Easy restaurant quality mussels recipe with leek, sherry, anchovies and cream that will impress all of your friends and family
So I’m not normally a fan of mussels because they’re usually overcooked and super chewy but after getting this recipe from Karen, it has been my trusty secret weapon over the years with perfectly plump and juicy mussels every time. Also I tend to double the amount of the ingredients so I get extra sauce leftover perfect for chowder or pasta!
2 large leeks
2 Tb olive oil
2 Tb butter
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped (or 2 Tb garlic paste which I forgot to add in the photo oops)
2-3 large anchovies
200ml dry cooking sherry
250ml thickened cream (iso grocery shopping meant only the low fat cream was available lols)
Chives/shallots/leeks/coriander for garnish
Step 1. Clean, scrub and pull the beards off the mussels and leave to strain. I normally buy the prepackaged mussels because they’re usually a bit less barnacle-y than the loose mussels.
Step 2. Wash the leek then chop into 1cm slices, using the end half of the leek right up to where it gets dark green and leafy. Heat up large pan with the 2 Tb olive oil and 2 Tb butter over medium heat. Saute leeks until butter melts.
Step 3. Add the garlic and anchovies and saute over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until leeks have softened and anchovies have dissolved and broken down into the oil.
Add the 200ml sherry and let the alcohol cook out for 2 minutes.
Then add the 250ml cream, stir and simmer for 5-10 minutes for sauce to reduce.
Add in the mussels (along with any of the brine) and give everything a toss. Stick the lid on and cook the mussels for about 5mins, shaking the pan occasionally until the shells have opened (discard any that haven’t opened).
Garnish with fresh herbs
And tadah! Serve with crusty bread and slurp away!
When life hands you lemons… bake this super easy lemon drizzle cake!
So I love classic cakes, just simple, straightforward cakes with minimal fuss and this lemon drizzle cake ticks all the boxes for me. It’s super easy to make, satisfyingly buttery and just dense enough with a zingy lemon-y glaze. I followed this recipe but I used this recipe for the drizzle.
225g salted butter, room temperature
225g caster sugar
225g self-raising flour
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
For the drizzle topping:
Juice of 1 – 1½ lemons
225g icing sugar
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan forced.
Step 1. Beat together 225g butter and 225g caster sugar until pale and creamy.
Step 2. Add 4 eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after beating in the egg.
Step 3. Sift in 225g self-raising flour
Step 4. Add the finely grated zest of 1 lemon and mix until well combined.
Spoon mixture into a greaseproof paper lined loaf tin (8 x 21cm) and level the top. Bake for 45-50 mins until a thin skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
To make the lemon drizzle icing, mix the 225g icing sugar with the 1½ lemon juice. The consistency should be well, drizzle-able, if it’s too runny just add a bit more icing sugar. Be sure to stir well so there’s no icing sugar lumps- using a hand whisk helps with the lumps. While the cake is still warm, poke holes with skewer then pour over the icing. Let cool and serve.
Weeeewwwwwww! Slice and enjoy with a nice mug of tea! Happy iso baking!
Super easy banana pancakes with only 3 ingredients
4 weeks into self isolation and I’m back on the baking and cooking wagon! As always I like super easy recipes using minimum amount of bowls so these 3 ingredient banana pancakes are so freaking easy to whip up, altho technically you do need a 4th ingredient of butter or oil for the pan. This Taste recipe makes 3 pancakes so obvs double or triple the recipe depending on how many you want.
1 ripe banana
2 Tablespoons self raising flour
Butter or vegetable oil to grease pan
Step 1. Mash your banana.
Step 2. Add in your egg and 2 Tblsp of self raising flour and stir together until mixture is smooth.
Step 3. Lightly oil a medium non-stick frying pan with oil or butter and set on medium heat. Dollop 2 tablespoons of batter into the pan. Repeat with remaining batter to make 2 more pancakes.
Step 4. Cook for 1–2 minutes until golden, the trick is when you start seeing tiny bubbles on the edges. Flip and cook for another 1–2 minutes.
