Corn fritters with salmon

I love a good corn fritter! Such a simple dish and it’s got my mouth watering right now. You can add any vegetable to a fritter really and it’ll taste so damn good. To spice them up I like to add chili and top with either Greek yoghurt and smoked salmon, or a tomato chutney! The salmon adds another element of flavour and the combination is perfect – although I may be bias…

Ingredients

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • ½ cup milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 4 shallots, chopped finely
  • 1 zucchini, grated
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • basil, torn finely
  • 2 tsp chilli
  • olive oil, for frying
  • salt and pepper
  • natural yoghurt, smoked salmon, dill and lemon to serve

Serves 3

Method

Combine the flour, milk, eggs and salt in a large mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Add the vegetables and mix with a wooden spoon until combined.

To cook the fritters, grease a non-stick frypan with olive oil over medium heat. Ladle the fritter mixture into the pan, spreading the ingredients out and cook until both sides are a deep golden with crispy edges.

Keep the cooked fritters in the oven to stay hot then serve with yoghurt, salmon, dill and lemon. One word – YUM!

Alternatively if vegetarian serve with a sweet tomato chutney – https://morefoodblog.wordpress.com/2014/11/29/sweet-tomato-chutney/

Happy cooking, love Jem x

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Via Napoli – review

zucchini seafood gnocchi

628 Crown St, Surry Hills

Brace yourselves food lovers, Via Napoli is the spot to be (well in the inner city that is).

I recently spent a beautiful evening with my family at Via Napoli and my pallet has been craving the delicious Italian food ever since. We arrived on a Saturday night without a booking (I wouldn’t recommend this though), and were lucky enough to get a table in the packed restaurant. As soon as you walk in you are greeted by warm, friendly Italian staff. This dining experience reminded me of Europe in terms of the authenticity of the waiters, the generous and gorgeous servings, and the hustle and bustle.

The menu is absolutely divine, which made it very hard to choose our dishes to share. We started with the ‘Cuppitiello di fiori di zucca ripieni’ – Zucchini flowers stuffed with buffalo ricotta and pepper. These were by far the best zucchini flowers I’ve demolished – the outside crispy and inside oozing with hot, decadent cheese.

Our next dish was the ‘Grigliata mista di pesce’ – Scampi, prawns and octopus marinated in lemon, olive oil, garlic, and fresh parsley. And oh my lord was every piece of seafood on this beautiful looking board cooked to absolute perfection! The portions were generous (which is everyone’s dream when ordering seafood) and the balance of the marinade, with the crunch of fresh roquette in ones mouth was divine. If you’re a seafood lover, I highly recommend this dish!

The last sharing dish, but certainly not least was the ‘Gnocchi alla sorrentina’ – Homemade gnocchi served with a Neapolitan sauce with melted buffalo mozzarella. Do I need to write anything else? Seriously though this dish will put the best chefs in Italy to shame! Each morsel is a little bite of heaven. The potato is cooked perfectly, the sauce is so fresh you can taste each tomato, and it’s just all round a little orgasm in ones mouth to be completely honest!

The dishes are all very reasonably priced (especially for Sydney), and the overall dining experience makes you feel like you’ve been teleported to Rome. Did I mention they have metre long pizzas too? You should definitely make a booking, especially dining Thursday – Sunday. They have Via Napoli restaurants in Lane Cove and Hunters Hill too.

I rate Via Napoli 5/5.

Happy eating, love Jem x

Tom Yum Goong

tom yum

Earlier this year I had an absolutely amazing trip around Asia, and on my last day in Thailand I spent the afternoon at Silom Cooking School in Bangkok. I learnt the art of making traditional Thai dishes, and my favourite dish of the day was Tom Yum Goong – hot and sour prawn soup. This recipe is simple to make and takes no time at all to cook. It is healthy, bloody delicious and you can play around with the ingredients too – for a vegetarian alternative just replace the prawns with mushrooms, or for chicken just add chicken breast and use chicken stock.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of water
  • 2 stalks fresh lemongrass, trim off the very end of the root and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 3 slices fresh galangal root, smashed
  • 3 fresh kaffir lime leave
  • 1 tbl tamarind paste
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • prawns, shelled and de-veined
  • 12 fresh Thai chili peppers, cut lengthwise into strips
  • 1/2 white onion, sliced
  • 1 can straw mushrooms, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small ripe tomato, cut into wedges
  • 1 small lime, squeezed
  • 2 sprigs fresh cilantro
  • coriander, to garnish

Serves 4

Method

Bring the water to boil over high heat in a medium-sized saucepan. The add the lemon grass, galangal, kaffir lime leaf, fish sauce and tamarind paste.

