April album reviews (2)

Mew – Visuals

I’m new to Mew, the Danish indie band of over (wow, I’m late to this) 20 years… I came across this album by chance, and not aware of their previous catalogue found all sorts of likenesses as I listened through. At first it felt like the band were borrowing from so many of their contemporaries, but on learning how long they’ve been at it I realised it was the other way around. This made me wonder why those similar acts are getting all the praise here (in Aus), while Mew remain relatively unknown. Things kick off with full-blown anthem ‘Nothingness and No Regrets’, which would immensely please any Of Monsters and Men fan, before a pair of synth-laden tracks – ‘The Wake of Your Life’ and awesomely titled ‘Candy Pieces All Smeared Out’ – present the same glossy pop sounds adapted by Two Door Cinema Club and Passion Pit. Further likeness is then found in the vocals on ‘Ay Ay Ay’, which smell distinctly Shins-y. The whole way through, Mew present slick pop tunes, held together by a lot of synth with production evoking the feeling of a full string section. Mew could easily adapt this work to a pop/orchestra collaboration. I’m sorry I don’t know how Mew have come to this point, but I’m glad I can now find out.

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Gorillaz – Humanz

Z’s everywhere… “double the e, double the z, double the flava!” Not exactly the right kinda quote when listening new Gorillaz material, but with Humanz is there a right thought? There are a lot of trackz here and a seriouz case of cohesion confusion. ‘Ascension’ and ‘Strobelite’ (can they not spell because they’re animals?) lead the first Gorillaz outing in seven yearz and, surprisingly, it’s not an immediate capture. These first songz fair well on their own, but I could be listening to any number of hip hop recordz. A memorable synth sound eventually appearz along with Albarn’s voice to remind you where you’ve landed, but the early setup gearz Humanz in a randomised flight path that’z altogether confusing and a little frustrating. Genre-bending and guest-loading are Gorillaz trademarkz and there’z no shortage of that here. Discounting any interludez, there are 16 trackz and an even greater number of vocalistz. A bunch of humanz helping those gorillaz with their singing (but not spelling). While there waz no standout pop gem for me on this album az there haz been on otherz, ‘Momentz’ (feat. De La Soul) is certainly in the party camp when many of its neighbourz are dark or dreary. For said dark side though, there iz not a finer moment than late comer ‘Hallelujah Money’ (feat. Benjamin Clementine), a very nice, deep and murky political piece.

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The Smith Street Band – More Scared Of You Than You Are Of Me

I really didn’t know if I liked The Smith Street Band before listening to a full album of their material (as opposed to radio singles), with their talking(yelling)-not-singing approach to vocals and lines all about the northern suburbs (that’s jealously… I live in the boring east). Maybe it’s Stockholm syndrome, or maybe I found something, but my opinion of these fellas has turned around having heard More Scared Of You Than You Are Of Me. Wil Wagner has some seriously heavy stuff to say here, and if you can move beyond his style (or perhaps you love it, weirdo) you’ll take something, perhaps a lot, away. There are three levels to the writing on More Scared… First, the complete album is a relationship story, beginning to end; second, the songs are emotional captures, among which you’ll likely find at least one that’s relatable; and third, some of the standalone lyrics are brilliant. There’s a lot to rediscover with subsequent listens. The standout for me was ‘Passiona’ – a candid expression of fear and anxiety – that’s musically gentle before fleshing out sounds along with its lyrics. I’m not convinced TSSB have an album to win over those that truly dislike their style yet. But if you’re still to decide, this one’ll do it for you one way or the other. As far as I can see, so long as you can write, who cares if you can sing.

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Maximo Park – Risk to Exist

Break out the hat and air splits because Maximo Park are back! I never get tired of this band, who consistently release albums with plenty of tracks I want to see on their setlist (and seeing them live is an absolute must). Their catalogue is far from a case of old-is-better and, in many ways, their tunes improve with age. In their sixth outing, the fast indie hooks are paired with a measured and pertinent sentiment. Europe’s political climate is high on their agenda. On title track ‘Risk to Exist’, Paul’s refrain “Show some empathy” is a good summation of the album’s message. There, as on ‘The Reason I Am Here’ and several other tracks, Maximo Park recognise and question a continent in crisis, and point out how flawed reactions to it are (“We will have to make a journey / Through the eyes of idiots / Where every problem in the country / Is blamed upon the immigrants / Not exactly high society / Neither tack nor sobriety”). Risk to Exist is cleverly created; while their strongest messages to date might appear this time around, they haven’t lost the flare of a good tune. You can take it intellectually, or just enjoy the musical mirth, that’s the beauty and the triumph here.

2016 Music Quiz

Plenty of musical things happening this year. Test your memory with the quiz below 🙂

  1. What 2016 song references ‘Becky with the good hair’?
  2. And who is ‘Becky with the good hair?’
  3. Producer Tony Visconti said this about which musician in 2016: “His death was no different from his life — a work of art”?
  4. Who said: “Like, ‘Why am I trying to make all this money?’ I wanted to hook up with hotter girls. I had to date a model”?
  5. Australia’s Dami Im took out what place in Eurovision 2016 and with what song?
  6. Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker collaborated with which big popstar this year?
  7. And a Tame Impala cover appeared on which other mega pop star’s album?
  8. What song most commonly accompanied the 2016 Mannequin Challenge fad?
  9. Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein, two members of Austin soundscapists Survive, scored the theme to which hit television series?
  10. Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Adele and Michelle Obama all sang on what musical TV segment in 2016?
  11. Kim Kardashian released a copy of a phone call, revealing consent that had previous been denied in the media, for lyrics about which singer and relating to which Kanye song?
  12. Jack White, James Blake and Kendrick Lamar all contributed to what beverage named 2016 album?

Who are these four musicians?

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What 2016 music videos are these?

