Sweet Corn Fritters

Fry baby, fry! Fritters are fancied by all of us. They’re simple, they’re homely, they’re comfortable, and they sit well at any meal, at any time of day or night, on their own, or in the most exclusive company.
One of the favourite dishes from my old restaurant days was prawns sitting on a bed of [...]

Preserving Summer

We’ll all die, but preserve your memory like the oils of summer. Put your favourite recipes into your book, in your handwriting, with your cooking stains. That, truly, will last forever.
There’s something very instinctive about preservation. Holding on to what we have. Preservation followed by regeneration. The story of life. In the kitchen, we discovered [...]

Don’t Discard The Bones

You don’t really need good stocks in your kitchen, just like you don’t really need flowers in your garden or tickets to the Grand Final, or an opinion on the Mabo judgement or the Australian Republic. Life goes on. It’s just a little bit different.
I have tended away from making stocks in the past for [...]

A Plaintive Cry For Sardines

Sardines are super fish. My life’s work now is to convince the missus and the kids that this devotion is not another strange quirk of my behaviour: something like listening to the radio twenty-four hours a day, or wanting a gnome in a Hawthorn jumper in the garden, or hoarding that pile of old New [...]

Classic White Sauce For Cauli

A white sauce is the most simple of classic dishes. And it really does go beautifully with cauliflower, particularly when the white sauce is mixed at the end with an aggressive melting cheese like cheddar. It’s very simple to make. Just measure out equal quantities of butter and flour, and have plenty of simmering milk [...]

Eggplant with pesto

The eggplant might be the most gorgeous looking of the summer vegetables, a true aristocrat of the garden. But surely it’s the most underrated when, like The Phantom, it leaves the bush and walks the kitchen like the rest of the garden world.

A surprise pea and ham soup

An oldie, and a goldie. Trouble is the season for great peas is not necessarily the season for great soups. But then again, I love ice creams when the weather is freezing.

Sardines from the middle east

A brilliant combination I came across in Toofey’s, a delightful seafood restaurant in Melbourne, is sardines with baba ghanoush, that marvellous Middle Eastern dip of eggplant and tahini. Just cook the sardines as per recipe: Sardines fried very simply, with lemon juice (or fry them in a light batter) and serve on a few tablespoons [...]

Snapper in a tomato sauce

My past has come back to haunt me. As I read my cholesterol level on the lab sheet at 20 per cent higher than the optimum, my mind raced back through all those throwaway lines from food columns of the past: ‘drown the lot in butter’; ’serve with cream or ice cream, or better both’; [...]

Poaching orange roughy

The previous butter-soaked fish dishes came from my restaurant days, somewhere between 1983 and 1988. The following was written in May, 1990, when the penny was starting to drop.
I think I must be falling for this health propaganda in some sort of subconscious way. Not so long ago, if you gave me a fish to [...]