Recipes

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Food for Australia Day 2017

What did I eat on Australia Day 2017?

Before I get to today, I should mention what I did last night. I left work thinking about Australia Day 2017 and what it means for me. There were also thoughts about the chicken wings I had in the refrigerator.

I decided to go with something that would fill me with saturated fat. I had a bread roll which I split and put on the bottom of a large frying pan. On this, I spread some Vegemite and then added some grated Coon cheese. On top of this typically Australian combination, I put my chicken wings and added some more grated Coon cheese.

Cheesy chicken wings with vegemite and Coon cheese on 'fried' bread Australia Day 2017 Gary Lum
Cheesy chicken wings with vegemite and Coon cheese on ‘fried’ bread {click for a better view]

Breakfast

Overnight I had some weird dreams and as I woke from sleep I pondered breakfast. I decided I’d have something green and gold for Australia Day 2017, so I went with a piece of toast slathered in golden butter, covered in Vegemite and topped with a slice of Coon cheese. To this, I added a fried egg with a golden yolk and garnished with green spring onions. I put this on a green plate.

Australia day Vegemite and melted Coon cheese on toast with a fried egg Australia Day 2017 Gary Lum
Australia day Vegemite and melted Coon cheese on toast with a fried egg [click for a better view]

Lunch

For Australia Day 2017 lunch I had some lime and pepper chips, a Queensland mango and some lime green lime juice in a glass of water.

Happy Australia day 🇦🇺🌏 My idea of green and gold! Queensland mangoes and lime Australia Day 2017 Gary Lum
Happy Australia day 🇦🇺🌏 My idea of green and gold! Queensland mangoes and lime [click for a bigger view]

Favourite things about Australia

Did you know my favourite state is Queensland and my favourite territory is the Northern Territory of Australia?

Dinner

There is a bit of a commercial tradition for lamb, to be featured so I went with a rolled boneless lamb shoulder that was slowly cooked in the oven at 150 °C (302 °F) for 2½ hours covered with aluminium foil and then 30 minutes uncovered. I also cooked a couple of spuds and served it with some peas and corn for a bit of green and gold!

 

 

Australia Day Lamb shoulder roll with potatoes ready for the oven Australia Day 2017 Gary Lum
Australia Day Lamb shoulder roll with potatoes ready for the oven [click for a bigger view]
Australia day 🇦🇺🌏 Roast lamb shoulder with potato, pearl barley couscous and gravy Australia Day 2017 Gary Lum
Australia day 🇦🇺🌏 Roast lamb shoulder with potato, pearl barley couscous and gravy [click for a bigger view]

What did I do on Australia Day 2017?

This morning I went for a walk around Lake Ginninderra and had a coffee.

Lake Ginninderra Australia Day 2017 Gary Lum
Lake Ginninderra [click for a bigger view]
Then I got stuck into writing and recording a couple of podcast shows for next week.

What did you eat on Australia Day 2017?

Hopefully, you had a good day off if you’re here in Australia. If you live outside of Australia, I hope you had a good Republic Day if you’re Indian and a great 26 January for everyone else.

Parting words

I regularly post photographs of food to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Please feel free to connect with me on any social media platform.
Then there is also a podcast. It’s not food related but each show is short and it’s named Medical Fun Facts. You can find it in the iTunes podcast store as well as Stitcher. A show drops every Monday and Tuesday. It has a little cynicism, a little scepticism and occasionally some sarcasm.

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Curry prawns with pork beef mince balls

Curry prawns with pork beef mince balls for Sunday tea

Curry prawns were on my mind today after I realised, that last night when I cooked the scotch fillet steak, I forgot to add the prawns for a surf and turf steak sandwich.

I had some pork and beef mince (ground meat) in the refrigerator and I knew I could make enough to have leftovers for lunch at work this week.

