Category Archives: Food
I posted about a month ago about my love for lobster rolls, with a little international tour of some of the lobster rolls I have had in Melbourne, London and Singapore. I left a little taster at the end saying I would post a recipe for my version of lobster rolls for you to try and here I am keeping my promise.
I’ve made this recipe a couple of times now and each time it’s turned out incredibly well. I recommend playing around with the flavours a little too; cayenne makes a great addition and you could maybe use lime instead of lemon juice and garnish with avocado. The great thing about making it yourself is that you get to put whatever you want in it and eat it like no one is watching you. If you can’t find lobster meat or don’t have the time to dissect a whole lobster to get the meat from it, I recommend using crayfish tails.
Make sure the rolls are piping hot when you serve them because it really makes a nice contrast between the cold lobster mixture and the hot brioche.
Lucy’s Lobster Rolls
4 brioche finger rolls
100-200 g lobster meat (cooked and cooled)
Juice from half a lemon
2 Tbsp full fat mayonnaise
tsp chopped chives, plus extra for garnish (see tip)
pinch of salt
cayenne pepper to taste
- Heat oven to 150˚ Slice a slit in the brioche buns, about 3cm deep and place them on baking tray and cover with tin foil. Put in the oven for 10-15 mins (or until they are heated right through).
- In a bowl, mix lobster meat, lemon juice, mayonnaise and chives. Leave to stand for 10 minutes and then add seasoning.
- Working quickly, take the brioche out of the oven and carefully fill each roll to bursting with the lobster mixture.
- Sprinkle chopped chives over the top of the filled rolls and enjoy while hot! Serve with skinny fries and a side salad.
TIP: snip the chives with scissors so that they retain their shape and don’t bruise
I’m going to be posting a (hopefully) exciting life update in the next few weeks… Just waiting to hear back about a couple of things before I’m ready to share it with everyone. Watch this space.
Experience Life | Create Adventure
Some of you who know me, or follow me on social media may have been alerted to a little obsession of mine. And when I say alerted, I mean I’ve been somewhat forcing it down your throat since the summer.
This obsession, however, goes back a little way, probably to my Melbourne days when Schupp and I visited the Royal Croquet Club – a pop up garden party on the Yarra River which took place last summer. The Club is advertised as a social club, performance venue and sports venue. It takes place in the open air and has an interesting vibe with workers from the CBD, Hipsters and foodies all combined under the Melbourne summer sky. Different restaurants from around Melbourne take it in turns to run pop up kitchens at the Club.
One such pop up restaurant is responsible for my introduction to lobster rolls, Mr Claws. Now, looking at social media, it appears that Mr Claws are only running pop up events now, but happily, they seem to be doing them at some of my favourite places in Melbourne, including Huxtaburger. If you hear of them popping up anywhere near you, go along and have a try – a word of warning though – you’ll need a couple of them to fill you up!
The Royal Croquet Club returns to Melbourne on 10th December 2015 and will be there until 20th December 2015.
Fast forward to summer in London. I have been working for Thermomix in the commercial business unit, which happily involves selling Thermomix machines to restaurants around the UK. The name ‘Burger and Lobster’ kept cropping up, so we decided to go and visit and see what all of the fuss is about.
The basic concept of Burger & Lobster is that there are three items on the menu – a burger, a lobster or a lobster roll; each served with chips, a salad and a delicious buttery sauce all for £20. I’m not the sort of person who wants to work for my food, and I can’t eat beef so the lobster roll was the obvious choice and I certainly did not regret it. The brioche is incredible and the succulent lobster meat is dressed in chives and mayonnaise or something equally as delicious.
Smack Lobster is just down the road from the Soho Burger & Lobster, it’s actually a branch of the same company so you can get the same roll as from its sister restaurant for £10 less. The roll also comes in 5 different varieties, although the Classic is still my favourite. They also do a great lobster chowder which complements the meal perfectly. This is actually my favourite place for lobster rolls as the atmosphere is really chilled and if you go at the right time you can get a good seat and don’t have to queue to order.
