It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Christmas Rabbit

That being because my fridge is stuffed with enough food to last a normal family about 3 months, and my bank account is completely empty.

Yes it’s a wonderful time of year… lots of get togethers and exchanging of gifts and finding excuses to catch up with people who you would otherwise
never see during the year because you’re both so busy and really can’t be bothered if there’s not a good enough reason.

This year I’ve decided to risk having the family over to my place for a lateish lunch / early dinner. It’s forecast to be around 35 C tomorrow, so it’s not exactly the weather for firing up the oven with a big roast or a long baked ham. Instead the order of the day is going to be seafood, fish, and lovely fresh salads.

A big fish

I’ve just been to the fish monger and picked up this little beauty… 3.5 kg of Tasmanian Salmon… also stopped by the local Asian grocer and picked up a bunch of banana leaves. The idea being to wrap this sucker in as many leaves as I can before throwing it on the barbeque with a bunch of herbs and lemon and whatever else I can find stuffed inside.

3.5 kg Tasmanian Salmon

Along with that I’ve got some calamari for salt and pepper squid, and some lovely king prawns that are going to be fried on the bbq and served with aioli and other dippery things.

Salad wise, I’ve got a three bean salad, a warm potato salad, a tomato and avocado salad, and a standard green salad in mind… along with anything else I can think up on the day.

It should be great… Lots of food, lots of people, and a weeks worth of left overs to keep us going :)

Merry Christmas to anyone who celebrates it, and hope anyone who doesn’t is having fun too.


Poached Salmon on Scrambled Eggs

Poached Salmon & Scrambled Eggs

This is another in a series of faux spiceblog posts that I seem to keep arriving at. What can I say, the man is good.

So it lazy Saturday morning, but for once i wasn’t going to be satisfied with weetbix, toast, or even (shock horror) bacon and eggs. (Although that was mainly because I didn’t have any bacon).

Realising that I still had a lovely piece of salmon left over from last week, I remembered Anthony’s recipe and thought i’d give it a try.

It turned out really nice, and i did my normal routine of substituting in things I have for things I don’t, which always seems to work out ever so nicely.

Cherry/Grape Tomatoes are officially my favourite egg accompaniment.


  • 6 eggs
  • White wine vinegar
  • Salmon fillets
  • White wine
  • bay leaf
  • Pepper corns, and cracked peppercorns
  • Baby Spinach
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Slice Field/Button Mushrooms
  • Cream

This is really a very simple dish, and personally I think it’s hard to cook salmon badly (although a lot of restuarants seem to try).

I like it pretty pink on the inside, so it was just a case of poaching the fillet very slowly in the white wine with bay leaf and peppercorns.

Turn the heat right down so it doesnt bubble away furiously, and you’ll soon see it start to turn a darker shade of pink, and it should be cooked in about 5 minutes or so.

The scrambled eggs were dead simple too. Slice up your mushrooms and half the cherry tomatoes, then beat your eggs together with a tablespoon or two of cream (I used double cream as thats all that was on hand). Add a dash of white wine vinegar (not sure why but eggs seem to like it), and a healthy crackling of black pepper and some sea salt. You can add whatever you like to scrambled eggs of course… but these were basically what was left in the fridge on a Saturday morning before the weekly shopping routine.

Then get the scrambled eggs cooking in a hot pan, and just before they’re done, through in a good few handfuls of fresh baby spinach and let it wilt a little.

Then serve it up and lay your poached salmon fillet across the top. Add some more cracked pepper, and perhaps a great cup of coffee, and you have the makings of a great start to the day :)

Home made pasta with Salmon & Spinach

Home made pasta with Salmon & Spinach

My first ever attempt at making my own pasta. I basically combined a bunch of different techniques i found on the web into my own style, and was really happy with how it turned out.

So for the pasta:

I happened upon some ‘0’ rated pasta flour by chance in Fresh Provision’s Mt Lawley while getting essentials… milk, bread, belgian chocolate etc. I thought to myself… it’s about time i try this homemade pasta caper out… and so the seeds were sewn.

Coming home, i did the perfunctory searches for “home made pasta” and came up with enough to whet my appetite, just enough rope to hang myself, and a few other catch phrases of less noteworthy quality.

So the pasta went basically like so:


200 g white flour
2 eggs

The quantites indicated are for four helpings. Pour the flour onto a flat cool work surface, preferably marble, into a mound shape a “fontana”. Make a deep dent in the top and break in the eggs. With your fingers or with a fork, gently mix in the eggs with the flour. When all the egg has been absorbed into the flour, knead the dough for 15/20 minutes until it is firm and tiny bubbles appear on the surface. Form a ball with the dough and flatten it slightly with the palm of your hand. Using a rolling pin, start flattening the pasta out, then roll it out into a thin even sheet. Work slowly and rythmically.

