The Occasional Epicure

Occasional updates on my eating and cooking adventures...

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Fish Frenzy, Hobart

While RJ and I were honeymooning in Tasmania in May we were fortunate enough to stumble across Hobart's best fish and chip shop, Fish Frenzy.

Fish Frenzy interior

It's official!

The menu was extensive, but we couldn't go past the "Fish Frenzy" which comprised two pieces of crumbed fish, scallops, calamari and chips - all for the bargain price of $13.50! The food arrived promptly and tasted delicious. I remember that the two pieces of fish weren't the same, but now I can't recall what either of them was at all! And the calamari, chips and scallops were all just right.

I dislike stinginess, so I was delighted at the generous quantities of lemon. There was plenty to squeeze into my glass of water! And...after we'd started eating I decided that I'd like to try some chilli and lime mayo, which was 50 cents for a little tub. The nice Fish Frenzy man refused to let me pay for it! Top marks for generosity!

Our lunches

So if you find yourself in Hobart, make sure you visit Fish Frenzy. The service, food and atmosphere were all fantastic!

Fish Frenzy
Elizabeth Street Pier
Sullivans Cove
Phone 03 6231 2134

Sunday, July 24, 2005

A blogger by any other name would smell as sweet

Well, it didn't take me long to get sick of my dumb name BrisKJJ and wish that I'd spent a bit more time thinking up a cooler moniker. Something more like Blazing_Star_Racer (that's my cute husband, formerly known as RJ on this blog) or Jimmy Trinket (that's my friend's husband who samples my baking sometimes) would be cool.

Anyway, in the interests of keeping things simple I've decided to revert to a name I like much more. It's simple to spell, it's easy to pronounce, and it's what people have already been calling me for the past 27 years: Kelly.

Pleased to meet you!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Strawberry Friands

I'm having a bit of a friand frenzy at the moment - two batches in as many weeks... These delicious small cakes are very easy to make and really, really tasty!

I was telling a friend that I'd started baking friands, and she said "Aren't they just like muffins squished into a different shape?" It was then that I realised I would need to bake another batch as soon as possible and bring her a sample.

I gave her two friands in a little takeaway container so that her husband could try one too. (He'd been v. upset about not sampling my brownies!) I'm pleased to report that they were a big hit, and deemed to be entirely unlike misshapen muffins after all!

from Modern Classics Book 2 by Donna Hay
125g butter
1 cup almond meal
1 2/3 cups icing sugar, sifted
3/4 cup plain flour, sifted <--- aarrgh! Edited to add this vital ingredient that I missed in my original post
1/2 teaspoon baking powder 5 egg whites [I couldn't be bothered working out what to do with 5 egg yolks, so I just used frozen egg whites]
1/3 cup fresh or frozen raspberries, blueberries or sliced strawberries [I saw $1 punnets of strawberries while I was queuing at the express lane - it was meant to be!]

Preheat the oven to 180C. Place the butter in a saucepan over low heat and cook until melted and a very light golden colour. Set aside. [I did this the first time I made friands; this time I just melted the butter in the microwave.]

Place the almond meal, icing sugar, flour and baking powder in a bowl and stir to combine. Add the egg whites and stir to combine. Add the butter and stir to combine.

Grease 10 x 1/2 cup capacity muffin tins [of course, if you have friand tins, you might as well use them]. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the mixture into each tin and sprinkle the berries over the top. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and springy to touch but moist in the centre. [Mine took longer. I think my oven is a bit inconsistent.]


Monday, July 18, 2005

Pita Things

These pita "things" are always a huge hit. When I try to explain them to people, they look a bit sceptical and say "Sounds a bit weird! Do I need to serve them with dip?" But once they try them, they're hooked...

So, without further ado, I present you with the recipe for...

Pita Things

Fresh basil (Greek basil is best)
Crushed garlic
Grated Parmesan cheese
Pita or flat bread

Mix chopped basil, garlic and softened butter. Spread onto pitas. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese then cut into triangles. (A pizza cutter is really handy for this.) Bake on a tray at 180C for 8 to 10 minutes.

  • Lemon pepper may be substituted for the basil. This is tasty too!

  • And no, you don't need to serve them with dip. They're tasty enough on their own!

    They're delicious!

    Saturday, July 16, 2005

    Brisbane Lions cupcakes

    My favourite Australian Rules football team, the Brisbane Lions, are playing the top-of-the-ladder West Coast Eagles tonight in Perth.

