Cauliflower Sushi


Since starting a low processed carbohydrate diet a few years ago, I try and avoid eating white rice. Ever since, however, I have missed sushi. Craving it one night, however, I decided to try my hand at cauliflower sushi, replacing the white rice with ground up cauliflower. It was a total success, very similar to the real deal but with all the added nutritional benefits of cauliflower! Be sure not to overstuff your rolls as they will fall apart. Instead use any leftovers to make a salad.

1/2 cauliflower
1/4 butternut pumpkin
2 x 95g tins of tuna in oil, drained
4 tbsp mayonnaise
1 spring onion, sliced thinly
1 avocado, sliced thinly
1/4 cucumber, deseeded, cut into batons
4 nori sheets
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp mirin

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Peel and deseed the pumpkin and cut into small batons, about 5mm thick. Place on a lined baking tray and cover with foil. Place in a moderate oven and cook until tender, about 30 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the florets from the cauliflower and discard the stem. Place the cauliflower in a food processor and process until the texture of rice – be careful not to over process the cauliflower. Transfer cauliflower ‘rice’ to a lined baking tray and cover with foil. Place in a moderate oven and cook until warmed through, about 20 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.
  3. Once your veggies are cooked and cooled, measure out 3 cups of cauliflower ‘rice’ and toss with rice wine vinegar and mirin.
  4. In another small bowl, stir together the tuna, mayonnaise and spring onions.
  5. Once all your ingredients are ready, lay a sheet of nori shiny side down on a clean board. Spread lightly with 1/4 of the cauliflower ‘rice’ up to 2cm from the edge furthest from you. Spoon a little tuna mixture in a line in the middle of the rice. Lay some pumpkin, cucumber and avocado on top.
  6. Carefully fold the edge of the nori sheet closest to you over your row of vegies. Squeeze firmly to mould a log shape before continuing to roll the nori and its filling away from you. Seal the end by brushing the far edge of the nori with water before you finish rolling.
  7. Repeat process with remaining ingredients until you have 4 rolls. Using a sharp knife, slice the sushi into rounds before serving.

Makes 4 rolls

Posted in Hors D'Oeuvre, Lunch/Light Meal, Recipes, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Asian Chicken Omelette


I love eggs for breakfast since they are full of protein and keep me full until lunch time. Lately, however, I have been getting bored of my usual veggie-filled omelette, and decided to try something new. Inspired by the flavours of the classic Chinese dish, peaking duck, I came up with this omelette filled with chicken flavoured with hoi sin sauce and tossed with cucumber, spring onions and spinach for a healthy dose of veggies. Give it a try if, like me, you are bored of your usual breakfast.

2 eggs
1 tsp sesame oil
100g roast chicken, shredded
  3 tbsp hoi sin sauce, mixed with 2 tbsp water
1/4 continental cucumber, sliced thinly
1 spring onion, sliced thinly
handful of spinach leaves, shredded

  1. In a bowl, lightly whisk the eggs together. Heat the sesame oil in a small frying pan and add egg, swirling the pan to coat the bottom evenly. Allow to cook for a few minutes until cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside.
  2. Add the roast chicken and hoi sin sauce to the pan. Stir the chicken until heated through and the liquid has evaporated.
  3. In a bowl, combine the cucumber, spring onion and spinach leaves. Add the chicken and toss gently to combine.
  4. Place the omelette on a plate, top with chicken mixture and fold over before serving warm.

Makes 1

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St Katherines becomes Hellenic Republic in Kew

Hellenic Republic
26 Cotham rd,
Kew, VIC 3101

Incase you hadn’t heard, at the end of last year St Katherine’s in Kew closed it’s doors and reopened as a second Hellenic Republic. Like the original, opened by George Calombaris in 2008 in Brunswick, the food here is traditionally Greek with about 85% of the menu identical to it’s precesessor.

Starters such as olives in extra virgin olive oil and Pastourma (air dried beef) served with feta and peach will tickle your tastebuds, but the Saganaki with peppered figs and the Taramosalata (white cod roe dip) will really get your mouth watering. The tarama isn’t your typical lolly pink, but rather a creamy white which makes an excellent accompaniment to the triple cooked chips. The sweet and peppery figs are an excellent accompaniment to the saganaki, making for a dish that will draw in those this side of the yarra.




Like the former St Katerine’s, there’s a char grill and spit selection with offerings such as grilled prawns, fish of the day, chicken or lamb. Don’t order the prawns unless you’re prepared to get your hands dirty though: they come with the shell on, in keeping with the simple, unfussy style of menu.



