Roasted Pumpkin Salad with walnuts

 

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A fresh and crunchy salad doesn’t always have to be on the side, it can be the star of its own meal. In this hot summer if you don’t feel like cooking and sweating yourself too much in the kitchen, you can try making this simple yet yummy salad. Roasted pumpkin, baby spinach leaves and toasted walnuts are drizzled with a sweet balsamic and honey dressing.

Ingredients:

1.2 kg pumpkin (we use butternut) 
1 tbsp olive oil  
salt and pepper, to taste 
2 medium garlic cloves, unpeeled     
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar   
2 tbsp olive oil  
1 tbsp honey
 
100g baby spinach leaves ( get ready to eat pack from supermarket)

1/2 cup of toasted walnuts pieces  (I bought Lucky brand crumbed walnuts)
3 rashers of bacon, chopped
 

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 220C. Move the oven rack to the middle shelf position.

2) Cut pumpkin into slices about 2cm thick and 4cm by 4cm, and remove skin and seeds. Place the pumpkin pieces on the oven tray on a single layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

3) Cut a small amount off the end of each garlic clove  (helps prevent from bursting out of its skin when roasting) and put garlic on the tray with the pumpkin. Bake garlic and pumpkin for 20 mins then take the tray out leaving garlic aside. Turn the pumpkin pieces over and return to oven for further 15 – 25 mins until lightly browned and tender when push with a knife. Leave aside to cool until room temperature.

4) To make the dressing – until the garlic is completely cool and easy to handle with hand. squeeze garlic from the skin into a small bowl. Mash the garlic with a fork. Add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey then mix well with a spoon. (taste test and add more of vinegar or honey depends on preference)

5) To toasted walnut, place the walnut on a small pan without adding any oil. Turn the heat on low and agitated the pan every now and then for about 5 mins until you can smell some nutty aroma.

6) To make crispy bacon – Change the oven temperature to 200C, place the bacon on the baking tray line with baking paper. Bake in the oven for 8 mins on one side, then take the baking tray out and turn the bacon over for further 8 mins. Line a few paper towels on a clean plate and place the bacon on top to absorb excessive oil and leave aside to cool completely. Cut into pieces when it is completely cool and it should be crispy at this point.

7) Arrange spinach leaves, pumpkin and bacon on  serving plate, drizzle the dressing and nuts all over and serve immediately.

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Place the pumpkin pieces on the oven tray on a single layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

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make sure the pan is dry and do not add any oil when toasting the nuts

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infusing garlic into the salad dressing

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super easy but yummy salad dressing – balsamic vinegar, honey and olive oil

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20 mins later…

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Crispy bacon time, make sure you watch the oven closely as it is easy to burnt, and warn you even when the bacon doesn’t look crispy, it will be when it is completely cool down

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Woo hoo

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Serendipity Ice Cream Factory Outlet, Marrickville

 

www.serendipityicecream.com.au

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Ice-cream or cake? Which one you like more. I really can’t under-estimated the number of people who is a super ice-cream lover in this planet. I personally like cakes more than ice-cream but I don’t mind a scoop of ice-cream next to my cakes especially a good quality one.

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Serendipity is an Australian family business producing super premium natural ice cream and sorbet for hotels, caterers, and restaurants since 1966. Using fresh milk & cream, ingredients are carefully sourced and blended creating multi award winning products. They used to be the supplier for ice-cream in Passion Flower years ago offering Asian-infused flavours like red beans, taro, black sesame, even durian.

Serendipity factory in Marrickville allows you to buy your vice straight from the source. The stuff is cheaper than your average IGA. It comes in all shapes and sizes. So come and grab one in this hot summer!!

There are over 40 flavours to choose from not including those freaky ones. We went for the extraordinary like black sesame, taro and pear & rhubarb crumble.

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The shop is small with only a counter and all the ice-cream are store behind, it is best to decide what you want on the website first and just order and go. Their price are fixed depends on size; little tub $3, 500ml $6, 2 litre $20, 5 litre $45. If you are first timer, it is worth to get several 500ml for different flavours than one a 2 litre. At the end you only pay $4 more but gets to try more flavours. The bad things about Serendipity is they don’t do 1 litre, damn it!

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From top to bottom, left to right: Black Sesame (bought for mum), Fig, Honey & Pistachio, black sesame (again for us), Black sesame (us again because there is no more 2 litre), Taro, Pear & Rhubarb crumble.

