Tomato, Fennel and Salmon Soup: All Day Cafe – Stuart McKenzie

All Day Cafe_CVR

‘Images and recipes from All Day Café by Stuart McKenzie (Murdoch Books). Photography by Armelle Habib. RRP $39.99.’

 

Tomato, fennel and salmon soup with saffron aioli

Serves 4–6

“Inspired by bouillabaisse, this is a hearty and comforting soup, heady with the aroma of saffron. Throw in some mussels and prawns (shrimp) and you have a delicious seafood stew.” p. 204

Bouquet garni

1 orange, zest removed in strips with a potato peeler

1 cinnamon stick

4 star anise

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

6 bay leaves

6 thyme sprigs

 

Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, sliced

1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes

250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) white wine

2 x 400 g (14 oz) tins diced tomatoes

1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) Chicken stock or Vegetable stock  (page 151)

300 g (10 1/2 oz) skinless salmon fillet, diced

a small pinch of saffron threads

 

Saffron aïoli

a pinch of saffron threads

1/2 quantity Aïoli (page 111)

 

Tomato fennel and salmon soup

 

To make the bouquet garni, tie all the ingredients together in a piece of muslin (cheesecloth).

 

To make the soup, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, fennel, garlic and chilli and sauté for about 7 minutes, or until the onion and fennel are translucent and starting to colour.

 

Add the wine, tomatoes, stock, salmon, saffron
and bouquet garni. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

 

To make the saffron aioli, put the saffron in a small bowl with 1 tablespoon water and leave to soak for 15–20 minutes, to activate the stamen and release the colour. Drain, discarding the water. Add the saffron to the aïoli and mix well.

 

To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and top with a dollop of saffron aïoli.

 

 

Bob the Dog Loves …

Lovely to have our Perth based daughter visiting with us this week.  Yesterday she took Bob the Dog (and her mum and dad)  to The Beer Farm  in Metricup (a ten minute drive from our place). What lovely surrounds –  among the farms and vineyards; Margaret River Region is now becoming known for great locally produced beers as well as wines.

The Beer Farm

The best part of the outing, aside from my cider, was the relaxed atmosphere and the fact that Bob the Dog (a very well behaved dog) was welcome to join us.

 

Bob the Dog

 

Post Script: Rose’s Vintage – Kayte Nunn

Rose's Vintage

Rose’s Vintage

Kayte Nunn

Nero

Black Inc Books

ISBN: 9781863957991

 

Description:

With her heart in tatters after a relationship break-up, Rose Bennett swaps her hometown of London for the sunny shores of Australia – but she arrives to find the Shingle Valley shrouded in winter.

 

As the weather improves, Rose starts to unlock the secrets of the valley – from bonfire ceremonies and wine-making traditions to eccentric locals and their histories.

 

Despite herself, Rose starts to fall in love: with the valley, the wines, the two children she’s helping to look after – and with the handsome and brilliant Mark Cameron, owner of the troubled Kalkari Wines estate.

 

What will happen when Mark’s estranged wife, the tempestuous Isabella, returns? Will Rose find a future in the Shingle Valley, or will she be forced to leave?

 

 

My View:

This is the prefect pick me up read when you have had a hard day, a hard week or just finished a few emotionally draining works of crime fiction.  For me a conspiracy of all the above elements meant I really needed a read that would energise not drain my emotions and make me smile. This fir the bill perfectly.

 

I love the settings – Australian wineries and small country towns juxtaposed against fast paced city living. I had visions of the Coonawarra, McLaren Vale, Barossa districts or even the Margret River wine region where I live (maybe because they are all wine regions I have visited/know).  The settings speak of family owned primary producers/communities almost anywhere in the world– the hard work, the long hours, the camaraderie with others producers in your regions, the local gossip, secrets and how a community comes together to celebrate when success is achieved or to help when the call out is made.

 

The characters are interesting and written with depth and I especially liked how the writer sprinkles the pages with Rose’s honest thoughts as she try to make sense of the new situations she finds herself in (and the new country) and the people she meets.   The vineyard and its changing seasons; pruning, budburst, flower, vintage, provides the overarching narrative and back drop to the action in the books, almost a character is its own right.

