Pistachio Dining at Torrens


Bron has bought an Entertainment Book¬†and the plan is to eat our way through the book ūüôā The Entertainment Book provides a substantial discount on a large number of restaurants in Canberra. The value for food lovers is obvious.

On Thursday night Bron and I went to Pistachio Dining at Torrens for dinner. When we arrived for our 8 pm reservation we noticed the restaurant had just under half of its tables occupied and we noticed that night’s¬†service only required one waiter. We were greeted with a friendly smile and shown to a table for two near the back wall of the dining room. The rectangular dining area was very large without any poles or pillars. One wall is the front¬†window panel that reveals the carpark of the Torrens’ shops. At 8 pm on a May evening it’s dark and atmospheric. The restaurant is nicely heated ūüôā

The menu is marked by one of my favourite dishes of all time,¬†viz., crumbed lamb brains (I think Dr Offal may reblog this post ūüôā ).

Pistachio Menu April 2014

Pistachio Menu April 2014

It’s no surprise I went for the brains for an entr√© while Bron when for the tasting plate.

Crumbed lamb brains with baby spinach, dried prosciutto and split jus

Crumbed lamb brains with baby spinach, dried prosciutto and split jus

Sautéed Sea scallops with smoked salmon, watercress, salmon roe and beurre blanc | Slow cooked lobster tail with pearl barley, chorizo, garlic chips, confit potato and herb oil | Grilled haloumi with buttermilk curd, tomato compote, charred onion and wild rocket

Sautéed Sea scallops with smoked salmon, watercress, salmon roe and beurre blanc | Slow cooked lobster tail with pearl barley, chorizo, garlic chips, confit potato and herb oil | Grilled haloumi with buttermilk curd, tomato compote, charred onion and wild rocket

The brains were delicious, my only negative was the prosciutto not because it tasted bad, quite the contrary it was delicious, but it was dried and difficult to handle with a knife and fork. ¬†I would have used my fingers but that’s not appropriate in a fine dining restaurant.

Bron enjoyed her tasting plate too. I think the tasting plate is the way to go if we eat there again.

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For a main course I chose the lamb shoulder and Bron chose the pork.

Lamb shoulder that has been cooked for 12 hrs and pressed with green cabbage,  bacon lardons, rosemary, turned zucchini and potato

Lamb shoulder that has been cooked for 12 hrs and pressed with green cabbage,
bacon lardons, rosemary, turned zucchini and potato

Roasted pork with mushroom purée, red wine reduction, caramelised onion  and chickpea chip

Roasted pork with mushroom purée, red wine reduction, caramelised onion
and chickpea chip

Both dishes were delicious with easy pull apart flesh. You could just see how tender Bron’s pork was when she used her fork to gently tease a portion of flesh from the piece of pork in the centre of her plate. It sounded like the mushrooms were delicious too.

For me, the lamb was perfect. The lamb came in two parts, on top were thin slices of medium rare meat which was seasoned nicely and delicious. The rest of the meat was a large muscle bundle from the shoulder that was full of flavour and jelly.

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For dessert Bron chose a special which was a¬†Cr√®me br√Ľl√©e ¬†with pistachio biscotti and chocolate fondant. I didn’t capture an image sorry. I asked for the passionfruit parfait with vanilla ice cream and pistachio praline. Utterly delicious.

Passionfruit parfait with vanilla ice cream, pistachio praline, syrup and dried flowers

Passionfruit parfait with vanilla ice cream, pistachio praline, syrup and dried flowers

We would happily recommend Pistachio Dining at Torrens. If you live in Canberra, it’s a restaurant worth eating at.

If you have any comments or questions please send me a comment in the space below.

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Pistachio Dining at Torrens

 

Pistachio Dining at Torrens on Urbanspoon

Google maps https://goo.gl/maps/VQouU

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Shepherds Pie My reduced carbohydrate version


It’s been a cold weekend in Canberra and I had some lamb mince in the refrigerator.

A portion of shepherds pie

A portion of shepherds pie

Shepherds pie

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • Lamb mince
  • Onion finely diced
  • Celery finely diced
  • Carrot finely diced
  • Spring onion finely sliced
  • Garlic onion finely sliced
  • Red chilli finely sliced
  • Parsley finely cut
  • Coon cheese slices
  • Philadelphia cream cheese
  • Cauliflower
  • Kent pumpkin
  • Chicken stock
  • Red wine
  • Queensland nuts
  • Tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper
  • Butter
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Nutmeg

Method for the mash

  1. Steam the roughly diced cauliflower and pumpkin. You want enough to cover a baking tray when mashed
  2. When the vegetables are soft drain them thoroughly
  3. Put them back into the saucepan and blend with a stick blender
  4. Add some cream cheese to thicken
  5. Add some spring onion, chilli and garlic onions

