Monday, 16 January 2012
Its wonderful how ingredients can trigger memories...
Have you noticed these unusual bunches of raw egg yolks at the market? They come in a small bucket of about 30. They are called Oocytes, the unlaid egg yolks from laying hens dressed for the market. I love the parallel culinary path that ingredients take in different cultures. I can remember shopping for these with my mother at the kosher butchers in St.Kilda and they were used in our home for cooking chicken soups in a similar way that the Vietnamese from whom these were bought in Footscray, use them.
My mother also used them for cakes and noodle dishes. I haven't bought them for ages but thought they might provide a comforting accent to a dish of farmed prawns that we have been serving as the opening course on the menu. I usually avoid cooking Asian dishes here but I could not resist this salad of green papaya, green mango, kohlrabi and daikon all giving a moist crunch with different flavours that are echoed in the dressing of the classic lime scented Thai trinity. Perilla, Holy basil, mint and coriander complete the aromatics.
While cooking at the Grace Darling Hotel in Collingwood in the late seventies we served a dish mentioned in Lampedusta's novel The Leopard, Timballo del Gattopardo an exquisite suede-like textured extravagance of chicken livers, cinnamon, pasta and many more goodies that also use these rich yolks in a spectacular pasta pie or Timballo.
Books can convey such a deep culinary resonance especially if they are not specifically about cooking. Food in a real context. One of the reasons that I have not been posting lately [the other is laziness] is that I have been reading and also re-reading much of Frank Moorhouse's work. Few writers can capture the mores and foibles of the table like Moorhouse. I have spoken of his book Loose Living before and when he agreed to come to Sunnybrae for a Melbourne Food and Wine Festival event this year we were thrilled and excited to soon have our hero here in person. Six spots left for March 18 click here for Details.
A Taste of Summer in the Garden