Food

Roasted cauliflower soup | Fartworthy to the core

Roasted cauliflower soup

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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.

Cauliflower soup with curry and blue cheese Gary Lum
Cauliflower soup with curry and blue cheese

 

Recipe

 

Cauliflower soup with curry and blue cheese Gary Lum
Print
Roasted cauliflower soup with curry and blue cheese
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
1 hrs 30 mins
Total Time
1 hrs 35 mins
 
Roasted cauliflower soup with some curry and blue cheese along with some sourdough olive bread for tea.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Australian
Servings: 3
Calories: 400 kcal
Author: Gary Lum
Ingredients
  • 1 large Cauliflower
  • 1 Potato
  • 100 grams Bacon pieces
  • 2 teaspoons Curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil
  • 1 cup White wine
  • 2 cups Chicken stock
  • Parsley
Instructions
  1. Turn the oven on to 200 °C or 400 °F
  2. Deflower the cauliflower and crudely dice the potato into large pieces
  3. Place the cauliflower, potato and bacon into a large baking tray and slosh the olive oil over it all
  4. Cover the potato, cauliflower and bacon with the curry powder
  5. Place the baking tray into the oven for an hour
  6. After cooking in the oven place everything into a large saucepan add the wine and stock
  7. Bring the liquid to a slow simmer and with a stick blender purée into a soup
    Cauliflower soup in the pot Gary Lum
  8. Add some parsley into the soup
  9. Serve in a bowl with some crumbled blue cheese and garnish with parsley
  10. Serve with some sourdough olive bread
  11. Eat the soup
  12. Wash the dishes
  13. Write the recipe
  14. Write a blog post
  15. Hope people will share this recipe on social media
Recipe Notes

You need to get some colour on the cauliflower and potato when it's in the oven to get some extra flavour.

Photographs

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.

Cauliflower soup in the pot Gary Lum
Cauliflower soup in the pot

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.

BLT on sourdough olive bread for brunch Gary Lum
BLT on sourdough olive bread for brunch

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.

Other posts you make like to read.

Mutton flaps and policy coherence

Slowly roasted lamb bones

 

Delicious spam and roast vegetables

I love pork | An easy pork roll

Quinoa cooked in lamb fat

 

Slowly roasted lamb bones

Slowly roasted lamb bones

Jump to Recipe Q&A Photos

Slowly roasted lamb bones fill my flat with deep rich aromas that can only come when there is a good amount of fat with muscle and bone.

If you go over to My Thoughts and Stuff you’ll come across a post about how I desire mutton flaps. That story will put this recipe into context.

Yes, this is a sheep showing the mutton flaps Gary Lum
Mutton flaps
Slowly roasted lamb bones served with mashed potato, peas, corn and carrot with gravy Gary Lum
Slowly roasted lamb bones served with mashed potato, peas, corn and carrot with gravy

 

Recipe

Slowly roasted lamb bones served with mashed potato, peas, corn and carrot with gravy Gary Lum
Print
Slowly roasted lamb bones
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
4 hr 45 mins
Total Time
4 hr 50 mins
 
When there's a good amount of fat and bone you know the muscle will be full of tasty flavours. These bones impart huge flavour to the meat.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Australian
Servings: 3
Calories: 500 kcal
Author: Gary Lum
Ingredients
  • 800 grams Lamb bones
  • Potato Sliced
  • Celery Sliced
  • Onion Sliced
  • Carrot Sliced
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Garlic powder
  • Dried black peppercorns
  • 1 packet Microwave mashed potato
  • 1 cup Gravox gravy
  • 1 cup Frozen peas and corn
  • 1 cup White wine
Instructions
  1. Turn on the oven and set it to 150 °C
    Vacuum packed lamb bones ready for slowly roasting Gary Lum
  2. In a heavy baking tray add sliced onion, potato, carrot and celery
    Lamb bones and vegetables in a baking tray ready for slowly roasting Gary Lum
  3. Lay the meat over the vegetables
  4. Splash in the Worcestershire sauce and the wine and add the peppercorns and garlic powder
  5. Cover with two layers of aluminium foil and then place into the oven for at least four hours
  6. After four hours remove the aluminium foil and put the baking tray back into the oven with the heat turned up to 200 °C to get juices reduced
    Lamb bones and vegetables in a baking tray after four hours slowly roasting Gary Lum
  7. After 30 minutes remove the baking tray and allow the meat to rest for 15 minutes
  8. Prepare the mashed potato and gravy as per the packet instructions
  9. Cook the frozen vegetables in the microwave oven
  10. Plate up and shoot a photograph
  11. Eat the meal and then wash the dishes
  12. Write the recipe
  13. Write blog post
  14. Hope that your friends and others will share the blog post on social media
Recipe Notes

If you don't want your living area filled with the aromas of slowly cooked lamb fat, open your windows, but I think you're missing out.

