Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Whole Larder Love's Smoked Trout Pizza + A GIVEAWAY

*Edit: Entries for this competition have now closed.
There's something about men who are really into food and cooking isn't there? I think it's something to do with confidence, and it's about care, too. There are a hundreds of male chefs of course, but it's the home cooking that's really special when it's a dude behind the pans. 

I've mentioned Rohan Anderson's blog Whole Larder Love here before because it's like nothing else out there. We in the city whine and preach about eating seasonally and local produce and that kind of thing but he's actually out there living it. He lives by the ebb of the seasons and eats from his garden and hunts his own game. He organises tomato passata days at the end of summer and dries his own beans, can you believe this legend? All this with two little blonde daughters in tow who don't seem to miss the supermarket confectionery aisle. His website and book make me want to sharpen my knives, pick up a wicker basket, head out mushroom hunting and never come back.  His wonderful, colourful and original first book, published by Penguin, is a natural extension of his blog, where you'll find incredible food photography and tales of adventures in the woods, but alas no recipes - that's what the book's for.

In Whole Larder Love Rohan speaks loudly of sustainability and the pleasures of being self sufficient. He writes that "A downside of the civilised world is that we have lost the ability to depend on ourselves for essentials of everyday life... What if the current system fell apart? It's not improbable; many successful civilisations have crumbled at their peak. How would you get your food?" Well I for one, would survive off sprigs of thyme and some very green cherry tomatoes - the entirety of my tiny inner-city garden in my inner-city house, but Rohan and his family are set. They'd eat wild trout, rabbit and duck, foraged nettles and safron milk cap mushrooms for pasta made with eggs from their own chooks, easy.

Within the pages you'll discover the tools you'll need to set up a life like this, (he also recently built his own log cabin smokehouse, which was beautifully documented by Smith Journal here) and also how to prepare the food you find yourself, like how to skin a hare, for example - awesome. This is one for people that know not only how much better food tastes when it's from the wild, but also how much better it tastes when it's you who has put the work in to grow or find it.

Rohan's publishers were lovely enough to send me a copy of his brand new book Whole Larder Love to give away to one of you lucky people. All you need to do is leave a comment on this post, and I will announce a winner here at 10am EST on Monday October 1st, chosen by random number selection. This giveaway is open to anyone world wide - friends, go for it! And good luck.

If you're not lucky enough to win in this giveaway, pick up a copy here for A$29.99.

Whole Larder Love's Smoked Trout Pizza
Recipe published with permission from Whole Larder Love by Rohan Anderson

I cut this recipe in half when I made it, which made three quite large pizzas, so feel free to do that if you aren't feeding too many.

 Pizza Base:
8 cups (800g) 00 (bread-strength) flour, plus extra for dusting
700ml lukewarm water
14g dried yeast
1tsp caster sugar
semolina flour

To make the dough for the pizza base, first mix the lukewarm water with the yeast. Add the caster sugar, stir and set aside for at least 5 minutes.
Tip the flour into the bowl of an electric mixer or a large bowl if you plan on kneading by hand. Make a fist-sized well in the centre of the flour, and then pour the yeast mixture into it. Mix the ingredients until a basic dough forms.
Set the dough onto a flat kneading surface dusted with flour. For 10 minutes, knead the dough by pushing into it with the heel of your hand and then folding the dough in on itself. At about the 8 minute mark, the dough should feel smooth and elastic. If necessary, add more flour as you knead.
Dust the base of a large bowl with flour, and place the dough inside. Cover the bowl with a tea towel. Let the dough rest and rise for at least 30 mins, until it has doubled in size.
Separate the dough into 6-8 pieces, depending on how large you want each pizza to be. Sprinkle a flat surface with semolina flour, and use a rolling pin to roll each dough ball into a circle shape by pushing from the center out, all the way around. Aim for an even thickness of about 1/2 cm.

tomato passata 
1 x whole smoked trout, meat removed and de-boned
marinated goat's cheese
olive oil
rocket leaves
fresh basil 
(I also added some halved cherry tomatoes)

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
Add your toppings to the rolled-out pizza base, minus the rocket and basil. Drizzle olive oil over pizza prior to cooking.
Cook pizza for 25 minutes, serve with a generous garnish of rocket and basil and dress with extra olive oil.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

On The Road

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.” 

- On The Road, Jack Kerouac

Monday, September 17, 2012

Mixing a Ruby Americano

There's something that sometimes happens when your whole world collapses - it's hope. Hope that maybe the best really is yet to come. Hope that those doubts you had late at night, that you pushed down, down, down, to somewhere below everything else, mightn't matter now. Hope that everything happens for a reason, hope for things that you never thought truly existed.

So you change the sheets, and you buy a bunch of ranunculus and ten kilos of blood oranges that seemed excessive at the time but were actually a great idea, and you drink a little with friends that laugh and make you laugh. You drink to the happiness you had for a while, but also to the future. To the life you're about to live, and to endless possibility, and the hope that maybe, just maybe, life might be even better from now on.

Onward we go. And upward, too.

A Recipe for a Ruby Americano
Inspired by a cocktail from The Hazy Rose cocktail bar in Sydney

Serves 2

In each glass (a stemless glass works best, I love these) pour 30ml of Campari, and 30ml of sweet red vermouth (I used Cinzano) over plenty of ice. If you have those giant cubes of ice, they would be great. Juice one large ruby grapefruit and divide the juice between each glass. Stir, and garnish with a twist of ruby grapefruit zest. Be happy.

All photographs by the very talented Sophie Roberts, my partner in crime. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Week in Berlin

Berlin - A To-Do List

Little Otik
We've talked about this little place before, and it is a must-do for simple, effortlessly graceful food. 
Katie's Blue Cat
I stumbled upon Katie's Blue Cat on my last day in Berlin and was blown away. English-style baked goods like treacle buns, homemade crumpets with house jam, real coffee and teas, giant cookies and a cute little collection of tables out on the street.
(Pictured second from the bottom). Great little cafe for breakfast in Kreuzberg. The ricotta pancakes with a dusting of crushed pistachios, gooseberries and raspberries have seriously stuck in my mind. Coffee ain't that great, but there is a serious lack of good espresso in Berlin.

Passenger Espresso
Absolutely tiny, but packs a punch with its strong, Australian-style coffees and ANZAC cookies in a glass jar on the counter.
Santa Maria Mexican
Tacos! Incredibly potent hibiscus margaritas! On one of the busiest streets in Kreuzberg, this is a great place to start the night off on a good note, the staff were a bit spacey and it is PACKED in the summer, but that didn't really bother us.

Club der Visionaere
A hippie flop/bohemian cafe-cum-club on a barge tied to the bank of a a canal under a giant willow tree. It's only a 1 Euro entry which you get back if you return your glass to the bar when you've finished with it. Cool electronic music.

Just down the road from Club der Visionaere, Cake is filled with mismatched vintage couches, the bar looks like it was set up in about 20 minutes from a bunch of crates and a few slabs of beer, but the music is fun and the drinks are seriously cheap.
A club with a rooftop bar in the middle of an office building in the city, great view over Berlin from the roof. We saw Justice here a couple of years ago and they hold regular parties with similar acts.
Absinthe Depot 
Enormous range of real-deal absinthe, (not the fake dribble we get in Australia). The staff are really helpful in helping you choose the right bottle, and you can buy all the tools here too like water fountains (should you get really into it) and sugar grates.

The best beer garden in Berlin in my opinion. Click the link to read more.

Stil in Berlin
ExBerliner Magazine

Badeschiff pool
Shop in Mitte 
Shop around Kreuzberg