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  1. Which artist released their 37th album Peace Trail in 2016?
  2. Sharon Jones passed away due to cancer in November. What was the name of her band?
  3. Who released the album this year with a painfully cringey title, I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful yet So Unaware of It?
  4. Who sung about being Brad Pitt’s cousin this year?
  5. Eight untiled tracks appeared on whose surprise 2016 album?
  6. Australian songstresses Kira Puru, Sampa the Great and Bertie Blackman appeared as guest vocalist on what 2016 hip hop album?
  7. You Am I, Something for Kate, Spiderbait and Jebediah united in a 90s rock throwback for which festival series?
  8. Whose lyric is this: “I won’t let go / I’ll be your lifeline tonight”?
  9. Which band, who released their second album in 2016, print the postcode 4122 on all of their merchandise?
  10. The music for which musical, appearing in Australia for the first time in 2016, was written by Cyndi Lauper?
  11. Taking a break from Arctic Monkeys in 2016, Alex Turner released an album with which side project?
  12. ‘You Want It Darker’ was the final album released by which artist?
  13. Which member of KISS released an album in 2016?
  14. Which comedy band released a film and album, both called Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, in 2016?
  15. An album of which artist’s music, recorded in February and October 1976 was released in August this year?
  16. Who sang Broadway with an array of movie partners, including Alec Baldwin, Melissa McCarthy and Jamie Foxx?
  17. How many days after the release of his final album did Bowie pass away?
  18. True or false, all of these ladies released new albums in 2016: Britney Spears, Celine Dion, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Melanie C, LeAnn Rimes?

Who do these symbols identify?

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  1. Track titles on whose 2016 album included infinity symbols, diamonds, an upside-down t, and the Greek letter Sigma?
  2. Adele, Justin Bieber, Drake, Beyonce and Shurgill Simpson have all been nominated for what?
  3. Whose lyric is this: “It’s our paradise and it’s our war zone”?
  4. Kylie Minogue, R. Kelly, and John Farnham all released albums in what genre late this year?
  5. Prior to his death in April this year, Prince toured Australia in February. The name of his show was ‘what and microphone’?
  6. How many times does Rhianna say “work” in each chorus of her song of the same name?
  7. Who won a total of eight ARIAs at this year’s awards?
  8. Which artist, nominated for a 2016 Libby Award for “Best Voice for Animals”, partnered with various rescue organizations to conduct a dog adoption fair at each of her concerts in 2016?
  9. Which popstars formed the judging panel on this year’s X Factor?
  10. Which Adelaide act performed with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra at Rod Laver Arena this year?
  11. Which artist released their 11th album The Hope Six Demolition Project in 2016?
  12. Who performs the theme song for and stars in 2016 film Trolls?
  13. In January, how did Motorhead front man Lemmy’s memorial service reach Cherry Bar in Melbourne?
  14. Which artist headlined Sydney’s Vivid Festival at the Opera House, performing a show titled ‘Cercle’?
  15. Which seminal English goth rock band headlined Splendour in the Grass in 2016?
  16. Whose lyric is this: “House so empty, need a centrepiece / Twenty racks a table cut from ebony”?
  17. Who released Please Forgive Me, a short film featuring several songs from their album Views?
  18. Who released two albums days apart in 2016, in order to release himself from a record label and release the second of the two independently?
  19. Global music company Live Nation bought which Australian music festivals in 2016?
  20. The State Library of Victoria, Parliament and the Melbourne Town Hall were all venues included in which music event?
  21. And during that event, Paul Dempsey and Alex Lahey performed on what form of transport?
  22. Which band performed in Sydney for the 20th anniversary of their iconic farewell concert?
  23. Acoustic versions of ‘Hotel Yorba’ and ‘Love Interruption’ appeared on whose 2016 release Acoustic Recordings 1998–2016?
  24. How many years since their album Since I Left You was the Avalanches 2016 release?
  25. SWISH and Waves were working titled for which 2016 album?

What 2016 albums are these?