 

 

 

What you need to make this meal

  • Raw peeled prawns (bought from Coles)
  • Pork/beef mince (500 g bought from Coles)
  • Thai red curry paste (2 tablespoons)
  • Coconut cream (1 × 375 mL tin)
  • Spring onions (1 small handful)
  • Onion (1 onion, sliced)
  • Peas, Corn and Capsicum (frozen, 2 small handfuls)
  • Lime zest and juice (1 lime)
  • Red quinoa and brown rice (1 packet, 250 g)
  • Tomato (1, diced)
  • Red chilli (1, sliced)
  • Jalapeño pepper (1, sliced)

How do you put it all together?

Mould the pork beef mince into small balls just bigger than human testicles (sorry, podcasting medical fun facts has got me confused, this is a cooking blog isn’t it?)

If you’ve never held human testes, mould the balls to a size a little smaller than table tennis (ping pong) balls.

Pork beef meat balls curry prawns Gary Lum
Pork beef meat balls [Click on the photograph for a full view]
Set the meaty balls aside

Get out a nice big wok

Cook the packet quinoa rice in the microwave oven for 90 seconds on high

Get the wok nice and hot

Add a little vegetable oil to your hot wok

Stir fry the onion, some of the spring onion and if you want it some garlic and ginger

Slowly and carefully add the balls to the wok and brown them off

Once the balls are mostly cooked through add the curry paste and get everything nicely covered in the paste’s flavours

Capsicum, Corn, Ginger, Jalapeño peppers, Marmalade, Onion, Peas, Red chillies, Spring onion, Tomatoes curry prawns Gary Lum
Capsicum, Corn, Ginger, Jalapeño peppers, Marmalade, Onion, Peas, Red chillies, Spring onion, Tomatoes [Click on the photo for a full view]
Add the following ingredients in this order

  1. chilli, jalapeño and tomato and stir,
  2. quinoa rice and stir everything thoroughly,
  3. the tin of coconut cream and bring the wok to a very gentle simmer,
  4. lime zest and lime juice,
  5. Peas, Corn and Capsicum and stir in, and
  6. prawns and keep stirring until they are cooked

Turn off the heat and transfer the curry to a bowl and garnish with the rest of the spring onions

Put the remainder of the curry into a plastic container and put it into the refrigerator

So how did it turn out?

Let me know what you think from the photograph.

Red curry prawns with pork beef meatballs with red quinoa and brown rice in coconut cream Gary Lum
Red curry prawns with pork beef meatballs with red quinoa and brown rice in coconut cream [Click on the photograph for a full image view]
The curry had a nice limey lummy tang with the spiciness of the curry and chillies.

The coconut cream nicely infused the meaty balls and prawns too.

 

All that said, tomorrow I’m fearing the burning ring of fire 
 

Parting words

I regularly post photographs of food to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Please feel free to connect with me on any social media platform.
I also have a podcast. It’s not food related but each show is short and it’s named Medical Fun Facts. You can find it in the iTunes podcast store as well as Stitcher. A show drops every Monday and Tuesday. It has a little cynicism, a little scepticism and occasionally some sarcasm.

Dijon mustard and chives crusted scotch fillet steak

Scotch fillet steak on a Saturday night is even better if it’s a steak sandwich

I watched a Nicko’s Kitchen video on YouTube recently on how to cook a perfect scotch fillet steak. My technique is slightly different in that I follow the Heston Blumenthal method of rapid flipping every fifteen to twenty seconds.

 

Anyway, I wanted a steak sandwich for dinner. I liked the way Nicko crusted his steak by using Dijon mustard and chopped chives. It looked very pretty. It also added a nice taste too. 

What you’ll need

Scotch fillet steak

Salt

Olive oil

Butter

Thyme

Chives

Dijon mustard

Cracked pepper

Lettuce

Tomato

Swiss cheese slices

Bread roll

Here’s what you do

Slice the bread roll into halves

Apply some Dijon mustard to the inside of each half

Add a slice of Swiss cheese

Put the bread under a grill for a few minutes to slightly melt the cheese

Remove some lettuce leaves and wash them

Slice the tomato and allow it to rest on some paper towel

Apple some pepper to one side of the tomato

The steak should have been in the refrigerator for about half a day at least uncovered

Take the steak out at least an hour before you’re ready to cook to get it to room temperature