 

Another great debut!

 

Read and enjoy, relax and smile!

Ten Things You Didnt Know About Claire Varley

Cover The Bit In Betweenjpg

The Bit In Between

Claire Varley

Macmillan Australia

RRP $29.99

Ten Things You Didnt Know About Claire Varley

1. My ATM pin. You don’t know this and, fairly regularly, neither do I. Subsequently, I routinely have my card eaten by machines and have to do the financial walk-of-shame where you call the bank and have to explain why you continued entering all the four-digit combos in your brain until the machine became suspicious and locked you out.

 

2. I am scared of birds. To the point of tears. There is no logical or rational reason for this. To me, every bird is Poe’s raven.

 

3. My all-time favourite piece of writing ever is Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas. My birthday tradition is to curl up somewhere and read it aloud to myself, often in public, usually making myself cry at how perfectly brilliant, crisp and dense the prose is. I would be Nogood Boyo or Captain Cat.

 

4. The first book I ever wrote was called Aladdin and His Genie and The Lamp. I was in Grade 3 and the book spent many pages introducing each character (major and minor), summed up the plot in one pithy sentence, and then had them all live happily ever after. This attention to character at the expense of plot is something I have grappled with since.

 

5. I wrote The Bit In Between across three continents, including the 20 months I spent living in remote Solomon Islands. Flicking through the book I can pinpoint where I was when I wrote different sections, ie: ‘my papou’s village in Cyprus’, ‘locked out of my friend’s apartment in London’, ‘pretending to be Hemingway on the Andean Explorer’, and ‘my mother’s spare room imagining I am not broke and unemployed’.

 

6. My favourite foods are cheese and anything that started life as a potato. This is part of the reason why the Solomon Islands – home of the kumara, cassava and multiple varieties of yam – is my kindred spirit. Imagine a place where you can legitimately eat kumara three meals a day?! It is like the Wonka Land of starch.

 

7. I have noticeably small hands, just like Oliver in The Bit In Between. I have travelled fairly extensively and this has been frequently commented on across at least four continents. The most common translation being ‘why, you have the hands of a small child! Did you know this?’

 

8. My day job is working in community development… because I wanted to work in two industries that are notoriously difficult to pay the rent with. But both my jobs – writing and community development – are rewarding beyond anything a better pay packet could ever deliver. Not that I’d say no…

 

9. Basically my entire grounding in writing has come from a history of being a rampant child plagiarist. Apart from the Aladdin incident, one of the first poems I ever wrote was The Lion and The Unicorn reimagined as a fight between the bunny and the bilby for supremacy over Easter. Not long after I rewrote Dorothea Mackellar’s My Country, calling it My Home (subtle) and modernising it to present day Australia. I vaguely recall something about copycatting being a fundamental part of early development so maybe I was a child genius?

 

10. My appreciation of wine is similar to my approach to art: I don’t know what this is but I like it. Pinot grigio or pinot noir, please. Leave the bottle…

Claire Varley - Credit Renee Tsatsis

Claire Varley – (c) Renee Tsatsis

Post Script: The West Australian Wine Guide 2015 – Ray Jordan

Great local information on the magnificent West Australian wine growing regions and the wines they produce.

The West Australian Wine Guide 2015

The West Australian Wine Guide 2015

The West Australian Wine Guide 2015

Ray Jordan

The West Australian Publishers

ISBN: 9780994170613

 

 

My View:

A must have for the wine tourist or those who enjoy a nice drop or two of magnificent West Australian wine. This guide is full of useful information; take with you on a tour of your local bottle shop or when you visit to one of the many magnificent wine growing regions in West Australia. The guide list wineries by region, producer, has information regarding annual crush, owners of vineyard, wine maker, type of wine produced, pricing, contact details for wineries and sections on matching food with wine, recipes etc

 

Even though I have Iived in the Margaret River wine producing region for the past five years I still have many many local wineries to discovery and wines to sample. This book will certainly be invaluable in helping me decide what cellar door to visit and what wines to sample next.