had MOROCCAN LAMB Chargrilled Moroccan lamb fillets served on cous-cous mixed with lemon, olive, potato & tomato salsa with a side of mint yoghurt and VEAL SCALLOPINE Served on Tuscan mash & spinach with a white wine & mushroom sauce we noticed that the portions became a bit smaller than last year, the food tasted not that great and also the service changed for worse (we were not noticed at all, laughed at it and Alex went to fetch the menu himself)
Rate: 7/10. I am uploading some photos as they look good still...
I called this dish:
CRAZY RUSSIANS SWIM ACROSS THE INDIAN OCEAN OR SUDDENLY INDIAN COOK ON RUSSIAN SPACECRAFT NEW
Need: main: basa filet(s) (for those who do not know basa is a kinda fish) white grape sultanas dry blue berries sea salt cracked pepper curry powder chili powder + for decoration: mini red bell pepper (2) chick peas, olives and tomato salsa to fill in the red pepper (I bought one at Thomas Dux supermarket Yallaa brand) beetroot relish ((I bought one at Thomas Dux supermarket "1/4lb brand" - FOR REAL!) small avocado halved (filled with dill mayo of Simon Johns brand) assorted greens decorations including something i do not know what's called and beans sprouts
turkish curled sweet green pepper lime baby calamari (cooked before they run away back to the ocean) + for sides: halved white onions baked with mini red chilians, sorry... chilies potato-harmonica (kartoshka-garmoshka) cut and backed with curry, spices and fragrant olive oil
Do: do as shown on the pictures... I am tired of talking...
kangaroo mince 99% fat free mixed spices white onion squash red and purple carrots mini-red bell capsicum cut in half and filled with salsa green leaves and garden flowers for decor time: 16 min
BRANDY CURED SALMON WITH RUSSIAN BLINY NEW
Need: For Salmon
2 tbl spoons of sea salt
2 table spoons of raw sugar
100 ml of any brandy
finely grated rind of 2 lemons plus we will need lemon wedges to serve
1 kg of salmon (I bought salmon pieces at Cahdstone fish maket)
¼ cup of each mint and continental parsley, finely chopped
For Buttermilk blini
170 gm plain self raised flour
300 ml of kefir (butter milk - I use Blue Bay Cheese dairy products for quality)
2 tbsp finely chopped continental parsley
1/2 red bell pepper finely chopped
cold pressed olive oil for cooking
Combine salt, sugar, brandy and all other ingredients except salmon, stir to combine. Scatter a little salt mixture in a bowl then place all salmon pieces in the same bowl and scatter the rest of the mixture over it to top your bowl. Wrap in glad wrap and refrigerate until lightly cured (8-10 hours). You can then scatter over chopped herbs and remaining lemon rind (if you have any left overs), pat well into flesh, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate until required.
For buttermilk blini, sift flours into a large bowl, add a pinch of salt and raw sugar, stir to combine and form a well in the centre, add eggs, buttermilk, red capsicum and parsley, stir until a thick batter forms. Cover and set aside to prove (1 hour). Heat one-third of butter/olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat, add tablespoons of blini mixture and cook until bubbles form (2-3 minutes), turn, cook until golden (30 seconds), then remove from pan. Repeat with remaining butter and batter till the mixture bowl is empty.
Place salmon pieces on a plate and serve with buttermilk blini and lemon wedges.
LET'S CHOPSTICK! NEW
do you know how to use chopsticks? you all do - I am pretty sure... but do you know that chopsticks are different from country to country: there are Korean,Chinese, Japanese etc etc. Do you know there are certain rules at the table when you eat with chopsticks? Do you know that these rules vary from country to country? We offer you some hints and some information you might still find useful when you are dinning with your Asian friends... you would not like to offend any one at the table or you would not like to appear rude...? would you?..