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Answers

  1. What 2016 song references ‘Becky with the good hair’? Sorry, Beyonce
  2. And who is ‘Becky with the good hair?’ Was believed to be Rachel Roy, but in fact could be any number of people
  3. Producer Tony Visconti said this about which musician in 2016: “His death was no different from his life — a work of art.” David Bowie
  4. Who said: “Like, ‘Why am I trying to make all this money?’ I wanted to hook up with hotter girls. I had to date a model”? The Chainsmokers’ Alex Pall
  5. Australia’s Dami Im took out what place in Eurovision 2016 and with what song? 2nd, ‘Sound of Silence’
  6. Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker collaborated with which big popstar this year? Lady Gaga
  7. And a Tame Impala cover appeared on which other mega pop star’s album? Rhianna
  8. What song most commonly accompanied the 2016 Mannequin Challenge fad? Black Beatles, Rae Sremmurd
  9. Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein, two members of Austin soundscapists Survive, scored the theme to which hit television series? Stranger Things
  10. Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Adele and Michelle Obama all sang on what musical TV segment in 2016? Carpool Karaoke
  11. Kim Kardashian released a copy of a phone call, revealing consent that had previous been denied in the media, for lyrics about which singer and relating to which Kanye song? Taylor Swift, Famous
  12. Jack White, James Blake and Kendrick Lamar all contributed to what beverage named 2016 album? Lemonade
  13. Which artist released their 37th album Peace Trail in 2016? Neil Young
  14. Sharon Jones passed away due to cancer in November. What was the name of her band? The Dap Kings
  15. Who released the album this year with a painfully cringey title, I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful yet So Unaware of It? The 1975
  16. Who sung about being Brad Pitt’s cousin this year? Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
  17. Eight untiled tracks appeared on whose surprise 2016 album? Kendrick Lamar, Untitled unmastered
  18. Australian songstresses Kira Puru, Sampa the Great and Bertie Blackman appeared as guest vocalist on what 2016 hip hop album? The Past Beats Inside Me Like a Second Heartbeat, Urthboy
  19. You Am I, Something for Kate, Spiderbait and Jebediah united in a 90s rock throwback for which festival series? A Day on the Green
  20. Whose lyric is this: “I won’t let go / I’ll be your lifeline tonight”? Major Lazer, Cold Water
  21. Which band, who released their second album in 2016, print the postcode 4122 on all of their merchandise? Violent Soho
  22. The music for which musical, appearing in Australia for the first time in 2016, was written by Cyndi Lauper? Kinky Boots
  23. Taking a break from Arctic Monkeys in 2016, Alex Turner released an album with which side project? The Last Shadow Puppets
  24. ‘You Want it Darker’ was the final album released by which artist? Leonard Cohen
  25. Which member of KISS released an album in 2016? Ace Freeley
  26. Which comedy band released a film and album, both called Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, in 2016? The Lonely Island
  27. An album of which artist’s music, recorded in February and October 1976 was released in August this year? Elvis – Way Down in the Jungle Room
  28. Who sang Broadway with an array of movie partners, including Alec Baldwin, Melissa McCarthy and Jamie Foxx? Barbra Streisand
  29. How many days after the release of his final album did Bowie pass away? 2
  30. True or false, all of these ladies released new albums in 2016: Britney Spears, Celine Dion, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Melanie C, LeAnn Rimes? True
  31. Track titles on whose 2016 album included infinity symbols, diamonds, an upside-down t, and the Greek letter Sigma? Bon Iver, 22, A Million
  32. Adele, Justin Bieber, Drake, Beyonce and Shurgill Simpson have all been nominated for what? 2017 Grammy – Album of the year
  33. Whose lyric is this: “It’s our paradise and it’s our war zone”? Zayn, Pillowtalk
  34. Kylie Minogue, R. Kelly, and John Farnham all released albums in what genre late this year? Christmas
  35. Prior to his death in April this year, Prince toured Australia in February. The name of his show was ‘what and microphone’? Piano
  36. How many times does Rhianna say “work” in each chorus of her song of the same name? 18
  37. Who won a total of eight ARIAs at this year’s awards? Flume
  38. Which artist, nominated for a 2016 Libby Award for “Best Voice for Animals”, partnered with various rescue organizations to conduct a dog adoption fair at each of her concerts in 2016? Sia
  39. Which popstars formed the judging panel on this year’s X Factor? Guy Sebastian, Iggy Azalea, Adam Lambert and Mel B
  40. Which Adelaide act performed with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra at Rod Laver Arena this year? Hilltop Hoods
  41. Which artist released their 11th album The Hope Six Demolition Project in 2016? PJ Harvey
  42. Who performs the theme song for and stars in 2016 film Trolls? Justin Timberlake
  43. In January, how did Motorhead front man Lemmy’s memorial service reach Cherry Bar in Melbourne? It was streamed online
  44. Which artist headlined Sydney’s Vivid Festival at the Opera House, performing a show titled ‘Cercle’? Bon Iver
  45. Which seminal English goth rock band headlined Splendour in the Grass in 2016? The Cure
  46. Whose lyric is this: “House so empty, need a centrepiece / Twenty racks a table cut from ebony”? The Weeknd, Starboy
  47. Who released Please Forgive Me, a short film featuring several songs from their album Views? Drake
  48. Who released two albums days apart in 2016, in order to release himself from a record label and release the second of the two independently? Frank Ocean
  49. Global music company Live Nation bought which Australian music festivals in 2016? Splendour in the Grass and Falls Festival
  50. The State Library of Victoria, Parliament and the Melbourne Town Hall were all venues included in which music event? Melbourne Music Week
  51. And during Melbourne Music Week, Paul Dempsey and Alex Lahey performed on what form of transport? A tram
  52. Which band performed in Sydney for the 20th anniversary of their iconic farewell concert? Crowded House
  53. Acoustic versions of ‘Hotel Yorba’ and ‘Love Interruption’ appeared on whose 2016 release Acoustic Recordings 1998–2016? Jack White
  54. How many years since their album Since I Left You was the Avalanches 2016 release? 16
  55. SWISH and Waves were working titled for which 2016 album? Life of Pablo, Kanye West

Faces: Bon Iver, Tove Lo, Dami Im, Zayn

Videos: Stayboy (The Weeknd), Cheap Thrills (Sia), High and Low (Empire of the Sun), Subways (The Avalanches)

Symbols: Leonard Cohen, David Bowie, Prince

Albums: The Avalanches’ Wildflower, Snoop Dogg’s Coolaid, Green Day’s Revolution Radio, Frank Ocean’s Blonde

2016 Quiz

You’ve got a week left of work (unless you’re lucky enough to have finished already…) Time to have a look back at 2016 and wonder where the time went.

Answers available below (but don’t go cheating!)

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News and entertainment quiz

1. In January, which film overtook Avatar to become the highest ever grossing film in the US and Canada?

2. What cost did Australia Post raise in January?

3. In February, at the 88th annual academy awards, what won best picture?

4. And at the Grammys, also in February, what won album of the year?

5. In April, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung publishes a set of 11.5 million confidential documents providing detailed information on more than 214,000 offshore companies. What were the papers named?

01euro

6a. For 1 point, which country won the 2016 Eurovision contest in May?

6b. For 2 points, what was the singer’s name?

6c. For 3 points, what was the name of the song?

6d. Who came second?

6e. And with what song?

In June, a significant tunnel was completed in Europe following two decades of construction.

7a. For 3 points, what was the tunnel called?

7b. For 2 points, what country was it in?

7c. For 1 point, what was so special about it?

8. An autopsy in June revealed what cause for Prince’s death?

9. Why did 10,000 people gather at a street party in front of Buckingham Palace on 12 June?

10. In July, NASA’s June spacecraft entered orbit around which planet?

11. In July, Solar Impulse 2 was the first aircraft of its king to circumnavigate the Earth. What was so special about it?

12. In July, NSW Premier Mike Baird announced a statewide ban on what?

13. The most used emoji, globally, was revealed in July. What was it?

14. 30% of Russian athletes were rules ineligible to compete at the Olympics. What percentage of Russian athletes were ruled ineligible to complete at the Paralympics?

