Fish Tacos (with Pickled Slaw and Jalapeno Mayo)

Tacos are delicious morsels, packed with flavour and these fish tacos are no exception!

Crispy slivers of barramundi with sweet n’ salty pickled onions and carrots, finished off with jalapeno mayo to spice things up a bit. An easy dish to put together that brings the whole family around at the dinner table.

Fish Tacos (with Pickled Slaw and Jalapeno Mayo) - thespiceadventuress.com

It’s been a little crazy out here, with all of us getting sick and that paired with the start of the school holidays, when every routine gets unfollowed. A death in the family further put me back on spirits so there’s been very little work that I have actually been doing. Top that with the early winter sunsets, I hardly get to shoot any food if I haven’t prepared it on time.

I made these tacos for a client, so thought this was a good time to share it with you especially if you live Down Under and have hungry kids all day at home. Tacos are one of my favourite things to make in the kitchen because even though there is a bit of prep involved, it’s easy and everyday ingredients that can be put together really quickly.

You could use any white fish for this recipe; buy whatever is in season and locally available. We are lucky to get local and really fresh barramundi out here so that’s why I have used it. But any white fish with a relatively firm flesh can be used.

Fish Tacos (with Pickled Slaw and Jalapeno Mayo) - thespiceadventuress.com

I always have an assortment of pickled veggies in my refrigerator; it’s just a convenient, affordable and simple way to add oodles of flavour to your food. For these tacos, I have made pickled slaw using carrots and onions with whole spices for that extra hint of flavour. And the jalapeno mayo, which is the simplest thing to make. I have grown quite fond of homemade mayo, it’s such an easy job once you begin to do it regularly and so much healthier than the bottled stuff. So do give it a try if you have never made it before.

Ingredients:

  1. Wheat tortillas
  2. 1 large carrot; julienned
  3. 1 large red onion; julienned

Find the full recipe here…..

 

Fish Tacos (with Pickled Slaw and Jalapeno Mayo) - thespiceadventuress.com

 

This recipe was developed, styled and shot for Supreme Seafood..

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Peking Land (Rowville, Melbourne) – a Review

It’s quite strange that very few people write about food/restaurants in the suburbs.  Especially in Melbourne, I have noticed that the reviews are concentrated in and around the city or in picturesque slightly far flung areas like Yarra or Mornington. But there are hardly any coming out of the suburbs, where eating out at your neighborhood restaurant is the reality for most residents.

We have always enjoyed discovering restaurants in our suburb as well as the neighbouring ones. It’s often word of mouth or random experiments, some of which turn out to be an amazing find and some others not so pleasant.

And that’s how we ended up at Peking Land. A new South Indian restaurant had opened in Rowville, and we noticed Peking Land during a visit to the other restaurant as both occupied neighbouring spaces. So one weekend, when the Asian tastebuds needed to be satisfied, we decided to try out the place.

Peking Land has a huge space so most days, you can get away without making a booking unless they have an event going on. But it still would be wise to give a call to find out before walking in. I also noticed they have some great deals for takeaways and you can find all that information near the cash counter.

The décor is classic Oriental; deep red upholstery against dark wood furniture with Chinese lanterns and dim lights. Despite the familiarity, the place does invoke a sense of luxury and exotic.

Peking Land (Rowville, Melbourne) – a Review - thespiceadventuress.com

Peking Land (Rowville, Melbourne) – a Review - thespiceadventuress.com

Getting to the drinks and food, I was quite surprised to see an extensive wine, beverage and cocktail list. It’s hard to find in the suburbs especially in restaurants from the Asian subcontinent so it was definitely welcoming.

We decided to get a bottle of Murray Street Barossa Shiraz 2012. And boy, one of the best Shiraz we have had in a while! Rich yet smooth on the palate, it paired beautifully with all the dishes we ordered for the day. Peking Land also had some interesting cocktails on the menu, which I definitely plan to try out next time….

Peking Land (Rowville, Melbourne) – a Review - thespiceadventuress.com

We began the meal with two types of dumplings. The first was steamed Cantonese style dim sims with a pork filling and the second was pan fried dumplings with pork and prawn filling. Both were really delicious and the Cantonese style dim sims were quite new to me in terms of taste and texture.