Add the prawns, bring to a boil and cook for three minutes. Add the onion and mushrooms. Boil for another seven minutes until the prawns are cooked through. Add the chili peppers and tomatoes.

Turn off the heat and then add the lime juice. Garnish with cilatantro, roasted whole chili peppers, coriander and serve hot.

Happy cooking, love Jem x

My top three Asian bites out – review

I eat out in Sydney quite regularly and being a lover of authentic Asian food I thought I’d share my favourite little dishes from my top foodie places…

1. Mamak Restaurant – 15 Goulburn St, Haymarket

Malaysian cuisine in the heart of China Town with a busy atmosphere, mouth-watering food and very well priced.

My recommendations:

  • Roti Canal
  • Karl Ayam – Classic chicken curry cooked with freshly ground spices and chunky potatoes
  • Mee Goreng – Spicy wok hokkien noodles with egg, prawns, fish cake slices and fresh bean sprouts

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2. Mr T – 3/5 Potter St, Waterloo

My little Vietnamese local with friendly service, fresh and authentic food and very reasonably priced.

My recommendations:

  • Bun Boxao – lemongrass beef with vermicelli noodles
  • Banhxeo – crispy pancake with pork, prawn, mung bean and bean spouts

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3. Mizuya Restaurant – Basement 614 George St, Sydney

My favourite spot to dine with friends in the city with delicious and contemporary Japanese food, karaoke as entertainment, and the perfect size portions for what you pay.

My recommendations:

  • Pan Fried Pork Gyoza
  • Crunchy Spider Roll
  • Wagyu Beef Garlic Fried Rice

Happy eating, love Jem x

Pad Thai

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On my last day in Thailand I was truly in my element at Silom Cooking School. Pad Thai has always been one of my favourite dishes and learning how to make it in such an authentic environment with local chefs and local produce was incredible! We met at the markets for our fresh ingredients and walked to the little cooking school ready to start our foodie day. The name of this dish is actually called Pad Thai Sai Kai – just a bit of Thai knowledge (I think I’m an expert because I spent 10 days in the country)… This recipe is simple, a vegetarian option, and is the best Pad Thai (Sai Kai) I’ve eaten! If you’re ever in Bangkok I highly recommend booking in a cooking lesson at Silom Cooking School – we made five traditional Thai dishes on the day, cooked in an outdoor kitchen and of course got to then eat our delicious meals!

Ingredients

  • 100g dried rice noodles, pre soak in warm water until soft
  • 2 tbl vegetable oil
  • 1 tbl garlic, minced
  • 5 medium sized prawns, peeled and deveined (or mushrooms for vegetarian option)
  • 1/3 tofu, cut in 1cm strips
  • 1/4 cup raw bean sprouts
  • 1/8 cup chive or green onion, cut into 3cm pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbl palm sugar/brown sugar
  • 2 tsp fish sauce (leave out for vegetarian option)
  • 1 tbl tamarind paste
  • 1 tbl pickled white radish, finely chopped
  • 1 tbl roasted peanuts
  • 1/2 tsp ground dried red chilli powder
  • lime to serve

Serves 1-2

Method

Heat the oil over low heat, add garlic and fry until fragrant. Add prawns, tofu, bean sprouts, chives and stir well until prawns are cooked.

Crack the egg straight into the wok, stir rapidly until it becomes scrambled. Add noodles and season with fish sauce, palm sugar, peanuts, chilli powder, tamarind sauce and radish, then mix everything together and keeping frying.

When the noodles becomes soft switch off the heat and serve hot. Top dish with (extra) peanuts, a squeeze of lime and enjoy!

Happy cooking, love Jem x