 

Photographs

Lamb bones vacuum packed

Vacuum packed lamb bones ready for slowly roasting Gary Lum
Lamb bones ready for slowly roasting

Lamb bones ready for the oven

Lamb bones and vegetables in a baking tray ready for slowly roasting Gary Lum
Lamb bones and vegetables in a baking tray ready for slowly roasting

Lamb bones out of the oven

Lamb bones and vegetables in a baking tray after four hours slowly roasting Gary Lum
Lamb bones and vegetables in a baking tray after four hours slowly roasting
Slowly roasted lamb bones served with mashed potato, peas, corn and carrot with gravy Gary Lum
The fatty perspective. Slowly roasted lamb bones served with mashed potato, peas, corn and carrot with gravy

Questions and answers

Why lamb bones?

You need to see the Mutton Flaps post on My Thoughts and Stuff

Why packet mashed potato?

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.

Trolls

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.

Spam

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.

Spam
Gary Lum spam

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.

Social media

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+

Other posts you may be interested in

 

Leftover KFC Casserole

 

How to make donkey sauce beef brisket brioche bun burger by Yummy Lummy

 

Leftover KFC Casserole

Like the owner and head chef from OTIS Dining Hall (Damian Brabender), I have a thing for KFC. Although for me, it’s more of a deep abiding adoration. I know I shouldn’t eat it too often but I can’t help buying it when I think about it for too long on a Friday. Fridays being my traditional takeaway dinner day. I spent the day at Canberra Hospital and Health Services in ACT Pathology practising medicine. Yes, I know, practising medicine and eating KFC really don’t go together.

Jump to Recipe Q&A

Yesterday I received a little bit of good news and I wanted to celebrate. Given I had no one to celebrate with, I went with KFC and a 21-piece bucket at that.

Recipe

Leftover KFC casserole straight out of the oven Gary Lum
Print
Leftover KFC casserole
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hrs 10 mins
Total Time
1 hrs 20 mins
 

When I buy a 21-piece bucket I consume the thigh and wing pieces after purchase and then put away the breast and other pieces into the refrigerator. Leftover KFC makes for a delicious chicken casserole.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Australian
Servings: 4
Calories: 500 kcal
Author: Gary Lum
Ingredients
  • 8 Leftover KFC pieces
  • 1 handful Parsley
  • 2 Large mushrooms
  • 1 small tin Green peppercorns
  • 1 cup White wine
  • 1 handful Cashew nuts
  • 1 tin Cream of chicken soup
  • 2 sticks Celery
  • 1/2 Onion
  • 1 cup Frozen vegetables
Instructions
  1. In a casserole or sturdy baking dish place the leftover pieces of KFC
  2. Add some sliced flat mushrooms
  3. Toss in the cup of frozen vegetables plus some sliced celery and onion and poke the vegetables in between the pieces of KFC.
  4. Pour over a can of condensed cream of chicken soup and rinse out the can with a little white wine and pour that in too. You want to ensure the liquid gets about halfway up the side of the baking tray so there is sufficient water to keep everything juicy and moist.
  5. Sprinkle in your nuts, well not your nuts but some cashews and if you can throw some cash around, some Queensland nuts from the genus Macadamia.

  6. Open the tin of green peppercorns and pour them in.
  7. Once everything is in the baking tray, seal it with a lid if it has one or cover in aluminium foil and make sure it is a snug fit.

  8. Place in a hot oven 200 °C/400 °F for one hour.
  9. After one hour remove the lid and sprinkle on a little grated cheese and then return to the oven for 10 to 15 minutes.
  10. Once the cheese has become brown and crispy remove the tray from the oven and allow the casserole some rest.
    Leftover KFC casserole straight out of the oven Gary Lum
  11. Serve up on a plate and shoot a photograph.
  12. Eat the meal.
  13. Wash the dishes and write the recipe.
  14. Write a blog post and share it later.
Recipe Notes

In the old days, I could eat a 21-piece bucket in one go. Now I prefer to leave leftovers so I can keep enjoying the chicken and the herbs and spices!

Photographs

This was my dinner on Friday night. I decided after a piece of good news that I’d spoil myself with some KFC.

KFC for dinner, a selection from a 21 piece bucket. Gary Lum
KFC for dinner, a selection from a 21 piece bucket.

This is the leftover KFC casserole after it came out of the oven

Leftover KFC casserole straight out of the oven Gary Lum
Leftover KFC casserole straight out of the oven

This is the leftover KFC casserole ready to be eaten

Leftover KFC casserole straight out of the oven Gary Lum
Leftover KFC casserole straight out of the oven

 

Questions and answers

Why do you like KFC?

I like the crumb coating and the finger licking good flavour of the 13 herbs and spices. Yes, I like licking my fingers.

Surely KFC is too fatty and greasy?

It certainly is. I don’t eat it every day or every week or every month. I like spoiling myself with flavours I like and things that taste good, especially if it tastes good as I lick my fingers.

How long have you been a member of the Australian Society for Microbiology?

Well, I became a formal member in 1989. In the Northern Territory, I chaired the NT branch. Since that time I’ve also been a member of the Society’s editorial board and examination board. This year I became the registrar for the National Examination and Qualifications Board.

Could you make the casserole without KFC?

Sure, you could use any pre-cooked roast chicken. In Australia, that includes Red Rooster and chickens from Coles and Woolworths.

Is there anyone you want to shout out to?