Peking Land (Rowville, Melbourne) – a Review - thespiceadventuress.com

Peking Land (Rowville, Melbourne) – a Review - thespiceadventuress.com

The next dishes to arrive were the soups. One of the main reasons we tend to visit  traditional Chinese restaurants is for the soups, especially during the colder months. So today, we had the hot and sour combination soup and the chicken mushroom soup. Both were equally amazing, warm and delicious.

Peking Land (Rowville, Melbourne) – a Review - thespiceadventuress.com

Peking Land (Rowville, Melbourne) – a Review - thespiceadventuress.com

And for mains, we had Chicken Fried Rice with Salted Fish with Phoenix Nest. It was the first time we tried out this particular style of fried rice. The dish was recommended by the staff and though Sam was a little hesitant seeing the ‘salted fish’ in the description, it turned out to be an amazing dish. It does not have the classic salted fish taste at all but there’s so much flavour than your regular fried rice. Do give it a try, you will be pleasantly surprised.

Peking Land (Rowville, Melbourne) – a Review - thespiceadventuress.com

Phoenix Nest is a dish I have had before in India. Basically, its sautéed combination of chicken, beef, roasted pork and king prawns with wok tossed vegetables served on a crisp potato nest. While in India, the flavours are Indo Chinese, this one is pure Cantonese. So good with the fried rice….

Peking Land (Rowville, Melbourne) – a Review - thespiceadventuress.com

Overall, a great place to stop by for traditional Cantonese style cuisine. We will definitely be going back again…

Peking Land

1089 Stud Road, Rowville
Victoria 3178

Phone no: 03 9764 9388

Timings:

Monday: 12-3pm, 5-10.30pm
Tuesday: 12-3pm, 5-10.30pm
Wednesday: 12-3pm, 5-10.30pm
Thursday: 12-3pm, 5-10.30pm
Friday: 12-3pm, 5-11.30pm
Saturday: 5-11.30pm
Sunday: 12-3pm, 5-10.30pm

Peking Land Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

June Favourites + Winter school holidays

A fabulous new month is here and we are freezing Down Under!

Bone chillin cold days, huddled inside layers of clothing….I have never been a winter person at all. But opposed to my earlier years here, I am now better equipped to handle it now which has actually made this winter season rather interesting.

Earlier in the month, we visited the Van Gogh and the Seasons Exhibition at NGV. Curated by Sjraar van Heugten, independent art historian and former Head of Collections at the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, this event is exclusive to Melbourne and is the largest collection of Van Gogh artworks to ever travel to Australia.

The exhibition was a profoundly emotional and overwhelming one. Never has an artist moved me so much…each painting spoke to me deeply as if Van Gogh was trying to tell me something personally. It’s a beautiful experience, one the whole family can cherish. So make sure you don’t miss this opportunity since the exhibition ends by 12th July, 2017.

Van Gogh and the Seasons Exhibition - thespiceadventuress.com

Another iconic place I visited last month was the State Library of Victoria. It was my first time and I wonder what took me so long to visit this place, given the fact I am a book nerd. But better late than never! It’s a massive space with so much history, architecture, rare artefacts, books that one visit simply wouldn’t do. This time, I visited with my bunch of friends who are book lovers too and we did our first book swap meet. Next time, I am planning on taking a guided tour to understand more about this iconic library.

My photographs don’t do any justice, but still a few clicks from that visit….

State Library of Victoria - thespiceadventuress.com

State Library of Victoria - thespiceadventuress.com

Our winter school hols began with the Skate, Slide and Chill at Common Man, South Wharf. Melbourne has been transformed into a winter wonderland this year with plenty of activities to get the kids outdoors during the holidays.

It was so much fun to chill out at Common Man, where the boys had a session on the ice rink followed by loads of toboggan sliding. And all that skating left us hungry and famished, so the little fella warmed himself with some hot chocolate, while we sipped on Absolut cocktails and a plate of steaming hot dimsims.

Get more details about the event here.