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right: Pear & Rhubarb crumble, left: taro

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top: black sesame, bottom left: taro, bottom right: Fig, Honey & Pistachio

My personal favourite are black sesame and the pear & rhubarb crumble. Black sesame are so rich and smooth and you can see real pieces of black sesame in the ice-cream. For the pear & rhubarb crumble, I just can’t get enough of it because of the real fruit piece and crumble in it. It is not overly sweet and made me feel like I am having ice-cream and a real crumble dessert all in one bowl.

 

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Address:

333-339 Enmore Rd, Marrickville 
opening hrs: Mon – Fri: 9:00 to 17:00, Sat : 10:00 to 13:00 (Summer only)   
Ph:+612-9557-8986
Web: www.serendipityicecream.com.au

Getting There:

Parking: Enmore Rd or Llewellyn Ln
By train: St Peters

Map picture

Serendipity on Urbanspoon

Taste Baguette Bakery Café, Market Street Sydney

If you like baguette, you must come to Taste Baguette café because they baked their own bread onsite every 15 mins! Hieu who is the chef and owner of Taste Baguette café has been a baker and pastry chef since he was the age of 13. Hieu’s vision was to open a bakery/cafe where bread & pastries would be baked regularly throughout the day. With this vision, Taste Bakery & Restaurant in Surry Hills was born, where hand crafted baguettes were baked every 15 minutes for lunch and filled with freshly grilled meats & salads. This French-Vietnamese influenced café is so popular that it has spread last few years and can now be found in various places such as in Sydney uni, Surry hills, Sussex lane, World square, Market street and met centre.

 

www.tastebaguette.com

Ratings
Food: 7/10
Atmosphere: 5/10
Service: 5/10
Value: 6/10

Average Price
Entrée: $5 – $10
Main: $10 – $26
Dessert: $5 – $8
Degustation: N/A
Corkage: N/A
Cakeage: N/A

Others
Ease of finding a car park: Hard
Ease of finding the restaurant: Easy
Brightness of restaurant: Bright
Noise Level: Normal
Waiting time for foods: 15 mins – 20 mins
Booking time require: Walk in
Child friendly/High Chair: No

 
taste 7
 
taste 6
 

taste 8

Classic Vietnameses – Pork, pate with pickled carrot and radish, cucumber, spring onion, coriander and soy dressing. (Chilli optional) $8.50

If you are someone who is indecisive, you’ll be having a hard time picking over 10 baguettes in their menu. I have opted for the Vietnamese classic because It is something that I am familiar with and will sometimes ordered in a Vietnamese suburb such as Cabramatta or Marrickville. The baguette was light and crunchy with just enough of salad to balance out the meat and dressing.

taste 9

Chicken Schnitzel, $8.90

Herb crumbed crispy goujons served with coral lettuce, tomato, rocket, and honey mustard mayonnaise.

The chicken schnitzel was smaller than expected with more salad then meat, the taste however was very good and doesn’t give me the oily feeling which other chicken schnitzel does.

taste 3

Mini Almond and cheese croissant, $3.50

These mini almond and cheese croissant will make a good snack for the afternoon tea, it is buttery and crunchy on the outside and meltingly soft on the inside.

taste 4

Fig and fruits tart, $3.50

The tart was very light and not very sweet, if you like plain and simple dessert. You will love this fruit tart.

taste 2

Brownie, $3.50

After trying a few of their dessert and cakes, I realise everything in Taste are very light and healthy. They do not put a lot of sugar or artificial stuff in their foods. Brownie in here wasn’t my kind of sweet because it was too bland and dry.

taste 5

Cappuccino

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Pork and fennel chipolatas w/ caramelised red onion marmalade baguette, $9.50

Breakfast menu from Taste were fantastic, the idea of having your breakfast in a freshly bake baguette was interesting. The pork and fennel chipolatas was by popular demand and the next customer after me who ordered this was already sold out. It was flavoursome and juicy.

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Poached egg w/ crispy bacon, spinach and hollandaise sauce baguette, $9.50

The more standard poach egg and bacon was excellent, the fluffy bread absorb all the hollandaise sauce and when I broke the egg, the yolk was so gooey and delicious.

Conclusion: The food is great especially the French baguettes and pastries. Service seems to be luck of the draw and this place doesn’t take booking so meaning be there before 12.30 or long queues.