My very good friend Just Me from Here in the Silence. Check out her poetry and writing.

Social media

Please follow me on my food-based social media on TwitterFacebook, 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+

Gary Lum QR Code

Other posts you may enjoy

Quinoa and KFC casserole

How do I cook duck fat roast potatoes?

 

Sunshine blogger award and pineapple pork

Sunshine blogger award and pineapple pork

Thank you so much to Mummy Blogger, Purdey Makes 6 for nominating Yummy Lummy for the Sunshine blogger award.

Please check out Purdey Makes 6; what a great blog and “Mummy” has six children. That’s an inspiration! I can’t imagine what meal planning and meal preparation must be like.

Jump to RecipeQuestionsFacebook Group

Before we get to the award I wanted to share a recipe for pineapple pork.

Pineapple pork with rice Gary Lum
Pineapple pork with rice

Recipe

Pineapple pork with rice Gary Lum
Print
Pineapple pork
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
1 hrs
Total Time
1 hrs 5 mins
 
Here’s a simple minimal ingredient recipe which will bring a ray of sunshine into your cooking meals for one. It’s a little fatty with the pork, but the pineapple juices will hopefully cut through it all.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Australian
Servings: 1
Calories: 750 kcal
Author: Gary Lum
Ingredients
  • 500 grams Pork rashers
  • Pineapple
  • 1 packet Microwave rice
Instructions
  1. Get the pork rashers to room temperature before cooking
    Pork rashers and pineapple Gary Lum
  2. Heat the oven to 200 °C (400 °F)
  3. In a small nonstick frying pan arrange the rashers rind up and put pineapple pieces in between
  4. Add some pineapple syrup or juice to the frying pan but not too much. Keep the rind free of touching the liquid.
  5. Put the frying pan into the oven and cook for 1 hour
    Pork rashers and pineapple ready for the oven Gary Lum
  6. When the pork is cooked remove it from the oven and allow to rest on absorbent paper towel for 10 minutes
  7. While the pork is resting, cook the microwave rice according to the product instructions
  8. Cut the pork into strips across the grain
  9. Prepare a bowl by placing the rice in first, then the pineapple pieces followed by any remaining juice from the frying pan. Finally add the pork and garnish with some spring onion.
  10. Shoot a photograph for sharing on social media including the Facebook group Cooking meals for one
  11. Eat the meal
  12. Wash the dishes
  13. Write the recipe
  14. Write a blog post
  15. Hope my friends share this recipe on social media
Recipe Notes

This recipe is great, but made better with the addition of the Sunshine blogger award.

Don't forget the Facebook group, Cooking meals for one

Pork rashers and pineapple Gary Lum
Pork rashers and pineapple
Pork rashers and pineapple ready for the oven Gary Lum
Pork rashers and pineapple ready for the oven

Facebook Group

 

Please join my Facebook Group called Cooking meals for one It’s a safe space where you can share what you’re having for dinner each day. The group encourages photographs and links. It’s currently an open group. It’s free to join.

Sunshine blogger award

Sunshine blogger award Gary Lum
Sunshine blogger award

Okay, so I’m going to do this in two parts. Part one is answering questions from Purdey Makes 6. Part two will be the nomination of other bloggers and I will share the rules. I’ll do that in another post in the near future.

11 questions from Purdey Makes 6 for the Sunshine blogger award

Other than blogging, what do you spend your day doing?

I work full time. On Monday to Thursday, I put in 40 hours at the Australian Government Department of Health as a Principal Medical Advisor. On Fridays, I practice medicine as an Honorary Visiting Medical Officer in ACT Pathology. I’m a specialist microbiologist. On weekends, I like to walk around Lake Ginninderra, watch YouTube videos, listen to podcasts, record my Medical Fun Facts podcast and write posts in my other two blogs, viz., Yummy Lummy and My Thoughts and Stuff. I also like watching Star Trek and other TV shows on Netflix and Stan.

What is your favourite blogger?

That’s a really difficult question. I like so many bloggers. There are Canberra based food bloggers, Australian food bloggers (like Lorraine Elliott), artists and creative cartoonists like Jennifer Paetsch and fabulously creative writers like Just Me. Some of these are my favourites for different reasons. I also like finding new bloggers to read.

Who inspires you in life?

I’m inspired by a few people. A former boss in the Northern Territory of Australia is, in my opinion, the best leader I’ve had the privilege to work with. I have a few close friends who also inspire me. One is a writer of amazing poetry. Another is an artist. Most of all, I’m inspired by people who love life and live it while remaining grounded. If they are good humoured and good natured, that is even better. Apart from that, the service women and men of the Australian Defence Force inspire me. 

3 desert Island foods?

Coconut, fish and limes. The coconut is good for chewing and the coconut water for hydration and something different to water. The fish will give me protein and I can eat it with the coconut milk I make from the coconuts. The limes will prevent scurvy while I try to figure out an escape or wait for rescue.

What is your best trait?

Calm under pressure.

What is your worst?

Not thinking about the feelings of others when I say things, especially when I think I’m trying to be humorous. My insensitivity is my greatest failing and will ultimately be my downfall I think. 

