Buongiorno, bonjour and “g’day”! (don't you like how they're all the same thing? ~ who knew Australian vernacular was so cosmopolitan???).

Also, "a good day to you, sir/maam" for our American pals, "Ni Hao" to China, and "Здравствуй" to our Russian comrades, "etcetera etcetera and so forth"... (for Yul Brynner).

It’s your old pal Kit (Christof) Fennessy here. I've been writing this blog with your help for ten years, and there's over a hundred and fifty recipes, restaurant reviews of Australia and around the world, and general gourmet articles in these pages for you to fritter away your idle hours on.

Want to know more about me? Friend me on facebook, follow me on twitter, or even look up my New Yorker cartoons on instagram! NB; different platforms not all food related)

A big thank you, as always, to my sponsors at Blue Vapours (use them for all your design and advertising needs - we are waiting for your call!).

Now, what's on the bill of fare today?

Sunday, December 23, 2012



“I like your Old Norcia better than your New Norcia…”

G’day! Crikey, it’s nearly Christmas, and here I am (in Australia, Sport!) not doing things like my journal, blog or radio show because it’s holiday time and I’m making a movie (Gertrude St Film Festival is just a few months away! Start sharpening your lenses!!).

I looked at my blog yesterday and realised, not only has nothing been posted in a month, but I left you hanging about WA… and there’s two more instalments to go! Outrageous!

In view of this breach of trust, you have me while my video uploads. So we return to the chronicles, and the fabled Spanish monastic town of New Norcia:

... full text

Monday, November 26, 2012

WA Part 1 - Go West Young Man

Did you know I recently went "out West"?

Me neither… hang on a minute. It was me, of course I knew, I was there. But don’t tell anyone.

We were off on a pilgrimage to see Jane’s Uncle Pat, a New Norcia monk of the Benedictine order now known as Father Anscar and the erstwhile priest on the Kalumburu Mission in far north WA. He’s been over there something like fifty years, and people still ask him how he likes it “out West” (you can say that when you go there too - it's like New Zealanders calling NZ "Kiwi").

On picking our car up at the Perth airport (surrounded by reassuring messages from Chevron™ that everything was going to be alright and that they "agreed" with us), I asked our delightful car rental hostesses which was the gourmet trail to take on the drive up to New Norcia?

“Well, you’ll go through historic Guildford.”
“Yeah, they have to go through there. And then the Swan Valley.”
“Oh yeah, got to go there. Maybe a winery for lunch. Jean? Jean goes there. Jean, what’s the name of that winery you go to up there?"
“Oh you know the one with the duck in the name.”

So, taking their advice as local knowledge , and even ­– since I was on a pilgrimage – gospel truth, we shuffled down the gourmet trail on the way to the promised land.

Welcome to Kit’s Cucina “Out West” Part 1: Guilford and the Swan Valley. Now, read on! (and yes, Mum, I do go on a bit, but it's "the journey"...)

... full text

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Station Hotel - Footscray

59 Napier St
Footscray VIC 3011
ph: 9687 2913

This is officially a record. The same restaurant getting a review in my blog... TWICE!

"Qu'est que ce que ca?" I hear you think.  "But surely, Christoforo, you can't step into the same river twice, not in Melbourne anyway."

I'm delighted to say no, since time rolls on and things change, but also because I was sent an email from another of the illustrious mentor's in my life, Peter Downie; bon vivant, raconteur, chanteur, engineer, family man and general larger than life gentleman of the highest order.  He felt compelled to contact me about the Station Hotel and just how fantastic it is, and I, in turn, felt compelled to share it with you.

Over to you Peter:

... full text


130 Acland Street
St Kilda, Victoria 3182
T: 03 9525 3333
F: 03 9525 3397
E: cicciolina@netspace.net.au

So I'm on a diet.

Last night for frickasee's sake I had - actually it felt pretty lush - fresh salmon seared on a pan to make the salt and peppered skin crispy but leaving it rare inside (gave half the skin to the dog because I'm getting skinny), a green salad (using mixed leaves, cucumber, dill, feta and seasame seed - lemon olive oil dressing), a half grilled mango and a single boiled potato - with some more olive oil and salt (come on!). Two thumbs up and slim-er-ific (if you make up for it with a run and some more physical work outs!!  Come on!!).

But you get to the end of a week of vegetarian plates from Friends of the Earth, eating fruit for breakfast and generally making the Buddha proud (except for that poor Sandy situation - with apologies to Shiro Kishibe), and you finally get to a point where you think:

"Stuff this. I can't take it anymore. I want some meat. I want wine! I want a dessert with an aperitif and a good coffee. Basically, I want my old life back. Bring me a cigar and a vodka!"

Enter Cicciolina in St Kilda.

... full text

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Fat Cat City

Viriginia Plain
31 Flinders Lane
Melbourne VIC 3000

Why yellow there! How are you?
I'm fine, thanks for asking.

In fact, I'm somewhat better than fine. I'm grinning, greased and gassed... in the words of the illustrious George Throughgood. I've just returned from lunch with my Uncle Garry (God bless!), who forwent his usual lunch with colleagues at the Athenaeum Club, going out with me instead for a catch up that incorporated a general browse and glass of the good stuff.

... full text

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Make Lemonade! Sure fire lemonade recipe

OK, OK... I know what you're thinking.  You're thinking, in an Al Pacino voice:

"This guy, see, he says, he says to ME... What?  He's gonna make me thin?  He's gonna make me the envy of every goddamn hippo in fatsville and what happens?  HMM??  I'll tell ya.  Nothin.  I keep lookin', and where's the recipes, dammit? I'm getting outta control here, my goddamn pants is splittin down the ass .  And then finally, FINALLY he comes and tells me to drink some goddamn LEMONADE! The whole goddamn drink is sugar!  What does he take me for?"

Anyway, I think that's what you're thinking after my last article.  Either that, or you read the heading and thought "Milk, milk, lemonade, round the corner..." {that's quite enough - Ed.}

... full text

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Lose that Winter Coat!

OK. I admit it. I’ve been letting myself go. The idea, in the middle of winter, of eating a salad when I could sit down to a roast suckling pig, with cheesey potatoes, washed down with a gallon of porter, wines and followed up with a cheese platter was a no-brainer. The latter was simply too good to refuse.

