Category Archives: Lunch

Bakery Crawl

regret nothing

A bakery crawl, like a pub crawl, is just that; no regrets. A friend of mine and I took it upon ourselves to visit two vegan bakeries in Melbourne. Our first stop was at ‘Mr Nice Guys’ down on Union St, Ascot Vale. They say when finding a good place to eat, always go where there are lots of people. Mr Nice Guys was no exception. The place was packed! Walking in here was like walking into a playground of vegan awesomeness. Every awesome, crazy and almost unbelievable creation in this place is vegan.

In their glistening cake cabinet they have vegan cakes and cupcakes such as the ‘unicorn milkshake’, the ‘coffee and doughnuts’ cupcake, the ‘popcorn mudslide’ and the to-die-for ‘bronut’ (brownie-doughnut!). Closer to the counter they have an array of vegan pastries, such as their ‘potato, rosemary and bechamel danish’ and their ‘choc chip custard danish’ pastries. They have vegan biscuits and pies, they do amazing milkshakes and good coffee. My friend and I shared a vegan croissant and a pretzel ‘hotdog’ (also vegan). The croissant was soft and flaky and the pretzel dog was everything a pretezel should be; ‘tasty, salty goodness!’. The shop has cute tables and chairs both inside and out, with teapots as sugar bowls and a bowl of water by their sign out front for doggo. Mr Nice Guys is allergy friendly and stocks gluten free and soy free options as well. Well worth the trip, much recommended and would do again! Good brunch spot!

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After that we took the hour long drive from Ascotvale, down to Daniel’s Doughnuts, in Springvale. Daniel’s does both vegan and non vegan doughnuts. Again, the place was packed. The line inside the shop itself was at least three people deep and outside it was at least 10 meters out the door! It was well worth the wait though. I got a vegan jam doughnut and a vegan Oreo doughnut. My friend got the salted caramel and a cinnamon. Once you’ve eaten there, you can see why people flock to it. Their doughnuts are so light, fluffy and indulgent. We sat in the sun at their tables outside and devoured them. They were so good, I was tempted to line up in that epic line again. They’re open 24 hours (unbelievable right?). While Spring Vale is a fair hike for most of us (unless you’re lucky enough to live close by) Daniel’s Doughnuts would make for the perfect, late-night drive.

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Broo Lager, Soerrento, Victoria – Salt and Pepper Beer Batter Seafood Basket made with Sorrento’s Broo Lager with Guacamole

I tried out Sorrento’s craft brew Broo Lager last night. It was on special at the local bottle-o and I’d heard good things. I spent the rest of the night chilling out, streaming episodes of Ugly Americans and 2 Broke Girls, (a guilty pleasure) on YouTube and drinking said brew. You know when you have something that just epitomizes what it’s supposed to be? This beer does this. You drink it and and you think, ‘I don’t know how, in words, to pin down what beer is, but this is what beer is’. Craft beers at the moment seem to be becoming increasingly more complicated, experimental and brewers are crossing over styles, sometimes multiple times. While I applaud this, think this expansion of beer and its palate is truly wonderful and some stellar beers have been created as a result, it’s also refreshing to know that true classics are still valued, appreciated and are being made. Their website, Broo Beer (click on that if you want to find out more) proudly states that this beer is Australian owned, which  I think is pretty good, especially on the back of the recent announcement that yet another Australian brew – Mountain Goat – has just been sold to an international company, in this case, Asahi Breweries. But enough of this ramble. I woke up to find I’d fallen asleep with three quarters of a beer left. Rather than let good beer go to waste I decided to make a beer batter seafood basket (also to procrastinate and put off doing planning for work next term…). So here’s the recipe.

You need:

The Batter

  • 3/4 bottle of Broo Lager (or any good quality beer, about 280-285mL)
  • a good handful or two of plain flour in a bowl seasoned with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper (I used Lauke Crusty White Bread Flour, but all purpose plain flour will do)
  • 1/2 tsp mustard

Using  a whisk, gradually add beer to flour until you have a batter the consistency of a pancake batter. Beat in mustard and leave to rest.

The Seafood

  • 1 clean squid tube cut into rings
  • 1 fillet of Trevalley fish or any other firm white fish (e.g. Flake, Whiting e.c.t.) cut into roughly 5 by 3cm chunks.

Cook

  • Heat 2 cm depth of vegetable oil in a deep pan until a cube of bread browns in 30 seconds or a wooden skewer bubbles when dipped in.
  • dredge the squid and fish in batter, shake off excess and fry in batches, turning over after each side goes golden and crisp. (Squid takes maybe 2 minutes, fish about 3 – 4 minutes – I didn’t really time it, but keep a careful eye as the hot oil will cook the pieces through very quickly. 2- 3 minutes will leave you with lovely, tender fish)
  • drain on paper towel and place on a bed of fresh bok choy leaves.