For sides, you can expect to see some old favourites that have made their way from Brunswick, like the Hellenic slaw with cabbage, balsamic, and honey, sprinkled liberally with Kefalograviera cheese; and the popular grain salad with pulses, nuts, yoghurt and pomegranate seeds.



If all that hasn’t filled you up, there’s a good selection of sweets including the iconic Hellenic doughnuts, Galaktoboureko semolina custard pie with orange & samos syrup, or the unconventional watermelon and feta salad.

If sweets are your thing, you’ll be happy to know that a large area of floor space has been set aside for a coffee and pastry shop called Sweet Hellenic, due to open in June.


If you enjoyed St Katherine’s and were sad to see it go, you needn’t fret: this reincarnation makes local many treats convenient only for those on the other side of the yarra. And if you thought Colambaris was ready to put his feet up and enjoy his success you’d be mistaken, as yet another Hellenic is set to open in Williamstown in June. Opa!

Hellenic Republic Kew on Urbanspoon

Posted in Eastern, Kew, Reviews | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Sister A’s 28th Birthday


Recently, Sister A enjoyed her 28th birthday. To celebrate, I hosted the family at my place for dinner. To keep my workload to a minimum, everyone was asked to bring something: Sister A and her partner M were asked to bring a starter, Mother K and her partner H were in charge of the main and wine, I was in charge of the accompanying sides, Sister E the dessert, and Father T the champagne.

To begin, Sister A and her partner M made some delicious peach and haloumi skewers, perfect for the warm summer evening we had. Quick to prepare, they were a really great choice and I will definitely be making these ones myself!


It was Mother K’s partner H who cooked the roast beef for main, and he did an excellent job. As it was cooked before they arrived, it had plenty of time to rest and was served cold with a decadent truffle mayonnaise that Mother K whipped up. As we sat down to eat she let me in on a little secret: she didn’t make the mayo herself, but instead bought a good quality mayo and added the truffle oil to it. The recipe below gives you the steps to make it from scratch yourself, but feel free to use this little short cut if you need to to save time.


Along with the truffle mayo Mother K also made her favourite carrot salad, which she made previously at Easter time last year. It’s an Andrew McConnell recipe which she did an excellent job of executing.


To accompany the main, I decided to make a cauliflower ‘tabouli’ which I knew Sister A would like. Unlike a traditional tabouli which combines parsley and cracked wheat, this tabouli is a mix of herbs combined with cauliflower cut into tiny florets to replace to wheat. I also made a big batch of roast potatoes, though since I have posted the recipe so many times recently I decided not to bore you with yet another photo of my amazingly crispy potatoes.


For dessert, Sister E made a recipe from the Burch & Purchase book she received for Christmas: a layered creation made from coconut sugo, passionfruit curd and ginger crumbs, topped with a mini passionfruit macaron. It was truely amazing, though she tells me if you want the recipe you will need to go out and get the book as there are a lot of processes involved!


It was an excellent meal, with everyone doing their part to keep the workload to a minimum. I think the important thing to remember about family get togethers is not to stress yourself out. Delegate! And if, like me, you fear handing over the responsibility to someone else, print out one of these recipes and hand it to them.


4 ripe peaches
250g block of haloumi cheese
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp dukkah

  1. Deseed the peaches and cut into 2cm cubes.
  2. Cut the haloumi into similar sized cubes.
  3. Thread peach pieces and haloumi onto skewers, alternating between the two.
  4. On a hot grill, grill the skewers on all sides until slightly charred.
  5. Meanwhile, heat the honey in the microwave in a small ramakin until runny.
  6. Once the skewers are cooked, place on a serving tray. Drizzle over honey and sprinkle with dukkah.

Serves 4


1.5kg beef eye fillet
2 brown onions, sliced thickly
salt and pepper
olive oil
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp lemon juice
300ml canola oil
50ml truffle oil
micro herbs to serve

  1. Preheat oven to 200C.
  2. Generously rub beef fillets with salt and pepper. Heat a little olive oil in a large pan and cook beef fillets on all sides until sealed, about 5-10 minutes.
  3. Place onions on a roasting tray and place beef on top. Roast in a hot oven for 20 minutes for medium rare, or until cooked to your liking. Allow to rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing thickly. Place on a sercing tray with onions, scatter with micro herbs and serve with truffle mayonnaise.
  4. FOR THE MAYONNAISE: Place the egg and egg yolk, mustard, lemon juice and some salt and pepper in a blender and whiz to combine. Combine the oils in a jug, then, with the motor running, slowly pour oil through the feed tube until you have a thick emulsion.

