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This dish was inspired by one of Nigella’s Express recipes

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75 grams sesame seeds
250 grams soba noodles
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
5 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons sesame oil
5 spring onions

Method:
Toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan over a high heat until they look golden brown, and tip them into a bowl.

Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add some salt. Put in the soba noodles and cook them according to packet instructions until they are tender but not mushy.

Have a bowl of iced water waiting to plunge them into after draining.

In the bowl you are going to serve them in, mix the vinegar, soy sauce, honey and oil. Then finely slice the spring onions and put them into the bowl with the cooled, drained noodles and mix together thoroughly before adding the sesame seeds and tossing again.

Leave the sesame seed noodles for about half an hour to let the flavours develop.

I served them with seared tuna belly. Coated with black pepper and sesame seeds. Pan sear for a few seconds on all sides. Slice as thinly as possible to serve atop the noodles.

Gnocchi

Serves 3 for mains (4 for entree)

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4 small or 2 large mashing potatoes
Boil in their skin until tender
When cool, peel off skin
Press through a potato ricer (or sieve for a super fine mash)

In a large bowl mix:
100g OO flour
50g ricotta
Zest of half a lemon (super fine)
2 tablespoons of finely grated Parmesan

Then add the potato purée

Whisk up one egg separately then gently fold through the mix with a fork

Dust your surface with flour
Roll in to long snakes, the width of your thumb
Cut in to little pillows (you can make an indent with your thumb, poke them with a fork, or leave them as is)

Toss in to salted, boiling water
Remove from the water when they have risen to the surface – this only takes a few seconds

You can serve them many ways
The most popular is to toss them in to a pan of butter until golden with crispy sage

The first time I melted butter with a hint of garlic, fried off the gnocchi and sprinkled with a few leaves of fresh time, served with wilted spinach and lashings of Parmesan.

Here is what I tried next – burnt butter with sage, wilted spinach, roast pumpkin, toasted walnuts, Parmesan.

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Fruit base
Peel and core 3 pears, 1cm chunks
1 cup frozen raspberries
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
2 teaspoons of mixed spice

Pudding cake
250g meadow lea margarine
1 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
3 eggs
2 1/2 cups white wings gluten free self-raising flour
1 1/2 cups skim milk
4 tablespoons of Demerara sugar to dust

Preheat oven to 160degrees
Mix fruit base ingredients together at the bottom of a lasagna dish

In a mixing bowl, using an electric mixer
Cream eggs and sugar until pale.
Add margarine and vanilla, beat until smooth before adding the milk.
Finally incorporate the gluten free flour.

Pour over the fruit base in the lasagna dish and smooth over.
Sprinkle evenly with the Demerara sugar.
Bake for 1 hour until golden and cooked all the way through.

Serve warm with vanilla ice-cream (blue ribbon buttermilk would be my choice) and it’s pleasant with a mint and berry salad on the side.

Makes a BIG batch for the fridge and freezer

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You will need:
1 shredded leek, green and white (well rinsed)
2 medium carrots, 5mm dice
2 large celery stalks, 5mm dice
2 large boiling potatoes, 5mm dice
1 level tsp ground cumin
1 level tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1 level tsp tumeric
2 tbsp rice bran oil
800g tin of diced tomatoes
1 large zucchini, 5mm dice (peeled)
1/2 a cauliflower, small florets and 5mm dice of the stalk
3stock cubes (beef for a heartier, chicken or vegetable for a lighter soup)
3 litres of boiling water (approx)
1/2 a 375g red lentils

Method:
In a very large saucepan, toast the spices. Sautée the leeks for 1 minute.

Add carrots, celery, and potato.

Sautée for a further minute.

Cover with the tomatoes and water and stock cubes.

Simmer for 40 minutes.

Then add the zucchini and cauliflower.

Simmer for 15 minutes.

Bring to the boil.

Add the red lentils, stir thoroughly and then pop the lid straight on the saucepan.

Turn off the gas and let it sit for 1 hour so that the soup is absorbed in to the lentils (this stops it from burning and sticking).

Bring to the boil before serving.

Season with salt and pepper to taste – as a personal preference, I like a garnish of freshly chopped coriander.