Top to bottom: Chinese Restaurant Quality Melamine Resin Chopsticks, Chinese Bamboo Chopsticks, Korean 18-10 Stainless Steel Chopsticks & Spoon, Japanese Yew Wood Chopsticks, Japanese Red Lacquered Chopsticks (standard and shorter lengths; 2 sets), Children’s size Lacquered Bamboo Chopsticks, Japanese Bamboo Cooking Chopsticks (long), Japanese Double-Tiped Bamboo Cooking Chopsticks, High Quality Decorative Pine Waribashi (disposable) Chopsticks, Bamboo Waribashi (disposable) Chopsticks (wrapped with Zippy’s logo) and standard pine Waribashi (disposable) Chopsticks (wrapped with Yummy’s Korean B-B-Q logo). Also pictured is a square Japanese ceramic tan/brown chopsticks rest and a Chinese white/blue porcelain chopsticks rest.
There’s a whopping 40 forbidden acts listed regarding the use of chopsticks (and a few on general table manners) from a Japanese perspective:
Which chopstick bad manners can you just not break?
渡し箸 watashi bashi: Resting chopsticks sideways across the top of dishes 探り箸 saguri bashi: Stirring soup trying to find that last chunk of tofu, etc 突き箸・刺し箸 tsuki bashi, sashi bashi: Spearing food then eating it 直箸 choku bashi: Not using the
serving chopsticks, but your own sticks to get food from shared plates もぎ箸 mogi bashi: Sucking off grains
of rice, etc, stuck to the chopsticks 重ね箸 kasane bashi: Eating just one
dish continuously 持ち箸 mochi bashi: Grabbing a dish, glass, etc whilst holding
chopsticks in the same hand 迷い箸 mayoi bashi: Hovering chopsticks
over the dishes while humming and hawing about what to eat 受け箸 uke bashi: Holding chopsticks
when asking for more rice 掻き箸 kaki bashi: Holding a bowl to
your mouth and shovelling food in 舐り箸 neburi bashi: Licking your
chopsticks 撥ね箸 hane bashi: Pushing away
disliked food with chopsticks 寄せ箸 yose bashi: Pulling dishes
closer with chopsticks 洗い箸 arai bashi: Washing chopsticks
in soup 指し箸 sashi bashi: Pointing at people
or things with chopsticks すかし箸 sukashi bashi: Rather than turning
over a fish, picking away the meat from under the bones 揃え箸 soroe bashi: Suddenly lunging at
dishes with chopsticks ready 空箸 kara bashi: Picking up food but
not eating it 移り箸・渡り箸 utsuri bashi,watari bashi: Aiming to pick up
one dish, but then suddenly switching to another 涙箸 namida bashi: Allowing tears of
soup to drip from your chopsticks Which chopstick bad manners in others can you just not help noting?
仏箸 hotoke bashi: The gaijin
etiquette book favourite, standing your chopsticks up in a bowl of rice 指し箸 sashi bashi: Pointing at people
or things with chopsticks 叩き箸 tataki bashi: Making a noise by
striking dishes with chopsticks 寄せ箸 yose bashi: Pulling dishes
closer with chopsticks 舐り箸 neburi bashi: Licking your
chopsticks 合わせ箸 awase bashi: Passing food from
chopstick to chopstick – another foreigner etiquette book favourite 噛み箸 kami bashi: Chewing chopsticks
etiquette book favourite 涙箸 namida bashi: Allowing tears of
soup to drip from your chopsticks 突き箸・刺し箸 tsuki bashi,sashi bashi: Spearing food then
eating it せせり箸 seseri bashi: Poking or playing
with your food using chopsticks 迷い箸 mayoi bashi: Hovering chopsticks
over the dishes while humming and hawing about what to eat 移り箸・渡り箸 utsuri bashi,watari bashi: Aiming to pick up
one dish, but then suddenly switching to another 空箸 kara bashi: Picking up food but
not eating it 違い箸 chigai bashi: Using a mis-matched pair of chopsticks 洗い箸 arai bashi: Washing chopsticks
/span> 撥ね箸 hane bashi: Pushing away
disliked food with chopsticks 揃え箸 soroe bashi: Suddenly lunging at
dishes with chopsticks ready 掻き箸 kaki bashi: Holding a bowl to
your mouth and shovelling food in 持ち箸 mochi bashi: Grabbing a dish,
glass, etc whilst holding chopsticks in the same hand 込み箸 komi bashi: Stuffing too much
food into your mouth
This Wikipedia article on Chopsticksgives a good general overview on the history and etiquette practices from each country, and is an ideal place to start your own personal research. I’m not about to attempt to retype the whole list here. You can read them at those links yourself.
