Sunday, 5 July 2015

Claypots Evening Star and Georgie's Harvest's Truffle Party

Last week I got to enjoy Claypots Evening Star's food two nights in a row, winner! On Tuesday L had the spontaneous idea to have dinner at the South Melbourne Market restaurant. On Wednesday we were invited to Georgie's Harvest's Annual Truffle Party, also at the Market, where Claypots was providing the food. Lucky girl!  
Claypots Evening Star serves delicious seafood at the corner of York Street and Cecil Street. On the weekends the street is lined with people enjoying their amazing looking seafood lunches while sipping on a glass of wine. On the inside the space has a cosy atmosphere with lots of wood, big communal tables and cray pots hanging from the ceiling.
I was a little overwhelmed with all the delicious sounding choices on the menu and specials board but in the end we decided to have a few smaller dishes and one fish from the specials to share. 
The quail eggs with delicious and rich with a lovely minty yoghurt dressing. A little warning, there is garlic in almost everything, and I think that's great. That is if you don't plan to go out dancing afterwards! 
The crispy skin John Dory from the specials menu came out as a whole fish which looked amazing! I spent about 10 minutes at the end of the dinner, just trying to get even the tiniest bit of flesh that we might have left behind. It was juicy and the skin had a great salty flavour to it. (The kind where you want to lick the plate because it was just so darn delicious!).
We had also ordered a side of crushed potatoes with wine vinegar & black garlic as well as the Evening Star Greek Salad with Horseradish Dressing & Olive Jam. You may now be thinking, ah great, potatoes and salad, how boring. And I have to agree with you to a point, I usually find Greek salads my least favourite, they often have big chunks of watery tasting tomato and flavourless cucumber. But this was the absolute opposite! The horseradish dressing and olive jam were super yummy and we finished the whole bowl pretty quickly.
The crushed potatoes were equally great, I loved the subtle flavour of the black garlic. It's much softer than it's white counterpart!
At the end we had two fantastic skewers, probably my favourite dishes of the night.
The octopus pinxto consisted of super tender octopus layered with red capsicum and was then char-grilled. The cuttlefish pinxto with chilli squid ink was again super, super tender. A little word of caution, the squid ink stains your teeth for a moment, so when I was smiling at L because I was in food heaven he gave me a very strange look. But hey, the food was so worth it! 
Claypots Evening Star
Corner of York & Cecil Street
South Melbourne VIC 3205
03 9645 5779
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I was so excited knowing that the night after I would get to enjoy all this great food AGAIN! In my opinion, Georgie's Harvest is one of the prettiest stores at the South Melbourne Market and I love going there to get my spuds and other things that grow in the soil, like purple carrots, celeriac, spaghetti squash, etc.
A few weeks ago Georgie invited us to her Annual Truffle Party, which she and her husband Michael were hosting for the 4th year in a row.
I was so excited! I love winter events and her party sounded like a great get together, celebrating her and her beautiful produce with delicious food from Claypots Evening Star and Proper & Son, as well as wine from Prince Wine Store and some live music.
It doesn't get much better than that, does it! 
When we arrived at 6:15pm, only 15 minutes after the party had started there was already a long line at the buffet. But I had a feeling the wait might be well worth it. And oh boy it was. Platters full of pasta marinara, prawns, oysters, whole fish, purple potatoes tossed with octopus, octopus and also cuttlefish pinxtos, and so much more.
The plates just kept coming out! I don't think anybody went home hungry that night, it was amazing. Just when I thought I had tried everything and couldn't fit any more in, L spotted the Truffle Mac'n Cheese. Are you kidding me?! Of course I still had room for that. Big trays with cheesy Mac'n Cheese with generous shavings of truffle on top, prepared by Proper & Son.
It might have just been the most decadent and most delicious Mac'n Cheese I have ever had. It will be hard to go back to just normal Mac'n Cheese now...
Thank you so much again Georgie for inviting us, we love your store and produce and had a great time at your Truffle Party! 

Georgie's Harvest
South Melbourne Market
322-326 Coventry Street 
South Melbourne VIC 3205

Monday, 29 June 2015

Soup Monday - Jerusalem Artichoke and Porcini Mushroom Soup

This week’s soup might just be the best one yet. I know I say that almost every week, but this one is seriously delicious! Packed full of the different flavours from the Jerusalem artichoke, porcini and the drizzle of truffle oil at the end.
Jerusalem artichokes look like ginger, boil like potatoes but taste like artichoke, I find them pretty amazing and love the surprising flavour. They were a bit of a pain to peel, but I actually made this soup during the weekend, in anticipation for today, so I had plenty of time.

Porcini mushrooms have this incredible, deep earthy smell and flavour that goes amazingly well with the subtle Jerusalem artichoke. As with most soups, it doesn’t look super fancy or elegant, but it’s so full of flavour that it would be well suited as a starter for a country-style dinner party.
Jerusalem Artichoke and Porcini Mushroom Soup
15g dried procini mushrooms
200ml luke warm water for soaking the mushrooms
800g Jerusalem artichokes
2 medium potatoes
1 shallot
1l mild chicken or vegetable stock
250ml white wine
100ml cream or crème fraiche
Salt & pepper to taste
Truffle oil for drizzling
A few thyme sprigs

Quickly rinse the dried porcini mushrooms in a sieve under running water. Soak the mushrooms for 30 minutes. Peel and cut the Jerusalem artichokes and potatoes into large pieces. Peel and roughly chop the shallot.
Put 750ml of the stock into a heavy based saucepan and cook the vegetables and porcini for about 20-25 minutes. Blend soup by either using a hand-held blender directly in the pan or by transferring it to a blender. Dilute with the rest of the stock, white wine and cream. Season with salt and pepper and cook for another 5-10 minutes. Season to taste, then divide among serving bowls. Drizzle with a little truffle oil and sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves.
Serves 4.
Adapted from Anna and Fanny Bergenstroem's Under The Walnut Tree.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Soup Monday - Celeriac and Fennel Soup

When shopping for the ingredients for this recipe, it was the first time I bought celeriac, but I was excited to try something new. This ugly vegetable looks like something from mid-evil times. It's a big bulb with roots coming out the bottom. but let's not be mean, it's beautiful in its own right.
I even had to ask the greengrocer how to peel it. Because the way she explained it worked a treat, I've included the instructions in the recipe. Just in case, you're a first time celeriac user too.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

King of The Castle

Today I got up early and got picked up by a friend. Our destination was Geelong to catch up with her sister, who is almost like a sister to me. After we had arrived in G-Town we decided to head out for coffee and a late breakfast.
King of The Castle started off as a little hole in the wall serving coffee to their customers on "Pako" (Pakenham Street).

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Miso Salmon with Roasted Eggplant

Wednesday is Fish Day for us. I get up a bit earlier and dash across to the market in the morning to pick up two pieces of fish, usually salmon. 
This recipe was adapted from the I Quit Sugar 8 Week Program, which I started about two weeks ago. So far the recipes have been super tasty. I have to admit I was quite surprised how delicious the dishes are, not bland at all!