Method for base/filling

  1. In a saucepan soften the onion
  2. Add the celery, carrot, spring onion and garlic onion and soften
  3. Add the lamb mince and break up
  4. Add the tomato paste
  5. Cook until everything is loose
  6. Add Worcestershire sauce and red wine
  7. Cook until the liquid has reduced away
  8. Add a good large nob of butter
  9. Add the Queensland nuts that have been ground into a nut meal
  10. Transfer the thickened filling into the base of a rectangular baking tray

Method to finish

  1. Over the meat base add a single layer of Coon cheese slices and add some nutmeg
  2. Layer the mash over the top
  3. Add some pepper and paprika if you like
  4. Place into a preheated oven at 150 ¬įC (300 ¬įF) for about an hour ¬†and the mash should be golden brown
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for about ten minutes
  6. Capture an image of the full thing
  7. Prepare a plated up version
  8. Capture an image of the plate
  9. Eat the shepherds pie
  10. Wash up and clean up
  11. Blog about it

Shepherds Pie straight out of the oven

Shepherds Pie straight out of the oven

A close up of the shepherds pie straight out of the oven

A close up of the shepherds pie straight out of the oven

A portion of shepherds pie

A portion of shepherds pie

If you have any comments or questions please send me a comment in the space below.

Please like the Yummy Lummy Facebook page

Please follow me on Instagram

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Hope you had a great weekend and ate YUMMY

Slow roasted lamb shoulder with a cauliflower and pumpkin mash


It’s starting to cool down in Canberra. That means more roast dinners consisting of a good joint of meat and some vegetables.

This weekend I also watched a couple of cooking videos via a free on-line course. The subject was knives. I love my knives. I love cutting and dissecting with knives.

My favourite knives. A Chinese cleaver, a chef's knife, a serrated bread/utility knife, my dick boning knife and a paring knife.

My favourite knives. A Chinese cleaver, a chef’s knife, a serrated bread/utility knife, my DICK¬†boning knife and a paring knife.

Tonight I slowly roasted a shoulder of lamb. One of my favourite joints of meat. I can use the rest of the meat for lunches this week ūüôā Yummy!

Continue reading

Recipe #lowcarb Lamb and avocado lettuce boat


I feel like I’m on a bit of a roll with short low carb recipe posts. Most of these are no brainers when it comes to putting together simple things but I figure there may be some people starting out low carbohydrate and if they search for recipes these posts may help with some easy ideas.

Lamb and avocado lettuce boat

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

I’m now keeping a supply of roast lamb shoulder in the refrigerator and freezer as a supply of protein.

What is difficult is the current cost of avocados. $AUD3.48 per avocado. I have to make each one count.

Ingredients

  • Lamb 80 g
  • Grape seed oil 10 mL
  • Butter 10 g
  • Avocado 80 g
  • Cos lettuce 20 g
  • Whole black pepper corns 1 teaspoon
  • Chili flakes 1 teaspoon
  • Tabasco sauce 5 mL

Preparation

  1. Mince the lamb finely in a microblender with the grape seed oil plus some whole black pepper corns.
  2. Heat gently in a fry pan with the butter.
  3. Mash the avocado with a fork and mix in the minced lamb along with the chili flakes and Tabasco sauce.
  4. Wash a cos lettuce leaf and air dry.
  5. Place the lamb and avocado mixture on the leaf and enjoy.

Sunday 2014-02-16 12.55.01 AEDT lamb and avocado lettuce boat

Sunday 2014-02-16 12.55.01 AEDT lamb and avocado lettuce boat

A special dinner at Ox Eatery @oxeatery


Thursday night was an anniversary for Bron and me. We celebrated as you would expect by going out for dinner. Bron had mentioned Ox Eatery in the East Hotel in Kingston some time ago so we agreed to give it a go.
Ox Eatery specialises in rotisserie cooking. They have a standard dinner menu that includes beef and chicken rotisserie plus a nightly special. In addition the menu offers a range of other contemporary Australian style cuisine.
Parking in the East Hotel’s secure underground car park is pretty easy and makes an on time arrival easy given the hell that is parking in Manuka. We were greeted warmly when we inquired about our reservation and shown to a table just off the main traffic path from the kitchen and bar area. I had a good view of chickens turning on a rotisserie and over the evening enjoyed watching them slowly brown.

I apologise for the photography. My eyesight is getting poorer and with the low light the iPhone is not that good at capturing crisp images. I’ve used the Adobe PS Express application to artificially enhance the image quality by reducing shadow, increasing exposure, reducing black and applying clarity and vibrance. The black edge vignette also draws the eye into the centre of the image rather than the tattered edges.

