i love cheese at the end of a meal or actually at the beginning….. a cheese plate of many, or just a singular delicious one is my fave. or even just my little cheese salads that almost have the components of a cheese plate but all in a tiny finely sliced salad. just scoop onto a tiny cracker or a slab of walnut loaf.these ideas are fast easy and really fresh for new ways of dining.
its not that i dont like desert, its just that sometimes its all about the cheese. something simple. something different, always fresh..
ash blue, pear, thyme, lemon and wilted onion.
finely chopped ash blue cheese, fresh pear, thyme twigs and white onions just melted with olive oil and white vinegar bring this dish to the heart of my favourite things to eat. sharp, salty, sweet, sexy. start a night with this dish and you can’t go wrong. a cheeky laviosh with a tiny pile on top is…the…..best…..thing…
pecorino, mustard seed drips, fuji apples and walnuts
double brie, walnut bread, 5 hour oven dried red grapes
i put a bunch of seedless red grapes in the oven on warm/100C for 5 hours, turning them slowly so the ones on the bottom don’t bruise. they are amazing and go so well with just the creamy cheese and soft walnut loaf.
emmenthal, radish, delicious apple and celery root salad, cheddar biscuits
i buy these small sharp cheddar biscuits from the big department store deli. most big delis stock a good english cheddar biscuit.. its just a good stab of sharp cheddar with the nuts and cheese.
feta, rocket, mint, caper and deep fried cornichon salad
a finely chopped sale with a biscuit is a great new way to rock a cheese plate. this is a chopped salad. so every cut up small. onions off set the capers and cornichons with a sharp stab of sweet mint and feta. yum! dress with a good extra virgin olive oil only and let the flavour mix do its job!
buche daphinois, radishes, walnuts, olive bread crusts
i do say olive crusts because it is just that. i buy a good olive sourdough and only use the crusts. chewy and salty….delish.
clarin, sweet pickled white onion shred, figs
this is a gorgeous mix. the light cream of the clarin, with some shredded white onion soaked in icing sugar and white balsamic. the sweetness of the figs is just gorgeous.i light lavish cracker is stunning with this.
i think its time i described how i do recipes…..i don’t really. this is not a site for complication or stress. i like my food to be easy . i don’t use recipes really because i don’t really cook anything that needs them. i use ingredients and just let the flavours and my taste flourish. so really its a little free form and a little loose. i am sorry but i promise it works and it releases you from the prison of measurements in small doses. i use cups and tablespoons and stuff but only broadly. admittedly this is difficult to grasp but lets use some easy examples to set my story straight…….
soy tamarind spatchcock with sweet zucchini shred
cut up 2 spatchcocks removing the spine and into 4 pieces each. soak for 1 hr in 1 tablespoon tamari and 1 tablespoon tamarind paste. roast with a few extra small tomatoes in hot oven 250C till dark, turning all the time. with a potato peeler shred 2 zucchinis lengthways. soak for 30 minutes in a mixture of white balsamic and icing sugar. (you can add some chilli here is you like). make a circle with the zucchinis and place 4 pieces in each circle and a piece of tomato on top. drip olive oil and lemon juice around the outside. serve with rice that has grated ginger and salt and pepper in it and some fresh greek yoghurt and finely cut mint.
i encourage people to taste their food. its not me being lazy with the recipes, its paying respect to the people cooking and getting them back into really bonding with their food and getting back to the old days when food was easy but amazing. i get everything is fast and driven by measurements but it doesn’t have to be the rule. why can’t we have some food that requires less but tastes awesome.
this is where i come in…if you use fresh and simple ingredients, you don’t need very much to play with. you already have the fun on the plate….another example
celery and cheddar puddle with cheddar rye and celery salt
in a pot boil gently for 30 minutes, 2 cups of cut celery and 2 cups of good vegetable stock. at the end add 1 cup of cheddar cheese. melt and transfer to the blender. blend until creamy. do not season.