Tadahhh pancake stack!
Aaaand I can’t resist a drizzle of maple syrup. Happy pancaking, stay home and stay safe!
L.A Donuts in Beverly Hills is my new favourite donut joint in Sydney with perfect old school jam donuts, apple fritters and the lightest cream buns I’ve ever eaten
Whoops and just like that, February has escaped me! Anywhos let’s talk about my love of donuts. My obsession for them came from trips from where else but the land of the deep fried? There were so many variations in the US of A- bear claws aplenty, glazed, filled, dusted in powdered sugar, topped with whipped cream or smothered in sprinkles. And while there’s a fair few donut shops that are pretty great in Sydney, there’s a new contender that has absolutely blown my mind- L.A Donuts in Beverly Hills!
Yes it is a bit of a trek, about a 20min drive from the city BUT IT’S WORTH IT GUYS! The shop is on a main road but there’s heaps of parking out front and plenty of tables in case you want to eat in. Prices start from $2.50 for a plain cinnamon donut and go up to $5 for the nutella filled donut.
The Homer Simpson donut is certainly eye catching and is the first to be picked from the display cabinet. It just brings a smile to my face and the neon pink and rainbow sprinkles just instantly screams childhood party happiness! The donut itself is fluffy and holds up against the sweet strawberry glaze.
The Knafa donut ($5) caught my eye for being a different offering from the usual suspects. The donut is impressively plump and filled with ashta, a special Lebanese custard with the heady flavour of rosewater. I did find this donut to be a touch too sweet for me but I would definitely recommend this one if you’re a fan of rosewater!
The jam and cream finger bun ($4.50) is what has brought me here AND IT WAS EVERYTHING I HAD DREAMED OF! It was just so incredibly light and airy and fluffy and the amount of fresh cream and swirls of strawberry jam was perfect- not too little, not too much BUT JUST RIGHT! It was like eating a cloud!
The apple fritter ($4.50) is one helluva ugly beast but it’s incredibly delicious I promise! All craggly with crevases just perfect to soak up all the delicious glaze. There’s actually not very much apple in the fritter but there’s enough for that apple flavour and it just tastes so comforting.
The donuts I would eat after school were the jam filled ones from Donut King, which by the way has anyone noticed there aren’t any stores in the CBD? So of course I had to get my jam donut fix and these babies are monster sized and pretty hefty in weight for only $2.50! The donut itself was surprisingly light considering how much jam is stuffed inside, and there’s a LOT of jam which is fantastic, who else hates a donut that’s stingy on the filling!
The cinnamon scroll ($4) is another hefty donut with swirls of cinnamon folded into the buttery pastry. The whole shebang is split in half and filled with whipped cream before being reassembled and drizzled with a caramel glaze and then a dusting of icing sugar for good measure.
Shop 2/328 King Georges Rd,
Sun – Thurs: 9am – 8pm
Fri – Sat: 24 hours (or until sold out)
My very first trip to Hong Kong and I eat ALL the egg tarts
My first trip to Hong Kong, where do I begin! Do I start with how much I think it’s like a hybrid of Malaysia with the humidity and the slightly dodgy looking coffee shops with tables laden with food? Mixed with the neon signs and frantic-ness of Japan and the incredible efficiency and cleanliness of their transport system, I just had such an incredible time that I was already wishing we didn’t have to leave on Day 1!
This is purely for my failing memory to remember in a few years time but we stayed at Travelodge Express in Central which was the cheapest of the hotels in the area and super close to Sheung Wan MTR (which is 1 stop away from Central station) because I didn’t want to risk not finding our Airbnb on our very first visit to the city and yes it’s kinda small but we would leave early each day and return late at night so it’s not like we needed that much space anyways.
I thought it was great- clean, good air con, powerful enough shower and they provided a smartphone that we could use for the duration of our stay which was so helpful when we needed to use google maps! We had purchased a sim that we originally were going to hotspot on our spare phone and tether but having the second phone was so helpful and saved our data and battery.