The Korean STAINLESS STEEL chopsticks, which come as a set including a matching SPOON:
The all-time classic Chinese chopsticks (Chinese restaurant quality melamine resin chopsticks (with spoon)):
Next under the microscope we have several varieties of Japanese chopsticks:
The waribashi (disposable) variety:
There’s a couple styles of chopstick rests:
How you HOLD your chopsticks.
Using chopsticks: Stationary lower chopstick rested between base of thumb and index finger at the top and ring finger at the bottom, with the “actuator” chopstick above operated by the pointer and middle finger, using the tip of the thumb as a fulcrum point. Grip the stationary chopstick between the base of my thumb and the bottom part against my ring finger (which is where most instructions say to).
one magnificent evening in the heart of brighton. the restaurant is so popular it was overbooked and we had to finish our mains quickly as we did not make reservations. the food is one word: rocking excellent! what we ordered:
ROASTED HALF DUCK with orange and campari sause RACK OF LAMB served crushed peas with red wine and macademia crust (i believe both meals could easily be a signature dishes so immaculately done they were) all mains go with side vegetables and salad/pototoes Rate: 10/10 service - good/atmosphere - good We highly recommend the place to all our friends and not only to those who live close by but to all of them who live far away - believe me it worth travelling an extra milefor such a delicious treat Cost $42 with an Entertainment Book voucher
NATURAL MILK AND HOME MADE RYE BREAD NEW
got a 2ltr bottle of REAL (and I mean real-real) milk (from the real, live cow probably that we thought did not exist anymore!) and a delicious home made rye bread our friend (and Word Nerds company manager) Michael Gladkoff brought for us last Saturday - so grateful Michael, thank you... The milk is all gone - was so thick (btw, the milk has got that distinguished pinkish color that only natural not pasteurized one has; looks like she, that cow is munching pretty sweet grass too ) - i did not drink anything like this since i was 15 years old when we went last time to my grandma's farm in Ukraine and I had it with wild strawberries... yummmm... Michael, I should get the bread recipe from you (please note: I am not asking for the milk recipe as you need way too many ingredients for that... :o) but bread - please-please!) here are the photos as i cant possibly go without them
If you are in South Yarra you can not miss Como, meaning you can not pass by Insieme restaurant. I told you lats year what "insieme" means in Italian, If you do not remember please look it up in the dictionary - I think it is nice to know how and why people call this place this way or another. It is quiet, it is cozy and it is welcoming. Located in the heart of SY it offers the simplest and the sophisticated under the same roof. You can have a quick dinner before going upstairs to the Palace Cinema Como, the dinner as simple and as tasty as your pizza can be or you can have something from the chef's masterpieces that melts in your mouth like long waited spring-like and warm evening in Melbourne. We love this place as it never let us down... and we always felt there as the most desired friends.
We ordered two mains as usual: A: scotch fillet with chive and garlic and mashed potatoes on the side topped with broccolini in wine juices N: veal cotoletta with beetroot, goat cheese and wild rocket salad
All thumbs up and rated 9/10!
I guess when it comes to dinner russians and most western europeans can not think about anything else but beef and mashed potatoes. I am not concerned and I am not complaining about Alex's conservative choices as he has his way in food and I really respect it and should say Alex's dish was OK the way beef and mash should be but the veal meal was the divinest we have ever tried: yummy goat cheese and beetroot combination with just right seasoning and spices and juicy, tender and crispy veal and all that jazz... better try and feel than describe...
the cost with Entertainment Book voucher was a total of $34 (we sell Entertainment Books and we have only 8 of them left for this year 2013-2014. The postage and handling is free if you order from Monday july 14 till the end of the month) we also ended up going to Gânache Chocolate just on the opposite side of Toorak Rd for cappuccinos and almond and hazelnut cookies.there are some photos to eat with your eyes too:
DARK CHOCOLATE AND DRIED FRUIT NEW
there is a couple of small presents to go today to a couple of our sponsors: a flower shop owner and a european bazaar owner: i made dark chocolates with prunes (boxed and ribboned with love) plus my rough experiments with dark chocolate + fruit mix of organic apricots, figs, loganberries, cranberries, raisins, white grapes, apples, pears, dates, orange peel, pineapple and lots of other dried fruit that i even do not know the names of - topped on dark chocolate.
