Sunday, August 29, 2010


Is that breakfast or lunch? What makes for a good brunch? I think it’s all in the diversity.

Dragging myself out of bed on any day, especially a non-working day is always going to be a battle so by the time I make brunch most of my dining pals are ready for round two (culinary speaking that’s lunch). So while I’m choosing baked ricotta and poached rhubarb compote they’re looking for a wagyu steak. And the real early birds might be hankering for apple and cinnamon muffins and a chai! So a great brunch menu needs to include something light, something substantial. something savoury and something sweet... preferably not always all in the one dish!

For breakfast. eggs and bacon will always fill the spot for me better than even the most outstanding congee (rice porridge), so cultural preferences and comfort foods is also a factor. However the mixture can be fun if done well like dishes such as Sri (Lankan that is) scrambled Eggs, Viet fried eggs and roti omelets at one of my favourites - Tom Phat.

The pic is the Feta, zucchini, corn fritters with avocado salsa, bloody Mary dressing , and a fried egg (a little of everything), on the menu at Churchill Cafe and Larder - 13 Hamilton St, Surrey Hills (experiencing some very mixed reviews since making changes to the business a few months ago).

Always a goodie - Tom Phat, 184 Sydney Rd Brunswick
Tom Phat on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A few of my favourite things....

...a last minute dash to indulge in the richness of winter cooking has bought together some of my joys. Chatting to Mr Malouf recently about his next book on the cuisine of Iran provoked a return to Turquoise. Sultan's delight (a robust Turkish lamb stew on creamy cheesy eggplant puree) seemed perfect for a chilly Sunday. Of course, getting up early enough to get the lamb from the local farmers’ market was always going to be a struggle - the price for my sleep in, the choice of cuts, so home I came with way too many kilos of beautiful lamb shoulder nicely rolled for a Sunday roast. Some for the Sultan and perhaps an Aussie roast to keep the child happy! Well the roast turned a tad Mediterranean, studded with garlic, rubbed with olive oil and slow cooked to melt in the mouth deliciousness and teamed with lemony potatoes (and steamed greens!)- the child was happy even though it wasn’t what she expected. But the Sultan's delight was magic, the combination of lamb, red onions, red pepper paste, oregano, garlic, honey, tomatoes and stock was just glorious, the left over sauce was rapturously mopped up with fresh bread the next day. And what great lamb; worth getting up for. An excellent marriage with the eggplant (yes, the same one I served with the koftas back in June). Yum.

Turquoise – A chef’s travels in Turkey by Greg and Lucy Malouf (Sultan’s delight recipe p.174)
Killara Rise Lamb