Serve with Guacamole

  • Season a mashed avocado with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, mustard, lime juice, 1/2 chili pounded together with a garlic clove and a pinch of salt, sweet chili sauce and some chopped coriander

Happy eating!

Ginger chili pork crackling with sweet chili sauce

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The beer pictured is Western Australian brew ‘Little Creatures Bright Ale.’ We are now lucky enough to have a new Creatures Brewery right here in Geelong, Victoria. A decent drop.

My friend and I were sitting around last night,  having a few beers when it hit that point in the night where we suddenly got the nibblies. I had a strip of pork rind that I’d cut off a roast, sitting in the fridge. I cut up a bit, fried it, whacked a bit of salt,  pepper and paprika on,  thinking that would sufficiently sooth the pangs. We got halfway through eating and realized we were so wrong! At this point, I saw the bottle of sweet chili sauce sitting in the cupboard. My only thought was ‘that would be wicked on crackling!’ I promptly cut up the rest of the rind,  made a ginger,  chili, garlic paste to go on top, and doused those pork strips in hot,  sweet,  sticky,  sour goodness!!!

You need;

Pork shoulder rind,  cut into strips, about 1cm thick

Plain oil for frying (e.g. vegetable, canola, peanut/ground nut e.c.t.)

Mix together a small chunk of ginger,  peeled and grated,  a garlic clove,  grated,  1 small chili,  finely chopped, 1/2 tsp salt,  1 tsp sugar (pound in mortar and pestle if you’ve got one. Not critical though).

Method:

Heat a layer (1/2cm or so) in a pan over medium heat until a piece of bread browns in 30 seconds. Carefully drop pork strips in,  fry for 5 minutes on one side,  then turn pieces over,  fry for another 5 or so,  until pork has just about stopped sizzling (means the moisture has fried out of it and equals crispy!). Drain pork on a brown paper bag,  whack ginger chili paste on and smother in sweet chili sauce. Happy drinking!!!

Pulled pork pizzas with Meredith Goats Cheese

Meredith marinated fresh goats cheese is The. Bomb! It’s the creme da la creme of fetta cheese, of any cheese. It’s made locally to Geelong and sold all around the world. If you haven’t tried it, do yourself a favor and seek it out, and then open the jar and eat it. It’ll be a life choice you won’t regret.

You need:

Pulled Pork – click on the ‘pulled pork’ tag (recipe in pulled pork quesadillas) for the pulled pork recipe – best to do this a day or two in advance as the pork will take all to cook.

Pizza bases

  • 2 cups of strong, white bread flour – I use Lauke Bread flour. Made in South Australia
  • 1tsp instant yeast and 1/2 tsp sugar mixed with 1 cup of warm water – leave for 10 until frothy
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable or olive oil

Method:

Mix oil and yeast mixture into the flour, in a bowl. Stir until combined and you’ve got a sticky dough. Turn out on a floured surface and knead for 5 – 10 minutes and leave to prove for 1/2 hour to an hour in a warm spot.

Assemble:

  1. Preheat oven to around 220*C. Knock back the dough, cut into about 5-6 equal sized pieces and roll each piece out into a thin round (about 1/2cm thick). Place on oven trays.
  2. Cover each base with 1/2 tsp of tomato sauce base. **See note
  3. Spread a handful of shredded pork over each pizza, then top with torn mozzarella or your favorite cheese.
  4. Cook each pizza for around ten minutes or until slightly golden around the edges. Cut into wedges and crumble some Meredith Marinated Goats Cheese. Happy days.

**For the tomato sauce base I used a mixture of 3 different tomato chutneys and chilli jams I had hanging around in the cupboard, but you could use a tomato pasta sauce, pasata, tomato paste, tomato relish, any tomato chutney or chilli jam or tomato salsa (the jarred dorito chip dip works well here). Whatever you use, a few teaspoons will be enough to cover this quantity of dough. Play with different flavors and see what you like best.