Whole Baked Trout With Herb Salsa NEW
Do you find buying and cooking whole fish annoying? My daughter, Mash cooked trout for our Christmas family dinner. The size was enormous, the taste was divine. I would like to copy her recipe but with two smaller fish. This recipe might encourage you to get some lovely whole fish next time you’re visiting your local fish market. Not only is it extremely nutritious but it’s also very easy to make and you will have a dinner ready in 30 minutes….just like i did. please enjoy it!
use any other whole fish like snapper barramundi instead of trout if in season. For the side dish make fresh garden salad , rice or cook some vegetables while your fish is in the oven.
I used for ingredients:
2 small trouts
1 medium red onion, peeled and roughly diced
some fresh basil leaves i found in my winter garden
some fresh parsley i found in my winter garden
some fresh mint leaves i found in my winter garden
some fresh thyme i found in my winter garden
4 garlic cloves, peeled
juice of 1/2 lemon (i used a supermarket lemon juice in the bottle which is a no-no, but i did not have a spare lemon)
sprinkle of olive oil with garlic
rock salt with black pepper
1 lemon fordecorations
Preheat oven to 200 °C (we do not have F in Australia I think so we use C instead :o))
Combine all the ingredients except the trout in a food processor or a blender and process into a salsa like consistency (more like sour cream, if you do not know what salsa is; salsa is a dance BTW - so please refer to our recipe about salsa style cabbage below).
Cover fish with the herb marinade on both sides and a little inside the fish cavity. Add a few lemon slices on top of both fish. Place in a deep roasting tray and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, on the middle shelf.
Serve with garden salad, rice and veggies on the side (what ??? if it is too much remove everything except fish - you need to eat something at the end right?...) As for me I had to check that Penny is not in the oven as she was too excited during the time of cooking and was everywhere to help me... yes...
there are some photos for look, for touch and for scent:
Dark Chocolate with Large Prunes and Roasted Almonds NEW
dark chocolate with large prunes and roasted almonds - today's order is ready to go to one of our friends, Mystic Turtle, a crystal shop owner...
HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE NEW
penny, our little and quiet helper and some homemade dark chocolates (with prunes, cherries, cranberries, apricots, pine nuts and almonds)
to be honest i was expecting much more especially that we went to this place many many times before... have they changed or may be it was our wrong dish selection? the difference is tiny small compared to the last year, probably November we went to this place with Alex, Masha and Glen but it changed everything...
we ordered pappa's favourite - panfried bobby veal slices (milk fed) served w rolled mashed potato & red wine & mushroom jus X2 and my mash went to Alex straight away cos he is very keen on it and anyway...
Rate: 5/10 so sorry to give this place such a low rate as i really favored it... no one could cook such a crispy snapper as they did... should have ordered something different perhaps... i always thought they know what they were doing.... and the management is still the same... perhaps i was not in the mood... so have no idea what happened today... Price: $31 for two of us with Entertainment Book voucher...
I continue publishing some good old Russian recipes well forgotten after 20 years of our immigration. I truly believe neglecting the common opinion that inner parts of the animal are very nutritious and very good and healthy for you. The parts of meat that we usually keep for the dogs and that modern meat manufacturing gives away to dogs and cats food plants should be given to the people. In ancient times the best parts of the animal (liver, kidneys and brain) were given to the leading hunters. The parts of the meat that are served in top restaurants now were given to the dogs. This is how your eating and thinking habits get changed due to media promotion of wrong values... But let's get back to our Russian cuisine... and the dish I choose for you today is
Liver in Sour Cream recipe
NEED: 750g Liver (calf-pork-beef-lamb-chicken (the latter should be free range only. we have not eaten not free range chicken for 15 years now. normal chicken liver gets poisoned with chemicals very heavily so you should be very careful with your chicken quality selection)) 2 white onions chopped 1 cup sour cream 4 tb spoon fresh cow butter 2 cup beef stock 2 tb spoon dill freshly chopped 2 tb spoon flour Salt & pepper to taste DO: Wash, pat dry, and sprinkle each piece of liver with salt & pepper. Roll in flour & fry on each side in butter. Saute' the onions until golden brown & then mix both liver & onions in deep pot. Add the beef stock to the pan where the liver was fried, stir well and add the sour cream, stir, then add to the liver & onions. Mix well and cover. Cook slowly over low-heat for 20-mins., uncover, stir well, re-cover & cook for 10-mins. Remove liver from pot, arrange on individual plates and pour sauce over the slices. Sprinkle with the dill. Very good when served with boiled or fried potatoes or rice. Serve hot.
