the humble oyster.
the metaphor for patience. a idea of perfection as a result of coercement, ebb and flow. such beauty.
embodies perfection in nurturing, sensuality and minimalism. all things important in life.
lifes breath in fact. only from the sea. water. the taste of the salt. the sea.
an oyster is male and female…has high levels of testosterone and provides also zinc iron calcium, selenium and vitamins A and B12……
which makes it even sexier.
i love purity. so for me off the rocks, on ice, lemon……done
its summer down here is Australia. here is a delicious light brunchy summer menu. so simple and easy to make, concentrating on fresh market garden vegetables and pure eggs and yoghurt. its a gentle time of year!!
garden salad feta in parsley, and frest duck eggs
just a delicious fresh garden salad for warm days. boil 2 duck eggs till hard. slice across the bias some small carrots and slice some cucumbers down the lenthg with a potato peeler. form some soft feta into balls and roll in parsley. assemble on plate using a cut duck egg as the focus. sprinkle with olive oil, white onion oil (oil steeped in a wedge of white onion) and some white balsamic. i do like to eat the eggs warm but its up to you. i also like a slop of mayo…mmmm….
courgette tart with caramelised onions, ricotta and cheddar
little bombs of deliciousness. i bake these for a cafe every day. they have a gorgeous centre of caramelised onion which is hidden.
peel 2 zucchinis with a potato peeler. cut 2 pieces square of shortcrust. place the pastry in 2 tins which are oiled up. make circles with the strips. fry with a splash of white vinegar and a teaspoon of icing sugar, 1 finely cut onion. cook till brown. place the mixture into bottom of pastry lined dish. put a blog of ricotta, a handful of grated cheddar, and top with a small round of zucchini. fill the pastries up with 2 eggs whipped with a pinch of salt and 1/2 cup cream. cook at 160 for 30 minutes. eat hot with oiled parsley and lots of pepper
mango cheeks, yellow box honey, vanilla sugar frozen yoghurt
so simple and so fresh. i mix a full tub of greek yoghurt (approx 2 cups) with 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar, and a splash of vanilla syrup. (i do like it to be spiky). swirl it around. place a sheet of greaseproof paper in a small tin and put the yoghurt in. drip yellow box honey over it. freeze till it becomes less runny. (approx 2 hours). in a gorgeous glass put a cut mango cheek in and a large spoonful of the yoghurt. drip honey over it and serve. (i do like to chill my glasses). decorate with flowers.
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 make this salad for Alimentari (car william and paddington streets, paddington sydney). it runs out the door. this gorgeous salad is a really pure event. nothing but, shrooms, basil, micro upland cress, parmesan powder lemon and oil….oh and my favourite. fregola. …little bombs of bliss…..
fregola with mushrooms, lemon flavours , parmesan powder, basil and cress
this recipe is ridiculously easy…….. easy and fresh food is something we love. fregola is the gorgeous of pastas. little delicate and gorgeous it is perfect for a gentle salad that is a little bit different but very fresh.
i do this by the bag of fregola.
boil i bag of fregola till al dente. rinse in cold water till cool.put in a big bowl. slice 6 large button mushrooms and 1 small onion finely into slices and drip olive oil and sprinkle salt over. heat a frypan till really hot. drop the shrooms in and turn off letting them cook but cool at the same time. don’t stir. when cool put in with the fregola with: grated lemon rind from 1 lemon and then squeeze the juice in, 1 handful baby basil leaves, 1/2 cup really fine grated parmesan, 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil. stir and put into bowl. season op with pepper and sprinkle more parmesan some more baby basil leaves, and some upland cress.
amazing with a roast chicken or just on its own. enjoy!
i am really lucky. i have two jobs. three if you count my beautiful babies and being their mummy. i am private chef and cinematographer. i have done both for 30 years. its only the last couple of years that i started documenting my travels and the wonderful treats that i experience along the way. it is an education to travel and dine, and every country and every cuisine and the dining experience there, fuses my food back home with ideas and modernisms.
wild with garnish means all of this. madness with extra…..
this blog is a vechile for me to show and express both, the food and the photography study whilst i am there.
this is singapore recently. i went there to direct and shoot a vaseline commercial. i spent a lot of time in the hawker markets, watching them make the noodles, and the creation of food there everyday. i am obsessed and i love it.
when i am in production or shooting. we go and eat everywhere. the producer and team normally with me. however when the shoot is over and i am in post production and editing i am normally on my own and that when i get to explore.
and this is Bangkok….so incredible and an endless journey into flavour and fragrance. there is something about that incredible heat and the tanginess and bite of the chilli. its so compelling.