    Unfortunately, here in Brisbane, we are 3600 kilometres away so we're having a few friends around to watch the game on TV. In honour of the occasion, and in the vain hope that my baking can influence the outcome of a football game, I whipped up some maroon, blue and gold mini-cupcakes.

    Superstition plays a big part in sport, and last time I made these mini-cupcakes was for a "maroon, blue and gold" themed morning tea the day before the 2002 grand final...which the Lions went on to win.

    Aussie Rules fans also love quirky statistics. How's this for a piece of trivia? The Lions have won their past five games, and each win has arrived with an increased margin. If they keep this pattern up, they should win tonight by more than 78 points...

    Go Lions!

    Sad postscript: Unfortunately - and despite my best baking efforts - the Eagles proved too good for the Lions on the night :( The Eagles played a fantastic game where the final score was 17.9.(111) to 13.10.(88).

    Tuesday, July 12, 2005

    Desperate Brownies

    It was with bitter disappointment that I received the news that Channel 7 would be screening 24 instead of the terrific Desperate Housewives last night. What would the girls at work and I talk about on Tuesday morning? Our regular DH debrief would have to be postponed until next week! Quelle disaster!

    But disappointment turned to determination, and, Bree Van Der Kamp-like, I decided to make the best of a bad situation and use my newfound spare hour to whip up a batch of the delicious looking brownies featured on Niki's blog a couple of weeks ago. They looked so fantastic in her photos that I haven't been able to stop thinking about them since I first read her post.

    I don't think I've ever made a recipe that called for melted butter and cocoa to be mixed together. I was so impressed by the resulting mixture that I had to take a photo!

    Butter and cocoa mixture

    When the prescribed 20-25 minutes in the oven had elapsed, my tin of brownie mixture still wobbled ominously when I attempted to remove it from the oven. Mindful of the recipes instruction "Do not overcook" - but at the same time wary of my oven's sometime problem with holding the correct temperature - I left the tin in for another few minutes. After this, the brownie slab seemed a bit more solid, so I took it out.

    After it had cooled down a little, I mixed up the icing, thinking "Two cups of icing sugar for one 18x28cm slab of brownie?! Sounds rather ample!" There did end up being plenty of icing to splash around...

    Bowl of icing

    This morning the finished product looks absolutely delicious. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm sure the girls at work will like it! Hopefully it can fill the gaping hole in our Tuesday morning routine that would normally be occupied by unnecessarily in-depth DH debriefing and analysis!

    The finished product
    This photo is my entry in the food community's monthlyDoes My Blog Look Good In This photo competition, this month kindly hosted by Andy at Spittoon.

    Thanks Niki for sharing your recipe!

    Saturday, July 02, 2005

    Malaya Corner, Sunnybank

    The closest thing I've found to real Malaysian and Singaporean hawker food in Brisbane is at Malaya Corner in Sunnybank. Just reading the menu is a treat and deciding what to eat can be very challenging!

    We've been to Malaya Corner a few times now, but on this occasion RJ chose the curry and roti, which looks pretty small but is actually quite substantial. I sampled some, for research purposes, and found that it was extremely delicious!

    Roti and curry on funny plastic banana leaf plate.

    I had the ho fun noodles (my favourite kind) with beef (my favourite meat) and ginger and shallots (one of my top ten flavour combinations). It tasted fantastic and the portion was huge! As an added bonus, the carrots were cut out into cute little shapes. My mouth is watering now just thinking about it again.

    Ho fun noodles with beef and ginger and shallots

    To accompany our meal we had the not-very-authentic but huge and refreshing nonetheless lemon Cokes. My other favourite thing about Malaya Corner is that the tables are made from my very favourite Laminex colour, Maize Tela! The very same that I have in my laundry! (I know that is a pretty stupid thing to get excited about, but I can't help it.)

    Lemon Cokes and the Maize Tela Laminex table.

    All in all, there is nothing not to love about Malaya Corner. There's plenty of delicious things to eat, the service is fine, and the prices are very reasonable. Oh! There is one small thing not to love - the accept cash only! There are no EFTPOS or credit card facilities. (Thankfully there's an ATM nearby, otherwise we might have ended up doing the dishes...)

    We'll definitely be going back, so stay tuned for more updates.

    Malaya Corner
    Shop 38 Market Square
    Corner McCullough Street and Mains Road
    Phone: (07) 3344 3838