Note: this dish is so full of vitamin A your kids will be running after you asking you for extra serve
Beetroot salad recipe
NEED: 300g raw beets, greens trimmed and root portions intact 1/4 cup shelled walnuts 2 cloves garlic, pressed 2 tb sp mayonnaise freshly ground black pepper to taste DO: Boil the beets or roast them on a bed of salt until completely done (time depending on the size of the beets, which varies widely). Cool, peel, and shred. Process the walnuts until they are finely broken up but still have not formed a paste. Combine the ingredients, mix well, and chill in a refrigerator before serving.
This salad is so delicious it can be served as a side or on its own. may can be changed to olive oil for healthier choice
Radish Salad recipe
NEED: 2 ea radish 1 ea onion 4 tb sour cream salt greens DO: Peel radish, soak in salted water for 15-20 minutes, cut into thin strips. Chop onion finely, add salt, sour cream and greens. Stir thoroughly.
Sandwich with red caviar recipe
NEED: 50 g of red caviar 3 tbsp butter 10 small pieces of rye bread greens (dill)
DO: Slice bread finely. Cut out crusts from bread. Put a small hit and a decorated piece of butter on a bread slice. Decorate with greens.
there is a pinch of sun (sunlight) in every spoon of marmalade and if your day is more than rainy there is a dog ‘nd her name is penny…
My dish is called today:
SELYODOCHKA I KARTOSHECHKA (herring-gy and potato-ee) OR WHAT-HAPPENS-AT-6PM-IF-YOU-WENT-TO-RUSSIAN-AREAS-OF-MELBOURNE-IN-THE-AFTERNOON
well, we had to travel around russian areas of melbourne today in the afternoon as we had some business to finilise for our Club. when you get inside russian deli shops... usually i am there not that often but the temptations are too big to refuse to buy russian food... well we ended up with a boot full of russian tid-bits, irresistible smell in the car and empty purses. well it is was only about buying it? no... i had to make something out of it... on the table we have russian marinated herrings, smoked salmon bellies, some raw veggies, potatoes with herbs and spices, russian (actually Latvian) rye bread and this is it i think...oh yes, pomegranate juice - the new brand that we discovered in one of the "new" shops (well, they said they have been opened for the last one and a half years - this is how often we go there...); kvas of course, horseradish, adjika (hot russian sauce) and grandmother's sunflower seeds (where would Alex go with out them?)... publishing now this feast...
TABLE CUTLERY ETIQUETTE
i believe this is not essential but it is nice to know as we need to speak the same language with those people who cook for us and serve us at the restaurants...
ENTERTAINMENT BOOK SPECIAL
Let's Italy it today! That's what we did...
Camberwell so it's just 3 min drive from us, Italy1 small, warn and very cozy place with something magical in the atmosphere... or it was just us there :o) The owner, a very welcoming and hospitable guy looked after us like we were at his house, so nice and pleasant... The place was fully booked so we just apologised that we had not booked in advance. IMHO it felt very European with some very soft and warm bread with cold pressed olive oil and vinegar offered as a started that i believe most of the restaurants are missing on - it does not cost a lot but it makes a huge difference of first impression and while you are waiting to have something to munch on... "Freshness, brightness, vigour" - are three words describing the restaurant's credo. I will add one more word to this: vibrant and fabulous.
We ordered: Roast Duck, Twice Baked with Salad of Radicchio, Pear & Spiced Candied Walnuts Hopkins River Eye Fillet, Black Angus aged 120 days with Red Onion Relish, Muscatels & Pinenuts
Everything was very fresh and tender, delicious, crispy and melting in your mouth... Overall impression: exquisite food that tastes delicious very welcoming and generous service and owners (we were offered not to scratch our Entertainment Book Gold Card that was a pleasant surprise meaning we will come there again for sure...) Cost: $38 with Entertainment Book Gold Card
CACAO ST KILDA TEMPTATIONS
...temptations, temptations at Cacao St Kilda with Ned... - do you understand? you can never have it! - just look at it! - why the hell did you buy it then???? - well, the photos are turning out to be nice... - right! just this...
