Cookbook Club #8 Apples for Jam – Wrap Up

October 5th, 2011

Research Australia Cook for a Cure - Cookbook Club This was a special edition of cookbook club for Cook for a cure. I have chose to support research australia for leukaemia lymphoma and other blood cancers research. The book this month, by popular vote, is Apples for Jam by Tessa Kiros. And it’s one of my favourite cookbooks as well. Apples for JamThe recipes in her book are grouped by colour. It’s a really beautiful book which reads like a collection of her favourite recipes she’s collected over the years, because that’s what it is. They are what she describes as recipes for life and food you would feed your family and friends. What I love is that her recipes each come with a little story. Sometimes just with some advice and wisdom, others a blurb describing where the recipe came from, a sister-in-law, a mother, a grandmother. I hope you enjoy this month’s cookbook club. What we feasted on:

Fried risotto balls (red) – Really tasty and you can use any leftover risotto to make these.

Ripe tomato salad (red) – Delicious and simple salad, the key is having great quality and sweet tomatoes.

 Sauteed Potato with Eggs (yellow) – I have cooked this so many times, the potatoes are soft on the inside and crispy on the outside, and I especially love the bits with fried egg holding them together.

Cabbage salad with oranges and lemons (orange) – A very fresh salad

Angel hair pasta with zucchini, mint & feta (green) – Fantastic pasta dish with a little added touch of crispy fried pancetta.

Roast chicken & potatoes with thyme, lemon & garlic (gold) – The potatoes are so full of flavour from being baked with the chicken.

Baked pumpkin with butter & brown sugar (orange) – Perfect marriage of flavours, a hit with the guests.

Escalopes with ham & cheese (gold) – I used veal for these, they are filled with béchamel sauce, cheese and ham… how can you say no?

Cookbook Club #8 Cooks for a Cure – Apples for Jam

August 18th, 2011

Research Australia Cook for a Cure - Cookbook Club

This is a special edition of cookbook club for Cook for a cure. So I’m asking everyone to please go to to make a donation if you are participating. (Donations also accepted even if you’re not participating, if you like, ;) but no pressure at all!) I have chosen to support research australia for leukaemia lymphoma and other blood cancers research.

The book this month, by popular vote, is Apples for Jam by Tessa Kiros.

Apples for Jam

The recipes in her book are grouped by colour. It’s a really beautiful book which reads like a collection of her favourite recipes she’s collected over the years, because that’s what it is. They are what she describes as recipes for life and food you would feed your family and friends. What I love is that her recipes each come with a little story. Sometimes just with some advice and wisdom, others a blurb describing where the recipe came from, a sister-in-law, a mother, a grandmother. I hope you enjoy this month’s cookbook club. I’ll be doing the wrap-up after August, so you have until then to send me a link to your blog post.

Recipe list:

Vermicelli soup with tomato & basil
Vermicelli soup with lemon & butter
Penne with tomato, eggplant & ricotta
Pasta with tuna, tomato & olives
Spaghetti with meatballs
Pasta with prosciutto, tomato & oregano
Pasta with tomato sauce
Tomato Lasagne
Meat Lasagne
Tomato risotto
Fried risotto balls
Rice & vegetable pilaf
Chicken casserole
Chicken escalopes with tomatoes & capers
Veal involtini
Hamburger patties
Sauteed tomatoes in olive oil & rosemary
Ripe tomato salad
Cannellini beans in tomato
Eggs in tomato
La pizza rossa
Berry & buttermilk cake
Chocolate & cranberry biscuits
Strawberry sorbet
A coloured fruit salad
Meringue with strawberries & chocolate
Rosehip semolina puddings

Cream of pumpkin soup
Sausage & potato goulash
Chicken drumsticks & wings with orange tomato glaze
Pumpkin pizza
Roast veal with oranges & lemons
Turkey beast with dried apricots & pancetta
Roast rack of pork with fennel & honey
Cabbage salad with oranges & lemons
Beef stew with carrots
Sage & rosemary mashed potatoes
Baked pumpkin with butter & brown sugar
Pumpkin fritters
Orange juice and olive oil cake with pine nuts
Greek yoghurt with condensed milk & oranges
Wholemeal apricot & apple pie
Mango sorbet

