This has to be the best salad ever made by my hands. By eating salad, I’m trying to lose weight by also not adding any sugar and cutting back on bread, pasta and rice. I know scallops are a bit extravagant, but it is the weekend and 100 g cost me $3.40. It was the chilli bacon though which made my mouth feel like there was a party going on.
I’m not exactly losing much weight but I am feeling better and my trousers certainly feel better. I can wear my favourite belt without using the special holes. At least I look thinner now than I did 15 years ago.
I have no idea if I can get back down to 77 kg but I hope before Christmas I can wear trousers one size smaller.
Scallop and chilli bacon salad with cabbage, lettuce, green beans, spring onions and bird’s eye chillies
This was a terrific salad which was bursting with flavour. I cut up three rashers of streaky bacon and spread the pieces out on a baking tray. I added a good layer of chilli flakes and freshly cracked black pepper as well as some dried Italian herbs. I put the tray into an oven at 200 °C for 20 minutes and allowed the bacon to cool on some absorbent paper. I cooked the scallops by placing them into a ceramic dish and adding two good slabs of salted butter. I added some chilli flakes to the butter and scallops. I put the dish into an oven at 200 °C for 5 minutes. The salad was made from shredded CoS lettuce and Savoy cabbage, along with cut green beans, spring onions, bird’s eye chillies and crumbled blue cheese. I dressed the salad with Donkey sauce. I added the bacon pieces and mixed them through the salad and then plated the salad. I added the scallops and spooned over some of the melted chilli butter.
Author: Gary Lum
2Bird's eye chillies
Dried Italian herbs
100gBlue cheese crumbled
Cut three streaky bacon rashers into thin cross-rasher slices
Spread the bacon pieces onto a baking sheet and add some chilli flakes, dried Italian herbs and freshly cracked black pepper
Cook the bacon in an oven at 200 °C for 20 minutes and allow the bacon to cool on absorbent paper after it has come out of the oven
In a small ceramic dish place the scallops making sure they are separated and some nobs of butter with some chilli flakes generously sprinkled on top
Cook the scallops and butter in an oven at 200 °C for 5 minutes and allow the scallops to cool and continue to cook in the butter while preparing the rest of the salad
Shred the Savoy cabbage and Cos lettuce and put into a mixing bowl
Slice the green bean and add to the mixing bowl
Thinly slice the Bird's eye chillies and add to the mixing bowl
Slice the Spring onions and add to the mixing bowl
Crumble in the Blue cheese to the mixing bowl
Add a couple of tablespoons of Donkey sauce and mix everything in the mixing bowl
Add the room temperature chilli bacon and mix
Plate up on a plate and then add the scallops
Spoon over some of the melted chilli butter for an added flavour addition
Shoot a few photographs and post to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter
Eat the best salad ever
Wash the dishes
Write the recipe
Write a blog post and hope my friends share on social media
The Donkey sauce recipe can be found elsewhere on Yummy Lummy. I hope you like it.
A friend at work has recently become an agent for Tupperware® and I’ve made a few purchases, one of them being the FusionMaster System Mincer. With the increase in the cost of good cuts of beef, I’ve been buying more beef mince over the last few years. That said, beef mince isn’t always the cheapest either. I’ve been thinking about buying a beef mincer so when I saw the FusionMaster System Mincer in the Tupperware® catalogue I thought I should buy it. The unit cost $AUD149. It’s not cheap, and I’m sure I could find a cast iron mincer in a kitchen supply shop but I’ve long respected the Tupperware® brand and feel comfortable with the quality of the product.
The suction foot on the unit is sturdy and when using it I didn’t feel like it would slip even when cranking the handle became difficult. All the plastic components are easy to clean in warm soapy water. The blue cheese, beef fat and muscle fibres all came away easily with a little water and wiping with a sponge. The unit assembly is easy and everything clicks into place with a firmness you’d expect from a high-quality product.
I suspect the good quality meat is exported and the less quality meat is kept onshore and sold at an inflated price to maintain the profits, not for farmers and primary producers but for the intermediaries in the food chain.
Why the “nude” burgers? Where’s the bread?
I’m trying to lose weight and I’ve noticed that bread, pasta and rice make me feel bloated.
What else will you use the mincer for?
I’m going to try lamb, pork, chicken and turkey meat. I may also add prawns to pork mince so I can make some nude Chinese meatballs. I wonder how water chestnuts will go through the mincer.
I recently attended the 2017 National Clubs Gymnastics carnival in Bendigo to watch Miss 16 compete for Delta Brisbane. I wrote a description of the drive to Bendigo and back to Canberra on my other blog, viz., My Thoughts and Stuff.
This post will be a review of the food I ate on the trip.
