Archive for March, 2011

28th March
2011
written by Nibblish

There is nothing cooler and fresher than a cucumber salad. The classic combination of cucumber, mint and feta cheese can make this dish pretty special too!

Middle Eastern Cucumber Salad, Lemon, Mint, Feta, Cucumber

Ingredients: (serve 4 as a starter)
3 lebanese cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
100g fresh feta cheese, crumbed
1/2 small bunch of mint, chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp Zaatar spice (optional)
Freshly ground pepper

Middle Eastern Cucumber Salad, Lemon, Mint, Feta, Cucumber

Instructions:

1. Place the sliced cucumber neatly on a serving plate and season with pepper and Zaatar spice.

Middle Eastern Cucumber Salad, Lemon, Mint, Feta, Cucumber

2. Sprinkle on crumbled bits of feta cheese and the mint.

3. In a small bowl, mix the lemon juice and olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Dizzle the dressing over the salad right before serving.

This dish is the perfect, quick and easy way to add fresh greens at the start of your meal!

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24th March
2011
written by Nibblish

16/03/2010

Sushi Yachiyo is a relatively new, traditional and family owned Japanese restaurant, located at the top of William street. It’s small, simple and low key – you can bring your own bottle of wine and watch chef Mitsuhiro Yashio slicing up the sashimi from behind the kitchen bar. However, the food served is far from basic. The ingredients are the absolute freshest you can find in Sydney, with the fish being sourced straight from the fish market every morning. The daily specials are full of the chef’s flair and creativity, with a perfect mix of traditional Japanese techniques with a modern twist.

In the starter section, the wagyu options are always a good choice – especially the cheek tempura or the beef tatki with ponzu jelly. The gyoza are served on a hot sizzling plate and taste pretty special too.
For the main, the wagyu katsu with brie is a must try, with its crispy breadcrumbs and melted cheese. However, the rainbow sushi roll is the dish I always tend to come back to, with it’s mixed fish layer and selection of sauces.

Having said that, the restaurant standout signature dish in the dessert section, which is quite surprising for a Japanese restaurant! The chocolate cake with its layers of fried tofu sheets between the black bean dark chocolate is absolutely delightful with it’s rich/crisp textures and bitter/sweet flavours. Such a divine and balanced combination! You must try this one when you go!

While a bit more pricey than your regular Japanese, the food quality screams fine dining and the portion sizes are quite generous, so overall pretty good value. Sushi Yachiyo is now officially one of my favourite restaurants for a casual week day dinner, which is quite fortunate given that I live just around the corner! :-) It’s also the perfect compromise when going with people who prefer the meaty to the fishy options as they will have plenty of choice too.

Food: 8.5
Ambiance: 6
Service: 8
Price: 7
Overall, I would probably give it a 7.5/10 Nibbles!

13 Kirketon Rd
Darlinghurst NSW 2010
(02) 9331 8107

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21st March
2011
written by Nibblish

This elegant Asian inspired dish will be a hit served as a snack or as a starter. The beautiful contrast between the crispy sweet potato and the sharp and creamy wasabi Mayo will take you by surprise and make you come back for more! Nom, nom, nom!

Ingredients: (2 as a starter)

1 large sweet potatoes, peeled
2 tbsp sesame or walnut oil
1 tbsp vegetable oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tbsp sesame seeds
4 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp wasabi

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Slice the sweet potato into very thin slices, using a vegetable peeler. Soak in salted water for 20-30 minutes.

2. Prepare the wasabi mayonnaise dip by whisking the mayonnaise in the wasabi cream and season with cracked pepper.

3. Drain and pat dry the sweet potato slices with paper towel and coat with sesame or walnut oil and season with salt & pepper. Transfer and spread seasoned potato slices on an oven tray lined with baking paper and bake for 10 minutes. Using a large spatula, turn, sprinkle with the sesame seeds and bake for another 10 minutes until crisp.

Serve immediately with an extra sprinkle of sesame seeds!
The good news is that these little tasty treats are also much healthier than traditional crisps!
It’s also the perfect starter, before a sushi platter!

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20th March
2011
written by Nibblish

Everyone loves sushi nowadays, but very few know how to prepare restaurant quality sushi at home, which is a shame given how crowded and expensive Japanese restaurants can be! Now, the good news is that making sushi at home is actually very easy and I can guarantee you will love it and it will become your favourite dish for dinner parties! The only difficult part is finding high quality sea food and sushi rice, so that it has the correct amount of starch needed to make the rice glossy and sticky, not mushy or dry. You can find this style of rice at most well-stocked grocery stores or Asian markets and sashimi fish from a good fishmonger.

Ingredients: (12-16 pieces)

200g fresh sashimi fish, such as salmon and/or tuna
2 cups sushi rice (also called japonica rice)
1/4 cup Japanese rice vinegar + extra to moisten your hands
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
Wasabi
Soy sauce
Pickled Ginger

Instructions:

1. Soak the rice for 15 minutes in cold water and rinse several times until the final change of water runs almost clear. Steam the rinsed rice following the package’s directions.