In reality the dish served 2/3 people, probably because i didn’t roll it thin enough…. having only realised after I started making it that i didnt have a rolling pin. I ended up using a sturdy left over bottle of olive oil…which was actually quite good. I just made sure to keep adding flour to the wet patches, so it didn’t stick at all, and from a novices point of view, it looked pretty good.

I also didn’t have a pasta cutter or any other fancy type equipment, so when it was time to make some shapes i took my trusty Wusthof paring knife and sliced as thinly and evenly as i could into some fat fettucini/tagliatelle-ish strips. They looked pretty funky when they came out, the relative unevenness of my rolling and the little kinks in the slicing got accentuated after cooking into somewhat rustic (for want of a term Jamie Oliver would use to describe something crappy) looking patterns. It was however, rather satisfying that it turned out like actual pasta… it was also a lot fresher tasting, with much less starchy nastiness, and took about 1 minute to cook (!)

The rest of the dish was an afterthought to be honest.

I found some salmon that had to be used, and braised it in some white wine til it was just cooked on the outside.

In the meantime i made a simple roux and added to it some white wine, basil, rosemary, salt, pepper, and peccorino cheese.

Once the sauce was done, i poured it over the salmon, added the pasta, and then threw in the baby spinach on top… gave it just a minute to soften and then served it up.

So there you go. A simple meal in the finish, but very tasty. Bouyed by the relative success of this effort, i’ll definitely be giving it a shot again in the near future, with perhaps some more exotic variants and/or additions.

Let me know in the comments if you found this recipe vaguely interesting :)

Sadly, my skills as a photographer are not improving, but the food is still getting eaten…

Atlantic Salmon w/ Warm Tomato & Avocado Salad

Well ok, its not really a salad.

Basically you cut the tomatoes up, crush a few cloves of garlic and roughly chop some fresh basil. Then mix all three together with lashings of olive oil, sea salt, and ground black pepper. Then oven bake or fry until the tomatoes are just soft, and infused with oily/herby goodness.

Then slice some avocado, and try and arrange it all nicely on a place with the tomatoes in the middle.

Voila !

At least it tastes better than it looks…

The salmon was seared for a short time in a hot pan and then transferred into the oven to bake for another 10 minutes.

It was lovely and medium rare all the way through the middle.

mmmmm :)

Salmon with Fresh Herb Risotto

Risotto & Espresso 005

This is a simple recipe i came across recently while eating at Lamonts. It was a lot smaller in portion size when i had it there… I seem to have an uncanny knack of making meals a lot bigger than they need to be, but then if it tastes good, i want plenty…



  • Arborio or Carnaroli Rice (roughly a cup per person)
  • Spanish Onion (diced finely)
  • Leek (diced finely)
  • Fresh Garlic (crushed)
  • 500 mL chicken stock
  • A handful each of basil, italian parsely, coriander, chives (basically any fresh green herbs you can get your hands on) roughly chopped
  • 1 – 2 cups dry white wine
  • salt and fresh cracked black pepper


  • Fresh Salmon fillets (sliced into relatively thin strips)
  • Salt & Pepper and extra virgin olive oil to season
  • Fresh lemon juice



  • Place your chicken stock into a large pan with an equal amount of water and bring it to the boil, then turn down the heat and let it simmer
  • Fry the onion, garlic, and leek in a pan with some olive oil until soft but not browned
  • Add the rice to the vegetables, stir the rice through the mixture, coating the rice
  • Add a cup or so of white wine to the mixture, letting it absorb into the mixture
  • Turn the heat to medium low on the pan and start adding the stock into the rice a little at a time
  • Continue adding stock (i use a ladle full each time) until the rice begins to absorb and the liquid and gets softer
  • Test the texture of the rice to see if it is soft enough. You want a little bite to it, or else it will turn into mush
  • As the rice is nearly ready throw all your herbs into the mixture, and stir them through.
  • Done !


  • Season your salmon slices with olive oil, sea salt flakes and cracked black pepper
  • If you can, curl the salmon slices into a roll, it should look like a small cylinder at the end. Use a toothpick to fasten the ends if they won’t stay put
  • In a hot pan, add a splash of olive oil and sear the salmon on the top and bottom. A minute or so on each side should be plenty
  • Drizzle some lemon juice over the salmon as its cooking, lime juice would also add some nice flavour.
  • When the salmon is cooked to your liking, serve the risotto into a large plate and add the salmon on top.
  • Garnish with more fresh herbs and some crème fraîche if you like

Risotto & Espresso 004
Enjoy with a nice glass of white wine (perhaps a Semillon).