The drive from Canberra to Bendigo
Here is a map of my drive from Canberra to Bendigo. You can click on the place markers and get information including photographs from my journey.
This vanilla slice wasn’t too bad. The custard was quite firm though and a little too gelatinous. The icing was nice, not too sweet and the pastry was crispy without being hard or tough.
It went down well with a cup of black tea.
I can highly recommend Cafe Derailleur in Wangaratta. For lunch, I enjoyed a dish of caramelised pork belly with an Asian slaw salad. To wash it down I had an apple, pear, lime and ginger juice.
Get yourself there and try out the menu.
Even though I tend to go for vanilla slices, when I reached the Violet Town Cafe there were no vanilla slices left. The lamingtons looked good so I asked for one with a pot of black tea.
The lamington was perfect. The cake wasn’t too dry or moist, there was just enough coconut and it was coated nicely without too much loss.
Some friends on social media asked about jam. Nope, there was no jam in this lamington.
A really nice peppercorn sauce can overcome a tough steak
I had dinner on the first night at the Lake View Hotel which is a few minutes walk down the road from the Comfort Inn Julie-Anna.
I asked for the scotch rib fillet cooked rare with a peppercorn sauce, hand cut chips and broccolini. The sauce was amazing. I love a fiery peppercorn sauce that makes my mouth feel like there’s a party going on between my lips. The steak itself was okay in terms of flavour but it was a bit tough.
While Miss 16 was travelling from Brisbane to Bendigo via Melbourne, I visited the Golden Dragon Museum which celebrates Bendigo’s significant Chinese heritage.
I took lunch at the end of my visit at the museum’s restaurant. I chose the Chinese platter which consisted of a deep fried dim sim, prawn crackers, a char siu bao, a deep-fried spring roll and a couple of samosas which I don’t think of as Chinese. This was all served with some Plum sauce which a dear Chinese friend tells me would never be served with a proper Chinese meal.
What can I say? It was a plate of deep fried tasty snacks plus a pork bun. It filled a hole in my belly.
I’ll never be vegan, I love a meaty pizza with extra anchovies
I planned on Saturday night to watch the North Queensland Cowboys play against the Sydney Roosters in the second preliminary final of the National Rugby League’s 2017 season. I needed footy food. Pizza!
I had walked past Luchiano Pizza & Pasta the night before on the way to the Lake View Hotel. I looked up Luchiano Pizza & Pasta online and discovered I could order online so I paid for a meat lover’s pizza with extra anchovies. It was delicious. I’d happily eat another one.
The tuck shop at the Bendigo Stadium is pretty good and well appointed. They do potato gems (tater tots) with or without gravy. Potato gems are perfect for watching gymnastics.
A delicate belly means a light dinner, how about a salad?
As I left Bendigo Stadium on Sunday afternoon I started experiencing some intense intestinal colic. I thought I should still eat so I went to the Lake View Hotel and asked for a Caesar salad.
The salad was delightful with nice long anchovy strips and a poached egg encased in a crumbed shell. The Caesar dressing was just a thin coating on really crispy lettuce leaves and the bacon was crispy as were the croutons.
The colicky bowel pains continued into the night and finally disappeared at 3 am.
For my final Bendigo breakfast, I enjoyed crispy bacon, poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce. Breakfast of champions.
You had one job Bendigo Stadium tuck shop, one job!
After watching Miss 16 compete in the finals I went to the tuck shop to enjoy some potato gems. They had run out. There were none left. How could this be? I was disappointed. I had to make do with hot chips.
Crumbed steak and a delicious dessert
On my final night in Bendigo, I dined in the Comfort Inn Julie-Anna restaurant. I chose the crumbed steak with pepper sauce, chips and greens. I love crumbed steak, especially with a nice sauce. When the steak has been well seasoned and tenderised, the crumbed coating adds so much extra to the mouthfeel.
For dessert, I chose the blueberry ice cream sundae with white chocolate and honeycomb. This was a great dessert. I had neglected dessert while in Bendigo so this was a great finish to my trip.
Here is the map of my drive from Bendigo to Canberra. You can click on the place markers and get information including photographs from my journey.
My belly was still a little delicate so I made sure that I took regular breaks on the drive north from Bendigo to Canberra.
My first stop was in Murchison which is about an hour out of Bendigo. After the toilet stop I went into the Murchison Bakery & Tearoom. As I entered I noticed in the display case some nice looking apple turnovers. I asked for one along with a cup of coffee.
The apple turnover was delicious. I’d happily eat another from the Murchison Bakery & Tearoom.
A short drive from Murchison is Benalla and Hide’s Bakery. I love this place. I felt the need for second breakfast so I asked for some toasted raisin bread and a coffee. This would have to be the best raisin bread I’ve ever tasted. It was so light and pillowy. It had a magnificent combination of fruit and flavour.