What perks you up on a bad day?

A friendly word from a friend who may be near (local) or far away (overseas). I love that technology means all my friends can be in my smartphone whether it be a text message or a call. 

What item could you not live without in life?

My iPhone and a battery charger!

Who puts the biggest smile on your face?

Close friends and family. Usually for different reasons.

What’s your signature dish if you are cooking for friends and family?

Salmon and some sort of salad. I like to pan fry the salmon.

What’s your biggest dream for the future?

That my daughters are happy adults and that I can travel the world when I retire.

Sorry, Mommy Blogger if I didn’t answer those questions exactly as you might have expected.

Medical Fun Facts

If you’re interested in infection by Cryptococcus species, please check out Monday night’s show which will drop at 7 pm Canberra time.

Medical Fun Facts Episode 76 Cryptococcus Beware of pigeons Gary Lum
Medical Fun Facts Episode 76 Cryptococcus
Beware of pigeons

The YouTube video will drop at the same time.

Some other posts you may like

My current favourite blogs

Additional Information about Gary Lum

 

How to eat your way through a 4-night Cairns holiday

Have you ever wondered how you could eat your way through a 4 night Cairns holiday? Probably not I hear you say. If you are going on a holiday to Cairns though, here are some suggestions. I recently took my youngest two daughters on a short holiday to Cairns, in Far North Queensland. We had a brilliant time and we ate well too.

Sunday 2 July 2017

Breakfast

I’m not going to start with when I was joined by my daughters but when I started my holiday on Sunday morning when I flew from Canberra to catch up with my daughters.

Qantas gave me a free upgrade to Business Class which meant I had a lovely breakfast of poached eggs, pork sausages and wilted spinach along with a Danish pastry and a tub of sweetened Greek yoghurt.

Qantas free business class upgrade breakfast. Pork sausages, poached eggs and wilted spinach with a Danish pastry and sweetened Greek yoghurt. Gary Lum
Qantas free business class upgrade breakfast. Pork sausages, poached eggs and wilted spinach with a Danish pastry and sweetened Greek yoghurt.

Lunch

We drove to Caloundra and ate lunch at Beau’s. I enjoyed a pulled pork burrito with hints of Thai.

Beau's Thai Burrito with pulled pork Gary Lum
Beau’s Thai Burrito with pulled pork

Dinner

We were joined by my parents and we ate the new Westfield Chermside food plaza at Pho Vietnamese Kitchen. I had a refreshing green pawpaw salad.

Green pawpaw salad with pork and prawns from Pho Vietnamese Kitchen. Gary Lum
Green pawpaw salad with pork and prawns from Pho Vietnamese Kitchen.

Dessert was an eclair from Savour in the new Westfield Chermside food plaza.

Savour Patisserie Eclairs from Chermside Gary Lum
Savour Patisserie Eclairs from Chermside

Monday 3 July 2017

Breakfast

We ate at the airport. I had scrambled eggs, pork sausages and baked beans.

Qantas Club breakfast snags, eggs and baked beans Gary Lum
Qantas Club breakfast snags, eggs and baked beans

Lunch

Lunch was late and was in the Cairns Centre. We spotted a Roll’d and enjoyed a Bánh mì. Sorry, no photograph.

Dinner

We ate at Bobzip Korean Restaurant.

Bobzip Cairns

I had the pork Katsu which was delicious.

Pork katsu from Bobzip Cairns Gary Lum
Pork katsu from Bobzip Cairns

Tuesday 4 July 2017

Breakfast

After a walk to see the sunrise we ate at Silk Caffe and I enjoyed a breakfast wrap with chicken, bacon, brie and cranberry.

Chicken bacon brie cranberry breakfast wrap from Silk Caffe Gary Lum
Chicken bacon brie cranberry breakfast wrap from Silk Caffe

Lunch

We ate lunch after snorkelling on the Sunlover Reef Pontoon. I made myself a prawn sandwich.

Prawn sambo on Sunlover Reef Pontoon Gary Lum
Prawn sambo on Sunlover Reef Pontoon
I've never removed the alimentary tract from a prawn Gary Lum
I’ve never removed the alimentary tract from a prawn

Dinner

On the way back to the apartment, we stopped in at the Tandoori Oven and enjoyed some Beef Madras, Lamb Korma and Butter Chicken with plain and garlic naan bread. It was a food highlight of our trip.

Beef Madras, Lamb Korma, and Butter Chicken from the Tandoori Oven, Cairns Gary Lum
Beef Madras, Lamb Korma, and Butter Chicken from the Tandoori Oven, Cairns

Wednesday 5 July 2017

Breakfast

This was in two parts and we weren’t sure of whether something would be available at Freshwater Train Station so in the apartment we had Peanut M&Ms and hot drinks. At the Freshwater Train Station, we found the tuck shop and I had a huge damper scone with butter and jam.

Huge damper scone

Morning tea

Vanilla Slice at Kuranda Markets Gary Lum
Vanilla Slice at Kuranda Markets

Lunch

We ate at the Rainforest Views Restaurant in Kuranda. I had the Ton of Fun Burger.

