Kangaroo Lasagne

Kangaroo Lasagne

Hello Everyone! The kangaroo makes another appearance on tonight’s blog post! I finally got around to using the other half of the kangaroo mince that I first cooked with about a month or more ago now. I decided to go with making a lasagne only because I had most of the essential ingredients already in my fridge/pantry at the time I was planning on making it – I really only needed the lasagne sheets and a few of the vegetables.

Tonight’s post is not going to be as long as the others; I don’t have much to tell. If you read my post on the Kangaroo Bolognese that I made a while back, you’d know the story behind how I came to purchase roo mince. Also, I mentioned in that post that I neither loved nor hated the taste of kangaroo – it was just an inexplainable feeling. I even said that, after having given kangaroo a second chance while camping in Uluru, I was leaning more towards liking it. After making this lasagne though, I’m definitely disliking the taste of it. However, it may very well be the fact that I made a lot of it to last me 6 meals, so that may be the reason why I started to dislike it after a while – but no; I won’t be purchasing kangaroo for a while. Maybe never again actually because I’ll be leaving Sydney soon and roo meat is DEFINITELY not available back home.

Kangaroo Lasagne

I actually ran out of mozzarella cheese when making the lasagne so I ended up adding tasty cheese as well because that was the only other cheese I had in the fridge – and I didn’t have much of it either. I have also doubled the quantities for the béchamel sauce as I found that I didn’t have enough for the meat filling recipe that I had.

Also, just a little side note, if you want to try this recipe out, DON’T lay the eggplant slices raw. They barely even cooked when the lasagne was in the oven. Took a bite, and it just ruined the dish for me. I had to take them out and cook them separately. Much hassles! So make sure you bake/grill/pan fry them before layering them in-between the meat and lasagne sheets. I mean, I already had this at the back of my head, that I needed to cook them first, but no, I didn’t. First amateur cook mistake for 2015 – yeap, I’m off to a good start.

Kangaroo Lasagne Ingredients

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR 30 MINS | SERVES 6-8

INGREDIENTS

For the meat filling

  • 500g kangaroo mince
  • 1 can (400g) Italian diced tomatoes
  • 1 sachet (2 tbsp) tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4-5 dried bay leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed then minced
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 carrot, cut into small chunks
  • 1 medium-sized red onion, diced
  • 1 red birds-eye chilli, sliced (optional for that added kick of spice)
  • 1 zucchini, cut into small chunks
  • Ground sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the béchamel sauce

  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Wholemeal lasagne sheets
  • 1 pack (250g) mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1 large eggplant, sliced

METHOD

  1.  Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and pan fry the eggplant slices until done, about 4-5 minutes per side. Set aside.
  3. In the same frying pan, sauté the garlic until golden and fragrant. Then add the onions in a sauté until soft. Add the vegetables in and cook for about 5 minutes before adding the kangaroo mince in. Cook over medium heat and slowly brown the meat. When the meat has completely browned, add the canned diced tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, and water. Season with salt and pepper, then simmer for about 25 to 30 minutes.
  4. While the meat is simmering away, get a head start on the béchamel sauce. Heat the olive oil in a medium-szied saucepan. Add the plain flour and nutmeg to the oil and stir continuously for 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly add the milk in a bit at a time while still stirring the mixture continuously. Stir until the sauce is smooth, season and then set aside.
  5. In a ovensafe dish (I used a 28cm x 18cm pyrex dish), add half of the meat filling and top with half of the eggplant slices. Arrange a layer of lasagne sheets over the top and then followed by a layer of the béchamel sauce. Top with half of the pack of mozzarella cheese and then repeat for another layer.
  6. Place the in the oven and bake for about 40 to 45 minutes.
  7. Serve with a salad on the side and perhaps some yummy garlic bread.

Kangaroo Lasagne

Kangaroo Lasagne

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Devon Café (Devon by Night) - ENTRÉE: King Salmon Sashimi, Avocado, Jelly, Ikura, Chives

Devon Café (Devon by Night)

Hello Everyone! And a very Happy New Year to all! I trust everyone enjoyed celebrating in one way or another. I spent the whole day sitting out in the sun with friends as we waited for midnight to strike. Watching the fireworks display by the Harbour Bridge was an amazing experience, and also such a tiring day of waiting really.

