Archive for July, 2010

Seafood hotpot noodle soup

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Hotpot noodle soup.jpg

It is SO cold lately, that all I want to eat every night coming home from work is a hot bowl of noodle soup.  Usually that’s noodles (udon, egg noodles, rice noodles), with veges of some sort, meat of some sort and some fish balls.  Tonight, I had some leftovers from a steamboat meal so my trick was to poach all the ingredients for just long enough to cook them without turning them into a soggy mess.  Two bowls of water going at once.  One for the fish ball squares – they need to be boiled for 10minutes.  And whilst that is going, poach the other ingredients in order of delicateness - golden mushrooms, shitaki mushrooms, then the tripe and finally the seafood ever so slightly.  Rinse the rice noodles under hot water (if you boil them they will be too soggy). And make the soup base: boil 2 cups of chicken stock, and add a slurp of soy sauce, a sprinkle of white pepper, a few drops of sesame oil and some chopped spring onions.  Place refreshed noodles in a bowl, and arrange all the ingredients nicely on top.  Pour on the hot soup and serve steaming hot.  No need for heaters and woolly socks, you will be warmed to the core :) In 15 minutes flat too :)

Kobenhavner Cafeen

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

We Aussies feel a sense of connection with Denmark, after all, we gave them their Crown Princess Mary!  Thinking of Denmark, the images that come to mind are beautiful people, blonde hair blue eyed babies, fresh air, water, canals, and danish pastries!!  Well all these things Denmark does have.  But one thing I did not expect it to be was so expensive :( The Danish Kroner exchange rate with the Aussie has resulted in coffees costing no less than $6 to have in or take away, same price for soft drinks too.  And whilst Croatia and Greece average meal price was 10 euros and an expensive meal being 20 euros, it was more like an average meal in Copenhagen being 20 euros :(   Anyway….. What is Danish food like?  Traditional food includes herrings, lots of meats and stews as it’s such a cold country, meatballs, and the open sandwich. Which is exactly as it sounds.  Slices of bread topped with all manner of condiments, meats and flavours eaten on a plate with a knife and fork with no bread on top.    We went in search of traditional Danish food, and found the Kovenhavner Cafeen.   At approx DKK190 per meal it was a little on the expensive side to us (you can find meals for DKK160), but it looked full of Danish people so it must be good right?   My first upset was that they refused to serve tap water.  Bottled water only.  Imagine if they opened in Sydney, there would be a huge revolt!  And I must admit when I walked in the restaurant, I thought “yuck”.  It was so old and a bit musty.  You can imagine old people playing cards and smoking in here as it was dark and the carpet ugly and old, with very outdated furniture.  So in conjunction with the limited menu, i wasn’t that enthused about this place.  Well after looking at the menu for a while, thinking “what’s the least bad thing I could eat”, I settled on the Copenhagen casserole.  Pork loin casserole which must be ordered in at least 2 serves.  The waiter brought this huge cast iron pot which was approx only 1/4 full of food.  But woooaaahhhh what it lacked in volume it made up for in flavour.  I was proved wrong again – appearances deceptive as this was the most delicious thing I had eaten in Copenhagen!!

Kobenhavner cafeen 1.jpg

It came with freshly deep fried (And very oily) but crispy french fries.

Kobenhavner cafeen 2.jpg


Masterchef Country Women’s Association Marble Cake

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

The day after the Masterchef contestants presented burnt and raw cakes, runny jam and rock hard scones, many were discussing – what went wrong?  Many attributed it to the outdoor setting and the unfamiliar oven.  So I set about trying to prove that in normal circumstances, the challenge can be done!  I wanted to try the marble cake as I hadn’t seen one before that had only two colours (pink and white) and had jam in the middle.   Oh noooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!  It burnt!!!  As you can see, i had to shave the sides down!!!  Not even the pretty pink icing could hide my shame (especially since the judge said that no icing can run down the side!).   

Masterchef Country womens association marble cake 1.jpg

THe cut through the middle test:  Fair distribution of colour, but still a bit too much pink.  Not burnt on the inside.

Masterchef Country womens association marble cake 2.jpg

Crumb was okay and the icing was fairly even (on this slice at least hahaha), but still dry for my liking :(   Big fail!   I concluded:  It’s not me, it’s not the contestants, it’s the word “moderate” to describe the oven temperature.  Everyone’s oven is different. Whilst moderate generally means 180 degrees, my oven is fan forced so I should have turned it down 10 degrees.  Who knows what the CWA oven is like?  So “moderate’ could have meant a bit range of potential fails  :(   Oh well… better luck next time.

Masterchef Country womens association marble cake 3.jpg

Link to the recipes:

Quick Apple Tarte Tatin

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

Masterchef Australia should come with a warning.  Warning: Do not watch unless you have a well stocked pantry of food to satisfy guaranteed longings.  Well I luckily do have tonnes of stuff in my pantry and fridge, and today’s craving was for a warm tarte tatin.  That’s a French upside down apple tart.  The apples are caramelised then covered with a puff pastry blanket to cook (traditionally in a frypan), inverted and served with vanilla bean ice cream.  I wanted to make individual serves, so here’s the recipe for 2 people.  Step 1: Peel and slice one granny smith apple.  Step 2: Melt a tablespoon of butter in a saucepan, and a tablespoon of brown sugar. Step 3: Put apples in and cook until soft and some of the juices have come into the saucepan to form a sauce. Step 4: Meanwhile, cut two discs of puff pastry and preheat the oven to 220 degrees. 

Tarte Tatin 1.jpg

Step 5: I lined two tart tins with baking paper but for the traditional way, just simmer off some of the liquid until the caramel is thicker, then lay a whole sheet of puff pastry on top and put it in the oven.  For my way, lay the apples nicely in a spiral, then simmer the sauce until it’s thicker, and then pour over the apples.  Lay the pastry on top.  Step 6: Bake in the oven until puffed and the edges are very brown and the sauce is caramelised.

Tarte Tatin 2.jpg

Final step: carefully invert onto a plate and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Eat immediately whilst still warm and whilst the pastry is crispy.  Cooked and eaten in 40 minutes :)

Tarte Tatin 3.jpg