Risotto with fried egg
Spaghettini with egg & toasted parsley breadcrumbs
Barbecued fish skewers
Barbecued mixed grill with corn
Chicken sautéed with cheese & milk
Sauteed potatoes with egg
Fried custard squares
Lemon curd ice cream
Lemon meringue ice cream cake

Beetroot gnocchi
Baked ham & cheese bread pudding
Penne with prawns, cream & tomato
Prawn & spinach brown rice risotto
Pomegranate sorbet
Pear & berry crumble
Tiny cakes with pink icing

Broccoli soup
Green vegetable soup with egg & lemon
Pasta with calamari & peas
Spinach & ricotta canneloni
Meat canneloni
Mince & rice dumplings with dill, egg & lemon sauce
Angel hair pasta with zucchini, mint & feta
Chicken escalopes with parsley & capers
Lamb & green bean casserole
Sole bundles with spinach
Pea & potato mash
Green bean souffle loaf
Peppermint crisp pie

Cheese pies
Steak pie
Macaroni cheese
Fried calamari
Pan-fried sole with lemon garlic butter
Mince & potato croquettes
Scalopes with ham & cheese
Fried buttermilk marinated chicken
Chicken escalopes with lemon & butter
Sauteed chicken with bay leaves & juniper berries
Roast chicken & potatoes with thyme, lemon & garlic
Fish cakes
Very thin chips
Pan fried chips with rosemary & sage
Pear butter cake
Semolina puddings with caramel

Leek & potato soup
Semolina soup with butter & sage
Thin pizza with stracchino cheese
Ricotta gnocchi with tomato pesto
White risotto in spinach borth
Pasta with cheese
Baked fish parcels
Vanilla cake
Honey cake
Lemon rice pudding with roasted peaches

Chocolate loaf
Spaghetti with mince
Farro & borlotti bean soup
Lentil soup
Lentis & sausages
Brown rice risotto with butter & parmesan
Pot-roasted veal with sage & garlic
Barbecued fillet & bread spied ini
Brown bread & butter ice-cream
Chocolate pannacotta
Chocolate cake with icing
Chocolate bread pudding

Fish soup with poached fish to follow
Pasta in chicken broth
Bread dumplings in chicken broth
Chicken croquettes
Cottage pie
Fish pie
Pork schnitzels
Pan-fried breaded lamb cutlets
Fried fish fillets
Baked fish fillets
Potato & chickpea mash
Zucchini bread
Banana bread
Apple bread with sugar & cinnamon topping
Male syrup & vanilla ice cream

Tiny savoury tartlets
Meat & vegetable soup
Mixed vegetable risotto
Sausage & potato frittata
Meatloaf with roasted vegetables
Pavlovas with oranges & cherries

