Fonterra, Proud to be a Chef 2015

Proud to be a chef time again and the student chefs were wonderful, producing some great looking plates that tasted fantastic too. The three days of shooting were tiring but exhilarating, and always fun. The Fonterra crew put on a very organised event this year again, well done.

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Burma Lane Restaurant

The new restaurant Burma Lane has just opened 5 days ago in little collins st Melbourne and already doing a roaring trade, the food is amazing and I love the restaurant fit out. Well done everyone for a great place.

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freezing lemons

frozen lemons

frozen lemon halves

What a great way to have your lemons available all year round by freezing them!  They defrost well albeit a little mushy, but this makes them softer and easier to juice.

You can freeze them whole , sliced or really however you want them.  Just put them in the microwave for a short time then use for juicing, grating zest etc.

Nothing better than placing a quarter of a frozen lemon into a G&T and enjoying the ice chill of the lemon  (no dilution of the gin from ice cubes),  then when the lemon softens squeeze in the gorgeous juice.  Yummo, come on summer.

lemon juice cubes

lemon juice cubes

Preserved lemons

preserved lemons

preserved lemons

Lemons are in season and I have friends and family whose trees are bursting this year with fruit. I found out this fact when a friend  said to me the other day that she has lemons on her tree and would I like some?

Lemons are one of my favourite fruits, so I obviously said “great, I love them”! When I caught up with her this week she handed me a laundry basket completely full to the brim with lemons!!!!!!! What do I do with that many lemons? There would have to be 70 of them.

So here is my quest, I want to not waste one of these lemons. So I’m going to try to come up with as many ideas/recipes until I’ve used them all.

The first thing I always think of when I have lemons is preserving them ( occasionally I’ll think of margaritas! ). I have many recipes for them, but I chose this one from Jamie Oliver’s book “Jamie does Spain etc”.


                           JAMIE OLIVERS PRESERVED LEMONS

                                              10 small lemons

                                           200g coarse sea salt

                                         2 fresh bay leaves ( I used dry)

                                             7 black peppercorns

                                              2 sticks of cinnamon.

Sterilise a 1 litre jar and lid ( place a freshly washed and dry jar in a oven set at 100 C for about 30 mins ). Place the rubber  seal in boiling water, cool everything completely. Don’t touch the inside of the jar or lid.

Now for the lemons, squeeze 5 lemons and put juice to the side. Cut a deep cross at the top of each lemon about 3/4 down, making sure lemons stayed joined.  Pack a teaspoon of salt into each lemon then push the lemons back together.

Pop them into the jar, layering them up with the rest of the salt, the bay leaves, the cinnamon sticks and the peppercorns. Pour in the juice and then top up with water. Put on the lid and seal tightly, leave for a month in a cool dark spot, giving the jar a gentle shake every few days.

Deseed and cut finely and use with salads, rice dishes, stews, tagines etc. Your imagination is your only limit to its many uses.

Thanks Jamie.