Preparing for spring and summer
Next week we’re off to the studio to photograph all the recipes for the spring/summer edition of TMix+. Lesley Russell and Yolaine Corbin will be donning aprons from Tuesday as they getting cracking on four days of cooking and photography to provide more than 50 recipes. The issue will have a French theme for the simple reason that French food and service has always been the leader of the pack. Yolaine, a Frenchie born and bred, will be making sure that our recipes are not only well-tested for the Thermomix, but won’t have any French nationals turning up their noses at our interpretation of their treasured dishes.
One of the standouts has been creating a brioche—and all its possibilities—for the Thermomix.
There are plenty who will say there are dozens of versions of brioche in many Thermomix forums—and there are—but we worked hard to pack our version with butter, butter, and more butter. As well as the basic model, the next edition will include recipes for pain perdu (French toast with brioche), bread ’n’ butter pudding, and stuffed brioche—not with the traditional sausage Lyonnaise, but with a delicious mix of cheese and silver beet. Who knows, there may be more as we cook, photograph and experiment. A sneak preview of our version of pain perdu, complete with compote of pear, ginger and berries is pictured below.
Step back in time
I was a touch nostalgic on Wednesday night, when asked to be one of the speakers at the launch of Philippe restaurant, the new restaurant of perhaps my favourite chef, Philippe Mouchel. The hit of nostalgia came about as Philippe, the restaurant, shares a common wall with what used to be Italy I (now M.J.Bale menswear), which was the first of a mini-chain of restaurants I set up with an old partner, the late Rick Davis. Italy I in Camberwell (still there under new owners) came next, followed by Bistro I, which went to heaven when the Southern Cross was rebuilt some years back.
Also launching was Rita Erlich, a regular contributor to TMix+ (the next edition includes an essay by Rita on olives and olive oil), and also a co-writer of Philippe’s cookbook More Than French (published by Slattery Media Group). We both reminisced about the restaurant that started Philippe Mouchel’s Melbourne journey, Restaurant Paul Bocuse in the old Daimaru in Melbourne Central. It was here that Philippe established himself as perhaps the best chef to have come to Melbourne (along with Jacques Reymond, who was also at the launch).
Philippe, the restaurant, is a bistro in the classic French style—yes, the menu does include pâté en croûte—and includes a great oyster bar to indulge in champagne while gobbling freshly shucked oysters.
The next issue of TMix+ includes a recipe from More Than French, the classic Lyonnaise dish of quenelles. You can purchase More Than French online here, and for subscribers to TMix+, you can purchase at a 50% discount from the cover price, for online purchases. Just add the special offer code of TMIXPLUS at checkout: was $49.95, now $25 for subscribers plus postage and handling.
ONLY IN AMERICA: We call this part of the newsletter Hard To Swallow because it gives us reason to refer to the weird and wonderful things that people get up to in the world of food. This week the title works two ways: why would you? And how could you? Last Monday Americans celebrated their national day, July 4, in many different ways, but on Coney Island, the annual July Fourth hotdog eating contest took place at Nathan’s Famous. Famous what you may say. Well Nathan has stamped famous in front of his (it’s actually a chain of restaurants) hot dogs, and each year hordes gather around the original joint to “celebrate” the capacity of (likely insane) competitors as they gouge down hot dogs. There are rules: you can moisten the bun, but you can’t add ketchup.
This year’s winner was Joey “Jaws” Chestnut (who, apparently, is not a horse of that colour) who downed 70 hot dogs and buns in the ten minutes allowed for the repast. Although this was a new record, “Jaws” must have been off his feed as it was reported in USA Today that he had trained for the event by polishing off 73 ½ hot dogs in a June qualifier (yes, they have qualifiers!). “Jaws” delivered the knockout punch to the 2015 winner, Matt “The Megatoad” Stonie, who managed a paltry 53 dogs. If you thought that set of atrocities was enough to sate the crowd, you’re forgetting Nathan is an equal opportunity promoter: the women’s event was won by Miki Sudo, the defending champion, who downed 38 ½ dogs, also in ten minutes. Sudo beat Sonya “Black Widow” Thomas (34 dogs), who had been the champion from 2011-14.
Why do they indulge in such an obscene event? Each winner pocketed $10,000.
COFFEE LOVERS REJOICE: Regular readers of the newsletter would know that we rejoice in discovering that many food items that have been considered poison are now to be rejoiced. Last week we noted that butter is back; this week, we are delighted to note that coffee and cancer are not dance partners. npr.org, the web edition of America’s National Public Radio, reports that the World Health Organisation has overruled a 1991 document that suggested coffee as a possible carcinogen, and drinkers of the brew had a higher risk of copping bladder cancer.
25 years on, and coffee is a ‘go-go’ drink with “no carcinogenic effects for cancers” according to the WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer.
More good news for those of us who partake in four coffee ceremonies daily: the IARC reckons coffee may protect us against risking cancers of the liver or uterus, and is connected with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer. Drink up.