Shit-Hot Dogs

Shit-hot dogs, not shit hot dogs. It’s all in the hyphen. The G/F wanted them because she’s going into hospital this weekend to get her wisdom teeth out and she’s allowed to eat whatever she pleases until then and I have to make it; and the flatmate had swine flu.

The Copley medal. It’s a science prize, awarded to Captain James Cook, discoverer of Australia of sorts, in 1776:

“For his Paper, giving an account of the method he had taken to preserve the health of the crew of H.M. Ship the Resolution, during her late voyage round the world. Whose communication to the Society was of such importance to the public”

The method? Sauerkraut.

Sauerkraut of course, being a key ingredient in Hot Dogs. Not a coincidence.

Sauerkraut is easy to make. Provided you have a sturdy clean container and a week to ferment some cabbage. Had I known of the swine flu and the hot dog request last Wednesday there’d be a bucket of rancid leaves under the stairs by now, alas, the cry came out at 6.30pm on my return from work. Time was of the essence. I had to improvise. Chilli and vinegar were at hand. The day was saved.



  • Cabbage, red if you can get it, I couldn’t, shame, diced medium
  • Fennel root, diced big (important)
  • One (1) tiny red chilli, diced tiny
  • Garlic, diced tiny
  • Rosemary, diced tiny
  • Lard
  • Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper
  • Red Onion, diced micro with your very bestest sharpest knife
  • Grape Tomatoes cut into 4 pieces each, so that’s medium I suppose
  • Malt Vinegar, Verjuice


  • Gotzinger Bratwurst (A client nonetheless, available in the deli section a Woolworths near you. BYO cash for comment)


  • Soft
  • Seeded


  • Grated


  • Stir-fry dry/oily Shit-Hot™ bits
  • Add verjuice and malt vinegar near the end
  • Add onion and tomato right at the end, keep them peppy
  • Save some onion and tomato to sprinkle on top
  • Cook Bratwurst on a low heat, don’t split the skin, you don’t want guts everywhere
  • You should be able to figure the rest out
  • Add optional ketchup and American mustard if your G/F demands it
  • Avoid swine flu flatmate

Leftover Pork Pasta

Roast pork was last night. There were leftovers of course. Not that it wasn’t tasty, there was just a lot of pork. I diced it, added some fresh tomato, square pumpkin pieces and onion. Olive oil made an appearance; the stuff from the good jar with the cork. There was no basil, but there always seems to be rosemary around so that made do. Lemon added a bit of acid to set the thing off.

The little square bits of food juxtaposed the spaghetti. Homestyle Italian, I was happy enough. Filled the hole.


Roast Pork with Broccolini, Chive Mash, Caramelised Onion and Pear Reduction

Splendour in the Grass was amazing on the ears, but we’d been barely surviving on raisin toast, festival food and Berocca for three days, so our tummies had been sorely neglected. My crew were all pretty worse for wear when we got home, so I offered to cook anything they wanted. The votes were tallied and roast pork was the verdict. I combed my cookbooks looking for interesting recipes, but they mostly demanded pork belly (so in vogue right now) and half a day of slow-cooking. I had neither and the local Woolies only had a few sorry-looking legs so I had to make do. Apple sauce is the traditional Australian accompaniment to pork, but I had some pears and onions lying around which looked like they’d make a handy couple and I thought I’d improvise. Everyone was happy with the results. I’m sounding like Jamie Oliver without the accent so I’ll stop. The herb garden hadn’t been raided for a while so it was full of fennel, rosemary, chives and continental parsely which were put to use as a stuffing. Given that supermarket pork is so fat-free (read: dry), you need something in the middle or you might as well be eating shoe leather.


  • Leg of Pork
  • Broccollini
  • Two onions, chopped into 4cm strips
  • Two pears, chopped as above
  • Continental Parsley
  • Fennel Leaves
  • Rosemary
  • Potatoes
  • Butter
  • Milk
  • Salt
  • Chives
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Verjuice


  • Roughly chop the herbs and roll them into the pork leg
  • Rub the crackle side of the pork with butter and salt
  • Roast the leg for 20 minutes at 220 degrees
  • Turn back the heat to 160 degrees and roast for another couple of hours until it is just slightly pink in the middle. Dont’ dry it out. You can eat pink pork.
  • Caramelise the onion over a medium heat in a saucepan for 15 minutes and then add a dash of vinegar, a cup of verjuice and the pears, simmer that on a very low heat until the pork is ready
  • Mash your potato and mix in extra butter and chives
  • Steam the broccollini


Homer: Are you saying you’re never going to eat any animal again? What about bacon?
Lisa: No.
Homer: Ham?
Lisa: No.
Homer: Pork chops?
Lisa: Dad, those all come from the same animal.
Homer: Heh heh heh. Ooh, yeah, right, Lisa. A wonderful, magical animal.


Kangaroo Lasagne

Dice the roo (un-marianted stuff, the tenderer the betterer), braise, simmer with garlic. Make a batch of your special-secret-nonna-recipe bolognese sauce with that instead of mince. Avoid anything silly like capsicum or carrot though, you want this baby sloppy.

Layer pre-roasted capsicum (get rid of the white scaffolding, salt the slices, oil them, splash some vinegar about the place and char-grill the little guys if you can) and large basil leaves (fresh) between pasta sheets and bechamel.

I like my lasange a little loose, it feels more real that way – like you’d serve tagliatelle. Make it however you like though; your call. Nutmeg on top.


Salt and Pepper Soft Shell Crab in Chinatown

Soft Shell Crab, not the actual crab I had, but closeKasey was leaving Gallery De Pasquale to go work at Mitchells so Nathan and I took her out for lunch because she’s our favourite and we’ll miss her. We work in The Valley in Brisbane, which is home to Chinatown and home to the city’s best Asian food.