Thursday 2014-02-13 19.16.55 AEDT GIN AND TONIC SALMON WITH HENDRICKS JELLY

Thursday 2014-02-13 19.16.55 AEDT GIN AND TONIC SALMON WITH HENDRICKS JELLY

The salmon was a shared entr√©e and had a delightful flavour. The fennel imparted a nice aniseed influence which was augmented by the gin. I’m not a drinker and didn’t understand the flavours from the gin and tonic. I’m grateful to Bron for explaining them.

Thursday 2014-02-13 19.25.50 AEDT ROTISSERIE SPECIAL (LOCAL LAMB) SERVED WITH VEGETABLE OF THE DAY AND GREEN SALAD

Thursday 2014-02-13 19.25.50 AEDT ROTISSERIE SPECIAL (LOCAL LAMB) SERVED WITH VEGETABLE OF THE DAY AND GREEN SALAD

The rotisserie special was locally acquired lamb. We were told not to expect a tender cut but flesh with lots more flavour than the lamb we’d buy from a super market or butcher. Our server was correct. The flavour was very robust and the meat was tougher than I expected but not unpleasant and certainly not a problem.

Thursday 2014-02-13 19.27.33 AEDT ANGUS BEEF RUMP

Thursday 2014-02-13 19.27.33 AEDT ANGUS BEEF RUMP

The Angus rump was wonderful. It was served rare, warm and full of beefy goodness. It was tender, easy to dissect and carried the flavour of the horseradish very nicely.
Our meat was served with a separate green salad plus a bowl of baby carrots which were very good.

Thursday 2014-02-13 19.29.45 AEDT MY DINNER PLATE

Thursday 2014-02-13 19.29.45 AEDT MY DINNER PLATE

Thursday 2014-02-13 19.26.05 AEDT BABY CARROTS

Thursday 2014-02-13 19.26.05 AEDT BABY CARROTS

Thursday 2014-02-13 20.07.24 AEDT CHURROS WITH VAHLRONA CHOCOLATE DIPPING SAUCE

Thursday 2014-02-13 20.07.24 AEDT CHURROS WITH VAHLRONA CHOCOLATE DIPPING SAUCE

Thursday 2014-02-13 20.07.49 AEDT CHEESECAKE  PANNA COTTA WITH BLUEBERRY AND VODKA COMPOTE

Thursday 2014-02-13 20.07.49 AEDT CHEESECAKE PANNA COTTA WITH BLUEBERRY AND
VODKA COMPOTE

For dessert I elected to break my low carbohydrate eating and went for the cheesecake panna cotta which came as a deconstructed cheesecake. You can see the panna cotta and next to it was a patch of biscuit crumb along with the blueberry and vodka compote. The panna cotta was firm like a cheesecake and not very sweet. I really enjoyed it. Bron had the churros and loved it.

2014-02-13 Ox Eatery Receipt
The service at Ox Eatery was warm, friendly and helpful. All the staff smiled and went about their tasks efficiently. We arrived at 7 pm and the restaurant wasn’t very busy. We had the full attention of a couple of wait staff and this meant a very efficient service. Meals were served quickly and plates cleared soon after we had both positioned our knives and forks in the ‘finished’ position. We both felt it was a little rushed, but not in a rude or offensive manner. I think they were just wanting to be efficient knowing the restaurant would fill quickly around 8 pm (which it did).
I would happily eat at Ox Eatery again. Ideally I’d like to find a dozen or so friends so I can try to $800 suckling pig with fixings and trimmings. I joked with Bron that I’d hope a few friends were vegetarian so I could claim more pork ūüėČ
I hope you’re well and continue to eat yummy.
Ox Eatery http://oxeatery.com.au/
Menus http://oxeatery.com.au/menus/
Dinner menu http://oxeatery.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/ox-menu.pdf
Whisky menu http://oxeatery.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/ox-menu-whisky-list.pdf
Gin menu http://oxeatery.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/ox-menu-gin-list.pdf
Google maps http://goo.gl/maps/EeNmj

Ox Eatery Bar & Deli on Urbanspoon

Roasting lamb for yummy meat


Lamb is one of the five basic food groups. You know the others, viz., beef, poultry, pork, and fish. I’m a lover of all five food groups, but lamb as a roasting meat is one of my favourites.

I always choose a shoulder roast rather than a leg roast. The shoulder joint is usually fattier, juicier and more tender. It’s also relatively easy to carve.

I recommend a slow cook at a relatively low temperature. I suggest between 140 and 150 ¬įC for up to three or so hours. The time depends on the size of the joint of meat.

A good rub is also worth doing. You can go the traditional route of garlic and rosemary, but for something really quick simple and tasty I use freshly cracked pepper, sea salt, dry mixed herbs and curry powder. There’s no need to rub any olive oil, if the joint has a good layer of fat you won’t need any extra oil. The fat that comes from the roast can be kept for other things and stored in the refrigerator.