 

 

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Address:

Shop 1A, 68 Market Street (entrance of  City Myer store), Sydney 
opening hrs: Mon – Fri: 7:00 to 17:00, Sat – Sun: 8:30 to 16:00   
Ph:+612-9233-7778
Web: www.tastebaguette.com

Getting There:

Parking: Kent Street or Pitt Street
By train: Town Hall

Map picture

Taste Baguette on Urbanspoon

Taste Baguette Bakery Café, Market Street Sydney

www.tastebaguette.com

Ratings
Food: 7/10
Atmosphere: 5/10
Service: 5/10
Value: 6/10

Average Price
Entrée: $5 – $10
Main: $10 – $26
Dessert: $5 – $8
Degustation: N/A
Corkage: N/A
Cakeage: N/A

Others
Ease of finding a car park: Hard
Ease of finding the restaurant: Easy
Brightness of restaurant: Bright
Noise Level: Normal
Waiting time for foods: 15 mins – 20 mins
Booking time require: Walk in
Child friendly/High Chair: No

 
taste 7
 
taste 6
 

If you like baguette, you must come to Taste Baguette café because they baked their own bread onsite every 15 mins! Hieu who is the chef and owner of Taste Baguette café has been a baker and pastry chef since he was the age of 13. Hieu’s vision was to open a bakery/cafe where bread & pastries would be baked regularly throughout the day. With this vision, Taste Bakery & Restaurant in Surry Hills was born, where hand crafted baguettes were baked every 15 minutes for lunch and filled with freshly grilled meats & salads. This French-Vietnamese influenced café is so popular that it has spread last few years and can now be found in various places such as in Sydney uni, Surry hills, Sussex lane, World square, Market street and met centre.

taste 8

Classic Vietnameses – Pork, pate with pickled carrot and radish, cucumber, spring onion, coriander and soy dressing. (Chilli optional) $8.50

If you are someone who is indecisive, you’ll be having a hard time picking over 10 baguettes in their menu. I have opted for the Vietnamese classic because It is something that I am familiar with and will sometimes ordered in a Vietnamese suburb such as Cabramatta or Marrickville. The baguette was light and crunchy with just enough of salad to balance out the meat and dressing.

taste 9

Chicken Schnitzel, $8.90

Herb crumbed crispy goujons served with coral lettuce, tomato, rocket, and honey mustard mayonnaise.

The chicken schnitzel was smaller than expected with more salad then meat, the taste however was very good and doesn’t give me the oily feeling which other chicken schnitzel does.

taste 3

Mini Almond and cheese croissant, $3.50

These mini almond and cheese croissant will make a good snack for the afternoon tea, it is buttery and crunchy on the outside and meltingly soft on the inside.

taste 4

Fig and fruits tart, $3.50

The tart was very light and not very sweet, if you like plain and simple dessert. You will love this fruit tart.

taste 2

Brownie, $3.50

After trying a few of their dessert and cakes, I realise everything in Taste are very light and healthy. They do not put a lot of sugar or artificial stuff in their foods. Brownie in here wasn’t my kind of sweet because it was too bland and dry.

taste 5

Cappuccino

IMG_0490

Pork and fennel chipolatas w/ caramelised red onion marmalade baguette, $9.50

Breakfast menu from Taste were fantastic, the idea of having your breakfast in a freshly bake baguette was interesting. The pork and fennel chipolatas was by popular demand and the next customer after me who ordered this was already sold out. It was flavoursome and juicy.

IMG_0493

IMG_0496

Poached egg w/ crispy bacon, spinach and hollandaise sauce baguette, $9.50

The more standard poach egg and bacon was excellent, the fluffy bread absorb all the hollandaise sauce and when I broke the egg, the yolk was so gooey and delicious.

Conclusion: The food is great especially the French baguettes and pastries. Service seems to be luck of the draw and this place doesn’t take booking so meaning be there before 12.30 or long queues.

