Sep 26 2014

Spring Feast

What better way to celebrate the goodness of Sydney’s fresh spring produce than with these beautiful recipes from Tim Brennan of Gallivant

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To welcome and celebrate Sydney’s spring produce, WDTD collaborated with Rebecca Hunt of Event Birdie and Tim Brennan of Gallivant Catering and documented this amazing spring feast bursting with colours and flavours that you can impress your family and friends with.

Tim Brennan – a lover of food and entertaining, started his catering business 3 years ago and it has been keeping him very busy ever since. It was inspiring to watch Tim’s speed and skills in his home kitchen at Bondi Beach. His love for food is contagious and he is really gifted in bringing together different ingredients while letting the individual flavours shine!

You can also read more about Tim’s extended interview with Event Birdie here.

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Golden roasted potatoes with Maldon sea salt

Golden roasted potatoes with Maldon sea salt

This Salmon Tarator dish is great as part of a shared style menu in the centre of the table or you can tweak it to be a beautiful looking entree or main course

This Salmon Tarator dish is great as part of a shared style menu in the centre of the table or you can tweak it to be a beautiful looking entree or main course

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  • Who: Timothy Brennan
  • Home is: Bondi Beach
  • Family origin: Australian heritage grew up in Cottage Point on Sydney’s Northern Beaches
  • I can’t live without: The ocean
  • Occupation: Owner of Gallivant Catering
  • Dream Job: What I do now
  • Currently I am obsessed with: Spaghetti vongole
  • Childhood taste: Mum’s roast chicken with crispy potatoes, pumpkin, broccoli and gravy
  • I will always have in my pantry: Maldon sea salt & extra virgin olive oil
  • I learnt to cook from: My Mum and older sister
  • Currently I’m listening to: Giacomo Puccini
  • One day I must visit: Yucatán, Mexico
  • Go to meal: Pasta with a simple tomato and basil sauce
  • I am really good at: Pasta
  • The unforgettable meal: Buffalo mozzarella & prosciutto with rustic bread overlooking the ocean on the Amalfi Coast in Italy
  • My piece of Sydney: Northern Beaches upwards of Avalon Beach
  • Guilty pleasure: Chocolate
  • Who does the dishes: My fiancé

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A view dash of pesto dressing brightens up a simple roasted vegetables dish

A view dashes of pesto dressing brighten up a simple roasted vegetables dish

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Mojito Prawns

Ingredients - Serves 4-6

  • 10 Fresh large Australian prawns
  • 1 tbs salt flakes
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1 tbs of chopped mint
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • Olive Oil
  1. Lay prawns flat on chopping board and with a sharp knife cut them directly down the middle from the end of the tail to the top of the head.
  2. Mix lime zest, salt and sugar together in a bowl.
  3. Drizzle olive oil on the prawns then cook on BBQ for 2 minutes per side or until just cooked through, being careful to not over cook.
  4. Plate prawns on serving platter with flesh facing up. Sprinkle with a little salt and sugar mixture, mint leaves and a squeeze of limes juice.
  5. Eat straight away.

Salmon Tarator

Ingredients - Serves 4

  • 4 x 200g of salmon, skinned and de-boned
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • Dressing
  • 1/2 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 200g natural yoghurt
  • 50ml tahini
  • Lemon juice to taste
  • Salad
  • 90ml extra virgin olive oil 50 pine nuts
  • 50g pistachio
  • Juice 1-2 lemons (to taste)
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1-2 long chillies (as you like it)
  • 1 bunch coriander leaves
  • 1 bunch mint leaves
  • 10g sumac
  • Garnish
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Green and purple micro herb
  1. Dressing. To make the dressing, place the garlic and salt in a mortar and crush well. Stir the garlic, yoghurt and tahini together until it becomes a thick paste. Mix slightly with lemon juice (consistency of pure cream). Taste for salt and refrigerate.
  2. Salmon. Preheat the oven to 50˚c. Place the salmon fillets on a large sheet of baking paper. Season all over with salt and pepper and liberally drizzle olive oil. Cook until salmon is cooked through and flakes or internal temperature reaches 48˚c. Remove from the oven and leave to cool to room temperature.
  3. Salad. Turn the oven up to 200˚c and roast nuts until coloured. Remove from the oven. Chop finely and set aside.
  4. In a bowl, whisk the remaining oil with the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add the onion and chilli and whisk lightly. Add the chopped walnuts, herbs and sumac.
  5. Plating. Spread or pipe yoghurt dressing over the top of the salmon. Spoon the salad over the salmon, covering it as neatly as possible. Sprinkle with micro herbs and pomegranate.