using a great rye loaf, cut into 1 inch slabs and toast on one side and sprinkle the other side with cheddar and toast until bubbling. serve the soup with the toast not top with some batons of celery. sprinkle with celery salt and cracked pepper.
ok…its really easy to keep adding flavour to dishes but its really hard to pair back. this is my philosophy. dig into taste and texture and it won’t change the base of what you are eating. playing with combinations is the fun here. another example.
beer and brown sugar ribs with melted tomatoes and burnt onions
soak 1 full set ribs in enough beer that it just melts 2 cups of brown sugar into a paste. rub onto a set of pork ribs and sit for 2 hours. bake on high until brown qat 250C. at the same time place face down 2 cut up spanish onions. they should burn around the edges but also caramelise as well. in a pot just warm and melt 1 cup of halved baby tomatoes with a sprinkle of salt and some thyme twigs.
serve the ribs with onions and tomatoes and a fork. some aoli would be sexy here too. should serve two depending on appetite. my animal of a son would eat all of this so double or triple as you go. my son eats these with his hands and wields a fork around at the same time. white bread with onions and tomatoes and mayonnaise is extremely awesome.
lastly something sweet. again, nothing complicated but just flavour and texture playing on cold, sweet and crunch….
candied almonds, strawberries and cinnamon cream, and mint
wash and chill 5 strawberries each person. toss 1 cup of almonds in 1 cup brown sugar that has been melted with a drop or two of red food colouring. single them out and . bake in an oven on greaseproof paper till crusty. whisk 1 carton of cream till stiff adding a drop of vanilla, 1 tablespoon of icing sugar, and a pinch of cinnamon. serve in a glass with the strawberries on the bottom, then the cream with the almonds and some extra strawberries on the top. chill the whole thing down. top with a sprig of mint.
Baccamotto Osteria is my favourite dining of choice in sydney. i don’t normally do reviews but i am going to have to with this one.i have been here many times now, lunch and dinner and it is still amazing. i am travelling and working at the moment and i miss my children and i miss this restaurant. well mainly the children…but anyway…..
owned by mauro marcucci and michael stevens, chef valerio boncompagni and designed by chris connell it has everything i need in an italian restaurant. made in house is the key here. gorgeous cannelloni, pickled onions, flat bread, liver puree, homemade foccaccia. plus the food is remarkably simple but cooked incredibly well. octopus tentacle has been tickled and teased so that is this single taste sensation nestled into a warm nest of potato. try giving any one anything of this dish. i have stolen most of everyone’s tart but gorgeously sweet baby onions with garlic rubbed toasts, and hoarded the proscuitto with flat bread. significantly though, i am obsessed with the pork chop with white beans. every time, and failsafe. a modest but cranking pork chop rubbed in coriander seeds, crisped up and served on warm simple beans. oh…my…god. a smart raddichhio, orange and olive salad sprayed with good olive oil and sprinkled with salt and I’m done. others have had the salmon, the lamb etc but the main stealing goes to the cannelloni with fresh ricotta and nettles. if i wasn’t so obsessed with the pork chop i would have the cannelloni but I’m too loyal and my breath quickens as it comes to the table. there was a remarkable custard tart to finish which we gave the baker a standing ovation for and my favourite, a simple washed rind goats cheese which we fought over viciously.
it is a small menu, which i love, the pasta is always perfect (the risotto with gamberi, ricotta and orange was a mind blast), they don’t serve too much bread, which i love, and it is not overcrowded and noisy, which i love. oh and the wine list is perfect, and it wasn’t expensive, ($60 per head for main, wine and cheese), which i love. Perfect dining
HOT TIP: have an aperol with prosceco and green olive to start. you will be the life of the party. i promise.
212 riley street Darlinghurst. ring to book. +612 92155140. great with big tables, drinks with the girls, or an intimate dinner. streamlined, busy, gorgeous. feels a bit new york but gorgeous dining in Sydney…..and i love that……