Sunday, 18 March 2007

The Other Side Of Our Kitchen - written by CHOPPER!

How's it going! Don't let the picture scare you, it's all show really. You have no idea how good it is to finally get my own post on the Squisyness Blog! This is only the first of a few posts to come, as I have much to say about my gorgeous girl and our wonderful world of food.
Since moving to the tropics we have had so much new and exciting food coming out of the kitchen, and there is plenty more to come! Yes, I am sure there are lots of you out there that are very jealous of me - and rightly so :)
I was never a seafood eater before I met Amelita, but she has converted me into a huge fan. The seafood alone in Townsville is worth the 1400km pilgrimage from Bris Vegas, with the fresh mud crabs, prawns straight off the neighbours trawler, and big Barra just itching to get onto my plate.
But seafood isn't the only thing that is plentiful here. The beef is so tender it melts in your mouth. Just last night Amelita made her signature dish from the BBQ Challenge - Rib eye fillet with ham, banana & hollandaise sauce. One of my favourite dishes. Such a great combination of flavours with every mouthful. Makes my mouth water just thinking about it! Yes honey, taste the layers of flavour :)
I think the fresh food in Townsville has made a huge difference to our big move. If we didn't have the seafood and all the fresh produce here in Townsville, I think we would take a lot longer to adjust to small town life. Things are a lot slower up here and anything you want done takes 5 times as long to happen, but while the food keeps pumping out of our kitchen at a rate of knots, Chopper and the rest of the crew are very happy campers indeed.
Tonight we had a fishy fry up. Barramundi, prawns and callamari topped with a sqeeze of lemon, and a generous dollop of Hollandaise sauce. Went off without a hitch really - oh except when the stove caught fire! Thats right, all the cooking was done and some of the oil just happened to spill onto the hotplate and away it went! All I could hear coming from the kitchen was Amelita calling out (quite calmly really) "FIRE!! FIRE!! FIRE!!" I raced into the kitchen and franticly looked around the sink for something to put the flames out with, and Amelita, with a trayful of seafood in one hand just grabbed the tea towel and bashed the fire out with no effort at all! How stupid did I feel? Well, besides the fact that there is plenty of water in the taps, I didn't even think to grab the extinguisher from the pantry. Not that I needed it. As Amelita demonstrated, all I needed was a bloody tea towel!
Stay tuned in the coming weeks for the next installment of The Other Side Of Our Kitchen. If you liked it let me know, otherwise I might get the arse! See ya!

Beer Battered Seafood

So fresh and smelling like the sea.

Excuse fingers, please.

I am a very lucky girl living up here in North Queensland. It really is cheaper to eat Seafood. I crave Beef, a good once or twice a week and make sure we have our iron injection of good red meat, at least once a week. We are eating less and less chicken as well, to Maddy's dismay, she just loves chicken. We are eating probably 2/3 less fat up here in NQ. I'll swear it's the heat. If it wasn't because I am a total chocoholic, I think I would lose more weight than the slow amounts I am dropping. So tonight, fat injection extravaganza! Oh and it was sooooooooooo goooooooood!
For $37, I got one hell of a piece of Barramundi, gorgeous King Prawns, two large Calamari tubes and that includes the oil and the batter. The potato gems an extra $3. So really $40 to feed 4 people and at the end of it we really had an amount to feed 6. So about $6.60 per person. Hey there Mister fish and chips man, beat that, I think not. I am so bloated. We didn't eat it all of course. Leftover sandwiches for lunch tomorrow. MMMMMMmmmmmmm
And here's the recipe. Ta Da!
  1. A large fillet of Barramundi cut into large cubes
  2. 10 large King Prawns, deveined and butterflied
  3. 2 large calamari tubes cleaned and cut into circles

Beer Batter

  1. 2 Egg Whites
  2. 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil
  3. Ground Pepper
  4. 1 x 375ml bottle of Beer
  5. 1 1/2 cups of Plain Flour
  6. Extra Flour for dusting Seafood
  7. 2 litres of Canola Oil for frying

When your seafood is all prepared and ready to go, it's time to start heating the oil. Use a large heavy based saucepan or similar. Now for the batter. Whisk egg whites until they form stiff peaks, then add olive oil, pepper and whisk again. Then add your whole bottle of beer. Whisk until just combined. Lastly the flour, add it gradually as the batter is whisking on a medium speed, until well combined. Dust your seafood with the extra flour.

Dip your seafood into the batter and place into the hot oil. I chose not to use the batter for the Calamari and just tossed it in, dusted with the flour. Remember not to overcrowd the pan. Cook in small batches until golden brown. Drain on paper towel. Sprinkle with your favourite salt. Serve with fresh lemon wedges and your preferred seafood sauce. I have used some leftover Hollandaise from dinner the night before. Good stuff huh? I think so and no complaints here. Enjoy and so easy :)

I have been Tagged!

I have been tagged which means that another food blogger has sent me some questions to answer and I will forward it on to another food blogger and so forth and so forth. Neil from (At My Table) has tagged me in this game. So here are the questions and I hope you enjoy my answers.

1. Is there a vegetable you hated as a child, but came to love as you got older?

I can't really remember hating a certain vegetable as a child as there were not many options other than frozen peas and corn or mashed potato. My mother used to make the absolute worst, just horrible mashed potato. She used to put in grated cheese, bits and pieces of raw onion and the potato was always still raw in bits which made me gag. I still to this day feel sick just thinking about it. A couple of years ago I decided that I was missing out on mash, so I ventured out and started doing it myself, no onion, no cheese, just steamed potatoes, a big knob of butter some cream, salt and pepper. Now I love it. One of my favourites. It's funny you know what you remember as a child. Unfortunately my mother could not cook at all.

2. Most underrated vegetable?

I don't think there is an underrated vegetable anymore is there? Most people are happy to branch out from the standard and use lots of veges. Sorry could not be of more help on that one.

3. Name one favourite summer vegetable dish?

Potato salad. I love making it. I add bacon, slivered toasted almonds, eschallots and of coarse steamed potatoes. The dressing is a combination of lemon juice, mayonnaise, sour cream, thickened cream, garlic, salt and pepper. MMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm I dress it when it's warm so the potatoes suck in all that lovely dressing.

4. And one for winter?

Has to be my pumpkin and sweet potato soup with roasted garlic. Served with home baked bread and real butter. Pure comfort food on a cold night.

5. What vegetables are in your fridge and freezer right now?

One lonely washed potato, eschallots, tomatoes, peas & corn, not much really. I buy my veg daily and we use it fresh. I only buy what I need for dinner as to avoid wastage. I hate having to chuck veges out.

6. Is there a vegetable you really like, but don't make much yourself?

Not really. I buy and cook what I love. Bugger it, I want to enjoy my food, not go without. LOL

So I hope that has enlightened everyone? Kinda boring answers really. But it's the truth. Eat your veges children or I am coming to get ya! Cheers XoxoxoX