Rub some olive oil all over the steak

Season the steak with salt

Get a pan smoking hot

Put the steak in the pan and flip every 15 to 20 seconds and cook until you like it

I like my steak rare

Add some thyme and a bit of butter and allow the butter to melt and the thyme to flavour the meat

Let the steak rest for at least 5 minutes

Coat one side of the steak with Dijon Mustard

Flip the steak over onto a plate of chopped chives and coat the steak

Scotch fillet steak with chives and Dijon mustard Gary Lum
Scotch fillet steak with chives and Dijon mustard [Click on the photograph for a full view]
Slice into the desired thickness

Prepare the steak sandwich with the bread roll and melted cheese

Enjoy a nice juicy steak sandwich

Scotch fillet steak with chives and Dijon mustard sandwich Gary Lum
Scotch fillet steak with chives and Dijon mustard sandwich [Click on the photo for a full view]

Parting words

I regularly post photographs of food to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Please feel free to connect with me on any social media platform.
I also have a podcast. It’s not food related but each show is short and it’s named Medical Fun Facts. You can find it in the iTunes podcast store as well as Stitcher. A show drops every Monday and Tuesday. It has a little cynicism, a little scepticism and occasionally some sarcasm.

Hot days! Roast chicken drumsticks and cheesy rice

Hot days in Canberra.

We’ve had daily maximum temperatures exceeding 35 °C for the last few days. It’s also been very dry with humidity mostly under 20%. Hot and dry is awful. I much prefer warm and moist. I’ve been running a humidifier in my living room to try to keep my skin from cracking. I really don’t like hot days. 

Keeping hot

So what do you do on a hot night? Turn on the often and roast some chicken drumsticks!

I didn’t have much choice. I’d bought three chicken drumsticks on Saturday morning and I didn’t like keeping them too long in the refrigerator.

I thought I would cook them on a bed of quinoa rice and use some asparagus and broccoli I had. For a little colour, I used up some cherry tomatoes and red chillies. I stuck it all together with some grated Coon cheese.

Ingredients

Three (3) Chicken drumsticks

Red quinoa and brown rice—1 packet

Gorgonzola cheese—2 tablespoons crumbled

Feta cheese—2 tablespoons crumbled

Coon cheese—1 small handful grated

Asparagus spears—small bundle cut coarsely

Broccolini—small bundle cut coarsely

Two (2) red chillies—sliced

Chilli flakes—1 teaspoon

How did I make this magnificent creation?

Cook the microwave red quinoa and brown rice according to the packet instructions.

In a large mixing bowl add the quinoa rice, three raw chicken drumsticks, a good slosh of olive oil, the Coon cheese, asparagus spears, broccoli, chilli flakes and curry powder.

Mix with oiled hands, separate out the chicken drumsticks and then form a mound in an oven-proof frying pan

Place the chicken drumsticks on top of the mound

Place the frying pan into an oven at 150 °C (300 °F) for 45 minutes

At 45 minutes remove the frying pan and crumble over the top the Gorgonzola and feta cheese

Put back into the oven for 5 minutes

Remove from the oven and plate up

Picture perfect!

Well, not quite. I should have done something to avoid the shadow in the top left of the bowl. Click here for a larger version to see the detail.

Hot days. Hot hot hump day dinner. Roasted chicken drumsticks on spicy crispy cheesy quinoa rice. Gary Lum
Hot hot hump day dinner. Roasted chicken drumsticks on spicy crispy cheesy quinoa rice.

How did it taste?

The rice was crunchy and cheesy. The chicken was nicely cooked. It was pretty filling. The Gorgonzola cheese really added a distinctive flavour too. 👍👍

When Twitter confounds @NotQuiteNigella

On Sunday, Lorraine Elliott, aka, NotQuiteNigella, posted about “Salmon and Bear” in Zetland.

Her first food photograph on that NotQuiteNigella post (apart from a photograph of a deer mounted on a wall) was a salmon burger. I managed to beat all the fans of NQN and get the first comment in and mentioned I would make a salmon burger.

