Saturday, 31 December 2011

Le Crouton Boulangerie

Le Crouton boulangerie has been a hit with locals out at Freshwater who no longer have to travel all the way to Stratford for a quality cafe experience. Le Crouton attracted the attention of Kitchenslut earlier in the year when they had a Rusty's stall for a few weeks before moving in to permanent residence out at Freshwater.

The most likely cause of disappointment on subsequent visits has been if they have sold out of some products. However, after an early visit Kitchensluts official carbohydrate taster gave the brioche a thumbs up. A visit this Saturday morning for a garlic bread baguette saw all tables occupied and a queue inside for the bakery ..... oops ..... boulangerie.

The Freshwater Village shops have been refreshed and lifted by Le Crouton and a thriving business is good to see.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Prawn head guide

Christmas and seafood have grown closer over the years and the festive season is now as likely to be associated with prawns as turkey. Prawns are also really not that expensive compared with other seafood.

Kitchenslut once had a debate with a lady who claimed prawns were too expensive because of the waste, which is only true if you see your prawn heads as waste. Prawn heads make excellent material for stocks which can be used for such as rissotto or pasta sauces.

Prawn heads are good for you. Yes, prawn heads are an anti-oxidant super food! This makes prawn heads a perfect way to counter the damage from seasonal excess, so dont throw those prawn heads out!  The wastage of prawn heads must be enormous so Kitchenslut is on a mission to stop this waste!

Kitchenslut's prawn fisherman uncle was partial to sucking on his prawn head although this may not be considered appropriate ettiquette in some circles. However a quick guide to some ideas and recipes for prawn heads.

Prawn head powder is easy and should even be appropriate for the more squeamish gastronome. Just stick your heads in the oven to dy them out and then grind into a powder: "It really tastes like the dry powder version of sucking the juices out of a freshly cooked (prawn) head.". If you use your coffee grinder for the powder this may also add an interesting texture to subsequent coffee.

The Japanese could always be expected to do something spectacular with a prawn head including this sushi sweet prawn nigiri. The Koreans are also aware of their prawn heads. However, when it comes to Asia I think the Thais have it. Prawn heads are an essential ingredient for Tom Yum Goong soup.

Simon Leong demonstrates crispy prawn heads with salt, pepper and paprika. An excellent late night snack! The BBC is an interesting recipe for prawn head soup with oranges coriander and sesame.

Just this week Kitchenslut was enjoying the whitebait at Tha Fish while contemplating why there were no prawn heads on the menu. The answer is probably our cynical bogan culture amply demonstrated by 'oldboot' at the Ausfish website with a recipe for left over prawn head and stale garlic bread patte:
Take a quantity of cooked whole prawns of your preference, shell and eat the prawns saving the shell parts and the heads. set aside in the fridge.
On a different night order pizza in a deal with a garlic bread and drink of choice.

eat the pizza and drink the soft drink, save the garlic bread and the pizza crusts.

In a blender of food processor, blend up the prawn heads and shells until a thin paste with a little water...... add the garlic bread and piza crusts and continue blending till a smooth paste.

Turn out into a plastic food conatiner.........At this time the "mixture" should look and smell like some sort of party dip or patte....... I would not recomend eating it.

It is best if the plastic food container is nearly full to the top, put the lid on and freeze.
I have found this works as an excelent burley for bait fish, bream and so forth.

to use it turn the still frozen block out into a suitable burly container and chuck it over the side..........the burley container will need to be weighted as the block on its own will float........should last 30 to 40 minutes ( depending on size).

any old bread crusts cand be used, extra garlic can be added.

stay tuned for my "pilchard and left over rice surprise"
Oh dear! However for those who retain an aversion to prawn heads the website of Endeavour Prawns promotes their use as chook food. Heston Blumenthal recently experimented with feeding a goose to make it taste the way he wanted. Hmmm, I wonder what chicken fed exclusively on prawn heads would taste like?


Monday, 12 December 2011

Fish Market

A seafood outlet in the CBD is welcome with the opening of a Fish Market at Rusty's, at the previous location of Brumby's bread. Hopefully it will provide more interesting diversity and range beyond the fruit & veg.

Kitchenslut will be keen to monitor prices between outlets as gennerally the seafood places on Sheridan St are a few dollars a kg above those on the other side of town in Portsmith for most product. This new store is operated by Cairns Ocean Products.

I thought the range and display of the new Fish Market could have been more exciting being mostly predominated by prawns and standard offerings, although there was some sun-dried mullet roe. I guess that goes with the culture and the season.

Admittedly our steamy climate makes display of seafood, meat and chicken products more difficult for European market style presentation but the display below from London's Borough market is more in the Kitchenslut style of market theatre.

Kitchenslut recently posted on the exceptional carrot display at Port Douglas market. 

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Epicuriously resolving the potato glut dilemma

The past week has seen reports of a potato glut with catastrophic economic consequences for tableland potato growers contemplating whether to bother harvesting or plough the crop back in. Kitchenslut's first reaction was that this was, in a sense, equally unfortunate for the consumer.

I mean, if we are going to have a glut of something, why potatoes? If there is to be a glut why can't it be of something more interesting, such as fennel. Kitchenslut is partial to a fennel bulb and at $2.50 each, a glut of fennel bulbs would be far more appreciated.

But the potato? It's not like they are expensive anyway so increasing consumption of potatoes is unlikely to create huge savings in the family budget! The ubiquitous chip has become a blight on culinary progress!

In an endeavour to resolve this dilemma Kitchenslut decided to google up a few more interesting spud recipes from our celebrity chefs. Kitchenslut's personal speciality is duck fat kipfler potatoes, however there didn't seem to be a glut of kipflers down at Rusty's?

Matt Moran: Potato gnocchi with clams and chives 
Ah yes, gnocchi would seem to me to be possibly the best epicurean response to a potato glut of commodity standard spuds! And it can be frozen! As recently posted the NZ clams are now becoming available although perhaps Queensland scallops could be substituted.

Jamie Olver: The perfect potato gratin
The curiosity of this recipe is that it requires a combination of semi-skimmed milk and double cream which seems somewhat contrary? Disregarding that it does provide an opportunity for combine the potatoes with local dairy produce! Question? My preference is Misty Mountains but why do they market their cream only in a 2 litre bottle? Is that because there is a glut of 2 litre bottles? 

Neil Perry: Warm potato salad
This recipe requires a mixture of Bison, King Edward and Nicolas potatoes. Which may be a problem as the local potatoes at Rusty's are sort of just generically local of no specific variety? 

Rick Stein: Fennel sausages braised with lemony potatoes and bay leaves
I had to include this because of the fennel.

However, as always the place to go when searching for innovative ideas to make something ordinary into something beyond the ordinary .......

Iron Chef: New potato battle.

Season 1 Episode 14

Challenger -- (6):
Sauteed Potatoes with Sea Urchin Sauce
Potato Balls Consomme Soup
Potato Salad
Creamy Merry Curry
Stewed Beef & Potatoes
Vanilla Ice Cream with Potato Skin, Maple Syrup and Cinnamon

Iron Chef -- (5)
Hot & Spicy Beef and Potatoes
Potato & Chicken Stew
Sauteed Potatos French-style Lobster Sauce
Fried Whole Potatoes
Potato Dessert

Winner: Iron Chef Chen

Warning: Excessive carbohydrate consumption can be a health hazard and Kitchenslut accepts no responsibility for such consumption.

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