Tomato Salad

Ingredients - Serves 4-6

  • 1 kg mixed ripe tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 clove garlic, peeled and grated
  • 1 fresh red chili, seeded & chopped
  • 6-7 small buffalo mozzarella
  • Dressing
  • 1 part sherry vinegar
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  1. Slice tomatoes and put into a colander, season with a good amount of sea salt and leave for 10 minutes.
  2. Dress the tomatoes with the oil, vinegar, oregano, garlic and chilli.
  3. Place tomatoes randomly in centre, place buffalo mozzarella in amongst tomatoes and garnish with fresh basil leaves. Drizzle with more olive oil.
Aug 20 2014

Quick and Tasty Sunday Lunch

This dish Ben shared with WDTD is a great Sunday lunch dish when you are craving something a little indulgent but don’t want to spend all day in the kitchen

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Ben: I live in a converted Mosman shoe factory with my partner Diana. We love living by the beach but also spend a fair bit of time working and hanging out with friends in the city so its a great mix of intensity and relaxation. I run my own Architecture practice and Diana has a demanding job so time spent at home is precious for us. I like to cook when I have some down time. I find the process relaxing and I like to fill peoples bellies. It’s the best way to engage friends and family around the dinner table.

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  • Who: Ben Mitchell
  • Home is: Mosman
  • Family origin: The Blue Mountains
  • I can’t live without: Happiness
  • Occupation: Architect, owner of THOSE Architects
  • Dream Job: Architect
  • Currently I am obsessed with: Architecture
  • Childhood taste: Ma’s jam and cheese sandwiches
  • I will always have in my pantry: Quality sea salt
  • I learnt to cook from: My Mum
  • Currently I’m listening to: My kids chattering away on facetime
  • One day I must visit: The Galapagos Islands
  • Go to meal: Atlantic salmon with asian marinade and fresh greens
  • I am really good at: Chasing dreams
  • The unforgettable meal: Mum’s roasts
  • My piece of Sydney: Observatory Hill
  • Guilty pleasure: Chocolate
  • Who does the dishes: Whoever doesn’t do the cooking

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Pan fried gnocchi with mushroom and sage butter

Ingredients - Serves 4

  • 500g Fresh potato gnocchi
  • 
150g Butter
  • 
250g Swiss brown mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 
2 Garlic cloves, halved
  • 
1/3 Cup fresh sage leaves
  • 
Shaved parmesan
  1. Cook the gnocchi in a large saucepan of salted boiling water until tender then drain it.
  2. Heat one-third of the butter in a frying pan over medium heat until foaming. Add the mushrooms and garlic, and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until soft.
  3. Transfer to a separate bowl. Remove the garlic and discard. Heat the remaining butter in pan over medium heat until foaming. Add the gnocchi and sage and cook, stirring for 5-8 minutes or until the gnocchi and butter are golden and the sage is crisp.
  4. Transfer the mushrooms to the gnocchi mixture. Cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes or until heated through. Divide the gnocchi mixture among serving bowls. Top with shaved parmesan.
Aug 1 2014

For the love of garlic and the perfect pizza base

John and his family spoiled us with their generous hospitality and aromatic home made garlic pizza in the cosy house he and his wife built together

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John: The breed of garlic pictured above is Organic Australian White purchased from a grower at the Bathurst Show in 2012. It was a great score. My wife and I bought a bunch from this super nice “Cocky” who also gave all three of our kids a bulb each. We have 3 other varieties planted as well, another source of Australian White, Flinders Island Giant Purple and a Hard Neck Variety – all strong flavoured. We normally plant in April/May and harvest in November. Whilst we maintain some fruit trees, herbs, etc, generally it is hard going growing a big variety of veggies in Blackheath (The Blue Mountains), particularly in the colder months which is most of the year but we have always had great success growing garlic. Grown in two of our three raised garden beds (built by my father in law) our annual crop yields over 150 bulbs. These gardens have always produced very well, requiring virtually no maintenance during the growing period aside from some occasional watering if we have a dry start to summer.  From the harvest I select the best of the crop for the next seasons planting and we consume the rest. Eating and cooking home grown garlic is something special, the texture and flavour is hard to find from store bought produce.