With so much food to try and so little time and stomach space, I was determined to hit all the original must eats followed by what the internet said was better. I’m gonna split up my posts into bite sized food group posts starting with egg tarts! I tried 2 each of the 3 types available- shortcrust, puff and Portuguese style.
I’ve never been a fan of shortcrust pastry egg tarts, always finding the pastry shell to be too dry, doughy or conveyor belt cardboard tasting but Hong Kong’s tarts have changed me! Tai Cheong Bakery is well known for their shortcrust tarts and they have a few locations, one which was conveniently a few blocks from our hotel so we managed to stop by a fair few times for snacks. Here, the shells were buttery and so very crisp, in danger of shattering and tumbling to the ground. The filling was incredibly silky and perfectly set with a delightful glean.
Queen Sophie (26號 Hau Wong Rd, Kowloon City, Hong Kong) had been hyped up on Instagram and we happened to stumble upon the small store while wandering the streets. I loved the tiny store and the presentation of the tart on the monogrammed plate, the tart was perfectly buttery and flakey however I did find the filling a touch too sweet for my liking.
Onto the puff pastry egg tarts! Honolulu Coffee Shop (176-178 Hennessy Rd, Wan Chai) was conveniently situated outside a bus stop so commuters could easily pick up a treat or two from the takeaway kiosk in front of the cafe. We stood huddled in a doorway while I scarfed down the warm, fresh from the oven tart, not caring about the flaky pastry crumbs showering down my top. The pastry was oh so buttery and light and the custard jiggly and barely set, it was perfection.
I ended up buying a whole bunch of egg tarts to eat on the way to Yik Cheong Building in Quarry Bay. I initially hadn’t wanted to visit knowing there’d be so many tourists but I’m glad we went just to ogle at the sheer number of apartments packed in this area.
I’ll be doing a separate post on Hong Kong’s cha chaan teng’s, a type of restaurants that smooshes Hong Kong cuisine with Western cuisine but I wanted to mention how amazing the egg tarts at Kam Fung Cafe (41 Spring Garden Ln, Wan Chai) are! Especially as they get freshly baked every hour and are displayed in the front windows, still piping hot in the metal trolleys. The custard has a barely set wobble and is so incredibly smooth, the pastry is buttery and flakey and it’s only HKD6/AUD$1.10!
We did a day trip to Macao, taking the Turbojet ferry from Hong Kong. The trip takes around an hour and make sure you arrive at the terminal door early because you’ll be given a teensy tiny sticker which claims your seat. Surprisingly the ferry was incredibly clean, quiet and had free wifi! The trip back however we hit massive turbulence and Noods almost hurled lol
Margaret’s (Edif. Kam Loi, Nam Van Area) is considered the gold standard for Portuguese tarts in Macao and it’s super close to the ferry depot. I’d originally only bought one to share but one bite and I immediately queued up again to buy more. It was incredible, the layers of pastry were crisp but light and the burnished custard was firm, smooth and just the perfect balance of sweetness with a touch of cinnamon. I must say these Portuguese tarts blew my mind, I was in such a grumpy mood that day, it was stinking hot and the people in Macao are generally more brusque and pushy andddd I just didn’t want to be there haha but luckily these brought a smile to my dial!
We walked back to the ferry depot to catch a free bus shuttle to the main strip of casinos. Lord Stowe’s had several locations in Macao but we visited the one inside The Venetian casino to escape the oppressive heat. We’re not really gamblers, I mean we like the occasional scratchie or bets on a footy game or race but the tables were too crowded with tourists screaming and there’s no point giving any money to the one armed bandits but it was nice to walk around and marvel at the calming ‘sky’ and the gondolas floating down the canals.
For some reason there is a tiny Lord Stowe’s kiosk literally 10m away from a bigger Lord Stowe’s complete with proper seating. A tart was procured and I have to say that I favoured the incredibly smooth custardy filling at Lord Stowe’s more but the pastry at Margaret’s. Both were great specimens and I would happily eat them again.