Ton of Fun burger from the rainforest Views Restaurant Kuranda Gary Lum
Ton of Fun burger from the rainforest Views Restaurant Kuranda

Dinner

We’d eaten a lot of Asian with Korean, Vietnamese and Thai so we sought European cuisine and went with Italian. We ate at Bel Paese Trattoria and Pizza. I loved by crumbed veal parmigiana.

Crumbed veal parmigiana at Bel Paese Trattoria Pizzeria, Cairns City Gary Lum
Crumbed veal parmigiana at Bel Paese Trattoria Pizzeria, Cairns City

For dessert, we wondered around and found NITRO LATO; I had the Aussie Adventure.

NITROLATO
NITROLATO Ice creams in Cairns City Gary Lum
NITROLATO Ice creams in Cairns City

Thursday 6 July 2017

Breakfast

After a walk to see the sunrise again, we stopped and ate pancakes at Helga’s Pancake House. I had a short stack which was filling and very nice.

Short stack from Helga's Pancake House, Cairns Gary Lum
Short stack from Helga’s Pancake House, Cairns

Lunch

We spent most of the day at Paronella Park. We bought food from the tuck shop there. I had a couple of chicken and mushroom filo pastry creations.

Chicken and mushroom filo with Ginger beer Gary Lum
Chicken and mushroom filo with Ginger beer

Dinner

We returned to our Asian roots and ate Chinese at Taste of China. We enjoyed pan-fried pork dumplings, an Far North Queensland (FNQ) mud crab, deep-fried duck and crispy skin lemon chicken. For dessert, we bought a tub of ice cream, a jar of Nutella and added peanut M&Ms to make the best ice cream sundaes ever.

Pan-fried pork dumplings at Taste of China Gary Lum
Pan-fried pork dumplings at Taste of China
Queensland mud crab with garlic ginger and shallots at Taste of China Gary Lum
Queensland mud crab with garlic ginger and shallots at Taste of China
Deep fried duck and lemon chicken from Taste of China Gary Lum
Deep fried duck and lemon chicken from Taste of China
Caramel and honeycomb ice cream with Nutella and Peanut M&Ms from Woolworths Gary Lum
Caramel and Honeycomb ice cream with Nutella and Peanut M&Ms from Woolworths

Friday 7 July 2017

Breakfast

After our now routine sunrise walk, we went to Bang and Grind. I ate a toasted almond croissant which was delicious.

Almond custard croissant from Bang and Grind Gary Lum
Almond custard croissant from Bang and Grind

Lunch

After a morning visiting various beaches north of Cairns we stopped at Trinity Beach and enjoyed another Italian meal at L’Unico. I had a fabulous calamari caesar salad. It was to die for.

Calamari Caesar Salad from L'Unico, Trinity Bay Gary Lum
Calamari Caesar Salad from L’Unico, Trinity Bay

Dinner

By this stage we were flying from Cairns to Brisbane, well it turns out we flew to Coolangatta, but to get the details you need to read the post which outlines the holiday on my other blog.  

For dinner, I had falafel and couscous. Not too bad for aeroplane food.

Qantas Falafel and couscous Gary Lum
Qantas Falafel and couscous

And so ends this post highlighting the food treats from my Cairns holiday.

Have you been to Cairns? Have you considered a food holiday in Cairns?

 

OTIS Dining Hall five-course chef’s menu

It was a Saturday night, a cold wet raining night in July in Canberra. I shared dinner with a friend for her birthday.

Another blogger, Sue, had recently been to OTIS Dining Hall and I had mentioned on her post that I was looking forward to trying it out.

OTIS Dining Hall is where the Little Brussels Belgian Beer Cafe used to be. Head chef, Damian Brabender was formerly of Sage Dining Rooms; another favourite Canberra restaurant. Damian is also associated with The Truffle Farm in Canberra.

On arrival, I was recognised by the maître d’ which is nice. Our waiter for the evening was Tom, who is a very friendly, helpful and knowledgable about the menu and the philosophy behind each dish. All the produce and main elements of each dish are sourced from Canberra or very close by in New South Wales.

OTIS Dining Hall Gary Lum

We decided on the five-course chef’s menu.

  1. House-made tagliatelle with cracked pepper, black truffle and parmesan
  2. Windsor quail, artichoke, hazelnut and watercress
  3. Baby barramundi, shiitake mushroom, coriander and ginger
  4. OTIS pepper steak, silk-wood brandy jus, served with French fries
  5. Crème caramel, whisky and smoked sea salt

The entire meal was filled with really nice flavours and the portion size, in my opinion, was perfect. Not too big and not too small.

It’s truffle season in Canberra so the first dish was a creamy tagliatelle with truffle infused and two wafers of truffle on top. This was amazing, and if the steak didn’t exist this would have been my favourite dish. As far as a dish licking score is concerned (desserts should be excluded because all desserts should be disk licked), this was on top. If I wasn’t in a public space, I would have put that bowl to my face and licked every last bit of creamy truffle goodness from the dish.

