Sunday, November 26, 2006

jerk seasoning

The very best jerk seasoning in the world is a wet marinade called Walkerswood, which is fairly easily available in many London stores including Tescos. If you can't get access to this, make your own. It's easy, and you will find your own style with trial and error. Here is a starter recipe to get you going.


1 onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon all spice
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon sugar
4 to 6 hot chilli peppers, finely chopped
2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Add a little water to the mix to form a paste. Rub onto your chicken, pork or fish and marinate for up to 24 hours before cooking.

chicken xacuti

A heavenly dish originally from Goa - pronounced "chakooty". The chicken is marinated in freshly roasted spices and cooked slowly in sweet, fresh coconut juice. Perfectly Delightful!

1Kg chicken, cut into medium sized pieces
(substitute tofu, paneer or soya if veggie/vegan)
6 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil
6 -8 onions
Juice of 2 limes
Coconut juice either tinned or fresh
1 fresh coconut - grate the coconut and roast with two of the onions (sliced lengthwise) and a little ghee.
The coconut needs to turn a pale brown

The key is to roast the whole spices before grinding them. This brings out the nutty, warm flavors. To roast, heat a griddle over a moderate heat, add the spices, and shake the pan for 20 seconds. A lovely aroma will be released.

Roast and grind (to paste with a little water):
- Toasted coconut/onion mixture
- 2 tbsp coriander seeds
- 5 black peppercorns
- 10 dried red chilies (or less)
- 1tsp turmeric
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 inch piece cinnamon
- 1/2 nutmeg
- 3 tblsp aniseed
- 1tbsp poppy seeds

• Chop four of the onions and fry until light brown.
• Add the chicken and brown.
• Add the ground paste, fry for a minute and then add the coconut milk.
• Cook until chicken is tender.
• Cut the remaining onions and add to the chicken.
• Boil for a few minutes then lower flame
• Add the thick coconut milk.
• Add salt if required.
• Simmer until sauce has thickened.
• Sprinkle over some limejuice and fresh coriander leaves prior to serving.

Enjoy with naan bread, chappatis or rice.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Wine Blogging Wednesday #28

Brenda at Culinary Fool is the host for the December WBW. And what a topic it is!

Festive Sparkling Wines must be the very best topic for a pre-Christmas excuse for a drinking - sorry, tasting - session.

Who's with me?

If you're in Melbourne let me know if you are up for a Sparkling Night Out, and if you are elsewhere in the world why not stock up on an interesting bottle of bubbly or two amongst mates, taste and test and send in your report!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Wine Blogging Wednesday: WBW#26

I was on vacation for the first opportunity to get involved with this, so my sister Mena obliged.

As I prefer white wine and as there was no chance of even sampling something nice from Long Island (I'm in Australia), I decided to go with an Italian white.

There were a total of TWO Italian wines at my local bottle shop !! That is to say that they actually came from Italy - we're very lax in our descriptions over here and there were quite a number of "Italian" wines. They were both around the same price - the same price I paid for a box of six bottles of locally grown cleanskin chardonnay by the way - and didn't seem noticeably different, so I picked the one in the prettiest bottle.

The wine I selected was :
Vino Prizzante
Mellow White Wine
8.5% Alc./Vol.

The description on the bottle said : "The semi sweet white wine generously rich and full with a delightful clean aftertaste : the ideal companion for good food and every happy occasion".

By the time Wednesday came around I was looking forward to enjoying my nicely chilled bottle of choice with some Garlic Chilli Prawns and a Greek salad.

Boy was I disappointed !!! First thing I noticed was how light the colour was (think water) and that it seemed to be slightly effervescent. "Okaaay - refreshing" I thought and took an initial swig. Let me describe the taste like this ...... you know the really cheap sickly sweet Asti Spumante that you swigged by the neck in secret before High School dances (or was that just me) ? ... think sweeter, sicklier !! Think molasses mixed with water in a bottle !!

I had to leave it alone that night ... it was ruining the taste of my prawns ... but I tried it again the next day with the same result. Then not wanting to give up, I left it to try again as an afternoon drink with lunch on Saturday, which somehow didn't seem so bad.

I can't say what else it tasted of because the treacle/molasses/sugar taste overrode every other taste.

If this wine were a tree it would be a sugar plum.

As far as I am concerned this wine would only be nice if used as an addition to trifle.