15. Who is this and what Olympic event did she compete in?

02simone

16. What was the name of the main Olympic stadium in Rio, where the opening ceremony was held?

17. What was significant about Joseph Schooling’s 100m butterfly gold medal?

03singapore

18. In what event was Fiji’s first ever Olympic gold medal won?

19. Which Olympian got into strife for telling porkies about being held up at a convenience stall?

20. Name the Rio Olympic and Paralympic mascots, pictured here.

04rio

21. Malcolm Turnbull said this: “Which heads roll, where and when, will be determined once the review is complete” about what major stuff up in August?

22. Along with its iPhone7, what product was announced by Apple in August?

23. What record did the month of August break this year?

24. What is happening here?

05bath

25. Which Australian actor won an Emmy in September for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series?

26. And for what series?

27. Also Emmys related, Game of Thrones won three Emmy Awards to become the most successful narrative series of all time, beating the record previously held by what show?

28. Australian man Mark Tromp made news in September. Why?

06guy

29. In October, NSW Premier Mike Baird back flipped on a statewide ban on what?

30. Why was Samsung in strife in October this year?

31. Corrections Minister Steve Herbert was in trouble for doing what in October?

32. What television series, launched in November, was labelled the most expensive series ever produced?

33. What was awarded to Bob Dylan in November?

34. What political news surprised New Zealand in the first week of December?

2016 Face blocks

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2016 – RIP

This round requires 5+ players and works like scategories. Choose an answer for each category, but only count it for a point if yours is a unique answer (ie no one else guesses the same as you). With less people, simply up the number of answers required (say, pick 5 answers for each category… good luck with one in particular then ;))

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Answers

  1. In January, which film overtook Avatar to become the highest ever grossing film in the US and Canada? Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  2. What cost did Australia Post raise in January? The basic postage rate from 70 cents to $1
  3. In February, at the 88th annual academy awards, what won best picture? Spotlight
  4. And at the Grammys, also in February, what won album of the year? 1989 Taylor Swift
  5. In April, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung publishes a set of 11.5 million confidential documents providing detailed information on more than 214,000 offshore companies. What were the papers named? Panama Papers
  6. Eurovision
    1. For 1 point, which country won the 2016 Eurovision contest in May? Ukraine
    2. For 2 points, what was the singer’s name? Jamala
    3. For 3 points, what was the name of the song? 1944
    4. Who came second? Dami Im, Australia
    5. And with what song? Sound of Silence
  7. In June, a significant tunnel was completed in Europe following two decades of construction.
    1. For 3 points, what was the tunnel called? The Gotthard Base Tunnel
    2. For 2 points, what country was it in? Switzerland
    3. For 1 point, what was so special about it? Longest and deepest railway tunnel
  8. An autopsy in June revealed what cause for Prince’s death? Overdose of fentanyl
  9. Why did 10,000 people gather at a street party in front of Buckingham Palace on 12 June? To celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday.
  10. In July, NASA’s June spacecraft entered orbit around which planet? Jupiter
  11. In July, Solar Impulse 2 was the first aircraft of its king to circumnavigate the Earth. What was so special about it? Solar powered
  12. In July, NSW Premier Mike Baird announced a statewide ban on what? Greyhound racing
  13. The most used emoji, globally, was revealed in July. What was it? The birthday cake
  14. 30% of Russian athletes were rules ineligible to compete at the Olympics. What percentage of Russian athletes were ruled ineligible to complete at the Paralympics? 100%
  15. (PIC) Who is this and what Olympic event did she compete in? Simone Biles, gymnastics
  16. What was the name of the main Olympic stadium in Rio, where the opening ceremony was held? Maracana Stadium
  17. (PIC) What was significant about Joseph Schooling’s 100m butterfly gold medal? First ever gold medal for Singapore
  18. In what event was Fiji’s first ever Olympic gold medal won? Rugby 7s
  19. Which Olympian got into strife for telling porkies about being held up at a convenience stall? Ryan Lochte
  20. (PIC) Name the Rio Olympic and Paralympic mascots, pictured here [PIC]. Vinicius (left), the mascot of the 2016 Summer Olympics, and Tom (right), the mascot of the 2016 Summer Paralympics
  21. Malcolm Turnbull said this: “Which heads roll, where and when, will be determined once the review is complete” about what major stuff up in August? The Census
  22. Along with its iPhone7, what product was announced by Apple in August? Apple Watch 2
  23. What record did the month of August break this year? Hottest August on record and 16th ‘hottest on record’ month in a row.
  24. (PIC) What is happening here? Richie and Alex having chocolate bath on the Bachelor
  25. Which Australian actor won an Emmy in September for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series? Ben Mendelsohn
  26. And for what series? Bloodline
  27. Also Emmys related, Game of Thrones won three Emmy Awards to become the most successful narrative series of all time, beating the record previously held by what show? Frasier
  28. (PIC) Australian man Mark Tromp made news in September. Why? He was the father of the crazy disappearing family
  29. In October, NSW Premier Mike Baird back flipped on a statewide ban on what? Greyhound racing
  30. Why was Samsung in strife in October this year? Samsung Galaxy Note 7 blowing up
  31. Corrections Minister Steve Herbert was in trouble for doing what in October? Chauffeuring his dogs
  32. What television series, launched in November, was labelled the most expensive series ever produced? The Crown
  33. What was awarded to Bob Dylan in November? The Nobel Prize in Literature.
  34. What political news surprised New Zealand in the first week of December? John Key resigned

 

2016 Face blocks

Singers: Beyonce, Sia, Robbie Williams, Drake

Actors: Margot Robbie, Amy Adams, Emilia Clarke, Melissa McCarthy

Actors: Leonardo Di Caprio, Ben Afleck, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp

Aussie pollies: Bob Katter, Derryn Hinch, Pauline Hanson, DJ Albo

Pokemon: Poliwag, Meowth, Pidgey, Bulbasaur

Game of Thrones characters: Danaerys, Sansa, Tyrion, Cersei

Global pollies (and Trump): Angela Merkel, Justin Trudeau, Barack Obama, Donald Trump

 

 

Rice Bonanza – Part 8

Part 8 sees this ricey trip move in all sorts of directions – there’s no consistency here! Chicken rice features twice, but in totally different ways! Joining in is a crispy tofu and charred snap pea bowl that is one of my favourites so far. And thrown in the middle is one for your nightmares… You’ll see.

