February 27, 2012
I feel like I haven't posted a recipe in AGES! Kinda shows you how much cooking that I've been proud of lately, lol.
Anyway, I had some tofu left over from a fried noodle attempt - I simply cannot fry noodles properly, I don't know why - and I decided to have it over rice for lunch today!
Feeling thoroughly inspired by the Korean cooking class that I attended - thank you Korean Cultural Office! - I thought that I could probably do something similar with tofu that I can do with the chicken. So I present to you:
Korean Style Tofu on Rice
Preparation: 5-10 min
Cooking: 10 min
For the sauce:
2 cloves Garlic
2-3 tbsp Light Soy Sauce
2-3 tbsp Glucose
2 tbsp Rice Vinegar
1-2 tsp Kochukaru (Korean Chilli Flakes)
1-2 tsp sesame seed oil
Thinly sliced spring onion
Cut up the tofu into bite sized pieces. I happen to have mine cut on the small side because it was originally for fried noodles, but feel free to have it in as large or as little a piece as you'd like. Then set it in a single layer on some paper towel to drain.
Next, lightly oil a pan and give the tofu a light fry, just till it's golden brown.
To make the sauce:
Heat the sesame seed oil in a pan over medium heat. Lightly fry off the garlic. It's to get rid of the rawness, but the garlic should not be browned! Add the rest of the ingredients, in no particular order, and reduce the sauce till slightly thickened. The sauce will thicken slightly upon standing, so the way I look at it is to cook the sauce down till you can "draw lines" on the pan with a wooden chopstick.
And you're all ready! Just cook some rice and pile on the tofu, and drizzle with the sauce. Top with finely sliced spring onion and serve.
This is an extremely quick and easy recipe using pantry ingredients, assuming that you have a relatively Asian pantry. Great for a quick, light lunch and a fantastic vegetarian option. If you prefer slightly crispier tofu, skip the draining process and coat in sweet potato flour before frying.
Definitely one of my comfort foods. How about you? What are your favourite comfort foods?
February 25, 2012
February 20, 2012
Late last year, Sean and I bought a $99 picnic hamper for two off Cudo. I've always said that I was a "simulated outdoors" kind of person - I like the idea of the outdoors, like dining al fresco, but I don't actually like being outdoors.
So this was perfect for us! With the ability to pick where we choose to picnic - the simulated outdoors of course - and getting "gourmet" choices, it's a win-win situation!
Sean very nicely organized all the transport for the day. I have an idea of where I'd like the day to go, and Sean gets me there! Great partnership model.
A drive and a ferry ride later, Sean's very considerately checking out the map so that we hit all the interesting bits and don't get lost.
Meanwhile, I collect our very cute looking picnic basket from Toast Food!
Although I was chomping at the bit to get at the food, Sean insisted that we take the audio tour (also included with the package) before we settle down for lunch. The outdoor bit of my simulated outdoors I guess!
I'm really glad that we did go, though. As a person who likes crafty things, I couldn't resist taking a photo of this:
A sort-of mural made out of coloured cups!!! So cute. I feel like it's a great take on the different kind of murals that you can create.
There was also a lot of history learning that day, but since you're reading a food blog, I know you'd much prefer to hear about the food!
The picnic basket didn't have anything particularly unusual, but was definitely an integral part of the whole experience. Somehow, cold sandwiches and bottles of water just doesn't seem to fit in with the whole landscape and atmosphere. Was it yummy? Definitely. Sean really went at the cheese platter and the prosciutto was greatly (and sincerely) complimented by the soft, fragrant bread.
But the big question is: Was it worth the $99? Well, considering that the whole package included the audio tour and the food, it was a relatively good deal. It isn't quite like some of the other vouchers in terms of its "SCORE factor" - the feeling of "Score! Win!" - but it was still a great day out.
We ate at:
Port Jackson NSW 2090
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February 16, 2012
Most people who know me know that I have a thing for butter, or any diary product. Which is why I was especially excited when - after the Master the Mousse Class with Homemade Fine Foods - Pepe from Pepe Saya offered to show me and the French Wench the making of truffle butter!!!
First, you start with really nice butter...
This is a cultured butter, and besides the usual richness that you get from this epitome of rich dairy goodness, there is a slight sourness that I feel adds a lot of character and attitude. It's like the luxurious meets funk. I like.
Pepe was telling us that he first matures the cream, then adds the culture, before churning the butter. And here I thought that all you had to do was over-whip cream!
Side tangent - besides butter, Pepe Saya also has a range of other foodstuffs, my favourite of which is the Taramasalata!
I can't say definitively that it's amazing Taramasalata because I didn't grow up with it, but I can say that it's definitely something I really like! The acid/garlic/saltiness is just so addictive to me that I finished half the jar pretty much upon arriving home. LOVE IT!.
Anyway, back to the truffle butter.
Pepe got sent truffles from Perigord Truffles of Tasmania.
And man this is the biggest pile of truffles that I've ever seen in person.
The smell was just absolutely intoxicating.
Pepe simply shaves off the truffles into the butter and then mixes it. Apparently truffles have an 'expiry date' of 10 days, and so you really have to work quickly. Butter does help preserve the flavour though - the oil prevents air from coming into contact with it, and so prevents oxidation.