Skate, Slide and Chill at Common Man - thespiceadventuress.com

Absolut Cosmo Spritz, Skate, Slide and Chill at Common Man - thespiceadventuress.com

And finally, these salmon kebabs were a huge hit on the blog last month. Have you tried it out?

Salmon Kebabs - thespiceadventuress.com

Also leaving you guys with my favourites from other creatives in the digital space…..

This lady knows fashion and she has some great tips for those who are seeking to break into the industry.

Mental Load and Gender Wars! Finally an article that has spoken the woman’s mind when it comes to household chores.

Her food photographs have always inspired me, especially this one.

Another inspiring food photographer with this fabulous recipe.

Need to learn how to make gnocchi just to make this plate of deliciousness!

Another goal for the year is to learn to bake these gorgeous dinner rolls.

Do you love bulgogi?

This soup has a chilli chia seed tempering. Fabulous, isn’t it?

Drooling big time over this spicy mutton curry.

This pickle has a deep emotional connect with me and my childhood.

This Mojito and this Martini.

And for my friends who are basking in the sun at the moment; this summer salad.

I am definitely making this when summer arrives here again…

Monkey King (Melbourne CBD) – a Review

Books are a very special and integral part of my life; it has been so ever since I can remember. At all phases of my childhood, I have been a book nerd seeking to escape into another world through words and characters.

In the past four years of living here, I have slowly formed a small gang of friends who appreciate books and reading as much as I do. And finally, earlier in the month, we decided to have our first ever book swap meet. It was to be a pretty informal affair, just a handful of us meeting in the city to swap some of the books from our collections. And we also decided to make a visit to the State Library Victoria; what better place for a book lover, rite!

Time must never be a parameter when a bunch of women decide to meet so the plan was to catch up in a central point before heading to the library. And since I arrived in the city without having any lunch (just an excuse), I decided to join up with another GF. So randomly, without any clue whatsoever about the place, we landed up at Monkey King inside Melbourne Central. And before we knew it, others joined and soon what was supposed to be a quick lunch turned into a slow, relaxed and delicious lunch affair.

Monkey King is relatively new to the Melbourne Central food scene. As I understand it, the restaurant is going through some changes so the space is divided into a bar and restaurant, and they operate separately in spite of being in the same space.

Industrial chic, boho with contemporary Asian influences, the décor and ambience of Monkey King is definitely worth mentioning. With beautiful art murals and interesting accessories, the space is lavish and welcoming; definitely a respite from the crowds.

Monkey King, Melbourne - thespiceadventuress.com

Monkey King, Melbourne - thespiceadventuress.com

I was quite impressed with the bar menu, especially the cocktails. There were a range of tea based cocktails, with really interesting flavour combinations. You could also consult the bartender and come up with your own cocktail creation which can then be named after you.

Before we get into the food, here are the cocktails we tried out;

Monkey King, Melbourne - thespiceadventuress.com

Cucumber and Rose Tea Tom Collins; a perfect afternoon drink created from a blend of Gin, Gifford Lychee Liqueur, fresh lemon juice, rose syrup topped with soda. It was refreshing, delicious and that hint of rose was just amazing.

Monkey King, Melbourne - thespiceadventuress.com

Hibiscus and Peach Bellini; a blend of West Winds Gin with lemon, peach sugar, hibiscus syrup topped with sparkling wine. Again a refreshing drink perfect for long chatty afternoon with friends.

Monkey King, Melbourne - thespiceadventuress.com

Peppermint Tea Mojito; with Mt Gay white rum, lime and an in house peppermint tea syrup. A beautiful ombre drink again perfect for the afternoons.

So as I mentioned, Monkey King currently operates another restaurant inside its space called Bao & Co. As the name suggests, the menu focuses on different style of bao which is essentially Chinese style steamed buns with a variety of fillings. It’s a simple and small menu but we sampled quite a few dishes to reach the conclusion that this was an amazing place to return to.

We ordered different style of bao along with a few sides and here’s what we had;

Monkey King, Melbourne - thespiceadventuress.com

Wasabi Barramundi Bao – crispy barramundi, seaweed, dill, wasabi mayo with pickled vegetables all encased in the softest bao. Damn delicious and highly recommended!