In October 2015 I visited Singapore with my whole family for my cousin’s wedding. Unfortunately I was ill for what seemed like the whole week and much of the food available in the evenings was so greasy and full of oil that it turned my stomach. However, once I started to feel better I did some research online about places to find lobster rolls in Singapore and by process of elimination; I found the one closest to our hotel on Sentosa was at a place called The Cove, which was also on Sentosa. The Cove is a selection of restaurants around a beautiful marina which is apparently very popular with local ex-pats.
Quayside Fish Bar & Bistro was visited on a recommendation from ladyironchef.com. The lobster roll was good, but a little on the pricey side. The brioche was slightly dry and not as buttery as I would have liked and the herbs used in aioli that dresses the lobster didn’t have the classic lobster roll taste that I love. The truffle fries it came with though were delicious. However, at SD$49 (£25) it was pretty pricey.
We also tested out a place called Spathe Public House in Singapore which was the single most Hipster place I have ever been to (bearing in mind that I have been to Shoreditch). Their menu was incredibly quirky and did feature a twist on the lobster roll in the form of the Signature Black Bun Lobster Burger. It included a whole lobster tail, hash brown, avocado and braised tomatoes. It was incredibly difficult to eat and the bun was slightly dry but apart from that I enjoyed it and it was certainly different to anything I’ve had before. Add some cheese in there and it would have been a solid 9/10.
Worth checking out as well is Spathe’s Mammoth Signatures – the are pretty impressive ‘sharing platters’ they’re not really your usual sharing platters though – it’s incredibly imaginative. Their desserts are also cool but huge, so I would recommend sharing them.
Thus concludes my run down of my lobster roll experience. Why do I love them so much? The combination of brioche, mayonnaise, chives and succulent lobster meat is just mind blowing. I’ve also created my own take on lobster rolls, so watch out for that recipe which I hope to post in the next couple of weeks (I’ll never promise anything because my track record of uploading posts is fairly poor).
Let me know of any great lobster rolls you’ve had and I’ll be sure to check them out.
Experiencing Life | Creating Adventure
Australia Day is the national holiday of the Australian people. The day marks the anniversary of the first British ships arriving to Australia in 1788 and landing at Port Jackson in New South Wales, and has been celebrated since the early 1800’s.
Today, Australia Day is a celebration of all things Australian, including the diverse people and landscape that this country is so proud of. The public holiday is marked by gatherings and parties everywhere, where traditional dishes along with some new and modern takes on old classics are consumed en masse.
For my first ever Australia Day, I have been invited to a fellow Pom’s house for an all-day party/barbeque and thought this was a fabulous opportunity to showcase my cooking skills with my versions of popular Australian dishes.
The Cob was first introduced to me when I was in Australia as a child and my aunt made a cob dip for a barbeque we were having. The cob is a round rustic loaf, filled with a dip or soup, generally served at parties. We loved it so much that my mum got the recipe from her and we’d managed to wow many friends at different English barbeques we went to, who had never really seen cobs before. For my first Christmas in Australia, Erin’s mum made the most delicious cob with spinach and water chestnuts which Erin and I pretty much took on single-handedly. At a party just after New Year’s Eve, another cob appeared, this time, with a very creamy consistency, but I was unable to try it as it had bacon in it. Since then, I have been desperate to try making my own cob.
For my Australia Day Cob, you will need…
1 reasonably large cob loaf
500 g cream cheese (Woollies own brand is particularly good)
4 Spring onions, diced
80 g grated Tasty cheese (or Cheddar, if you’re not Australian)
30 g chopped fresh mozzarella
Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
- It is best to prepare the dip the day before the party to allow it to mature in the fridge overnight. Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix with a metal spoon. If you would like a thicker dip, leave it as it is, but if you’d like it to be creamier, add 50 ml of milk and mix in well.
- Place the bowl in the fridge overnight.
- Carefully cut the top off the cob and set aside. Hollow out the cob with your hands and shred the insides into small pieces. These pieces can either be set aside and served fresh with the dip, or they can be crisped up in the oven.