However, it’s unsustainable. As I was reaching the dawning of the age of aware-y-ness about my crumbling physical edifice, I was talking to a guy who’s a wine writer from Sydney (do NOT ask me how you get that job; he’s got an ex-wife, kids in new York, and a house on the North shore. Let’s call it a second income, like a millionaire secret patron). He had two great pieces of advice:

... full text

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Age Good Food Guide Awards 2013

The Age Good Food Guide Awards 2013 have been announced (and how they know what's going to be good next year I'll never know)!

Here's a link to a summary. Bon appetite!

... full text

Taco Toccata

Movida, Los Amates, Anáda, Sonido, Trippy Tacos, Senorita’s, Mamasita, The Newmarket Hotel, Taco Trucks and Taco Bill

Mexican? Music to my ears. South American? Grills ahoy! Whether its soft tortillas or tapas, Melbourne is flooded with frejoles and black beans these days (sounds messy).

The following article is an expansion on the stream of consciousness take of these occasional missives, and is the direct result of some emails I had from one of our regulars, Briony! To whit:

I am trying to decide whether I like Trippy Tacos. Now, given that you are officed right nearby, surely you have an opinion. It seems that one must be extremely fast in shovelling taco to mouth before the tortilla disintegrates into mush. This somewhat constitutes a fail in tacohood really. Plus a lot of the people who go there appear to be rather dim and certainly incapable of closing a door properly behind themselves in the freezing cold.

Quite right too. Listen, I have tried the Trippy Tacos a couple of times. Here's the m.o.

... full text

Thursday, August 23, 2012

La Dolce Italia – The New Lygon Street Festa?

La Dolce Italia
Royal Exhibition Buildings, 10-12 August 2012

I originally made a video blog of this, but due to the extremely tight nature of the collar under my bow tie – and the slight layer of blubber I’ve acquired over the winter months (everything must go… for summer!) – I’ve decided to spare you the jowels and instead offer you this take on a food, fashion and cultural event I recently attended.

La Dolce Italia has become the replacement event for the Lygon Street Festa. Try typing the latter in Google, you get one replaced for the other.

Where did the old one go? Probably “too much the insurance”, and a lack of commitment from local councils, much like the good old Brunswick St Festival (what I wouldn’t give to be able to enter a float, and go down Brunswick Street playing rock and roll on the back of a flat bed truck with all my nephews and nieces in costume doing formation dancing to advertise Blue Vapours...).

But how do the pair compare? (as they ask about superannuation funds).

... full text

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Courthouse Hotel

86–90 Errol Street
North Melbourne
VIC 3051
(03) 9329 5394

Hello hello hello!  I'd like you to accompany me down to the station... and then the court house... and then eventually I guess you'll end up in chokey.

Or in this case, let's go for a heart starter at the Station, dine at the Courthouse and eat so much you nearly will choke(y).

It's been a while between drinks, and for this I am truly sorry. Watching the Olympics™, working on a deck build and generally doing stuff at work has put a dent in my productivity.... in the slacking off-sphere of blogging about cramming one's cake hole full of tuck at the very least.

However – the voice of the people has been unanimous: "Move away from the door, and read the restraining order more carefully this time."  This is sometimes followed by: "If you wish to communicate with me, send a blog."

So here I am... in blog format!  Take that legal eagles!  Now, read on!

... full text

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Le Rosbif

Bonjour geezers!

Of course many know the tale of how the Rosbif got his name.  English soldiers fighting in France, back in the day would order “roast beef”, because they couldn’t stand all that foreign garlicy muck.  The locals started rolling their eyes and gesticulating over their shoulders complaining about les “rosbifs”.

Further research into the etymology of the word “rosbif” reveals everyone being very vague. Some place it to the nineteenth century, others to the period of the Crusades or Middle Ages.  Me?  I can tell you exactly.  1045: the day Edward the Confessor went home to visit his mother in the rainy part of France and complained about the food.

And how very true it is that the English love their beef (and also like complaining)!

On going on my working holiday a Angleterre, their traditional Sunday roast revealed that an avoidance of garlic and “that foreign muck” has made for several hundred years of concentrating on how to do one thing well – as always a recipe for success!

The piece of meat central to the whole experience, to sit cheek by jowl with your jowls, is of course the roast beef. I’ve tried differing ones with varying success, but last weekend pushed the envelope and did a traditional English roast (OK, I couldn’t come at the brussel sprouts), and learnt a thing or two about roasting beef…

... full text

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Albert St Food & Wine

Corner of Albert St and (382) Sydney Rd
Brunswick VIC 3056
Telephone (03) 8354 6600
Fax (03) 8354 6611
Email: info@albertst.com.au
Website: www.albertst.com.au

Yesterday found me traipsing up to Sydney Rd, Brunswick, for a catch up with an old pal o’ mine (See? I do go to places outside my usual one kilometer radius from work and home), and hasn’t that neck of the woods changed dramatically over the last few years?

It’s kind of like what Brunswick St (Fitzroy) used to be like in the 90’s; cafes, pubs, fish and chip shops with a healthy dose of opp shops and discount warehouse scenarios.

This is absolutely no news to anyone who lives around there, like the Barkly Square (aka the Sparkly Bear) set, hipsters like Sim (who lives over a shoe shop) or Pauly P.  You know... skinny people. Groovers.

... full text

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Everleigh

150-156 Gertrude St, Level 1
Fitzroy VIC 3065
+61 3 9416 2229

Alright, alright, I know what you're thinking. "This guy's only going out to places that are a hop, skip and a step from where he works." Possibly, but I actually have been supposed to be writing reviews on the Carlton Wine Room, an upcoming Italian food festival at the Exhibition Buildings called la Dolce Italia, NOT TO MENTION our new relationship with Les Toques Blanches, the Executive Chefs Society of Victoria who we recently did a website for in exchange for food (well, we are working in a "patchwork economy", as our Julia says).

But somehow my heart just hasn't been in it. I haven't been inspired to put quill to parchment, let alone RSI afflicted finger stumps to keyboard.

But last night something changed all that. I went to try the new cocktail bar up the road, admittedly with a pretty big chip on my shoulder. "The best bar in Melbourne, as judged by the Age Good Bar Guide? Bah! Fifth best bar in the world, as per the some English newspaper? Humbug! I bet it's full of ostentatious wankers with beards, buns and fixy bicycles."

Well, the generation gap may be there, but I am going to have to stop being so flippin' ageist, because it really is fantastic. Now read on...

