I was sent a gorgeous bouquet last week. A Broccoflower!


Perfection Fresh sent me this wee baby to try out… It’s a cross between a broccoli and a cauliflower (If you couldn’t already work that one out). It has the tightly-packed smoother florets of a cauli, but is crazy BRIGHT lime green. I’ve seen soething like this in the shops before but with much pointier florets, really alien looking, but this dude was cute and round. Very friendly.

This was a timely arrival. I love cruciferous veges – cauliflower broccoli, cabbage, kale, brussel spouts! Bok choi etc etc.. Yum, and autumn is these veges time to shine. Maybe it’s because as it gets chillier I just don’t want a cold salad, but I still want some GREEN on my plate.. and these guys just lend themselves to a light cooking – roasting, steaming – and a drizzle of tasty sauce or just a drop of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice. Warm but not heavy.

chop, toss, roast

So I sadly/excitedly unwrapped my beautiful bouquet and chopped this dude up, snapped/trimmed two bunches of asparagus (yeah, not exactly seasonal, so hello carbon footprint, but they were on sale at the grocers!) in a large shallow baking dish toss the lot through with a drizzle of olive oil, a couple of whole, lightly-bashed cloves of garlic, a sprinkling of salt, and into a hot oven for 10-15 mins.

roasted, green

I love that it stays so brightly green even cooked, and especially lightly roasted like this, it was sweet, flavourful and crunchy. There are more and more of these hybrid and blended or heirloom fruits and veges becoming available in the supermarkets, and I think a lot of them are really great both to eat and look at. Have an adventure on your plate. Even when winter is coming.

(Remains of the stem, and the whole baked garlic cloves if you can manage not to eat them there and then, go into the vege off-cuts ziplock in the freezer, for soup stock making later – yes, I am gearing up for winter!)

thanks for the trial Produce Fresh! Hello puku readers! oh hai! I have such an archive of photos from Spain and other adventures to start posting.. see you back here soon. :)

Also subtitled: Aubergine mit Miso (fur Paul: Substitute miso with Sambal!) und Torte auf Orange (fur Die Switzerland Schnee-Bande)

This is part of the 2010 christmas dinner I cooked for friends in Santiago de Compostela, Spain (LAST YEAR. oops). I was craving Japanese aubergine/eggplants, one of my favourite Japanese restaurant dishes, and while in Sydney I can go down almost any suburb main street to sate this craving, Santi is not so big on multi-culti food availability — to do some catching up, I’ve been living between Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain and Sydney, Australia for the past year and a half, back and forward.

Por que no have Japanese for christmas dinner, while in Spain?  ; )

These aubergines are everything aubergines are good at being – luscious, soft, moreish, the skins go crispy, the sweet miso is foiled by earthy flesh and spiky spring onions, it’s quite simply, que rico. I searched around for some recipes, though it didn’t help a great deal – Asian ingredients in Santi are rare, little gems hidden only if you know where to look, or stumble by accident (a tienda chino in la Zona Nueva had, hidden amongst granny undies and fly swatters, some rice noodles, sambal and fish sauce. choice). I’d sourced some sesame oil and other bits and bobs from trips to Cortes Ingles, or travels to La Coruna or Portugal, but I was winging it, big time.

Bastardised Miso Aubergines

Para bonita Monika y Carlos (con besos!) y para personas que quieren cocinar Japones en Santiago:  Por pasta de Miso marchar/buscar el piqueno alimentos naturales en Rua Nova!  : )

Slice some aubergines – 1/4 or 1/6 lengthways or smaller, depending on the size of the aubergine. Aesthetically pleasing. toss in a little vegetable oil, lay out on a shallow baking dish skin side down, in lovely rows of wedges. chuck them in a very hot oven. say 220 celcius. they’ll be doing their thing in there for about 40 mins, depending on how hot your oven goes and how big your aubergines are. we don’t know this stuff, we’ll just see how done they are when they’re done, ok?

while those babies do their thing, let’s make a miso sauce. I was winging it in a country with limited asian ingredients available – you can too! or you can google a recipe for Nasu Dengaku, go flipando tio at your neighbourhood asian grocer and get your authentic on.. up to you! This is what I did, and I was pretty happy with the bastardised-make do flavour: In a small saucepan mix some (if possible, white) miso paste, water, a dash of fish sauce, some sugar/honey, some sesame oil and some soy sauce. heat, taste, adjust, add and amend ingredients until you have a rich, pleasant, sweet, savoury sauce with a thick but running consistency. Insert usual apology for never giving exact quantities in my ‘recipes’. lo siento.