Before I left I also picked up a vanilla slice which I enjoyed for morning tea at a truck stop northbound on the highway.
No trip is complete without a meat pie, or better yet, a potato pie!
The driving conditions were great and it didn’t take long to get to Henri’s Wodonga Bakery which is the destination I had planned for lunch.
I really like this bakery. It is well appointed and has everything you could want in a bakery including pink icing vanilla slices.
I decided on a potato pie with bacon bits sprinkled on the mashed potato. It was delicious and a perfect lunch on a road trip.
No tucker in Tarcutta
I did stop in Tarcutta for a dunny break but I wasn’t hungry so there was no tucker in Tarcutta.
That’s about it. When I got back to the flat I made a salmon and salad dinner which I really needed after so many high meat and sweet food and a general lack of vegetables.
Well, I mean who wouldn’t love a battered sav. A battered sav is an iconic Australian food much like a meat pie or a vanilla slice.
Is the battered sav a euphemism for anything?
Well of course it is. It wouldn’t be Australia if we didn’t imply a sexual aspect to something so phallic.
The best example of this was made famous by Roy and HG.
If you want more from Roy and HJ check out their new podcast. I listen to them every Saturday evening.
Why the Kim chi?
I was describing the food challenge to a friend at Canberra Hospital and Health Services on Friday and she suggested Kim chi rather than sauerkraut.
If you want more about the origin story, please head over to My Thoughts and Stuff.
Udon noodles tacos, who has ever heard of such a thing? I haven’t. This is my idea of a fusion meal with a difference. Lamb udon noodles tacos combine European, Japanese and Mexican elements with pulled meat from slowly roasted lamb bones, and creamy Udon noodles in a soft flour tortilla.
I had some lamb bones in the freezer and some old Udon noodles in the pantry. I was looking through some books on my Kindle and noticed Hilah Johnson’s breakfast taco cook book in there.
I thought it would be a good idea to make tacos for dinner while watching Game of Thrones Season 7 on the weekend.
Do I like Game of Thrones?
Hell yeah. What’s not to like about Game of Thrones? Season 7 certainly disappoint.
Why do I watch a whole season in one sitting?
I’m too tight fisted to subscribe to Foxtel and as an official in the Australian Public Service, I’m not prepared to download it illegally given all the attention the government had given to piracy.
I wait until the end of the season and buy it from iTunes.
I also like making an event out of it by cooking something nice while I watch.
I enjoyed quite a bit of food while watching Game of Thrones on the weekend.
When I was buying the beef short ribs yesterday I had no idea it would snow in Canberra as I was cooking them. Given Canberra experienced hail and snow flurries comfort food in the form of BBQ beef short ribs seemed like a good choice.
Jump to RecipePhotosQuestions
What I didn’t realise when I purchased the pack of ribs was they were all separated and not a set of ribs. It turns out this worked in my favour as it made plating up the ribs at the end of cooking easier.
It rained, hailed and snowed in Canberra today and this BBQ beef short ribs dish was perfect especially with the oven on keeping my apartment nice and warm.
Author: Gary Lum
1PacketBeef short ribs
1Kensington Pride mango
Set the oven to 120 °C
Line a baking tray with baking paper to keep it clean and to avoid baked on meat and sauce
Lay in the ribs, sweet potato and onion
Squirt the BBQ sauce onto the ribs and add the garlic powder, pepper, salt and chilli flakes
Add some red wine, Worcestershire sauce to keep everything moist as the water in the liquid ingredients boils and elaborates steam (note you cannot see steam, it's the gas form of water, what you can see is water vapour)
Seal the baking tray with some aluminium (note it is not aluminum) foil
Place into the oven for four hours
After four hours cooking, allow the meat to rest for twenty to thirty minutes
Put together a mango salad and plate up the ribs and salad
Shoot a photograph
Eat the meal
Wash the dishes
Write the recipe
Write a blog post and hope people share the post on social media
It doesn't have to snow and hail for you to make this but it helps you enjoy it more knowing the weather has been inhospitable.
How did you get a Kensington Pride mango in August?
The crops in the Top End have started harvesting early this year. The mangoes currently on sale are very expensive at $4 each but a mango salad gives a taste of summer and I’m sick of Canberra winter. I hate Canberra winter.
What sort of red wine did you use?
It was a $5 bottle of Shiraz. I know there are gourmets who say you should only use wine that you would drink meaning you should cook with good quality wine, but I can’t drink alcohol so I wouldn’t have a clue. I reckon that advice is just to help liquor stores sell more expensive wine.
Do you add chilli flakes to everything you eat?
Almost everything I eat has chilli flakes added to it. I really like chilli flakes.
