Archive for August, 2008

Baked jam donuts

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

jam donuts.jpg jam donuts2.jpg

For you homer simpsons out there who love donuts and maybe have a bit of resemblance to his figure as a result (hehehe), this is a great alternative. These donuts are not fried, but they are baked instead.  The sugar and cinnamon sticks to the outside by brushing melted butter (or low fat margarine) on the outside.  The only problem (which you may not see as a problem) is that you have to eat them straight out of the oven, they’re not good when they’re cold/leftover.  The recipe is in the August issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller Magazine, but they used an apple filling instead. :)

Pantry Staples

Sunday, August 17th, 2008

Now that it’s winter, I want to make as few trips to the shops as possible, and have a well stocked pantry so that I can simply buy fresh meat, veges and fruit to make a meal.  Here is what I consider essential to have on hand in the pantry:

  • Chicken stock – Campbell’s Real Stock in Chicken for soups, beef for stews and casseroles
  • Canned tomatoes – for soups, casseroles, pasta
  • Dried herbs – for when the herb garden has frozen to death
  • Carbs – pasta (spaghetti, macaroni, risoni for stews), jasmine rice for Asian food, arborio for risottos
  • Long life milk just in case!
  • Flours, sugar, eggs and butter (in the fridge) to make cakes and sweets – it’s amazing how many things these four things can make – cakes, pancakes, scones. for all those last minute visitors.
  • A packet of frozen beeries in the freezer – can add to pancakes, smoothies, muffins, desserts
  • Chickpeas for stews, casseroles and soups
  • Honey and peanut butter for my toast
  • Rolled oats, brown sugar to make steaming hot porridge

These are all things that don’t perish and you can just keep replenishing as you need.  What have I missed that you consider critical? :)

Seared Salmon with braised fennel

Saturday, August 16th, 2008

salmon.jpgWatching Gordon Ramsay shows has inspired me to make simple meals with special ingredients, and present them in a clean way.  This dish took only 5 ingredients (6 if you count the beans!). And so easy to make. Who said cooking for one is fussy?


La Grotta Calzone

Sunday, August 10th, 2008

calzone.jpgKicking off a very long 3 days of various birthday celebrations – and the highlight – was this calzone from La Grotta in Haberfield.  Being another of Sydney’s “Little Italies”, Haberfield’s Ramsay Street is lined with delis, pizza shops, bakeries, and bread and pasta suppliers, so the competition is tough.  I actually wanted to try La Disfida, (which was said by Luciana of Cucina Italiana to be her favourite over rival Napoli Im Bocca), but alas it was closed.  So then Dolcissimo looked quite packed, but also didn’t seem to have more than pasta and pizza on offer, we walked to next door La Grotta, which seemed alot quieter but had a more diverse menu.  GREAT choice, because not only was the service an outstanding differentiator from its Haberfield cousins, but this calzone was wood fired perfection.  The waiters had no problem whatsover turning any of the other pizzas on the menu into the calzone, so I chose the Special, with ham, salami, mushrooms, olives (and hold the pineapple).  This gigantic crescent arrived which was bigger than the plate – crust was risen to perfection, and cooked the way I like it – crunchy as it can be without burning.  It was not oily at all, and well I could have stopped eating after 4 slices, but hey since I’m there…. let the pants loose. It was $19.90 which is around the same as all the other shops in the area – but go there also for the outstanding attentive service that really aims to please in a really genuine way.  The place is also HUGE, so also consider it for functions!

La Grotta 104 Ramsay Street Haberfield (02) 9799 0100