Serves 6-8


1/4 cup (35g) dried currants
1/3 cup (80 ml) verjuice
1 bunch baby (dutch) carrots, green tops trimmed, cleaned
1 bunch baby purple carrots, green tops trimmed, cleaned
1/4 cup (40g) pine nuts
100 g unsalted butter, chopped
1/2 cup (100g) fresh goat’s curd
1/4 cup (3 tablespoons) chopped flat-leaf parsley
extra-virgin olive oil, to serve

  1. Combine currants and verjuice in a bowl and leave to hydrate, about an hour.
  2. Cook carrots in boiling salted water until just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well and leave to cool slightly. Using a Chux, scrub the skins from the carrots while still warm. Halve lengthways.
  3. Drain the currants, reserving the verjuice.
  4. In a dry pan, roast the pine nuts until just golden. Remove and set aside.
  5. Add the butter to the pan and allow to melt. Add the carrots and cook for 2-3 minutes until the butter has begun to brown. Add the reserved verjuice and cook until syrupy.
  6. Transfer carrots to a serving tray, scatter with currants and pine nuts, crumble over goats curd, and sprinkle over parsley. Drizzle over a little olive oil before serving.

Serves 6


1 large head of cauliflower
2 tbs olive oil
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/2 bunch chives
1 bunch of coriander
1/2 bunch parsley
1/3 cup currents
Seeds from 1/2 a pomegranate
Salt and pepper to taste

1 tbs pomegranate molasses

2 tbs red wine vinegar
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil

  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Pull all the leaves off the cauliflower and discard. Cut into quarters and using your knife, cut the very tips of the cauliflower off so that you have very very small florets and lots of crumbly bits. Transfer to a lined baking tray and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Bake in a moderate oven until tender, about 20 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, lightly toast almonds in a dry pan until beginning to brown. Set aside.
  4. Finely chop the chives, and moderately-finely chop parsley and coriander. Place in a large bowl with almonds, currents, 3/4 of the pomegranate seeds and the cauliflower.
  5. Combine all the ingredients for the dressing and add to the cauliflower. Mix well and check seasoning. Transfer to a serving plate and scatter over remaining pomegranate seeds before serving.

Serves 4

Posted in Special Occasion Menus | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Socialising on Swan St

Swan St Social
177 Swan St
Richmond, VIC 3121
Next door to Noir


Looking for somewhere in Richmond for a tipple and some good quality nibbles? Do I have the place for you! Swan St Social opened in 2012 in the space above French restaurant Noir. A former brothel, the place was renovated to shed it’s former life and was reborn as a sun-drenched wine bar with floor-to-ceiling windows and plenty of blond timber. Just the place to visit on a sunny Friday or Saturday night before heading out to one of the local bars along Swan St for the night.

Chef Peter Roddy, who has worked for the likes of Gordon Ramsey and Michel Roux, has created a tapas-style menu that’s much more relaxed and affordable than it’s mother restaurant, Noir. If you’re after something to nibble on as you drink your glass of Argentinan Malbec, you must try the truffled pecorino polenta chips. A word of warning: these things are unbelievably good. Order one plate per 2 people.


If you’re after something more substantial, there is a selection of mains suitable for sharing. The short ribs are morishly tender and definitely worth ordering, while the pork belly demonstrates a sophistocated complexity that you don’t normally see for such a reasonable pricetag. Both are excellent dishes, but do require you to order vegetable adornment.


If it’s veggies you’re after, the chargrilled corn is made memorable with the addition of popcorn and almonds. It’s a lovely dish, with bright yellow kernals at the peak of freshness. The quinoa salad is also likely to bring a few smiles to faces, with a soft boiled egg adding an umptious gooiness.



The quality of the food doesn’t skip a beat when it comes to dessert. The elderflower pannacotta with summer berries, honeycomb and yoghurt sorbet is a great combination for the warmer months. The mango souffle, with passionfruit curd and coconut sorbet is perhaps a little jarring with it’s combination of citrus and creamy flavour, but that would be looking to find fault.



Swan St Social is exactly what you want in a wine bar. The food and service are excellent, and the wine and cocktail menus studded with plenty of good choices. You really can’t do much better. With a new roof top beer garden, add it to your destination hit list this summer.

Posted in Richmond | Tagged , , | 2 Comments