Category Archives: February

Dinner and dessert: a day of cooking highs and lows

It was a usual kind of Tuesday. In the morning, B2 and B4 took a drive with me to visit my mum. We came home mid afternoon so I could begin dinner preparations.

Recipe number two is Smoked salmon & pea risoni with coriander mojo. 

delicious. magazine Feb 2007: Issue 57, p 80

Smoked salmon & pea risoni with coriander mojo

Smoked salmon & pea risoni with coriander mojo

Now for a confession. Back in 2007 I actually made this recipe. At the time it ticked all the boxes, so I was happy to be able to make it again under the excuse of my delicious year.

It’s not a cheap meal, as anyone who lingers over the hot and cold smoked salmon section of the supermarket hoping for specials and mark-downs, will know. I actually paid $9.99 for 150g of hot smoked salmon. The recipe called for two 175g portions. I ended up buying two 150g portions (costing $19.98 – don’t tell Mr Picky Palette!) and it was plenty.

The highs? It was delicious! As delicious as I remember it being. Serve it at room temperature. It has that delicious zing that the combination of garlic, lemon, fresh herbs and chilli give a dish. Mr Picky Palette announced he wanted more (his way of complimenting me), but I reminded him of his comment to me when I started this blog “I better not get fat while you do this!” You won’t if you don’t have seconds dear. It also made a lot of food. The recipe serves 4 – 6 but that is 4 – 6 good size serves. Yay for leftovers!

The lows? Sitting on the floor spoon-feeding B2 and B4 whilst bribing them with the promise of being able to watch ABC3 as I shoved each mouthful into them. Initially, upon seeing what was for dinner, B4 ran screaming from the room yelling “I’m never eating dinner ever, ever, ever again!” (as you do when you’re 4 and your mother serves you green stuff). B2’s initial response was more promising “Mmmm yummy prawns”. Yep, not prawns mate! He then proceeded to NOT eat it until I sat him on my lap and clapped like a crazed woman every time he took a small mouthful. Yay! That lasted for two spoonfuls. Not yay!

So grownups, if you like hot smoked salmon, you like coriander, you like pasta, you like a quick dinner, make it! Thanks to the interweb thingo, you can find the recipe here.

I’ll save the highs and lows of dessert for another time…

X Bree

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Getting fishy with Rick Stein

When you think Rick Stein, you automatically think seafood. He really is the godfather of seafood in my eyes.

Ever since I developed my passion for all things food, Rick Stein has been a big part of this love affair. A kind of foodie crush, but not in a kissy kissy kind of way. More like a relationship of respect for his ability to cook something just plucked from the ocean and transform it into something delicious with a few simple ingredients.

So recipe number one (drum roll please) is Chargrilled snapper with mango, prawn & chilli salsa. Yum right? Well here is where it all went wrong…

  1. Usually excellent local fishmonger didn’t have the delicious snapper with skin-on that I was looking for. Very average alternative fish selected. My mistake!
  2. I should have known right from the start that Mr Picky Palette would protest eating a meal that included both sweet (mango) and savoury (avocado). In principle, in my opinion, this would be a fabulous pairing, especially with the inclusion of chilli (we are big fans!). However, my mistake was selecting a rather average mango. Had it been one of those luscious, juicy, ripe ones that they use in those large supermarket chain ads proclaiming “we’re the freshest supermarket in the whole world” then it would have transformed the dish into that beautiful combination of sweet and savoury that actually works. Needless to say, Mr Picky Palette’s feedback on this recipe is not printable! It went along the lines of “don’t ever make that again”.

The salsa recipe calls for cooked green prawns. Huh? Don’t ya just mean cooked prawns? Anyway, I bought green prawns and cooked them in a good knob of butter and a pinch of salt and they were a delicious addition to the salsa. You could easily just buy your prawns cooked and slice them thickly.

In summary, this is a simple, quick and healthy recipe which I will definately attempt again with a few minor adjustments and more chilli!