i do have a weak spot for asian food. i am a little obsessed and find every dish every time, incredible. simple executions, fresh food, fragrance and fragrance on top of that.
my love of food and the possibilities keep me thinking all day every day. it can get a bit weird…but who cares…right?
eggs are one of my favourite foods and have a certain feeling of nurture and yumminess. from a thumb in the mouth soft and squishy sandwich to comforting frittata, a spa salad, and a ridiculously good slow cooked hash or a sweet broth with a crispy fried egg on top that cracks and oozes into the dish when broken…….i am sort of always wondering what i can put an egg in or on top off.…..
when i had “Pond” restaurant with Guillaume we had a very high profile client that demanded an egg with his beef and merlot jus. Guillaume flatly refused and after some major to and froing back from the dining room to the kitchen, the well heeled patron went out and bought a cheeky half dozen and demanded he cook it himself. there were some interesting words spoken but the patron won…very funny. sort of…..
here are some dishes that i have made over the last two years that reflect what i like to use eggs in. of course there are a million ideas. and ill list some more at the end of this post…….
soft egg sandwiches with egg white mayonnaise
i buy one white sliced loaf and get it sliced lengthways. boil 1 dozen eggs till hard (10m mins.) peel the eggs and use 1 of the white to mix in with 1 cup good mayonnaise. add a squeeze of lemon juice salt and pepper to taste and then add the mayo to this and squish with a fork, so the mixture is lumpy but not massively. spread on half the slices and top with the other. cut the crusts off and cut into 6 sandwiches cutting across going half then into thirds. (make sense?) being gentle not to squash them. serve chilled on a platter in a row. gorgeous..
lazy susans with a micro green olive salad
ignore the lazy connotation…even if my name is susan. i have cooked these for my children since the first day they took breath. I’ve just made in adults food. cut 2 thick slices of wholemeal or sourdough and cut the crusts off. dig a little hole out of the middle. drizzle some olive oil in a pan and cook one side of the bead, and crack an egg into the hole. whilst its cooking, make a little salad of micro greens, celery, witlof, leeks, and finely sliced green onions. sprinkle the egg with salt and pepper and turn it over. cook for a second longer and take off ensuing the the egg stays soft. place on plate, sprinkle with salad on a corner and drizzle with olive oil.
Note: i do stuff sour cream or ricotta in there too….yum!
fiorre de latte with lemon oil, egg white and nasrturniums
this is a really sexy dish. i do it all the time as a drinks thing. cut the cheese into slices. boil an egg and smash it into pieces. turn the cheese into a flower by curling them into a circle. put the smashed egg onto a platter and curl the cheese around it. sprinkle some cut up white onion, drizzle some olive oil, some lemon juice and place nasturtiums all over it.
boiled eggs with celery salt and asparagus
another great dish. perfect with a roast chicken with aoli and walnuts.
boil 2 eggs, steam some asparagus till still crunchy. cut the eggs in halves and place on top of asparagus in a bowl with paper in it. sprinkle celery salt and pepper over it and top with some herbs or micro leaves. lastly drizzle some garlic or plain olive oil over the dish.. serves 2
lamb hash, pan juices, crispy olive oil egg and onions
in a large oven crock pot, place a shoulder of lamb with 2 cups of beer, 1 cup brown sugar, and 1/2 cup maple sugar and 1 chilli. salt and pepper the death out out of it and seal with the lid and cook for 3 hours on 200C. using a fork strip the meat away from the bone and let it sit. crispy fry 2 eggs in a shallow puddle if good extra virgin olive oil sunny side up. chop up a small handful of onions. place the meat on the bottom of a shallow bowl and put the egg on top. spoon the juices around the bowl with a sprinkle of the onions. serves 2 and them some with the lamb.
a salad of radicchio, peas, smoked trout, lemon, and a soft boiled egg.
i think this was the first dish i ever blogged. i was in a hotel room in Auckland working on a fashion shoot, trying to get over a month of hard core deli, extreme pizza and steak eating in new york. i went for this for the cleanse. it worked a treat. new zealand smoked trout, nothing finer.
soft boil an egg (2-3 mins). hold in shell. put onto the plate 1 handful finely sliced radicchio, some baby peas, 1/2 cup flaked smoked trout and some grated lemon rind. peel and cut open the egg in the middle. squeeze lemon juice and olive oil all over it.
root vegetable broth, micro basil, peppered fried egg
another dish that makes me feel amazing. crack the egg into the broth and slurp away. incredible for hangovers. i promise…..