... full text

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

RIP Vlad “Vlado's” Gregurek

Vlado's Restaurant
61 Bridge Road

Richmond VIC 3121

+61 3 9428 5833


It was with some sadness I learnt of the demise of Vlado Gregurek today – first from a nun named Sister Mary, then from ‘the Age’ in an email (all the best recommendations as to his character).

His restaurant, Vlados, is a Melbourne institution. Vlados serve meat – steak to be precise. No pommes frites. No veg… aside from a bowl of sauerkraut. No chicken. No fish. Just meat.

I was taken there when I was ten years old, wearing a maroon rugby jumper with a sky blue skivvy underneath. That night left a deep impression on me.

... full text

Monday, April 30, 2012

The Perfect Schnitzel and Coleslaw

Oh the shame. And oh the tastiness!

I have a confession to make. I'm a sensate person, and in the pursuit of yet another food high I'm fully prepared to trawl the gutters, driving along with my Mercedes Benz Mouth picking up cheap floozies like hamburgers or fish and chips for a thrill. And worse. I'm surprised I haven't caught a case of crabs yet (a bit out of my price range I'm afraid).

On the weekend I was channel surfing and found myself watching Better Homes and Gardens.

I know what you're thinking, and don't think I'm not ashamed of myself for even writing that last sentence.

You know Karen Martini, who makes tasty food with that extra special ingredient - FAT? Well, she was on: cooking schnitzels with coleslaw. The presentation was pretty good, and the whole thing so simple, I thought I'd give it a go.

WARNING: this dish is so delicious, you may be forced to keep eating and end up as a big fat fatty.

... full text

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Point – Albert Park

The Point
Aquatic Drive
Albert Park Lake
03 9682 5566

Recently, I’ve found myself asking: “What is the point?”

Probably because:
a. I just watched ‘i♥huckabees’;
b. I’m self employed; and/or
c. I’m now forty and my hair is falling out.

Existentialist and hairy aspects of the question aside, I’ve found the answer: the Point is a two hat restaurant on Albert Park Lake (‘Thank you Kit, we got that from the heading to this blog,’ I hear you think in your usually sagacious and telepathic manner).

Jane and I found ourselves there last night as a result of our involvement with Les Toques Blanches (LTB), the Executive Chefs society in Victoria (we’re working on their website – shh!). The Executive chef at the Point (Justin Wise) – who is joining the illustrious ranks of LTB – was cooking up a demonstration dinner and we’d been invited.

See? Dreams really do come true.

The Point has received two hats from the Age Good Food Guide, an achievement they wear with pride, and the service and food was really very good. Perched in a two storey building on Albert Park Lake, the view wasn’t much at night, but on going back to retrieve my car this morning, I suspect this is a much better venue during daylight hours (go there for dinner in summer, lunch in winter). The venue itself feels a bit “receptiony”, if you know what I mean, but in the foyer I was floored by their cabinet, which had sides of meat hanging on the hook. They have their own meat ageing cellar, and all steaks have been aged something like 60 days before they are cooked and served (so if you’re asked, get the steak).

The event itself was a real eye opener. The level of knowledge about food around the table was staggering. I know that chefy secrets are being spewed out on TV at a million miles an hour, and you can’t move without being hit over the head with secrets of cooking that were only available to professionals fifteen years ago (a six year old could tell you to dehydrate the watermelon before you include it in the pile with your gravellax), but I was genuinely surprised at just how much there is to know about what can be crammed between your gums. Sitting down with qualified chefs for dinner is a genuine learning experience.

We had a tasting menu, the elements of which were explained by the charming and personable
general manager Bryan Lloyd (he’s English and wears a smart suit) in spectacular detail – including the geographical origins of each ingredient.

The menu we had included:

Pan seared Hervey Bay scallops, Beluga lentils (i.e. lentils with caviar in them) and sauce Madras
Murray cod, cuttlefish, oyster beignet, fat hen and tonburi seeds (from Jaan, as colloquially known as land caviar)
Glenloth pheasant, braised savoy cabbage, and Slippery Jack mushrooms
F1 Wagyu Rump Cap, 450+ days grain fed, Rangers Valley NSW,
truffle brûlée, beetroot and celeriac
Banana cake, bubble gum ice cream, warm chocolate and caramel sauce

Each dish was matched to a wine, four Frenchies (two white, two red) and then a sticky at the end; I’m afraid I don’t have the deets, but trust me, they were very good and the reason I had to leave the car behind at the end of the night.

From the look of the menu, you’d imagine that Jane would be in her own personal hell, with mushrooms, banana and seafood featured, but she ate everything and gave it two thumbs up (except the dessert, because she was too full).

If you’re into dessert, you would probably have had an orgasm over this one. It included moon/pop rocks, so it popped in your mouth as you shovelled in dark chocolate, ice cream and cake; kiddy lolly porn for adults.

You can see photos from the dinner here.

So all in all? C’est ce bon! I give the Point seven tentacles out of eight (go there in daylight)! Tell Bryan I sent you.

... full text

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Old Scone Debate

Well can you believe it? Sim came in to work today and mentioned that she'd had an argument with her pals about scones. That most ancient of all scone debates; jam and cream, or cream and jam in the order of the topping? I have some hilarious links from my fave funny man Harry Hill to let you know:

It tuns out the dividing line is Devon and Cornwall.

While we're at it, are you familiar with the good old magic scone?

(click the coloured words above, you ding a ling!)
Welcome to Terrific Tuesday!
... full text

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Seddon Wine Store

Seddon Wine Store

2/101 Victoria St
Seddon VIC 3011
ph:9687 4817
(ok, don't judge it by the website... read on)

Today I went to what looks like one of the best wine shops – in the world. A kind of eno teca, without the wanky Toorak feel… because it’s in Seddon. Yes, you heard me correctly. Seddon. On the same strip as the bakery with the woman who has the largest mole you have ever seen (Waldie’s bakery – top doughnuts, pies and white bread, plenty of cakes, in a tuck shop kind of way, five and a half tentacles!).

“Whoa, easy boy, I’ve been to wine shops before. Big deal,” I hear you think: though I note you fail to admonish me for the mole remark above, for which I am truly sorry and apologise (incidentally – though it is amazing, and a source of local mythology).

