled through the whole affair with this dish and Jennee followed up with a kick-ass black forest cake thing.

All in all, a great time was had by all, and we are definitely still well and truly in love. Awwwww.

What an effing good start
What an effing good start

SAMSUNG CSC

SAMSUNG CSC

Now get in my belly
Now get in my belly
And I shall wash it all down with this!
And I shall wash it all down with this!

PRAWNS & CHORIZO WITH BROAD BEANS & APPLE CIDER (for 2. If you are feeding more than one lover you need to be able to do the math)

8 large king prawns, peeled and deveined (leave the head on for sex appeal, maximum flavour and just so you can suck on it like a mongrel dog to really impress her)
200g chorizo sausage, sliced
1 cup broad beans, outer skins removed (frozen will work fine), blanched if fresh
1 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tomato, diced
¼ preserved lemon, skin only, super finely chopped
1 bottle decent apple cider that you would drink… mostly because we only need a splash so you will get to drink the remainder
A good handful of mint and parsley, picked and chopped
Olive oil

• Sauté chorizo in a splash of oil
• Once starting to release it’s flavoursome juices, add onion and garlic, sauté for another two minutes
• Add prawns and cook out for another minute
• Add broad beans, tomato, preserved lemon and a good splash of apple cider. Simmer for another minute or until prawns are cooked
• Season, garnish with chopped herbs and serve
• Don’t wear pants to the table as you will not be needing them tonight, my friend

ROMESCO SAUCE

Use this recipe

AIOLI

Take my mayonnaise recipe and add 2-3 cloves of crushed garlic to the recipe before you add the oil

GARLIC ROASTED POTATOES

Those potatoes were good
Those potatoes were good

Season your potatoes and roast in a good splash of olive oil. Just before they get crispy add a few cloves of smashed garlic. Smashed like a teenage kid at the post ball party. Finish roasting and there you have it; garlic-y potatoes

POLENTA CRUMBED ARTICHOKES AND BABY BROCCOLI

All crumbed up and ready to go. As you can probably see, the crumbing does not need to be perfect
All crumbed up and ready to go. As you can probably see, the crumbing does not need to be perfect

Toss artichoke hearts and blanched baby broccoli through an egg mix and then into polenta. Pan fry in 1cm oil until golden and crisp. Season, douse with lemon juice and serve

Prawn Cocktail for Australia Day

Hello little prawny
Hello little prawny

The Australia day prawn cocktail

 

Yesterday was Australia Day and I was damn well looking to impress last night… and by that I mean I thought I was looking damn handsome and would make myself a killer Australia Day prawn cocktail. What more could a man want? Maybe his darling wiffy? Well, she’ll be home tmoz so in the true spirit of everything Australia day is meant to be, I shall deal with it and make me a slap up feed for one…

 

I’ve made a bit of a mango ‘saw instead of the old iceberg lettuce scenario (so I guess it would be more apt if I called this “Prawns with mango ‘slaw”), even though I am not really a fan of mango in a savoury meal. But I thought to myself “shit Graz, let’s just give it a go”. And give it a go we did. And by crikey it worked! It was really good, especially graced with the presence of a pile of big fat fresh-as-fuck king prawns. I think the big thing here is you need to actually like mango at the start of the piece. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like it in savoury applications (as was the case with me. Give me green mango any day), you just NEED to like mango at the start. Don’t like mango? Don’t eat them… what are you? Simple?

 

Put the 'slaw into something that you can eat out of. I found this small enamel pot type thing and thought I would get all arty
Put the ‘slaw into something that you can eat out of. I found this small enamel pot type thing and thought I would get all arty
Put the prawns and sauce in there too
Put the prawns and sauce in there too
Mmmmm
Mmmmm

Prawns with mango ‘slaw (for just you)

A fat handful or two of the best cooked prawns you can lay yer hands on. Steal them if possible, this place was built on a solid foundation of convicts after all

2 cups shredded cabbage (mandolin, yeah), steal that too. And the rest of the stuff you need, actually

1 carrot, grated

1 mango, sliced

1 tablespoon pickled ginger, chopped

1 spring onion/shallot, sliced

a splash of lemon juice

seasoning

cocktail sauce (marie rose) to serve (recipe below)

  • Combine everything except prawns and cocktail sauce
  • Put the salad in something you can eat out of
  • Hit it with a couple of tablespoons of cocktail sauce
  • Give the prawns a nice home on top of the salad
  • I’m going to garnish it with a few extra sliced shallots/spring onions just because I’m pretty keen to impress myself enough to get me some tonight… there is definitely  something wrong with that sentence… although, I’m not sure what.
  • Serve with a lot of beer and you will defo be getting some tonight

 

Cocktail/marie rose sauce… my way

1 cup good mayonnaise

¼ cup tomato ketchup

a small pinch of saffron threads, steeped in a teaspoon of hot water for 10 minutes

a splash of Tabasco

a splash of Worcestershire sauce

a splash of brandy

seasoning

  • Mix it all up

300

300

“Give them nothing but take from them EVERYTHING!”… ummm, that may be the wrong 300. A fine moment for Gerard Butler though. A fine moment indeed.

