Saturday, 28 May 2011

Filipino Cuisine

Kitchenslut was wandering around Rusty's on Friday and took the time to browse at the offerings of Filipino Fiesta stall. Always adventurous, and having survived and recovered from fried intestines in Sydney's Chinatown recently, KS could not resist trying something.

The most adventurous offering seemed to be the Dinuguan, a concoction of pork, pig's blood, garlic, chilli and vinegar. I can't say it was to my taste and doubt a repeat tasting is likely. Which isn't to say I wouldn't try some of their other food.

A reason for trying Filipino food was a post earlier this year at Club Troppo which asks "Why are there so few Filipino restaurants" relative to the Filipino population. This apparently also relates to the USA. The Troppo post has some interesting thoughts on the proliferation of ethnic cuisines.

A comment at Troppo suggests that the native Filipino cuisine is very peasant and their elite cuisines imported. KS contemplated the deep fried pork belly at Filipino Fiesta, but ruminated on recent OECD measures of wellbeing where Australia finished 4th on longevity behind Japan, Switzerland and Italy. I suspect Filipino longevity is somewhat less so maybe KS should stick to sushi (hold the mayo), or pasta with lashings of olive oil and salad, and leave the deep fried pork belly alone?

Monday, 23 May 2011

Tropical Polish Cuisine

While researching golabki I discovered a Polish food blog with historical background on galabki.

"Legend has it that a king of Poland (Casimir IV Jagiellon) fed his army with golabki before a key battle in 1465 and the subsequent victory was credited to this hearty meal beforehand."

However, recipes refer to the tomato based sauce with golabki, and Cortez did not return from the New World with the tomato and syphilis until 1519! So they could have had no tomatoes in their sauce?

A google search also provides this blog reference:

"In 1518, an Italian princess, Bona Sforza, married King Zygmunt of Poland. Missing her native Italy, Bona brought architects and artists from there to Poland, as well as seeds and expert cooks, so that she could still have a connection with her now distant ...In 1518, an Italian princess, Bona Sforza, married King Zygmunt of Poland. Missing her native Italy, Bona brought architects and artists from there to Poland, as well as seeds and expert cooks, so that she could still have a connection with her now distant homeland. Such was the impact of her actions that some Italian words slipped into the Polish language, such as kalafiory ( cauliflower), pomidory (tomato) and salata (lettuce)."

However, this doesn't fit either as the date is far too early for the tomato to have reached Poland. History of the tomato is interesting, not widely used for food in USA until as late as mid 1800's, and was believed by many to be poisonous both in the USA and Europe. Thomas Jefferson was an early grower and 'tomato pioneer' from around the time of the Declaration of Independence. There is a possibly apocryphal story of Jefferson eating tomatoes on the steps of Salem courthouse to prove they were not poisonous. There is a similar story of a plot to assassinate Abraham Lincoln by convincing his chef to cook him tomatoes. Lincoln survived and apparently took a liking to tomatoes! French influence introduced them to Louisiana. Even in Italy they didn't become pervasive in the cuisine until the late 1700's and it seems the first actual record (Wikipedia) of a written pasta tomato recipe was as recent as 1871.

So when did the tomato arrive in Poland?

Thursday, 19 May 2011

a table for three

Odd numbers can often result in a table seating anomaly with a person left hanging loose. This is never more unfortunate than when Kitchenslut again had the opportunity to dine with two gorgeous female companions down at Tha Fish on Tuesday night. It just doesn't quite achieve the same easy intimacy when its really a table for four, and KS likes to make the most of these opportunities for his ego and image. This was also my previous menage experience at Kanpai.

Birthday gurl was excited by the Tha Fish taster menu of $90 for two, however this came as serving portions in multiples of twos and fours etc, but not threes. A dining menage-a-trois discriminated against again! Never mind this was easily maneuvered with the helpful assistance to the wait staff, while sipping vino and sampling some morish whitebait starters, we selected a few extra entrees to share thrown in as extras to the tasting menu.

Our selections of ravioli of prawns, fish and scallops in a burnt butter and cashew nut sauce with truffle pecorino $15.90, and calamari cajun spiced with a salad of orange, fennel and rocket with mint and lime creme fraiche $15.90, were served at a leisurely slow food pace and fitted in to complement the tasting menu quite well: 

To Start: Sand crab bruschetta with rocket, tomato and capers; Fresh oysters steamed in bamboo basket with soy, ginger and shallots

Then: Hervey Bay scallops with braised pork belly, orange, coriander and master stock glaze; Black bean, chilli and seafood wontons with house made sweet chilli sauce

Then: Chefs Choice , which was a bug dish

Then: Fish of the day rubbed with a chilli and shallot paste in a crispy tempura batter with a tamarind aioli; BBQ tiger prawns with avocado salsa and blood orange vinaigrette

Finally: Pear and cinnamon frangipan tart with vanilla bean ice cream

As a treat the birthday gurl was allowed to self demolish the dessert after expiration of the birthday sparkler. Apart from the menage-a-trois dilemma, Tha Fish continues to impress with its service and seafood among the best in town, and seemed to be doing quite brisk business for a blustery Tuesday night. Maybe some of the seafood dishes served could have been a touch less cooked but that was all.    

Thursday, 12 May 2011

a defence of sluttiness

Paul Frijters at Club Troppo has posted a defence of slutwalks currently happening around the place. Kitchenslut welcome the liberation of sluts of all kinds everywhere!

Hence, hurrah to both sluts and their walks. From a utilitarian standpoint there is nothing wrong with being a slut since having sex is a healthy and pleasurable experience for which, in the age of contraception, there is no good reason to have one rule for men and another for women. From an economic perspective, sending signals increases the flow of valuable information and hence lubricates exchange on the market for intimacy. I think that the slutwalkers are entirely correct about both the inappropriateness of blaming victims of sexual crimes for the way they dress, and about the general societal attitude about sluttiness.

For those wishing to indulge various sluttish habits at a discount Kitchenslut noted this entertainment book  offer this week. These are apparently made available through local charities and organisations.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

salmonella special sauce

Weekend browsing came across an interesting post at Autralian Regional Food. The modern food dilemma of how to cope with a refrigerator packed with half jars of exotic ingredients and condiments.

"We’re running out of room.  We’ll either have to purge our menus of exotic flavours, become wastrels who discard the unused portions or, as will probably happen, continue to blunder around trying to find things on the top shelf.  And as the leaning tower of pesto crashes to the floor, taking with it the mayonnaise and three half-used jars of marinated vegetables, we’ll mutter darkly about impractical packaging and silly fridge design."

The same could be said for cupboards filled with stale herbs and spices as recipes which require a long list of ingredients become impractical for the burgeoning number of home chefs without accumulating such a collection. Products such as the Spicez curry packs with the herbs and spices packaged for a single dish may seem expensive but are actually good value for these reasons. Kitchenslut can recommend the Spicez Sri Lankan seafood curry.

However, an alternative solution, I thnk suggested at a Club Relish night at The Edge last year, was to mix all those surplus remnant jars together as an experiment, and that the outcome could sometimes be a surprise. Indeed it could. Kitchennslut referred to this as 'salmonella special sauce'.

Note: The abovementioned Edge is now open at night for dinner with feedback awaited .......

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