Cookbook Club # 7 – Maggie’s Kitchen

July 4th, 2011
Sunday July 17th
The Cookbook: It’s been a little wintery, so what better way to warm up than with a spot of feasting from Maggie Beer’s recipe book Maggie’s Kitchen. Flipping through the book to write down all the recipes has already made me feel a little warmer (and really hungry).
Find out what this is all about here.
Comment below if you would like to participate in this month’s cookbook club so I can send recipes and make sure I link to your post when it’s all over.
Here are the recipes:
Maggie’s Kitchen – Maggie BeerMozzarella Sandwiches
Salad of Beetroot, Blood Orange and Pumpkin
Heritage Tomato Salad
Spaghetti with Crab
Cauliflower with Toasted Crumbs
Cavolo Nero
Orecchiette with Rapini, Broccolini, Cauliflower and Pecorino
Pumpkin, Walnut, Cheese and Verjuice Terrine
Globe Artichokes with Pastry and Preserved Lemon
Broccoli with Almonds and Lemon Butter
Perfect Omelette with Baked Mushrooms
Mozzarella with Creme Fraiche and Figs – My Take on Burrata
Oyster Shooters
Preserved Figs
Cucumber Gazpacho
Asparagus with Soft-boiled Eggs and Parmigiano Reggiano
Maggie’s Prawn Cocktail
Spring Salad
Potted Prawns
Carrots in Verjuice with Goat’s Cheese and Pine Nuts
Olive Tart
Haloumi and Citrus Lentils
Zucchini Flowers
Beetroot, Pear and Celery Heart Salad
Broad Beans with Pecorino
Braised Waxy Potatoes
Smoked Ocean Trout with Potato Pikelets
Warm Smoked Chook Salad with Mustard Apricots and Nicola Potatoes
Saffron Tomato Relish
Frozen Pea Soup
Eggplant Pickle
Eggplant, Roasted Tomato and ‘Rag’ Pasta with Buffalo Mozzarella
Baked Savoury Cheesecake
Oat, Buttermilk and Honey Pancakes
Warm Salad of Guinea Fowl with Orange, Livers and Walnuts
Verjuice and Avocado Jellies
Grilled Octopus in Herb Paste with Rouille
Grilled Squid au Naturel
Southern Herrings in Vine Leaves
Asparagus and Leek Tart
Chook Legs with Vino Cotto or Balsamic
Mussels in Tomato Sugo
Char-grilled Lamb
Spatchcock in a Fig ‘Bath’
Camel Scotch Fillet Marinated in Lilly Pilly
Soft Polenta with Sauteed Mushrooms
Moroccan Ocean Trout
Chicken, Grape and Champagne Pies
Roast Barossa Chook with Preserved Lemon and Tarragon Butter
Skate with Olives and Preserved Lemon
Kingfish with Roasted Tomatoes, Capers and Olives
My Spag Bog
Barbecued Quail
Crisp-skin Salmon with Pea Salsa
Radicchio Risotto
Lamb Moussaka
Honey and Lemon Chicken Drummettes
Herb-crusted Flathead
Beef in the Italian Style
Slow-cooked Beef Fillet with Crushed Black Pepper and Balsamic
Warm Squid, Leek and Caper Salad
Pork Belly in Shiraz
Chicken Braised with Figs, Honey and Vinegar
Pot-roasted Rabbit with Prunes and Mustard
Potato Gnocchi with Prawns
Veal Cutlets with Garlic
Glazed Leg of Ham
Porterhouse of Suffolk Lamb with Caramelised Radicchio
Confit of Rabbit with Pancetta, Pine Nuts and Raisins
Pot-roasted Pheasant with Apples and Calvados
Beef Tagine with Dried Fruit
Spicy Pork and Apple Pasties
Steak Sandwiches with Skirt Steak
Steak and Oyster Pies
Kangaroo Fillet with Beetroot and Anchovy Butter
Pan-roasted Saltwater Barramundi with Caramelised Lemon and Rocket
Salmon Baked with a Stuffing of Pine Nuts, Currants and Preservedf Lemon Wrapped in Vine Leaves
Barley Risotto with Asparagus and Fresh Goat’s Curd
Boston Baked Beans – Taken
Stuffed Oven-baked Squid
Pot-roasted Lamb Shoulder with Green Olives, Almonds and Apricots
Meatloaf with Tomato Sugo
Whole Roasted Red Onions with Buffalo Mozzarella and ‘Pulled’ Bread
Macaroni Cheese
Quince-glazed Quail
Beef Pie Mix
Tuna Confit with Vine Leaves
Turkey with Apple and Prune Stuffing and Glazed Chestnuts
Slow-cooked Berkshire Pork Shoulder in Milk
Chocolate Ganache Tart with Blood Orange
Meyer Lemon Curd and Raspberry Jelly Trifle
Baked Vanilla Custard with Coffee Jelly
Chocolate, Almond and Prune Slab
Ricotta, Honey and Pears
Meyer Lemon Posset
Baked Apples
Cheddar, Quince and Walnut Mille-feuille
Rhubarb Crumble
Chocolate and Hazelnut Roulade
Passionfruit Parfait
Coeur a la Creme
Chocolate and Dried Pear ‘Brownie’
Sicilian Rice Pudding
Chestnut Puree Dessert
My Version of Pashka – an Easter Dessert
Fruit Slice
Sultana Cake
Almond Affogato
Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta
Golden Syrup Dumplings
Peanut Butter Pie
Brown Sugar and Vino Cotto Parfait
Pikelets with Figs, Honey and Mint
Chocolate Vino Cotto Pavlova
Mango Salad with Mint, Labna, Pink Peppercorns and Ginger Wine
Sticky Bananas and French Toast
Lime and Coffee Meringues
Roasted Quince with Cinnamon and Orange
Candied Ruby Grapefruit
Chocolate Cake with Whisky-soaked Raisins and Orange Zest
Apple and Olive Oil Pudding

Cookbook Club #6 Two Asian Kitchens – Wrap up

May 15th, 2011

We have been a bit quiet lately, but in true cookbook club style, there was more than enough food, and our eyes were much bigger than our tummies.