Monkey King, Melbourne - thespiceadventuress.com

Crispy Fried Chicken Bao – chicken, pickle, coriander, carrot, cucumber, red cabbage with chilli mayo. This one was fabulous especially with bits of crispy chicken against the freshness of the vegetables.

Monkey King, Melbourne - thespiceadventuress.com

Veggie Lover Bao – with a vibrant, refreshing mix of veggies, the vegetarian version of the bao is equally delicious as its non vegetarian counterpart.

Monkey King, Melbourne - thespiceadventuress.com

Papaya Salad – we could all go back just to eat this salad. Carrots, chilli, green papaya, crushed peanuts, fried shallots with cherry tomato; this salad was bursting with delicious flavours and made the perfect side to the bao.

Monkey King, Melbourne - thespiceadventuress.com

Crunchy seasoned wedges – perfectly seasoned and crispy wedges yet soft and fluffy inside.

Monkey King, Melbourne - thespiceadventuress.com

Edamame Bean – Boiled green soybeans with sea salt. One of the healthiest yet really delicious snack to munch on.

Monkey King, Melbourne - thespiceadventuress.com

Veggie Spring Rolls – crispy rolls with delicious mixed veggie filling; it was freshly made and that made all the difference.

And as always, we left no room for dessert but there were quite a few sweet bao versions to try out; maybe next time.

Monkey King

Melbourne Central Shopping Centre,
68 Menzies Alley,
Melbourne VIC 3000

Phone no: (03) 9066 0207

Website: http://www.monkeykingbar.com.au/

Timings:

Monday: 11.30am – 11.00pm
Tuesday: 11.30am – 11.00pm
Wednesday: 11.30am – 11.00pm
Thursday: 11.30am – 3pm; 4pm – 1am
Friday: 11.30am – 3pm; 4pm – 1am
Saturday: 11.30am – 3pm; 4pm – 1am
Sunday: 5.00pm – 10.00pm

Monkey King Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Pink Lady

After being down with one of the worst flu experiences I have ever had in my life, I am slowly returning back to my juice/smoothie routine in the mornings.

Breakfast has always been a challenge for me; I just can’t get myself to eat a full, proper meal in the mornings. Over the years, I have tried a zillion different ways to do this but I have finally come to accept my body and listen to it instead of eating the way that is often described as ‘ideal’.

I love to eat fruit in the mornings and that’s what I generally do on most weekday mornings after that mandatory mug of coffee. Sometimes, I have a whole fruit while working and sometimes, it’s a juice or smoothie. It might seem like very less food to most of you, but that’s all I can bring myself to eat in the mornings.

And since my appetite had gone all haywire during the flu, I felt completely drained of energy even though I have recovered mostly. So I decided to have The Pink Lady, because this concoction is great for energy and immunity, both of which I need generous amounts of.

The Pink Lady - thespiceadventuress.com

I also decided to add bee pollen, which has a whole lot of health benefits. Not usually a person who reaches out for fancy ingredients, but I was given a couple of ingredients like these to try out by the generous folks at Dandenong Market. And since the bee pollen is so good for the body, I have made it a frequent addition to my smoothies.

The Pink Lady is a simple drink; but what makes it high energy is the use of bananas and cranberry juice. This one’s also high in Vitamin C and B complex, again nutrients that are great to build immunity and gut health.

Most of the smoothies I make in the mornings are posted on Facebook, and very few make an appearance here. So if you like to get more of those recipes, follow me on any of the social media channels.

The Pink Lady - thespiceadventuress.com

And if you make this drink, do tag me in your post using #thespiceadventuress so that I can view it too.

(Recipe adapted from 101 Fantastic Juices and Smoothies)

Ingredients:

  1. 2 ripe bananas
  2. 6-8 raspberries
  3. 200ml cranberry juice
  4. ½ tsp bee pollen
  5. A drizzle of Manuka honey

Method:

Blitz all the ingredients in a blender and enjoy.

