Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Back at Bulleen for an impromptu cookup

Ok ... wow they move further out and we see more of them than ever. How does that work? Anyhoo, in a sort of indirect way we once again invited ourselves to dinner at J & CC's over in Bulleen.

Indecisions pushed the hands of the clock along faster and we had to satisfy ourselves with a shop at the local supermarket. We had visions of porcini mushrooms and tinned snails at Leo's but had to succumb to the god of compromise.

Feeling rather lethargic and somewhat over it, it was amazing what we achieved once we got going. DV was thumbing through a pile of recipe books and came across a roast pork recipe that he liked the look of. This called for said porcini mushrooms, but we settled for dried chinese mushrooms instead.

This was a straightforward dish that took hardly any effort. I had to salt and oil the Pork Loin and roast it on high heat for 20mins to crisp the skin. In the meantime I had the dried mushrooms soaking, and fried up the Swiss browns in olive oil with rosemary and dry sherry (which we didn't have, so I used a combo of white wine vinegar, riesling and sugar) with salt and pepper to taste. After 20 mins in the oven, you simply pour the soaked dried mushrooms with the liquid and the fired brown mushroom mix into the roasting pan, bung it back in the oven and roast on medium heat for another 2 hours.

There was a short kerfuffle over the cooking of mussels, but I won out at the end, as seafood really does go very well with pork.

The spanish tapas styled Mussels cooked in a tomato sauce fairly leapt off the page in deliciousness, but Compromise welded his sabre of division and smote us down, so we had to settlle for Basa fish fillets instead.

I found an intriguing Paper Wrapped chicken recipe which was a play on peking duck, incorporating the sweet pappy flavours with spring onion, lao cheong and vietnamese rice paper. This turned out to be a bit of a disaster as the rolls stuck to the alfoil we used to line the baking tray. Still, they pretty much all got eaten in the end.

DV suggested a cheats version of Murtabak and yet again Compromise proved a vertiginous child and we couldn't find any ready made roti, so we bought pastry sheets and made samosas instead ... or rather singaporean 711 curry puffs as DV said. And they really were like the triangular shaped curry puffs you find in Singapore 711s. DV pan fried some of them, and baked the rest. I preferred the Baked ones as the fried ones were a little limp.

 Cheats Murtabak - fried

 Cheats Murtabak -Baked

DV's curried mince filling was typical South East Asian style - the usual spice suspects but with the added sweetness of tomato ketchup.

To cut the richness, I made a warm salad using a sweet mirin like vinegar in my dressing which really made the dish. I will be hunting this down once I find out exactly what it was from CC.

And the evening ended with a lovely coffee that had a dash of brandy in it ... I will recommend this to you as the perfect nightcap after a heavy meal.

PS - I reckon one of my New year's resolutions should be to take better pictures ... ok to be more patient AND to take better pictures. What do you think?


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