Well yesterday, I was thinking of said salmon burger. Being Monday and being a salmon day I pondered the burger and all the yeasty foods I’d enjoyed over the weekend. Should I go with more bread or just salmon and a salad?

Ask Twitter and your questions will be answered

So I asked Twitter. Salmon burger or salmon salad?

 


 

I received a 3:1 response, salad over a burger. It was also a three women to one man response with the bloke from England suggesting I make a salmon burger.

This is the link to the full Twitter conversation Have a read

Well, last night I made a quick and simple salmon salad.

Salmon and mango avocado limey lummy salad Gary Lum
Salmon and mango avocado limey lummy salad

Salmon burger

Tonight I still had a piece of salmon, so a burger it is.

Because my bread roll was three days old I thought I should toast it, and rather than just shoving it into my little benchtop oven for a browning, I put some olive oil into a frying pan, heated it up and then liberally coated one side of the bread roll with warm oil. I then took both halves off and allowed them to cool while I cleaned off the frying pan.

Lash that roll

Then I applied a good lashing of garlic aioli to each half of the bread roll. On the bottom half I then added some rings of red onion.

Fill the hole in the roll

I then built the sandwich with the salmon that I’d baked for 13 minutes at 200 °C in my benchtop oven, some crispy iceberg lettuce and a couple of slices of vine ripened tomato.

I added a pinch of curry powder to the tomato as well as a good grinding of black pepper.

Which is better?

The burger of course. What could be better than a burger?

Baked salmon burger with lettuce, curry tomato, red onion, and aioli Gary Lum
Baked salmon burger with lettuce, curry tomato, red onion, and aioli

Can anyone tell me what a quoll tastes like?

Do Canberra quolls taste better?

I wonder what Canberra quolls taste like on a toasted ham, cheese, and tomato roll with Dijon mustard Gary Lum
I wonder what Canberra quolls taste like on a toasted ham, cheese, and tomato roll with Dijon mustard

What do you think of when you see the word pussy?

 

Last night’s podcast was on pus. Go on, have a listen. Let me know what you think. You can also read it on the blog

 

Prawn and scallop sandwich

Prawn and scallop sandwich on a warm summer evening

I was inspired this morning to make this prawn and scallop sandwich after watching Quirky Katie Quinn on her YouTube channel. She was sharing her experience of a Po’ Boy in New Orleans. 

Katie Quinn

I’ve been following Katie for a few years and always enjoyed her stories. Katie was sharing where to get a good Po’ Boy in New Orleans with her BF Connor. 

Is this a Po’ Boy?

Now I’m not suggesting for a moment that I’ve made a Po’ Boy. I really don’t have a good enough grasp of American culinary history to suggest that I could replicate something like that. Instead, I figured I could just sautée some prawns and scallops and put it into a baguette with some lettuce, tomato and garlic aioli. 

Prawn and scallop sandwich with tomato and lettuce and garlic aioli Gary Lum
Prawn and scallop sandwich with tomato and lettuce and garlic aioli

I noticed in Katie’s video that the prawns and oysters were crumbed and deep fried. I’d love to do that but I’m too lazy and sautéing in butter is good enough for me. 

Did you know scallops have blue eyes?

I did eat this with some regret. A year or so ago, my friend Jennifer who blogs ate Little Monster Girl mentioned she doesn’t eat scallops because, amongst other things, they have blue eyes. You can search for scallop eyes in Google and check it out. I said to Jennifer I’d refrain from eating scallops but I couldn’t help myself today when I saw them in the display cabinet at the delicatessen section at Coles.

How did the sandwich taste?

As you’d expect, seafood, fresh bread, crispy lettuce and fresh tomato. What more could you want? It tasted great. 

Parting words

I regularly post photographs of food to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Please feel free to connect with me on any social media platform.
I also have a podcast. It’s not food related but each show is short and it’s named Medical Fun Facts. You can find it in the iTunes podcast store as well as Stitcher. A show drops every Monday and Tuesday. It has a little cynicism, a little scepticism and occasionally some sarcasm.

