Monthly Archives: July 2008

Salt and Pepper Prawns and Chilli Salt Squid at the Sydney Seafood School

I love the Sydney Seafood School. This is my second trip, after my first a few months back to do a

Chilli Salt Squid...when there was some left...

Chilli Salt Squid...when there was some left...

Vietnamese class with Mark Jensen of Red Lantern. That was truly delicious, so another friend and I booked in for a classic.

The class was full, and our presenter, Julie Ray, funny and energetic. Apart from showing us how to prepare three recipes; Chilli Salt Squid (a.k.a salt & pepper squid), Salt and Pepper Prawns and a rice noodle salad, she gave us a run down on the handling and storage of some of the items of seafood we’d be using.


  • Freezer temp should be -18
  • Fridge temp should be between 0 and -4
  • Prawns should be stored in a bowl or colander on a plate, lightly covered
  • Fry up your prawn heads and shells for stock, and add to prepackaged fish stock to liven up the flavour
  • Don’t marinate squid in citrus longer than 30 minutes, or it cooks
  • To test if your oil is hot enough, dip the end of a wooden spoon into the oil and if it bubbles, it’s ready to go
  • Always give the oil time to reheat in between batches

Both recipes use Szechuan peppercorns and good salt as the flavour base (we used pink Murray salt). The principle of both recipes is the same. Dip either prawns or squid in egg white, and then in tapioca starch or corn flour and deep fry. We both came home smelling like the old fashioned fish’n’chip shop.

The highlight for me, however, was preparing the squid from scratch. I’ve always been intimidated by the preparation of fresh seafood. I usually get my fish already filleted, or a whole fish already scaled, and gutted. Squid? Never attempted before. Now there are no photos of this bit as you can imagine, as we were elbow deep in squid goo!

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Banana Bread Classics

A little while ago I entered a Banana Bread Bake off, at Not Quite Nigella…I came 4th with 20 votes. If you’re looking for banana bread recipes, utilising all sorts of ingredients from scraping the bottom of the pantry to the most exotic you must bookmark this page.

Burgerman, Darlinghurst

My partner and I have date night every week. Tuesday is our preferred day. This week we headed over to Burgerman in Darlinghurst to take advantage of our discount voucher from our Entertainment Book.

Neither of us had visited for quite some time. My partner is on a mission to find the best Wagyu beef burgers in Sydney, and had come to love those offered at The Clock Hotel in Surry Hills, before they were taken off the menu. He’s also tried the burger at the White Horse Hotel, and Bill’s interpretation.

Me, being back on my eating plan wanted to be good. So I settled on a grilled fish burger, with rocket and coriander and lime paste. Now, I’ve never had a fish burger. Never had a McDonald’s Filet-o-Fish, and had always found the concept of a fish burger quite weird. Somewhat like chicken on pizza. Odd. But this was gorgeous. Two rather large pieces of fish, not oily, or overcooked. Fresh bun, still with tomato relish and iceberg lettuce in addition to the rocket. The paste was fantastic, the whole thing tasting really fresh, light and zingy! Yum!

Partner commented on the quality of his burger overall, noting that it was the best burger he’d had in ages. No fancy wagyu required around here…

116 Surrey St
Darlinghurst, NSW 2010
(02) 9361 0268

Gastronomia Pelagio, Darlinghurst

Having lived in Darlinghurst for almost 7 years, Pelagio on Victoria Street was always a favourite.  Stocked with fabulous cheeses, interesting salads and a fabulous range of chocolate.

Recently, it changed hands. They’ve completely gutted the place and refashioned it. Before, a maze of tightly packed aisles, fronting a large cheese and cold meats/salad cabinet, there is now a wonderful long table down the centre of the shop with shelving along one wall, with a more streamlined offering of imported and specialty products. The cold cabinet still holds a variety of cheeses, meats and salads, though the chocolate selection is now much abbreviated.

So far so good. Will have to be back to try the salads and see if they’re still as good.

What is: Saddle of Lamb?

The backbone and both loins, apparently.

Beef and Lamb cuts


I’m so excited.  Having got a small bonus bit of cash, I’m taking a friend of mine out for a degustation at Becasse on 1 August.

Here is the menu currently on their site:



Amuse bouche

Hindmarsh goats’ curd with marinated young vegetables and lavender vinaigrette
2006 Henry Pelle Menetou-Salon, Loire Valley

Salad of yellow fin tuna and confit prawns with green apple and lemongrass sorbet, soy and sesame
2007 Blackets Gewurtztraminer, Adelaide Hills

Scallop mousseline with sautèed yabby and tortellini, freshwater bisque, sherry and crab Chantilly
2006 Craggy Range ‘Gimblett Gravels’ Chardonnay, Hawkes Bay

Sautè of scampi with braised Berkshire kurobuta pork tails and smoked bacon jus
2005 Summerhouse Pinot Noir, Marlborough

Pan-fried barramundi with confit swede and braised veal cheek
2005 I.Pastini ‘Arpago’ Primitivo, Tarantino IGT, Puglia

Smoked saddle of Victorian lamb with crushed parsnips and Earl Grey tea infused lamb jus
2000 Sandhurst Ridge Shiraz, Bendigo


Braised brisket and roast tri tip of 600-day grain fed wagyu beef with confit kohlrabi, butternut puree and Marsala jus
2005 Le Relais de la Poste Cotes De Bourg, Bordeaux

Orange mousseline with frozen chocolate salad

Banana crëme brulèe with salted peanut brittle and milk coffee sorbet
2006 Hobbs Late Harvest Viognier, Barossa Valley

Valrhona ‘caraibe’ chocolate and caramel mousse with chocolate sorbet and Frangelico syrup
2004 Charles Hours ‘Clos Uroulat’, Jurancon


I was sitting here at work, reading a review in Gourmet Traveller of Guillaume Brahimi’s new Melbourne venture, after a friend had dined there, when my desk mate commented that she’d never met anyone as obsessed with food as I. I beg to differ. But she’s right. I am obsessed. It’s my hobby, and a pleasurable one at that!

So, this here blog is a way to keep all my thoughts, experiences about food in the one place.