Why hello there! I've been running around these past few days, trying to reorganize home and work life as I had just arrived from Australia. But I'm thrilled to be back in our cozy, quirky home, cooking new and exciting dishes for my loved ones and for my dear readers out there.
I was blown away by the wonderful sights and sounds of down under, and truly, deeply inspired by the vibrant food culture. The trip was short but sweet, and I'll definitely be back. If only for a cuppa flat white!
When people think of Aussie food, they usually think of Vegemite. But there's so much more to outback cuisine than meets the eye.
Ever the adventurous eater, Mr. Flintstone had suckered me into trying out exotic food, such as kangaroo meat (tastes like venison) and crocodile meat (tastes like chicken). I drew the line at koalas, because the kids might cry!
It's definitely a paleo wonderland down under. Every day of our stay, Mr. Flintstone ordered organic, grass-fed Aussie lamb, whether it's served as a breakfast sausage, grilled burger, or roasted with root vegetables.
The holidays also allowed Mr. Flintstone and I to relax, unwind, and savor every meal with fantastic wines from Australian vineyards. Mr. Flintstone takes a few sips because he has read somewhere that wine aids digestion and is good for the heart. As for me, I drink it because it tastes good with food, period.
My kids, on the other hand, loved devouring meat pies, especially when they're swathed in gravy and mushrooms. And TimTams. They ate it for dessert after each meal, and I may have turned a bit jealous when my eldest said it's her "favoritest dessert ever".
I must say, one of my favorite dishes from our Oz trip is crumbed barramundi, Australia's take on the quintessential British nosh, fish and chips. Barramundi is creamy, flaky, and just plain wonderful.
This month's recipes are inspired by the bounty from Aussie's deep-blue oceans, free-range lamb from its grassy hills, and amazing wines from its world-class vineyards. Luckily I ran into Rustan's Supermarket's wine specialist last weekend. She told me that Flametree Chardonnay complements the buttery, nutty flavor of barramundi, while Flametree Cabernet Merlot goes well with the subdued earthiness of Aussie lamb.
I'm bent on starting 2015 on a right note. Marketplace is teeming with fresh vegetables and seasonal fruits from Australia, and I intend to make a crunchy, tangy salad with fresh fruits from down under.
The sinful holiday feast has forced me go easy on deep-fried, sinful food. But, I have to admit. I love me some crunch, so instead of deep-frying fish, I'll be making baked fish and crisped chips.
For my meat-loving man, it's definitely roast lamb with caramelized market vegetables.
And because I love me a good challenge, I'll be serving up a batch of homemade TimTams. Thankfully, it won my eldest child's approval.
Oh, and for those who have been askin' and askin' for an Easy-as-Pie pie recipe, I got you covered. Sundays with family, after all, are made for minced meat pies with onion, cheese, and all the fixins'.
Chocolate Malt Biscuits:
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tbsp malted milk powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon butter, softened
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon caster sugar
2 tbsp honey
Chocolate Buttercream Filling:
1/2 cup softened butter
25 g milk chocolate, melted
1 tsp malted milk powder
200 g dark chocolate, melted
1. To make chocolate malt biscuits, mix dry ingredients (cocoa, flour, malted milk powder, and baking powder) in one bowl. In another bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together butter and sugar until fluffy; add honey. Knead dry ingredients and creamed butter and sugar into a dough. Put rounded dough between 2 layers of parchment paper. Use a rolling pin to flatten out the dough into a 1/4 inch thick sheet. Slice into small rectangles.
2. Bake for 8.5 minutes. Take out of the oven and rotate pan. Bake for 8.5 minutes. Take out of the oven and cool.
3. To make chocolate buttercream filling, use an electric mixer to cream softened butter, melted milk chocolate, and malted milk powder.
4. Spread chocolate buttercream filling between 2 chocolate malt biscuits. Dip in melted dark chocolate. Refrigerate until set.
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Easy 5-step recipes featuring the freshest and most exciting ingredients from Rustan's Supermarket.