Some restaurants are average, some are downright crap, few are amazing, but most are as good, cheap and authentic as you’d expect. I’ve never had a soft shell crab as good as I just did about half an hour ago. The salt and pepper tempura was out of this world.

I’ve got no idea how they did it, but I’m going to figure it out. I think there was Mirin in there. Unbelieveable. I need to seriously work on my deep frying skillz.

18 bucks.


Masterchef Application Questions

I ‘may’ be thinking about applying for MasterChef Australia next year. If you’re in the same boat and were wondering what the questions are on the application form, here they are (hope you like typing, there’s almost 50 of them):

  1. What is your living situation? (married, co-habiting, living with parents, single, widowed etc)
  2. Do you have any siblings / children / grandchildren?
  3. Where did you grow up?
  4. What is the highest level of education you received? What school(s) did you attend?
  5. Where do you work? Have you always done this? Do you like your job?
  6. What other hobbies do you have?
  7. What is your greatest ambition in life?
  8. What do you think has been your greatest achievement in life so far?
  9. Where and what would you like to be in 5 years time?
  10. What has been the most difficult thing in your life so far?
  11. Have you ever had an apprehended violence order placed against you? Yes/No. If so, what were the circumstances?
  12. Have you ever served time in prison or a correctional facility (other than juvenile). If so, provide details.
  13. If chosen to be on the program, is there any personal part of your life that you would prefer not to share on camera? (i.e social organizations, activities, personal history, friends) Yes/No Explain below:
  14. Are you prepared to be isolated/apart from your family and friends for up to 4 months?
  15. Are you prepared to be away from your employment for up to 4 months?
  16. How would someone who really knows you describe your BEST qualities?
  17. How would someone who really knows you describe your WORST qualities?
  18. What personality traits annoy you?
  19. Do you hold a current passport?
  20. Have you ever acted, performed or appeared on television or film before? If so, please describe:
  21. What other reality/game shows have you applied for or been on? Please list shows, dates of application and air dates:
  22. Are you currently being considered for any other reality TV shows, including game or contestant shows? If so, please describe:
  23. How long have you been cooking for?
  24. Who taught you how to cook? What is your first memory of cooking?
  25. Why do you want to change your life to become a professional in the food industry?
  26. Please tell us about the moment when you realised cooking was what you wanted to do and you fell in love with food.
  27. What is the hardest cooking situation you have ever been in?
  28. How do you see your cooking ability progressing over the next 5 years?
  29. What do you hope to achieve by entering Masterchef?
  30. Have you ever imagined being a chef or owning your own restaurant?
  31. If yes, what has stopped you from doing it already?
  32. Have you ever cooked professionally before? (If yes where and for how long?)
  34. Have you ever taken any cooking courses? If so, what, where, when.
  35. Who eats your food and what do they think of it?
  36. What is your favourite restaurant?
  37. Why should we choose you?
  38. How often do you cook?
  39. What have you cooked lately?
  40. What is your signature dish?
  41. What style of cooking are you strongest at?
  42. How good do you think you are at cooking? What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  43. What is your greatest skill in the kitchen? (knife skills, timing etc)
  44. Is there anything you will not cook? (due to allergies, religion etc)
  45. Do you like to throw dinner parties or just cook on a small scale?
  46. Can you make sauces from scratch?
  47. What’s your personality in the kitchen? (e.g. calm, panicky etc)
  48. How confident are you that you will be able to cook under the pressure of TV cameras?
  49. How competitive are you?

Basil Chicken with Cashew and Macadamia Nuts

I was living on the Gold Coast a few years ago, about a block up from the Nobbys Beach shops, so I’d invariably end up in the local Thai place if I was too tired to pick something up from the supermarket after work. It was next to a little music bar called The Cavern where we’d often jam on Saturday nights if nothing else was on. Basil Chicken was the restaurants ‘speciality’ and it wasn’t half bad, so I duly appropriated the recipe. I like this dish because the nuts give you a delightful little load of carbs, so if you’re not a fan of rice, or are watching your weight, you don’t need rice.


  • Chicken thigh fillets (don’t use breast, they’re too dry)
  • Basil stems
  • Basil leaves
  • Chillies to taste
  • Ginger to taste
  • A dash of fresh lime juice
  • Two garlic cloves
  • Red capsicum
  • Red onion
  • Fish sauce
  • Vietnamese mint
  • Macadmia nuts
  • Cashews
  • Sesame Oil (don’t use olive oil unless you’re Greek or desperate, or both)


  1. Chop the stems off the basil and dice them
  2. Pluck whole leaves off the basil and Vietnamese mint
  3. Chop the onion and lime into bits about the same size as the bigger basil leaves
  4. Cut the capsicum into pieces as big as your little finger, avoid little finger in process
  5. Dice everything else, except the fish sauce, unless the fish is still alive, in which case it’s probably a bit fresh
  6. Stir fry in shifts
    1. But add the basil in right at the end
    2. Splash some fish sauce in every now and then

That’s it baby!


This is me

Excuse the randomness. I was seeing how the pic looked in the new blog template. As you were.


MasterChef 2009 Recipes

The complete recipes from the 2009 season of MasterChef have made their way into my inbox via a friend who has an acquaintance who knows someone who once met someone and I’ve been told it’s OK for me to share them with the world.

So here they are 🙂

I don’t know how ‘official’ they are, or if I’m breaching copyright here, but they look to be pretty accurate. The presentation isn’t the best, but that hardly matters.



MasterChef and the Google Zeitgeist

I’ve written a post on how Google has judged the popularity of contestants over at my advertising blog. Justine seems to be the winner in those stakes, which is no surprise really. Check it out at Zakazukha Zoo if you’re interested.