Chargrilled snapper with a mango, prawn & chilli salsa

Chargrilled snapper with a mango, prawn & chilli salsa

Chargrilled snapper with a mango, prawn & chilli salsa

delicious. magazine Jan/Feb 2002: Issue 2, p 62

Serves 4

4 x 175g pieces of uncooked snapper fillet*

Extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Coriander sprigs, to garnish


2 large medium-hot red chillies

100g peeled, cooked green prawns, thickly sliced

4 spring onions, thinly sliced

1 small garlic clove, finely chopped

1 ripe but firm avocado, peeled, cut into small dice

1/2 ripe but firm mango, peeled, cut into small dice

Juice of 1 lime

A pinch of salt

If you are using a barbecue, light it 30-40 minutes before you want to cook the fish. For the salsa, cut the chillies in half lengthways and scrape out the seeds with teh tip of a small knife but leave the ribs behind to give the salsa a little more heat. Cut them crossways into thin slices. Then simply mix all the ingredients together.

If you are not cooking the fish on a barbeque, put chargill over a high heat or preheat the grill to high. Brush the snapper fillets on both sides with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Cut each into 3, slightly on the diagonal.

Cook snapper either skin-side down on barbeque, or skin-side up under grill, for 3-4 minutes.

T0 serve, spoon salsa on to 4 plates and arrange the strips of fish on top. Drizzle a little oil around the edge of the plate and garnish with coriander.

* Alternative fish: Red or grey mullet, bream, John Dory

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And so it begins with a goodbye…


My collection of twelve "February's", ready for my first month of delicious cooking

My collection of twelve “February’s”, ready for my first month of delicious cooking

Today I farewelled Jamie and Donna, Bill and Kylie, David, Madhur and Thomasina, and a whole bunch of ‘old friends’ to make room for my delicious year. That’s right. I’ve packed up my rather large recipe book collection to make room for the 123 issues of delicious. magazine that have been lying low in my garage for the past 11 years.

I have set myself a very serious foodie challenge for 2013: 365 days of delicious cooking from my delicious. magazine collection. But as with all random/crazy/ “what was I thinking” challenges, I have set myself some ground rules:

  1. Every cover recipe must be cooked (No exceptions. Even if it involves eggplant…ugghh!)
  2. I must attempt one recipe a day. I’m a realist – I won’t be cooking three course brekky’s when my kids are very happy eating cereal and toast. But if I spy a yummy brekky recipe, it shall be cooked, and you shall hear all about it.
  3. As new issues arrive, they too shall be cooked from.

In order to keep it seasonal and relevant, I will be collating my magazine collection by month and cook from all the February’s in February, March’s in March and so on. Given that most of the issues include a December/ January combined issue I will feature the Christmas-type recipes in December and save the rest for January. Now there is something to look forward to.

Now to keep things interesting, I will include a food rating from the most feared food critic in Australia. No, not Matt Preston, but my dear husband, Mr Picky Pallete (MPP). From time to time I will also include an out-of-the-mouth-of-babes score from my two darling sons to be known as B2 and B4. As most parents know, kids are hard to please. And its even harder to get kids to try new things.

Are you with me?

I hope that along the way I might inspire you to try out a recipe or two or dust off your old recipe collection that has been sitting idle for a decade or more. If nothing else, I hope I either make you drool while you are reading this or have you banging at my door (or filling up my inbox) with demands for dinner invitations.

Let the games begin.

Stayed tuned for recipe number one – an encounter with a foodie crush of mine, Rick Stein. We all know what that means…seafood!!!

X Bree

Who is your favourite chef – celebrity or other?

What is the one cookbook that has been sitting on your shelf gathering dust that that you might try to cook from this week?

Four 46L containers no securely hold my significant cookbook collection. See you in 12 months!

Four 46L containers now securely hold my significant cookbook collection. See you in 12 months!


15/01/2013 · 9:38 am