Recipe 31 – Chicken and lime rice

rb-chicken-and-lime-rice

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 400 gr can artichoke hearts, each halved
  • 25 gr unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 leek (white part only), finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime, plus extra wedges to serve
  • 2 chicken breast fillets, cut into thin strips
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 ¾ cups chicken stock
  • 2 avocados, sliced

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook the artichoke heart halves for 2-3 minutes on each side. Set aside.
  2. Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the leek, bay leaf and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the leeks soften.
  3. Add the lime zest and chicken and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes or until the chicken is opaque.
  4. Add the rice, stirring well to coat, then add the stock and half the lime juice. Increase heat and bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 12 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat and leave covered for a further 10 minutes.
  6. Season and stir through the artichokes hearts and remaining lemon juice. Serve topped with sliced avocado.

Recipe 32 – Spicy Chicken Ricey

rb-spiced-chicken-ric

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 8 Roma tomatoes, diced into 3 cm pieces
  • ½ eggplant, sliced into 1 cm semicircles
  • 200 gr kent pumpkin, diced into 2 cm pieces
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 chicken breast fillets, sliced into 4 pieces each
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon chilli powder
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Lemon wedges, to serve

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Coat tomatoes, eggplant and pumpkin in 2 tablespoons oil and season. Place on separate trays and roast, removing tomatoes and eggplant after 30 minutes and pumpkin after 45 minutes (or until darkening and soft). Set aside.
  2. Bring a pot of water to the boil over high heat. Add the rice and boil for 15-17 minutes, or until tender. Drain and set aside.
  3. Combine all spices and coat chicken pieces. Heat remaining oil in large frypan over medium heat. Add chicken and any spices that have fallen off and cook each side for 3 minutes, or until cooked through.
  4. Add rice and vegetables to pan with chicken. Stir though, mashing the pumpkin a little as you go.
  5. Combine tahini, lemon juice and oil in a small bowl and whisk until just combined (if you whisk too much it will begin to separate again). Pour over rice mixture and stir to combine. Serve with lemon wedges.

Recipe 33 – Rainbow stargazer rice

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Each week, I generally grab a “catch of the week” fish for an easy weeknight meal. It’s always a pair of white fish fillets, like barramundi or dory (not Dory). When stargazer landed in my kitchen, I thought that was a pretty cool name for a fish! I cooked it up, fried for about 4 minutes a side, and found that it kept a real firmness, almost bouncy to the touch. It sliced very nicely and made a great choice of fish for this rainbow rice. It was delicious and I was happy about it. Until I looked the damn fish up… Of course, I’ve saved you the trouble and there’s a surprise for you at the end of this here post… Enjoy.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 bunch basil, leaves picked
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 2 stargazer fillets
  • ½ cup diced green beans
  • ½ cup diced carrots
  • ½ cup diced spring onions
  • ½ cup diced capsicum
  • ½ cup diced purple cabbage
  • ½ cup corn kernels
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • ½ cup chopped snow peas
  • ½ cup chopped pea shoots
  • 1 long red chilli, sliced

Method

  1. Bring a pot of water to the boil over high heat. Add the rice and boil for 10-12 minutes, or until just tender. Drain, run under cold water, then set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add eggs and swirl to form a large omelette. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then flip and cook for 1 minute more. Remove from heat, shred cooked egg, and set aside.
  3. Coat basil leaves lightly with a teaspoon of oil. Add to the pan and cook, tossing occasionally, until they crisp up. Remove from heat and set aside on paper towel.
  4. Dust stargazer fillets with coriander powder. Heat remaining oil in pan over medium heat. Add fish and cook for 4 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Set aside and slice thinly when cool enough.
  5. Add beans, carrots and onions to the pan and cook, tossing, for 3 minutes. Add capsicum, cabbage and corn and cook, tossing, for 1 minute. Return egg and fish to the pan. Combine all sauces and mix through until everything is heated.
  6. Divide rainbow fish rice into bowls and top with snow peas, pea shoots, sliced chilli and crispy basil.

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I warned you.

Recipe 34 – Crispy tofu and charred snap peas

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Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 350 gr firm tofu, cut into 3 cm pieces
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • ¼ cup roasted unsalted peanuts, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons kecap manis
  • 1 long red chilli, seeds removed, thinly sliced, plus extra to serve
  • 200 gr snap peas
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 4 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • Juice of 1/2 lime, plus lime wedges to serve

Method

  1. Bring a pot of water to the boil over high heat. Add rice and cook for 15-17 minutes, or until tender. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat peanut oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Pat the tofu dry with paper towel and transfer to pan. Cook for 8 minutes, tossing occasionally, until golden and crisp. Transfer to a bowl and toss through peanuts and kecap manis.
  3. Wipe frypan and return to high heat. Cook snap peas, tossing occasionally, for 2-3 minutes until charred and blistering. Remove from frypan and set aside.
  4. Reduce heat to medium and ass sesame oil. Add cooked rice and allow it to cook without stirring for 2 minutes. Add spring onions, chilli, soy sauce, fish sauce and lime juice. Toss everything together and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Divide rice among bowls and top with tofu mix and snap peas. Serve with extra lime wedges.

Eat the World – Part 19

Czech Republic

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Czech food = hearty, meaty and filling. This recipe is no exception. This here is a classic Czech meatloaf, completed with semolina dumplings (borrowed from nearby Austria), pickles and mustard. It’s good winter and homely fare, the kind you’re served in little Czech eateries. And it’s bound to cure your hunger woes.

