Monday, November 17, 2014

ABC Mondiale - Australia

The World Culinary ABC has reached its third stop. We have enjoyed the cuisines of Samoa and India and now it is time to explore my home country of Australia.


"We don't have a very traditional, laid down set of rules around our culinary culture so we are able to take our multicultural influences and infuse it in our food in a very subtle and intricate way. We have the freedom to explore ideas and the freedom of express that through our food."
Chef Peter Gilmore

When it comes to describing the food culture of Australia you soon realise that it isn't an easy task. Most of the food we love and the food we eat has its origins elsewhere.

Any historical overview always begins with the hunter-gatherer lifestyle of our indigenous people. Colonisation brought with it the foods of England - our country thriving with the introduction of sheep, cattle and wheat. The Gold rush of the mid-1800's drew many Chinese to settle (1861 - 7% of Victoria's population were Chinese) while the post-war period saw mass migration from Southern Europe and the Mediterranean. The 1970's heralded the start of what we now see as the modern Asian influence on our cuisine brought by Vietnamese and Thai immigration. Skip forward to today and you'll see African and Latin American influences in our food.

In regards to indigenous food, our most famous and successful export has to be the Macadamia nut. Other native ingredients remain more novelty item than store cupboard staple, though I am interested in the work done by the CSIRO in creating new citrus hybrids from our indigenous fruit. Kangaroo meat tends to divide with people hysterically claiming that they can't eat our national emblem. It is a hard attitude to change especially when you consider that the sale of kangaroo meat for human consumption was only legalised nationally in 1993. A similar scenario has played out in regards to Emu farming - you'll find more of them in China, India, Peru and the US.

When it comes to recipes that we consider our own, we are safe to claim - lamingtons, damper and Anzac biscuits though Pavlova will start arguments with New Zealanders. Meat Pies are English but the Pie Floater is all ours.

Traditional Australian dishes have their foundation in English classics while Modern Australian cuisine is a fusion of foods brought here by our immigrants. To help provide some inspiration on what Modern Australia food is like, I will direct you to these two links - Link 1 and Link 2.

In selecting a dish to feature, I decided to focus on one created for a very famous Australian by an equally famous chef - Escoffier's Peach Melba.

During her time, it could be easily argued that no singer was more renowned than our very own Dame Nellie Melba. Escoffier presented this dish at the opening of the Ritz Carlton in London.

Escoffier wrote "Pêche Melba is a simple dish made up of tender and very ripe peaches, vanilla ice cream and a purée of sugared raspberry. Any variation...ruins the delicate balance of its taste."

peach melba© by Haalo

Peach Melba
[Serves 2]

2 ripe peaches (not clingstone)
150 grams fresh raspberries
50 grams icing sugar
milk ice cream (or your favourite vanilla ice cream)

Mark the base of each peach with an X. Blanch the peaches in boiling water for 5 seconds and then remove to a bowl of iced water. Carefully peel the skin from each peach - then cut in half.

Place the peaches on a tray cut side up, dust over with icing sugar and rest in the fridge.

Puree the raspberries with icing sugar and then sieve to remove any seeds.

To serve:

Fill a serving bowl with ice cream. Carefully place a peach half on top and then drizzle over with the raspberry purée.

Serve at once.

If you'd like to participate in this journey through Australia:

You will need to post an Australian recipe by December 7th
In your post include a link to this post and to the World Culinary ABC then leave a link to your post in the comments section below - you can also add them to the linky.
You can use old posts just update the details to include the relevant information and multiple entries are welcome.
If you don't have a blog but would like to submit a recipe - just send me an email at hellohaalo AT and I'll post it for you.

Recipes for ABC Mondiale - Australia

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

In Ricordo - In Memory

Two weeks ago I sat in front of a blank page and wondered what to write - do I go over the reason for my absence or not? I eventually decided to concentrate on the positive and the future.

30 minutes is all it took to change everything.