It was a very small club meet but this meant we could eat more of each dish, so no complaints from anyone.

I was a little disappointed in myself for not making some time the day before to prepare some other dishes. I had intended to also make sugar cane ice-cream or rambutan lemongrass sorbet for dessert and also try making zaru tofu. I will definitely be making these another time and I think we were all glad we didn’t have to make room for even more food.

My dish: Laksa Fried Chicken. Really tasty. I used moist flakes of coconut instead of normal dessicated coconut and only used chicken wing pieces instead of a whole chicken cut up. I’m noticing I always pick the deep fried chicken recipe if there is one… delicious habit.

Gemma arrived with Hainanese Chicken Rice. One of my favourite dishes that I pig out on if mum cooks it. Today was no exception, 3 scoops of rice later I was happy and stuffed.

Porsha prepared the Siew Yuk with chilli and coriander relish (pork belly), which I was so temped to run away with when I first saw it. Lovely salty crackling.. yum!

Froggy made our serves of vegetables for the day – Bashed Cucumbers, Raw corn and carrot salad. I loved both vegetable side dishes (it really helped with all the meat that was there).

And for the first time I invited fellow food bloggers to participate in cookbook club virtually. And thanks to Adam Liaw retweeting the invite we had a number of participants which is really exciting.

The Sweet Spot – Swee San: Sataa Andagi (Okinawan Fried Donut), Goya Chanpuru

Nic Cooks – Duck Larb, Beef rendang, Lemon Chicken, Pork Belly

Claire K Creates – Kayaku Gohan

& Taco Rice

Erin – She Cooks She Gardens – Hainanese Chicken Rice

Cakelaw – Fish curry


Cookbook Club Brisbane & Virtual – #6 Two Asian Kitchens

April 21st, 2011

It’s been a while since we have had a cookbook club, so to make it’s return even more special I have decided to add a virtual cookbook club component. So even if you can’t make it here I welcome you to choose a recipe to prepare, then post your dish on your blog (or if you don’t have a blog, you can send me a photo and description and I’ll add it to this site). Then I will include a link to everyone’s post after we hold Cookbook Club.

scheduled for lunchtime Sunday May 15: The cookbook:

Adam Liaw (That guy that was on that show – as his twitter profile says) recently released his cookbook, Two Asian Kitchens. I’d been eyeing it for a little while and when I found out he was going to be signing copies I excused myself from work for a little while so I could meet him. ;) I recently travelled to Japan and fell in love with the country and the food and will soon be visiting Singapore to eat, I mean visit family. So his book is perfect for this round of Cookbook Club as it contains recipes from both regions.

If you would like to attend send me a message (comment below or to monky[a.t] or find me on twitter @monkylicious. Or if you’d just like to participate in the virtual cookbook club please fill in the linky at the bottom of this post to register. Just pick a recipe from the list below that you’d like to prepare and let me know what you’ve chosen so I can send it to you.