 

 

Augmenting duck fat with pyramid power

Do you remember when pyramid power was all the rage?

You’d go to The Ekka in Brisbane or any of the other shows, fairs, and fetes; and someone would be trying to flog the enormous health and financial benefits of pyramid power by sitting in a pyramid or storing your valuables in a pyramid. Apparently, pyramid power can sharpen your razors too. Somehow, the wealth and the alleged immortality of the pharaohs would rub off on you if you used pyramids in your life. What a load of rubbish. The pharaohs died and their wealth wasted. They should have shared the wealth amongst their people to enrich their society.

Quackery

It all fits in with the general quackery we see today and the charlatans who are trying to rip people off with unproven and unscientific treatments. What’s worse is when con artists trick you out of your money by applying a veneer of science to their deception. I see it regularly and it makes my blood boil. The amount of money these people demand to treat you is ridiculous. I came across one today which offers a payment plan linked to a credit company so your payment totalling thousands of dollars can be made weekly or monthly. I wonder what the interest rate is.

Power pyramid of chicken drumsticks with duck fat potato Gary Lum pyramid power
Power pyramid of chicken drumsticks with duck fat potato

Entrepreneurial spirit

That said, with an entrepreneurial spirit I wonder if I could make money that way?

Just imagine, I could sell a three-sided pyramid made from chicken drumsticks as a super pyramid that meant anything cooked within would taste better and be better for you. It would be the ultimate in wellness and healthfulness. Turkey drumsticks would be better and goose drumsticks better again. After all, bigger is better. For a family feast, can you imagine using three drumsticks from emus and cassowaries? My version of a turducken would be cooking something under the concentric three sides of a pyramid made with turkey, duck and chicken drumsticks. Nine legs have to be better than three right! And three squared is nine and we all know that squaring something adds power.

Orgasmic, multiorgasmic even

I give you my life giving, life saving, life maintaining, life-sustaining duck fat roast potatoes made with pyramid power. A three-sided chicken drumstick pyramid to be precise. Eating these spuds laden in saturated duck fat will give you a longer better healthful life and better sex with amazing orgasms. Hang on, I should add the word organic because that’s what the confidence trick is all about. When people add organic to the name of a food they must really mean it will be orgasmic because really, organic means it contains carbon, as in organic chemistry. Think of that, you can have orgasmic chemistry!!! That would have been much more interesting to study at high school and university. You could write romance novels about couples with orgasmic chemistry!

Power pyramid of chicken drumsticks with duck fat potato Gary Lum pyramid power
Power pyramid of chicken drumsticks with duck fat potato

Carbon is good

It’s remarkable that people mistakenly believe carbon is bad when it’s the basis for life on earth as we know it. When did some moron determine that carbon dioxide (CO2) could be shortened to simply carbon? Even worse is the shortening of “carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and perfluorocarbons” to just carbon. It’s idiotic. What are people being taught in school these days?

So to cure erectile dysfunction and to help achieve longer multiple orgasms, I recommend “organic pyramid power spuds, roasted in duck fat and cooked under three chicken drumsticks shaped into a three-sided super pyramid”.

Pyramid power check list

☑ Better health

☑ Longer life

☑ Better cardiovascular fitness

☑ Better memory

☑ Better endurance and stamina

☑ Higher intelligence

☑ Greater attractiveness to those of your sexual orientation

☑ Better sex including better orgasms


So, anyway, whatevs. Here’s my dinner. Three chicken drumsticks, a spud roasted in duck fat, and some avocado with chillies and spring onion in it.

Power pyramid of chicken drumsticks with duck fat potato and pickled chilli avocado Gary Lum pyramid power
Power pyramid of chicken drumsticks with duck fat potato and pickled chilli avocado

Sorry, I should have wrapped this entire blog post with facetiousness tags <facetious> </facetious> And please note the disclaimer on this blog about medical advice. I do not have a doctor-patient relationship with you. My cynicism, scepticism and sarcasm are all my own 

 

If you’re a purveyor of, or believer in mindless, baseless, maleficent confidence trickery, I’m sorry for hurting your feelings. Feel free to leave a comment.


