Category Archives: Foodie Shopping Tip

Bondi as a foodie shopping destination

I wanted to share with you some foodie shopping ideas from my part of Bondi, and the shops included in list below are all within walking distance of each other. Up the hill and tucked away a bit from the beachfront Campbell Parade strip, these are some of my favourite spots in Bondi. My recipe this weeks lets some of these amazing products take centre stage without too much interference from me, with details for mini smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels.

Kemney’s

137-147 Bondi Road, Bondi NSW 2026

If I am having trouble tracking down a specific ingredient for a recipe, I can normally find it here. Kemney’s is part independent supermarket, part gourmet deli, part independent liquor store. It stocks a variety of labels and products you won’t find in mainstream supermarkets, including a wide choice of European, Kosher and even Brazilian products. I love just having a browse through the treasure trove and seeing what I come across. The liquor section has a fantastic range at good prices, including extensive clear skin wine options. There is also an online website for ordering liquor http://www.kemneys.com.au. Parking can be tricky but you might be able to score a parking spot in the car park on Watson Street behind the store, and if you’ve stocked up you might even get some help transferring your purchases to your car.

Wellington Cakes

157 Bondi Road, Bondi NSW 2026

The bus load of tour group people are an indication of how popular this bakery is. This bakery sells a delicious range of breads, bagels, pies, quiche, biscuits, studels, cakes, slices and biscuits. The cherry and cheese strudel is my favourite.

Glick’s Cakes and Bagels

173 Bondi Road, Bondi NSW 2026 (other branches also in Sydney and Melbourne)

Glick’s produces the most amazing bagels, including mini-bagels which are perfect if you are catering for a girly high-tea or bring-a-plate type get together. Be warned, they are closed during the day on Saturdays, and it pays to place an order ahead of time if you want something specific (I pre-ordered my poppy seed mini bagels) and to get there early (open from about 7am) as the line extends out the door as the morning progresses on Sundays. As well as bagels, Glick’s also sells a range of breads, biscuits, cakes and pastries.

Krinsky’s Kosher supermarket

175 Bondi Road, Bondi NSW 2026

Next door to Glick’s, Krinsky’s stocks a wide range of asian, middle eastern and other Kosher foods. A handy place to stock up on vegetarian jelly that does not contain gelatin. Worth having a browse if you want to try cooking with different ingredients or are looking for a bit of inspiration.

Russkis Deli

131 Bondi Road, Bondi NSW 2026

A Russian inspired deli that has an extensive range of smoked fish products, caviar, cured meats, dips, and other European delights.

Mini smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels

Ingredients

  • 200g cream cheese
  • 1 bunch of chives, finely chopped
  • Zest and juice from 1 lemon
  • 400g smoked salmon
  • 18 mini bagels
  • lettuce

Method

  • Add the cream cheese, chives, lemon juice and zest to a bowl and mix to combine.

  • Wash your lettuce and cut or break into smaller sizes to suit your bagels.
  • Cut your bagels in half.
  • You are ready to start asembling – spread a generous amount of cream cheese to the bottom half of each bagel. Top with some lettuce and smoked salmon. Add your bagel top.

  • Refrigerate until you are ready to serve. Enjoy.

What is your favourite foodie shop? Has this post inspired any new ideas?

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Filed under Breakfast, Cheese, Foodie Shopping Tip, Lemon, Recipes, Salmon, Savoury, Seafood

Winter punch

There is currently an ice-rink set up right on the sand at Bondi Beach, as part of the Bondi Winter Magic Festival. It is a very bizarre sight to see waves crashing behind the ice-rink. I really like the market stalls that accompany the rink, they remind me of European style Christmas markets, selling mulled wine and other treats to warm up the crowds. The thought of mulled wine inspired me to share this recipe with you for Winter Punch.

In the recipe I suggest you use calvados, which is an apple brandy. If you don’t have any calvados available you could use brandy or cognac or even try experimenting with the addition of some frangelico, a hazelnut liqueur. You could of course also make a non-alcoholic version and skip the alcohol altogether.

A fabulous ingredient in this recipe that deserves special mention is quince paste, sometimes referred to as quince cheese. Quince paste is also sold in tins labeled as dulce de membrillo. I find a tin of dulce de membrillo better value than the tiny tubs quince paste. You might be able to track down a tin (there are a few different brands) in your gourmet greengrocer or deli, quite often in the jam section. Once you open the tin, transfer the dulce de membrillo or quince paste to a plastic container and store in the fridge, it keeps well as it is a type of jam. I recommend using a wedge of quince paste on your cheese board – it works especially well served with a triple cream brie.

Winter Punch

* This recipe was inspired by a Hot Apple Punch recipe by Louise Mackaness that appeared in a Waitrose Food Illustrated magazine. I have modified and adapted it over the years to come up with the below reincarnation.