SNOWSTORM IN THE PLATE OR FOUR LITTLE SWEDES AND ENOKI MUSHROOMS SOUP
there is a very old slavic-Russian tale that tells you what happens with the big swede (turnip)... the tale starts like this:
"Grandpa planted a swede. The swede grew bigger and bigger. Grandpa came to pick the swede, pulled and pulled but couldn't pull it up!.." You really need to read the tale till the very end to understand that you simply can not do anything in Russia without a dog, a cat and a mouse being involved in the process... also there are some other same fairy tale versions when they did not call a mouse but went to sleep instead but the little nasty animal came over and ate their swede with no crumbs left...
I decided not to risk it with the big one especially the tale ending was unpredictable and the current weather does not seem to match the good crop so i decided to try four small swedes instead... logical - no, but i am a woman , so i am allowed not to be logical!
the background music because of the melbourne cold weather is: "Snowstorm" by Zhenya Lyubich.
Need: 4 small swedes (yellow and white) 2 small white onions celery 2/3 of one parsnip 1-2 chantenay carrots (small and sweet) 300g of enoki mushrooms 1 table spoon of olive oil (i used basil insufed oil) 1 tomato 1/2 hot green chili 4 cloves of garlic green coriander a handfull of silverbeet for color 4 kipfler potatos bay leaf herbs no-salt salt (just spices)
Do: finely chop the vegetables into thin pieces (1-2 mm in width) [note i never skin my veggies to keep the most sweet parts - under the skin, it makes your soup to taste different - not that plain but flavorsome) place the veggies into the pot adding 1 table spoon of oil in there beforehand. add boiling water to cover the veggies and wait till the soup starts to boil. take it off the stove immediately after the boiling. use fresh parsley and vietnamese mint for plate decoration when serving. the decorations are very fragrant and give this final flavor note to the soup. serve with sesame linguette The soup turned out to be very tender and delicate - may be because of the song...
I-BLENDITSPLENDID and CALL ME "PLEASE" TWO SNACK PLATTERS
let's indulge us today...sunday: first composition is called: "i-blenditsplendid" and it's devoted to evelina bledans (russian: эвелина бледанс) the first woman whose surname and profession match - as some famous people say... what do we have here? -
1. strawberry and cherry blended separately and arranged in layers topped with blueberry yogurt french cheese selection (simon johnson warehouse sale in port mellbourne and 2 hours in below-any-possible-degrees weather without Yoshi Lis who has chosen not to wake up at 6 am for some reason - yes, i was lucky to get them for a fraction of their usual scary-your-eyes-pop-slowly price): truffetto apparently with truffles - well there are some black things there - let's say they are what they are... occalli testun di barolo cheese - the one covered with some berries (black currant? no idea...) goat lingot de chevre du pelussin - undescribable taste of 100000 goats with all-british smoked cheese crackers with dorset red (grate britain) on the side well it was blended and it was splendid second platter:
2. parmesan grissini (elementi for croo... sorry.. for cooks) avocado as you find it naturally parsley fresh from the cold and frozen garden chili and garlic butter prawns i call this dish "call me "please" " and this dish is devoted to ashish (hussain) my SP good friend who called for the whole day yesterday to catch up with me with his good news... finally we talked at 6pm :) black label brandy and some spanish red wine is used for decoration only as we are way too boring and we do not drink alcohol not because we are sick, jewish or religious but just as my other friend says "BECAUSE WE CAN"... here photos will go:
ENTERTAINMENT BOOK SPECIAL
this is probably one of our favourite places in Melbourne. Surrounded by beautiful mountains located in the heart of Dandenong Olinda Tea House is a perfect place to enjoy such a sunny day after a morning mountain walk: it is so peaceful in the gardens full of native birds. Olinda Tea House offers modern australian cuisine prepared from local and organic ingredients and high teas for breakfast and lunch. We have chosen from mains confit duck leg with braised puy lentils and salad with pear, rocket and blue cheese with crunchy roasted hazelnuts ramp of lamb with broad bean, young green peas, mint and fetta salad with rosemary roasted kipflet potatoes on the side one long black and one cappuccino with bikkies on the side superb and very delish and fresh food with lots of different flavours and unexpected taste surprises indeed... cost: $39 with Entertainment Book vouchers Rate: 10/10 (still keep it in our favourite books)
NM: TABLE SETTING ETIQUETTE
How many times you went to a restaurant and you did not know where to start from?.. I mean I always know what to say... almost… unless I am totally lost in the other worlds... but what I mean is you did not know what fork to take first, what knife should go last etc...