The second dish was a local quail done three ways, with crispy crackling skin and a version of a KFC herbs and spices quail thigh. Apparently, Damian has a thing for KFC. Good to know since I also have a thing, well let’s call it a deep and abiding love for KFC thighs. This was one of those dishes where if there was more I could just keep going, fortunately, it was a perfect portion for the second dish. It had me wanting more.

The third dish was fish, one of my favourite tropical fighting fish is the barramundi. It has firm white flesh and this dish was barramundi but with really crispy skin. It had shiitake mushrooms and ginger. Okay, so I will say, this portion was a little small for my liking. The skin was perfect and the flesh firm. Mmm… I love firm flesh to eat, but you know, I’ve been Barra fishing in the Top End, and the most magnificent fish meal I’ve ever enjoyed was catching a Barra, killing it in ice, watching the guide fillet it perfectly, chuck the skin into the air for a hawk to swoop and take it mid-air, and then pan-fry that gorgeous firm white flesh in a well seasoned frying pan with butter and lemon. Nothing, and I mean nothing can beat that for an eating experience.  

The fourth dish was a pepper-coated steak, cooked perfectly rare and rested well. It was served with a brandy jus and some chips (fries). Coupled with a perfectly weighted steak knife, eating a small but thick portion of juicy tender steak is amazing. I loved this dish. The pepper coating sang in my mouth, as I breathed in I could feel the fresh peppery sensation on my tongue. There’s something to be said about having a good quality steak knife when eating a perfectly cooked piece of steak. It’s like being an artist with the best quality equipment.

The fifth dish was dessert and it was a crème caramel with hints of whisky and sea salt in the caramel. Tom told us that the chef who made this, made this dish for her interview and she hasn’t been allowed to modify it ever. The gradient of flavour intensified as you got to the centre. It just kept getting better and better.

This was a superb meal. I just wish I could drink alcohol. Tom described the accompanying wines with great passion.

You can reserve a table online with Dimmi or just call and make a booking. If you live in Canberra or visiting, I highly recommend OTIS Dining Hall.

You may also like

Sage dining rooms Good France Dinner

XO Restaurant Narrabundah

 

3 steps to a cheats pie floater

3 steps to a cheats pie floater using Herbert Adams pies

3 steps to a cheats pie floater using Herbert Adams pies, instant gravy, microwave mashed potatoes, and frozen peas.

Jump to Recipe Q&A Facebook Group

Herbert Adams Chicken and Leek Pie floater on mashed potato and gravy with semi-mushy peas Gary Lum
Herbert Adams Chicken and Leek Pie floater on mashed potato and gravy with semi-mushy peas

This was lovely with mashed potato and the gravy. The mushy peas weren’t that much chop.

Recipe

Herbert Adams Chicken and Leek Pie floater on mashed potato and gravy with semi-mushy peas Gary Lum
Print
Herbert Adams Chicken and Leek Pie floater
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 

Herbert Adams Chicken and Leek Pie floater on mashed potato and gravy with semi-mushy peas

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Australian
Servings: 1
Calories: 1500 kcal
Author: Gary Lum
Ingredients
  • 2 Herbert Adams Chicken and Leek Pies (Frozen)
  • 1 cup Gravox™ instant gravy
  • 1 packet Birds Eye Instant mashed Potato
  • 1/2 cup Coles frozen peas
Instructions
  1. Remove the frozen pies from the cardboard packaging and place into an oven that has been heated to 200 °C. Cook for 40 minutes.

  2. Cook the frozen peas in a microwave oven for about 5 minutes and mash with a fork. 

  3. Cook the mashed potato in the microwave oven for 2 minutes and 30 seconds.

  4. Make the gravy as per the instructions on the tin.

  5. When the pies are cooked, place the mashed potatoes into the bottom of a bowl. Place a pie on top of the mashed potato. Pour the gravy around the pie and cover the mashed potato. Add the semi-mushy peas on top. 

  6. Shoot a photograph and then eat the pie, when that has gone, add the second pie into the gravy and mashed potato goodness. Then eat everything.

  7. Phaff about preparing podcasts for the other blog and then write the recipe and wash the dishes. 

  8. Write a blog post and hope that anyone who actually reads the recipe will share it on social media.

  9. Post a photograph and a brief description into the new Facebook Cooking meals for one group that I've started. 

Recipe Notes

Make sure you post your meals for one to the Facebook group Cooking meals for one

Questions and answers

 

What else did you eat today?

A large bag of chips and three jam doughnuts plus two English muffins with butter and Vegemite.

Jam doughnuts from Coles Gary Lum
Jam doughnuts from Coles

I hope you got some exercise today?

Yes, I walked around Lake Ginninderra.

This water fountain has a mind of its own Gary Lum
This water fountain has a mind of its own

What else did you do today?

I recorded two podcasts. Here are a couple of teaser clips I posted to Instagram.

 

I’ve even got a comment on my Facebook page from someone who opposes immunisation.

Social media

Please follow me on my food-based social media on TwitterFacebook, 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+

I’ve started a Facebook Group

Come and join in the fun Cooking meals for one

Gary Lum QR Code

Other posts you may like

How to make a pie floater? A cook’s hack!