And then I wake from my pseudo gay dream and realise I’m actually embarking on another brain to finger electromagnetic intercourse from me to you and it appears to be correspondence number 300. Once again via the keys with the letters written on them on my keyboard, a couple of clicks on the mouse that lives next door, and a short trip through the inter web super highway… and here I am. On your computer or phone or i-pad screen. But that is definitely not I in the bushes outside your bathroom window…

Since we have confirmed this is a celebratory 300 type thing, quickly go into your backyard and set off some of those illegal fireworks you got form Canberra this year. What? You were saving them for you next new years party? Are you effing kidding me? A new year comes around every year, this is a once in a life time 300th blog post. Go now… light the bloody fire works.

For blog post number 300 I shall be honouring the common man (and woman). The man (and woman… I’m not going to keep doing this but you get the picture, right) with a simple palate and a true love for food; whether it be basic or complex, cost 5 bucks or 100 of the Queens real dollars, prime wagyu beef or Asian stir fried dog. We are honouring the man who loves to eat food. He eats a meal and you know he loves it without him needing to say a word. He choses his adjectives wisely, using terms like “bloody marvellous”, “aww mate, that’s fantastic” and “restaurant quality”. His vocabulary has been cast by the harsh Australian climate and his demeanour mellowed by the bush sun… and by Christ he has seen it all. From droughts to floods to open fields to walls of cities being built up around him… Eff me. I think I may have got this post confused with my Banjo Paterson Creative Writing Class paper that is due this week.

Inadvertently, this has become an ode to my father-in-law Dr Chris (not an actual doctor, but I’m sure he will take a look for you) and all of those out there that are like him. A man who loves to eat, nay LIVES to eat, and occasionally has a go at cooking a cracking meal himself (lambs fry and bacon or corned beef fritters are his specialty). The king of dad jokes and a man who is quite happy to bring the house down as he cracks up laughing at them. He has been suggesting for a while now that some of his food should be up on your computer screen right now (which is quite possibly better then his food being high lighted on your TV screen this evening in a Today Tonight expose) and today I’m going to have to agree, so this is his moment.

Here you go Chris, don’t expect a birthday present this year…

Dr Chris’s seafood cookup of awesomeness. This shit deserves it’s own facebook page.

local snapper baked with lemon and tomato, salt and pepper squid, local king prawns, sweet potato chips for the next millenium, salad, tartare and marie rose sauce. This is not a joke!
local snapper baked with lemon and tomato, salt and pepper squid, local king prawns, sweet potato chips for the next millenium, salad, tartare and marie rose sauce. This is not a joke!

 

snapper
snapper

I did send some pics to the family, as we do around these parts, and all I got in reply is this simple message from Queenie, “Shit. The most I ever got was lambs fry and bacon!”

Suck balls Queenie!!

PS. I do realise that I snuck a dodgy little 300 post in earlier today but it was early and I wasn’t thinking clearly. This is the official foodisthebestshitever 300 post K? K.

galangal… a striking root that shoots underground… and the hot and sour soup I made with it

There was a good looking girl. And when I say good looking girl, I mean she was a GREAT looking girl. Damn hot. She had looks and she knew how to use them. You know the type of girl, eh? And she loved guns. A damn good looking girl who loves guns, and… puts out. Yep. Conforms to your dirtiest of needs. And did I mention she likes to shoot guns? Yep. But the weird thing is (apart from this whole speil), she’ll only fire a weapon underground. In the sewer n shite. Weird… her name is… Galangal

Galangal is a rhizome, a striking root that shoots underground (yeah, that’s right. A striking root that shoots underground. How cool is that?), just like ginger or tumeric. If you can’t find fresh galangal you should try harder. Someone will get it for you. It’s worth the effort.

HOT AND SOUR SOUP with prawns and stuff (for 4)

1lt chicken stock

500ml tamarind water

1 thumb sized knob of galangal, sliced into 5-6 pieces

1 stalk lemongrass, bruised in a bar fight

2-3 long red chillis, deseed, slice

1-2 scud or birds eye chillis if you want to spice it up a bit

5 kaffir lime leaf*

¼ lemon, diced small, flesh and peel and all

3-4 tbls fish sauce

16 king prawns, peel and de-vein, keep heads

2-3 bunches asian greens, chopped, dredged in cold water to remove grit

1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved

4-5 fresh shitake mushrooms**, quartered through the middle

2 shallots, sliced

2 limes

  • Make a broth with the chicken stock, tamarind water, galangal, lemongrass, chilli, kaffir leaf and prawn heads. Simmer for 10-15 minutes
  • Strain it if you would like to be refined or don’t if you don’t want to I guess
  • Put back onto a heat and add all other ingredients except shallots and lime juice. Simmer 5 minutes
  • Check seasoning. Add a little more fish sauce if needed. It should be hot and sour and a little bit salty… and really tasty
  • Add the shallots and lime juice for that final I’m-sexy-and-I-know-it goodness

*kaffir lime leaf. Essential in Thai cooking. If you can’t find these you should stop this recipe now.

**shitake mushrooms. You can find them. Someone will get them for you. Let’s not go through this again