A few years ago, one of my BFFs was talking to me about the “suckage”. Everybody talks about how valuable time, money, and sleep are but nobody ever talks about “spiritual” energy, i.e. doing things that make you feel energized. I’m doing my best to avoid the suckage, even if I am feeling a bit overbooked as of late. After all, it’s the best season of the year and there is so much fresh food around! While I haven’t cooked in a few weeks, I’ve got some stuff planned for August. Stay tuned! For now, stuff about that one weekend when I cooked in July.
(Side Note: I’m having a media issue so the photos are forthcoming. If you’re interested, just comment & I can email the pics to you)
Without realizing it, this post is a bit on the Australian side.
One late night at the radio station, I got served a You Tube ad for Red Rock Deli chips. I was on the tired side and – no joke – thought I was having some weird fever dream or that I somehow had patched into an Australian IP. Red Rock Deli chips are the premium level bagged chips in Australia. I’ve eaten many, many bags in my lifetime. Apparently, they’re doing a launch in the US market. For now, the ones we are getting here are actually made in Australia so they actually taste like potatoes vs. salt & oil. I ordered a mixed case from Amazon (I love Prime but am completely conflicted about the packaging). There was a packing issue so I ended up with a case of all Lime & Cracked Pepper, a tropical version of salt & vinegar. Since you can’t return food, they let me keep that case. The mixed one with Himalayan Sea Salt and Sweet Chili & Sour Cream arrived the next day. Fingers crossed they’ll release the Honey Soy Chicken ones. Americans tend to like sugary tasting stuff so I’m guessing those probably won’t make it here. They’ll just stay a special treat for when I travel.
Billy Kwong is probably my most favorite restaurant on earth. It’s all sustainable, local food made in a Chinese-Australian style. I love authentic Chinese as well but fusion recipes can be really fun. BTW, if you’re ever in Dublin, Hang Dai does very similar stuff. Anyway, the service reminds me of Upstairs on the Square (sadness!) – very sophisticated but unpretentious and delicious. We usually get the “banquet” which is a bunch of dim sum style starters, rice, veggies, fish, and duck. The duck is deep fried and it’s sublime. Don’t be afraid of frying – it just provides some texture & extra flavor to the skin and goes really well with the acidity from the plums and blood oranges.
For sides, we did rice and a snow pea, zucchini, and asparagus salad with mint and hot sesame oil. The key is to put all the ingredients together and drizzle hot, not spicy sesame oil over it. The heat collapses the mint and gives the veggies a nice summery flavor once it all cools down.
Accompanying wine: Taittinger Rose
As you can imagine, we had a ton of food leftover. The next day was a picnic of sorts with the white & rose Bulgarian wine from what our other friends call LIQUOR FANTASTICO!!!!. So cheap! So much variety! So many free tastings! I bought them on a whim, not knowing how they’d be. They were great, holding up well to all the strong flavors. They also stored well after being opened. In general, I tend to recommend Central/European wines (German, Czech, Hungarian, etc.) for game meats & birds and the Bulgarians did not disappoint…even the white.
Like I said if you need pictures or recipes, hit me up in the comments.