When your aubergines are deliciously crispy / grilled outside / a little smokey / soft inside, generously pour a thin drizzle of the miso sauce over the slices, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. grill for another couple of minutes, sprinkle with some finely sliced spring onion <scallion/green onion/shallot whatever you call those things where you come from>. Serve hot. maybe on rice. be happy.

que rico!

Flourless! Gluten-free! Orange Cake / Tarta de Naranja – sin gluten!

this is a beautiful cake, and flourless, for all your gluten-unfriendly friends. Instructions sound funny, but it works, and it’s wonderful. I’ve never made this without people weeping with joy and demanding the recipe.. which I’ve been promising to post on this blog for a loooooong time, and here it finally is. lo siento. 

In a saucepan, cover 2 oranges (whole!) in water and boil for 15 minutes, change the water and boil for another 15 minutes. I have forgotten to change the water, and I did not die, but there you go, that’s what you’re supposed to do. Once the oranges have cooled enough to handle, or heck, if you’re impatient in a rush and have asbestos fingers and are being careful, chop those hot beasts up into tiny pieces — i like to cut in half middle-ways, flick out the pips if there’s lots and they’re big, then get chopping — either with a food processor, a stick blender, or a big knife. It’s really ok if you’re not blitzing this to a pulp. yes the whole orange, except the pips, if you wanna flick them out. which you don’t have to.

In a mixing bowl beat 3 eggs and 3/4 cup of castor sugar, then add 2 cups of almond meal, 1 tsp of baking powder and the orange mess. Pour into a springform baking pan, or any other baking vestibule for that matter. Bake in a low oven 170 celcius, for about 1 hour. or until something sharp poked into the cake comes out clean.

Meanwhile, fun with a few more oranges: 4 or 5 oranges + 1 lime (optional!) will be way sufficient for this — zest 2 oranges and the lime (or a lemon) and juice all the fruit. In a small saucepan, heat these things – zest and juice, with 1 cup of castor sugar. You made a syrup! Life is good.

Once the cake is baked, pour the syrup over the hot cake, if you’re the stabbing type, make some perforations in your cake first. Cool as long as you can wait, serve with soft-whipped fresh cream and slices/segments of various orange and orange-y citrismandarins, tangelos, whatever you like.

of course, eat this with a much bigger dollop of cream. small dollop for photographing of cake purposes only.


Some more pix of eating out on the camino. The peregrino menu rules supreme here, and having walked for  up to 20-25km (personally) or 45+km (completely mad people) each day, a 3 course menu + wine and bread is SO deserved!

Peregrino menus are served at many bars, restaurants and cafes along the camino, and generally range in price from 7.50 to 12 euro. Most I ate hit the 8 euro mark, and include wine (usually a bottle between each 2 pilgrims), a basket full of bread and a choice of a first, second and dessert course. Obviously, the quality, quantity and range of options varied incredibly, but all-in-all we eat well on the camino. A combination of simple food well done, lots of exercise in the elements and the resulting hunger, and camino camaraderie; I had some beautiful meals, shared with beautiful people.

These photos don’t do due justice, nor represent the whole peregrino menu experience, although you get a bit of an idea about the style of meals. Meat and potatoes rule. Green veges don’t take centre stage, if they even get a dance routine at all. I don’t have a photo of ‘spaghettis’ but that was another peregrino menu staple: just spaghetti with tomato frito.

hello carb and protein loading! sweet!

