Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Monkey Bananas

Hey, have I told you about the tours I have been doing at Prahran Market?

No? Oops sorry.

Well instead of me rabbiting on, have a look here and here or even better just come along one Saturday! All the details are here.

Now the intention of this post was not the market but these extremely cute monkey bananas that I brought after a tour a few weeks ago.

This variety are my absolute, hands down favourite. Firm texture, even when very ripe and small enough that they are not a meal in themselves as some of those ginormous cavendish bananas can be.

What I loved so much about these hands in particular was the bunch on the right, they were particularly tiny, just minuscule as you can see next to the 20 cent piece.

I asked at the counter as I paid for them, "so, do you have any smaller?" The woman looked at me with the strangest frown and then just absolutely cracked up.
"No, they are the smallest".

I totally believed her.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Kaikoura crayfish

Once upon a time*, back when I got married many months ago, we took a short trip to New Zealand to celebrate with the kiwi contingent that couldn't join us in Melbourne for the official party.
A highlight of the trip apart from PDC's mammoth half marathon PB time, was the most lovely cocktail party that was thrown for us, one of the food highlights of this evening was some very special Kaikoura crayfish.

I've been through Kaikoura a couple of times, it's a small town on the north-east coast of New Zealands south island. The thing I remember most clearly is the fur seal colony that lives along the coast there and the linked foodie thing about seeing these seals that explains my keen interest in this town, seals love crayfish and so do I.
Luckily for both of us Kaikoura translates from Maori as 'Meal of Crayfish' - needless to say there is crayfish to be had for both the Aussie tourist and the seals.

The crayfish canapes you can see in this image I made from two crayfish that my mother-in law bartered for from a licensed Kaikoura diver. Apparently only licensed divers can catch the crays and this guy had more than he needed. (...great to see that smart old fashioned barter is still alive and well)

The crays nearly fell victim to a mornay sauce *phew* before PDC and I decided to take charge and made these ooh-la-la canapes.
The baguette we baked for the croutons was already on hand and we whipped up some mayo quicker than getting in the car to go to the supermarket (if you doubt that, look at my recipe here) the garnish was the tricky part.

An avocado slice and dill was a logical classic combination but never being just satisfied with the easy option I decided to add another flavour combo to the other half.
Persimmons were in season and perfect at the time and I had one waiting for my breakfast the next morning. Thinking about the flavours I decided (with testing on myself, of course!) that the vanilla characters of the persimmon reminded me of a frenchy vanilla sauce sometimes served with fish and the crunch well that went without saying, the decision was made.
So a smear of mayonnaise, a medallion of crayfish (that we had cooked earlier that morning) and then some match sticks of persimmon.

They were gone in a flash. Lucky that cray diver was quicker than a flash

*I opened my blog account and found this as a draft post from what seems like it was from so long ago it was a fairy tale, hence I just had to start with 'once upon a time'.