Friday, August 11, 2017

Beef cheeks braised with oysters in Red wine (Inspired by Chef Raymond Blanc)


2 large pieces of beef cheeks
20 Large oysters
1 Cup Flour
Salt and Pepper to season
Butter/olive oil for frying
Mirepoix: 1 large carrot, 4 stalks celery, 2 large brown onions, 6 cloves garlic, 3 stalks spring onion
500g brown mushrooms
1 small can tomato paste
Aromatics: Thyme, Bay leaves, cinnamon, star anise
Liquids: 1 pack Campbells beef stock, 1 bottle Merlot
Equipment: 1 large heavy base pot, 1 slow cooker


(Optional) Add salt, pepper and flour into a large ziplock bag and shake till well mixed.
Place beef cheeks into the ziplock bag and shake till well coated in flour and seasoning.
(OR) Season beef cheeks with salt and pepper
Then, in a heavy base pot, heat oil till smoking then add beef cheeks and brown them till dark and golden then set aside.

Chop up mirepoix and brown mushrooms into small pieces (use food processor for convenience)
Fry them in the heavy base pot scrapping down all the sucs, add tomato paste and fry till fragrant.
Add oysters
When ingredients are tender and semi-caramelised, add wine, stock and aromatics.
Bring to boil.
Boil till volume is reduced to ½ or 1/3.

Meanwhile, heat up slow cooker.
Ladle a couple of spoons of the mixture onto base of slow cooker pot.
Place beef cheeks
Ladle the rest of the mixture over the beef cheeks
Slow cook for at least 8 hours.

Serve with cauliflower mash, asparagus and broccolini fried in bacon fat.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Lebanese Cuisine - Jasmin1 Auburn

I will let the pictures do the talking for this post.

 Mixed plate $18. Worth every penny. Lebanese bread, garlic sauce, tahini sauce and pickles are all complimentary.
Best Lebanese food I've had since moving to Sydney? Probably. Will I be back? Definitely. (Been back two days in a row so far :P)

Chinese Cuisine - Steamed pork with millet

A Chinese classic, tender pork belly marinated in a spice mixed and steamed with millet to absorb up all the juices.
Start with a piece of pork belly with a meat to fat ratio of approximately 1:1
 For this recipe, I decided to experiment with this pre-packaged spice and millet mix that can be found at most Asian grocery stores.

 Slice your pork belly up into approximately 2" cubes
 Empty packet of spice and millet mix over, add 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce, 1 table spoon of Chinese cooking wine, 1 tablespoon of soy-sauce, 1 table spoon of Sesame oil and just a pinch of pepper.
 Give it a good mix until all the meat is well coated. Let meat marinate in the fridge (cover with cling wrap) for approximately 2 hours or overnight before cooking.
 Julienne a carrot and sprinkle over the top before steaming for an hour
Finished product sitting in my steamer. It is a complete 1 dish meal for the winter. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Keto Friendly Creamy Seafood Chowder

Bonjour! Combining seafood and soup, I bring you seafood soup...............................Righto. So onto the ingredients and method.

For 4 serves: 250 grams of oysters, 250 grams of seafood marinara mix (from woolworths etc), 1 piece of smoked cod. Aromatics: 1/2 a brown onion sliced, 2 stalks of celery cubed and 3 cloves of garlic minced. Liquids and seasoning: 1 x packet of stock, 1 x carton of double cream, cayenne pepper for extra kick.

 Add some unsalted butter to a pan and heat till it melts. Add some olive oil to prevent butter from burning. Add the piece of cod and fry both sides till tender and flaky. Flake up the fish using a spatula an move it to the edge of the pan.
 Toss in aromatics (Celery, onion and garlic) and fry till fragrant whilst mixing in the smoked cod
 Toss in Oysters first (especially if they're frozen like mine). As they are heated up, they will release moisture which will help deglaze the pan. Sprinkle generously with cayenne pepper and freshly cracked black pepper.