So, PILGRIM, CHOOSE YOUR MENU! (often the wise method of choosing is to look at your neighbouring tables and pick the plate you like the look of)


hearty meat and bean soup

it was prime asparagus season when I was walking (note - serving for 5 or so)

ensalada mixta .. believe me they were not all as sufficiantly fancy as this (serving for 1!)

hitting Galicia and having famous Caldo Galego in muy frio O Cebriero!


fish and chips!

hearty. carby. meaty.

chicken and chips!

lamb and ... (you get the idea) chips!


ice cream, wafers

missing from the postre gallery is Flan. admittedly I’m not a big flan fan, but I’ll update this post with a pic, as it’s a menu staple. Also, yogurt pottles and pieces of fruit. I won’t upload pix of these, I believe you know what they look like ;)

So, Pilgrim, what will you have?

let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.

the pre-amble: I’m in Spain, doing fieldwork. the first stage of my 6 9 months here included walking from France, 800km, across the top of Spain. The Camino Frances of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, the Way of St James. It took me 7 weeks, though it can be walked in much less time, because I was thinking a lot, I was walking slowly, and I was stopping to smell the roses, including hammocks and bob marley in the garden, a 2-day medieval jousting festival, cubano jam session, and weeks of the most spontaneous and free and open walking and laughing and eating and conversation with wonderful people. It would be hard to overstate what an amazing experience it was.. and is.

So, the food. we’ll start with bocadillos – sandwiches – because these were often the start of the day. Pan, jamon, queso, huevos. Bread, ham, cheese, eggs. I ate a lot of these ingredients on the camino, add tomate and that was it, the daily staples, especially when walking through tiny tiny villages early in the morning, that may be all you can get at the bar, and the bar is the only place to get anything. Pan, queso, jamon (or chorizo, or salami) are also easy to carry, so you can make your own breakfast or lunch on the road. There were so many many bocadillos, there were endless omelette bocs and patatas tortilla bocs and all kinds of variations of pan, jamon, queso, huevos. but you don’t need to see them all I think.. here are just a couple ;)

jamon y queso bocadillo, at the bar for breakfast. this may even be on the 2nd day walking, a few km down the road from Ronscesvalles. I don't know how I even got up that morning.

I made this bocadillo with the last of the cumin gouda I'd bought in France. It had been a hard, but lovely day - so much mud caking onto our boots! but the sun was finally shining, and we'd arrived at the albergue. very happy.

skipping ahead 7 weeks of bocadillos, to a boc at the the end of the world, Finisterre. chips on your sandwich, at the beach.. priceless.

hey, so, I’m in Spain. Sorry. not blogging much… but plenty of eating being done, so some great puku updates are coming to a computer near you, soon!

In the meantime, menulog would like to cheer you, my dear starved puku readers, up by offering a sweet discount on some cosy winter home delivery, y’all (well, y’all who are in Australia, anyway). you don’t need to get out of your trashypants and ugg boots!

WTF is menulog? its a sweet online restaurant delivery guide. I actually used menulog site as a case study in an e-marketing elective I took a few years ago, I like the idea, the site works nicely and its one of those win-win sites that are monetised and promote businesses, while actually make searching for things (in this case, what you’re gonna have delivered to your house for dinner when you just can’t be assed cooking tonight) easier for the user, not harder. you can search via postcode, via cuisine, and the site gives an indication of delivery times, you can look at the menu, you can make an order for later. sweet.

Anyway, have a look around the site and see what you think.. menulog has over 20,000 restaurants listed, obviously, metro centres are better covered, so, great for Syd, Melb peeps.

So, the deal: you get $10 off your first delivery order over $20 (with participating restaurants – they’ll have a “accepts vouchers” tag on their page)

Just use this code in your online order: B8AEA6

voucher valid until 31 December 2010 (man, what a great date, hey?!)

I haven’t given it a try myself – don’t think anyone in the Sydney metro delivers to Santiago de Compostela – but I’d be keen to hear feedback from anyone in Oz if you do give it a try! and why not – hey, it’s free money, dudes!

besos mi amigos, will now get onto editing photos immediately for a mega post coming up. promise. here is a teaser.

do you know what this is?? first correct answer wins.. me making this for them, when we are next in the same place. muy bueno!

a mystery, no so mysterious, very delicious. do you know the name?


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