7 2020 Feb

Friday 7th February 2020:

G’day All, Cooking writers, like myself, usually scribble off recipes with unpronounceable names and ingredients which are not only unheard of and unpronounceable but also unobtainable even if you do a modern-day Marco Polo. So, today folks, as it’s my daughter’s 53rd birthday, I’m writing down a recipe for her to serve her splendid husband who has just had an operation concerning his jaw and teeth.

Wendy, who runs (dances) and owns Dance Explosion with her very good, talented partner and friend of long standing (dancing), Nicola, not only needs to serve soft food to Michael, she needs food which will keep her birthday toes tingling, and tastes terrific too.

So here goes, Wendy – any combination of fruits will do just as well as those I’ve suggested. Maybe your actor/dancer/singer son (25 years old) can forgo his broccoli to give this a try too.

Happy Birthday, Wendy – Enjoy it!

PS. Maybe our granddaughters in America – Sierra (6) and Laya (3) would also like it if their mum (Jan) helped tidy up the kitchen after the girls had made it crumble.


450g apples; 450g blackberries; 2 tablespoons caster sugar; 4 tablespoons water; cream or yoghurt to serve.
Crumble: 175g wholemeal flour; 35g butter; 3 tablespoons soft brown sugar; 1 teaspoon allspice.

Cut the apples into quarters, peel them and core them, then slice them thinly and put into an ovenproof dish. Sprinkle in the blackberries and caster sugar and stir to mix well. Pour in the water.

In a bowl rub the butter into the flour till the mixture looks like breadcrumbs then stir in the brown sugar and allspice.

Spread this crumble over the fruit in the ovenproof dish, pressing down lightly with a fork so that it’s evenly spread and packed down.

Bake in a preheated oven at 190 deg.C until the top is golden brown – about half an hour. Serve warm with a spoonful of cream or yoghurt.

Friday 31st January 2020:



I have a very good Chinese mate who lives in Penang with his family. He also is the owner/boss of Pacific West and Golden Fresh Seafood.

I’m not sure if everyone reading this can buy their frozen seafood, therefore I’m not giving you one of their ripper recipes, but as it’s Chinese New Year, or thereabouts, I’ve made up a Penang Spring Roll recipe which I hope he’ll find acceptable.

Anyway, Gong Hey Fat Choi Earn and Tze.

You’ll need a fillet of flake and a good piece of tuna totalling about 500g. (You’ll be making about 20 Spring Rolls – hopefully.)
1 good sized leek – you’ll use only the white part.
2 large sheets of Tofu skin (bean curd) – buy from your friendly Asian shop (or use puff pastry and cook in the oven instead of deep frying)
1 egg – lightly beat it.
5ml (1 teaspoon) Chinese Five Spice powder
15ml (1 tablespoon) light soy sauce ) If you only have the light soy sauce
15ml (1 tablespoon) dark soy sauce ) use 2 tablespoons of it
15ml (1 tablespoon) sesame oil – no more than that
2.5ml (1/2 teaspoon) black pepper
2 cloves of garlic – crushed
1 red chilli – seeded and chopped – or as much as you like
Some oil for deep frying, some lettuce leaves and a ‘dip’ of garlic, chilli and soy.

Chop the fish until it’s fine and slice the white part of the leek very finely, discarding the green part.

Mix the fish with the leek, beaten egg, Five Spice powder, soy sauces, sesame oil, black pepper, garlic and chilli.

Spread out a tofu sheet on the bench and lightly wipe it down with a damp cloth to soften any crackly areas. Then cut it into 20 cm x 13 cm rectangles.

If you’re using puff pastry of course do not wipe it down with a damp cloth, simply allow it to defrost then cut it into rectangles.

Put 2 tablespoon of the fish mixture onto one end of a rectangle, about 6 cm in from the edge. Roll the edge over the filling and pat down. Roll once more then tuck in both sides before completing the rolling.

Repeat with the rest of the wrappers and fish mixture then leave them all to rest for about 10 minutes.

Heat the oil and deep fry the Spring Rolls till they’re golden brown – 4-5 minutes. (If you’re using puff pastry, bake in the oven until they’re golden brown.). Serve on a bed of lettuce leaves with a dipping sauce of garlic, chilli and soy.

These Penang Spring Rolls are usually made with pork and are called CHUEN PIAH – they are similar to a Chinese Spring Roll known as LOBAK which is a meat version of POPIAH. If you’re trying the pork version, make sure you cut the meat so it’s fine and ‘crumbly’ – not minced. If your supermarket does it, their mincing squashes the pork so as to rob it of moisture – and that’s part of the flavour – so too with the fish.

Anyway, good luck. It’s worth it.

The rule for this recipe is not to overcook the tuna. (If you don’t have tuna one can use another fish, though I personally prefer the tuna .)

Also, use GREEN tea NOT black tea. The rest is straight forward I think.

240g sashimi-grade bluefin or yellowfin tuna, well trimmed; 1 tablespoon olive oil; 2 teaspoons finely minced fresh ginger; 1 teaspoon lime or lemon juice; 1 teaspoon sesame oil.

WASABI TEA – 1 teaspoon soy sauce; 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar; 1 teaspoon sesame oil; 1 teaspoon wasabi paste; 2 teaspoons loose green tea leaves.

Cut tuna into slices about 5 mm thick. Mix the minced ginger, sesame oil and lime if you have it, or use lemon juice, into a thin paste. Roll the tuna in the paste and season with a little salt.

Put a pan over a high heat, add olive oil and sear the tuna evenly on both sides – just till the outside colours. Take the tuna from the pan and set it aside to cool.

Make the wasabi tea by pouring 60 ml of boiling water onto green tea leaves, let it brew for 5 minutes then strain. Add the wasabi paste, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar and soy sauce to the strained tea and mix extremely well.

To serve, pour wasabi tea into bowls then add two slices of tuna.

Friday 6th December 2019:


Christmas is pulled towards us as Rudolph and his mates negotiate the rooftops and my son Peter III, his wife Jan II and their two children Sierra and Laya follow and no doubt pass them as the family are to spend Christmas with me and Jan I.

Therefore, folks, I need to unwrap my thoughts about what little girls eat – or like to eat and still get their fill of nutritious and essential goodies to assist them to outdo their heroine Dolly Parton (or mine, Sophia Loren.). Sophia famously said “All you see is due to spaghetti” – (more on spaghetti later.)

So, dear follower of all things healthy, I share with you this childishly simple ‘Sierra and Laya Christmas Special’. (It’s an adaption of French Toast.)

* The bread’s made from wheat and seeds etc.

* The eggs are a packaged vitamin pill.

* The cheese and milk are calcium.

* Butter is better (in moderation).

* All the above combined taste terrific.

PS. Mind you they’ll get their Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts hit too.

HONEYED FRENCH TIOAST. 8 eggs; 50 ml milk; pinch of salt; 4 large doorstep slices of wholemeal seed bread; 1 tablespoon of butter; honey to serve; cinnamon to sprinkle; enough slices of tasty Cheddar cheese to lightly cover the bread.

Beat the eggs and milk together with a pinch of salt and pour into a wide, shallow dish.

Soak the bread slices in the egg mixture for at least 5 minutes making sure all the egg mixture is soaked up.

Melt the butter in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Lay as many of the soaked bread slices in one layer in the pan as you can. You may have to cook them in batches.

Fry the bread for two or three minutes each side then lift them out of the pan and put them on a plate, drizzle them with honey and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Lay slices of tasty cheese over the lot and serve.

(Don’t grill the cheese.)

PS. I know the girls like blueberries and the adults tomatoes or maybe caperberries, so they could top the cheese!

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