I first heard about this wine shop because a friend bought me a bottle of wine from there that was, really, pretty good. So good, in fact, I thought I might like another one. A French number, 2001, delish. Do you think you could buy one on the internet? Nah. So I rang the shop, and they had the last bottle in stock, probably in Australia, for forty bucks. Would I like them to put it aside for me?

“Great,” I replied. “I’ll swing by tomorrow.”

Gee, the Seddon shopping strip on Victoria St has
gone up in the world in the last fifteen years, let me tell you (Waldie's aside). That’s where Basset + Lobaza architects are (Blue Vapours patrons – hi!), and they've known it for years.

I practically fell in love with the Seddon Wine Store when I walked in the door; it looks like the kind of place I would open and then accidentally lock myself in for a long weekend. Blokes drinking wine at a bar, an electric ham slicer lives behind the bench, there's booze, it's basically the things dreams are made of.

They do tapas (well, cold stuff they can put together behind the counter) while you drink a bottle there. A few things off their blackboard:
Tuna Belly
Cured Meats
Smoked Salmon
Various Cheeses

The pics I took are a bit blurry (I must have been a bit excited), but here’s what they’ve got written on the blackboard outside:

Well ya see, Norm, it’s like this… A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it’s the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members. In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, as we know, kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. That’s why you’ll always feel smarter after a few beers.’ -Cliff Clavin

I just Googled it. He’s the postman from Cheers.

Plus they had a wine I like. Good on you, Seddon wine shop! I give it seven tentacles out of eight, and plan a lunch there shortly.

... full text

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Builder’s Arms Hotel reopens tomorrow!

Builder’s Arms Hotel

211 Gertrude St, Fitzroy

OK, it’s official. I’m excited. Officially excited. “Why?” I hear you ask, in that imperturbable way of yours that makes you the paragon of all things admirable. “Enough with the bullshit. Why?” you ask again, shrugging off my impenetrable compliments.

The pub. The pub that is the next door to Blue Vapours. The door directly next to our front door at work. Literally one foot away. Is about to reopen. I can’t believe it.

Ring the bells and let people dance with joy in the streets.

It’s been shut for six months.

Now we didn’t open up a design studio next to a pub and restaurant so I couldn’t go to it for the best part of a year. Or indeed for the last two years really. Why? Read on.

I have a love/hate relationship with the Builder’s Arms. It used to be good, in a comfortable pair of old jeans way – back when they had tropical sunset wallpaper, a cheap Singapore noodle kitchen in the back, a weird mezzanine with a pool table, and a disco out the back that would go till the break-a-break of dawn (which used to drive my current landlord spare). Habitue of gays and groovers, you could buy a pot cheap, and there were regular queues out the door.

Then it changed hands to a consortium of owners, the current team behind the Sporting Club Hotel in Brunswick.
A very nice bloke Noel (who still owns the building), was the leader of the group (or at least drank plenty of white wine out the front) and was behind the reinvention of the Great Britain Hotel on Church St in Richmond (when it used to be good), and the Baker’s Arms Hotel on Victoria St in Abbotsford (before it became an apocryphal 24 hour pokies venue for triads), so he had a great track record.

The disco? Gone. A restaurant featuring giant couscous and Middle Eastern flavours? Open… as a separate business within the premises, run by Noel’s girlfriend at the time. The inside of the pub? Transformed. Done out like a Kylie Minogue film clip; big purple couches and dark corners to go off and be enigmatic in.

But it didn’t work. The restaurant changed, got cheaper and nastier, then barely functioned at all. The front bar wouldn’t open– it ended up only trading from Thursday to Sunday night. And the staff? The first bar manager Andy, who last I heard now manages the Riverland Bar next to the Yarra, was ace. But he left. Then Yule took over, she was nice, everyone loved her, but then she moved back to New Zealand to look after her mother. And then? Rude, Gen Y, holier than thou, groovoire foosh-sticks with attitude. Terrible.
So a pub that was never open – with terrible staff who would not mix drinks or serve you if you were the only one there (since they were busy talking to their friends on the phone) – started to lose money.

Noel and pals gave up the licence halfway through last year, and left it to one of their waitresses to have a crack at until Christmas. She turned it around with her mother, showing even with burgers and bangers and mash you cold make it profitable – just by opening and not being rude to everyone. But it lacked a certain class. The food was OK, but it was all a bit cheap and nasty.

So at the end of the year, the business was served up on a silver platter to anyone with an eye for turning what was fast becoming a wreck into something marvelous.

Enter the three amigos: Anthony Hammond, Andrew McConnell, and Josh Murphy. All met at the Prince of Wales in St Kilda, cooking at Circa and managing the complex.

Incidentally, the Prince is now the jewel in the crown of the guys who own the Middle Park Hotel, Albert Park Hotel, and the Newmarket Hotel (reviewed by me here ) - hi CJ!.

Andrew McConnell is the big name behind the business and is the general impresario. He’s done a few restaurants now, and has it down to a fine art: Cutler and Co (one of my earliest reviews); Golden Fields, Fitzroy St Kilda (can’t attest, never been there); and let’s not forget Cumulus. You can find a bit of a bio on him here.

Josh Murphy is partner number two. He won the Age young chef of the year for 2011, and is the executive chef from Cumulus. He’s from northern Tasmania, and is quiet and efficient.

Anthony Hammond makes up the third side of the partnership. The former Prince of Wales general manager, with his rockabilly hair and a memory for names, is tall, thin and likeable.

They’ve spent a bomb on refurbishing the pub, with timber floors throughout, clean white walls and a redone beer garden with a new tree they brought in already grown. In the near future, a 100 seat reception venue will be opening upstairs, and I plan to make it the home of ‘Gertrude.com’, the Gertrude St film festival. The pub will, apparently, sell affordable beer over the bar and be keeping a pub feel, but then have something kicking in the kitchen. This morning I saw them loading mallee roots through the lane, which will be used on their char grill. The menu is unannounced, but tomorrow the pub opens for drinks at least.

My rating tentacles may be pending, however my saliva glands are already going. See you there! Feel free to drop by the office any time and I’ll take you for a tour.

... full text

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Eltham (and surrounds) Restaurants

Eltham? Hey groovy man! Far out! Beaten earth walls, mud brick huts, footpaths at 45 degrees and a chain to help you get up your driveway, gum trees, creeks, alternative schools, Montsalvat, bongs, beanies and the occassional estate of an Italian businessman with a vineyard, right hand drive Cadillac and concrete cherubs weeing into their kidney shaped pools as an affirmation of culture and still functioning kidneys.

