Tuesday, 24 September 2013

With the warm weather arriving we start to think less of slow roasted lamb and winter puddings and more about lighter healthier meals, especially salads that take advantage of the fantastic produce that comes into season over Spring and Summer.

Last night for dinner we had a very simple salad that took about 10 minutes to make and was absolutely delicious.... even the kids loved it!!!   (Jamie Oliver would have been proud!)

Warm Spinach Salad with Chicken and Mushrooms

Baby Spinach
Roasted Pine Nuts
Sliced Mushrooms lightly sautéed in a little bit of butter
Diced Bacon
Feta Cheese  - choose a creamy variety
Marinated Chicken thighs -  BBQ'd and sliced

You can vary the quantity of the ingredients and the flavour of the marinade depending on how you like your salads,  toss it all together and drizzle with just a little bit of olive oil.......light, simple, easy and YUM.

The other favourite ingredient I am using at the moment is Chick Peas,  you can soak your own or use canned ones they are just as good.  Mix with what ever you like, but I like them with a little Rocket or Spinach, cucumber, avocado, cherry tomatoes, goats cheese, some seeds for crunch (eg, pumpkin, sesame etc) and a drizzle of lemon juice and olive oil.  Its incredibly good for you,  is a great source of protein and keeps you going for hours.

The best thing about salads is you don't need a recipe and its a great way to use up the left over ingredients in the crisper.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Guillaume Zika visits North Turramurra

A few weeks ago my husband and I and some friends had dinner at Public Dining Room in Balmoral, on offer was a special 6 course degustation menu cooked by a visiting 2 Star Michelin Chef.

Guillaume Zika was head Chef at Hibiscus in London until he arrived in Australia in June, on Friday evenings he is taking over the kitchen at The Public Dining Room.  During dinner he visited our table several times to explain the sumptuous dish in front of us.  The dinner was sensational and Guilluame very charming ..... long story short, Guillaume agreed to share some secrets with me.

I was a little nervous in the beginning,  but I didn't need to be, Guillaume was very generous sharing his knowledge and techniques, we had great fun making a Parmesan Custard, a Pink Grapefruit Mousee and an Apple Foam, the flavours were amazing and so delicate the two hours we spent together in Anna Lou's Kitchen flew by............I feel inspired by his creativeness !

For the rest of September and October Guillaume is offering a 3 Course " Night in Paris" every  Friday night at Public Dining Room, we are heading back on 4 October,  in the mean time I am going to be spending time creating some new and I hope creative menu items......