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John: When we lived mostly in the Inner West of Sydney, we were lucky to have two outstanding pizza shops within 50 metres. They both made an authentic Italian pizza. At the point when we started spending more time in Blackheath, I quickly found the local offerings did not meet my family’s taste. We were spoilt! For us pizza is all about the base. At the time I was ticking through a baking list of breads of the world. That finished, I fixed my attention to perfecting basic French bread and learnt to appreciate the moisture component was the key to bread making. I now make pizza weekly and feel very comfortable in making a base with a wide variety of flours, time constraints and ovens. I don’t stick hard and fast to my recipe but I always make sure that my dough is on the wet side of standard and rolled to a thin base.

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  • Who: John
  • Home is: Split between Petersham and Blackheath
  • Family origin: Many in my family were first settlers, farmers and miners
  • I can’t live without: Coffee
  • Occupation: I repair rock climbing shoes, owner of BJR and dabble in other stuff
  • Dream Job: Being my wife’s side kick at her dream job as a “ski resort reviewer”
  • Currently I am obsessed with: I have a fitness program that takes 15-30mins a day
  • Childhood taste: Simple food
  • I will always have in my pantry: Salt and pepper
  • I learnt to cook from: Family, friends and books
  • Currently I’m listening to:
  • One day I must visit: Heli Skiing
  • Go to meal: A simple pasta dish. Olive oil, fresh garlic, parsley, chilli, parmo cheese mixed through pasta
  • I am really good at: I am constantly working hard at being “MacGyver”
  • The unforgettable meal: Vanuatu grown beef bought from the super market in Vanuatu and cooked it myself on the BBQ
  • My piece of Sydney: The Bulldogs!!
  • Guilty pleasure: Beer
  • Who does the dishes: I do

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John's daughter helped picked some fresh herb from the garden to go onto the pizza

John’s daughter helped picked some fresh herbs from the garden to go onto the pizza

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One of the pizza topping - bruschetta style freshly chopped (and drained) tomatoes with mix herbs and fresh garlic

One of the pizza topping – bruschetta style freshly chopped (and drained) tomatoes with mix herbs and fresh garlic

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And John's signature garlic, parmesan, parsley and sesame seed pizza

And John’s signature garlic, parmesan, parsley and sesame seed pizza

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John’s Pizza Base

Ingredients - Serves 7 Large Pizzas

  • 400g Bakers flour
  • 1 tbs of dry baker’s yeast
  • 350ml of room temperature tap water
  • A pinch of sweetener. I use raw sugar.
  • 1 tbs of olive oil
  • 1 tsp of fine salt
  • Plain flour for kneading
  • The flour makes a difference. High quality plain flour is totally awesome. 50/50 plain and wholemeal is a great low GI pizza too!
  1. John: I like to prepare my dough early as I think longer proving time improves the base’s texture. Ideally kick things off 3 hours before cooking time.
  2. Gently add water to sugar and yeast in large bowl to make the starter. I never mix.
  3. Let starter sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Place Bakers flour, salt and oil in another bowl.
  5. Add starter to flour mixed. Gently bring together with one hand without tearing at it. Don’t play with it too much as long as there is no water left uncombined that is OK.
  6. Tip contents of bowl onto a smooth surface liberally covered with plain flour.
  7. Complete combining the mixture together and begin kneading.
  8. Knead for 10 – 15 minutes. Avoid tearing the dough.
  9. Place dough in a large bowl and cover with damp cloth or cling wrap for an 1 hour or more in a warm location in the house, away from drafts.
  10. The dough should be at least doubled in size, punch down dough and fold in quarters. Cover and allow to prove again for an hour or so.
  11. After dough doubles in size remove from bowl and gently stretch/tease on a flour dusted surface into a log and cut into 7 equal portions. Set aside portions and cover with a damp cloth for 30+ minutes.
  12. Preheat oven to as hot it gets.
  13. Roll out dough to desired shape on a liberally floured surface. Thin is Authentic! Feel free to handle or throw the dough during this process as this stretch’s the dough naturally and adds the X factor!
  14. Rub olive oil over thin metal baking sheet and place base on.
  15. Top with desired topping (John’s favourites are garlic + parmigiano + parsley + sesame seed and freshly chopped tomato, garden herbs + garlic mix topping) and place in oven up high – top quarter of oven.
  16. Watch pizza in oven like a hawk and check base for crispy finish.
  17. John: I don’t rate stone pizza bases at all. A stone oven is a different thing altogether. A hooded BBQ makes the great “rustic” pizza. Place a couple bricks on plates of BBQ oven and cook pizza on that. Makes amazing bread too! Aussie it up with the BBQ.

what it’s all about…

This blog will celebrate and share with you the many types of wonderful cuisine from every culture that has called Australia home. Please join me in this journey of exploring what everyone loves to cook at home.

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