The Pink Lady - thespiceadventuress.com

 

Burma Lane (Little Collins St. Melbourne) – a Review

‘Created in Melbourne, Inspired by Asia’…..that tagline fits Burma Lane perfectly.

I was at Burma Lane recently for a tasting of their new menu and also to view the photographic exhibition, ‘Seasons of Gold’. And as part of my work with Indian Link, I was also doing an interview with Anu Kumar, one of the photographers taking part in the exhibition.

‘Seasons of Gold’ presented by Burma Lane, not only showcases the launch of the restaurant’s new menu but also celebrates the unique Modern Australian-Asian street art and photography.

Burma Lane, Melbourne - thespiceadventuress.com

A digital exhibition that is set against the breathtaking Mike Eleven mural, champions the work of four up and coming photographers (Jaz Blom, Anu Kumar, Thomas Lim and Bryan Tang), highlighting the culinary ethos of Burma Lane’s Australian Asian identity.

Located on the vibrant and bustling Little Collins St, Burma Lane is an escape into relaxed sophistication. For a good few minutes, I stood staring at the Mike Eleven mural; something which I continued to do throughout my time there. It is simply stunning!

Burma Lane, Melbourne - thespiceadventuress.com

The dishes are light tapas style and perfect for sharing. It is not a long menu, but a small simple one that focuses highly on local and seasonal produce.

Since I was working, didn’t order any drinks but jumped right into the food after the interview. And since Anu was a vegetarian, I got to sample some of those too. Lucky me, I say!

All the dishes I tasted were delicious, nothing to fault at all. So instead of writing delicious in almost every sentence, I am just going to do a pictorial guide to all the dishes captioned with the name and explanation of the dish.

Burma Lane, Melbourne - thespiceadventuress.com

Pickled tea leaf, cabbage, peanut, crispy bean, tomato salad; a vibrant and refreshing salad with such interesting textures.

Burma Lane, Melbourne - thespiceadventuress.com

Smoked wings, chilli, sesame, green onion; fingerlickin good with that sweet and spicy sticky coating.

Burma Lane, Melbourne - thespiceadventuress.com

Cauliflower, potato dumplings, brussels sprouts, peanuts, chilli, Sichuan pepper; an absolutely stunning vegetarian dish that I highly recommend. Need to go back just to eat this again….

Burma Lane, Melbourne - thespiceadventuress.com

Shan tofu, smashed tomato, radish, herbs, peanuts. I am not too fond of tofu but this dish totally converted me with the interesting blend of flavours.

Burma Lane, Melbourne - thespiceadventuress.com

Green pea fritter, tomato curry, roasted carrot yoghurt, betel leaf…..yet another vegetarian delight!

Apart from this, I also ate the Five-spice pork belly, black pepper caramel, ginger, red vinegar which somehow I forgot to photograph. If you love pork, then this is just heavenly.

And we dug into all of these with great gusto and a side of steamed white rice.

The exhibition runs till the end of June, so it’s the perfect time to drop into Burma Lane with friends and family. I promise it will be a delicious experience.

Burma Lane

118 Little Collins St
Melbourne, VIC
Phone no: (03) 9615 8500

Website: http://burmalane.com/

Opening hours:

Lunch: 12 – 3pm
Dinner: 5.00pm – late

Mon: 12 – 3pm | 5.00pm – late
Tue: 12 – 3pm | 5.00pm – late
Wed: 12 – 3pm | 5.00pm – late
Thu: 12 – 3pm | 5.00pm – late
Fri: 12 – 3pm | 5.00pm – late
Sat: Closed | 5.00pm – late
Sun: Closed | Closed

Burma Lane Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclaimer – I had a media invite for the tastings; but all the opinions stated here are entirely mine. 

Salmon Kebabs

Today’s recipe was the result of a happy accident.

Salmon Kebabs - thespiceadventuress.com

I had actually set out to make salmon cutlets or croquettes for a client. And the plan was to make a version similar to these Kerala style beef cutlets. So I minced the salmon, added the sautéed onion spice mixture and rolled it into round balls before doing the customary egg breadcrumb routine. But something important came up and I had to go out only to return late,  just in time for dinner. There was not enough time to coat and crumb and then deep fry; and I needed to make something quick with the salmon mixture for dinner.