- Add the dip to the hollowed out cob, place the top on and wrap in tin foil. Bake at 200°C for 2 hours.
- Remove from oven and serve on a chopping board. As the dip goes down and the bread from the middle runs out, guests can begin to rip the sides from the cob, therefore meaning very little washing up.
Vegemite is something all Australian children seem to be brought up on, along with Weetbix and Milo (whatever that is). I got the idea for my next creation from some of the bakeries over here which produce a sort of Chelsea bun type roll, but with Vegemite and cheese instead. However, I always think these look so huge that you couldn’t consume them at a party as you’d be full almost instantly. I had made pinwheels using puff pastry in the past, but making bread dough is much less time-consuming than making puff pastry, so I used this as my base.
400 g strong white flour
2 sachets of dry fast action yeast
3 tsp sugar
60 g vegetable oil
240 ml warm water
½ tsp salt
50 – 70 g Vegemite
250 g Tasty cheese (or Cheddar)
- Place flour, yeast, sugar and vegetable oil into a bowl. Using your hands, rub the flour and oil together to make breadcrumbs. Add the salt and mix with a spoon.
- Add the warm water – I tend to use about half, mix and then add the other half. Begin mixing using a wooden spoon and then your hands. Once all of the dough is combined, tip out onto a floured surface and knead the dough for about 8 minutes until smooth and elastic. Leave to rise until doubled in size.
- Cut the risen dough in half and form two rectangular shapes. Roll each out into oblongs, about 6 mm thick. Spread each oblong with Vegemite (depending on the thickness you want it), then sprinkle evenly with cheese.
- Roll the oblong from the longest side, so that it becomes a long, thin sausage shape. Wrap in cling film and place in the freezer. Do the same with the second oblong. Do not forget about your tastymite sausages as they will be rock solid when you eventually remember them. The reason for putting them in the freezer is to firm them up so that they stay in a coin shape when they are cut. Cut each coin about a centimetre wide and lay on baking paper, on a baking tray.
- Spray or brush with olive oil. Bake at 190°C for 10-15 minutes. Keep an eye on them and take them out of the oven as soon as they begin to go brown. Leave to cool and then peel off the parchment.
Both of these recipes turned out very well and I’m sure they’ll be a hit at the party. Let me know in the comments if you decide to give them a go. Each recipe takes less than an hour to make and couldn’t be easier. They’re also cheap – all of the ingredients for both recipes together cost less than $25.
Happy Australia Day!
One of my favourite things to do in Melbourne is to go for breakfast. This is not only because it provides a great social aspect to start my day, but also due to the incredible standard of breakfast food in this city. There are Instagram accounts devoted to how good breakfast in Melbourne is; accounts which get hundreds of likes on each photo they post because the breakfast quite literally looks that good. I am becoming a breakfast-picture-blogger.
Avocado smash is something that is incredibly popular – or just avocados in general. It’s essentially just smashed up avocados with feta, and each Melbourne restaurant seems to have its own little twist on it. When I first arrived in Melbourne and was still living in Camberwell, Erin and I went to a sweet little café called Collective Espresso, and there I had my first introduction to Avocado smash. The café itself is, like all Melbourne cafes, giving off that ‘we don’t care, but really do’ rustic vibe. The flowers are kept in old jars, and the water is served to you in old Hendricks Gin bottles. I must say, the food was pretty good; well-presented and very tasty. The menu could cater a little better to vegetarians, and the food could have been served faster, but we were there at brunch time on a Sunday, so it made sense that it was slow. I’d rate them at a 7/10.
When I moved to Darling, we discovered a café called Little Chloe, about a stone’s throw away from my house, which I took Dayna and Stef to in order to cure our hangovers. It was back when we barely knew each other, but had spent the previous day day-drinking copious amounts of wine. Little Chloe’s provided the perfect hangover remedy. The menu caters for everyone, and you can request for extras to be added to or taken away from your food so that it’s exactly how you want it. By the looks of our food, we each made good choices. I picked the buttermilk pancake stack with lemon curd with passion fruit, pears and pumpkin seeds. I’m usually a fan of savoury breakfasts but this was a fantastic choice.
