Lamb loin chops because the fam is away

Lamb loin chops because the fam is away

Fry fry
Fry fry

So I have a bit of a ritual. I know you’re thinking surely not Grazza, but yes, I have a ritual… and it goes a little like this; once a month or so Jennee takes the boys on a drive up the coast to visit her sister in Brisbane, aka Brisvegas. When this happens I go up to Scotty the butcher, grab myself a few lamb chops, pop next door to George’s shop, grab myself some beer and maybe a bottle of wine if I think my morning can deal with it, and then I drink and cook myself up a dinner of lamby choppy goodness… mostly because Jennee really doesn’t like chops (unless they’re mutton chops. Elvis style)… and it is usually consumed around 9pm (which is well past my bed time on a school night).

Now today (which is now yesterday. Crazy I know but that’s what we can do with technology these days) Jennee took the boys up the coast to visit her sister but, in possibly a fleeting moment’s thought, I decided I was going to venture up the road to the mobile woodfired pizza joint that frequents this area every Friday night (you will hear more about this place in a future foodisthebestshitever) and get myself a pizza dinner, but then… I got talking to my friend and fellow chef Matt over a quiet beer and he happened to mention (by the power of grey skull and the universe and whatever) that he was cooking lamb chops for dinner. Well I tell you now that was it. I jumped straight into my carnie-drawn cart and trotted straight up to our local butcheria. I announced myself as a paying customer and said to little Scotty (there are two Scotties at the butcher. One is called “Scotty” and the other is called “Little Scotty”) “Do you have lamb chops left my good man?” to which he replied, “I have three left, will that do you?” “Jolly good”, I said, “bag them up good fellow”. He chucked them into a bag for me, I paid him his due repentance and then back home it was for me. Which is where I find myself now… getting ready to cook some lamb… it may not be quite 9 o’clock yet but I am truly excited…

In the words of the late, great Ramones, Let’s go!

All you need to get going. Well, that and the vegetables and stuff... and beer... and wine
All you need to get going. Well, that and the vegetables and stuff… and beer… and wine
Fry fry
Fry fry
Even though you are eating by yourself, serve the sauce in a gravy boat... just so you know you are the boss
Even though you are eating by yourself, serve the sauce in a gravy boat… just so you know you are the boss

LAMB CHOPS FOR ONE LONELY MAN (who is hungry)

3 lamb chops, chump or loin are good for me

1 sprig rosemary

1 sprig oregano

2 cloves garlic

some chilli if you like chilli… I like chilli

half a lemon

olive oil

seasoning (that’s salt and pepper yeah)

a splash of red wine (I knew there was a reason I got that too) to deglaze the pan

  • Marinate the lamb with all of the goodies above
  • Cook the lamb how you cook lamb chops. If you are a bad person you will slaughter them with loads of time in the pan and then eat them straight away. If you are a child of god you will give them a couple of minutes either side and then rest them in the pan off the heat… if you are a child of god…
  • When you are ready to serve (after a good 5 minute R’n’R break for you and the chops) remove chops from the pan and administer some more flame. Deglaze the pan with that red wine you’ve been saving for the next papal visit and reduce to a saucy trollop… err, consistency
  • Serve. Sauce on top, sautéed veg on the side

SAUTEED POTATO, ZUCCHINI, OLIVE AND FETA

3-4 small potatoes, boiled until just cooked and then sliced

½ zucchini, sliced

a handful of olives that you like

a small chunk of good feta

oil to cook it in. Duck fat would be a good substitute

  • Sauté the potatoes and zucchini over a medium heat
  • When browned and sexy looking (not too sexy looking. They’re never going to be a Princess Leia, or maybe more recently, a Queen Amidala) combine with the feta and olives and maybe a bit of parsley if you have some, and make it look sexy (you know the drill) on the plate… or the floor. Depending on how you roll
  • Don’t go to hard on the salt in here because it’s going to get olives and feta remember. Olives and feta… salty products… they will help to season the dish… bah
  • Add the lamb and you have yourself a meal
  • Well done

… and here’s me just chillin’ by myself. Sometimes no matter how much lamb you eat it’s just not a worthy substitute for a good family.

Mondays ain’t so bad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toasting marshmallows on the fire with the boys and having a cheeky beer or three is definitely not a bad way to spend a Monday afternoon. I think that’s all I’ve got right now…

Actually… In a food related story I did make a mongrel crossbreed moussaka for dinner. Sweet potato, zucchini, lentils, anchovies, and a garlicky oregano-y tomato sauce. And that is most of the correlation it has to actual moussaka. That and the bechamel sauce. *Just a little side point about food with bechamel sauce eg. lasagna, moussaka, and anything else you want to bake with this creamy beauty; bake it until it’s golden brown and crusty and sauce is bubbling up from the sides of the dish. That’s what makes it taste soooo damn good.

Damn yeah it did taste good.

 

 

 

 

 

Paul’s Caul… Soups in all their wonder

People say our eyes are the windows to our souls, but then these same ridiculous people say “deodorant isn’t for me, I just use petuli oil” yeah you guessed it, they are hippies and yes you’re right again they stink and I do not like them or their passive aggressive ways. But regardless of these strange MC Hammer wearing pants, one massive tread wrapped around their foul smelling head, yet still driving the worst polluting cars on the road whilst banging on about Ningaloo reef, faux eco warriors… anyway I digress, I feel there is a few ways of judging people regardless of their eye windows, the first is to stalk them on Facebook or stalk them the old fashioned ways (the second is illegal, in fact the first may also be illegal, I must look into that) another way is as follows…

Soups to me tell you a lot about a chef/person, they are in their essence very easy but like anything it is all about the final few tweaks and the amount of love that has gone into them which will make a good soup great. What they don’t tell you about the chef is whether he/she has a beard or if they own a large comic book collection, but since non of this matters in the big scheme of things I guess a good soup is all we want to know about. But just to clarify the comic book collection thing, by large comic book collection I do not mean someone who owns gigantic comic books, I mean someone with many normal sized books… glad we sorted that out.

