I feel a little un-Australian admitting this, but here it is: I’m not a big fan of yum cha. There, I said it. Don’t get me wrong, I love the food: pillowy-soft buns stuffed with barbecue pork; gelatinous dumplings full of prawns and mushrooms; and steamer baskets holding untold culinary delights, but it’s the atmosphere of borderline chaos that gets to me.
It was time to move away from my usual cake-based comfort zone and get into something a little meatier, literally. This Sephardic Jewish beef and meatball soup seemed like the perfect dish.
Who would've thought that the Linzer torte is the oldest recorded recipe in the world? It doesn’t have the appearance, or ingredients, of a particularly aged dish, yet the first written recipe for it was found to have been written in 1653. However, history aside, I didn’t have great hopes for this dish – it just seemed too simple to be really delicious.
When Christine Manfield’s glorious book Tasting India arrived in our office, the Feast team were literally queuing to browse its pages. Filled with vivid images and mouth-watering recipes, the flavours and aromas of this many-faceted country almost seemed to rise from the paper. Not surprisingly, we were all thrilled when Christine allowed us to use her curry leaf chicken recipe in this month’s curry feature.
A few years ago, okay, almost 20 years ago, when I first discovered risotto, I went mad for it. I cooked a batch at least once a week and added all manner of elements to create Franken-risottos that were philosophically aligned with the originals, but truly had a life of their own. They were almost all delicious and made wonderful work lunches, but, slowly, risotto and I drifted apart.
Saffron is one of those spices that evokes memories for me. Growing up in the suburbs of Perth, my mother used to add a pinch of saffron powder to the rice that accompanied the curries we ate regularly. Also on the table was a bowl of cucumber slices in yoghurt, bananas in lemon juice and coconut, and, of course, a jar of Sharwood’s mango chutney. In an era before eating out became a regular occurrence, it tasted like the height of exotic dining.
There are two things in life that are almost universally liked by most people (yes, I’ve left myself some wiggle room in there): chocolate and pizza. So, put the two together and you’ve got a combination that’s going to prove pretty popular.
When a lovely surprise of glasshouse tomatoes (in their very own glasshouse!) was delivered to my office the other day, it was the perfect excuse to make this month’s cover recipe – tomato and sage tart. I’m mad for flavourful tomatoes and these ones were perfect examples of tomatoey goodness – in fact Mr Ed and I managed to eat a fair few straight out of the glasshouse before remembering that I had to fill a tart!