Embers Tit Bits

Embers blogWhether you are cooking for the family, for two or for a dinner party, this is one handy tip to follow. Preparation is the key. Always start with a clean kitchen and have everything prepped and ready to go before you get started on the cooking. 

Beluga. New Chef, New Menu, New Direction.

New Chef. New menu. New direction at Beluga.

Being a part owner of restaurant Beluga in Claremont awarded me the privilege of heading out last week to sample the new winter piccolo dining menu.

Over the past 6 months Beluga has encountered quite a bit of change, the largest of which was with our Head Chef. We had plenty of notice of the change to come and were lucky enough to secure the fabulous Kristen Lantzke who had been Head Chef at Jacksons Restaurant in Mount Lawley (one of my absolute favourite restaurants in Perth!)  I was ecstatic to say the least.

Our first meeting with Kristen as Head Chef had me excited. Our direction was that Beluga was to have a more casual, pop-in style atmosphere with our focus to remain on high quality, mouth wateringly fresh food.

We loved the concept of piccolo dining (where the diners at each table share multiple small meals – like tapas but without the Spanish influence) and wanted to introduce this idea to our guests at Beluga. It gives you a chance to sample multiple items on the menu instead of having just one main meal.

Having given Kristen the brief, we were really excited to see what she came up with. What would her signature be? What qualities and new flavours would Kristen bring to the Beluga menu? I was not disappointed.

There were six of us at dinner so the ‘piccolo Chef to cook’ experience worked perfectly. Everyone was able to sample all of the food – exactly how I like to eat as I have been known to get food envy!

Beluga ciabattaWe started with the warm ciabatta with truffle butter and black beluga salt. What a winning combo. Suffice to say truffle butter melts beautifully on warm crusty bread.

squidOur next dish was a tempura battered squid. I like my squid to be thick and tender and the batter needs to be light.

Beluga bastiaThen we moved onto a rabbit bastia. The rabbit had been braised just so and was tender, wrapped in filo pastry and finished off with a dusting of icing sugar. Icing sugar!! Yes, the slightly sweet taste lifted the dish just that little bit.  It’s a combo I wouldn’t have thought of so I was quite impressed.

Crispy pork belly, peas and pear

Crispy pork belly, peas and pear

Beluga veggiesBeluga beansBeluga chipsWe were all starting to feel full now, but just landed on the table were the triple cooked hand cut chips and since I must try all our dishes, we did and they were crispy, delightful and very moreish. Yum.

beluga panacottaLast but not least was dessert. We tasted the panacotta with coconut sorbet and fresh citrus wedges. The perfect ending to our meal – light, fresh and packed with flavour.

Come in and try our ‘chef to cook’ dining experience.  My suggestion is – don’t even bother looking at the menu. Let our staff organise a piccolo dining experience for you – you wont be disappointed.

To book a table at Beluga, call 9383 1638.

See you there.

Embers

Embers Tit Bits

Screen shot 2013-06-17 at 8.49.56 PMDon’t dress your salad until just before you serve it. Nobody likes a soggy salad!!

Potato and Leek Soup with Poached Pink Snapper

pot and leek snapPIC

I love a good winter soup. There is nothing better than dipping your warm fresh bread into some deliciously hearty soup. 

This was the first time I had tried this soup and I was really happy with the result.

Ingredients

5 large royal blue ptatoes diced 
2 onions diced
1 leek sliced
2 cloves garlic 
1L chicken stock
400g pink snapper in 5cm portions
1tbs butter
olive oil
chives
salt and pepper
 150ml cream
 
Method 
 
In a large saucepan sweat your leeks in some butter and olive oil. 
 
Add your onions and stir thru. It’s important not to get to much colour in your leeks and onions as you don’t want this flavour to overtake the soup.
 
Add your potatoes and sautee for a minute or so.
 
Cover with chicken stock and bring to the boil.
 
Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
 
Blend the soup mixture in a blender until smooth. Place back in the saucepan and simmer again on a low heat.
 
Add the fish pieces and poach for roughly 4-5 min or until fish is cooked.
 
Add your cream and season to taste.
 
Finish with finely chopped chives, a drizzle or cream and serve with warm crusty bread.
 
What’s your favourite winter soup?
Embers
 

Embers Tit Bits

squidFor best results when frying squid make sure you pat it dry with paper towels before frying. This will help the batter stick to the squid and keep the batter nice and crunchy.

Spanish Baked Eggs for Mothers Day

Spanish egg 1spanish eggs 2spanish eggs 3I had so much fun cooking for the Wifey and her family on Sunday for Mothers Day. It was the first cook up we have had in the new house so it was great to get the family together.

My version of Spanish baked eggs was the perfect brunch. Rayne’s mum is a celiac (allergic to wheat and gluten) so I have to create a dish that is celiac friendly and a wow factor for the whole family.

You should be able to find these paella pans at most cooking outlets but if you are having trouble contact Dallimores Homeswares in Subiaco and they should be able to steer you in the right direction.

You can find these large pans in a mini version too so if you are not cooking for the whole family then you can use a couple of the small pans as individual portions.

As you can see they are versatile and can be used for a variety of dishes.

spanish eggs 4Spanish Baked Eggs

  • 12 ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 10 eggs
  • 1 jar char grilled capsicum
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 3 Italian sausages sliced
  • 2 cups spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves
  • Handful rocket
  • 200g feta
  • 1 can cannelloni beans
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil

 Pre heat oven to 220degC.

 In a large bowl season the tomatoes with salt, pepper and a splash of olive oil.

 Add your capsicums, pine nuts, sausage, spinach, beans and basil to your tomatoes and mix through.

