Roast chicken with Pernod & oranges

tray of roast chicken

Market ingredient: Thirlmere free-range chicken
Difficulty: Such an easy roast
Deliciousness: OOOOO yeah
Did The Beard like it? Almost as good as Mum’s (seems to be a reoccuring theme here?)

You know why I love middle eastern cooking? Actually, there are numerous reasons, from the one-pot-cooking of tagines and stews, to the heady combinations of spices, to the use of fruit in savoury dishes. So many dates, plums, prunes, figs and citrus. And then there’s the use of aniseed flavours. Delicious, delicious aniseed. Fennel, fennel seeds, aniseed tea (try it). And then there is arak. For the uninitiated, arak is an intensely aniseed flavoured liquor that The Beard’s family friends and relos used make. And sweet baby jesus, this stuff is intense. Mental note to self – you’re supposed to drink it watered down. Not as a straight shot. Dad and I learnt the hard way when The Beard rocked up to my parent’s place with a 2L Southern Comfort flagon filled with the stuff. But that’s another story…

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BBQ whole snapper with fennel, lemon & tarragon

whole stuffed snapper ready to be barbequed

Market ingredient: Snapper
Difficulty: REALLY REALLY simple
Deliciousness: YUM
Did The Beard like it? Loved it.

Since returning from travels, I have had cravings for seafood. Between Tunisia, Sicily and Malta, The Beard and I consumed more seafood than I think I have in my entire life. At any of the coastal cities and villages of these places, you could get such fresh & beautiful fish (and generally for ridiculously cheap prices as well) and all I could think of for the past week was the delicious simplicity of the way the nations of the med cook their seafood. Unfortunately, there are no fishmongers at Eveleigh, so we had to make 2 markets trips yesterday; one to Eveleigh and one to Sydney Fish Market.

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Blood orange & fennel salad

Blood orange and fennel salad

Market ingredient: Blood Oranges from Block 11 Organics
Difficulty: Simpletown
Deliciousness: Clean and crisp
Did The Beard like it? I don’t know if I would have liked it as a stand alone entree, but it makes for a perfect side.

Oranges are a fruit that I tend to forget just how much I enjoy and during Winter you are lucky enough to be able to find juicey, sweet blood oranges. Called so because of their crimson flesh, I believe they are quite popular in the southern mediterranean regions of Italy & Spain. I actually think they are stunning visually. I love the look of the pinky flesh of the cut orange and they look amazing scattered through salads.

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Tomato and fennel seafood soup

Tomato and fennel seafood soup
Market ingredient: FENNEL
Difficulty: Pretty easy, just a little time consuming
Deliciousness: About 10
Did the Beard like it? Sure did

My inaugural blog post. It’s been a long time coming and I’m pretty excited.  For those of you that don’t know, I’ve been talking about starting a blog for, oh, about 5 years now. I don’t think anyone thought I was actually going to do it, least of all myself. However, after a little coaching and encouragement from a certain mentoring-type, here we are.

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