Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Simple dinner dish with eggs poached in their shells

I've just finished reading an absolutely fabulous book, Yangsze Choo's first novel, The Ghost Bride. Afterwards, looking on the internet for the author's website, I found that not only is she a fantastic writer and a keen reader, but also passionate about food, and her blog features several great recipes. One of them was for eggs poached in their shells, a recipe she adapted from a traditional Japanese dish called onsen tamago. The eggs are basically cooked in their shells, off the stove, in hot water to which some cold has been added.
I love poached eggs and this seemed like an interesting way to do it. And it worked so well!
I served them on a bed of rice that had been lightly stir-fried and tossed through with onion, finely sliced ginger, young broad beans(the garden is full of them at the moment!)and a selection of chopped garden herbs: garlic chives, coriander and basil, with a touch of soya sauce added, and salt and pepper. The eggs were then cracked over the rice, on each person's plate.
It was absolutely delicious! And very satisfying yet light.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Guest Post: Edouard of MenuChef, brand new start up

Our whole family has always had a great interest in food and cooking, and my entrepreneurial nephew, Edouard de Martrin Donos(brother of talented Paris-based chef Alexis Braconnier) has parleyed that interest into a brand-new start up in Sydney with two of his friends: a company called MenuChef, which offers an unusual new service, turning your home into a fabulous venue for a fine dining experience. To explain the concept, the story behind it, and what's on offer, I invited Edouard onto the blog. Enjoy!

Introducing MenuChef, 
by Edouard de Martrin Donos

My story

My name is Edouard de Martrin Donos, I’m the CEO of
I am a French & Australian entrepreneur, growing up in a large French Australian family that combined the best elements of a successful family reunion: extraordinary dishes & passionate entertaining dinner.

Food & cooking always took a big part of my life as well as that of my whole family (my brother is a celebrity chef in France). I grew up in a family where everyone knows how to cook and shares the same passion of multi-cultural dishes and flavour explosions to bring the true essence to our plates. We always have organised big feasts for family and friends when great food and animated debates were crucial part of these reunions.

I have built my company with two of my friends, Olivier and Chris, who share the same vision and passion of entertaining at home.

Our concept

We want to share our vision and change the way that people think of dining: why dine-out when you can dine-in?

At MenuChef we believe that professional chefs can get out of their kitchen and give you an exclusive access to their world. We want our customers to experience an extraordinary culinary and entertaining adventure in the comfort of their own venue.

What do we offer?

We offer a private & premium personal chef service where the chef will cook for you and your guests.

Also, we are offering some great culinary experiences to choose from:

  1. Romantic dinner to impress your special someone
  2. Cooking class where the chef comes to you and teach you how to cook your dream dish.
  3. Special events for a unique and tailor-made gourmet catering for any corporate or private function (High Tea, Wedding, Celebration, Seminar, Christmas party, etc..)

How does it work?

We know how tricky it can to host a dinner with the stress of cooking, organising and cleaning. This frees you up so you get all of the the pleasure and none of the pain!

STEP 1: Simply jump on the website, select your menu online based on your taste, inspiration and budget. Book your selected menu based on your selected criteria (cuisine type, chef, menu range).

STEP 2: Your chef will contact you and will do the grocery shopping for you.

STEP 3: The chef will come to your door at the date and time indicated on your booking and will cook for you and your guests.

STEP 4: Your chef will serve you and your guests and clean up before leaving.

How do we select our chefs?

Our chefs are selected based on their cooking skills and professional cooking CVs. We have a strict recruitment process that the chef must follow in order to integrate the menuchef team. The chef’s final selection is done with our critic’s team (Bloggers, critics and menuchef representative will validate the chef during a booking trail).
Once the chef is validated, the chef will establish his/her menus and will set up a profile visible on the website. After a final review, the chef is ready to get his/her first booking for menuchef.

For more details, visit us on or call us on 1300MENUCHEF (636 824)

Email: (customers)

Proud to be the first Premium instant booking personal chef service in Australia.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Almost vegetarian spring weekend supper

Here's a truly delicious, light and simple almost-vegetarian supper for a quiet weekend! I say almost vegetarian, because there are two mashed anchovies in the dressing for the asparagus! (Vegetarians can of course just omit them)
Entree: steamed asparagus with a dressing made of olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, a dab of sour cream and two mashed anchovies. Served with mache(corn salad) and avocado.
Main: Soft-boiled eggs on a bed of fresh steamed spinach, with chopped fried fresh garlic and garlic chives, and then sprinkled with piment d'Espelette (Basque pepper powder, you can substitute hot smoked paprika)
Dessert was fruit and chocolate.
Made in less than half an hour, spectacularly green, and very very tasty!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Enter the asparagus

As it's asparagus season again, I thought I'd repost some previous recipes featuring this most delicious of vegetables, in three lovely entrees!  
From early September on to the end of October, asparagus finds its way frequently onto our entrĂ©e plates. Steamed or braised, cold or warm, they always make a fabulous starter. Here are three simple and delicious ways to serve them: steamed, with a vinaigrette made from virgin olive oil, white balsamic vinegar and Dijon mustard;  lightly braised in olive oil, with a slice of melted Brie on top; and  fresh steamed asparagus with semi-hard-boiled egg dressing. Steam the asparagus till cooked but not too soft, let them cool. Boil an egg(not too hard-boiled but not soft-boiled either), peel off shell, then chop the egg into bits. In a small bowl mix a tablespoon sour cream, a teaspoon Dijon mustard, a little salt, pepper, a small splash of either lemon or white balsamic vinegar. Mix the chopped egg in with this and serve the mixture drizzled over the asparagus.
Other delicious ways to serve include: the basic braised one with cooked small cherry chopped tomatoes and olives scattered on top--other toppings for cold entree asparagus include chopped smoked salmon or very good leg ham; and for the warm variety, sesame oil can replace the olive oil, and chopped stir-fried prawns with coriander and Vietnamese mint scattered on top. In fact, the only limit is your imagination, when you start with that basic delightful green handful of aspragus spears!