Sound familiar? Well that's what Eltham USED to be like in the nineties. It's all still true, but now there's so much more, including a few little culinary gems that our star insider Vikki let me know about.

I'm passing these on, in case you're out that way, and also before I lose the scrap of paper I scrawled these on... while in no way accepting responsibility for any negative vibes you might pick up if they do, in fact, have cattle pooh rendered walls.

Want a fancy feed out Eltham way? Read on.

410 Main Rd, Lower Plenty VIC 3093
Reservations: 03 9439 9941
Dinner: Tuesday - Sunday
Lunch: Wednesday - Sunday

OK, it's not in Eltham. As you drive from Templestowe towards Eltham, take the first left after you've gone through the big roundabout and have crossed the bridge into Eltham - heading out to Lower Plenty. You've come this far, and what are a few kms between friends?

Element is a restaurant located in an old house on a hill, and their menu features seasonal produce (what's in season and cheap), like all good restaurants, with an eye to fancy pants dishes like duck, oysters, and crispy pork with a modern twist.

Take your cholesterol-reducing-fibre supplement and go there. Vikki gives it two thumbs up!

732 Main Road
Phone/Fax: (03) 9431 1015

An insitution in Eltham, it's been there for years and has consistently gotten a hat from the Age Good Food Guide, this place was ironically also continually referred to as "the Old Institute" by Vikki. Hmm.

Further pressing of the web site and Google failed to reveal what the exact nature of the Old Institute was, the technical college or perhaps an experimental loony bin, but it is located in an historic Federation cottage.

The main chef is Stephen Mercer, hence the name, and apparently it's THE traditional fancy place to go when habituing the leafy north east of Melbourne. Vikki gives it one and a half thumbs up.


Brownkorte on Evelyn County Estate.
55 Eltham-Yarra Glen rd,
Kangaroo Ground - VIC 3097, Australia
Tel: (+61) 3 9437 2155

My first reaction on hearing the name of this restaurant was "WTF?", immediately followed by an "Ah-ha!" moment as I recalled an old dry cleaner down in the South East of Melbourne called Brown Gouge... which always made me wonder how one would remove a brown gouge stain from a duvet, and how it got there in the first place.

The restaurant is named after the two owner chefs, Gordon Brown (not that one), and Martin De Korte. The building is modern and trendy, with a green swooshy roof. If you've ever heard the phrase "Never trust a skinny cook" (I used it in my last blog), you can leave these guys the keys to your Bentley, lodge your tax with them and introduce them to your naive yet strangely wandering virginal daughter.

OK - you got me, this one's not in Eltham either, it's in Kangaroo Ground, but the food looks droolingly good and again it get's a cheery recommendation from Vikki (I don't want to commit any more to how many thumbs she gave anything).

Phone: (03) 9439 7712
Fax: (03) 9431 4177
7 Hillcrest Ave. Eltham Victoria 3095
Melways Map: 22 A8
Bus 582 from Eltham Station

It's amazing how much you can write about restaurants without ever having ever been to them (see above), so I'd feel it remiss to not at least mention my favourite place to go when in Eltham - Montsalvat.

Montsalvat was set up as an artists' commune by Justus Jörgensen, who bought the land in 1935 and with his friends painted up a storm and built European style castles. It's "Australia's oldest artists colony", for whatever that's worth, and while I can't attest to its gastronomic excellence, my good friends Em Carlile and Johnny Simon (and half of Melbourne) got married there, so it's a place of singularly fond memories for me.

Montsalvat is all about the 12 acres of artiness and old school European aesthetics. Those foxy morons Kath and Kim recently filmed part of their new movie "Kath and Kimberella", due for release in September this year.

The restaurant at Montsealvat is called 'the Meeting Pool' and it's current chef (he doesn't use currants) is Paul Phelan, though I see Sigmund Jorgensen is involved heavily (he had a hand in 80's 3 hat restaurant Clichy and is, no doubt, an antecedent of Justus). The restaurant uses a lot of produce grown on the estate, as well as sourcing local produce like yabbies, so it definitely gets a green tick.

I give Montsavlat six tentacles, just because of its grounds. That's all you'll need. Go when the weather's nice, as the sun goes down.

... full text

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Simple Please

Hello! I've been meaning to post these pics for a while under the category of the simple pleasures: in life and in the kitchen. The food is simple too: cooking in the Florentine style - of a few things done well, or simple foods in their natural states... as opposed to the Bologna style which is "more ingredients please".

The photos were taken on a telephone using the tilt-shift generator app, that sneaky filter that either makes everything on ads look like toy town, and food like it's from Donnah Hay magazine. But how to rustle up a quick meal with minimum fuss? Read on...

I heard recently from my friend Dharamjot (aka Chloe - "Hi!") that, while they're all vegetarian on the ashram in Malaysia, they do have two kitchens; the inside kitchen for low mess cooking (read salads) and the out door kitchen which is all about mess (i.e. deep frying of vegetarian spitty foods).

This is about the most useful explanation I've ever heard for why BBQs are so great; smokey smells can just blow away, while fat can spit on the ground and let the ants have all the fun. I basically make the BBQ my stove when down at the beach.

To Marinate, Or Not to Marinate?
When I lived in Canberra, I lived in an unusual household with the only son of a preacher. His freckly, lawyer girlfriend brought around vacuum-packed, whole eye fillet sides from her father's abattoir on a monthly basis. I ate with them, with an uneasy conscience: I was dirt poor at the time BUT ALSO believed them to be cannibal witches as it looked a bit like human flesh and appeared after each full moon.

We would whip up marinades of beer, oil, sauce and spices and get to it.
For years I was convinced that all meat should be marinated. How wrong you can be.

If you must marinate, my only advice is to not marinate the meat too long – you'll wind up with a steak that eats like soggy tissues – and watch the sugar levels in the sauces you include, as sugar tends to burn and turn your meat black.

I seldom marinate these days. Instead, just rub the meat with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Boring, easy to do and fantastic.

OTHER TOP TIPS? Only cook the steak once on each side (to seal), on a high heat. Times vary depending on the thickness, but always underestimate as it will keep cooking off the grill. As preached by the orthodox and contemporary science of steak cooking, allow the meat to rest wrapped in foil or a clay pot (I've got a great one from my Godmother) for fifteen minutes. The meat will keep cooking, and the flesh will "relax" (after "tensing" on the heat).