  • Pork Dumplings
  • Kayaku gohan (healthy vegetable rice)
  • Beef rendang
  • Hainanese chicken rice
  • Prawn sambal
  • Crispy beef with shredded carrot
  • Siew yuk with chilli and coriander relish (roast pork belly)
  • Japanese potato salad
  • Goya chanpuru (Bittermelon stir-fry with luncheon meat)
  • Rafute (Simmered pork belly)
  • Yakitori moriawase
  • Aunty Chin’s fish-head curry
  • Seafood char kway teow
  • Larb duck
  • Belacan kangkong
  • Katsudon
  • Bah kuh teh (“pork bone tea” – pork stew/soup dish)
  • Chirashi zushi (scattered sushi)
  • Chicken nanbanzuke
  • Bashed cucumbers
  • Taco rice
  • Char siew pork neck
  • Lemon chicken
  • Ayam Kapitan (dry/thick chicken curry)
  • Butter prawns
  • Black hokkien noodles
  • Kaya toast
  • Beef tataki
  • Zaru tofu
  • Fire chicken (bul dak)
  • Summer somen
  • Gong bao chicken
  • Nasi lemak
  • Prawn and cheese okonomiyaki
  • Pho
  • Laksa lemak
  • Ants’ nest cake
  • Mango pudding
  • Pearl pudding
  • Sataa andagi (Okinawan fried doughnut)
  • Nine layer cake (kuih lapis)
  • Laksa fried chicken
  • Black belly rice bowl (with lemon paste and pickled chilli)
  • Glutinous rice-stuffed pork trotter
  • Spicy minced beef dan dan rice bowl
  • Aromatic poached fish with chilli and greens
  • White miso green curry with seafood
  • Scotch quail egg (miang kham)
  • Parent and child duck rice bowl
  • Wagyu with three green things
  • Baby vegetable crudites with red miso mayonnaise
  • Fennel and black pepper pork belly with pork condiment
  • Steamed asparagus with kushiyaki quail eggs and yuzu mayonnaise
  • Rum and lemongrass roast pork belly
  • Green tea and pea croquettes
  • Raw beef and green apple yukhoe
  • ‘Royal chicken’ with spinach and garlic rice
  • Lamb ribs with green chilli and herb relish
  • Breakfast broth
  • Poached lobster with sea urchin butter
  • Raw corn and carrot salad
  • Smoked kingfish chirashi zushi with green tea and yuzu jellies
  • Seven lucky gods (collection of skewers – you saw them on that show you watched)
  • Chilli cumin lamb with peanuts and herbs
  • Tempura fish and chips with pickled chilli mandarin curd
  • Teriyaki quail with raw ginger
  • Tofu and camembert skewers with dengaku miso
  • Egg and heirloom tomato rice bowl
  • Black vinegar chicken nanban
  • Shiitake mushroom skewers with preserved lemon powder
  • Bacon and cherry tomato skewers with warm sultana vinaigrette
  • Sugar cane ice cream
  • Farmers Union iced coffee pudding with tea-smoked chocolate and five-spice tenkasu
  • Evaporated milk bavarois with lemongrass and rambutan sorbet
  • Red bean fudge
  • Mango sun pies with sunscreen ice cream
  • Tofu cheese mousse
  • Green tea meringue and mandarin fool
  • Melon salad with green tea and whisky granita
  • Black vinegar cake with sour cream icing

Cookbook Club Brisbane – #5 Eggs

April 21st, 2011

Cookbooks: Eggs – Michel Roux

It’s always tough to choose a book for cookbook club, but then this book crossed my path and everything in it looked SO DELICIOUS! Michel Roux’s Eggs is filled with everything from a boiled egg to souffles and also pistachio creme brulee! There’s always been a battle between bacon and potato for the title of most awesome food but it looks like eggs are giving them a run for their money.

Check out our eggy feast!

There’s always so much food at cookbook club.

The makings of a potato rosti… no eggs yet.. but just wait and see.

Baked eggs with smoked ham and toasted hazelnuts.

Quiche Lorraine

Crepes with Chicken and Mushroom.

And now, here’s what I did with the rosti. Topped it with baby spinach, balsamic vinegar and deep fried eggs.

Seafood fritters.

And lastly, scrambled eggs in small potatoes with fish roe.

And so another Cookbook Club was over, with lots of leftovers for people to take home and we discovered so many delicious things to make with eggs.

Cookbook Club Sydney – #1 Cook in Boots

August 10th, 2010

Cookbook: Cook In Boots – Ravinder Bhogal

Since my good friend Issy had flown up to Brisbane from Sydney for the Spirit House cookbook club it was only fitting that when I flew down to visit her she would host the very first Sydney cookbook club.

Cook in Boots is a book I gave to Issy as a gift (one which I almost kept for myself) so I was really glad to be able to try out some of the recipes.

Here’s what we made and ate.

A feast!