Free rosemary from a flowering bush on the side of the road on Beissel Street in Belconnen. Well, maybe not free. I don’t know the status of rosemary or any herb for that matter on the verge of footpaths in Canberra. Given there is so much of it, I hope it’s not illegal. If it is, someone please let me know. I only cut off a few short sprigs. The reason for acquiring the rosemary was to add to the lamb bones I cooked this afternoon. Rosemary goes so well with lamb.
While shopping yesterday I spied a nice looking cauliflower and thought roasted cauliflower soup would be just the thing for Sunday tea. Cauliflower soup brings back some strong memories. My youngest daughter detested cauliflower soup and would refuse to eat it.
It seems a friend from Melbourne had a similar idea to me and she made a large batch for the week ahead. If you would like to see it, please feel free to join the Facebook group “Cooking meals for one”.
We’ve had a few new members to the group who have brought with them some new thoughts and ideas.
Roasted cauliflower soup with curry and blue cheese
Roasted cauliflower soup with some curry and blue cheese along with some sourdough olive bread for tea.
Author: Gary Lum
Turn the oven on to 200 °C or 400 °F
Deflower the cauliflower and crudely dice the potato into large pieces
Place the cauliflower, potato and bacon into a large baking tray and slosh the olive oil over it all
Cover the potato, cauliflower and bacon with the curry powder
Place the baking tray into the oven for an hour
After cooking in the oven place everything into a large saucepan add the wine and stock
Bring the liquid to a slow simmer and with a stick blender purée into a soup
Add some parsley into the soup
Serve in a bowl with some crumbled blue cheese and garnish with parsley
Serve with some sourdough olive bread
Eat the soup
Wash the dishes
Write the recipe
Write a blog post
Hope people will share this recipe on social media
You need to get some colour on the cauliflower and potato when it's in the oven to get some extra flavour.
Cauliflower soup for tea with plenty left for later in the week. Not the greatest photograph. I shot this with my iPhone while the pot was still on the stove.
This was today’s brunch. I really enjoy a BLT, especially on sourdough bread. I bought the bread from Coles. The bacon was cooked in a hot oven for 15 minutes.
Questions and answers
Does cauliflower soup make you fart?
Yes, it does. It’s a sweet aroma with the curry added. I know farting isn’t exactly a great topic to talk about but everyone does it. I’m pretty confident this soup will keep my bedroom fragrant tonight. My only conern is that I will take leftover soup to work and who knows what will happen there. I’ll have to duck off and be by myself I think. This soup packs a powerful punch when it comes to flatus generation.
Why add the potato?
The starch from the potato helps keep the soup nice and thick and creamy. I quite often add cream to soups, but this didn’t need it. It was quite thick in the end.
Did your daughter ever learn to like cauliflower soup?
No, she’s not become a fan. My dream one day is to make her a soup she likes.
It’s like microwave rice, it’s quick, easy and convenient. It doesn’t taste too bad either.
Is there anything else?
Well yes. I’ve been noticing some strange online behaviour here with odd comments. Basically spam but not in the usual spam structure. No links and no abuse, but the comments seemed to be from random people who I had not reached out to and who didn’t seem engaged with the blog. When I saw it I would remove it. I thought the safest thing to do would be to moderate all comments so I had a greater level of control.
Of more concern, I’ve also had a sort of reverse problem with some good (online) friends not being able to comment and their words ending up in my spam folders. I hope by increasing the control I have over comments, this problem will be ameliorated.
This raises the issue of online trolls. I’ve been really fortunate that I can count on the number of fingers of one hand the number of times I’ve been trolled on my personal sites (including Medical Fun Facts). On the other hand, from time to time at work, I get abusive messages but that’s very different. Friends who keep an eye open for me have sent some interesting screenshots from various social media accounts. It would be inappropriate to describe these in any detail here but it’s one of the reasons why I try to be polite, friendly and courteous here. There are a few safe spaces where I can be more myself online and in those forums, it is nice to be amongst like-minded people.
When online, I usually write with trolls in mind. I’m not wanting to be controversial and if I have anything controversial to write I’ll try to couch it carefully. Even on my Medical Fun Facts blog/podcast/YouTube when I’m a bit out there, e.g., I have a strong position in favour of conventional medicine including vaccination, I try to make sure I’m on solid ground.
It remains a constant problem and what I don’t get is with good anti-spam products like Akismet, why do spammers bother. Unlike the tasty canned pork product, I hate online spam, especially now malware and ransomware are becoming more common.
If anyone has ever sent me an e-mail and I’ve not responded, I’m sorry. Unless I know you, I’ll probably delete the e-mail.
Please follow me on my food-based social media on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. What I’d love you to do is share this post on Twitter and Facebook and anywhere else you’d like, even Google+