Just let's admit it - we are a bit messy when it comes to fine dinning... and I met only a couple of friends who really knew how to do it the right way and one of them studied the subject of “fine dinning and table etiquette” (WTH!!!) at Moscow State Institute of International Relations and she, a future russian diplomat, was confused more with knives and forks than with possibilities of seeing a naked ambassador of Paraguay (the latter was just an example).
Let's do it? Let us teach us (so to speak) how and what.
The complex PICTURE goes first as usual... this is for more confusion in your heads as if you did not see it live you still have no hope in heaven... as you know all things work very well in theory and by definition but for some reason they do not work in practical applications...
hey, now i know what this small fork is for in our table cutlery set in the wedding present... and i thought it was for blackberries (cos it was small)... now all calamari in the world got very upset with me...
if you're interested in chopstick etiquette, then next time I will tell you about Japanese chopsticks etiquette
NM: Sweet Potatoes and Mushrooms Soup
Need: 2 medium size sweet potatoes 4 small white onions celery green parts 1 parsnip 1 carrot 200g of champignons mushrooms 2 table spoons of olive oil (i used fragrant oil) one red spanish onion 1 tomato 1/2 hot red chili pepper 1 small swedish (used instead of white potatoes) 4 cloves of garlic green coriander cumming seeds no-salt salt (just spices)
Do: place all the vegetables in the pot add 1 table spoon of oil. (note that the sequence of vegetables ending up in your pot should be color coordinated: white vegetables should go first (garlic, parsnip etc), then red to follow (except tomatoes), orange, yellow, green should go at the end (together with tomatoes) as the softest and needing less cooking time. tomatoes also prevent the other vegetables from being cooked properly due to their acidity so they go last for flavour and taste. add salt and spices. add boiling water to the pot to cover the veggies and wait till the soup starts to boil. take it off the stove immediately and place it in the blender. when the blending process is completed, pour the soup to the original pot, place the pot on the heat again till the soup starts to boil again. cook the mushrooms separately in the remaining 1 tbl spoon of oil. add the mushrooms as a fine decoration when serving. serve with crackers and garden greens (I forgot mine on the photo :o)))
ENTERTAINMENT BOOK SPECIAL
Chapelli's in South Yarra is probably the place we keep visiting for the last 12 years. they do not change, they are more on a classical side, very quiet if you need to discuss something private, cozy and very convenient parking-wise neglecting Friday-night-after-work-rush and overall Chapel Street busy-ness...
Chapelli's are always fresh to the maximum freshness can be; the food is full of flavor and of a very high good quality. We ordered: scotch fillet with mushroom sauce and potato home made cake moroccan lamb and very richly decorated garden salad cost: $29.90 for two with Entertainment Book voucher good service enjoyment: 100%
NM: Indian Calamari Steaks and Garden Salad
Need: 2 pieces of fresh calamari no-salt salt indian spices olive oil for salad: assorted green leaves mix red radish cornishons spring onion hot chili turkish style green bell pepper avocado halved and stuffed with blue cheese no dressing Do: place calamari steaks on a hot frying pan sprinkled with a bit of olive oil fry on one side till its ready and turn around on the other side fry till the other side is ready spice and no-salt your steak decorate the plate with green salad and vegetable pieces place the calamari on the side enjoy your meal!
alex got a huge present from herald sun yesterday - $100 weekly times classics cooking book. i bet i will never open it in the kitchen but it looks sooo impressive. there was only one book i went through from the first to the last page in cooking, we bought it in san francisco - called the 'ultimate healthy eating cookbook' by anne sheasby - the book is almost falling apart - new recipe every day it was that year or more. their recipes are fantastic - never got mistaken in 400+ days - 400+ recipes. just some books are supposed to be dirty and covered with your fingerprints but loved adore-ably - but some will just stay clean on your shelves, good looking on the surface and not bad on the inside, but you never taste, test and cook them - the dish is only the NEED-ingredients and the DO-method you see - just like some people you meet on your journey... :) my cooking thoughts...