How to make a Garlo’s lean beef pie taste better

 

Slowly cooked lamb neck stew with vegetables

Slowly cooked lamb neck stew

Slowly cooked lamb neck stew with vegetables on a cold Sunday in Canberra. The neck of a lamb like the tail of an ox is rich in flavour.

Jump to Recipe Q&A Facebook Group

Slow cooked lamb neck stew with vegetables Gary Lum
Slow cooked lamb neck stew with vegetables

Recipe

Slow cooked lamb neck stew with vegetables Gary Lum
Print
Slow cooked lamb neck stew
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
6 hr
Total Time
6 hr 10 mins
 

Slow cooked lamb neck stew with vegetables

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Australian
Servings: 2
Calories: 500 kcal
Author: Gary Lum
Ingredients
  • 800 g Lamb necks
  • 1 Brown onion (diced)
  • 1 packet French onion soup
  • 2 sticks Celery (sliced)
  • 1 Carrot (cut roughly)
  • 1/2 Cauliflower (break into florets)
  • 1/2 cup Sweet sherry
  • 1 cups Water
  • 1 tablespoon Butter
  • 1 tablespoon Rice flour
  • 1/2 cup Frozen peas
  • 1 Potato (quartered)
Instructions
  1. Set up the slow cooker ready for 6 hours of happy cooking

  2. Get the lamb necks out of the refrigerator and get them to room temperature

    Lamb necks from Coles Gary Lum
  3. Dice the onion, roughly cut the carrot, break the cauliflower into florets, slice the celery and quarter the potato

  4. Add the vegetables to the slow cooker vessel

  5. Add the French onion soup packet contents, water and sherry

  6. Lay on top of everything the lamb necks

    Lamb necks ready for slow cooking. "See you in 6 hours" Gary Lum
  7. Set the slow cooker for 6 hours

  8. After six hours, remove the meat to rest, set aside the vegetables and keep aside the liquid into a saucepan and begin to simmer

    Lamb necks after opening the slow cooker Gary Lum
  9. Melt the butter in the microwave oven and whisk in the rice flour

  10. Add the butter and flour mix to the simmering stewing liquid and whisk to make a thick gravy

  11. When the gravy is ready, turn off the heat and move the saucepan to a bench

  12. Cook the frozen peas in the microwave oven

  13. In a shallow bowl add some of the lamb necks and then select some vegetables

  14. Pour over the gravy and then add the peas

  15. Shoot a photograph and then eat the meal while watching Star Trek Voyager and admiring Seven of Nine

  16. Wash the dishes

  17. Write the recipe

  18. Write the blog post and hope your friends share the post on social media to Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, and StumbleUpon. Oh, and of course Google+ 

Recipe Notes

If you make this recipe please let me know. 

Lamb necks from Coles Gary Lum
Lamb necks from Coles
Lamb necks ready for slow cooking. "See you in 6 hours" Gary Lum
Lamb necks ready for slow cooking. “See you in 6 hours”
Lamb necks after opening the slow cooker Gary Lum
Lamb necks after opening the slow cooker

Questions and answers

 

Why lamb necks?

They are a cheapish cut of lamb. Lamb is so expensive these days. I remember when lamb cutlets and lamb chops were dirt cheap, along with lamb shanks. Now they are hideously expensive. Necks also contain marrow and fat and are full of flavour.

Does it really need gravy?

No not at all, but the lamb flavours are very strong and the stewing liquid is so rich that using it for a gravy makes sense.

Does the French Onion Soup mix stink up the apartment?

As everything is cooking, the aromas are strong. It’s helpful to open the windows.

What did you have for lunch?

I used up the last sheet of puff pastry I had in the freezer, cooked some streaky bacon, mixed some avocado with sour cream, used some shredded cheese and made a puff pastry square of bacon and avocado.

Bacon and avocado pastry square Gary Lum
Bacon and avocado pastry square

I like just putting things together and seeing what will work. I grabbed the bacon and cooked it for 20 minutes at 100 °C so it wasn’t crisp to start with and then allowed it to get to room temperature. It tasted delicious.

What did you have for breakfast?

I had an apple and walnut pastry and a coffee.

Apple and walnut pastry with coffee Gary Lum
Apple and walnut pastry with coffee

I got the coffee from Soul Origin and the pastry from Bakers Delight. The pastry was pretty nice. It wasn’t too sweet. The coffee was strong but not bitter.

Social media

Please follow me on my food-based social media on TwitterFacebook, 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+

Gary Lum QR Code

Something new

I’ve created a Facebook group called Cooking meals for one. You’re all welcome to join. I’ve decided to make it a public group so anyone can join. The aim is to get people to share ideas, recipes, blog posts and thoughts on living alone and cooking meals for one. The rules are simple. No spam, unless it’s the delicious stuff in a tin that is popular in Hawaii. I don’t mind links to blog posts, all I ask is that you close the preview. Photographs of food are encouraged. Sharing recipes and tips is very encouraged. If I get a sense there is conflict or trouble I will act to resolve the problem.

