Saturday 23 July 2022

Potatoes, Salmon, And Salmon Roe Cream

This is meant to be potatoes and trout, but the shops were singularly lacking in anything trout-y!  Well, apart from the cold-smoked trout I managed to find.  So salmon it was!  Speaking of salmon - reminds me of the salmon ladder in Scotland we saw years ago.  All those fish desperately trying to get to their original spawning grounds.  I have to say there's nothing better than Scottish smoked salmon - soft, luscious, melt in your mouth, the best!  

the salmon ladder Pitlochry (Wikimedia Commons, Jonathan Billinger)

And speaking of Scotland, did I ever mention that we saw Lady Di (as was) being driven past in a black limo as we tried to get those pink Scottish pound notes from an ATM?  It was a Bank Holiday in England, so we headed over the border to get some much-needed cash.  Back in the day, when you needed traveller's cheques, or you could start a bank account in a Building Society (we weren't UK residents so that was our only option).  

And that reminds me of the time in Budapest - or was it Belgrade?  nah, it was Budapest - when a young lad sidled up to us offering ... lime-green chilli peppers!  Every restaurant and café chucked one on your dinner plate.  We were also offered black market cash by another fella, so you just never know what's on offer.  Oh yes, Mr P. was offered a daytime visit to a brothel when we were in Athens! 

Back to this dish: this recipe is from The Atlas Cookbook by Charlie Carrington, an Aussie chef.  (Never heard of him, folks.)  After having a quick flick through some of his recipes, I have to say they're a bit lacking in detail.  For instance, with this one, he never tells you what to do with your boiled potatoes (or the garlic).  I guess his spuds are forever sitting in a saucepan of tepid water ...    

creamy, eggy, fishy ...

Serves 4-6:


about 1 kg/2.2 lb waxy potatoes = around 6 regular-sized potatoes, cut into large chunks

1-2 cloves of garlic

1 tsp cracked black pepper

4 large eggs

200g./7 oz hot-smoked salmon (or trout if you can find it), pulled into chunks with a fork

a few Tbs (a big handful) of chopped parsley, chives, dill or your choice of herbs for garnish

cracked black pepper, to scatter over the dish

For the Salmon Roe Cream:

80g./2.8 oz salmon (or trout) roe

1/2-1 tsp sea salt flakes

100g./3.5 oz sour cream (I used sour light cream)

juice of 2 lemons (about 100 mL/3.5 oz)


Place the potatoes in a large saucepan with the garlic and black pepper, cover with lots of cold water, bring to the boil, and let them boil gently till the potatoes are tender - around 20 minutes

Drain and leave aside (pull off the loose skin if you feel inclined)

You will have boiled the eggs for about 8 minutes while the potatoes did their thing; run them under the tap, and peel 'em

Now grab your potato masher, and give those cooked eggs a good seeing-to, so you end up with a lovely coarse, eggy mash

Put the roe, the salt, the sour cream and lemon juice in a medium bowl, and give it a good stir (but not too fiercely; you don't want to break up the roe)

Grab a nice platter or bowl, spoon over the roe cream, then place the potatoes, the squeezed-out garlic clove(s), the mashed egg, and the fishy chunks on top

Garnish with the herbs, and extra black pepper if using

Serve with a green salad, or some edamame as I did; or add some radish slices for a bit of crunch


Buy waxy potatoes - ones that are good for baking rather than for mash - I used Red Royales since I couldn't get the kipflers that Charlie suggests

I only had 50g./1.8 oz of roe (those jars are expensive), so I added 30g. (a big ounce) of chopped, cold-smoked trout

I also only had 150g. of the hot-smoked salmon, so I added 50g. of the cold-smoked trout that I'd been able to find

2 lemons will give you about 100 mL/3.5 oz of juice

Mr P. did suggest this would go down well in summer, rather than in the cold Brissie winter we are having this year!

ingredients gathered (a là Harry Potter)

chop your tatties into chunks

mash those eggy babies!

stir your fishy roe cream together - gently but firmly :-)

here comes dinner

hoe in!

moi and our friend Ms J. inside Tintern Abbey

Mr P., moi and Ms K. at The Temple of Poseidon, Cape Sounion - so young!

© Sherry M.