Masha M's home made bread
"I made a bread. This is how God must feel when he makes bread..." MM
NM: CABBAGE SALAD with CRANBERRIES NO-STYLE
i tried to copy Sergei's r recipe today with some variations on the main theme. this is what i got - i swear i did not put any music on - no hands tricks etc - just had this esso esso tune in my head... was it enough? no? the taste is not the same (well, i expected it so i did not get frustrated...): ingredients this time: cabbage left overs (including the cabbage core), spanish red lady-fingers onion, carrots, parsley/young garlic shoots/basil (all from the garden), red radish, cranberries (please do not kill me, chef!), spring onion, hot chili orange/green pepper (turkish style), white vinegar (we ran out of any other healthier ones sorry), olive oil (not cold pressed which made me upset as the bottle was green color - i was tricked by some very smart sellers), no-salt salt, fennel green parts, green capsicum - that's it! the photos:
Sergey Sulima: CABBAGE & POMEGRANATE SALSA-STYLE SALAD (serves 8 as a side)
NEED: 1/2 head of white cabbage, outer leaves removed and shredded finely 1 good handful of dried cranberries 1 lemon, juiced or red wine vinegar 3 tsp olive oil no-salt salt spanish spice turkish spice fennel soft parts (leaves) (a handful) coriander green (a handful) finely sliced 1 carrot hot long turkish orange chilly pepper ladyfinger red spanish onion 1 tsp parsley (fresh if you have it) pomegranate berries spring onion
Note: all the additional ingredients apart from main cabbage are optional and we use them accordingly to their fridge availability (some of them can be changed to red capsicum or cranberries for example – for red highlights or you can substitute spring opinion for cucumber etc (use your imagination for colors and different taste please)
DO: 1. prepare yourself by hands washing, putting on an apron that says: "ALWAYS FRESH". accept the compliments that you really look better than Manu. yes, and you cook definitely better...
2. select the music: SALSA/ Latino will do it to put you in the right mood. the girl(s) should pre-occupy herself(themselves) with a light drink or helping you out with less-important tasks (like dish-washing, right knife selecting, cutting board choosing, additional ingredients gathering-from-the-fridge using technique called: whata-evera-is-there). remember - you are the king of the dish - you know how and what. YOU are the CHEF!
3. explain the process to the camera-man - he will put the music over it anyway. hands movements and gestures following the music are important
4. engage in the meditation completely - be one with your music and with the food your prepare
5. shred everything you have on the table... toss cabbage and the rest of the ingredients with the lemon juice and olive oil until well covered. Season to taste and add the parsley/coriander/pomegranate.
6. suggest to add this or that. tell her that cherries are not acceptable in this salad because YOU are the CHEF so you KNOW!
7. have a drink
8. let marinade in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. the recipe is very simple but requires skills, love and passion in cabbage shredding and mixing is very important too. we did not actually leave it for marinating – it was good fresh and we had it for dinner on its own, Sergei had it with meatballs.
9. turn the music up, uP, UP... that good! vous a la!
10. accept all the compliments that come your way in zen manner: with a light and mysterious smile...
NOTE: Sergei has been making this salad for the last 10 years (of course they were all different cabbage salads). As it is a rare gift - for an actor, IT specialist, a poet, a musician - all in one to cook well we decided to make a historical movie - at least this is h=the first trial and we promise to do better next time... This famous dish we called salsa-style cabbage salad cos of the music we chosen. Making movie - we had to change Sergei's nationality from Ukrainian to Italian (as Alex just made his chopping speed 2:1 from slow to fast) BACKGROUND SONG: not Enrique Iglesias Bailamos as we wanted in the first place but Natalia Oreiro Esso Esso Cooking is an Art like Dancing: always imagine your two hands are like two dancing partners and be sure to always make the right move (AL)