Ezard

Kat took me to this restaurant for a decadent birthday dinner last year…. I’ve been meaning to post this for ages

 

187 Flinders Ln, Melbourne

 

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vanilla kiss – vanilla infused ketel one vodka, peach liqueur, lime, mint, pineapple juice

 

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Parmesan, Garlic, and Rosemary infused olive oil
Japanese salt with nori, toasted sesame, bonito flakes
Sweet and spicy salt
Szechuan pepper

 

IMG_2237Japanese inspired oyster shooter (Kat’s was silken tofu) 

 

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char-siu quail with mandarin pancake, lime and cucumber salad and roasted rice

 

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citrus and vodka cured salmon, black quinoa, olive oil jam, smoked yoghurt, tangerine vinaigrette

 

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steamed spiced tofu with chilli, fragrant oils and crispy sweet potato

 

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steamed spanner crab dumplings with yarra valley salmon roe, chervil cress, coconut tom kha

 

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salad of heirloom beetroot and carrot, asparagus, parmesan custard, serrano jamon, hazelnuts, black truffle vinaigrette

 

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salad of heirloom beetroot and carrot, asparagus, parmesan custard, serrano jamon, hazelnuts, black truffle vinaigrette

 

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open wagyu beef burger, quail egg, onion jam, smoked tomato, beetroot crisp, truffle oil mayonnaise

 

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slow cooked pork belly, fennel pollen, celeriac, apple pudding and calvados jus

 

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eight score sher wagyu beef, white polenta, morels, red wine jam, foie gras, sticky shallot jus and mache salad

 

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Palate cleanser
Lemon and poppy seed soil, compressed pineapple, apricot foam

 

IMG_2265Ezard dessert tasting plate to share
Deconstructed carrot cake
Passion fruit parfait
Deconstructed pear and rhubarb crumble
Chocolate Brownie
Lemon curd tart with red currants and champagne foam (my favorite!)
Gingerbread crisp, honey ice cream stuffed with honey comb and a sugar tuille

 

IMG_2267nv henriques & henriques 15 years old malvasia, madeira, portugal (mine)

 

 

<a href=”http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/71/760664/restaurant/CBD/Ezard-Melbourne”><img alt=”Ezard on Urbanspoon” src=”http://www.urbanspoon.com/b/link/760664/minilink.gif&#8221; style=”border:none;width:130px;height:36px” /></a>

30 Cato St Prahran

 

Lady D and I tootled over on a Saturday evening, ready to feast on some succulent American Style BBQ.

The place was almost empty at 6:30pm but every single table was reserved – luckily we had booked! By 7pm the restaurant was packed.

I ordered the single serve of pork robs with a side of coleslaw. Lady D was looking forward to the lamb shoulder with a side of mac’n’cheese with house smoked bacon. And of course we required some fries for the table – we’re only human.

The food arrived.

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The ribs smelled amazing. And they were the perfect size for one person to enjoy without feeling overwhelmed. The sauce was sticky and smokey and the ribs were juicy and succulent.

The house fries were crispy and delicious and hadn’t absorbed any of the oil.

Unfortunately there was something really lacking in the coleslaw. It wasn’t crisp and crunchy. And it really lacked an acidic balance.

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When Lady D put the first bite of lamb into her mouth I could see instantly that she was disappointed. I had to try – it tasted microwaved and stale and rubbery. It wasn’t the beautiful, shredded, juicy meat that it should have been. It didn’t even fall apart.

The mac’n’cheese, which should have been a rich and decadent was… A real let down. It was oozy, oil pooling around your spoon as you push through the melted cheese. It looked lovely and creamy but tasted really watery as if they’d made the béchamel with water instead of cream or milk and the macaroni was soggy and very over cooked. The only redeeming feature was the quality of the house smoked bacon.

So, it was a very mixed experience. The pork ribs were rather delicious and the staff were wonderful. The staff were attentive, knowledgable of the menu, present without being pushy or overbearing, friendly, and genuine. Whilst the food had been hit and miss, especially for my dining accomplice Lady D, it was a pleasant evening out, though a shame that so many of the menu items did not coming close to expectation.  As a burger fan, usually it’s the first thing I am drawn to on the menu.  But there was only one burger on offer – and the inclusion of fetta and sundried tomato in the pattie was far from appealing.

 

<a href=”http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/71/1780849/restaurant/Melbourne/South-Yarra-Toorak/Third-Wave-Prahran”><img alt=”Third Wave on Urbanspoon” src=”http://www.urbanspoon.com/b/link/1780849/minilink.gif&#8221; style=”border:none;width:130px;height:36px” /></a>

My take on Hummus

After watching Make Hummus Not War I had to have a go.

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It made way more than I needed, so you might want to halve the recipe. Or not!

Drain
420g tin of chick peas
400g tin of fagioli or butter or cannolini beans

Add to a food processor

with:
385g pure tahini
1 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 cup of strained fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon of paprika
2 tablespoons of freshly minced garlic
1 tablespoon of salt

Blend until smooth and luxurious
Sprinkle with paprika before serving

Serve at room temperature or warm
Ideal with pita.

Make Hummus not War!

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