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Grilled Zucchini, Mushroom Curry with Chickpeas and Coconut Brown Rice

Grilled Zucchini, Mushroom Curry with Chickpeas and Coconut Rice

Ever since moving to Melbourne from Los Angeles, it’s clear that many Indian flavors are integrated into the fabric of Aussie cuisine. I think it’s very comparable to say the same with Mexican influence in the States.

There are Indian markets all over the place and it various spices, herbs, and general ingredients I have no idea what to do with. I must admit, I am a noob when it comes to cooking Indian fare.

Nonetheless, I put a dish together that I think captures some of that Indian essence. Very UNauthentic, I am sure of, but this is what I made…

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Lasagna With Grilled Broccoli, Mushroom & Zucchini

Lasagna

Lasagna is so friggin comforting. Jacqui had a craving for it the other night, which was perfect as the weather was absolute crap.

I always change up my lasagna recipe, depending on what looks good at the market. This lasagna, had the following:

  • Fresh lasagna sheets
  • Grilled mushroom
  • Grilled broccoli
  • Grilled zucchini
  • Sautéed garlicky spinach
  • Mozzarella
  • Grana padano
  • Pureed tomato
  • Bechamel
  • Bread crumbs

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Cornbread With Caramelized Onion and Chèvre

Cornbread

Last Thanksgiving in Melbourne, I made a new cornbread recipe that everyone loved; but my sister-in-law loved it the most! :) She loved it so much, she requests it when we have get togethers, like this past Mother’s Day.

This cornbread is unique, in that it has goat cheese and caramelized onion mixed through, giving it that twangy, savory flavor. The goat cheese also adds to the texture, making it a bit more supple.

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Stir Fried Noodles with Soy, Ginger, Lime Vinaigrette

Stir Fried Noodles with Soy, Ginger, Lime Vinaigrette

While we were live in Los Angeles, Jacqui discovered this phenomenal asian-style dish from some healthy cooking magazine. We cook and eat it at least once a month. It’s so easy and has tons of flavor.

Here’s what’s in the dish:

  • Soba noodles
  • Spinach
  • Mushrooms
  • Green onion
  • Grilled chicken
  • Garlic
  • Soy sauce
  • Lime juice
  • Ginger
  • Hot sauce
  • Rice wine vinegar
  • Sesame oil
  • Toasted sesame seeds

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Market Snapper, Sweet Potato Fries, and Snap Peas

Fish and chips

We try an eat fish about once a week. This week, I picked up a couple pieces of fresh snapper from Queen Victoria Market. I grilled those bad boys up with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and chili flakes. Just before the fish came off the grill, I squeezed a bunch of lemon juice over the top and a drizzle of olive oil on the plate.

I usually make some kind of sauce to go with the fish, but ran out of time.

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Leftovers Make Great Pizza

Pizza

Pizza is a great way to use up leftovers.

The pizza we made the other night had the following toppings:

  • Pesto
  • Caramelized onion
  • Mozzarella
  • Australian Feta
  • Grilled mushroom
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Chili flakes

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I Had No Idea Pastrami Could Taste This Good

Langer's Pastrami Sandwich

31-years in Los Angeles, and my first visit to Langer’s Deli was April 2012. Shame.

Let me get this point out of the way — best. pastrami. ever. Yes, really. The kind that changes the way you think about pastrami. Cut thick, served warm, melt in your mouth, peppery, briny, smokey…everything pastrami should be. Let’s not forget about the rye, which was phenomenal as well — fresh baked, soft interior, crusty exterior, flavor packed.

So here’s how it went down. Langer’s is not in the best part of L.A. and you have to walk a short block from Langer’s parking lot on Westlake and 7th (90 mins free parking w/ purchase of $5 or more at Langer’s), but it’s not that bad. Just letting you know what to expect.

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A Little Taste of Naples: 800 Degrees Pizzeria

800 degrees

When my wife and I were on our honeymoon last year, we made sure to pass through Naples — the culinary epicenter of southern Italy as far as I am concerned. We undoubtedly took advantage of the fact that Naples is renowned for it’s pizza, eating 8 total pies over 2 nights. Neapolitan pizza — a beautiful balance of quality toppings (which for the most part, include crushed tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, basil, and olive oil), blistered charred bits of crust, and a paper thin base. No, the pizza is not crispy, and it’s not supposed to be.

We watched locals and some tourists eat their pizzas with forks and knives. Those eating pizza like this, are losing out on that tactile experience that brings Neapolitan pizza consumption to new levels. Tearing the pizza with your fingers, feeling the coarseness of the semolina and flour, the warm tomato and fat from the cheese grazing your lips as it enters your mouth — you miss all this with a fork and knife, thus diminishing a true foodie moment.

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Visiting L.A.? Eat Bay Cities Italian Deli. Trust Me.

bay cities italian deli

…and, we’re back!

During the month of April, I went back to L.A. for my first trip since I moved to Melbourne. I had a fantastic time with family and friends. I coordinated my trip so I would be in Los Angeles during Passover, where I consumed enough matzah ball soup to hold me over, well, until next Passover.

Over the next few days, I want to highlight some of the food I ate around Los Angeles. I didn’t do much cooking, but I did eat some freakin’ delicious food, including an old favorite, Bay Cities Italian Deli.

Bay Cities Italian Deli is an establishment. The quintessential Italian sub, made up on freshly baked (in-house) rolls; thin, crispy exterior and amazingly chewy insides — a giant selection of meats, cheeses, veggies, and anointed with their killer Italian dressing, if you please.

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