Tag Archives: Food

Mirka & Georges – A Culinary Affair by Lesley Harding and Kendrah Morgan (+ a recipe for Oysters roasted with Almonds and Butter)

Food, art, culture…intertwined in a way that is both enjoyable and informative. One of the best culinary themed books I have read in 2018.

Mirka & Georges – A Culinary Affair by Lesley Harding and Kendrah Morgan explores the extraordinary lives of Mirka and Georges Mora, their invaluable contributions to the art and culinary scene of Melbourne.

Mirka & Georges – A Culinary Affair by Lesley Harding and Kendrah Morgan (+ a recipe for Oysters roasted with Almonds and Butter) - thespiceadventuress.com

Lesley and Kendrah are senior curators at the Heide Museum of Modern Art (Heidelberg, Melbourne) who have previously co-authored the books, ‘Sunday’s Kitchen: Food & Living at Heide’, ‘Sunday’s Garden: Growing Heide’ and ‘Modern Love: The Lives of John and Sunday Reed’.

I have always been a fan of Heide Museum, visiting whenever time allowed me. It all started when I first took Adi for a holiday program at the museum but it would be fair to say that I fell in love with the space. It’s more than art at Heide; the beautiful expanse of greenery around, the vegetable gardens, the café serving absolutely vibrant delicious food, all of it inspires me to keep returning to the Museum.

The first time I came across the name, Mirka, was also at Heide. There was an exhibition featuring her art works and also copies of this book at the store inside the museum. But I initially dismissed it thinking the book is going to be all about art, not even paying attention to the word ‘culinary’ in the title. Little did I know that ‘A Culinary Affair’ is not just a glorious illustration of Mirka’s works and their life story but also contains lots of classic French recipes that are absolutely brilliant.

A beautiful sky blue hard bound book filled with the most beautiful drawings and illustrations, mostly by Mirka along with many personal photographs adorns the pages. The narrative begins with a brief introduction to Mirka’s childhood in France, growing up during the period of the Second World War, the perils and tragedies faced during the Holocaust, meeting Georges and finally moving to Melbourne in 1951.

‘Bohemian’ is perhaps the best word to describe Mirka’s and Georges’s way of life. Both of them led a very colourful, enterprising, creative, free-spirited lifestyle peppered with sophisticated food, sexual intrigue and artistic endeavours.

Their contributions to the culinary landscape of Melbourne are immense with the Mirka café, Balzac Restaurant and Tolarno French Bistro. The book tells us about their journey into opening each eatery, how it became the hub for rich and famous including the likes of Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan, Ava Gardner, Gregory Peck etc…. to name a few.

Mirka and Georges also contributed immensely to the artistic scene of post war Melbourne. Their apartment was often the den for artists and artistic discussions. Today, the name Mora is much revered amongst the culinary and art circle of Melbourne and imprints of it can be seen at Heide Museum, MoMA etc…

The authors have done an excellent job in giving us a glimpse into the culturally rich and vibrant life of the Moras. For a relatively new migrant like me, the book is a peep into the stories of some of the people who have shaped Melbourne as we know today. And the Moras led such an exciting life than parts of it almost feels like fiction to me. I now understand that the post war Melbourne was anything but boring; it was grand, exciting and full of adventures. The only thing similarity that I can draw to the modern times is that this beautiful city that I now call home was welcoming to people from all walks of life from all over the world, just as it is today.

Coming to the recipes outlined in this book, I intend to try out each and every one. But the one that caught my attention was a recipe for Huitres Grillees Aux Amandes or Grilled Oysters with Almonds and Butter.

Mirka & Georges – A Culinary Affair by Lesley Harding and Kendrah Morgan (+ a recipe for Oysters roasted with Almonds and Butter) - thespiceadventuress.com

Mirka & Georges – A Culinary Affair by Lesley Harding and Kendrah Morgan (+ a recipe for Oysters roasted with Almonds and Butter) - thespiceadventuress.com

Mirka & Georges – A Culinary Affair by Lesley Harding and Kendrah Morgan (+ a recipe for Oysters roasted with Almonds and Butter) - thespiceadventuress.com

Ingredients:

  1. 12 fresh oysters
  2. ¼ cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  3. ¼ cup almond meal (or ground almonds)
  4. 1 ½ tsp Grand Marnier (optional or replace with brandy as in original recipe)
  5. 1 small garlic clove; grated
  6. Cayenne pepper
  7. Lemon wedges, to serve

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan forced)
  2. Cream the butter and almond meal; grate in the garlic and add the Grand Marnier. Also add a pinch of cayenne pepper. Mix well to combine.
  3. Pour off the extra liquid from the oysters and cover each with a tsp of the almond mixture.
  4. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes.
  5. Serve immediately garnished with a pinch of cayenne pepper

Mirka & Georges – A Culinary Affair by Lesley Harding and Kendrah Morgan (+ a recipe for Oysters roasted with Almonds and Butter)

Mirka & Georges – A Culinary Affair by Lesley Harding and Kendrah Morgan (+ a recipe for Oysters roasted with Almonds and Butter) - thespiceadventuress.com

 

 

 

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Top 15 Recipes for Easter Holidays

Easter is just around the corner and that means a whole lot of celebrations, family lunches and special meals.

