Thursday, December 27, 2007

Well this has been a crazy year! I plan to post a lot more regularly next year. I am putting Recipe Design as a recurring appointment in my diary next year so that I can stay on top of blogging recipes! On top of all the other great ideas and plans I have for 2008!
So dont forget to pop by from time to time to see what is on the menu! See you next year!
(We are currently holidaying in Port Stephens till the weekend and then back into the swing of things next week.)
Till then; Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

So it has been a while since posts... how manic does life have to get?
I am so glad we are on the countdown to Christmas, I can slow down a little and catch my breath before we start again next year!

I want to share some news that is happening in our little corner of the world...
it seems the only constant in life is change.

In a lot of ways, this has been a tough year for us at The Gourmet Saint and I feel I have let my clients down. Chef Michael took time off to do some yacht work and loved it. In the meantime, I had a hard time replacing him with another chef of his calibre. (I keep saying I want to clone his dna!! There is a good reason why!)
Melbourne was growing steadily and then we were let down with chefs - such gypsy spirits these guys! So Melbourne has been shaky. And I thought I had Brisbane up and running and it is looking wonky too. Hmm, not happy Jan. So for 2008, The Gourmet Saint is going in a different direction.
Our darling Michael is moving to Jurien Bay, where he is now the proud owner of a cafe. He hasn't told us the name of the business yet, but when we hear, we will let you know, so that when you are travelling through you can drop in for some good cookin'! He is also going to be a Daddy next year. Lots of big changes in his life! So, we have decided to close down Perth's operations for now. If we find the demand is too great, I MAY look for another chef. Or I might wait for the chef to find us. Either way, it is proving difficult to find someone as masterful as Chef Mike, so we sadly let him go and Perth can have a sabbatical.
This allows me to concentrate more on the Eastern Seaboard and hopefully offer a better quality service.
Also, The Gourmet Saint is going to change direction by opening up a Hospitality Agency in Wollongong to service Wollongong to Nowra with Hospitality Staff. We find there is a need for it, so feel we are in a position to fill it! I want to keep it small and intimate and if it grows, it grows. Otherwise, I am happy for it to just be a small 'book' and again, able to offer a quality service to our clients by staying local. We hope to be up and running in the first half of 2008. I guess this is where we say - "Watch This Space!"
The Gourmet Saint will be going away for a Christmas Break, so the office will be closed from 20 December 2007 to 7 January 2008.
Mark and I and our Chefs wish all our clients, suppliers and readers a Happy Christmas and hope 2008 will bring you every success and happiness. Enjoy this time with family and friends and stay safe. We thank you for your support and look forward to cooking for you next year! Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Camembert and Smoked Salmon Quiche

This week I have a simple quiche recipe that is a little classier than the usual quiche lorraine. It's quite rich, so you will only need to serve it with a light salad and maybe a bit of crusty bread for a mm-mm meal.

1 pkt frozen shortcrust pastry
200g camembert cheese
6 large eggs
600ml thickened cream
1 Tbs dill
125g smoked salmon

Grease pie dish with cooking spray or butter.
Place pastry sheet in pie dish and cut overlapping pastry. Take another sheet and cut into strips to fit sides. Wet fingertips and rub pastry to blend in the strips. Place baking paper in pie dish and fill with baking beans or rice. Blind bake in a hot oven, 190c, for 10 minutes. Remove beans and paper carefully. Bake pastry for a further 10 minutes until golden brown. Cool to room temperature.

Slice the camembert cheese thinly and place evenly into the pastry case.

Blend or process the combined eggs, salmon, cream and dill until smooth. Pour into the pastry case. Bake in a moderate oven, 180c, for 45 - 60 minutes or until set and golden brown.

If the top starts to brown too quickly, place a layer of baking paper or alfoil over the top to prevent burning.
Let the quiche sit for 10 minutes before slicing.

Serve with a chilled sauvignon blanc or pinot gris.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

A quickie for a Friday night - Honey and Sesame Chicken

Friday's are the day when we get home, kick off the shoes and reach for a glass of white (or stronger if the week has been a tough one!). So I have a quick recipe here to nibble on while relaxing with kids. It should take 40 mins if you're organised. A little more if you are like me and start with one recipe and then create a whole darn restaurant menu to go with it!
Here 'tis:

Honey and Sesame Chicken
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Nutritional value: fat 4g, carbs 16.6g, protein 10.9g

Serves 4 - 6

500g chicken breast fillets, cut into 1 cm slices (or buy them pre-cut from Coles or your butcher)
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp five-spice powder
4 Tbs peanut oil
2 Tbs cornflour
3 Tbs honey
1 Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs sesame seeds
90g SR Flour
4 Tbs cornflour
1 1/4 c water
1 egg white

1. Combine the sesame oil and 5-spice powder in a large bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat. Set aside while preparing the batter.
2. Sift SR Flour and cornflour into a large bowl. Add water and mix until smooth. In another smaller bowl, beat egg white until soft peaks form. Fold gently into the flour mixture.
3. Heat peanut oil in a wok or large frypan. Place 2 Tbs cornflour in a freezer bag, add chicken strips and shake to coat. Shake off excess and dip into batter, then straight into the hot oil. Cook in batches and drain on paper towel.
4. In a medium saucepan, gently heat the honey and lemon juice. Add the chicken pieces and toss to coat. Serve sprinkled with sesame seeds.

Can be served alone or with fried/steamed rice.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Welcome to our new blog

This is my new space to keep you all informed of anything new happening with The Gourmet Saint. It's kinda like our News Desk at the Frontline!
I want to be able to add new recipes and tips and any news easily without hassling my techy-slave to continually upload new stuff to the website.
This way, I figure, I can sit at my desk and do it myself! I can legitimately spend the afternoon in the kitchen, creating yummy dishes to photograph (oh, and eventually eat, of course! Someone has to eat it!) and then upload them with some 'boring' details, including the recipe itself to keep my readers entertained. Sounds like fun! I hope, anyway. I have been told not everyone 'gets' the Foodie thing, but if you and I didn't, we wouldn't be here now, would we? We'd be off on some boring ol' shopping site or downloading the latest top 40 hits. Ho hum. Instead, you and I can spend some time together talking about the latest recipe find! *squeal* I mean that in all serious humour, of course.
(Those that know me learn that a sense of humour is pretty high on my list of personality traits.)
I hope to add to this regularly. I am not going to commit myself to a daily/weekly/fortnightly timeframe; I am just going to add as I can. I am all for guilt-free these days. (Anyone know where I can find guilt-free chocolate??) However, I do plan to be creative on a regular basis. Oh, and dont expect it all to be 5 star dining! Sometimes a simple recipe is the tastiest.
I guess the hardest part will be working out which recipe to begin with!! So many choices, so little time.