Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mum's Chocolate Chip Biscuits

These biscuits were something I loved eating when I was a kid. A simple recipe that is easy and quick to cook, and taste sensational. A good tip would be to make a double quantity as they get eaten pretty fast!!!

I guess 'technically' these are actually cookies and not biscuits, but we always called them biscuits as the term cookie sounds so awfully American!! Just before we get into the recipe, don't message me asking why the weights are so ridiculously specific....they have been converted from ounces to grams!! Also you could replace dark with white chocolate and add some macadamia nuts....You are only limited by your imagination....although I would steer clear of gherkins!!


114 g (4 oz.) Dark Chocolate [Old Gold, Lindt 70%] chopped roughly, leaving some good chunks
2 Tablespoons sugar
170 g (6 oz.) self raising flour
114 g (4 oz.) soft salted butter
2 Tablespoons sweetened condensed milk


Cream the butter, sugar and condensed milk. Add the self raising flour and chopped chocolate and combine. Roll into balls, about the size of a small golf ball, put onto a baking sheet and press down with a fork allowing some space for them to grow!

Cook at 180ºC for about 12-15 minutes, but be guided by them being just golden at the edges.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


454 Whitehorse Road
(03) 9873 0268

Having recently moved into the area we though we would try one of the local restaurants. I had eaten at this place years ago, and it was a 'La Porchetta' style suburban Italian place. Very casual and inexpensive. We decided to walk up and try it. Dressed in jeans and t shirts we walked in to find the place had changed. It was a bit 'fancy'!!

The waiter gave us a funny look and asked if we had reservation...It was a Tuesday night at about 6.30pm and the place was pretty much empty so it was an interesting question. I said no, and he found us a table. Service was quick and efficient, an the meals were good. Chicken Parmagiana and Lasagne were both good, but not amazing, The salad was fresh and the Garlic Focaccia from the adjoining take away pizza bar was great. Meals were less expensive than the Mitcham Hotel, just down the road, and the service was much better, the ambience was good, and it had the feeling of a bit of a special occasion restaurant that served non special occasion food!!

On returning on another night it was pretty busy and again we had good service and the meals were good, although the duck risotto with olives was a little weird. Unfortunately the duck flavour was overpowered by the olives, however the vegetable risotto we tested on the same night was very good.

Overall a good find in the suburbs, with fast service, and an over attentive owner, who was wandering around looking like he owned the place.... but I guess he does. His intent was good, but sometimes unnecessary and to be honest a little distracting.

Rating: 11/20

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Roast Chicken

I tried to capture the essence of a classic Sunday Roast Chicken, but with a little more finesse and a few extra ways of cooking the roast to normal. The added pea puree and light chicken jus rather than a thick gravy added a delicate element to what is usually a rustic dish. Plus it tasted great!!


2 Free Range Chickens
4 slices of prosciutto - Baked in oven till crisp.
4 cups peas
4 carrots
1 cup white wine
2 cups good chicken stock
handful of thyme
olive oil
4 potatoes
2 lemons
2 Garlic cloves


Make sure the chicken is dry, cut off the wings, cut the tips and first joint off the wing and reserve for the sauce. Using a knife push the meat down the bone of the wing until it looks like a meat lollipop!!! Set them aside in the fridge. Now cut the thigh and legs from the chicken and separate the legs from the thigh. Thighs can be frozen for use on another day! In saucepan cover the legs with oil and heat it to 85ºC, and cook them for about 40minutes. Turn heat off and leave them in the oil for another 1/2 hour. Then refrigerate. The breasts, still on the frame of the chicken will be roasted on the crown. Stuff the cavity with thyme and lemon, and push butter, thyme, salt and pepper under the skin of each breast. Start cooking in a large pan on the cooktop, browning each breast and then sit up in the pan and put into the oven at 180ºC for about 20 minutes. Throw the garlic and reserved wing bones into the pan to roast as well.

Cut carrots and potatoes into small triangular wedges, or squares if you like! Make sure you choose a nice waxy potato that will hold its form! Boil Potato and carrot. Put potato in first and once cooked take out and throw carrot into the same water.

Boil peas until tender, reserve 1 cup, puree the rest in a blender, Season as required. Take the Chicken out of the oven and cover. Reserve the roasting pan with its juices!! In another frying pan brown the confit chicken legs and the potato pieces and on a griddle pan grill the wings. Once the legs and potatoes are browned put them into the oven to heat through.

Using the roasting pan, deglaze with white wine and add stock, turn the heat up and reduce until it thickens a little. Strain and add some butter and season as required [you might get some extra juices while carving the breast and removing it from the frame, add these to the sauce]. Heat the reserved peas with the carrots and strain.

Plating just requires you to lace all the elements as you see them in the photo above. Smear the puree, put the three pieces of chicken across the plate, and scatter the peas, carrots and potato. Drizzle over the sauce and scatter with fresh thyme sprigs. Don't forget the crispy prosciutto!

It sounds pretty complex but it is worth it....