While shaping the mixture, I realised that since salmon is an oily fish, it held shape pretty well and didn’t really need any other binding agent. So I flattened out the prepared balls into small patties and shallow fried in a pan. The result was these delicious Salmon kebabs. I had struck gold!

Salmon Kebabs - thespiceadventuress.com

And ofcourse, I had to share the recipe with all of you. Because these kebabs are delicious, really simple to make and can grace your dinner tables in so many different ways. Have it as a starter/appetizer, serve it as a canapé topped with relish or chutney or serve it on a bed of salad for a simple light lunch. You can also make slightly bigger patties and have a salmon burger or slider.

The salmon mixture is great for making croquettes too just as I had initially intended.

So let’s get cooking these delicious Salmon Kebabs which is best paired with this tangy mint coriander chutney.

Ingredients:

  1. 1-2 salmon fillets; skinless (weighing approximately 300gms)
  2. 1 red onion; finely chopped

Click here for the full recipe….

Salmon Kebabs - thespiceadventuress.com

Fire roasted Bell Peppers, Tomato and Mozzarella Salad

If you follow me on Insta stories, you would have seen my weekly cookbook series. I do not have a huge collection but a handful of old, new and trusted ones that I cook from often. And last week, I had spoken to you about ‘The Food & Wine Lover’s Guide to Melbourne and Surroundings’.

Whenever we take a holiday in and around Melbourne, I always try to incorporate a bit of food wine experience into it. A visit to a farm, local food store, farmer’s market, restaurant or winery….something unique that celebrates the region. And this book has come handy on so many occasions for this purpose.

The book also features a few recipes from Chefs, restaurants and food producers of different regions. This salad really stood out to me because of the combination of flavours. Tomato and mozzarella is a classic combination but the addition of fire roasted bell peppers, watercress and the mustard dressing takes it to a whole new level.

Fire roasted Bell Peppers, Tomato and Mozzarella Salad - thespiceadventuress.com

What I loved most about this dish is that it can be served as a salad or as a side dish to grilled fish, meat or perhaps some grilled paneer/tofu. It’s warm and so full of flavour that makes it a delight even during the colder months. We enjoyed it as a salad with our Indian thali and also as a side with grilled fish, both times equally enjoyable and delicious.

This salad is all about the freshness and quality of ingredients. And using different varieties of tomatoes makes it all the more delicious. If you have a local deli nearby, then that’s probably the best place to get your hands on the buffalo mozzarella. I prefer fire roasting over oven roasting whenever possible; that burnt smoky flavour is hard to replicate completely inside an oven. But you can roast the bell peppers any way you wish to. Roast just enough to char the outsides but the flesh inside still has a bite to it.

Roasting bell pepper - food photography - thespiceadventuress.com

Enough said! Let’s get on with the recipe….

Ingredients:

  1. 1 heirloom tomato; sliced
  2. 1 ox heart tomato; sliced
  3. 1 medium red bell pepper
  4. 1 medium yellow bell pepper
  5. 1 large mozzarella ball
  6. ½ cup picked watercress
  7. 1 tsp seeded mustard dressing
  8. Olive oil
  9. 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  10. Salt, to season
  11. Freshly milled black pepper; to season

Method:

  1. Roast both the bell peppers over an open flame till nicely charred all around. Cover with a cloth for a few minutes before peeling off the skin (this makes the process easier). Deseed the bell peppers and slice into thin strips. Alternatively, oven roast the bell peppers and then do the same.
  2. Cut the mozzarella ball into wedges and keep aside.
  3. In a bowl, add the sliced bell peppers, mustard dressing and watercress.
  4. Heat olive oil in a pan and flash fry the sliced tomatoes for a few seconds, season with salt.
  5. Cool slightly and add the tomatoes to the bell peppers along with the mozzarella wedges.
  6. Season with salt and pepper, drizzle balsamic vinegar and toss lightly.
  7. Serve immediately.

