Sunday, June 21, 2009

Kumatoes on Toast

I have found a new addiction (and yes I have many with food)... black tomatoes... otherwise known as kumatoes. These black beauties have a dark green to brown tinge and possess an intensely sweet tomato flavour.

Previously quite rare, I've started noticing their appearance in growers markets as well as some supermarkets. And whilst just as versatile as its crimson cousin, I find that these tanned fellas are best eaten fresh sprinkled with sea salt which really accentuates the savoury sweetness of these delightful fruits.

I recommend the kumatoes simply sliced (then brought to room temperature for maximum flavour) and served on freshly toasted ciabatta smothered in butter. All that's left to do is a sprinkling of sea salt and possibly one of the best and healthiest breakfasts you could ever have is ready to be served!

Go Go Gozen!

M and I stumbled upon a brilliant spot for lunch after a morning of shopping in Subiaco on the weekend. We were both ravenous at this stage and were desperately hoping that Satsuki, a relatively newcomer to the area, was going to be a winner.

And that it was... this little Japanese restaurant hit all the right notes for our post shopping lunch... we started off with the tuna oshi sushi, which is a specialty here. Moulded in a rectangular box shape and cut into cubes, our entree was a delicious combination of seasoned tuna (no need for soy sauce or wasabi on the side here) topped with tobiko and rested on sushi rice sandwiching aonori seaweed. This was as delicious as it was beautiful and gave us a good sign of things to come.

For the mains we each had a gozen bento lunchbox. M opted for an extremely well executed tori karaage which was delightfully crispy on the outside and succulent marinated chicken on the inside. My braised pork belly kakuni was a joy to eat - melt in your mouth pork belly with strong hints of ginger and soya sauce... served with a hard boiled egg braised in the same seasonings.

M could not resist the small but very appealing dessert menu here... and so we finished off our meal with a green tea scented creme brulee. Whilst I found the green tea element of the menu description lacking, this was nonetheless a very nice dessert. The custard was creamy and not overly sweet which was nicely balanced the attractively burnt sugar topping dotted with green tea powder.

Satsuki does a more upmarket menu for dinner which we were both keen to try after having sampled its simple but well executed lunch menu. M and I both love good Japanese food - and in the case of Satsuki, I think we may have just fallen in love.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Raising the Steaks

There aren't many things better in life than a simply but well cooked steak coated with a red wine sauce and devoured with a bottle of a full bodied red.

There's something about biting into a juicy, medium rare steak that satisfies the primal human and frankly, it takes nothing more than some loving care and quality ingredients. Below is a simple but winning recipe.

For the steak
400 gram steak (I used a T-bone on this occassion - look for good marbling)
Sea Salt
Freshly cracked black pepper

For the sauce
Beef bones (if you have them - otherwise use trimmings from your steak)
Diced carrot
Diced celery
Garlic cloves
Sprig of rosemary
Full bodied red (I used a Cabernet Shiraz)
Good quality beef or veal stock
Knob of butter

1. Leave meat out at room temperature for at least an hour. Season very generously with salt and pepper (the seasonings will "disappear" into the crust of the steak)
2. Once a pan is very hot, pan fry the steak 2 minutes on each side. Transfer to a pre-heated oven (200 degrees celcius) and cook for a further 2 minutes. Remove and rest for 2 minutes.
3. For sauce, pan fry bones in olive oil, add shallots, carrots, celery, garlic and rosemary. Season with sea salt and cook until vegetables start to caramelise.
4. Deglaze with brandy, then add a glass of red wine. Simmer until alcohol burns off and add beef/veal stock. Simmer for 20 minutes or until reduced. Strain sauce, season and add a knob of butter at the end of the cooking time.
5. Serve steak on a warmed plate, drizzle with red wine sauce and a side of blanched french beans.
6. Eat, drink and be very happy!

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