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, 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.


Andrew said...

RE: Your poll
"What's your favourite autumn pass time?"

It's not Autumn 'pass time', it's 'pastime', you dick!!!


Otherwise, great content. Love the voice.

Kit Fennessy said...

You know, Jane picked me up on that too but the blog doesn't let me edit it once posted.

I can justify it by saying; but it's how I like to "pass" the "time", not a past ime...

: o

Kit ///