Saturday 16 July 2022

Orange And Pistachio Biscuits/Cookies

I eat a lot of Corn Thins these days.  Much to my surprise recently, I read the ingredients list and found they are 99% corn (organic maize) and 1% salt - and that's it!  So no wonder they work really well in these biscuits.  Mr P. and I changed our eating habits last year, including giving up the demon drink, and we've both lost about 10 kg (22 pounds) in weight.  Who knew no booze and lots of Corn Thins would do the trick?:-)  

And not much dairy or red meat here either.  Who can believe we have packets of quinoa and brown rice (I mean together!) in the pantry, lots of seeds and nuts, tubs of hummus, and copious amounts of almond milk in the fridge?  I think aliens have taken over my kitchen, my friends.  But no no, none of the devil's work - KALE!!  I leave that to the cows, and the hipsters.  This recipe comes from a magazine called Taste, and it's actually an ad for Corn Thins.  Very clever of them I think.

looks like Dory is about to hoe in :-)

I made these on a recent Sunday, which turned out to be hectic!  Mr P. had gone off early to help friends check out a house in the neighbourhood that they were thinking of buying.  It's a hundred and twenty years old, and needs a lot of work.  And they bought it!  Yay!  They migrated here from Iran several years ago, and have settled in and started a family.  Our friend/neighbour popped in for coffee too, so it was all go.  So it was birthday cake galore, then we headed down to a sick friend's place to deliver some of these biscuits.  Then it was home to Zoom with Sydney friends.  Phew!  What a day of it we had.      

Makes 22 biscuits (or 30 wee ones):


For the biscuits/cookies:

1 packet (150g./5.3 oz) Corn Thins Original

180 mL (6 oz) flavourless oil (like sunflower or safflower)

150g./ 5.3 oz brown sugar (dark or light)

3 large eggs (take 'em out of the fridge to warm up a bit)

120g./4.2 oz almond meal

100g./3.5 oz wholemeal flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla paste or extract

the zest from 2 oranges

the juice from those 2 oranges (divvied up - one lot for the biscuits and one lot for the icing - see below)

a pinch of sea salt flakes

a handful (2-3 Tbs maybe) pistachios, finely chopped

1-2 Tbs mandarin dust, very optional - tee hee

For the icing:

20g./a big ⅔ oz butter, melted

100 mL/3.5 oz orange juice (from one of your oranges above)

200g./7 oz icing sugar mixture (see notes)


Turn on your oven to 160C/320F fan forced to heat

First blitz the Corn Thins in a food processor till you have a fine powder-like crumb

Put the oil and the sugar into a large mixing bowl and beat on medium speed for 5 minutes - use electric beaters or a stand mixer

Beat the eggs into this mixture one by one

To this mixture, add the Corn Thin crumbs, the almond meal, the flour, the baking powder, the vanilla, the orange zest and the salt, and give it all a big beating

Add the juice of one of the oranges, and beat till just combined

Now grab 2 baking trays, line them with baking paper, and roll the dough into balls (I used my gloved hands) - the recipe says 30, but I only made 22!  Each of my balls weighed around 40 grams/1.4 oz

Place the balls of dough on the trays, flatten the tops with a fork if you wish, (I patted mine flat in my gloved hands), and bake for 22 minutes all up, changing the trays around from bottom shelf to top shelf after the first 11 minutes

Let them cool completely on the trays, while you make the icing

Whisk all the icing ingredients together (it was runny and there was lots), spoon over the cooled biscuits, then sprinkle on the pistachios (and mandarin dust if using)


I measured the juice from one orange, which equalled 100 mL (mm, how handy was that)

Icing sugar mixture is a combo of powdered sugar and cornflour

My cousin sent me a tin of mandarin dust for my June birthday so I was keen to try it out here = yum!

gather your ingredients

our charming Persian friend helped with the blitzing

oil and brown sugar whisked together

chuck in the rest of the ingredients

into the oven at 160C/320F for 22 mins.

out of the oven to cool

whisk the icing till smooth

iced and pistachio'ed and dusted 

mandarin dust

our lovely Persian friends - we ate birthday cake!

Dory just can't help herself :=)

© Sherry M.


Saturday 9 July 2022

Red Pesto And Eggplant Sandwich

This open-faced sandwich calls for regular (green) pesto, but I prefer a red version so I used red capsicum (peppers) instead.  Funny how only Australians call them capsicum (as far as I know).  I was watching UK food YouTuber Barry Lewis the other day and he was warning viewers not to touch their eyes after chopping them up.  Huh? thought I.  There's no capsaicin in them so no burny-burny.  Funny fella.

