Saturday, August 25, 2012

Happy Birthday Daz! Lunch @Hoggy's

My darling boy turned 18 on Friday and to celebrate, I suggested going out to lunch on the weekend. So after much discussion, we decided on Hog's Breath. Well, he is kind of a fussy eater and has terms and conditions on his meals. So, I suspect that Hog's Breath will be a good choice. It has curly fries, you can't go wrong with that, right?

It's 10.30 am now, I should make a booking, but instead, I am nursing my coffee and reading their menu online. I haven't dined there since.....oh my God! I can't remember, some time in the nineties? I think my problem with Hog's Breath is that I like my steak freshly cooked, not slow cooked for over 18 hours.

However, I am going to give them another try today. So I made the booking for quarter to 1pm. It was lucky that I did, the place was jammed packed with Saturday shoppers and birthdays gathering and clusters of recruits all over the place. For those wondering, Wagga Wagga is in inland country NSW and we have Army, Air force and even Navy establishment here. So on the weekend, you tend to see a lot of them in town. We also have Charles Sturt University here and so there's plenty of students about as well.

We were running late too, by fifteen minutes and if this was Sydney, our table would be gone. Were running late because the boy wanted to go to his game shop to get some paint and craft stuff for his Warhammer figurines. Thanks Nanna for his birthday cash so he can get more stuff for his hobby.

So we sat down and ordered straight away. The service was attentive and quick. Our waitress was Zoey and she was wonderful. The wait time was not too long even though it was a full restaurant. I started to snap pics with my iphone. Thank goodness I did not bring the dslr. The boy would have died of embarrassment ;) Hahaha

I wished I was not driving, would have loved to try out the Lychee Lover, it has vodka in it and lychee of course. It looks so yummy and refreshing. Must come back. I had two bites of Darren's steak. It was freaking awesome, so much nicer than my meal. The steak was so tender and smokey  from the grill. Just delicious!

I had the baby ribs and steak and it was disappointing. It was served with salad and curly and cajun rice. The steak was cook to perfection, medium rare, but there was no flavour to it. It was the same with the ribs. Very tender and moist but plain. The flavoursome part was the pepper sauce.

"All I got for my birthday is a piggeh!!! Just kidding...Mum got me a 3D NDS in XL"

Hog's Breath Cafe on Urbanspoon

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Salmon and Black Bean Fried Rice

Hello Yummy Stuff Goes Here readers, and thank you Jackie, for so kindly inviting me to your lovely blog and giving me the run of your virtual kitchen. My name is Denise and I blog at Singapore Shiok. I have not known Jackie for long, but reading her posts paints a picture in my mind, of a warm, jolly and generous spirited person.

Apart from blogging, I also write cookbooks, the second of which has just recently been published, develop recipes and have had my recipes published in a number of local magazines in Singapore. I have been circulating in and around both commercial and domestic kitchens of one form or another for about 25 years now, and that does not even include my veritable grandmother's kitchen, where I grew up being surrounded by and saturated with all things food and kitchen related.

Above anything else, I am first and foremost, a mum of 3 energetic, always hungry and heartwarmingly appreciative boys, who think that I am "the world's best cooker". Suffice it to say, that I am perpetually in the kitchen, stirring or baking something up, to fuel my boys' batteries. As any mother of teenagers will know, the CPU of any growing boy is his stomach; keep it filled and he will be happy, leave it empty and you will have a sore headed bear to contend with.

My boys are fairly typical ; they want their grub plentiful, they want it tasty but uncomplicated and they want it 10 minutes ago. This is perfect throw together, all in one dish, for when you need something good to feed hungry, impatient boys. And, as any blogger mum will know, it's  way too easy to get caught up in writing posts, styling your dishes, going after that money shot and sorting through and editing dozens and dozens of photos, then finding yourself faced with a hungry, angry mob because lunch was 40 minutes ago but the dining table remains bereft of anything edible.

I was having such a day, writing then poring over photos for an upcoming post, when my two younger boys, done with school for the day, galloped in gasping from the heat, and ravenous.  As their eyes scanned the  table and countertop, I could hear the accusation in their voices when they asked, "Hi mum! What's for lunch??!" *yikes*

I flew about the kitchen, dumped cold rice, black bean paste, and a fat salmon fillet on the kitchen counter then hurriedly peeled and chopped an onion. Thankfully there were some eggs in the fridge and a forgotten cucumber, the only vegetable left rolling around in the huge and near empty crisper, save for a couple of wrinkly chillies. I really should get an assistant.....

So you see, I wasn't trying to be clever, with my 6 ingredient recipe - I really didn't have much of anything left in the fridge. Still, a skimpy recipe doesn't necessarily mean it will be any less tasty than one with a dozen or more ingredients. The salmon and black beans are both packed with flavour, onions add natural sweetness and the generous amount of black pepper kicks up the heat just enough, without overwhelming the palate.

The outcome from such a hurriedly thrown together and scanty recipe so surprised me, that I decided to cook it again and photograph it for a post. Fried rice has saved me from a domestic mutiny many, many times and it always amazes me how my boys (hubby included) never seem to tire of it, so I keep coming up with versions, based on what I have on hand at any given time.

This particular version will probably remain my favourite for a long while as it's so easy, tasty, nutritious and looks so pretty because of the peachy tones of the salmon. It was so good, that Joseph, my second boy, was extremely reluctant to share it with his younger brother, so I forfeited my share, to keep the peace. Just writing about it makes me want to cook it again. It has become a family favourite and I hope you will enjoy it as much as we do.

It's been such a pleasure being Jackie's guest and writing for all of you lovely Yummy readers. Thank you again Jackie, for so kindly inviting me.

Salmon and Black Bean Fried Rice

Prep 15 mins      Cook 15 mins        Serves 2 - 3

1 large red onion, peeled and coarsely chopped (if you only have white or yellow onions, use that)
2 tbsp garlic black bean paste (or to taste)
2 large eggs
4 level cups cold cooked rice, raked with a fork to loosen grains
250 g salmon fillet, skinned or with skin left on, cut into 1.5 cm (about 1/2 in) cubes
1 1/2 tsp black pepper (or to taste)

Heat 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (sesame is nice for this, if you have it) until moderately hot and fry the onion until transparent and beginning to brown around the edges

Stir in the black bean paste and cook for 1 - 2 minutes or until quite dry.

Break in the eggs and leave until half set then scramble thoroughly.

Add the rice and turn up the heat to high. Stir well until rice is coated with black bean paste and everything is well mixed.

Push rice to the side and add a little more oil to pan. When oil is very hot, add the salmon cubes. Allow to brown then turn the cubes. Keep turning and cooking until no longer pink. This should only take a few minutes. Don't overcook the salmon, which should still be moist and flaky inside.

Combine the rice and salmon and stir well to mix. Add pepper and stir. Turn off heat and taste. Add salt if necessary, though I found I didn't need any salt because the bean paste is quite salty. Dish out, garnish with sliced cucumber and chillies if desired and serve immediately.


Hi all, this is Jackie

Denise, thank you so much for that lovely intro and for writing a guest post here at Yummy Stuff Goes Here. I have been a fan of yours for ages and I am a great believer in quick and easy meals. 

Today , I am giving away a copy of Denise's latest cookbook, "Mum's not Cooking". She has personally signed it. 

This is not a game of chance. Just sign on to be follower on this blog site, you will need a Google account to connect as a Friend and leave me a comment on this post. Tell us what quick easy meals you have conjured up. The most interesting and creative comment wins. 


Denise, once again, thanks for the guest post and as always, you are awesome. Superb photography and love your post. So simple and absolutely delicious looking!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...