On my second visit to Little Chloe, I sampled the smoked salmon on potato rosti with mango and green tea chutney, smashed avocado, pomegranate and poached egg. This meal was so good that I had it on my third visit too. I would happily recommend anything from this menu and am only sad now to be moving away from Darling as I will no longer be able to visit the quaint little café without undertaking a 30 minute train journey. 9/10 for both food and atmosphere.
I was introduced to A Thousand Blessings Organic Café in Richmond by my new housemate, Lauren who took me there the morning after one of our late night work finishes. She said that I absolutely had to try ‘Love’s Feast’, which is Tasty Cheese on sour dough toast with avocado smash and poached eggs (see, I told you avocado smash was big in Melbourne!). The dish is also normally served with bacon, but as I can’t eat meat I opted for it without. I think the dish would probably be much better with the bacon as it seemed just a little bit bland without it.
The second time I went there, I had smoked salmon scrambled eggs with goats cheese on grain toast. This dish was pretty good and quite unusual as all of the ingredients (other than the bread) were scrambled together in a pan and then dumped artfully on the toast, sprinkled with the signature micro herbs. I can thoroughly recommend the fresh juices made on site, which can revitalise in the mornings or just refresh you on muggy Melbourne day. The café is always busy, which shows just how good it is, and the atmosphere is comfortable and friendly. 8/10 for food, 9/10 for service and atmosphere.
Another place Lauren has introduced me to is the Kettle Black, in South Melbourne. This was probably my favourite atmosphere out of all the places I’ve mentioned as it was light and airy, using lots of white and green in its décor with light brown wooden furniture and making great use of the huge windows, making the whole place full of light. The clean pallet with plants and herbs hanging off the walls and potted on shelves makes for a relaxing and calming environment in which to eat breakfast.
I ordered what is quite possibly the most beautiful dish on the menu; ricotta hotcake with blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, double cream, mixed seeds and micro-herbs. I thought there was a misprint on the menu when I read ‘hotcake’ singular; surely they must mean ‘hotcakes’. But no, this was a bowl filled with a delicious light and fluffy hotcake covered in colour and texture; a feast for the eyes. It was, in short, delicious and the presentation was beautiful. I accompanied it with a green juice which, cut through the sweetness of the berries beautifully. There is also the regular selection of coffees and pressed juices. The Kettle Black is a 10/10 and a must if you’re in Melbourne either permanently or just for a few days.
There are so many breakfast places in Melbourne that I am yet to discover, but I’m hoping I can fit some more in. In the meantime, I’m sure my Instagram feed will continue to be filled with images from these beautiful places and I can have food-envy until I am able to visit again. If you have any Melbourne breakfast spots you think I should visit, let me know in the comments below!
Experience Life | Create Adventure
I spent so much of my last post talking about food that I thought it was time to revert back to what I used to want to write a blog about. I have therefore created a Food section on my website where I will post recipes of things I have made with my new adaption attitude and reviews of food I eat if I have enough money to eat out ever again. I will still be posting in my travel section, but I cook more than I travel at the moment, so it might be easier for me to post items about food. Ok, you catch my drift.
In the spirit of adaption, I caught the train to Erin’s house last week on the promise that she was going to cook us dinner. When I arrived I was incredibly hungry, having not eaten since breakfast. What I was greeted with was a hyperactive Erin and a glass of Shiraz and no dinner. Erin had bought the ingredients and in true Ready, Steady, Cook fashion, had placed them on the side in a carrier bag for me to then come up with a method of cooking them.
It seems a fair trade; Erin buys the food and I make the food. My inner control freak was delighted that I would be the one cooking. My inner control freak was also cursing that I hadn’t been there when the items were purchased, but the chefs on Ready, Steady, Cook have to put up with that all the time.