barbecued beef strips

This was done on the spur of the moment. I marinaded rump steak that had been bashed out with a meat tenderizer and cut thin on an angle in a mixture of mustard, homemade ketchup and tomato chutney, a bit of local honey, cumin powder, paprika, salt and pepper and fried on the hot plate in pork fat that I saved from the pulled pork I did the other week. The bread was home made using locally made Lauke Flour, also fried in pork fat. Healthy? Debatable. Delicious? You bet! Happy days! 🙂

pulled pork quesadillas

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I tried getting a picture of the pork when I first pulled it of the oven, but pulled pork by itself, isn’t terribly photogenic, (which is why I decided to make these. Lol, they look a bit prettier). I’ve been wanting to try this recipe for ages and despite it’s lack luster appearance, the meat itself is totally to die for! And making it couldn’t be easier. I researched several recipes and have come to the conclusion that there is no ‘right’ way to cook this. Slower, however, is definitely better and most cooks that I’ve read up on insist on pork shoulder, which is really good, as it’s usually a really cheap cut, so it won’t break the bank. (It usually goes for around $7-8 a kilo, so 2kg should set you back around $15 and will easily feed a crowd). Here’s my version, but feel free to experiment. I used an approximately 2kg piece, 1.7kg to be exact). Start early in the day as this meat needs to be in the oven for at least 7 hours. It’s an all day job.

Pulled Pork:

Step 1: Preheat oven to 200*C. Place a big sheet of foil in a large baking tray, enough to cover the entire pork shoulder, but tuck the excess foil away for now.

Step 2: Place pork shoulder in tray, rub all over with mustard then make a dry rub with 1tsp salt (sea salt if you can), 1 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp cumin powder and rub all over the meat. Leave to sit for 1/2 hr until meat looks shiny.

Step 3: Roast meat, uncovered for 12 -15 mins then take out, wrap the meat up completely in the excess foil (and more if you need it).

Step four: Reduce heat to 120*C, put back in the oven and let cook at 120*C for at least 7 hours, (8-10hrs is ideal – about 1 1/2 hrs per pound or 450g). It’s done when the bone/ bones pull cleanly away from the meat and the meat easily shreds or ‘pulls’ apart in your hands. Shred the meat, discard of the bones and pile meat up on things like soft bread rolls with coleslaw and BBQ sauce, baked potatoes with coleslaw, BBQ sauce and sour cream, mix through fresh pasta or just eat it straight from the tray, like I did 😛

OR you could make these!

Pulled Pork Quesadillas

Tortillas:

Mix 2 cups strong bread flour (I use Lauke Crusty White flour), 1/4 cup vegetable or olive oil and 1/2 cup warm water in a bowl. Mix together using chopsticks to make a soft, slightly tacky dough. Wrap in glad wrap and then in a tea towel and rest for 1/2 hr in a warm place.

Heat a heavy skillet or frypan on the stove over medium high heat. Take small balls of the dough, roll out thin and dry fry them, about 10 second each side until there’s bubbles and/ or light brown spots on each side. Stack them under a tea towel. (makes about 14-15 wraps). These will keep for a few days in a plastic bag.

Assemble:

Heat your fry pan. Take a wrap. On one half, load up with pulled pork, rocket or another bitter lettuce like radicchio or whatever salad things you like really and top with cheese. Fold it over so you have a semi circle shape. Brush each side with olive oil and fry each side until tortilla is crispy, the filling is hot and cheese has melted. Enjoy!

Pasta

Mum bought me a pasta machine for my birthday this year, (so stoked!). I’ve been using it extensively to make egg pasta and plain wheat noodles. I use good strong bread flour to make my noodles, specifically South Australia’s Lauke Crusty White bread flour, which you can pick up at the supermarket in 600g, 5kg and 10kg bags ($20 for 10kg makes for good value). You can make these noodles by hand if you don’t have a pasta machine (I’ve included the method I used to make them by hand). I started out this way, but if you get into it, invest in one. Even a little one from any good kitchen/ homeware shop will do the trick.

Egg Noodles

Step 1: 95 – 100g flour in a bowl, make a well and put in an egg and a good glug of olive oil (or vegetable oil) in a bowl.

Step 2: Using chopsticks, quickly combine the flour with the egg/ oil mixture in a circular motion until the mix is well combined. Use a circular motion (going in the same direction) with your hand to form a soft, sticky dough. Knead until smooth. Rest for 1/2 hr or so.

Step 3: USING A PASTA MACHINE – Set pasta machine on the highest setting. Cut dough into 2 equal pieces and roll dough each piece through machine, fold in half and roll through again. Repeat this process until dough is smooth and pliant, and has lightened in color. Reduce the setting until you get your desired thickness. Once you’re on your thinnest (desired) setting, roll dough through again 4 or 5 times to stretch the noodle sheet and make it thinner. Then either use the attachments to cut the noodles, or roll up noodle sheet and cut to size. Don’t be disheartened if you were like me and just starting out and it doesn’t work first time. It takes a little time to get to know your pasta machine and when you work out how best to use it, it’s one of the most satisfying things in the world.