The time elapsed between two phone calls. One misheard word - a sigh of relief and then a clarification. My mother has passed away.

Within hours we are booked on a flight that leaves the next day - half a world away, we must wait.

I cannot talk, it is too difficult. I am so thankful to have my husband - he is my voice. He is doing the things that I cannot, even though I know he is grieving. My mother is right - we are very blessed to have him in our lives.

One week has passed since that call and I still cannot believe it.

The last 3 months I have learnt so much about my parents, my regret is that there was still so much to discover. I assumed I had time, I had no inkling that this was not the case.

The hardest days are yet to come but I will not think of them, I will focus on the good memories.

I will be taking a break from blogging, there are conversations we need to have.

I won’t be abandoning this site - the very reason I can cook is because of my mother. Everything I know is because of her. This blog is filled with her wonderful recipes and when the time is right, I will blog again.

Thank you to my blogging friends and readers for the concern you have shown over the last few years and months - your kind words, thoughts and prayers have meant so much.

I think it is fitting to finish this post with one of my mother’s recipes - a brilliant dish full of good memories.

Torta Meringata con Mele - Apple Tart with Meringue

Thursday, October 02, 2014

World Culinary ABC - ABC Mondiale

"Viral" is a fashionable word these days. Something goes "viral" because everybody knows it, talks about it, wants it. Well, the European Community ABC didn't go viral, but in reading again its announcement post from December 2012, I see that it talked about 16 blogs that were announcing together a virtual culinary tour of the European Community countries.

This year, however, we are ready to go: the calendar has been finalised and 29 bloggers (some of them ambassadors for a country, others travelers) plus the one and only Aiuolik make up a happy caravan.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are delighted to announce:


You got it: this time we will virtually travel around the world and put it on the table one letter at a time.
This tour will feature an ambassador for each letter and we hope that again there will be many of you traveling with us — for just one leg or for the whole tour or whenever your luggage is ready and you want to join the fun.

Each letter of the alphabet is associated with a city that represents a country and the ambassador will start the festivities with a dish s/he chooses from that country's culinary tradition. During the three weeks following the opening post, anyone can publish a recipe from the same country. It's that easy.