So I thought of sharing with you a couple of my favourites (some of which I will be making again this year) which might make menu planning easier for you or might give you the inspiration to try out something new for your friends and family.

So here we go…..

Cocktails always add a bit of drama to any party. It is fun and interactive encouraging your friends to be a part of it too. And of course the thrill of trying out something new instead of just wine or spirits.

This Chambord Margarita is light and refreshing; sweet, fruity and citrusy but above all, the prettiest cocktail I have made in a long time. A beautiful blush of pink that tastes as delicious as it looks! A definite wow factor on your party table!

Chambord Margarita - A beautiful blush of pink that tastes as delicious as it looks - thespiceadventuress.com

But if you wish for more robust flavours, something more spicy and citrusy, then look no further than this Swedish Mule made using the new Kopparberg Elderflower and Lime cider. With the freshness and slightly spicy undertones from the ginger, zingy bursts of passionfruit and the sweet refreshing vibrancy of the elderflower and lime, the Swedish Mule will definitely be a hit at your party.

Swedish Mule, a Kopparberg Elderflower & Lime Cocktail - Freshness and slightly spicy undertones from the ginger, zingy bursts of passionfruit and the sweet refreshing vibrancy of the elderflower and lime - thespiceadventuress.com

Of course you need canapés at every party. And I have two to recommend, both of which are delicious, full of flavour and really easy to prepare.

The first is this Baked Oysters with Garlic, Curry leaf and Kashmiri Chilli which will make your guests swoon over with delight. And the second will be these pretty Grilled Scallops with Garlic Butter and Chillies.

Baked Oysters with Garlic, Curry Leaf and Kashmiri Chilli - Soft, plump and juicy oysters are oven baked with a garlic and curry leaf butter emulsion, coriander leaves and Kashmiri chilli powder - thespiceadventuress.com

Grilled Scallops with Garlic Butter and Chillies - a simple and gorgeous looking party canape - thespiceadventuress.com

And for some vegetarian canapés/salads….

A Stuffed cucumber salad that’s easy to make, refreshing, delicious, looks pretty and stylish too. And get your hands on some fresh, juicy cherry tomatoes for this refreshing Cherry tomato salad that makes a great accompaniment to grilled seafood and meats.

Stuffed Cucumber Salad - a refreshing, simply and delicious vegetarian canape/starter - thespiceadventuress.com

Cherry Tomato Salad - a vibrant and delicious tomato salad which pairs beautifully with grilled meats and seafood - thespiceadventuress.com

Is lamb your thing? Then I have two dishes for you today.

Vindaloo lamb chops – succulent, delicately frenched lamb chops smothered with the lipsmacking vindaloo marinade, pan fried and finished off with a dash of tomato sauce. Believe me folks, this one never fails to impress especially if you have spice lovers in your guest list.

Vindaloo Lamb Chops - succulent, delicately frenched lamb chops smothered with the lipsmacking vindaloo marinade - thespiceadventuress.com

Maybe a wickedly rich, intensely flavourful, deep dark lamb curry is what you seek like this Gosht Durbari (Lamb Curry slow cooked with Yoghurt, Fried Onions and Spices) – by far, the most successful recipe on my blog!

Gosht Durbari (Lamb Curry slow cooked with Yoghurt, Fried Onions and Spices) - a delicious slow cooked lamb curry with fried onions, yoghurt and spices - thespiceadventuress.com

Looking for something new and whacky to impress. Here’s one that always gets the conversation going…..Roast Chicken with Vegemite Masala (with Chilli Garlic Asparagus and Cumin spiced Mashed Potatoes)

Roast Chicken with Vegemite Masala (with Chilli Garlic Asparagus and Cumin spiced Mashed Potatoes) - an Indo Australian fusion recipe - thespiceadventuress.com

If you are of Indian origin, then there is no looking beyond the quintessential pot of biryani for Easter. Ditch the meat and celebrate seafood this season with this super delicious Goan Fish Biryani.

Goan Fish Biryani - a lipsmacking biryani made Spanish mackerel and flavoured mildly with spices - thespiceadventuress.com

Or perhaps this Roasted golden trout that can be served on a bed of Arabian rice. Feeds a crowd!

Roasted Spicy Golden Trout with Arabian Rice - perfectly roasted golden trout with a delicious signature spice marinade - thespiceadventuress.com

Got children in the party? Then you might need to take a serious look at these Extra tender meatballs.

Extra tender meatballs - melt in your mouth meatballs to wow the young and old alike - thespiceadventuress.com

And of course no Easter party can be complete without dessert.

You can either go all fudgy and chocolicious with this Chocolate Fudge Cake with Milk Chocolate Buttercream and Fresh Strawberries

Chocolate Fudge Cake with Milk Chocolate and Fresh Strawberries - the most delicious way to say 'I love you' this Valentine's Day - thespiceadventuress.com

Or opt for a lighter but equally delicious Lemon Cake.

Lemon Cake - a light, fluffy and moist cake with citrusy flavours - thespiceadventuress.com

Let’s start the party all over again with this delicious brunch. Eggs in Tomatoes – a lipsmacking interpretation of the classic British egg, tomato and bacon breakfast.

Eggs in Tomatoes – a lipsmacking interpretation of the classic British egg, tomato and bacon breakfast - thespiceadventuress.com

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