 Add all of your ingredients to the paella pan and cook in the oven for about 10 minutes.

 Remove the pan from the oven and make a well in the mixture, crack an egg into it. Do this for all of eggs. Crumble feta over the top.

 Place back in oven and cook for a further 8-10 min or until eggs are cooked to your liking.

 Finish with some fresh rocket and serve with some crusty ciabatta or as my mother in-law did, eat with some corn chips.

 Serves about 8 people as part of a shared breakfast. 

Easy Peasy Cookies with the Kids

cookies 1cookies 2Ok, so they aren’t as easy as the premade Betty biscuits that you can by in the fridge at the supermarket but without the pouring and mixing stage of the cooking where would the fun be! No spoon to lick! Hmmm……

I found this great recipe at Kidspot and it was oh so quick and oh so easy.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups castor sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Icing glaze:

  • 2 1/4 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 2 tbsp glucose syrup
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • Food colouring of your choice

 Method:

Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy.

Beat in egg and vanilla. Add flour, baking powder and salt. Mix to combine.

Divide dough in half and gather into balls. Flatten them to disks and cover in cling film. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 190°C. Line a baking sheet with baking paper and set aside.

On a floured work surface, roll dough to 1/2 cm thickness and cut with a heart-shaped cookie cutter or any other shapes that you have. You can even put a lollipop stick in them before you bake so they become cookie pops.

Place on the tray and bake for 13 minutes or until pale golden.

Transfer cookies to racks to cool.

Mix cookie glaze ingredients together and colour to you liking. Cover cookies with the glaze.

Breakfast at Typika

typika 1typika 2typika 4 typika 3typika 5 typika 6typika 7 typika 8typika 9typika 10I was having a read of Rob Broadfields review on Typika last weekend and had to head down there myself.

Beef, for breaky? Really? I had to give this a go.

I arrived with the two kids and let me just say, they are beautiful, I love my kids….. but they refuse to sit still! Up, down, up down, I was exhausted and I hadn’t even had a sip of my long mac. The baby chino’s and countless marshmallows didn’t really help the situation but it’s Sunday breaky and I was needing anything for bribery, not that it was working.

Rayne rocked up not long after so being the good husband that I am I was able to take the kids for a wander and let her relax and have a quick read of the paper……

With long mac in hand and kids in toe I headed off to take a peek of this $800k roasting machine that Rob wrote about. I had no idea what to expect, I mean what the hell does an $800k roasting machine look like anyway? Is it gold plated? Let me just say it was impressive and it definitely looked like a major investment of the Chimbalino group. They will be cranking out some majorly roasted coffee from that monster!

I loved the wall with live micro herbs that lined the inside of the building, although the leaves did prove too much of a temptation for Autumn. “Please don’t pick the leaves honey” is a clear indication to pick so we didn’t last there very long.

I couldn’t go past ordering the Spiced Beef Bendict and let me tell you, it worked! The eggs were perfectly poached and the hollandaise sauce had just the right amount of harissa (harissa is a spice made up of a variety of hot peppers, spices and other herbs).

Rayne ordered the Eggs Benedict and again, the eggs cooked to perfection and I loved the chunky hand carved smoked ham that sat on the toast. A perfect marriage.

The coffee is mild and smooth and the décor is simple and earthy. When I asked where they purchased their water glass’s from I was told the owner brought back most of the decor from America and it was all recycled.

Typika is open Monday till Friday, breakfast till 11 and lunch till 3

Saturday and Sunday breakfast all day.

Have you been? What did you think?

Embers

Caramelised Fig, Vanilla Pear and Blue Cheese Pizza

fig pizza oven

The best thing about  home made pizza, is that there are so many toppings to choose from. Some like pineapple, others don’t. I must admit, I love Italian sausage on mine but I’m also open to trying anything.

In the past I have had a great outdoor pizza oven at home but when we moved I couldn’t bring it with me. Since then I have been using the Just Pizza Oven and you can get it here at Dallimores for $119.95. Bargain! 

My caramelised fig pizza is a vegetarian option. It’s not your typical pizza but the flavours work and I love it. If you’re completely opposed to vegetarian throw on some fresh, thinly sliced prosciutto at the end. The saltiness with really compliment the flavour. 

Sauce

1/2 cup can crushed tomatoes
Splash olive oil
Salt and pepper
Basil leaves (handful)

Blend all the ingredients together and set aside

6 Figs, halved
1 Pear, diced
Blue cheese
Mozzarella
Rocket
Seeds from a vanilla bean
Sugar

1 pizza dough – it’s easy to make your own but on this occasion I purchased the dough from The Pizza Lounge in Swanbourne on my way home from training.

Coat your figs in sugar and caramelise in a hot oven for 10 minutes. Set aside.

Fry off your pear and vanilla bean with a splash of olive oil and set aside.

Roll out your pizza dough. Spread over a little of the sauce and then add your figs, pear and cheese over the pizza. Cook for about 8 min in a pizza maker.

Finish with fresh rocket.

Let me know your thoughts below. Is this topping a little outrageous? Don’t knock it till you try it!! 

Embers

My Morning Booster

So I have turned. I am now a juicer. It took me a while but I finally got there. Every week we now head down to our local markets on a Saturday to pick up a fresh tray of super sprouts. Michelle Nazaroff, you would be proud!

ladyship 2

Live nutrients straight into your body. What a fabulous way to start the day!!!! 

A handful of broccoli sprouts
A handful of mungbean sprouts
A handful of clove sprouts
A cup of spinach
Half a lemon
Half an orange

Wizz up with a tray of ice and half a cup of water or coconut water. You will be surprised at how yummy this is! I promise.  

 

lady ship 1