Ingredients

  • 2 large oranges, zested and juiced
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1 litre cloudy apple juice
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or essence
  • 100g quince paste
  • 4 nips (30ml) of calvados, or other liquor, if using

Method

  • Add the orange juice, zest, cloves, apple juice, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, vanilla and quince paste to a saucepan. Heat over gentle heat, stirring until the quince paste dissolves.
  • Once the paste is dissolved and the punch is warmed through, strain to remove the cloves, zest and cinnamon [keep the cinnamon sticks] and transfer the punch to 4 mugs.
  • Add a nip of calvados or other liquor to each mug, if using.
  • Add a cinnamon stick to each mug as a stirrer. Your punch is ready to serve. Enjoy.

What is your favourite warm winter drink? Has this post inspired any new ideas?

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Filed under Apple, Cheese, Drink, Foodie Shopping Tip, Orange, Quince paste, Spices, Sweet

Baking basics

If you are not a confident baker, this is the perfect recipe to practice your skills with. With muffins, the less mixing and work you do the better. You could also add a pack of chocolate coated coffee beans to this recipe if you can track them down.

I like using Australian native spices in my cooking, and wattle seed provides a flavour profile similar to chocolate and / or coffee. Ground wattle seed is available from Herbie’s Spices. You can order Herbie’s Spices online, or they are stocked in many delis and gourmet food stores. If you are in Rozelle, it is well worth a browse at Herbie’s Spices where you can ask questions and get advice from the helpful staff, or even take a spice appreciation class. If you are in the neighbourhood in Rozelle, The Essential Ingredient is also a foodie treasure trove.

LSA mix is a ground linseed, sunflower kernel and almond mix. For further details about the benefits of LSA mix, visit this blog post by Goodness.

Raspberry & Wattle Seed Muffins

* This recipe was inspired by a Pear and Ginger Muffins recipe that appears in Nigella Lawson’s cookbook, Nigella Express. I have modified and adapted it over the years to come up with the below reincarnation.

Ingredients:

Makes 12 muffins.

Dry Ingredients:

  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 50g LSA mix
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 100g raw sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 teaspoon ground roast wattle seed [or 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder]
  • 100g dark chocolate, either buttons or a block roughly chopped
  • 100g of almonds, roughly chopped

Wet Ingredients

  • 150mls sour cream
  • 125mls vegetable oil [I use canola oil but any neutral tasting vegetable oil is fine]
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Other

  • 100g frozen raspberries
  • Cooking oil spray

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 200°C.
  2. Line a cupcake / muffin pan with muffin cases. Spray the cases lightly with cooking oil spray.
  3. Measure the dry ingredients above into a large bowl, and stir to combine.
  4. Add the frozen raspberries to the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
  5. Measure the wet ingredients above into a jug and stir to combine.
  6. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  7. Add spoonfuls of the mixture to the muffin cases. Sprinkle the tops with a little extra sugar if you want a crunchy top.
  8. Place muffins in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until the muffins spring back when touched in the middle.
  9. Remove muffins from the oven and either eat warm or when they have cooled. Enjoy.

What is your favourite baking recipe? Has this post inspired any new ideas?

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Filed under Baking, Foodie Shopping Tip, LSA Mix, Spices, Sweet, Vegetarian

The other fried cheese

I love cheese – I could never become a vegan because I could never bear to give it up. And what’s better than cheese? Fried cheese of course.

You may be familiar with halloumi cheese, but did you know there are other kinds of frying cheese? Let me introduce you to the pleasures of saganaki cheese. The word saganaki means “little frying pan” in Greek, and refers to all manner of Greek tapas style dishes.  The cheese I am referring to is the one labelled as “Saganaki” here in Australia. You may be able to find saganaki cheese in some supermarkets, delis and some gourmet fruit and vegetable stores [I got mine at Coles].

For further details about saganaki cheese, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saganaki

Halloumi and saganaki cheese can be very salty, so it can be a good idea to rinse your sliced cheese in water and pat dry with paper towel before cooking to remove some of the excess saltiness. Be careful when frying because the cheese can release moisture and cause the pan to spit hot oil.

Fried Saganaki Cheese with Salsa

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 200g packet of saganaki cheese
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil – or enough to coat the bottom of the fry pan
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 2 spring onions or 1 shallot, finely sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, cubed
  • 1 red chilli, seeds removed & finely chopped
  • ½ a bunch of mint or parsley [or a combination of the 2], leaves removed & finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced

Method:

  1. Remove saganaki cheese from packet, slice if not already sliced, rinse in water to remove some of the saltiness, then pat dry with paper towel.
  2. Place flour and dried oregano into a plastic freezer bag, add the saganaki cheese to the bag and shake to coat the cheese in flour.
  3. Heat olive oil in frypan over medium heat.
  4. Dust off excess flour from the cheese, then add the cheese to the heated pan – be careful as it can spit during the cooking process [I tend to cover with the lid ajar to let the steam out and avoid being splattered]. Cook on one side, then flip and cook on the other side.
  5. Meanwhile combine the remaining salsa ingredients in a bowl.
  6. Once the saganaki cheese is cooked on both sides, transfer to a plate and top with the salsa. Enjoy.

What is your favourite cheese dish? Has this post inspired any new ideas?

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Filed under Cheese, Foodie Shopping Tip, Lemon, Recipes, Salsa, Savoury