The bag contained the following ingredients:
– Bok Choy
– Mixed capsicum (pepper)
– Red onion
– Bean sprouts
– Bean sprouts
– Coconut Milk
Now this may seem like a fairly generous choice of food, but in my hungry state, all recipes I have made before went out of my brain. Erin insisted on a Thai-style dinner. Stir-fry seemed like the best option. Luckily, Erin’s housemates were able to oblige with a series of sauces, as well as Asian cooking utensils (massive chop sticks).
Erin also had some quinoa and rice, so she decided to make a coconut rice type dish, which was interesting. Perhaps we’ll try a different method of cooking rice next time.
Another thing I will note is that I have no method of measuring these things, so it’s all fairly random… That’s actually the best way to cook.
Apologies in advance that this recipe is essentially a random train of thought from my brain.
thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, crushed or finely sliced
clove of garlic, minced or finely sliced
crushed or minced fresh chillies, plus extra to garnish
tsp oyster sauce
4 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 fillets snapper with optional herbed crust
½ red onion
½ packet of mixed chopped capsicum (peppers)
1 bok choy
2 handfuls of bean sprouts
3 handfuls of rice and quinoa mix
1 mini can of coconut milk
- Preheat oven to about 180°C. Mix the soy and oyster sauce, olive oil, chilli, ginger and garlic together. Leave to marinade.
- Chop the red onion roughly and check the capsicum pieces to make sure they are bite sized. One of the biggest errors people make when they cook stir-fry (or any vegetable really) is over-cooking, most vegetables don’t actually need to be cooked and their nutritional value begins to decrease the longer they are cooked. In the instance of stir-fry, what you should do is make sure they are hot when they are served, but still crunchy. This way you’ll get the best taste and texture. Anyway, don’t cook them yet, just chop them.
- Boil some water (however much you usually do, you’re not idiots and I didn’t have any measuring implements) and the coconut milk together – I would add some seasoning, Erin didn’t. Put the rice in the water coconut mixture and let it go crazy for 30 minutes or until done
- The snapper Erin bought came with a crust for you to add to it. That’s quite straight forward – you sprinkle the crust over the snapper and then put it in the oven for about 15 minutes. However, given the choice, I would do snapper parcels (this is the best way to cook any flakey fish: use a square of baking paper and sprinkle it with smoked paprika, chopped shallot, salt and pepper. Lay the fillet over the top and then add a pinch more salt. Fold the paper up so that it covers the fish but steam can be released out of the edges. Place each parcel in the oven for around 15 minutes, depending on the type of fish you are using, some fish are better if they are underdone, but if you do this make sure they are fresh fillets). Heat the plates in the oven for 2 minutes prior to everything being ready.
- Once the fish has been in the oven for let’s say, 7 minutes, start to heat your wok. This is where the awesome massive chopsticks come in. Add your marinated mixture to the wok. Once it is hot, add the peppers (because peppers actually taste nice when they are not raw). In quick succession, add the remaining vegetables and stir them with your giant chopsticks, ensuring that the marinade is evenly coating the vegetables. Please do not cook these for longer than two minutes or the amazing fresh taste will be ruined an no one will eat them.
- If you are a genius, everything should be ready at the same time. Remove the heated plates and the snapper from the oven (use a tea towel or an oven mitt because you are not Daenerys Targaryen, Mother of Dragons). Drain any remaining fluid from the rice and then divide it equally between the plates, distribute the vegetables between the plates and then place the snapper on top of your rice/vegetable mountain. Sprinkle with fresh red chillies.
- Serve with soy sauce as a garnish too, because some people just love salt.
Apologies for the quality of photos in the post – I hadn’t thought about uploading these to the blog when I took them. I promise the next foodie photos will be good.
I actually enjoyed being creative on the spot and everything is better with good wine and good company. The meal turned out very well, and we enjoyed ourselves. The portions were slightly too big for us I think – too much coconut rice – so you could leave out the rice and add more vegetables, or just do less rice; you know how much rice you usually make, so that’s a good place to start.
If you enjoyed this post and want more like it, please let me know. Don’t forget to like and share on Twitter and/or Facebook. Don’t forget to enjoy yourself.
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