Herbed Butters
The steak in the picture has been augmented with a tarragon butter (why am I beginning to suspect that this blog is going to appear as evidence into the inquest of my death?). Let the butter soften at room temperature (about half a block), then mash through a clove of crushed garlic and sprigs of finely chopped tarragon (the prince of herbs). Roll the mash in Glad Wrap™, then refrigerate till ready. Cut discs off the roll and pop on your rested steak.

Pictured above are included:
Sweet Potato Chips: cut the chips (thick), rub with oil and the usual magic grits (salt and pepper). Cook on the grill on direct heat for five minutes or so on each side to give them some colour, before putting on the upper shelf with the lid down on a moderate heat to bake through for twenty minutes to half an hour. Yum!

: You can BBQ these whole with the leaves on, until the leaves are burnt, and then pull off the outer layers (just like an Aztec!) or try trimming the corn into bite sized chunks, rub with oil and smokey paprika, then cook on each end, turning regularly. You'll get burnt kernels on the ends, but the bits in the middle will be perfect.

The Jamie Oliver Salad
: So what if he's 110kg and being called a "big fat fatty" by the media? He grew up cooking in pubs, and it's common knowledge you should "never trust a skinny cook".
Jamie Oliver's got a great rule for salads, which goes: "crispy, soft, herby, veg, crunchy, cheese, dressing". Basically, pick one of each and combine: e.g. crispy cos hearts, soft butter lettuce, fresh basil, tomato, feta cheese, and toasted pine nuts with a lemon dressing (1 part lemon juice, 3 parts olive oil, S&P). Check out his Ministry of Food cookbook. It's a winner! You can never miss.

... full text

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Kit's Duck a l’Orange

On Valentine’s Day I thought I’d try to demonstrate that I love my wife in ways other than falling on her like a cupboard with the key stuck in the lock (I’m stealing her material here). And what better way to show someone how much you care than walking off the pathway of everyday dishes and treading unchartered territory in the kitchen to knock their socks off?

I decided to make duck a l’orange. It was about the fanciest thing I could think of, short of lobster with champagne and butter, or Bombe Alaska, and something I hadn’t tried (not that I’ve made the others, yet, either).

First up, why duck a l’orange? Why not “canard a l’orange”? Or orange infused roast duck? Je ne sais pas, but I will stick with tradition.

The first challenge? Buying a duck. Duck is considered a bit of a luxury bird to roast, predominantly because it’s so fatty – they are waterproof and do float – but also because of the small amount of meat on the animal. Ducks have heavy frames, and most of the meat is in the breast and the legs, so one bird is only enough for two.

Luv a Duck has been very active in Melbourne in supplying pre-cooked portions to supermarkets that all you do is heat and eat. But that’s like serving a premade lasagna, don’t you think? And when you’re trying to do something really nice, I mean, come on!

Many supermarkets only stock whole ducks around Christmas time in Melbourne, and if you do find one, it will be hoar frosted to the bottom of the deep freeze, will take a week to thaw, be shy of the weight you require (aim for a 2kg bird or higher if possible) and cost a LOT.

I went to a Vietnamese Victoria St butcher for mine. The shops there run rings around domestic “white” butchers or major supermarkets if you need to source ingredients for French cooking. They’ve got nearly everything you need: pork from female sows with thick cut ribs, hard pork back fat for your terrines, livers for your pate and fresh ducks with the heads on at 2 kgs… for only $15!

The lady offered to cut the head off mine, but I wanted it to put in the mirepoix (the chopped up veggies under the roast) to enhance the sauce, along with the wing tips. She smiled knowingly and gave me a nod when I said “no thanks”, like I really knew how to do Peking Duck or something.

I may have mentioned the nightmarish feeling of cutting out the backbones of chickens and likening it to making an outfit for Silence of the Lambs (see Surfin’ Bird). Try cutting off a duck head that’s smiling at you! It felt like attacking Mr Curly with a machete and a bottle of industrial solvent while wearing a Slip Knot mask. I consoled myself with the thought that the duck had gone to the great pond in the sky and promised to use every part of it and put its corporeal remains in a good home: i.e. Jane and me!

Enter Stephanie Alexander and her Cook’s Companion (1st Edition). I like Stephanie Alexander and this book – which I’ve used for years and was given to us on our wedding day by Jane’s nanna, named “Nanna” (it says so on the signed title page) – but, as usual, big question marks remain around the issue of her roasting times. I can only assume that she either had a fan forced oven OR a very tardy timepiece when she was writing this book. She always underdoes things, and suggested in the recipe that you could roast a potato in half an hour, and that all the veg would take the same length of time. Wrong! So, abley supported by Steph and using a few tweaks of my own, here is:

Kit’s Duck a l’Orange
Serves Two

One duck
A couple of thick slices of orange

Roasting vegetables
6 small carrots (peeled)
6 new potatoes (peeled)
6 small turnips (peeled)
(i.e. a bit more than enough for two)

1 stick of celery
1 carrot
1 onion
Fresh thyme (cruel thyme!)
Bay leaf
3 cloves of knife side smashed garlic
A few black peppercorns (Stephanie’s signature ingredient, and I’m sure for her a bit like a magic stick in a mud pudding)

Duck head and neck
Duck wing tips
Half a cup of white wine (dry or sweet to taste)

1 cup of strong stock (chicken)
Orange zest and juice

Preheat your oven to 220°. Cut the head and neck off the duck and drop in the bottom of your roasting pan with duck wing tips and chopped up mirapoix ingredients (5mm cubes / diced), wine and thyme. Write an apology letter to Leunig and dry your tears.

Pat the duck dry with paper towel inside and out, pricking the fat around the neck (hole) and legs with a fork. Insert orange slices into the cavity with some of the thyme. Season the bird liberally with salt and pepper (“as uszh”).

Put your dressed duck on top of mirapoix on its side and surround with potatoes. Roast for 25 minutes.
Remove pan from oven, skim fat off the juices in the bottom of the pan (you can save this and freeze for another day, to do duck fat potatoes! – this step is necessary though, since the whole thing’s so very fatty), baste and turn the duck onto its other side. Add turnips. Roast for another 25 minutes.

Again, skim the fat off the juices in the pan, baste and add small peeled carrots. Return to the oven with the duck breast up for the last stage, reduce heat to 200° and roast for a further 40 minutes.