Anyway, hopefully I can keep this going as long as I have visited enough places and have the time to write up my dining experience. I feel like it’s been a while since I did a review – well that’s because it has been a while indeed! So, starting this New Years, I will be uploading a review every Sunday on top of 2 recipes a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

So I’ve been to Devon Café a total of 3 times now this year; twice for brunch and once for their dinner service. The both times that I went for brunch I ordered the same dish, and so did the one other person I went with, so I thought doing a review just on the one dish from their brunch menu was a bit meh. I had the Eggs Blini by the way which you can probably already tell because I had it twice (within two weeks) was so good and also apparently was the most Instagrammed dish from their menu at the time.

Anyway, the last time I visited Devon Café was actually in August of this year. Yes, that means that the food that you see in this review may not even be on their menu anymore as I am aware that menus here in Australia tend to change depending on the season. Therefore, the food that you see here are from their winter menu, and I have not been back to know whether their menu is different for the now summer season.

Devon Café (Devon by Night) - ENTRÉE: Prawn and Scallop Wontons
ENTRÉE: Prawn and Scallop Wontons
Scallop and Prawn Ceviche, Crispy Wontons, Green Mango, Peanuts, Nahm Jim ($18.00)

When the waiter first came to our table with these, I actually thought he got our order mixed up. In my head I was like “these aren’t wontons are they?” I was actually hesitant to have him place the dish on our table and I think he could tell that I was confused. I asked “are these the wontons?” He assured me that they were, AND then I saw him carrying the other plate that had the wonton wrappers. Yes I know, not quite how I’ve known wontons to be served, but nonetheless these tasted amazing! I really loved the freshness of the prawn and scallop ceviche paired with the kick of spice from the nahm jim sauce. Not to mention the crispy wontons that added that extra crunch to the dish!

Devon Café (Devon by Night) - ENTRÉE: King Salmon Sashimi, Avocado, Jelly, Ikura, Chives
ENTRÉE: King Salmon Sashimi, Avocado, Jelly, Ikura, Chives ($15.00)

Enticingly fresh salmon. What more can I say? This dish was spot on for me!

Devon Café (Devon by Night) - MAIN: Chinese Egg Custard, Shiitake, Fungus, Yellow Needle Flower, Chinese Fried Bread and Perigord Black Truffle
MAIN: Chinese Egg Custard, Shiitake, Fungus, Yellow Needle Flower, Chinese Fried Bread and Perigord Black Truffle ($29.00)

This dish gave me some mixed feelings – well, now that I think of it, the flavour didn’t quite sit well with me even though I think my other friends enjoyed it. I found the mushroom taste to be a bit too overpowering for me, which was probably the main reason why I didn’t not enjoy this dish. Also, the Chinese Fried Bread was not at all crispy, at least not as crispy as the ones I’d get back home. Their bread also didn’t look that fresh.

Devon Café (Devon by Night) - MAIN: Aunty Yulia's Short Ribs
MAIN: Aunty Yulia’s Short Ribs
Slow Cooked in Indonesian Sweet Soy with Spicy Tomato and Basil Relish ($28.00)

This was probably the highlight of all dishes. The short ribs were cooked to perfection; falling off the bone tender and packed with that delicious kecap manis flavour. The relish was a nice refreshing touch to the palette and that him tot spice really gave it that kick it needed. I highly recommend this dish if it’s still on their menu!

Devon Café (Devon by Night) - DESSERT: Matcha Fondant (Green Tea Molten Lava Cake)
DESSERT: Matcha Fondant (Green Tea Molten Lava Cake)
with Vanilla-bean Ice Cream, Honey Dew Balls and Pistachio Crumb ($13.00)

This dessert I believe is actually one of the main reasons why I wanted to go to Devon by Night. I saw it all over Instagram and I said to myself that I NEEDED to go here just to be able to get my hands on this dessert. The last time I had a green tea molten lava cake was 2 or 3 years ago at Tokkuri. That I loved, but I think now THIS I love more! The perfect consistency and paired with other flavours and textures that really enhanced the dish. The lava was thick and rich – just absolute yum! A definite must try!