 

 

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Address:

Shop 1A, 68 Market Street (entrance of  City Myer store), Sydney 
opening hrs: Mon – Fri: 7:00 to 17:00, Sat – Sun: 8:30 to 16:00   
Ph:+612-9233-7778
Web: www.tastebaguette.com

Getting There:

Parking: Kent Street or Pitt Street
By train: Town Hall

Map picture

Taste Baguette on Urbanspoon

Pad Prik King–Red curry paste fried fish

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A recent trip to Home Thai restaurant on Sussex street inspired me to make a red curry dish, similar to the pork belly that I ordered called Pad Prik King. It is really just pork belly and yard long beans, fried in red curry paste without using coconut milk like normal curries. I decided to substitute the pork with fish to test out my creativity. The red curry paste I used is bought from Darwin market which is homemade by some Thai people, I heard a lot of good feedback about Maesri brand which can be found in most Asian grocery store. You can buy the small can if you don’t have time to make your own. Here is the mouth watering recipe, enjoy!

Ingredients:

3 tbsp oil  
400 g Ling fish fillet or any thick fish fillet of your choice   
3 snack beans cut into 3cm pieces
1/2 tomato, finely diced     
1/2 Spanish onion, finely diced   
1/2 capsicum, cut into thin stripes 

3 cloves of garlic, finely diced 
1.5 tbsp red curry paste      
4-5 kaffir lime leaves 
3-4 tbsp water
1.5 tbsp brown sugar or palm sugar      
1 tbsp fish sauce 
1/4 cup coriander for garnish
1/4 cup flour

Directions:

1) Cut the fish fillet in 4 X 4cm piece, pat dry with paper towel and briefly marinated with few pinch of salt, pepper and some sesame oil (optional). Wrapped it with cling film and leave in the fridge for minimum an hour.

2) Take the fish out from the fridge, pour the flour on a clean bowl and gently roll the fish pieces over the flour until evenly coated. Heat up the wok or pan with enough oil to pan fry the fish for 3 – 5 minutes until golden brown and have a nice crisp. Leave them on few piece of paper towels to absorb excessive oil and move on to step 3).

3) With a new clean Pan or clean the existing pan, add in 1 tbsp of oil and pan fried the yard long beans and capsicum until 50% cooked and leave in a separate bowl.

4) Now we are ready to make the red curry sauce and assemble the dish. Add 2 tbsp of oil in the pan, once it is hot enough add in the garlic and onion. After 2 mins, add in the red curry paste and fry until fragrant and oil are separate out with the paste. Now add in the tomato and water and simmer for about 4 mins.

5) Add in the fish sauce, sugar & kaffir lime leaves and taste test with a spoon, adjust to your own taste by adding more water if its too dry or more sugar/fish sauce if its too salty/sweet.

6) Once you are happy with the sauce, chuck the fish piece back in and gently stir it with a spatula for 1 min, be careful not to break the fish pieces or ruin the crispy coating.

7) Add the beans and capsicum back in and stir it for another 1 -2 mins.

8 ) Garnish with coriander and serve hot with jasmine rice.

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Group photo for all ingredients

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roll fish piece on the flour until evenly coated

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pan fry the fish until golden brown

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leave it on few piece of paper towel to absorb excess oil

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fry garlic, onion and red curry paste, then add in tomato and kaffir leaves

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lastly, throw back the fish, beans and capsicum in

 

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Pad Prik King–Red curry paste fried fish

DSC01247

A recent trip to Home Thai restaurant on Sussex street inspired me to make a red curry dish, similar to the pork belly that I ordered called Pad Prik King. It is really just pork belly and yard long beans, fried in red curry paste without using coconut milk like normal curries. I decided to substitute the pork with fish to test out my creativity. The red curry paste I used is bought from Darwin market which is homemade by some Thai people, I heard a lot of good feedback about Maesri brand which can be found in most Asian grocery store. You can buy the small can if you don’t have time to make your own. Here is the mouth watering recipe, enjoy!

Ingredients:

3 tbsp oil  
400 g Ling fish fillet or any thick fish fillet of your choice   
3 snack beans cut into 3cm pieces
1/2 tomato, finely diced     
1/2 Spanish onion, finely diced   
1/2 capsicum, cut into thin stripes 

3 cloves of garlic, finely diced 
1.5 tbsp red curry paste      
4-5 kaffir lime leaves 
3-4 tbsp water
1.5 tbsp brown sugar or palm sugar      
1 tbsp fish sauce 
1/4 cup coriander for garnish
1/4 cup flour

Directions:

1) Cut the fish fillet in 4 X 4cm piece, pat dry with paper towel and briefly marinated with few pinch of salt, pepper and some sesame oil (optional). Wrapped it with cling film and leave in the fridge for minimum an hour.