Remove duck and roasting vegetables, cover loosely with crumpled aluminium foil and allow to rest. If the roasting veg need longer, put them in the oven on a separate tray. Meanwhile make your sauce, the piece de la resistance.

Skim the fat off the juices in the bottom of your original roasting pan, add the stock and put the pan on stove top on a high-ish heat. Add the grated zest and juice of one orange and stir as the jus reduces. Push the lot through a strainer into a small saucepan.

Glaze the duck with a little of the sauce after it has rested for fifteen minutes and return to the oven (with veg) to crisp up the skin for ten minutes.

Carving can be an issue, since ducks don’t have the same topography as chickens. Just remember that all the meat is on the breast and legs and you’ll have done a good job. I used the Chinese technique of a meat clever, dissecting the bird into four.

Serve with a green salad to make you think you’re eating a balanced diet, with the sauce on the side, a slice of orange on the duck, and a bottle of Merlot.

Bon apetite!

p.s. Don’t throw out the carcass, head or wing tips after cooking and serving. Save these in the freezer (with your container of duck fat for chips). We’ll revisit them in a few weeks for duck soup, using chestnuts and lentils!
p.p.s Keep the Mylanta handy!

... full text

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Gourmet Pantheon of Porridges

Happy Valentine's Day!

Much as Christmas, the time of forgiveness, family and giving has turned into a festival of consumerism and confrontation between family members, so too has Valentine’s Day, the day of lovers, become the festival of loneliness, heart ache and recrimination for some unfortunate few.
So today, buy the flowers, cook the dinner, do the dishes and be on your best behaviour to ensure your partner feels looked after.
I plan to try Duck a l’Orange ce soir, and maybe some crème caramel as well, but since I've yet to make them, I have nothing to report. Instead, I thought I'd turn my thoughts to porridge, that least romantic of all foods.

“Porridge?” you ask. “I came here for high gourmet food, not this load of tripe. What next? Is he going to be telling me about a glass of milk?”
In spite of preconceptions, porridge can be a glamour food, in a warm breakfasty, cereal kind of way. I first started eating porridge after a trip to the GP (the doctor, not the car race) about a sore knee.
“Porridge for a sore knee?” you interrupt again.
When I went and saw the doctor the phantom noise had gone and I appeared to have full mobility. Doctor conversation ensues:

“You took a Nurofen™? In addition to being a pain killer it’s also an anti-inflammatory. There’s nothing I can do.”
‘So what do I do if it starts creaking again?”
“Have another Nurofen™.”
“And what will happen to my knee?”
“Eventually it will give out. The sound you hear is the cartilage balling up, like pilling on a jumper. Just don’t go for jogs or do squat lifting. Kind of genuflect.”
Incensed at not going in for an arthroscopy, I asked for him to do something for me while I was there. He offered to do a full battery of blood tests and a general check up, which I duly had. The phone rang a week later.
“The doctor wants to see you.”
The result? High cholesterol, that 21st Century problem. I think mine’s genetic, apart from the French cooking and butter and what not, as my brother is on pills for his cholesterol. A second opinion was garnered from one of my doctor friends over dinner. He’s originally from Germany and is basically no nonsense.
“What a load of rubbish. What are your figures? You’re not even forty yet, and those figures are only a worry if you are a fat sicky. And you’re not a sicky, are you? Eat what you want.”
Confused, I undertook not to take pills and to moderate my diet with a weather eye to cholesterol. And as part of the regime, I undertook to eat cereal every morning.
I’ve spoken to a number of people, done some research, and it appears that oats are the tip top champion at reducing cholesterol, and that WeetBix™ have the nutritional content of cardboard. Allegedly!! A hippy told me at a BBQ beside a whole roasted lamb we were picking at over the holidays.
The first time I tried making porridge, it was an absolute disaster. Too thick, lumpy, dry and generally crap. I thought:
“How can anyone eat this muck?”
But then I recalled the smooth bowl of warm goodness my Mum used to give me in winter as a kid, and swore me an oath beneath the moon and stars that I would hit all the honky tonks and bars and learn how to make the world’s best porridge.
And in the last year think I’ve cracked it. To whit, Kit’s Gourmet Porridge.

Porridge (for 1!)
* Half a cup of traditional rolled oats. I discovered this morning that no-name oats are not as well “rolled” as Uncle Toby’s™ Traditional Rolled oats, resulting in less of a paste than individual oats-en-porridge (which is probably better for you, but not as glam). So go the expensive rolled oats. (Post-script: someone gave me a razz for bigging up Uncle T's, and remarked that Lowan
made very good oats... which I just tried this morning and can confirm. Go Lowan!!).
* A cup and a little slosh (about an extra 50 to 100 mls) of milk. I like Rev™.

Combine in pot and bring to a slow simmer. Do not allow the milk to boil. Stir with a wooden spoon. As the porridge blips away on the stove, you can do the dishes from the night before, which is another bonus. It takes around six to eight minutes to get the right consistency. The porridge should start to become a firm paste, kind of like a clingy glob that sticks to the spoon, but not too dry. Decant to a bowl, mix in a *squeeze of honey (have you tried Manuka honey from New Zealand? - apparently it has healing powers) and allow to sit while you finish the dishes. Add a small slosh of milk to lubricate the edge of the bowl and form a skin on the porridge. Eat, preferably with a silver spoon.
It does take a knack and you will need a few goes.
Some people don’t like sweet porridge. Jane prefers a pinch of salt over a squeeze of honey. To each their own and vive le difference.
Once you’ve managed to make standard porridge, a little door opens for you to enter the mysterious world of gourmet porridge.
“Qu’est que si que ca?” I hear Harry Hill ask.
Well, porridge is basically like toast. Once you’ve got the toast you can then add toppings. Here are a few variations.


Whisky Porridge
I got this, and the next recipe, from Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food, a thoroughly tip-top cook book I recommend to anyone, but I include here my own pukka observations, alright?
At the last minute of cooking the porridge as above, add *half a shot a Scottish whisky. I have a bottle of Tullamore Dew™ beside the stove, and can recommend it highly. The alcohol boils off at a lower temperature than water, so you don’t need to worry about it getting you drunk. That said, if you’re worried about letting good ethanol escape away into the atmosphere, you can inhale deeply over the pot as you stir it in and suck up the alcohol through your breathing apparatus. Add to this *a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg. This can be overdone, so no more than about a quarter of a teaspoon. At this point Jamie Oliver adds half a chopped banana, but if you were married to Jane, who has an aversion to all things bananary, you might rethink this and only add if bachelor-ing it up. Mix in honey. Delish.