Soups come in many forms from broths, consommé’s to puree’s… personally I love pureed soups they just have such a warmth about them, not only the warmth you get from eating them, or the warmth you get from dropping a small amount on your naked genitals (this is how much I love soup, commando souping is what this fetish is called…FACT!!) but I truly love the whole process of making them. So I will from this point, be banging on about pureed soups just incase you get confused, if you don’t care for pureed soups then you can take your chunk loving self and leave…

If you have ever been to any of my restaurants then you would know that every customer got a small cup of soup upon arrival, generally it wasn’t given to you as you parked your car or entered the room but it was provided sharpish, this was as much to let people know that I welcome them with open arms as it was to allow people to begin to trust me as a chef. Also it did help sell shit loads of soup and helped my food costs J

As previously stated soups are simple and can be remarkable cheap but in both cases there is no need to either put no love in the soup or use old veg that is nearly off, because in both cases you will end up with a pot of dirty vegetable water… and no one wants that!

I will give you a quick overview of the soup making process then I will give you a few recipes, I would like to think that after reading the overview you would not need the recipes. But just incase you are special and by special I actually mean that you have less commonsense then a shrillex fan (he’s a weirdo that plays shite music) I will give them to you anyway, because I’m nothing if not cautious.

• To start making any soup I slice up onion and celery and start to sauté them off in a little oil and a little butter, not forgetting a little salt to help them on their way…
• At this point if I was going to add some flavouring like garlic, bacon, woody herbs, spices or anchovies etc then I would do so now to allow them to cook of a little before the pan filled too much…
• Next I choose a star of the show it may be zucchini, sweet potato, eggplant, leek, potato the list is endless… but what you should then think about is can you make the product tastier before adding it to the pot. (What do I mean by this, simply if it’s a root vegetable maybe roast it in some honey or herbs, if its leeks caramelize them, add love where ever you can)…
• Then add your star to the onion and celery mix, now add liquid this can be a stock (chicken, fish, beef or veg) or it could be wine or port or all of the above, sometimes I even use fruit juice to add a little sweetness and flavour…
• You generally need the liquid to just cover your vegetables, now simmer your soup until the vegetables are completely soft…
• Blend your soup either with a stick blender or bit by bit in a normal blender…
• Add this point check seasoning I really prefer to use salt and white pepper in my soup I find the white pepper has a better roundness…
• Next some people strain the soup and add a little cream, maybe even chop some fresh leafy herbs up and mix through the soup, its now your soup so do what you feel best and then you’ve created something that is yours…

Zucchini, bacon, corn & caraway
2 onions sliced
2 sticks of celery sliced
2 rashers of bacon sliced
3 cobs of corn, stripped of all kernels and centers disguarded
3 zucchini’s chopped into cubes
1 large potato chopped into cubes
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
2 tablespoons of fresh chopped rosemary
2 litres chicken stock
50g butter
50ml olive oil
Salt
White pepper
• Place butter, oil in a medium sized pan, add onions and celery with a pinch of salt and cook until translucent…
• Add bacon, caraway seeds and rosemary and cook for 5 minutes until they get a little colour…
• Add corn, zucchini, potato and stock, simmer for an hour or until the vegetables are soft…
• Blend with stick blender and check seasoning, then pass through strainer…
• Serve immediately with heaps of crusty bread and butter.

Roast red capsicum, paprika and fennel seed
2 onions peeled and sliced
2 sticks celery sliced
4 large red capsicums, roasted and skin and seeds removed
6 large tomatoes roasted
1 cup red wine
2 litres veg/chicken stock
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
2 tablespoon picante Spanish paprika (the good stuff)
White pepper
Salt
50ml olive oil
• To roast the capsicum rub with oil and salt and roast in oven on a tray for 30 minutes on high heat turning every ten minutes, do this until the skin goes nearly black, remove from oven place in a bowl and cover with glad wrap. When cooled peel off skin and remove seed, this should be very easy and can be done with hands. (if you have gas burners you can blacken the capsicums straight on the flame then place in bowl with glad wrap and do same process, this will leave you with a firmer product if you needed it for something other then soup)
• To roast the tomatoes rub with olive oil and salt and roast on tray in a hot oven for 15-30 or until they start to blister and collapse
• Now fry off your onions, celery and fennel seeds in a little oil and salt until they go translucent…
• Add in capsicum, tomatoes, paprika and red wine then reduce for 2 minutes…
• Add stock and simmer for 30 minutes then blend with a stick blender, strain and season…
• Serve immediately with a splash of extra virgin olive oil and crusty bread.

Creamy parsnip & blue cheese
2 large onions peeled and sliced
2 sticks celery sliced
4 cloves garlic peeled and sliced
6 parsnips peeled and sliced
2 large potatoes peeled and sliced
1.5 litre veg/chicken stock
500ml milk
600ml pouring cream
100g blue cheese (any will do)
White pepper
Salt
50ml olive oil
50g butter
• Fry off onions, celery and garlic in the oil and butter with a little salt until they are translucent…
• Add in the parsnip, potato, stock and milk…
• Simmer for 30 minutes or until all veg is tender…
• Add the cream and half of the cheese, blend with stick blender, strain and season…
• Serve immediately with a small amount of flaked blue cheese on the top.

There you go, lots of soups to help you on your way… your welcome J