Mozzarella and basil stuffed meatballs in tomato and chianti sauce – This is the dish I prepared. Sadly I couldn’t find buffalo mozzarella so substituted for the normal kind so it seemed to lack the oozy cheesy middle.  They were a big hit though and we made some pasta to go with it.

leek, potato and bacon soup – Jed thought he had stuffed up the soup but it was so full of flavour, I loved it.

cauliflower and brocolli cheese with tomato sauce and parmesan breadcrumbs – hubby made this one, we both love cheesey cauliflower.  And parmesan breadcrumbs? Ingenious!

butterflied leg of lamb with a spicy yohgurt and herb crust – beautiful flavours but this huge piece of meat was too much for our little group to finish.

chocolate ice cream pie – such a great way to finish the meal… If I didn’t have to carry it to the airport and on a flight back to Brisbane, I would have taken left overs home with me.

This is what happens when you put bamboo plates into the dishwasher. Oops!

Ok this wasn’t from a recipe in Cook in Boots, but Bec made these amazing afghan cookies and I have been pestering her for the recipe. :) But maybe it’s a good thing she hasn’t given it to me yet… cookies!!!

Cookbook Club Brisbane – #4 Plenty

August 10th, 2010

Cookbook: Plenty – Yotam Ottolenghi

For Cookbook Club #4 we had Meat Free Monday on a Sunday. Vegetables are not just for vegetarians and there are many reasons to have a day/meal that is meat free. There’s more information about Meat Free Monday on if you’d like to read more.

Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi is a beautiful book packed with lots of vegetable meals. I have to say that this was my absolute favourite Cookbook Club yet. I loved every dish and I would happily make any of them again. Here’s the food!

We’re eating while watching the masterchef final.

Two-potato vindaloo – Minna made this delicious hearty curry. Minna toned down the spice in this to suit everyone’s taste, but if I make this again I’m definitely putting a good kick in it.

Yoghurt flatbreads – To go with the two-potato vindaloo we whipped up some yoghurt flatbreads from another recipe in the book.  Very easy to make and they were fantastic with the curry.

Wild mushroom parcels – Porsha’s dish of mushroom and potato in a cute little packet. Just forewarning you that instead of trying to think of 8 different ways of saying something is DELICIOUS, please note that every dish was yummy.

Mushroom lasagne – This was the recipe that I prepared. It was supposed to have 4 layers of pasta but I was too generous with each layer of filling so it became two.

Royal potato salad – Hubby made this salad, and I had fun shelling fresh peas instead of using frozen ones. We also substituted the quail eggs for normal ones and just put less in.

Sweet potato cakes – Kelsey made these beautiful sweet potato cakes.

Tamara’s rataouille was Alice’s dish. The weather was a little cooler which was great for all these warm, wintery dishes.

Broccoli and Gorgonzola pie – Dorene made an adjustment to the recipe which was to use brie instead of gorgonzola. It was such a tasty pie people were fighting over left overs.

There was of course, as always, a lot more food than we could possibly eat for one meal.But it was funny to watch everyone picking what they wanted from the left overs and then meticulously dividing everything so it was fair. I had potato salad for breakfast for 2 days.

I am supposed to email all the recipes from this cookbook club to all the girls but haven’t quite got there yet. But I have been getting some friendly reminders. Looks like I’m not the only one who loved the food at this one.

Cookbook Club Brisbane – #3 French Lessons

August 9th, 2010

Cookbook: French Lessons – Justin North

It’s starting to get cooler, so it’s time for some hearty foods. I also watched Julie and Julia recently and it really made me crave some French food. So for cookbook club #3 I chose “French Lessons”. This cookbook is by Justin North, winner of Sydney Morning Herald’s Chef of the Year badge for 2009. I saw him at Greenfest last year where he gave a cooking demonstration and confessed his love of organic produce. I also tried a wagyu burger from his stall there… one of the best burgers I’ve ever had! So prepare yourself for some really rich and hearty food. I apologise in advance for the affect this may have on your cholesterol.

We had a nice cosy group this time, but there was still more than enough food. I have just realised that I don’t have any photographs of the delicious desserts made by Porsha and Charles. This was probably a result of being in a food coma and also not realising that we let Belinda’s little girl eat too much sugar until it was too late. Sorry Bel!

Daube of Beef - In that rich gravy is the daube of beef I made. Except I didn’t use beef cheek (I forget the name of the cut the butcher gave me as an alternative). This is the second time I’ve made this and I’m glad to say I was much more successful this time round. Lovely tender, moist beef in a rich gravy. There is a lot of wine and port in this dish.. it almost felt a shame not to be drinking it all.

