Cauliflower and leek soup

As the temperature dips in Australia, it definitely feels like soup weather. I was supposed to post this earlier for a friend but since tomorrow is forecasted for possible snow in Canberra, this might be the perfect timing.

Cauliflower and leek soup

Serves 4 (10 minutes prep, 45 minutes cooking time)

Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 leeks
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 2 cups (500mL) of vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup (125mL)of thickened cream
  • salt and pepper
Equipment
  • deep pot
  • stick blender
Method
  1. Thinly slice the white part of the leeks (yes it needs to be said for some people)
  2. Heat a pot to medium/high heat
  3. Add some olive oil and sauté garlic and leeks until translucent
  4. Add florets of the cauliflower and diced stem to the pot and stir fry for 5 minutes
  5. Add the vegetable stock
  6. Bring to boil and then reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes
  7. Take off heat and blend the soup with the stick blender until smooth
  8. Return to low heat, add cream and then salt and pepper to taste
  9. Ready to serve when it is hot again (but not boiling)

 

Tips
For a smoky bacon flavour, crisp up 250g diced smoked bacon and blend most of it in step #7. Top with remaining bacon bits when serving.

 

This is a picture of the bacon version, I didn’t top mine with bacon because I ate the remaining bacon. Let’s keep that a secret between you and me.

Galleon Cafe – Melbourne series

 

TimmyC’s trendy cousin took us out for brunch at the Galleon Cafe near Ackland street; it is a hipster central cafe decked out in mismatched vintage furniture (it reminded us of A bite to Eat in Chifley) and really friendly staff. There was a bit of a line up at the front to get a seat but since we didn’t mind squishing to one side whilst sitting outside, we got a table fairly quickly.
Us seating outside smooshed to one side, just trying out the fish eye camera lens that I got for Christmas.
A peek inside the cafe: the view from the outside.
There was a bit of a wait for food and beverages but they were super busy.
Scrambled tofu with mushroom, spinach and crispy fried enoki with sour dough toast – vegan ($14.50). I surprised even myself when I ordered this but I love a good tofu scramble ever since my friend made an awesome one for me years ago (hello Mellie!). I think because it doesn’t have a sauce or bacon, it needed a good dose of flavour or salt from something and this tofu scramble just didn’t have that. I think if it had more salty notes or chilli it would have been a lot better. I love the addition of fried enoki and I think I’ll be doing that more often in my own home cooking.
Eggs Benedict made with our house made hollandaise sauce with bacon and two eggs ($14.00). I really liked their house made hollandaise and was sporadically dipping my forkful in it. The eggs were probably ever so slightly over cooked, maybe 30 seconds less it would have been perfect. 
Poached eggs on toast (full serve $10.00) with a sweet potato hash brown ($4.50).
Banana and date loaf (baked in house) toasted with vanilla bean ricotta (half serve $4.00?). I am always torn between savoury and sweet for breakfast, so today I decided I will have both. It probably didn’t really matter what was underneath because the vanilla bean ricotta stole the show! A semi sweet, rich creamy paste that I smothered all over the bread. I’m going to have to start making my own ricotta soon.
Fresh juice orange, pineapple and ginger ($7.50). This was a nice refreshing sweet juice but I couldn’t taste any ginger.
Despite being bogged down heavily with patrons, I found all the staff at Galleons to be super friendly. I loved the diversity in the menu from different toasts, bagels, breakfast bowls to a wide variety of vegetarian, non vegetarian and a whole bunch of extras. The most expensive menu item was $15.50 and a lot of options come with half serves for those who don’t eat as much as me; making this place very accommodating and cheap!

 

Venue: The Galleon Cafe
Address: 9 Carlisle St, St Kilda VIC 3182
Phone: (03) 9534 8934

The Galleon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Quick dinner at Mocan and Green grout

Although I’m not a coffee drinker, I’ve always recommended Mocan and Green Grout as a definite stop over for those coffee addicts looking to get their next hit. I was surprised to find myself going there, not for the beverages but for their dinner menu which consists of seasonal sharing plates (only between Tuesday and Friday nights).

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We couldn’t stress to them enough that we had a movie at 6:45pm and because they technically not open until 6pm, they did their best to move us along as fast as they could. I thought arriving at 5:40pm, that we would be by far the first ones there but when we went in, there were already some people finishing their afternoon teas and coffees and not long after that, the whole dining room filled up fast with hipsters, trendy older people that could easily afford to eat here and then there was us.

We ordered some beverages while we were waiting for the menus, the waitress kindly let us know that they menus were being printed and we would get one as soon as they were done. There is something that changes on the menu each day so they print them every day. Interesting…

Chai tea with bon soy milk in a teapot ($5.00). The taste of herbs and spices was very potent yet not overwhelming. It was the strongest chai I’ve ever had but the creaminess and the froth from the soy milk balanced it out. Although it wasn’t very sweet, it was just sweet enough and didn’t require any sugar/honey.