Fire roasted Bell Peppers, Tomato and Mozzarella Salad - thespiceadventuress.com

 

 

 

May Favourites

Another fabulous month has gone by and once again it’s time to share with all of you the highlights of my month and all that tickled my fancy in May.

The world seems to be in much turmoil these days, most of which are beyond reason and comprehension. Which makes me all the more grateful for all that I have. In spite of the dark days, I continue to remind myself of all the goodness in this world, glimpses of which cross my life almost everyday and I continue to celebrate the simple joys that come my way.

Mother’s Day this year was a very special one for me. The little fellow showered me with quite a few gifts that he had bought from the Mother’s Day stall at his school. There was a also a special handmade Lego gift for me, a small house with our little family inside but, I was placed in the centre and he gave it to me saying, ‘you are the heart of this house, Mama’ which pretty much had me teary eyed. He is such a thoughtful boy and these simple joys make life so worthwhile.

The other surprise for Mother’s Day was from Pottery Barn, Australia. Earlier that month, they had run a competition on Instagram asking to post a special photograph of you with your mom or with your children. I had posted one with my little boy and we turned out to be one of the lucky winners. So we were sent a $100 gift voucher and also featured on the special Mother’s Day wall inside all their stores. It was a really beautiful thing to do which completed our special day on a high.

At Pottery Barn, Chadstone - thespiceadventuress.com

That’s us at Pottery Barn, Chadstone pointing to our photograph on the wall.

Coming back to the Lego bit, Adi is a Lego freak and a visit to the newly opened Legoland, Chadstone was on the cards for a long time. If you haven’t visited yet, then please do…..it’s amazing and the perfect place for some indoor play.

At legoland - thespiceadventuress.com

Stir fries have featured a lot on my dinner table last month, due to a lot of work commitments. Just a few ingredients and hardly any cooking time, that’s why stir fries are so popular these days. One of my favourites and one I have been making a lot recently is the Stir Fried Chicken with Sichuan Peppercorns, Chillies and Cashews. Its delicious guys, do give it a try.

Stir Fried Chicken with Sichuan Peppercorns, Chillies and Cashews - thespiceadventuress.com

And this has been my favourite drink of the month. A tad bit expensive, but totally worth it.

Dalmore single malt whisky - thespiceadventuress.com

Everything else that has inspired and wowed me last month;

Let’s start with this quote.

Quote of the month - thespiceadventuress.com

This Spanish chicken stew with cumin flavoured Cauliflower broccoli rice; healthy and absolute deliciousness.

One sheet pan shrimp fajitas; yet another quick weekday dinner.

More stir fry inspiration.

We are crazy about olives in our home; so the puttanesca is also much loved.

Pork belly rolls! Need I say more?

Have you ever wondered why the restaurant salsa tastes so good? Then here is how you make it.

This would make an interesting starter at your next party.

The most delicious thing I have seen all month.

This pineapple chutney is so interesting; would make an excellent addition to my cheese platter.

What a delicious way to finish off the sambal paste in my fridge.

Learning to incorporate more farro into my diet with this salad

Such a beautiful cocktail and delicious too.

Cocktails and sun signs! Apparently I am the champagne girl…hmmm, really interesting. What’s yours?

Lusting after this beautiful Staub dutch oven. Sigh!

Pork Steaks with Madeira Reduction, Potato Mash and Roasted Carrots

Pork Steaks with Madeira Reduction, Potato Mash and Roasted Carrots - thespiceadventuress.com

My love affair with pork began only after moving to Australia.

Pork was an almost non-existent meat in my childhood, since I lived in the Middle East. And it only made an occasional appearance when I visited India during holidays. There is a myth that pork is not very popular in India but that’s so far from the truth. Agreed, it’s not the most preferred meat due to several cultural and religious reasons but there are communities where pork is revered and is considered a delicacy. And in Kerala, it’s extremely popular among several Christian communities.

When I moved back to India, pork became a more regular meat in our household because my mom absolutely loves it. But I really didn’t enjoy it at all and would just pick at it. I think it must have been the preparation and also the quality of the meat itself that put me off.