Roasted baby carrots - Just a little something extra I made from the cookbook because I thought we could use some more vege… even though they are covered in butter…

Potato and Bacon Roesti - Potato and bacon… a match made in heaven.

Confit Chicken – The amount of duck fat used to make this dish might be a bit scary, but it also accounts for just how delicious it is.

Deep-fried King prawn beignets with lemon and chervil mayonnaise - hubby decided to make these prawns for his contribution to our lunch. Probably the easiest/fastest recipe out of the ones we made and just as delicious.

Flourless Chocolate Tart - Porsha made this tart a little differently to the recipe in the book, mostly due to the confusing nature of the way I emailed her the recipe (and part of another recipe which made up that recipe… see the problem there?) but the chocolate tart was amazing all the same. I really wish I had a photo of it.

Crème brûlée – I love crème brûlée and now that I know Charles can make it, he’s going to have to make more for me! Again no photograph… but I can guarantee it was worth of having the dish licked clean.

I enjoyed this cookbook club, but we all came to realise how much work goes into a lot of French dishes (also how much butter and duck fat goes into them). If I was to have another French feast I would need to do it on a weekend where I had time to prepare, but it would be well worth it.

Cookbook Club Brisbane – #2 Spirit House

August 9th, 2010

Cookbook: Spirit House: Thai Cooking – Helen Brierty and Annette Fear

After going on a 4-day food tour in Thailand with the people of Spirit House restaurant on the Sunshine Coast I decided to choose the Spirit House cookbook for our second Cookbook Club.

We played a slide show of our holiday pics while digging into some tasty food. I actually remembered to take photos this time too!

Seafood Noodle Balls with Sweet Chilli Sauce – These were a huge hit and half of them were eating while Issy was still cooking them. Hence why at the start of the meal, there are only a few left.

Thai Fishcakes with sweet chilli sauce and cucumber relish – not pictured, they were dished out before I could bring my camera out. :( Even though you can’t see them, they were tasty!

Steamed Scallop Wontons with Ginger Dipping Sauce

Szechwan Pepper-crusted Rare Tuna with Pickled Ginger, Avocado and Wasabi Mayonnaise
This was one of my favourite dishes even though I don’t normally like tuna. Katy totally won the plating trophy with her dish as well.

For some reason I don’t have a photograph of either of the curries. Loved both of them though and you can make heaps of curry paste and freeze it for next time.

Classic Green Curry of Chicken and Thai Basil

Red Curry of Duck and Lychees

Lemongrass Pork with Field Mushrooms

Stir Fry of Pork with Thai eggplant and chilli jam.

Spice Coconut Cake with Tropical Fruits and Palm Sugar Sauce – Mel’s beautiful cake with two sauces and lychees! I would definitely let Mel cook this for me again haha.

Lime and Ginger Tart – Inga’s tart was really yummy, but we were all a bit puzzled as to why the lime tart tasted like a lemon tart.

And to go with the meal I decided to buy some Spirit House ice-cream. Couldn’t decide on one flavour, so I bought all four. We all had mixed opinions about which ones we preferred. The flavours were white chocolate and chai, vanilla and candied ginger, chocolate and chilli, coconut and lime.

Another successful cookbook club!

Recipe time! Here’s the recipe for the seafood noodle balls, chosen because we simply couldn’t stop eating them (until there were none left). **Note: Because Issy is allergy to prawns, we made half the recipe with prawns and other half with scallop meat instead. Worked out really well!

Seafood Noodle Balls with Sweet Chilli Sauce

Serves 4

200g prawn meat, roughly chopped
200g squid, roughly chopped
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped coriander stems
1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup plain flour
fish sauce, to taste
freshly ground white pepper
1 teaspoon sambal olek (ground chilli, sold in jars)
2 bundles dried egg noodles, soaked in warm water until soft, then drained and cut into 5cm pieces
2 cups vegetable oil
Sweet chilli sauce to serve

Place all the ingredients except the oil in a large bowl and mix thoroughly until well combined. Heat oil in wok. Drop teaspoons of the mixture into hot oil and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Don’t make the balls too large or they will be doughy in the middle. Drain on paper towel. Serve with sweet chilli sauce.