And truffles are not just amazingly delicious, they are also really pretty on the inside!
Isn't that marbling simply gorgeous?! It gets me excited like a good piece of steak. Okay, that came out wrong, but you know what I mean.
Oh here's another sight to behold!
TEN KILOS OF BUTTER SPECKLED WITH TRUFFLE!!!!!
Maybe it's just me, but the combination of the two is just so simple yet so mind blowing!!!
And we actually got to take little pats home!!!!!!!!
Just in case there are any doubters out there, it is DELICIOUS. Although the suggestion was to let it melt slowly onto a good steak, I had mine spread onto sourdough toast, and it was one of the most satisfying lunches I've ever had. Light and yet luxurious at the same time, I just kept breathing in the intoxicating scent of the truffles mingling seductively with the cultured butter.
Even if truffle butter isn't quite your thing and isn't enough to get you as excited as I am, Pepe also has butter master classes ($80) and cheese making classes ($220/class, 3 parts) as well! Just contact them for more information. With my history of loving cultured diary products, I know what I'm asking for as my birthday present!
Unit 4, 3 Wood Street
Tempe NSW 2044
+61 2 9519 2793
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February 13, 2012
Apparently it all started with Lemon Curd. Homemade Fine Foods was founded on a 'real food' philosophy - food that you can buy, that will taste like what you've made at home. The upside? Not having to spend hours making it yourself. And while I love cooking, that idea sounds fantastic to me - especially after a long day on my feet where I don't even really feel like cooking dinner, much less dessert.
And they don't only do desserts, they teach you how to make it too!
I was invited over the weekend by a very lovely Merna from Homemade Fine Foods to a Mousse Class!! This was an especially exciting piece of news for me since my only (failed) attempt at a chocolate mousse ended up with whipped cream in a glass and bits of chocolate that had hardened because of the coldness of the cream. Go figure. Lovely, aerated, velvety dessert just seems to elude me. After having to admit recently - with much embarrassment - that I had no idea how to create a proper mousse, I was thankful for the opportunity to be taught the proper techniques.
The class was at 11am, and because Sean was working the night shift, we had not had anything to eat and were starving. No worry though, they feed you!
I love events that feed you.
Great cheeses from Small Cow Farm and luscious, ripe fruit really started the day off well for me. Even Sean - who had worked all night - was happily relaxed and ready for some chocolate.
And boy was there chocolate.
We were taught the difference between using compound chocolate and coverture - compound can be heated to a higher temperature and so will pasteurize your eggs - and what temperatures to look for when melting your chocolate.
Interesting fact - while cocoa butter has a melting point of 35C, compound chocolate contains fats that allow you to heat it higher, hence allowing the pasteurization of the raw eggs!
The class also covered whipping and incorporating the meringue...
And the whipped cream, amongst other things.
Now, Sean isn't the biggest cook around - in fact, he hardly ever gets to step into the kitchen because I'm always in there doing something or the other - but there's at least one part of the class that he absolutely LOVES.
How can anyone say no to that finished product! Sweet, creamy, and comforting, we got to take home two massive tubs of mousse that had been decorated with swirls of dark chocolate. The mind-boggling thing was that such a simple technique looks so pretty and polished. Definitely something that I'll try on my next dessert served in glass.
There were some moments that we had to wait - for example, the chocolate mixture had to cool down before mixing in the whipped cream - and guess what happened?
They feed you some more!
Did I mention that I love being fed?
And while I have a weakness for Bread and Butter pudding - it's a comfort food that many members of my family have in common - and Sean devoured the Sticky Date Pudding, the Raspberry Panna Cotta was my favourite!
This story is too cute - you've gotta see it for yourself:
Apparently Cuttaway Creek Raspberry Farm also supplied raspberries to many well-known Sydney restaurants. I have to pay a visit to them some day.
But anyway, back to the class. I left with arms full of tubs of mousse and a belly full of delicious desserts. Both Sean and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, and that was a feat for Sean after pulling an all-nighter.
It was a great way for us to cook together as a couple, and a great pre- (or post) Valentine's day present!
The class costs $80 per person and is held at their factory store in Tempe.
Homemade Fine Foods
Unit 4, 3 Wood Street, TEMPE NSW 2044
(02) 9559 4449
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Note: Insatiable Munchies was invited as a guest of Homemade Fine Foods
February 05, 2012
Just a quick post because I didn't have my camera on me that day! iPhone to the rescue!
Working on Glebe Pt Road has it's perks, and it seems that Bedlam Bar is one of them! The guys from work organized a gathering there, and their $10 menu caught my eye. Theoretically, it's a great idea and one of the guys I work with said that the food's been getting good. With a recommendation like that and the words Pork Belly on the menu, I couldn't resist.
The result? They were moist and tasty, and the cracklin' was rockin'! Considering that it's pork belly, the portioning was not too bad. I love that it's a great sample size - I can imagine a group ordering a variety and getting to try a little bit of everything. Not quite a full meal, but great as bar food.
If you really want to make it a meal, then you can always add this
The Rosemary Fries ($6) were simple, but did the job. Tasty, moreish, great for sharing.
Told you, great bar food.
More next time when I go back with my camera!
We ate at:
Bedlam Bar + Food
(02) 9660 6999
2-12 Glebe Point Road
Glebe, NSW 2037
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