2) Take the fish out from the fridge, pour the flour on a clean bowl and gently roll the fish pieces over the flour until evenly coated. Heat up the wok or pan with enough oil to pan fry the fish for 3 – 5 minutes until golden brown and have a nice crisp. Leave them on few piece of paper towels to absorb excessive oil and move on to step 3).

3) With a new clean Pan or clean the existing pan, add in 1 tbsp of oil and pan fried the yard long beans and capsicum until 50% cooked and leave in a separate bowl.

4) Now we are ready to make the red curry sauce and assemble the dish. Add 2 tbsp of oil in the pan, once it is hot enough add in the garlic and onion. After 2 mins, add in the red curry paste and fry until fragrant and oil are separate out with the paste. Now add in the tomato and water and simmer for about 4 mins.

5) Add in the fish sauce, sugar & kaffir lime leaves and taste test with a spoon, adjust to your own taste by adding more water if its too dry or more sugar/fish sauce if its too salty/sweet.

6) Once you are happy with the sauce, chuck the fish piece back in and gently stir it with a spatula for 1 min, be careful not to break the fish pieces or ruin the crispy coating.

7) Add the beans and capsicum back in and stir it for another 1 -2 mins.

8 ) Garnish with coriander and serve hot with jasmine rice.

DSC01232

Group photo for all ingredients

DSC01235

DSC01238

roll fish piece on the flour until evenly coated

DSC01239

pan fry the fish until golden brown

DSC01240

leave it on few piece of paper towel to absorb excess oil

DSC01241

fry garlic, onion and red curry paste, then add in tomato and kaffir leaves

DSC01243

lastly, throw back the fish, beans and capsicum in

 

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Albee’s Kitchen, Campsie

 

Ratings
Food: 7/10
Atmosphere: 6/10
Service: 5/10
Value: 8/10

Average Price
Entrée: $5 – $10
Main: $10 – $25
Dessert: $5 – $8
Degustation: N/A
Corkage: N/A
Cakeage: N/A

Others
Ease of finding a car park: Easy
Ease of finding the restaurant: Normal
Brightness of restaurant: Bright
Noise Level: Normal
Waiting time for foods: 10 mins – 15 mins
Booking time require: Walk in
Child friendly/High Chair: No

 
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Recently I was obsessed with South East Asian food, like Thai and Malaysian food. Almost visiting and discovering one every week. At a place like Campsie I have found this little hidden treasure which does cheap and authentic Malaysian Hawker style food – Albee’s Kitchen.

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Very small in size, probably can only fit 30 people max, the first time when I was here we knew we are going to come back, but that time I still haven’t have my blog established hence didn’t take any pics =( but Don’t worry readers, I will keep coming back to try more dish and update this post.

Given the terrible 33+C temperature we decided to stick with non-soupy stuff. We were tossing up between picking the Pandan chicken or deep fried nam yu flavoured pork ribs. At the end we choose the Pandan chicken as we have never tired it and it looks quite tasty and unique wrapped in Pandan leaf, we even wonder did the chicken have Pandan infuse into it haha.

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Chendol (House Traditional hawker Green Jelly Ice), $4

As soon as we sat down, we saw the picture of Chendol drink on the wall, and immediately asked the waitress to order two. What a better way to quenche a thirst than to throw down a cold drink full of ice, coconut milk, palm sugar, and chendol (pandan jelly)

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Pandan Chicken, $13.80

As the chicken arrived at our table, it was nicely presented wrapped in pandan leafs held with toothpicks. Our initial thought was what purpose of the pandan leaf served in this dish, was it presentation? But after I bited into it, the chicken was very moist and tasty. We soon realised the pandan leaf probably acted as a barrier to keep the juice from running out.

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Char Kuey Tiaw, $9.50

Char kuey tiaw was not bad but wasn’t the best we had. This dish lacks a bit of taste and punch of spice. However, portion was generous and we struggle to finish it.

Conclusion: A real find. Albee’s kitchen offers many tempting choice, the food here are authentic and reasonably priced.

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Address:

282 Beamish St, Campsie 
opening hrs: Mon – Fri: 11:00 to 15:00, 17:00 to 22:00, Sat – Sun: 11:00 to 22:00   
Ph:+612-9718-9200
Web: N/A

Getting There:

Parking: Campsie shopping centre parking
By train: Campsie Station

Map picture

   

Albee's Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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