Mrs.S is recruiting!

October 8, 2010

we are looking for fellow food lovers to join our little team

experienced, talented floor staff, barista and cook sought for new café opening in november

if you have a super friendly personality, a passion for food + good service, quickly send your resume and/or queries to mrsscafe@hotmail.com

 

happy days

October 7, 2010

Today’s post is dedicated to…LOVE!

 

At the weekend, a very dear friend of mine became a bride-to-be. This called for a celebratory mid-week luncheon. (What’s not to love about eating yummy food in the sun while most peeps are slaving away at work?…Made everything taste so much sweeter.)

Bride-to-be is not only a pretty gal:

…she also makes very delicious food and treats:

BBQ babe made a delectable carrot cake; so delectable, i forgot to take a photo of it (sozza).

2x sweet blondes enjoying the bubbles:

No photo of me (thank God), but I will give you a recipe for this salad:

I was very excited to get my hands on to some candy-striped beets & heirloom carrots at the Mondo’s Market (check them out! cnr 6th Ave & Beaufort St, every Sat from 8am – 12ish. You can get AMAZING fruit & veg there, M&M’s DELICIOUS empanadas, Jerry’s Oysters, good coffee and some sweet treats).

Anyways… I sliced the beets superfine with a mandoline (don’t have one? buy one! or…try to slice very thin with a very, very sharp knife). I cut the carrots into long strips. I blanched some asparagus and halved the stalks.

Then i added the following: danish fetta, heaps of chopped mint, heaps and heaps of chopped coriander, about 100g of raspberries, about 1/4 cup chopped pistachios and 2 segmented blood oranges. For a dressing, I made a vinaigrette with 1tsp mustard, some olive oil and raspberry vinegar. It was yummy.

That’s all for today….so, for my newly-engaged friends – congratulations! Here’s to the happy days that lie ahead.

Love,

fat chops

x

spanakopita snail

September 30, 2010

Dear fellow food lovers,

Do you like your neighbours? It’s taken me a while, but I do like our neighbours. They’re an elderly Greek couple that keep an eye on the entire street – and bring in our bin on rubbish day (handy, huh?!). They are very excited about the opening of Mrs.S – and have offered me a lot of advice on how to run a business.

So, here’s the problem. All I really want from them is food. Greek treats and meats. PLEASE! No more advice, no more bins, no more nothing. A simple sample of your authentic dinner is all I really want. But, for some reason, you don’t give me anything.

I’ve had to take matters in to my own hands and recreate spanakopita in my own kitchen. I know that my neighbours probably have a square metre of it sitting in their fridge and I’d rather steal some of theirs, but I gave it a go myself. Always good to learn something new…I guess.

You don’t have to make a snail like I did, but I thought it was cute. Would be good for picnic fare, non?

All I did was the following: sauteed a chopped onion, a sliced leek and 3 sliced cloves of garlic in a splash of olive oil for 5 minutes. Then I added about 800g of clean, grit-free spinach leaves and stirred over heat until all wilted and lovely. I took the pan off the heat and strained the mixture for about 5 minutes (spinach gives off a lot of water). Then, I stirred in the following: 2 beaten eggs, chopped parsley and mint, 250g ricotta, 150g fetta and about 100g of goats cheese that happened to be lonely in the fridge. Stir a little more. I then added about 1tsp of grated lemon rind, a big pinch of nutmeg and salt and pepper. Voila! That’s your filling.

Then…lay out a sheet of fillo on your counter. Brush with melted butter. Repeat 4 more times. Shape the cooled spinach mixture in a 2-3cm thick snake along the length of the pastry. Roll lengthways, carefully pick up and twist into a 20cm round cake tin. Repeat until you fill the tin. You could also just spread the spinach mixture into a baking dish and top with the pastry sheets.

Brush the top of the pastry with melted butter, then sprinkle with about 2tsp of crushed fennel seeds, salt and pepper. Bake in a 170C oven for about 40 minutes or until golden and delicious.

I served mine with homemade tzatziki…greek yogurt, grated cucumber, mint, dill, lemon and garlic.

I might take a slice to my neighbours and start a food friendship.

love,

fat chops xx

i-scream

September 28, 2010

picture c/o http://thesydneypicnicco.blogspot.com

Trawling through blogland this morning, I stumbled across this mighty-fine looking icecream. Where can you get one of these floral creations? Paris, of course. Sob.

I love icecream. Not just a little bit; I love it a lot.

I am very spoilt working in restaurant that churns their own delicious icecream daily. I am always armed with a spoon, ready to taste the day’s creation. Some of my favourite flavours to date are: green apple sorbet, banana icecream, coconut icecream and orange & aperol sorbet.

Mrs.S hopes to provide some respite from the summer heat this year by offering her own creamy dreamy iced creations. Only problem is…our freezer is reallyreallyreallytiny. So, the only solution is…first in, best dressed.

Don’t expect a hand-crafted rose-shaped cone, but we can promise a flavour sensation.

