Wednesday, June 16, 2010
I love sitting outdoors in the warm winter sun. I love it more when there's food to accompany the view as well. Sydney is one of the most beautiful cities I've seen. The Sydney Harbour bridge provides a fitting backdrop to a late afternoon tea with freshly-made cookies in my local park. The air is crisp but the sun is warm, a perfect winter's day.
I love nutty cookies. I have made these particular cookies many times, using different nuts or combinations thereof. I've used pecan nuts for this batch but have also previously used almonds. Walnuts, hazelnuts or even various mixed nuts would go just as well too. I have topped each pecan nut cookie with an almond here as my husband really loves them.
These cookies are great with tea or coffee or even on their own. A light dusting of icing sugar creates the prefect balance between sweet and nutty.
You can whip up a batch in ten minutes and with only ten minutes baking time, there's no excuse not to have cookies with tea!
You will need:
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Curry used to be synonymous with daily life when I was growing up. Almost anything could be turned into a curry. From canned pilchards to bananas and from jackfruit to baked beans. If it had an oil base, involved the use of Indian spices and was aromatic, the suffix "curry" was added to it! It's needless to say that the fragrant smell of curry would often waft through our house. Guests would often arrive being greeted by these aromas, a great way to whet your appetite.
This particular curry was inspired by a recent trip to my local Malaysian restaurant, "The Drunken Geisha" in Pyrmont, Sydney. (Yes, it's Malaysian not Japanese). Their chicken curry which was served with fresh roti canai was arguably the best I've ever eaten. There was a huge blend of spices evident in the curry. Aniseed, cinnamon and coconut were very apparent. I researched recipes online for Kari Ayam and found that there were various kinds of Malaysian chicken curry. My version uses the basic essential ingredients, lemongrass, a lot less oil and some coconut milk.
The result was a spicy and delicous curry. I would have loved to have eaten it with fresh roti canai but have opted for rice here instead as the easier option.
I have used numerous spices in this recipe, probably the most essential are cinnamon, aniseed and curry leaves. Try to use fresh curry leaves if you can, it does make a huge difference to using the dried version.
You will need:
Friday, June 4, 2010
There's a certain vegetable that always calls out to me in the greengrocer. Its' shiny aubergine skin tempting me to pick it up and say, "This one's coming home with me!" I simply can't resist buying eggplants. One or two always seem to end up in my shopping basket.
My use of this unusual vegetable over the years has changed just as much as I've changed the name I call it. I used to call them aubergines in England, melitzana in Greece and brinjals in South Africa. From making brinjal curry in Durban, to moussaka in Athens and now to melanzane parmigiana in Sydney!
I loved ordering this vegetarian dish in Italian restaurants so much that I decided that I had to learn how to make it myself. It's basically layers of grilled or fried aubergine slices, tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and parmesan. It's then baked for about half an hour and best eaten hot with crusty bread and a salad or olives on the side.