boil 1 parsnip, 1 carrot, 1 white onion, and 1 turnip with 2 vegan vegetable stock cubes and 2 cups water. strain, and boil down by half. crispy fry an egg in a shallow puddle of good olive oil with a generous spray of cracked pepper in a really hot pan so it crisps up fast and doesn’t lose its runny value in the yolk. place a deep puddle of broth in a bowl and submerge the egg on top. sprinkle with micro basil or anything fragrant and herbaceous.
potato and shrimp frittata
heaven. quite simply. i have a small spring form baking tin. i line it in greaseproof and get the dish under way. line the bottom with sliced boiled potatoes, then a layer of cooked small shrimps, some salt and pepper, some mixed cheese, and then crack two eggs on top. make a mixture of 1 egg with a splash of cream and some thumb twigs. stir and pour that over filling up the tin. bake till firm about 30 minutes on low 150C. eat immediately on its own with some tomatoes melted in unsalted butter in a pan or a small salad of leaves a splash of oil and balsamic with some smoked salmon. also a good splurge of ricotta chopped parsley and a squeeze of lemon is great with this also.
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.
i have made this dish forever and its a hot tip. its flash, its sexy and its a salad. sexy tuna, who would believe it…i serve it in glasses as its really gorgeous to see the colours, or as a tall shape on a plate. it is a perfect dish as a starter or even a canapé walking around.
my crisp of choice to serve with it, is a fried triangle of corn tortilla that salted. it suits the sweetness of the pickled ginger. a sort of sweet and sour thing.
tuna tartare with pink ginger, wasabi and lime flavours
so clean, so sharp, so easy, so fast, so crisp, so sexy….
2 cups of tuna belly, 1 handful coriander root, 1 handful baby mint leaves, 1 tablespoon water chesnuts, 1 handful bean sprouts, 1 tablespoons pink japanese ginger, 1 desert spoon shallots
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon ginger liquid, 1 desert spoon wasabi (i like it hot), a splash of sesame oil, the juice of 1 lime and the grated zest of 1/2 lime. (i like to add red chilli here but it depends on yr palate) go nutsso…….
gently toss everything together and serve in a cup or in a pile on the plate. i like i said serve these with deep fried tortilla pieces. yum.
not: add some chopped cucumber skin and nuts and seeds for extra crunch………
i do write a lot of menus. on planes mainly. i have the space to dream and make stuff up. its all simple food. when you look at the ideas they mean just elements mixed up a bitty. when i cook for clients i use them to refer to. i have journals full of them. this menu was originally called ….”t_xtre…”… however I’m going to turn this one into a book. “wild with garnish – uncut”. ill do it soon. I’m in the process of converting my journals into books….anyone out there.???
i like the idea of my travels evolving into menus and flavours that snatch and grab and mix it up. there are no rules. i just like to eat fresh and what feels great.
i wrote this gorgeous menu once based on pure fresh food and texture. it was the beginning of this whole world i have entered into…just flavour, fresh ingredients and fragrance…..nothing else……and love….always love
let me know if you want any of the recipes…..ill also cook them for you
Txtre – the menu
Farro can be sweet …….and sexy and healthy and everything in between. i make an endless amount of salads and i use faro a lot. its a good grain.
It is a derivative of wheat and is not unlike spelt or barley but has its origin in Italy. one of the finest grains it was first cultivated over 2000 years ago. it nearly vanished from production due to its strong protective husk which requires more complex dehulling and milling machinery.
farro is high in fibre, zinc and protein and is a rich source of B complex vitamins.it does contain gluten. ithas a nutty flavour and can be substitited for rice, lentils, cous cous and pasta. it love it as a risotto, a straight up grain with slow cooking, salad or just with olive oil, lemon rind, salt and pepper. yuuum!
Lorraine Russo the owner of Alimentari in Paddington Sydney has just had a gorgeous holiday in Italy and ate Farro salad all the time. we talked about it at length and to and tossed around a few ideas. She has asked me to do one for the cafe and it launched today. This is what i came up with. a really simple, fast and fresh salad that is packed with flavour and goodness. i used bio-dynamic ‘Mount Zero’ in this recipe.
a salad of farro, celery, capers, lemon, shallots, parsley, eggs, almonds and celery salt
Boil i cup farro in water for 15-20 minute after washing thoroughly. boil 2 eggs till hard. chop finely, 1/2 cup celery, 1/4 cup shallots, 1/2 cup parsley. put in bowl with faro with 1 cup toasted almond flakes, about 20 capers, some grated lemon,and 1/2 cup of olive oil mixed with white balsamic. stir gently and season with celery salt and pepper to taste. place in bowl with cut eggs and garnish with extra celery and parsley.