Sekaná (Czech meatloaf)

Ingredients (Serves 6)

  • 1 stale while bread roll
  • 150 ml milk
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 800 gr mincemeat (combination beef and pork)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • Marjoram
  • Salt and pepper
  • Breadcrumbs

Method

  1. Grease and line a 20cm x 10cm loaf pan (or as close as possible). Preheat oven to 180C. Cut roll into small cubes and pour milk over the top. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in frypan over medium heat. Cook onions for 5 minutes.
  3. In a bowl, combine mincemeat, garlic, egg, marjoram, cooked onions and salt and pepper. Squeeze excess milk from bread pieces and combine with meat mix. If the mix is too wet and sticky, add some breadcrumbs.
  4. Press meat mix into loaf pan. Cook for 75 minutes, pouring a small amount of water (2-3 tablespoons) over the top twice throughout the cook.
  5. Serve with potatoes, semolina dumplings, sliced pickles and mustard.
Semolina dumplings

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 cup butter, melted
  • ½ cup semolina
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chives, chopped

Method

  1. Beat together egg and butter until foamy. Stir through semolina and season with nutmeg, salt and pepper, and chives to taste, combining everything well. Rest for 10 minutes.
  2. Bring a pot of water to the boil. Form oval shaped dumplings with a pair of spoons and drop each into the pot (ensure there are only a few at a time, as they will swell and stick together if overcrowded). Cook for 12 minutes, or until they rise to the surface. Remove from heat, add 1 cup of cold water and stand for an additional 10 minutes.

Hungary

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This is a real treat of a cake, that’s a little tricky at times but absolutely rewarding in the end. The Hungarian grillazs torte is essentially an almond sponge, layered with a sweetened coffee cream and almond praline – now, is there one part of that that doesn’t sound awesome? It’s got loads of texture, with the softer crumble of almonds, sponginess of the cake, and combo of snappy and chewy praline depending on where it sits within the cake.

Grillazs torte

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup raw almonds, roughly chopped
  • 465 gr caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
  • 200 gr ground almonds
  • 25 gr stale breadcrumbs
  • 10 eggs, separated
Cream icing
  • 600 ml thickened cream
  • ⅓ cup caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dark cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules

Method

  1. Line and grease a 30 x 24 cm baking pan. A similar sized one will do if you don’t have one, but just keep an eye on cooking time and give or take a few minutes as needed.
  2. To make icing, beat cream to soft peaks. Add remaining ingredients and whisk until combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. To make praline, place almonds on a lined oven tray. Place 165 gr sugar in a small pan over medium heat. Cook, uncovered, for about 6 minutes, or until it begins to liquefy around the edges. At this stage, gently shake the pan or give it a few gentle stirs (don’t disturb it too much, just make sure all the granules are part of the melt down). Keep a close eye on the sugar once it’s all melted, as it can go from golden to burnt quite quickly. When golden, remove from heat and pour over almonds. Set aside until cooled and hard. Break into pieces and process in a food processor until coarsely ground. Set aside.
  4. Preheat oven to 150°C. Sift flour, cocoa and baking powder into a bowl. Stir in coffee, ground almonds and breadcrumbs. Beat egg yolks in a large bowl with remaining 300 gr sugar until pale and fluffy. Fold in almond mixture. Whisk egg whites to soft peaks. Working in 3 batches, fold egg whites into cake mixture. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a skewer inserted into centre comes out clean. Rest for 1 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  5. To assemble cake, cut cake horizontally into 3 layers. Place 1 layer on a platter, spread with one third of the icing, then scatter with one third of the praline. Repeat twice more with remaining cake, icing and praline. Serve.

Italy

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There are a million ways you can top pasta, but this is my favourite.

Ok, a pasta recipe feels like a cop out given it’s every week food for me (heck, it’d be every day food if I could…) However this one’s so yum I had to include it. The roast pumpkin can easily be replaced with roasted tomatoes, and extra bits and pieces (eggplant in this one, for instance) do add to the topping, but minimal is best. If you roast up your veges on the weekend, there’s no reason this should take more than 10 minutes to pull together, so it’s the perfect Monday night meal.

Burnt butter, pumpkin and ricotta fettucine with crispy sage

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 300 gr jap pumpkin, cut into 2 cm pieces
  • 1 eggplant, sliced into 1 cm semicircles
  • 2-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 340 gr fettucine
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 bunch of sage, leaves picked
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ cup pitted olives, roughly chopped
  • 150 gr ricotta, crumbled

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Coat the pumpkin and eggplant in oil, season and roast for 40 minutes or until pumpkin starts to caramelise and eggplant is crispy. Set aside so cool slightly (refrigerating for a day or two is fine if you want to make it ahead of time).
  2. Cook fettucine as per packet instructions.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in frypan over high heat. Fry sage leaves for 3-4 minutes, shaking occasionally, until crispy. Transfer to paper towel.
  4. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon in frypan over medium-high heat until it begins to brown. Add garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes, until it begins to crisp up. Remove frypan from heat and stir through pumpkin, eggplant, olives and ricotta. Drain pasta and toss through toppings. You can add extra butter at this stage if you like.
  5. Serve in bowls topped with crispy sage leaves.

Malta

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This dish sounds ridiculous, but it’s really, really good. Here you have a pie – inspired by any number of regional variants throughout Italy – that combines a four-meat stew, cheese, egg and pasta into one glorious pie. It’s super impressive and filling, too (the portions in this dish are probably overkill). If you never thought you’d eat a pasta pie, this Maltese recipe is your chance to change that poor thinking!

Timpana

Ingredients (Serves 6)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 150 gr bacon, chopped
  • 200 gr minced beef
  • 100 gr minced pork
  • 100 gr chicken thigh fillet, roughly diced
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 200 gr canned chopped tomatoes
  • ½ cup beef stock
  • pinch of grated nutmeg
  • 250 gr rigatoni
  • 60 gr finely grated parmesan
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon milk
Parsley salad
  • 2 cups flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 eschalot, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup baby capers
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Method

  1. Heat oil in a large, heavy-based pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 7 minutes or until softened. Add garlic, bay leaves and bacon, and cook for 4 minutes or until bacon starts to brown. Add beef and pork minces, breaking up lumps with a wooden spoon, and cooking for 7 minutes or until browned. Add chicken and cook, for 4 minutes or until browned. Add tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes, then add tomatoes, stock and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for 15 minutes or until liquid has reduced slightly. Remove from heat.
  2. Meanwhile cook pasta as per packet instructions until al dente. Drain, add to sauce with parmesan and 2 lightly beaten eggs, mixing to combine. Set aside to cool.
  3. Preheat oven to 220C. Place one sheet of pastry in two 20cm x 15cm baking dishes. Divide pasta mixture between dishes. Place another sheet of pastry on top of each dish, folding over and pressing together the edges. With any additional overhanging pastry, trim it off and decorate the top of the pie. Whisk the remaining egg with milk and brush the tops of the pies. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce oven to 180C and bake for a further 15 minutes or until pastry is golden. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  4. To make parsley salad, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Slice each timpana into three portions and serve with salad.