After moving to Australia, the fact that prompted me to buy pork is the disappointing ‘vindaloo’ that is served at most Indian restaurants. I was on a mission to learn how to make a good vindaloo (which I did) and pork ofcourse was the meat of choice.

Australian pork was a revelation. The quality of meat is absolutely amazing and I could not help but fall in love with it. I cook with pork a lot these days, not just in curries or stir fries but also a variety of ways and one of my absolute favourite is steak.

Australian pork - food photography - thespiceadventuress.com

I usually cook steaks based on intuition but for pork, I usually follow the 6-2-2 method. You cannot miss the Australian pork ads that run on TV with a catchy tag line like ‘get some pork on your fork’ and that’s where I first got to know about the 6-2-2 cooking method. Basically what it means is cook the steaks for 6 minutes on one side, then 2 minutes on the other and finally rest for another 2 minutes before serving. I have been using this guideline for a while now and it always delivers the best result.

The thickness of the steak is important while using this method. If you like the meat well done, then use 2cm steaks for this method but if you prefer that blush of pink (highly recommended), then get steaks slightly bigger than 2cm.

So here’s the final dish, pork steaks with a simple coriander fennel rub, creamy potato mash, roasted carrots and Madeira reduction. Now let’s get cooking….

Madeira - food photography - thespiceadventuress.com

Pork Steaks with Madeira Reduction, Potato Mash and Roasted Carrots

Recipe for Roasted carrots can be found here.

Ingredients:

For the pork:

  1. 4 pork steaks (approximately 2cm)
  2. 1 tsp coriander seeds
  3. 1 tsp fennel seeds
  4. ½ tsp black peppercorns
  5. Salt, to season
  6. 2-3 tbsp olive oil

For the Madeira reduction:

(adapted from Heston’s Fantastical Feasts)

  1. 85gms shallots; finely chopped
  2. 30gms leek (white and pale parts); sliced
  3. 2 medium garlic cloves; crushed
  4. 1 tsp coriander seeds
  5. 1 dried bay leaf
  6. 375ml Madeira

For the mashed potato:

  1. 500gms potatoes (I used russet but you can use any which lends a creamy texture)
  2. 2 large garlic clove
  3. 5 tbsp unsalted butter
  4. ½ cup milk
  5. 1 tsp dried oregano
  6. Salt, to season
  7. Black pepper, to season
  8. 1 tsp chives; finely chopped
  1. 1 tsp chives; finely chopped

Method:

For the pork:

  1. To prepare the rub, pound the coriander seeds, fennel seeds and black peppercorns using a mortar and pestle.
  2. Add to the pork steaks along with the olive oil and season well with salt. Rub thoroughly on both sides of the steak and keep aside for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Heat a pan to high (you may use a grill) and then reduce to medium high. Place the pork steaks and cook on one side for 6 minutes. Then turn over and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from pan and rest for another 2 minutes (cover while resting). I do not add more oil to the pan as the steaks are oiled well but you may add if you wish to.

For the Madeira reduction:

Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and cook on low heat for about 30-40 minutes or till the liquid has almost halved. Strain and keep aside.

For the mashed potato:

  1. Cook the potatoes in salted boiling water till soft.
  2. Add 2 tbsp butter to a small pan along with the garlic; cook on low heat till garlic turns golden. Remove from flame and add the oregano. Keep aside.
  3. In another pan, place the potatoes, milk and remaining butter. Mash and cook on low heat whisking continuously till you get a smooth, creamy mixture.
  4. Season with salt and pepper; remove when desired texture has been achieved. If you want super creamy texture, pass the mashed potatoes through a sieve (I didn’t do this, though).
  5. Add the melted garlic infused butter to the mashed potatoes and stir through; garnish with chopped chives.

Pork Steaks with Madeira Reduction, Potato Mash and Roasted Carrots - thespiceadventuress.com

Pork Steaks with Madeira Reduction, Potato Mash and Roasted Carrots - thespiceadventuress.com

This post has been bought to you in collaboration with Australian Pork and Social Soup. I have been using Australian pork for years so the opinions as well as the recipe are unbiased and entirely mine.

 

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