Friday Finds

Mushroom, Spinach, Lemon and Thyme Risotto
Mushroom, Spinach, Lemon and Thyme Risotto – details below.

This week’s post is all about entertainment, specifically what I’m watching (and eating) when I’m staying in this week and where I’ve been going when eating out. As much as I love to cook, I also love to eat other people’s food. Whether it be at a friends place or at restaurant there’s something fabulous about someone else cooking for you.

Almost every Sunday (it’s been less regular due to lots of travel on all our behalves), I head to my parental’s for a Sunday night feast. It’s always brilliant with Dad handling the savoury side and Mum taking care of the sweet. Last Sunday my brother and I invited over our housemates and we feasted on a ridiculous spread (crumbed oysters, chicken wings stuffed with prawns and scallops, coconut salad, corn and cucumber salad dressed with miso butter, slow cooked lamb shoulder, passionfruit sponge cake + some of my crunchy chocolate bark made with puffed quinoa). And drank loads of wine. It was one of two fabulous meals I had in the last week, and the other one is the first of this week’s Friday Finds…

Fried Oysters, photo by Phoebe Wolf
Fried Oysters at Sunday night dinner, photo by Phoebe Wolf
  1. Cochin, a French – Vietnamese restaurant in Richmond that has been on my list for a while now and it did not disappoint. We grazed on a variety of different sized dishes from a very indulgent pate served with pickled carrots and crostini, to whole baby snapper steamed with fragrant ginger and hiding under slippery and tender mushrooms. Another table favourite was the pork and lemongrass, with just enough chilli to make it a little addictive. We didn’t make it to dessert but everything we ate was spot on and the service was lovely.
  2. Smoothies from Kitty Burns. I usually struggle with fructose content when having smoothies out as they are so often sweetened with things I can’t eat. But the folks at Kitty Burns let me pedantically ask for  just one date in my Mint Slice smoothie and the flavour still delivered. I also snuck a sip of the red velvet smoothie and it was also amazing and tasted super indulgent and was filled with seriously good for you ingredients.
  3. Eating in: I answered all my risotto cravings with a mixed mushroom, thyme and spinach risotto made with homemade stock. Finished with some lemon and a generous scattering of parmesan cheese it was perfect (Look at the picture at the top of this post!) and accompanied by Netflix. It’s a simplification and lower fat version of this recipe, minus the bacon (really didn’t want meat), butter, peas and sage. I used oil instead of the butter, doubled the thyme and then added a little extra thyme and lemon zest sprinkled over to serve.
  4. Speaking of Netflix, if you haven’t watched the doco Cooked yet, please do. It’s such an interesting look at the evolution of food in our lives. Michael Pollan takes the audience through the history of food and, unsurprisingly, this history may hold some answers as to why we’re having some of the first world diet woes we’re currently facing. My favourite quote thus far is in episode 2, water (each episode represents an element) was when Henry Balzer said, “Eat anything you want. Enjoy all of your food, anything you want. You  want apple pie? Have a whole apple pie tonight. You want cookies with that apple pie? And ice cream with that apple pie? I’ll allow you to eat all the cookies, all the ice cream, all the pie – you can have it tonight. But I’m just going to ask you to do one thing. Make all of it. Make the apple pie, make the ice cream, make the cookies. And you know what I know is going to happen? You’re not having apple pie, ice cream or cookies tonight.” The ability to instantly grab these foods that are supposed to be high labour, and thus something only made and consumed occasionally, is a huge problem. We can have anything we want at the drop of a hat. But we’re not always choosing great things to put in our bodies. And the effect is pretty devastating.

Rant over. But, seriously, go watch it and go cook some delicious food this week.

HH. x

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