Monday, 30 January 2012

Kitchen experiment - 'squink' risotto

The first time I tried squid ink risotto was at Southbank restaurant Giuseppe Arnaldo & Sons, and I’ve loved it ever since. It’s amazing how something that looks so ‘un-normal’ can taste so delicious!

I’ve always been curious about food, and love trying to cook new things. So when I saw sachets of squid ink at my local gourmet supermarket they ended up in my basket!

I never use a recipe when I make risotto, but as I hadn’t made a ‘squink’ one before I googled a few recipes then mish-mashed them up into my own version as I went.

Essentially I made a basic risotto – garlic and shallots cooked in butter, add rice, calamari, chicken stock… and then at the end stir through the squid ink and a dash of lemon.

I’ve never had much luck flash-frying calamari so favour the long, slow cooking method. So I heated up the stock first and cooked the calamari in it on low heat for 30 mins before I added it to the risotto. It had a good hour or so of cooking and was beautifully tender.

The ‘squink’ adds a beautiful seafood flavour to the risotto, and there’s something so sensuous about eating the shiny blackness!

Definitely making this one again!

Sunday, 29 January 2012

M's wine review - The Colonial Estate "Exile" Shiraz

I'm M. I'm lucky enough to have a beautiful wife that has given me a license to post on this blog - thanks Kate! 

First of all I enjoy wine - Kate as well! I'm not an expert on wine, I've never done any serious study about wine however over the years I have enjoyed tasting different wine, buying wine, doing a little bit of reading about wine, learning about the regions, differences in vintages and visiting a few cellar doors.

On Friday we decided to open up a bottle of Shiraz -one of my favorite grapes. The wine of choice being - The colonial estate "exile" Shiraz 2009. I discovered this particular wine after Kate sent me an online newsletter advertising it and snapped up a few bottles for the cellar.

Well, what can i say about this one? - one of the best I've ever tasted! What appealed to me about this wine was the fact that it had such a deep rich fruit palate, from the beautiful aroma, right through the taste when drinking it and the long lasting finish.

It is difficult to find a wine, at a reasonable price that has all those qualities, in most cases I've had wine which is great, and I've really enjoyed it but it lacks either the aroma or length (the taste that lingers and keeps coming back). 

There's a few more of these bottles in my wine rack, and we're certainly looking forward to trying the next one!

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Today I made pesto!

Every year I plant basil in our herb garden as we love to have fresh herbs for use in our cooking. And basil's one of the herbs we use the most.

The problem is we have WAY more than we can use and I hate to see it go to waste. So for the second year now I've been making home made pesto with it and freeing it in individual portions to be pulled out throughout the year for weeknight pesto pasta, to spread on crispy bread or to use on M's deelish pizzas!


Wednesday, 25 January 2012

A little treat...

Whilst shopping for seafood today (more on that next post) I treated myself to one of my favourite things - a dozen oyster... consumed when home from work with a glass of nice white wine! Deeelish!

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Friday night at Pizzeria Amici

Pancetta pizza
On Friday night M and I decided to head down to our favourite wood fired pizza place which happens to be only 1 minute down the road from us in Heidelberg. We hadn’t been for a while so a visit was overdue.

We ordered a medium pancetta pizza and a large Amici (yes we’re big eaters). The pizzas there are always fantastic and this was no exception. Beautiful thin bases and good quality toppings really make a difference.

We were seated next to the stone wood fire oven which let off a beautiful warm glow and could see the flames flickering, reflected in the window.

The pancetta pizza was delicious and mild and the ingredients complemented each other beautifully – gooey brie cheese, pancetta, asparagus.
Next up was our Amici pizza – a classic combination of ingredients. They were out of salami so substituted spicy sausage (which I actually really liked), along with ham, mushrooms, capsicum and olives. We’ve got quite a taste for spice so we were given a little cup of oil with fresh chillies in the bottom to spice it up –  they could just as easily use store bought hot sauce but this was a lovely little touch.

The best thing about Pizzeria Amici is that the ingredients are always fantastic quality and the dough of the base is 'just right' to create a nearly faultless pizza.

Mmmm... I feel like some more right now!

The Amici

P.S. As mentioned in my previous post, I only decided half way through our meal to start this blogging adventure - so please excuse the shots of half eaten pizza!
Pizzeria Amici on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

The beginning...

As any of my friends would know, much of my life revolves around food. Cooking food, growing food and trying new food out and about.

I’m lucky to live in Melbourne, where we have such a fantastic range of restaurants and cafes. In fact there’s so many new places opening that I can’t keep up and my‘restaurants to try’ list gets longer and longer while I struggle to try them all.

After contemplating it for while, and after a bottle of red with my husband at our favourite local wood fired pizza place (more to come on this later), I declared that 2012 would be the year to start my food blog! I'll aim to post all sorts of things here related to the food I eat out, make and grow.

Hope you enjoy!