Green sambal (w/green chillies, fresh coconut, shallots, curry leaves, ginger and lime) and 'kadalai' (chickpeas fried in spices, coconut, curry leaves and chillies). They're not really eaten together but it's so amazing that too dishes can have similar aromats and ingredients but taste worlds apart.
Saudade (sf. Portuguese) : a Portuguese/Galicean word for a feeling of a nostalgic longing for something or someone that one was fond of and which has been lost. It often carries a fatalist tone and a repressed knowledge that the object of longing might never really return. Once described as the 'the love that remains' or ' the love that stays'.
what's your favourite food memory?
twice cooked pork belly, with green apple foam and a deconstructed slaw (so trendy, you mix it yourself... ooooft #instagrameatyourheartout) finished with shards of caramelised crackling
that kebab you had at 3.17am
the first time you ever ate a 'tim tam slam' with the added proud moment of not accidentally dropping any of the biscuit into coffee due to respecting the fundamentals of biscuit dipping (it's definitely 7-8 seconds, at 62.5 degrees celsius).
that one time this grandma from a culture you know so little about, invites you over and cooks you a feast with her own two hands, with about five stories laced as reasoning as to why she cooks the foods she does. (swear on earth, listening to the older generation talk about food culture gives me feels that nothing/one else in this world can give!)
the perfectly imperfect pasta dish your mother used to make when you were eight, and you were sooooo hungry from school, your body was so ready for dinner and half the pantry.
Everyone has these 'nostalgic' feelings about food. And asking the people around me about their food stories is probably one of the reasons why my heart was on extreme happiness whilst my travelling days (haha, talking like they're permanently over, even though we all know I am so out the next chance I get a golden ticket!). These feelings are exactly what defeats Anton Ego in Ratatouille, where the dish recreated by Remy reduces him down to his childhood memories of his mother's ratatouille.
Isn't that crazy? How strong our memory and senses are intertwined and tucked away, only to be unleash in the presence of the next warming food moment that comes our way.
One of my fondest food memories/ favourite food/ comfort food / everything food/ I will dedicate a lifetime to perfect my own recreation of this dish is 'kottu roti' (basically translates to 'chopped up roti'). It's a street food dish from Sri Lanka which is made by stir frying roti (that's chopped with metal blade-like utensils against a hot plate.... so loud, that if you fine-tune your ears, you can probably hear the Lankan vendors chopping away from where you are right now) the addition of some vegetables, combining the mixture with curried/roasted/fried meat, egg and a type of 'curry sauce' (usually the curry that the meat has been cooked in).
I've had this at all the cultural events I've been forced to go to as a kid (not going to lie, eating kottu at these events were the highlight due to be a giant black sheep amongst the crowd), it's the dish that if anyone mentions about cooking, my heart skips a beat, and it's the dish that I can eat today, with the warming 'Ratatouille-uest' memories how how much joy it brought me when I ate it as a 5 year old (but also today as a 5 year old in a shell of a 23 year old).
Everytime there's kottu rotti around, self control is out the door. Roti, braised/seasoned meat, egg, vegetables and spices? All wrapped into one dish? How can you not love it though?!
Huw's sourdough was amazing as I thought it would be. And I am sooo keen to see what's next for Wildlife Bakery, with a hope that it will produce more genuine breads and pastries. It makes me so happy to see businesses open up in Melbourne that are quite humble and friendly... it's about time Melbs. I've grown tired with the need to be 'cool'. (but maybe I'm just envious, maybe I'll never be that cool kid eating crossaints, straight faced in Fitzroy - 'yea man, like what? it's not even a big deal' *shrugs shoulders* )
I didn't want to waste Huw's sourdough on just tomatoes and lettuce (though maybe a great BLT will blow my mind one day, maybe, who's to say!) I wanted to create sandwiches with a bit more of a Eastern approach.
I chose to be inspired by North African and North Indian flavours, both regions that has embraced vegetables like no other, and cooking them in such flavoursome ways, you could have a bag of recipes that would please any carnivore.
I made a type of chermoula I learnt in Fes, Morocco. It was a blend of olive oil, ground cumin, paprika, ground coriander seeds, parsley, garlic, preserved lemon and chilli. I added pomegrante molasses to the marinade as I like how it adds a certain 'tang'. After roasted strips of seasoned eggplant, I tossed it into the marinade and placed it on top of a slaw made from yoghurt, cabbage, mint and sumac - giving both sanwiches a fresh contract to the somewhat heavy flavours. http://www.sbs.com.au/food/recipes/chermoula-marinade - this recipe is quite close to the one I remember learning in Fes. Though, I feel like some ingredients could be adjusted to personal liking (... if i could add preserved lemon in everything I can consume. I would.)
Funnily enough, one of my favourite dishes I ate in Sri Lanka was a paneer tikka masala dish... which isn't even Sri Lankan! Yet I was inspired, so I learnt how to create the spiced yoghurt blend to marinate cubes of paneer (Indian style cottage cheese) and the blend of spiced, vegetables and cashews that made up a thick masala. The recipe I loosely followed was this one: http://foodviva.com/curry-recipes/paneer-tikka-masala-recipe/ . I say loosely because my mother was terrible with teaching me how to measure spices by spoons.... sooo, I decided to freestyle 'the tradtional 'pinching to your souls desire' approach'.
Sandwiches. Done Eastern. You're Welcome!
A way to add a whole new factor of excitement when you pass the Asian grocers and they have heavily discounted bananas.
This recipe was based of pastry chef/owner of The Violet Bakery, Clair Ptak (London). Recipe used can be found here: http://localmilkblog.com/2015/03/banana-buttermilk-bread-the-violet-bakery-cookbook.html
But to make a few adjustments to add my own flair. I roasted the bananas until the skins were totally black (I've been taught this since I was young and leaning to the though that yes, it does actually give more of a 'banana-y' flavour). Whilst warm, I mashed the bananas in some cognac, ginger, brown sugar and a clove. I liked the idea of 'marinating' the bananas before adding it to the batter, in order to give another depth of flavour.
My topping was made by whipping cream cheese with walnuts, espresso and maple syrup. My days working a coffeshop (that was persistently motivated in making their cup of coffees balanced) made me think about baked good in the same context. Why make a baked good JUST sweet, when you can play around and make a contract of flavours to achieve a more 'balanced' product?
Other additions I did to the recipe was adding malted milk powder (I agree with Christina Tossi and thinking milk powder is the 'msg of the pastry world', an unmeasured amount of peanut butter as well as a handful of roughly chopped chunks of dark chocolate and walnuts.
Banana and peanut butter stuffed french brioche toast for christmas morning? yes, I am the best family member. waking up to no presents, but to the love to prove some brioche dough just in time the sun rises. you are oh so ho ho ho welcome