Easy roast lamb

  • Servings: 1 over a few days
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • Lamb shoulder roast with a good layer of fat
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • Sea salt
  • Dried mixed herbs
  • Curry powder

Roasting lamb

  • Turn the oven on to between 140 and 150¬†¬įC.
  • Remove the meat from the packaging and pat dry.
  • With a sharp knife make shallow cuts about 5¬†cm apart all over the joint of meat.
  • Rub in sea salt, freshly cracked pepper, dry mixed herbs and curry powder.
  • Place on a roasting rack in a roasting tray.
  • Place in the oven and cook for about 3 hours.
  • Rest the meat for at least 30 minutes before doing anything with it.
  • Normally I put the meat onto a plate, cover with plastic film and place in the refrigerator so that I can carve it the following day for lunch meat.
  • Sometimes after resting the meat I’ll trim some of the juicy fatty pieces and have them in a lettuce boat.
  • Alternatively you can carve the joint and turn it into a baked dinner with vegetables or a salad.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. Please let me know what you think. Feel free to leave a comment and please check out my Instagram feed of my food images. I’d also love it if you liked the Yummy Lummy Facebook page.

Saturday 2014-02-01 13.50.51 AEDT Lamb shoulder roast from Coles.

Saturday 2014-02-01 13.50.51 AEDT Lamb shoulder roast from Coles.

Saturday 2014-02-01 14.02.22-1-3 AEDT A light rub of salt, pepper, mixed herbs and curry powder.

Saturday 2014-02-01 14.02.22-1-3 AEDT A light rub of salt, pepper, mixed herbs and curry powder.

Saturday¬†2014-02-01 16.36.40¬†AEDT¬†Out of the oven after three hours at 140¬†¬įC. It was juicy.

Saturday¬†2014-02-01 16.36.40¬†AEDT¬†Out of the oven after three hours at 140¬†¬įC. It was juicy.

Saturday 2014-02-01 17.17.21 AEDT Dinner was a little lamb, spring onion, avocado, Colby cheese and lettuce.

Saturday 2014-02-01 17.17.21 AEDT Dinner was a little lamb, spring onion, avocado, Colby cheese and lettuce.

Saturday 2014-02-01 17.53.30 AEDT My roast lamb story.

Saturday 2014-02-01 17.53.30 AEDT My roast lamb story.

So how well am I doing with my desire to lose my CNY coat?


So how well am I doing with my desire to lose my CNY coat? Not too bad. When I started I weighed in at 82¬†kilograms. I determined that I would start reducing my carbohydrate intake but not go into hard induction as per the Atkins way of eating. I’d leave that until mid-February when I think I’ll be in a better position.

So this morning I weighed in at 78.3¬†kilograms. That’s okay progress. A rapid movement is good for motivation.

So what have I been eating? Breakfast has usually been an ham steak, a fried egg, a mushroom and some avocado. I’ve been gradually reducing the quantity of ham and avocado as I get happier with the appetite suppressing qualities of the protein load. For lunch I’ve been packing a little box of meat, lettuce and cheese. The meat has usually been some lamb shoulder I roasted on the weekend and pork rasher that I also roasted and cut into thin strips. I’ll also take a little meat and cheese and put into a separate box for snacks. Dinners have focused on an animal protein and a salad based on cos lettuce, spring onion, fried shallots, tomato, roasted pumpkin and sweet potato. The animal protein has been salmon and chicken mostly but also lamb and pork.

I’ve also been drinking as much water as possible to avoid gout and keep hydrated. This has meant my sleep has been disturbed with a constant desire to empty my bladder.

There have been some challenges. I’ve been out for dinner a few times but I’ve managed what I’ve eaten to minimise carbohydrate rather than trying to avoid it altogether.

I was also sent some Atkins low carbohydrate bars in the mail after I signed up for meal planning ideas with the Atkins website. The strong message from a lot of friends on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram has been to avoid them. You can see images of my meals on my Instagram feed.

Thursday 2014-01-23 12.40.38-2 AEDT Atkins bars. I have mixed feelings about these bars. I don't want to become reliant on a sweet treat when the food cravings are satisfied with protein. They're also processed and for all I know contain gums and other things that are not nutritionally beneficial.

Thursday¬†2014-01-23 12.40.38-2¬†AEDT Atkins bars. I have mixed feelings about these bars. I don’t want to become reliant on a sweet treat when the food cravings are satisfied with protein. They’re also processed and for all I know contain gums and other things that are not nutritionally beneficial.

2014 Gary Lum Weight and Blood pressure Chart

This is some of the health data I've been keeping on myself.

This is some of the health data I’ve been keeping on myself.

So so far so good.

Don’t forget to read my Medical Disclaimer.