Eat the World – Part 18

Week 23 – Tunisia

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Tagines are standard fare in Northern Africa, but make for some pretty decent mid-week winter warmers just about anywhere. A vegetarian option, this Tunisian tagine is packed full of all that healthy stuff and helped along by the sweetness of figs and fire of harissa, added to your liking. It borrows its spice mix from nearby Morocco, which adds a nice flavour profile to an otherwise simple dish.

Tunisian vegetarian tagine

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Moroccan spice mix
  • 400 gr can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 400 gr can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • Handful of green beans, trimmed and halved
  • ½ cup dried figs, chopped
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 2 tablespoons currants
  • 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
  • Harissa
Moroccan spice mix – combine all ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves

Method

  1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and spice mix. Cook for 5 minutes until soft. Stir in chickpeas, tomato and stock. Bring to the boil, then cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the zucchini, beans and figs and cook for a further 6 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
  1. Place the couscous and currants in a large heatproof bowl and pour over 1 cup boiling water. Cover the bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes, then fluff up with a fork.
  1. Divide couscous and tagine among bowls and stir through harissa to taste. Serve with coriander leaves.

 

Week 24 – Botswana

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Here’s one yummy cake. From such simple ingredients, this is actually pretty darn cool. The step pouring sauce over the cake means you’re left with an almost jelly-like centre and crispy outside. Easy, perhaps too easy.

Malva pudding

Ingredients

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon jam (any flavour)
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Whipped cream, to serve
Sauce
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 100 gr unsalted butter
  • 1 cup milk

Method

  1. Line and grease a 20cm x 20cm baking dish. Preheat oven to 180C.
  1. Combine sugar and the egg in a mixing bowl and beat this until smooth and fluffy. Add flour, baking powder and baking soda.
  1. In a separate bowl, combine milk, melted butter, jam and vinegar.
  1. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix well. Pour into prepared dish and bake for 25 minutes.
  1. Meanwhile, melt together the sauce ingredients. Remove cake from oven after cooking for 25 minutes, make holes in the cake and pour the sauce over the top. Return to the oven and cook for a further 25 minutes.
  1. Serve warm with whipped cream.

 

Week 25 – South Africa

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Here we have a truly global recipe; South African in origin, but with a distinctly South Asian vibe. There’s a sweet and sour confusion to this dish that makes it intriguing and delicious. The long list of spices coupled with its general fishiness ensures the dish is packed with flavours. I used some dory fillets, but the great thing is you can use whatever’s locally available.

Cape Malay fish curry

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 600 gr firm white fish fillets, skin removed, diced into 4 cm pieces
  • Salt and pepper, to season
  • ¼ cup cooking oil
  • ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1 red chilli, halved lengthways
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon chilli sauce, or to taste
  • 3 tomatoes, peeled, crushed and roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind pulp, mixed with ¼ cup boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon raw sugar, or to taste
  • 10 curry leaves, bruised
  • ½ cup chopped coriander leaves
  • Rice, to serve

Method

  1. Season fish fillets with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  1. Heat oil in wok over high heat. Add fennel and cumin seeds and cook for 1 minute. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes, or until golden. Add garlic and chilli and cook for 1 minute. Add remaining spices and 2 tablespoons water and cook for 1 minute.
  1. Add tomatoes and tamarind water, reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes. Add sugar and season. Stir through curry leaves and simmer for 10 minutes.
  1. Gently add fish to sauce, spooning sauce over to coat. Cover and simmer for 8 minutes, or until fish is cooked through. If the sauce appears to thin, uncover for the last 2-3 minutes of cooking. Top with coriander and serve on rice.

 

Week 26 – Greece

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Filo, olives, haloumi, parsley, lemon, silverbeet, yogurt… It’s gotta be Greek right? This is a longwinded pie to make, but it’s worth it. And it’s massive, too; so you’ll either feed the masses in one hit, or be able to freeze and keep portions for later on. Or eat it all yourself, whatever you like… I’ve tried a few Greek ricey recipes in Rice Bonanza, but I thought given the list of ingredients this one is more suited as a flag bearer for Eat the World. Give yourself a few hours and reap the rewards.

Greek chicken and rice pie

Ingredients

  • 20 gr butter, plus extra melted for brushing
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 2 leeks, white section only, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 bunch silverbeet, thick stems discarded (for another recipe, of course), leaves washed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup pouring cream
  • 70 gr pitted Kalamata olives, sliced
  • 225 gr haloumi, cut into 1 cm pieces
  • ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 12 sheets filo pastry
  • 3 teaspoons sesame seeds, to sprinkle
  • lemon wedges, to serve
Poached chicken
  • 1.4 kg chicken
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1 brown onion, unpeeled, quartered
  • 10 whole peppercorns
  • 4 litres water (about)
Herbed yoghurt
  • 1 cup plain Greek-style yoghurt
  • 1 garlic clove, squashed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped dill
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley

Method

  1. Place all ingredients for the poached chicken into a large saucepan. Cover and bring to the boil slowly. Reduce heat to low and poach for 40 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from heat and allow to cool, then refrigerate until cold. Remove chicken, pull all the meat away and leave in the fridge and discard the carcass. Strain the stock, discarding any solids, and return the stock to the saucepan to boil. Boil stock until reduced to 1 ½ cups. Set aside.
  1. Heat butter and 1 tablespoon oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add leek and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Add rice and stir to coat. Add 1 ½ cups reduced stock and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce heat to very low, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside to cool completely.
  1. Put the silverbeet into the saucepan, cover, and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until wilted. Remove from saucepan and allow to cool before pressing out any excess liquid. Set aside.
  1. Prepare yogurt by combining yogurt, garlic, dill and parsley in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until required.
  1. Line and grease 20 cm x 30 cm oven dish with some of the melted butter. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  1. Combine cooled rice, chicken, silverbeet, cream, olives, haloumi, parsley and thyme and stir gently to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
  1. Brush 1 sheet of filo pastry with melted butter and place in baking dish. Repeat with the remaining sheets, overlapping unevenly as you go, allowing plenty of overhang. Transfer the chicken and rice mixture into the pastry. Fold the overhanging filo over the top to cover. Brush top with remaining oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  1. Bake for 50 minutes or until filo is golden and crisp. Remove from oven and stand in tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a serving plate. Serve warm or at room temperature with the herbed yoghurt and lemon wedges.