Parting words

I regularly post photographs of food to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Please feel free to connect with me on any social media platform.
I also have a podcast. It’s not food related but each show is short and it’s named Medical Fun Facts. You can find it in the iTunes podcast store as well as Stitcher. A show drops every Monday and Tuesday. It has a little cynicism, a little scepticism and occasionally some sarcasm.

 

Salmon ramen noodle curry

The thought process behind the Salmon ramen noodle curry

I started back at work today (Tuesday 03 January 2017) after some time off over the CNY break. I had some fresh salmon in the refrigerator and at about lunch time I began the usual process of wondering what I might cook for dinner. A ramen noodle dish began to emerge. 

I knew in the “shelf of shame” there was some coconut milk as well as some 3-minute noodles. In the refrigerator I had some asparagus and broccoli stalks for greens. To add some spice I had some pickled red and green chillies that I’d prepared on the weekend.

What could be easier than dicing the salmon with a sharp knife and making a simple meal for one.

The cooking process

I cooked the 3-minute ramen noodles by opening a packet into a bowl, emptying the flavour sachet and adding boiling water from a kettle. I stirred that around with a pair of chopsticks for a few minutes and then drained the ramen noodles.

I added the drained ramen noodles into an oiled (I use relatively cheap Coles brand olive oil) frying pan and turned up the heat constantly stirring so the noodles wouldn’t stick. After the noodles began to dry out a little and take on some colour, I added a small tin of coconut milk and kept stirring. My preferred stirring tool is a pair of chopsticks. They are perfect for stirring. I heard Matt Preston criticise wooden spoons recently in favour of silicon spatulas on the basis of hygiene. I hope he’s not critical of wooden chopsticks.

To the ramen noodles and coconut milk, I added the greens and the chillies and brought the liquid to a gentle simmer. Don’t bring it to a rolling (aka roiling) boil, you don’t want to split the coconut milk.

Once the liquid is simmering gently, added the diced salmon. Stir everything gently and keep simmering for about 5 minutes. By then the fish will be mostly cooked.

 

 

If you are carbohydrate loading, you could serve this on some red quinoa and brown rice but I think I carbohydrate peaked over the CNY break.

If you want, you can garnish with anything suitable. I used some spring onion I had in the refrigerator.

Salmon and ramen noodles curry with broccoli stalks and asparagus Gary Lum
Salmon and ramen noodles curry with broccoli stalks and asparagus

Social media

I regularly post food photographs to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If you have friends stuck for ideas on cooking meals for one, please let them know about Yummy Lummy, that’s me!

And now for something completely different!

If you’re sitting on the toilet and want something of short duration to listen to, why not check out Medical Fun Facts. You can find it in the iTunes podcast store. MFF is also on Stitcher so if you have an Android device, download the Stitcher app from the Google Play store and enjoy the show. I drop a show every Monday and Thursday evening at about 7 pm Canberra time (UTC+11 during DLS and UTC+10 from the first Sunday of April until the first Sunday of October).

 

Oven baked mince…sure it’s a thing 😂

So for dinner tonight I had 250 grams of regular beef mince. I was going to make a curry with coconut milk, some greens and serve it with red quinoa and brown rice. 
But then I changed my mind and had a hankering for some fried bread. 
I got a big handful of regular beef mince and mixed in some olive oil, a beaten egg, grated Coon cheese, chopped pickled jalapeño peppers, chilli flakes and Worcestershire sauce. I flattened out the meat on a piece of bread in a frying pan and then put it into a hot oven (200 °C) for 45 minutes. I served it with some broccoli. 

Mince on toast. It will become a big burger on fried toast. Gary Lum
Mince on toast. It will become a big burger on fried toast.

Do you like my pathology tea towel? It’s great, isn’t it? 

Happy new year. Oven baked mince on fried toast with broccoli. Gary Lum
Happy new year. Oven baked mince on fried toast with broccoli.

Sorry, the broccoli is a bit fuzzy. I was focussing on the corner of the meat and bread closest to the camera.