Devon Café (Devon by Night) - DESSERT: Fried Ice Cream Bao with Dark Chocolate Sauce
DESSERT: Fried Ice Cream Bao with Dark Chocolate Sauce ($7.00)

This was the day that I broke my fried ice cream virginity as well – and I am glad that I lost it to Devon’s Fried Ice Cream Bao! Such a clever and innovative way of fusion cooking; serving fried ice cream in a bao. The only let down with this was that they served it with a dark chocolate sauce – don’t get me wrong, the sauce was perfection, but I was expecting a kaya (coconut jam) sauce instead, as from what I’ve seen all over Instagram. I seriously believe that it would’ve tasted a hundred times better! I’m probably being biased here since I’m not a huge fan of chocolate, but KAYA?! My fellow kaya-loving friends/followers will be able to imagine magic happening in their mouth just thinking about this flavour combination.

Devon Café is quite a popular breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner spot to both the locals and the tourists. So if and when you get the chance to Sydney, or are currently residing in Sydney, this should be in your places to eat in Sydney list. A MUST! They’ve recently opened a new branch in Waterloo on Danks St. which I was able to visit with two other friends for a nice brunch just this week actually. Unless their menu has changed at the original Devon Café, their menu is quite different so I will be doing a review on them too! Soon I hope!

Devon Café
76 Devonshire Street
Surry Hills, New South Wales
Australia, 2043

– Ally xx

Kangaroo Bolognese

Kangaroo Bolognese

Hello Everyone! So today’s recipe was inspired by a meal that I had while travelling the outback a few weeks ago. It was our first night of the tour and our tour guide Dan was showing us the way to Ewing’s Lookout to have champagne, wine, and crackers while watching the sun set over Ayers Rock and Kata Tjuta. I remember him saying that while we were enjoying the sunset, he’ll be back at the campsite and have “tea” ready for us. Then someone called out “what about dinner?” Dan didn’t hear her though because he was getting out of the 4WD as she said it. I then remember a couple of guys discussing about how they came to book the tour, and I remember him specifically saying “it said that dinner would be provided”. I then chimed in and told them that when Dan said “tea” he meant dinner, to which he responded “that’s so weird, in England tea is just tea, like would you like a cup of tea. But here it’s would you like a cup of dinner?” He was hilarious. But nonetheless, I assured the others that dinner will be served. “Tea” is apparently an Aussie slang for a light late afternoon meal or main meal in the evening.

Kangaroo Bolognese Ingredients

Anyway, tea aside, Dan made Kangaroo Bolognese for dinner that night. I’ve ever only had kangaroo once before during my first year in Sydney. It was my 20th birthday party and one of my friends brought kangaroo patties to throw on the barbie. I’ll be honest and say that I cringed a little bit when I found out that he was cooking kangaroo. Even though I was reluctant to, he made me try a bit. I don’t even remember  what it tasted like; I just knew that I neither loved nor hated it. But ever since then until now, it never crossed my mind to actually purchase kangaroo and consume it. I’ll admit that I was even reluctant to eat it while camping – but i had no choice because I didn’t want to starve during the night and wait for breakfast. After giving kangaroo a second chance, I still had the same feelings of neither loving it nor hating it, but I can safely say that I was leaning more towards liking it.

After returning from the trip, I decided that I would give Kangaroo Bolognese a go and last week Monday was the day I tried out the recipe for myself. I basically just cooked it the way I would normally cook a bolognese with minced beef. It turned out to be pretty good! But I think I got sick of eating it after the 3rd day – I made enough to last me 4 meals, and to those who know me, I actually cannot eat the same meal more than twice in a row otherwise I’d get sick and tired of eating it. I still have half a kilo left in my freezer and I am unsure what to make next. I immediately thought of kangaroo lasagna, but I’ve had various suggestions such as kangaroo pie, Aussie kangaroo burger and even a Roorito (kangaroo burrito). I might give the last one a go just because I like the name of it!