Step 3: BY HAND – Dust your work bench and rolling pin with flour. Cut dough into 2 pieces. Take one piece and roll out into a very thin rectangle sheet (about 1-2mm thick). (This takes some real elbow grease, so to speak, so don’t feel bad if you’re puffed by the end). Roll up one end of the sheet to the center, then repeat to the other side. Use a sharp knife to cut noodles to desired length – 1/2cm thick for tagliatelle or 1.5cm/2cm for pappardelle)

From Geelong to Trentham

Go on a day trip from Geelong to Trentham, via Mt Anakie and Daylesford, straight up the Geelong Ballan Road (C141), with a few stops along the way. Happy travelling.

First stop, Del Rios Winery, Mt Anakie. Award winning wines. Pinot Noir with a 94 James Halliday rating. It’s a beautiful winery. Free wine tastings and restaurant with a Spanish influence. Perfect for a day out. Check their website for more at http://www.delrios.com.au/
Del Rios Winery, Mt Anakie. Llamas!!!!! They have llamas!!!!!
Cliffy's Emporium, Daylesford. Baguette and an awesome long black for lunch. Foodies will feel like a kid in a toy shop in here. Local produce, food and wine. They have their own bar with a really cool beer and wine list too.
Second stop, Cliffy’s Emporium, Daylesford. Baguette and an awesome long black for lunch. Foodies will feel like a kid in a toy shop in here. Local produce, food and wine. They have their own bar with a really cool beer and wine list too. check their Facebook page for more at https://www.facebook.com/cliffysemporium.daylesford?rf=143938252377008
Just down the road from Daylesford and heading towards Trentham, is the Musk Estate Passing Clouds winery. This is the coolest little winery. Check my feature page on these guys or visit their website, www.passingclouds.com.au for details on their wines and their upcoming annual wine release.
Third stop, Just down the road from Daylesford and heading towards Trentham, is the Musk Estate Passing Clouds winery. This is the coolest little winery. Check my feature page on these guys or visit their website, http://www.passingclouds.com.au for details on their wines and their upcoming annual wine release.
Never know what you'll find. Not sure what these guys were doing but it looked like  they were just out for a weekend drive.
Fourth stop, Trentham. Never know what you’ll find. Not sure what these guys were doing but it looked like they were just out for a weekend drive.
Cool, old cars.
Cool, old cars.
The cutest vintage clothes shop I've seen for a while. Gorgeous clothes, beautiful handmade shawls, cottons and collectors pieces, hand dyed lambs wool gloves and one off sample peices from all over the word, particularly from France. My immediate thought when I walked in was 'christmas presents'. Email Anne Moulding at annemoulding@bigpond.com if you want to find out more or visit Trentham The Spotted Pony Salon, 40 Trentham Rd Trentham, VIC, 3458
The cutest vintage clothes shop I’ve seen for a while. Gorgeous clothes, beautiful shawls and scarves, cottons and collectors pieces, hand dyed lambs wool gloves and one-off sample pieces from all over the word, particularly from France. Spotted Pony has new pieces as well, including the cutest summer dresses. My immediate thought when I walked in was ‘christmas presents’. Email Anne Moulding at annemoulding@bigpond.com if you want to find out more or visit Trentham The Spotted Pony Salon, 40 Trentham Rd
Trentham, VIC, 3458
Fourth stop, Trentham's Historic RedBeard Sourdough Bakery. Woodfired Scotch Ovens, good coffee, local produce, lovely courtyard and these awesome pizza slice things. Check the website for all the deets http://www.redbeardbakery.com.au/
Fourth stop, Trentham’s Historic RedBeard Sourdough Bakery. Woodfired Scotch Ovens, good coffee, local produce, lovely courtyard and these awesome pizza slice things. Check the website for all the deets http://www.redbeardbakery.com.au/

Not just lettuce on a plate.

quesadillashttps://twitter.com/baconandeggs6/status/498328322049200128/photo/1

I was scrolling through facebook early this morning when I stumbled across Nigella’s recipe for quesadillas. I was inspired and promptly (after a coffee and another snooze) set about making these for Sunday lunch. I used a heap of local ingredients; Australian milled Laucke Crusty White Bread Flour to make the tortillas, local Otway Ham and two lettuce varieties – oakleaf and hot red mustard – out of my mum’s market garden. Click on my twitter link to check out my version of these awesome little morsles and the produce from the garden. Recipe is up in the drop down menu under ‘recipes’, (creative, I know..). Happy eating.