This recipe is from a book called The Artists' and Writers' Cookbook.  It's a collection of 76 stories with recipes, from (famous?) American kitchens.  Pardon my Aussie ignorance, but I'd only heard of ten of these people :-)  Perhaps that's why this book didn't really gel with me, but anyway, there are some 'interesting' recipes here.  Including this one by author Daniel Wallace (sorry, never heard of him).  

cheesy, crunchy and garlicky

He gives no quantities and very little instruction so I have done my best with it.  He made it for his wife-to-be, who told him months later that she had hated it!  Thankfully, Mr P. and myself chowed down on it very happily.  I assume he used a bought pesto but I decided to make my own, but you do you :)

Serves 2-4:


For the red pesto:

240g./8.5 oz roasted capsicum (from a jar)

20g./¾ oz/2 Tbs pine nuts

45g./1.5 oz cashews

1 tsp sea salt

a dozen grinds of black pepper

20g./6-7 Tbs fresh parsley

50g./1.8 oz parmesan, grated

1 Tbs vinegar

1 Tbs lemon juice

45 mL/3 (US) Tbs EV olive oil


Blitz all the pesto ingredients till you have a rough paste (mine was fairly liquidy), and set aside in a bowl or jug

Ingredients for the sandwich:

1 baguette or long bread roll (about 40 cm./16 inch length)

you will need: several Tablespoons of the pesto (Hi Mrs. Crocombe)

150g./5.5 oz grilled eggplant (I got mine from the deli)

1 or 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated

80g./3 oz cheddar cheese, grated and parmesan (2-3 Tbs), grated, to form a cheesy blanket over the eggplant

A few Tbs of chopped fresh parsley, to garnish (optional)


Slice your baguette in half lengthwise (horizontally)

Slather the two halves in as much pesto as you fancy - maybe 3-4 Tbs per slice?  Mr P. wanted lots on his half :-)

Cut the eggplant into large bite-sized pieces and place them across each baguette half

Scatter the garlic over the eggplant then Cover both slices with the vintage and parmesan cheeses

Place them on an alfoil-lined baking tray, wrap them loosely in the foil and bake at 180C/350F for about 15 minutes

Then open up the foil and bake for another 5 minutes or so till the cheeses are melted and golden

Sprinkle on the extra parsley, if using and serve with a salad


If you're feeling energetic, grill or bake the eggplant slices yourself

Use vegan cheese if you wish, and to make it gluten-free, use a GF bread

I used Strong and Bitey Vintage Cheese 

There will be leftover pesto, so use it on anything you fancy

As a total aside to this, I recently discovered that our Aussie tablespoons which are technically 20 mL, are in fact quite often 15 mL as per US and UK recipes, since the actual spoons are not made here!

pesto ingredients gathered

pesto ready to blitz

slice that baguette!

and slather on the red pesto

eggplant goes on top of the pesto, awaiting garlic and cheese

on go the garlic and cheeses

golden and cheesy

ready to eat

Mr. Wallace's sparse ingredients list :-)

The method was equally sparse!  He says to halve the baguette, spread with pesto, place the eggplant on top, sprinkle on cheese (only cheddar) and garlic, and bake at 350F.  No times given, and no amounts.  And he doesn't even mention the eggplant in his ingredients!  His attention to detail ... :-)

© Sherry M.

Wednesday 6 July 2022

Myrtille Bistro, Crow's Nest - Review

I don't usually write reviews for the blog these days, but Mr P. and I were so happy with our lunch at Myrtille (French for blueberry) that I just had to write one!  I know many of you lovely readers are not from this area, but you can get a feel for this charming place.  Hubby and I headed off to Toowoomba for a weekend break, he to attend a building designers' awards night, and both of us to enjoy my post-birthday lunch. 

‘Twas a very foggy, rainy, grey day when we headed out to Crow’s Nest for lunch.  Thank goodness Mr P. had booked, ‘cos lots of folks were being turned away, as the place was hopping.  The bistro is in a historical 1906 building which has been renovated beautifully; the restaurant has dark blue (blueberry like the name) walls with lovely lights and lots of glass doors and high windows.  A bar runs along one side; there are tables inside and out, and don’t forget the pâtisserie next door! 

'there's a clock on the wall' la la la ...

walking by ...

