Saturday, March 21, 2009

15 hours of food: The markets

Eveleigh MarketsWe met up at 9am, and went straight to break new ground at the Eveleigh Farmers Markets. These markets are about 5mins from the station, and undercover. What a blessing to get away from the sun (and the rain).
There were growers from Mangrove Mountain, Kemps Creek; olive oil producers from the central tablelands and as far as Victoria. I saw at least four places from which to buy free range eggs.
There were a lot of people with kids and dogs, which was not so amusing when they started lunging and barking at each other. The cutest thing ever - a toddler in a baby carrier enjoying a sample of goat's milk fetta.
So - I tried a brioche roll with smoked salmon and dill, a cherry danish (toasted up and eaten about a week later), Capparis Goat's Milk Brie (from Gloucester), iggy's delicious bagels (mixed seed - I now have a craving), as well as some free range eggs from Sommersby. I found the yolks very yellow in colour, compared with the free range ones from the supermarket.
Next up - decision time! We had left it too late to go to the smh pyrmont growers markets, but we still had a clear shot at the Kings Cross ones. So off we went!Tofu Rice Paper Roll with Chia Seeds
My sister wanted me to try the quinoa and brown rice congee (porridge) from the markets, which we did; as well as a Vegetarian take on the Vietnamese rice paper roll: This one contained bean sprouts, tofu, carrot, mint and "chia seeds". The seeds were beautiful: like little pearlised glossy eggs; and they had a nice crunch and added omph to the rice paper rolls.Brown Rice and Quinoa Congee
The porridge contained mung bean sprouts, bean sprouts, tofu crisps, and a little pink pickled onion. It was had a very tasty broth, but I found the slight sourness from the onion pickle and the mung bean taste almost overpowering.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Steamed Bonito

I love making up a Chinese steamed fish. Some ginger, spring onions, dried shittake mushrooms, red dates and silken soft tofu. Fish of choice is usually barramundi or silver bream. Yummo. I get cravings.
Yesterday,I gave Bonito a go. I've eaten this as sashimi, and I know it's the main ingredient in dashi or japanese stock.
Its texture was very dense, almost like tuna. Very filling too - we could barely finish half a medium size fish. Today, when I panfried the leftovers I worked out that texture and density- wise, it's much more like chicken!
ps - I find out later that Bonito is actually a type of tuna!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Random musings

I've been so busy, I haven't had time to post as usual.
I tried to visit the degas exhibit in canberra, but we were so put off by the queue to both buy the ticket and to enter, we couldn't be bothered, & just saw the normal exhibits instead.
Last week, one of the supermarket chains had ainsley harriot packet soups on special, so i bought some to have as emergenfy food rations at work. So far have tried the carrot and the lentil flavours, & both taste intensely of .... cornflour. Not what I was after.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Planning a foodie weekend

Coming up! I am spending the Saturday with my sister, and we plan to have a very food oriented weekend. I can't wait.. but this is going to need careful planning.

1. Visit some farmers' markets. Orange Grove is the stalwart, but on every weekend (yay). The smh Pyrmont ones are on this weekend, and they're a once a month affair. Alternatively, there are the ones in Redfern - Eveleigh, which is undercover, and AG's review, had me drooling over all the pictures. A lot of the producers are similar between Pyrmont and Eveleigh, though. Also! A Bacon and Egg roll is mandatory consumption.
2. Head somewhere to get Vietnamese. I want a good pho, and also a Vietnamese Pancake (Banh Xeo). I've only tried Vietnamese pancake from Pho Le in Randwick (owners previous to the current mob), and I need to try more. Cabramatta is the 'real' vietnamese deal, but it's a long drive from the city, for foodies who are trying to cram a lot in. Bankstown is an alternative (but also a hike), and there was a place in good living listed that had a good pancake in Marrickville. Does good pancake equal good pho?
3. Adrian Zumbo's chocolate shop in Balmain. Chocolate Desserts. Duh.
4. Restaurant Sojourn, in Balmain. I believe the chef here is ex-Banc. I think I've tried almost every 'Ex-Banc' chef's solo enterprise. Anyway. The order of the day is degustation.

Roll on, weekend!!