Monday, November 30, 2009

Japanese Dinner Awesomeness (pictures to come!)

Great success with Japanese dinner on Sunday. Made Agedashi Tofu and Chirashi-zushi.

Gourmet Inspired Tip: For best results, you want soft silken tofu, but it can be a little difficult to manage. Do what you can to leech the water out of the pieces before cooking. As I was short on oil, I used about 1/2 cup of peanut oil in a small pan and shallow fried the pieces on both sides.

Agedashi Tofu


500 g silken tofu

2 cups Corn flour, enough to coat your tofu pieces

1 /4 cup dashi soup stock
1 tbs rice wine vinegar
1 tbs Japanese rice seasoning (I had Tamago Nori – egg and seaweed)
1 green onion, finely chopped
Sesame oil to taste
Soy sauce to taste
Frying oil (ie peanut or canola)


caCarefully slice your tofu into pieces about 1 cm x 2 cm thick. Wrap them in a paper towel or tea towel to leech out the moisture. Leave them for about 20 minutes and change the wrap at least once.

- Coat your tofu pieces liberally in corn flour.

- Heat oil in a frying pan to about 170 degrees. When the pan is hot enough, gently lower your tofu pieces into the hot oil and deep fry for about 3-4 minutes until the sides are just starting to brown. Remove and let cool on plate.

- Mix dashi soup stock and pour over fried tofu. Top with rice seasoning and green onions and finish with sesame oil and soy sauce. Serve immediately to enjoy that hot silken goodness.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Blog Plug

This will probably be one of the few opportunities where I can relate work and food. I haven’t eaten here yet, but I have been working on a blog for Quality Hotel Cambridge and their chef has a pretty cheeky sense of humour. I have yet to try the food, but I do hear it’s great.

The blog will have stories and recipes, including this yummy sounding Coriander and Walnut Pesto. YuM!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Spicy Corn Fritters

corn fritters

Gourmet Inspired Tip: Homage to the awesome food, atmosphere and music from the now shut Hopetoun Hotel, these are corn fritters with a bit of a kick. The key is to get your batter and corn mixture right. I prefer lots of fresh corn in mine so it’s nice and crunchy and not too oily.


2 cobs fresh corn, kernels removed

½ red capsicum, diced

Plenty of fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 cup flour

1 egg

½ cup water

1 tsp cumin

1 tbs paprika

Salt to taste

Canola or other non smoking oil to fry

Tabasco sauce to serve


Mix the flour, egg and water to create a batter. It should be very soft and doughy without being runny (add water slowly for best results).

Mix in the corn, parsley, capsicum, cumin and paprika and stir until well coated.

Turn your stove on high and in a non stick pan and add a thick layer of oil, sufficient to shallow fry. Let the pan heat up until the oil is very hot, but not smoking.

Spoon in corn batter and flatten. Let fry for 2-3 minutes on each side, being aware of spatter (I used a loosely covered lid to help limit the popping effect). Cool on paper towel. Serve with fresh salsa and plenty of tabasco.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Halloween Hi jinx

For Halloween, I hosted a dinner party...Dinner for the Dead with the following menu:
Slaughter of the Sea
- consisted of water crackers with Wattle Valleys Chunky Red Capsicum, cashew and parmesan dip, topped with headless sardines. They are a taste sensation!

Severed Limbs of Poultry
- chicken wings and drumsticks made with garlic, spring onions, oyster sauce, soy sauce and Chinese Brown Candy sugar. Bloody Mashed Potatoes
- This was a revelation. Make mash per usual then add one tin of pureed beetroot. It gives it a very bright magenta colouring but the beetroot actually really enhances the taste of the mash and gives it a "refreshing" taste.

Bunnicula Strikes Again
- Just a salad with a dressing made from sweet chili sauce, lemon juice, vinegar and some sugar.
And of course Bloody Marys!

But best of all, my friend went to Coles to "construct" a dessert - Cake Cannibalism!

The eyes and eyebrows are jelly candies, the teeth are bananas lollies and there's bits of jelly to simulate blood. What an absolutely amazing idea!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Fail - Mongolian Lamb :(

Had delicious Mongolian Lamb Hot Pot at Golden Century two weeks ago and I thought I could do something similar. I looked up a Mongolian Beef Recipe and figured I could do something similar in the hot pot.

I ended up with some nicely cooked lamb and leek stew...nothing that tasted like Mongolian sauce though. Oh well. Lamb is still always delicious.

I’ll let you know when I get it right! In the meantime, head to Golden Century for unbeatable hot pot lamb! Yummo!