Hope you’re enjoying the sunshine today,

Fat chops xx

salty brown butter rice crispies

September 21, 2010

You’re never too old to enjoy a kids’ treat…right?

This is a jacked-up adults-only version of rice crispies c/o smitten kitchen.

Brown butter. Tick. Salt? Tick. Marshmallows + rice bubbles…well, we have to abide by some tradition.

Make brown butter. Melt 125g butter in a heavy-based saucepan over low heat. Keep your eye on it – you want it to go brown and nutty, but not burnt. It will melt, foam and then you will notice the bottom of the pan is covered with little brown flecks – this is a good thing. A good sign of when it is ready is the smell – quite simply, it should smell nutty and delicious.

Take your brown butter off the heat and stir through a pack of marshmallows (about 250g minus the couple you sampled). Stir, stir and stir until the mallows have melted and become one with the butter. Then add 1/4 tsp salt and 6 cups of rice bubbles – stir until combined.

Press your mixture firmly into a greased 20cm square tin. Or any tin you like. A 20cm square tin means you can easily cut 16 neat squares – which i like – but there are no rules. Let the mixture cool and set and then flip out and cut (wait about half an hour). Before you put the slice in the fridge, make sure you cut it. Cold rice crispies are very hard to cut!

Please don’t eat these for breakfast. I’m usually an advocate of anything-you-like-will-do-for-breakfast, but in this case, don’t. They’ll give you a serious sugar headache. Trust me.

Love,

fat chops x

sweet and tart

September 20, 2010

How glorious was the sunshine yesterday? Most (normal) people probably took the warm weather as a cue to do something summerish, like going to the beach…I decided to spend the day indoors baking. The end result was like a little piece of sunshine on my plate.

Do I have a problem?!

I am not usually one to make a layered cake. I am quite a lazy cook and the idea of icing and slicing so many layers makes me snore.

But…in the new issue of Cuisine mag, there was a recipe for a sweet-looking citrus cake that really whet my appetite. (p.s have you read this magazine before? It’s from NZ and it’s fab. It’s like the Kiwi version of Gourmet Traveller but better. I suggest you get your paws on to it).

Citrus sponge + lemon curd + tangy icing….what’s not to love? I tweaked the recipe a bit  – added some Cointreau-spiked cream, as well as two extra layers (and I said I didn’t like layered cakes? pffft!).

This cake is easy to make and a lot easier to eat. Pressed for time? You could always buy the lemon curd and/or freshly-baked sponge and just whack it together.

CITRUS LAYER CAKE

First, make the curd – it ain’t hard, just make sure you don’t boil it because it will either split or scramble!:

100g butter
200g caster sugar
grated zest and juice of 3 lemons (about 1/2 cup juice)
3 eggs and 2 yolks, beaten

Heat butter, sugar, zest and juice in a medium saucepan until butter melts and sugar dissolves.
Strain the eggs through a sieve (this gets rid of chunky white bits that make your curd ugly) into the saucepan and stir with a wooden spoon constantly until the curd thickens – this should take about 5 minutes. Pour into a vessel of some sort, cool down then pop in the fridge. It should make about 2 cups, you probably only need about 1 cup, so enjoy the leftovers on toast/from the jar.

Now, make the cake:

3 eggs
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tablespoons milk/cream
45 butter, melted
grated zest of your choice of citrus (I used orange) and 1 TBS of juice

Preheat your oven to 180C. Butter AND flour 2 x 2ocm round sandwich tins. If you only have 1 big tin, no problem, you will just have to slice the cake in half horizontally to make 2.
Beat the eggs and sugar until thick and creamy – about 4-5 minutes. Sift the flour and bP into bowl and stir very gently through egg mix. Stir too much and you will make a very flat sponge cake.
Mix the milk, butter, zest and juice and pour into cake mix, then fold to combine.
Divide your mixture between the two tins and pop in the oven for about 12-15 minutes. When the sponge is ready, it will come away from the side of the tin.
Once you’ve cooled the cakes in the tins for 10 minutes, remove and cool on a wire rack. Sponge cakes cool down very quickly so no waiting around to ice! Bonus!

So because I wanted a multi-layer spectacle, I made 2 more cakes so I could have a tower. To be honest: 2 cakes would suffice.

Now you just need to whip up some cream (about 300ml beaten with 1 TBS of Cointreau, if you wish).

Then, make some icing – 1 1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted, mixed with a knob of melted butter, 2 TBS boiling water and 1 TBS lemon juice and zest – stir it together until smooth and glossy.

To assemble and serve, I just put a cake on a cake plate, spread some cream, then some curd, then topped with another layer and repeated. I poured the icing over the top, watched it dribble down the side and caught big dribbles of curd and icing with my fingers (nom nom). The cake doesn’t scream of any decoration but a little bit of candied lemon peel did finish it off well.

Serve with a big, fat dollop of cream or some very creamy vanilla ice-cream.

Love,

fat chops xx