Dark Chocolate and Marmalade Porridge
This one is not for every day. It’s a special occasion porridge, when you’re being particularly decadent.
In the last minute of the porridge cooking, grate in *some dark chocolate, preferably Lindt™. How much? Not too much. Remember this stuff is like toast: if you were making a fancy sweet toast with chocolate, how much would you add to a slice or two? I’d suggest no more than a tablespoon, but it’s up to you. Next, add *a teaspoon of seville orange marmalade. Make sure it is a bitter marmalade, as sweet ones tend to overpower the dark chocolate and make the whole thing a bit sickly.
Coco-lishous, and decadent.

White Chocolate and Raspberry Jam
Use the same technique as above, with slightly less jam (half a teaspoon). An experiment of mine, and not as good as the above, but worthy of note. Reminiscent of an Iced Vovo™.

Cinnamon and Brown Sugar
This variation occurred to me one morning after making my great-Aunty Claire’s cinnamon toast which I learnt to make when I was a kid at her crazy flat in Bendigo, with all her orange wigs and light fittings that looked like sugared lollies. She’d get us to make cinnamon toast on white bread with butter; you basically sprinkle on ground cinnamon and plenty of sugar to imitate a cinnamon doughnut.
This porridge is the same concept and, can I add, an unmitigated triumph and worthy of joining the Pantheon of Porridges. Sprinkle around *a teaspoon, or to taste, of dried cinnamon, and *2 teaspoons of brown sugar once your ordinary porridge is made.

Gourmet porridge. Make up your own (and send us the recipe!)! It reduces cholesterol, is simple, wholesome, will make you live longer, improve your bowel movement scenarios, as well as reducing your likelihood of a heart attack or stroke. Porridge. I give it six and a half tentacles.

... full text

Monday, January 30, 2012

Kit's "Surfin' Bird" French Chicken

“Ba na na na na na, now now
Ba na na na na na, now now
Ba na na na na na, now now
Ba na na!
Surfing bird!”

My great discovery this summer was, yet another, recipe from ‘Taming the Flame’ by Elizabeth Karmel, that officiando of all things American and slow cooked with the lid down on your Barbie™ (as opposed to your Ken™), which I tried with great success hosting a party using the Jamie Durie Patio™.

She came up with an adaptation of a recipe by Julia Childs she calls “French Chicken”, and it is simply delicioso. Julia Childs? Who’s she? Visit her in a time machine here. Hilarious and you can’t tell me not the inspiration for the Chef from the Muppets.

The original recipe by Liz features in Vanity Fair here, but my recipe is funnier and has some good tips.

Kit’s “Surfin’ Bird” French Chicken

Serves four to six
Two small chickens (NB small, the timing is all wrong with larger birds) – around the 1 to 1.25 kg mark, free range please!
Half a cup of Dijon mustard
Two tbsps dry white wine
Melted butter 60 g (or three tbsps)
Olive oil ¼ cup
Three spring onions
Teaspoon of dried tarragon.
A pinch of cayenne pepper
A cup of white bread crumbs
Salt and pepper
Two to three tomatoes

Prepare the chickens: Pat the chickens dry with paper towel. Using a pair of kitchen shears, cut down either side of the chicken spine and remove (you can keep the spines in the freezer and use them later for chicken stock). This bit is gruesome and will make you feel like the guy from 'Silence of the Lambs' making himself a new suit.

Turn the chickens breast side up and flatten, breaking the breast bone with a heavy blunt instrument. This is a surprisingly satisfying and primal thing to do, beating your prey into submission on a chopping board. I’ve used, variously, a heavy security guard torch and a knife sharpening steel, but you could just as easily use a candlestick in the library with Colonel Mustard.

You should now have two butterflied chickens (with the wings tucked underneath), if you haven’t gone too far and beaten the chicken into a pulp (in which case scrap this recipe and move to chicken burgers). Season with salt and pepper. Liz suggests grains of paradise, but I have no idea what this is unless it’s an American euphemism for cocaine.

Light the BBQ, heat to medium (180 °C), and put the birds in breast up off direct heat (i.e. middle two burners turned off). Roast for approximately 20 minutes.

While this is happening, make up your mustard mix. Mix mustard with white wine. Melt butter and slowly drizzle into mustard mix with oil, mixing as you go to combine evenly. Add spring onions, cayenne pepper and dried tarragon (Liz uses thyme, but tarragon is the “king of herbs” and makes chicken taste so good and Frenchie).

Return to BBQ, turn breast side down and spoon some of the mixture onto the inside of the chicken cavities. You’ll need some left at the end, so don’t use heaps here, maybe about a quarter of the mix. Allow to roast for another 10 minutes.

Turn chickens back breast side up. Top with more of the mustard mix, a good dollop (about a third at least – but reserve a bit) on the breast, roast for another 10 minutes.

Now, top the chicken breast with most of the bread crumbs (leave some aside for later) once the mustard has baked a bit. This is to make a crunchy bread top on the breast, and probably the hardest thing to master. I’ve found the bread doesn’t brown as much as I’d like without the chicken falling apart. I’d recommend turning up the BBQ here to around 210°C and perhaps lightly drizzling a little olive oil over the crumbs to make sure they crisp; around a further 10 to 15 minutes.

By now the chicken should be cooked and the crumbs crunchy. You can test the doneness of the meat by inserting a thermometer in the thigh, being careful not to touch the bone. It should be 180°C. Another way to test chicken is to see if the oil runs clear out of the join between the thighs and the body, or you could just use your brain and have a look. Pull the chooks out and allow to rest for ten minutes.

While the chickens rest, top the halved tomatoes with the remaining mustard mix and sprinkle bread crumbs over the top. Put on the warming shelf of the BBQ at 210°C and crisp up the bread crumbs (ten minutes).

Serve half chickens with tomatoes and a green salad. Bon apetite, oh la la and yum a gum. Lip smackingly good, though your doctor will, as usual, be doing 360’s in his grave.

As always, your friend

Kit ///

... full text

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Yoda Cake

Delicious this was. Posted holiday cake eating it is! Best Yoda Cake Ever! by Cara
... full text