Kangaroo Bolognese Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 30 MINS | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 500g kangaroo mince
  • 250g linguine (or any other pasta)
  • 1 can (400g) Italian diced tomatoes
  • 1 sachet (2 tbsp) tomato paste
  • 4-5 dried bay leaves
  • 3 baby carrots, cut into small chunks
  • 3 celery sticks, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed then minced
  • 1 medium-sized brown onion, diced
  • 1 red birds-eye chilli, sliced (optional for that added kick of spice)
  • 1 cube vegetable stock dissolved in 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • Ground sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • Parsley

METHOD

  1. Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over medium-high. Sauté the garlic until golden and fragrant, then add the chillies and onions. Sauté until the onions are soft and then add in the kangaroo mince. Season with salt, pepper, and oregano. Cook, stirring, until the meat is no longer pink (about 5-7 minutes).
  2. Add the dried bay leaves, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and vegetable stock. Give it a good mix and then turn the heat down to low, cover and let it simmer for about 15 minutes to allow the flavours to blend. Finally, add in the carrots and celery, and cook for a further 8-10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the linguine according to packet instructions.
  4. Remove the sauce from the heat and serve over the hot pasta. Top with a handful of grated parmesan cheese and fresh parsley.

Kangaroo Bolognese

Fun fact: Australia is the only nation to eat its Coat of Arms – not quite!

I was told that Australia is the only nation to eat kangaroos and emus, both of which are national symbols on the Australian Coat of Arms. After doing some research, it’s not quite true and turns out that there are 20 (or maybe even more) other nations that eat their national symbol. Kangaroo has been historically a staple source of protein for indigenous Australians. Kangaroo meat is high in protein, low in fat (about 2%), and has been attributed with a wide range of health benefits.

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Smoked Salmon & Sour Cream Baked Eggs

Smoked Salmon & Sour Cream Baked Eggs

Coles Magazine: Smoked Salmon & Sour Cream Baked Eggs

Every month Coles releases a magazine that makes the most of fresh seasonal produce, as well as featuring tasty everyday recipes that are quick, easy and something that whole family will love. Coles Magazine is like my Bible for food. I NEED to get a copy for myself every month, and the best thing about it is that it’s free! Pictured above is the March 2014 issue of Coles Magazine. I looked back to last month for today’s recipe: Smoked Salmon & Sour Cream Baked Eggs.

I followed the recipe and changed minor things for various reasons, firstly instead of dill, I used chives only because I didn’t want to buy a whole packet of dill (I barely use this herb), and secondly, I didn’t add green peas as the recipe stated only because I didn’t have any to use. Nonetheless, the recipe turned out really well and it’s definitely a keeper. Cheap, simple dish that serves 4 – the only thing that was relatively expensive was the smoked salmon.

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 12-15 MINS SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 & 1/2 tbsp chopped chives, plus extra to serve
  • 1/4 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 100g smoked salmon, roughly chopped
  • 4 large free range eggs
  • Slices of Pane di Casa bread from Bakers Delight, toasted and buttered
  • 1 bunch baby asparagus, woody ends snapped off
  • Olive oil
  • Ground salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease four ramekins (or in this case I used my mini cocotte pots) and place on a baking tray.
  2. Combine the sour cream and chives in a small bowl, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Scatter the chopped onion evenly in each cocotte. Divide the salmon and half of the sour cream mixture among the cocottes and crack an egg into each. Top with the remaining sour cream mixture.
  3. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until eggs are just set. Meanwhile, grill the asparagus on a grill pan over high heat for about a minute per side or until tender. Turn the heat off and drizzle a bit of olive oil over the asparagus still in the pan and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving plate.
  4. Set aside for a minute to settle. Top with extra chives, and (optional) a little bit of paprika.

Smoked Salmon & Sour Cream Baked Eggs

BON APPÉTIT!

– Ally xx

myTaste.com