Some other posts you may wish to read

How to make donkey sauce beef brisket brioche bun burger by Yummy Lummy

Spicy creamed cauliflower and pumpkin crab meat soup for #dinner So comforting on a cold #Canberra night

How to make a quick and easy spicy cheesy lamb roll with gravy

 

Chicken thigh schnitzel, potato gems and panko prawns with mashed potato and gravy

Chicken schnitzel, potato gems, panko prawns, mashed potato and gravy

Chicken thigh schnitzel, potato gems and panko prawns with mashed potato and gravy was a perfect meal to watch the Brisbane Broncos defeat the Canberra Raiders in Canberra.

Jump to Recipe Q&A

Chicken thigh schnitzel, potato gems and panko prawns Gary Lum
Chicken thigh schnitzel, potato gems and panko prawns
Chicken thigh schnitzel, potato gems and panko prawns with mashed potato and gravy Gary Lum
Chicken thigh schnitzel, potato gems and panko prawns with mashed potato and gravy

Recipe

Chicken thigh schnitzel, potato gems and panko prawns with mashed potato and gravy Gary Lum
Print
Chicken thigh schnitzel, potato gems and panko prawns with mashed potato and gravy
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 

Chicken thigh schnitzel, potato gems and panko prawns with mashed potato and gravy none of which was made from scratch but it all went well together and was a perfect footy food meal. 

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Australian
Servings: 1
Calories: 750 kcal
Author: Gary Lum
Ingredients
  • 1 Chicken thigh schnitzel
  • 10 Panko prawns
  • 20 Potato gems
  • 1 Packet Mashed potato Microwave ready
  • 1 Cup Instant gravy
  • 1 Handful Spring onions Sliced
  • 1 Handful Coon cheese Shredded
Instructions
  1. I bought the chicken thigh schnitzel from Belconnen chicken

  2. I bought the prawns from the Coles delicatessen 

  3. I had the potato gems in the freezer

  4. I bought the frozen mashed potato and Gravox™ instant gravy from Coles

  5. I used two small nonstick frying pans to cook everything. In one frying pan add a shallow layer of olive oil and add the chicken schnitzel. In the other frying pan add the potato gems. 

  6. Put both frying pans into a hot (200 °C) oven for 15 minutes

  7. After 15 minutes pull out the frying pan with the chicken schnitzel and turn it over and then add the prawns to this pan. Return it to the oven. Pull out the other frying pan and sprinkle some shredded Coon cheese on the gems and return the frying pan to the oven. Cook for a further 15 minutes at 200 °C.

  8. When the chicken, prawns and potato gems have had 30 minutes into the oven, cook the frozen mashed potato into the microwave oven for 150 seconds and boil a kettle of water and make 1 cup of instant gravy.

  9. Plate up the chicken, prawns and potato gems onto a large plate. Place the mashed potato into a bowl and pour the instant gravy around it. 

  10. Shoot a photograph and then eat the meal and feel so full that you'll pop. Undo your belt and rejoice knowing this must be what it feels like to remove a tight bra. 

  11. Watch the football on your iPad with a Telstra sim card in it so you can enjoy the NRL at no extra data charges. Rejoice in the Brisbane Broncos defeating the Canberra Raiders on their own home ground in Canberra on a cold winter's night. 

  12. Feel slightly sorry for your Canberra friends who support the Canberra Raiders and hate the Brisbane Broncos, because you are old enough to appreciate what loss feels like.  

  13. Write the 'recipe' and share a blog post hoping that those who read this will appreciate that I'm in a good mood writing this. Not only did the Brisbane Broncos defeat the Canberra Raiders this evening but on Wednesday evening, the Mighty XXXX Queensland Maroons defeated the Victoria Bitter NSW Blues. 

Recipe Notes

This is a very filling meal. if you live alone like me and if your eyes are bigger than your belly like me you'll eat it all in one go. Hopefully, you don't feel as uncomfortable as I do as I type these notes. 

If you support the Canberra Raiders, I hope you don't feel the loss for too long. 

Questions and answers

Why do you support the Brisbane Broncos if you live in Canberra?

I grew up in Brisbane and lived there from 1965 to 1995. I’m Brisbane born and bred. I exist in Canberra. I like Canberra and its residents, I just can’t stand the weather.

Why didn’t you make this meal from scratch?

Well apart from the potato gems, I could have but the whole point of Yummy Lummy is about cooking meals for one for people like me who live alone. Why go to so much trouble when you can buy most of it at a reasonable price and still have the enjoyment of cooking the meal more or less.

Is instant gravy okay to use?

Ideally, I’d make gravy from scratch mainly because the instant varieties are so salty and I guess have other flavouring components that may be more synthetic than natural.

Have you cooked instant mashed potato before?

No, this was my first time. I was pleasantly surprised that it tasted okay and the texture wasn’t too bad at all.

What’s your prediction for game three in the State of Origin series?

Well, I can’t make a prediction. I’m hopeless at that. I just hope the Mighty XXXX Queensland Maroons at Lang Park defeat the Victoria Bitter NSW Blues convincingly.

Social media

Please follow me on my food-based social media on TwitterFacebook, 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+

Gary Lum QR Code

Some other posts you might like to read

How to make a Garlo’s lean beef pie taste better

Cheesy chicken nuggets and potato gems

Delicious panko chicken thigh with avocado rice and potato gems