 After heating through the oysters for about 5 minutes, add the seafood mix and continue to stir fry the whole lot for another 5~8 minutes. Then add just enough stock to cover ingredients

 Add your desired amount of cream. For this instance I used 1 standard container of double cream.

 Bring to a gentle simmer for a further 5 minutes and take care not to boil soup so as to prevent cream from separating. Spoon into your favourite soup bowl, garnish with some smoked paprika and chow down! (P.S: Keto-friendly croutons anyone????? :P)

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

To be first amongst equals, one burger to rule them all....

Hi all, so I was having a burger craving and decided to give a crack at writing a personal review on three of the top favourites within the vicinity.

They are:
1) Bare Grill on Bourke Street, Surry Hills
2) Grill'd
3) Big Daddy's Burger Grill

 First up we have The Mac Daddy at Big Daddy's Burger Bar
Triple beef patties, triple cheese, big daddy sauce - $13
Deep fried onion rings - $5
Review: The burger was VERY juicy, and dripping with melted cheese. Bun was similar to semi-sweet French brioche bread and gave a great contrast to the savouriness of the meat and cheese. The onion rings were very normal, nothing to go ga ga about.
Verdict: Big thumbs up to the Mac Daddy. Won't purchase onion rings again.

 Next up is Bare Grill along Bourke Street, Surry Hills.
I  ordered the Big Bare which had two beef patties, bacon, American cheese, lettuce and onions plus their special sauce - $17
Melted raclette cheese over burger - $7
Onion rings - $12
Review: Quality and service comes at a premium. Being the most costly of the three restaurants, this offered prompt service by wait-staff, water and a heated interior which is pretty welcomed for the winter. No corners were cut in the preparation of the burger. The patties were tasty, not too salty, succulent and real beefy. The variety of melted cheeses gave it an added oomph. Finally the bacon was definitely the cherry on top of the cake. The onion rings were freshly fried, crispy and contained rings sliced out from an actual onion, not reconstituted onion mash fashioned into UFOs.
Verdict: Very excellent, at $7 for topping of melted cheese, I reckon its a bit on the pricey side.

 Last but not least, your everyday burger from the Grill'd Chain of restaurants.
Bacon and cheese burger - $11.50
Low carb burger bun - +$1.50
Deep fried avocado chips - $5.90
Review: In summary, crispy bacon, melted cheese on a juicy beef patty, garnished with onions and lettuce nestled in a low carbohydrate bun along with a side of battered and deep fried avocado slices. Burger was pretty normal but avocado chips were very unique.
Verdict: Burgers are so-so however I would recommend trying the avocado chips at least once just to satisfy your curiosity.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Roasted Scotch Fillet with mushrooms, garlic and onions

Craving some beef, I decided to roast some Scotch Fillet for tonight's dinner. Scotch fillet which is also Rib Eye cut without the bone in has a great meat to fat ratio, tenderness and flavour.

Rub scotch fillet with olive oil then marinate with ample salt, pepper and minced garlic
Prepare some extra smashed garlic and onions to cook with the mushrooms
 Slice up a carton of your favourite mushrooms.

 Toss some olive oil with butter into a heavy base pan, turn flame on to medium high
 Sweat onions till translucent then throw in garlic and fry till fragrant. Take care not to burn garlic if not it will impart a bitterness.
 Toss in your sliced mushrooms and fry, tossing regularly
 The mushroom/onion/garlic mixture should look like this at the end of the frying
 Place meat into your baking dish and spread the mushrooms around it as shown in picture below.

 If you are using a table top convection oven like I am, cover with aluminium foil and cook at 175C for 1 hour. Flip meat and pop it back in for another hour at 150C. Finally flip it back to its original side up, remove foil and bake for another 30 minutes on 125C.

The dish should look like this at the end. Remember to let the meat sit for around 10~15 minutes before slicing. 

 Bon Appetit my friends!
 Remember, may the Om Nom Nom be with you :D