In brief, if you'd like to participate, remember the 4W rule:
  1. WHEN: every three weeks we change letter and country; 
  2. WHAT: you can publish any recipe (or more than one) from the country represented by the letter (the initial of the recipe name does not matter); 
  3. WHERE: publish the recipe on your blog and then leave a comment on the initial post (on the ambassador's blog) containing the URL of your post; 
  4. WHO: anyone who has a blog can participate; the more the merrier. It would be great to travel together for as many stops as possible, but, as I said above, you can choose when to participate.
The post(s) you publish must include a reference to the event and to the ambassador's blog. Use of the logo (the image above) is optional but welcome. You can also contribute a recipe from your archive: add the reference to the event and to the ambassador's blog and then submit the URL as described above. Let me know if you have any questions or doubts on the process.
Here's the calendar. Each line includes the letter, the name of the representative city, then in parentheses the name of the country and continent in which the city is located, the start and end date of our stay in the country and finally the hosting blog (ambassador).
  • A - APIA (Samoa, Oceania) - October 6 through October 26, 2014 - Mangiare è un po' come viaggiare
  • B - BALARAMPUR (India, Asia) - October 27 through November 16, 2014 - Cindystar
  • C - CANBERRA (Australia, Oceania) - November 17 through December 7, 2014 - Cook (almost) anything
  • D - DAKAR (Senegal, Africa) - December 8 through December 28, 2014 - Cafe Lynnylu
  • E - EDMONTON (Canada, America) - December 29, 2014 through January 18, 2015 - Zibaldone culinario
  • F - FORTALEZA (Brasil, America) - January 19 through February 8, 2015 - Torte e dintorni
  • G - GUADALAJARA (Mexico, America) - February 9 through March 1, 2015 - Torta di rose
  • H - HANOI (Vietnam, Asia) - March 2 through March 22, 2015 - Les madeleines di Proust
  • I - CAIRO (Egypt, Africa) [In Italian, the city is called IL CAIRO] - March 23 through April 12, 2015 - Crumpets & Co.
  • J - JUAN CARLOS BASE (Shetland Islands, Antarctica) - April 13 through May 3, 2015 - Briggis' home
  • K - KYOTO (Japan, Asia) - May 4 through May 24, 2015 - Nato sotto il cavolo
  • L - LUCERNA (Switzerland, Europe) - May 25 through June 14, 2015 - Kopiaste
  • M - MINNEAPOLIS (USA, America) - June 15 through July 5, 2015 - Briciole
  • N - NAIROBI (Kenya, Africa) - July 6 through July 26, 2015 - La cucina di qb
  • O - ODESSA (Ukraine, Europe) - July 27 through August 16, 2015 - BigShade
  • P - PORT MORESBY (Papua New Guinea, Oceania) - August 17 through September 6, 1015 - Kitchen in the city
  • Q - QUITO (Ecuador, America) - September 7 through September 27, 2015 - Ricette di cultura 
  • R - RABAT (Morocco, Africa) - September 28 through October 18, 2015 - La melagranata 
  • S - SUVA (Fiji, Oceania) - October 19 through November 8, 2015 - Santa Parmigiana
  • T - TUNISI (Tunisia, Africa) - November 9 through November 29, 2015 - Le tenere dolcezze di Resy
  • U - ULAN BATOR (Mongolia, Asia) - November 30 through December 20, 2015 - Un Uomo dal Bagno alla Cucina 
  • V - VOLGOGRAD (Russia, Europa) - December 21, 2015 through January 10, 2016 - Un pezzo della mia Maremma
  • W - WELLINGTON (New Zealand, Oceania) - January 11 through January 31, 2016 - Gata da plar
  • X - XIAN (China, Asia) - February 1 through February 21, 2016 - Un'arbanella di basilico
  • Y - YEREVAN (Armenia, Europa) - February 22 through March 13, 2016 - La cucina di Cristina
  • Z - ZAGABRIA (Croatia, Europa) - March 14 through April 3, 2016 - Burro e zucchero

Traveling with us is free, you learn a lot and you'll always find someone smiling next to you. What are you waiting for? Get that luggage ready.

C'è una parola che va tanto di moda ed è "virale". Qualcosa diventa virale perché tutti lo vogliono, tutti lo conoscono, tutti ne parlano... Ecco, l'abbecedario culinario d'Europa non è diventato virale, però rileggendo il suo post di apertura del Gennaio 2013, si parlava di 16 blog che a blog unificati annunciavano il viaggio (virtuale) culinario europeo, e quest'anno? Quest'anno abbiamo un calendario già pronto, abbiamo un gruppo di 29 blogger che compongono la nostra carovana, tra ambasciatrici, ambasciatore, "semplici" viaggiatrici e un'Aiuolik. 

Ebbene signori, noi siamo pronti e siamo lieti di annunciarvi:


Avete capito bene, questa volta giriamo (virtualmente) il mondo e lo mettiamo sul piatto, letterina per letterina!

Anche questo viaggio consta di un ambasciatore/ambasciatrice per ogni letterina e anche quest'anno ci aspettiamo che siate in tanti a viaggiare con noi, che sia per una tappa o per tutto il viaggio o ogni volta che avete il trolley pronto e vi volete aggiungere.

Questa volta però ogni lettera è associata a una città, rappresentativa di una nazione e l'ambasciatore/ambasciatrice ha l'onore di aprire le danze con un piatto tipico a sua scelta. In seguito, tutti gli altri partecipanti/viaggiatori possono pubblicare una ricetta tipica di quel luogo. Semplice, no?