2. Heat the vinegar, sugar and salt in a sauce pan over medium heat until fully dissolved, but without boiling the mixture. Take off the heat and let it cool.

3. When the rice has finished cooking, transfer it to a wooden bowl or at least non-metallic, as metal can react with vinegar and ruin flavours. Using a plastic or wooden spoon, cool down the rice by gently spreading it out and folding in the vinegar mixture gradually until evenly sticky and shiny.

4. To shape the sushi rice, dampen fingers and hands with a small amount of rice vinegar to make it non stick. Pick up about 2 to 3 tsp. rice in one hand and shape into a rectangle with rounded corners. Repeat the process until you’ve got enough sushi pieces. Dip your forefinger into wasabi and spread a small amount onto the rice.

5. Slice the fish into thin slices. Aim for an opposite angle to the veins and using a long sharp knife, cut straight across the width of the block at a 45 degrees angle, in one long stroke. Repeat with the rest of the fish.

6. To assemble the nigiri, pick up a slice of fish, place it on top of the sushi rice base in the palm of your hand. Press the sides and top to place fish firmly onto rice. Continue with the rest of the fish.
Place on a plate and serve with pickled ginger, wasabi and soy sauce.

Make sure you give it a fair go. While step 5 and 6 may be a bit tricky at first, you’ll feel much more confident by your second or third piece and the result will be really rewarding!

If you found this one easy and feel up for more, why not take a look at my California Roll instructions to make it a full sushi mix platter!

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20th March
2011
written by Nibblish

A California roll is a creative American twist on sushi. It’s really easy to make, can be great addition to a sushi platter, a fresh canapé idea for a party, but can also be saved in cling film for a healthy lunch!

Ingredients: ( 4 rolls)

2 cups sushi rice (also called japonica rice)
1/4 cup Japanese rice vinegar + extra to moisten your hands
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
4 sheets nori (seaweed sheets)
1 avocado, peeled, cut into thin slices
100g sashimi salmon, cut into strips
wasabi paste
pickled ginger
soy sauce

Instructions:

1. Soak the rice for 15 minutes in cold water and rinse several times until the final change of water runs almost clear. Steam the rinsed rice following the package’s directions.

2. Heat the vinegar, sugar and salt in a sauce pan over medium heat until fully dissolved, but without boiling the mixture. Take off the heat and let it cool.

3. When the rice has finished cooking, transfer it to a wooden bowl or at least non-metallic, as metal can react with vinegar and ruin flavours. Using a plastic or wooden spoon, cool down the rice by gently spreading it out and folding in the vinegar mixture gradually until evenly sticky and shiny.

4. Place a sheet of nori, shiny side down, onto a bamboo mat or sheet of baking paper. spread 3/4 cup of sushi rice mixture with wet hands, leaving a 3cm border uncovered at the end. Spread a small line of wasabi to one end and place a strip of avocado and fish. Roll up firmly, using the mat or baking paper as a guide, seal by moistening the uncovered strip using your finger.

5. Repeat with remaining nori and fillings. Cut each roll into 6 pieces. Serve with wasabi and soy sauce.

You can also replace the avocado with cucumber and the salmon with crab sticks for a change.
If you found this one easy and feel up for more, why not take a look at my Nigiri Sushi instructions to make it a full sushi mix platter!

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14th March
2011
written by Nibblish

Poire belle Hélène is a French dessert made from pears poached in sugar syrup and served with vanilla ice and chocolate sauce. It was created around 1850 by Auguste Escoffier and named after the operetta La belle Hélène by Jacques Offenbach.

Poached Pear Ice-Cream with chocolate sauce

Ingredients (serves 2)

2 pears
2 cups water
4tbsp honey
2tbsp cinnamon
75g chocolate
1 pinch salt
1 splash cognac (optional)
Vanilla Ice-cream
Whipped cream

Poached Pear Ice-cream

Instructions:

1. Bring some water to the simmer in a large saucepan, enough to cover the pears. Stir in the honey and cinnamon. In the meantime, peel off the pears but leave the stalks intact for decorative purposes. Place them upright in a deep pan and cook for 20-30 min or until tender. Let them cool down in the syrup.

2. To make the chocolate sauce, heat the chocolate pieces gently until the chocolate has melted. Mix in a pinch of salt and a splash of cognac if you wish!

3. Place 2 or 3 scoops of ice cream in each bowl.

4. Place the poached pear quarters on top or beside the ice cream and drizzle with warm chocolate sauce.

5. Garnish with Crème Chantilly.

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14th March
2011
written by Nibblish

A Chocolate Liegeois is the ultimate indulgence for any chocolate addict. Its the perfect combination of chocolate ice-cream, chocolate sauce and whipped cream! It’s usually served in a tall glass and is a real classic in most French restaurants.