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Bottled fruit juice Oracle organic orange ($5.00).

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I couldn’t understand how $22.00 equated to a ‘sharing plate’ but soon I learned that the portions were very very small and the price were very very high.

Entree~

Smoked potato, Morcilla, Ortiz anchovy ($4.00 individual serve) – I definitely could taste the smokeyness and I quickly found out what morcilla was but I couldn’t detect any potato. Probably could have done without this.

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Mains~

Soft shell crab, kewpie, sriracha ($19.00) – A dollop of kewpie mayonnaise in a pool of sriracha makes for a surprisingly good dipping sauce. Not overly oily, my only downside to this plate was the portion size but I soon learned that everything was this size.

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Cauliflower, quinoa, toasted ricotta, pistachio ($16.00) – The dried pomegranate seeds provided a refreshing and surprising bursts of sourness between the butteriness of the roasted cauliflower. These unexpected flavours went really well together and made for a pleasant surprise.

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Roasted brussel sprouts, bonito butter, furikake ($16.00) – The katsuobushi used as a topping really dominated the flavour but when you ate a brussel sprout on its own it wasn’t too bad or bitter, but it was lacking some more salt or butter (or bacon/speck?).

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Boxgum grazing pork belly, eggplant, miso, crisp enoki ($22.00)Boxgum grazing is by far one of my favourite places to get meat from, it really lets your palette know the difference of free range pastured pork and everything else. Even though the skin wasn’t crispy, the pork was very tender and was amazing with a drizzle of miso, which wasn’t overwhelming and the enoki added a bit more texture to the whole plate. Easily one of my favourite dishes of the night.

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Just in case you thought the pieces of pork was big and sufficient.

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Pulled lamb shoulder ‘brik’, yoghurt, harissa, dukkah ($24.00) – I don’t think it needed all the condiments on the side as the ‘brik’ itself was so tasty. The only downside was receiving only a quarter of what was an already small cigar of crispy spring roll pastry encasing very delicious and tender lamb.

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Eden snapper, pumpkin, lentil, hazelnut, fennel ($23.00) – Turns out, I’m a big fan of French lentils, they tasted slightly buttery. This combination, if you can get a bit of everything on your fork, is brilliant and a lovely way to finish the meal.

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We were a little late to the movie but they did the best that they could in their very busy kitchen and dining area to get us out. I thought I was still hungry (there was no chance we were going to have dessert) but when all my food settled during the movie, I felt content. As delicious as the food was, I found it very expensive for what it is, you could probably get more food for the same prices at a fine dining restaurant.

They don’t take bookings so maybe it is smart to grab a table early.

Venue: Mocan and Green Grout

Address: 1/19 Marcus Clarke Street, New Acton South, ACT

Phone: (02) 6162 2909

Websitehttp://mocanandgreengrout.com/

Opening hours

Day: Monday – Saturday (7am – 6pm)

           Sunday (from 8am)

Evenings: Tuesday – Friday (6pm – 9pm)

Mocan & Green Grout on Urbanspoon

A meal fit for a Queen

——-30/05/2012——-

At first I thought any meal with meat was delicious, then I expanded that to anything with meat or cheese but after eating at the Au Lac Royal Vegetarian Restaurant I was taught that anything that is delicious is delicious.

Some people say that they don’t like this restaurant but they are just ordering the wrong things.  It’s great that even though they have had a refurbishment, the food has not changed, it is just as tasty as it has always been.  

Mmmmm Let’s eat!

Royal Noodle soup (spicy) $12.50 The perfect ‘cold weather’ meal, eat the tofu quickly before it looses it’s crispy texture. This is one of my favourite dishes and I always get cravings.

Herbs, bean spouts, chilli and lemon condiments, but for me, the soup is perfect just the way it is.

Large combination fried rice ($8.90)

Chef’s special- Eggplant in claypot sensation ($15.90) Delicious sizzling eggplant and mushrooms bubbling away in a claypot. Watch out, it retains its heat for a long time and I often burn my tongue. 

Lemon grass soy chicken (spicy) minced lemongrass and chilli caramelized with soy chicken drizzled over with exclusive sauce and served with onions and capsicum ($15.90) I don’t find this dish particularly spicy and trust me my chilli tolerance for an Asian is low. You definitely have to try this dish.

They have very friendly wait staff serving hot delicious food from the fast and efficient kitchen and with convenient opening hours, it makes for a perfect meal every time.

Another good recommendation is the Soy Shrimp on Toast for an entree. Mmmm I just had this yesterday.

Venue: Au Lac Royal Vegetarian Restaurant

Address: Shop 4/ 39 Woolley Street, Dickson, ACT 2602

Phone: (02) 6262 8922

Websitehttp://www.aulac-restaurant.com.au/

Au Lac Royal Vegetarian Cuisine on Urbanspoon