Più brevemente, se volete partecipare ricordatevi la regola delle 4W:
  1. WHEN: ogni 3 settimane esce una lettera; 
  2. WHAT: potete pubblicare una qualsiasi ricetta (o anche più di una) della nazione rappresentata da quella lettera (la ricetta può iniziare con qualsiasi lettera!); 
  3. WHERE: la ricetta la pubblicate nel vostro blog e poi lasciate il link al blog ospite come commento al suo post di apertura; 
  4. WHO: chiunque abbia un blog può partecipare, più siamo e più ci divertiamo quindi sarebbe fantastico fare più tappe possibili tutti assieme, ma potete partecipare anche solo per una lettera, anche una lettera sì e una no, anche solo i mesi dispari! 
Il post deve includere un riferimento all'evento e al blog ospitante, mentre l'utilizzo del logo dell'evento (ovvero l'immagine che vedete un po' più su) è facoltativo (ma gradito). Potete anche utilizzare ricette dal vostro archivio: basta aggiungere il riferimento all'evento e procedere come sopra.

Se è tutto chiaro, ecco quindi il calendario, non fatevi spaventare dalle date, il viaggio sarà piacevolissimo in nostra compagnia!

Viaggiare con noi è gratis, si apprendono tante cose e troverai sempre un sorriso, che aspetti a preparare il trolley anche tu?

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Fegato alla Veneziana

You know you've been away from blogging for a while when you are stumped on how to actually begin the post. I have officially lost count of the various attempts, so maybe I should keep it simple and say

Hello, I'm back!

Fegato alla Veneziana© by Haalo

Crostini con Fegato alla Veneziana

200 grams veal liver, cut into thin slivers
200 grams white onion, finely sliced
olive oil
white wine
freshly ground salt and white pepper
fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
Baguette, sliced thickly on the diagonal

Make the crostini:

You could just toast the bread but I like to make it a little more special by pan toasting in a little butter and olive oil.

Melt a knob of butter and a little oil into a skillet and when the butter has melted, add the sliced baguette. Cook on a low heat - when evenly browned, turn the bread over and cook until browned - you might need to add a little extra butter

Make the topping:

Drizzle a little olive oil into a pan along with a good knob of butter and place on a low heat. When the butter has melted, tumble in the sliced onions and cook ever so slowly until meltingly soft and just starting to colour. For the best result, this should take about 20 to 30 minutes.

Increase the heat, add another knob of butter - when it has melted and the onion has started to colour, add in the sliced liver. Cook each side of the liver for about 30 seconds or until browned - it's important not to overcook the liver or it will be tough. When it has browned on both sides, deglaze the pan with a little white wine and season with sea salt and white pepper.

Remove from the heat and sprinkle over with chopped parsley - give it a stir and serve.

To serve:

Place the crostini on a plate and then top generously with the liver. Eat at once!

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Mini Lemon Madeleines

Carla Emilia from Un'Arbanella di Basilico is hosting both the English and Italian editions of Weekend Herb Blogging and this week I'm serving up these dainty Lemon Madeleines.

Lemon Madeleines© by Haalo

Lemon Madeleines
[Makes about 60 mini madeleines]

90 grams butter, melted and cooled
1 lemon, zested
2 eggs
75 grams caster sugar
20 grams soft brown sugar
90 grams plain flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
icing sugar, to dust

Add the lemon zest to the melted butter and allow to infuse until the butter has cooled.

Place the eggs and sugars into a processor and process until combined. Add the sifted flour and baking powder - process briefly to combine. With the motor running, add the cooled butter/lemon zest mixture.

Stop as soon as the mixture has amalgamated and pour out into a bowl - allow the batter to rest, for at least an hour or even overnight, in the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.

Butter and flour the Madeleine moulds.

Spoon batter to two-thirds fill each mould and bake 8-10 minutes or until golden and cooked through.

Let them cool slightly in the tray before dislodging them.

Allow to cool completely on a wire rack, pattern side up.

Dust with icing sugar before serving.
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