Ingredients:
Vanilla Ice-cream
Chocolate ice-cream
50ml Whipped cream
100g dark chocolate
1 pinch of salt
100ml cream
1 splash cognac (optional)

Chocolate liegeoise Ice-cream, chocolate Sunday ice-cream, French ice cream

Instructions:

1. To prepare the sauce, break the chocolate into rough pieces and melt it in a pan. Pour the cream in and mix with a wooden spoon until smooth and fully combined. Remove from the heat, add a pinch of salt, a splash of cognac and mix well.

2. Scoop 2 scoops of chocolate ice-cream and 1 scoop of vanilla ice cream in each glass.

3. Cover with chocolate sauce, whipped cream and drizzle a little more chocolate sauce on top!

You can also change the chocolate flavour for coffee, simply using coffee ice-cream and covering it with a shot of sweetened coffee!

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14th March
2011
written by Nibblish

Warm flambee bananas on a crepe with vanilla ice cream, chocolate and caramel sauces make one very decadent treat!

Ingredients: (serves 2)
1 large egg
1/4 cup plain flour
2/3 cup milk
Oil or butter, for greasing pan
2 bananas
1 splash of cognac
50g chocolate
200ml cream
1 pinch of salt
Vanilla ice-cream
Whipped cream

Instructions

1. Lightly whisk eggs in a medium bowl. Add the flour gradually and then the milk and whisk until the mixture is smooth.

2. Heat oil or butter into a large non stick pan. Pour some batter into the pan and quickly swirl the pan to produce a crepe and cook until the underside is lightly browned. Flip crepe and cook the other side until it has begun to colour. Remove cooked crepe from pan and place crepe on a plate. Repeat with the rest of the batter.

3. Heat a bit more oil or butter in the pan. Peel and halve the bananas horizontally and saute for a couple of minutes. Add cognac and allow to heat and ignite until the alcohol has burnt off.

4. To prepare the chocolate sauce, break the chocolate into rough pieces and melt it in a pan. Pour half of the cream in and mix with a wooden spoon until smooth and fully combined. Remove from the heat, add a pinch of salt, a splash of cognac if you wish and mix well.

5. For the caramel sauce, stir in the sugar in a separate pot and cook, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves and mixture just begins to simmer. Remove from the heat and stir in the rest of the cream until nice and smooth.

6. To serve, place a crepe on a plate and top with whipped cream, ice-cream and banana flambe. Drizzle with chocolate and caramel sauce. Et Voila!

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13th March
2011
written by Nibblish

These rich and chewy double chocolate cookies will satisfy any chocolate craving…although you may have to satisfy them more and more frequently…oh, well – we all know chocolate makes us happy!

Double Chocolate Cookies

Ingredients: (makes 16)

125g dark chocolate, melted
50g cocoa, sieved
1 cup flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
125g soft butter or margarine
1 1/4 cups raw sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg, lightly beaten
100g macadamia nuts

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Mix the flour, sugar, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl.

2. In a separate bowl – whisk the butter and once combined, mix in the melted chocolate, vanilla extract and egg.

3. Whisk in the flour mix and finish with the macadamia nuts.

4. Line a flat baking tray with baking paper. Shape 16 equal-sized cookies and place on the tray, roughly 5 cm apart from each other as they will expand with the cooking. Bake for 20 minutes or until set.

5. Leave to cool for a few minutes and transfer to a cooling rack to harden.

These are absolutely delicious served with vanilla or coconut ice-cream! You can also freeze individual portions of the dough, ready to be baked as soon as the next craving hits you! Naughty…:-)

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13th March
2011
written by Nibblish

A good quiche is an extremely simple and fast meal to make, but never fails to impress. It’s perfect for brunch, lunch, dinner, for a picnic or even as party food!

Ingredients: (serve 4 as a starter or 2 as a main)

1 sheet ready rolled shortcrust pastry
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
3 rashers bacon, rind removed, finely chopped
1 tbsp coriander or parsley
1 large leek, washed and thinly sliced
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 eggs and 1 egg yolk, beaten
1 cup milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 200°C and lightly grease and flour a round oven tray to make it non stick. Lay the pastry sheet, trim excess and prick the bottom with a fork to prevent it from bubbling as it bakes. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden.

2. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, coriander and bacon and cook for 2 minutes.

3. Add the leek and cook for another 5 minutes or until soft and slightly caramelized. Cool and sprinkle over cooked pastry.

4. Reduce oven temperature to 180°C. Whisk the eggs with the milk in a mixing bowl. Stir in half the cheese, grated nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. Pour over bacon and leek, sprinkle the remaining cheese and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown.


Let is rest for 5 minutes and serve with a green salad!
If you fancy of change, swap the bacon for salmon, and the leek for spinach, mushroom or asparagus.

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