Eat the World – Part 16

Week 19 – Jordan

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Maqluba translates to “upside down”, which is exactly how to make this dish – a popular meal in Jordan. My dish varies a little from the traditional recipe, opting to roast the vegetables instead of fry them with the aim of pulling out more flavour. I also make the most of the stock used when first cooking the chicken, reserving it to cook the rice later on.

Maqluba

Ingredients (Serves 6)

Spice mix 1
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 3 peppercorns
Spice mix 2
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • Pinch of saffron
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ ground cinnamon

 

  • ½ cauliflower, trimmed into florets
  • 1 eggplant, halves and sliced at 1 cm thickness
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 500 gr chicken thigh fillets
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 onion, sliced lengthways and remaining attached on ends
  • 2 cups medium grain rice
  • Crushed almonds, to serve
  • Parsley, to serve

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Coat cauliflower and eggplant in olive oil and roast on a tray for 25-30 minutes. Set aside.
  1. In a heavy based saucepan, heat a third of the canola oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and brown on both sides. Add spice mix 1 and cook for 1 minute, then cover chicken with 4 cups water and season. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Set aside chicken and reserve liquid.
  1. Heat another third of the canola oil in the same saucepan until hot. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes. Place chicken on top of onions, turn off heat and cover for 15 minutes.
  1. Combine rice with spice mix 2.
  1. Return saucepan to heat, top chicken with cauliflower and eggplant and seasoned rice on top. Pour enough of the reserved liquid into the saucepan to just cover the rice (you may need to add a little water). Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and add the remaining canola oil. Cover again and continue to cook for 25 minutes, or until rice is cooked through (adding a little more water along the way, if needed).

 

  1. Rest the dish off the heat from 15 minutes. Placing a serving dish on top of the saucepan, carefully flip the dish over and lift the saucepan away. Scatter with crushed almonds and parsley and slice to serve.

 

Week 20 – Egypt

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This is a really cool and easy dessert that you can whip together in no time, yet easily impress with. It’s packed with Middle Eastern influence, which makes it a very flavourful and interesting take on the staple bread pudding you might be more familiar with. What’s more, there’re textures galore with mushy pastry, crunchy nuts and popping pomegranate. This is a winner.

Egyptian bread pudding

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 8 sheets filo pastry
  • ¼ cup pistachios, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon shredded coconut
  • ½ can (200 ml) sweetened condensed milk
  • ¼ cup thickened cream
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon rosewater
  • pomegranate seeds, to serve

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 210C. Scrunch each filo sheet into a ball and place in a greased pan (about 20cm x 15cm, or a size that fits all the scrunched filo snugly). Bake for 10 minutes or until golden. Reduce oven to 180°C. Scatter filo with nuts, sugar and coconut.
  1. Heat condensed milk, cream and milk in a saucepan over medium heat for 2 minutes or until warmed. Stir in rosewater, then pour over filo. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Serve, scattered with pomegranate seeds.

 

Week 21 – Morocco

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Come winter and you’re looking for a slew of hearty, warming soups to get you through. This recipe hits the spot and offers a nice variant to the classic vege soups you’d think of. It’s nicely spiced, thick with lentils and rich in flavours of tomato and spinach.

Moroccan lentil soup

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 ¼ cups dried red lentils, rinsed
  • 1.5L vegetable stock
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 200 gr baby spinach leaves
  • Coriander, to serve
Garlic yogurt
  • 1/3 cup natural yogurt
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Method

  1. For the garlic yogurt, combine all ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium high. Add onion, carrot, garlic and chilli flakes and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add cumin and paprika and cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
  1. Add lentils and stock and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook for a further 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir through spinach.
  1. Transfer to bowls and serve topped with coriander and yogurt.

 

Week 22 – Sierra Leone

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When cooking northern African food, there is lot of peanut use in dishes. For Sierra Leone’s contribution to Eat the World, I’ve opted for a African snack recipe that screams sate, hence peanuts! The combo of chilli, tomato paste, lemon and coconut pack the marinade with flavour, and combined with a simple couscous and some sweet potato, this snack becomes a well rounded meal. Also, whoever thought up ginger yogurt is genius – the stuff is perfect!

Peanut butter chicken with ginger yogurt

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ long red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoon crunchy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup coconut cream
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 500 gr skinless chicken thigh fillets
  • Coriander sprigs and lemon wedges, to serve
Ginger yoghurt
  • 1 cup natural yoghurt
  • 3 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 lemon, juiced

Method

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Stir in garlic, chilli and tomato paste, and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add peanut butter, coconut cream and ½ cup water, and simmer for 5 minutes or until thick and combined. Stir in sugar and lemon juice and season to taste. Remove marinade from heat and set aside to cool completely.
  1. Cut chicken into 3 cm pieces and place in a large bowl. Pour cooled marinade over chicken, tossing to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  1. For the ginger yoghurt, combine all ingredients in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate until needed.
  1. Thread marinated chicken onto soaked skewers. Heat remaining oil over a char grill to medium–high heat. Working in batches, season peanut butter chicken skewers, then cook, turning, for 8 minutes or until cooked through. Rest for 5 minutes then drizzle with ginger yoghurt and serve with coriander and lemon wedges.