We ate: parmesan gougère with truffled egg and scallops for me, and hubby had housemade baguette with garlic thyme butter.  Both were excellent, and I was very happy to have a wee bit of the 500 gram (1 lb) truffle from the Granite Belt. The eggs were creamy, the scallops were sweet, and his bread and butter was generous.  We both chose the beef cheeks en daube, which was melt in your mouth, pull-apart with a spoon (yes they gave us a spoon too for the saucy bits). The Paris mash was divinely creamy and buttery and delicious, though I have to say the greens didn’t do anything for me.  I thought they were a bit too crunchy, though hubby thought they were fine.  I guess the dark green stuff was kale - the devil’s work :-) - so I left that to its own devices after a chew on its evil, green heart. Even though we were full, dessert was on the cards so I had an affogato with Frangelico, and I stole a few big spoonfuls of his (our) white chocolate mousse with blueberries, and passionfruit and sponge, oh and a wonderful birthday sparkler for moi! 

Service was wonderful, prompt, efficient and warm.  The atmosphere was lovely, the décor was sophisticated, and the food Frenchy and fabulous.  And the menu changes regularly according to the produce available.  (The toilets are interesting with a plethora of choices, as I said to hubby when he went off after me. At least the urinal was in a cubicle, thank heavens!) And they offered me a doggy bag for my uneaten beef, which was much appreciated.  In fact, several diners were given them, so clearly the serves are generous.  Well worth the road trip to get there, foodie people.  And you can do a wee bit of shopping in the lovely stores also in the building.  One of them had a gorgeous and wonderfully warm fireplace going.  Crow's Nest is one of the High Country Hamlets after all, so it gets cold!

baguette with garlic thyme butter

parmesan gougere, truffled eggs and scallops

beef cheek en daube

looking to the bar

moi, Mr P. and a birthday sparkler

affogato with Frangelico

white chocolate mousse, passionfruit,
sponge and blueberries (pre-sparkler)

exterior and sign

lovely old building

looking up and out

on Pipeline Road

Myrtille Bistro: Nolan's Block, 1 Thallon Street, New England Highway, Crow's Nest QLD

Ph: 07 4698 4164


Friday 1 July 2022

In My Kitchen - July 2022

Here I am writing this a wee bit early as Mr P. and I are heading off to Toowoomba for my post-birthday weekend.  He spoils me!  Presents, lunch, cake, a trip away ...  We went to an Italian place on the river (nope, no pizza here) with a couple of friends for my birthday lunch.  So delicious!  All three of them had crespelle, while I had melt-in-the-mouth snapper with hazelnut cream, beetroot and orange.  There are surprisingly few riverside restaurants in this river city, so it's lovely to sit here, to eat, drink and be merry.

Next month's IMK post will have more of the gifts I got.  But this post will show you one of my gifts from Mr P.  Lucky me :-)  I'm looking forward to seeing your goodies too.  Hope to see many of you here this month, my friends.  Everyone everywhere is welcome to join us!  Show us what you've got :)      

In My Kitchen:

I love Japanese foodstuffs, and this one has it all!

and some salmon caviar - hand milked I think!

there were raspberry muffins for a school fête

and I bought local honey (bees using nectar from up the mountain)

I froze blitzed tomatoes - cherry and truss

and broke off a piece to add to a curry (so handy)

I bought myself a Japanese Donburi bowl called Speckled Snow

and grabbed a jar of local cumquat marmalade

It's cumquat season here, so marmalade is the go.  Someone's mum made this (I saw it advertised on the Community Facebook page), so I scooped it up.  Cheap at this price of $8.00 for a large jar.

and finally jarred up the sauerkraut! Looks odd 'cos I used pink salt

the curveball! Where oh where will I hang it?

A gorgeous print called "Coming Home" by Susan Simonini.  She moved to Tasmania a few years ago and now paints outdoor scenes around her like this shed.  I love the colours and the simplicity of it.  Now I just have to drill the frame and attach a hanging wire.  Have you noticed that when you buy frames these days they don't have proper hanging wires?  Grrrrrr.  I had to buy some hooks, and I'll have to fire up the drill.

IMK posts are about your kitchen (and kitchen garden) happenings over the past month.  Dishes you've cooked, preserves you've made, herbs and veg in your garden, kitchen gadgets, and goings-on.  And a curveball is welcome - whatever you fancy; no need to be kitchen-related.  

The link is open from the first of the month to midnight on the thirteenth of the month.  Dying to see you all here, global friends.

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1. Add via the Add Link button at the bottom of this post.  Instructions can be found on the sidebar of this page, under the Add your IMK link OR:

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3. Email me:, with your link or any queries about the link process, or if you would like it to be added after the 13th ('cos I can sneak it in; I know the boss)

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