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January 2008

30 January 2008

Satay Nuea: the perfect beer snack


Satay Nuea, otherwise known as beef satay, is my idea of the perfect beer snack. Found on many a street corner in Bangkok, the smell of satay barbecuing over hot coals is everywhere. The only difference is that the satay is more often pork than beef.

Satay is thought to have originated in Indonesia but it is widely eaten across South-East Asia. Thais tend to serve it with satay sauce made from fresh peanuts and another dipping sauce made up of vinegar, cucumber, red chilis, shallots and sugar.

This time round, I didn't make the second dipping sauce and chose instead to serve the satay sauce with a side of shallots and cucumbers - just as delicious. The shallots add a real kick to the flavours but not too much as to mask the fragrant meat which had been marinated in coconut milk, coriander and curry powder for several hours.

I kind of cheated with the satay sauce - I used peanut butter instead of fresh peanuts in the recipe. Oh well, why not when I have a massive jar of it just sitting in the pantry screaming out to be eaten!

If you have a barbecue to cook the satay then great but not to worry if you don't - the stove will work just as well. Try to use a heavy-based griddle pan if possible as this just helps with cooking meat evenly.

I am submitting Satay Nuea to this week's Weekend Herb Blogging being hosted by Claudia of Fool For Food.

Weekend Herb Blogging

Continue reading " Satay Nuea: the perfect beer snack" »

23 January 2008

Open Sesame!


I've never been to Morocco, but it's somewhere I've always wanted to go. My desire to experience Morocco first-hand has increased ever since I bought myself a Moroccan cook book and started cooking Moroccan dishes.

Food is often a reflection of the people who make it and the place it's made. Even though I have no direct knowledge of the people or the place, these cookies seem to me to reflect the images of Morocco that I exist in my imagination.

I can imagine these sand-coloured cookies being baked by the sun in that desert land. The cookies are crunchy and dry. I imagine them sitting alongside the crumbling spine of the Atlas Mountains. They're not indulgent - there is no serving of buttered guilt or chocolate-chip shame here. But they're certainly not dreary and lifeless, either. The delicious flavour of roasted sesame seeds seems to me to be quintessentially Moroccan. And the sweet scent of orange blossom water is colorful and exotic.

Until I travel there - and I undoubtedly will - I'm happy with the little pieces of Morocco that tumble out of my oven.


Moroccan Sesame Cookie Recipe
(Makes 24)

1.5 cups of white sesame seeds, plus about 1/4 of a cup extra
1 cup of unbleached organic flour
3/4 cup of sugar
1.5 tsp of baking powder
2 eggs, beaten
1 tbs of orange blossom water
1tps of orange zest


  1. Set the oven temperature at 180C.
  2. Roast the sesame seeds in a pan over a medium heat until lightly browned. Set aside to cool slightly. Once cooled, place the seeds into a blender and blend until a powder is formed.
  3. Heat the flour in the same pan over a medium heat stirring constantly until the flour browns just slightly. Make sure you don't burn the flour though. Place it into the blender with the ground sesame seeds. Add the sugar, orange zest and baking powder to the blender and blend mixture thoroughly.
  4. Place the sesame mixture in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the eggs and orange blossom water. Stir mixture with a wooden spoon and then and then knead it and roll into a ball.
  5. Have the extra sesame seeds ready on a plate. Line a baking tray with baking paper and grease it with butter.
  6. Break off walnut-sized pieces of the dough and roll it into balls. Press the balls into the sesame seeds and flatten slightly. Place the cookies on the baking tray with the sesame seeds facing up. Allow for about 5 cm between each cookie and bake for about 15 minutes. Leave the cookies on the tray for 5 minutes and then move to a cooling rack. 

18 January 2008

Moroccan Shrimp Salad


Over the past month we have had a house guest stay with us: Nic's sister Liz. And although a month is a long time to have another body in our small, one bedroom apartment, we are all still, happily, the best of friends.

Now cooking for three is hardly more challenging than cooking for two. However, Liz has developed some dietry sensitivities from a spending a year traveling throughout South America. Cooking for someone on a strict diet can certainly test your creativity.

Continue reading "Moroccan Shrimp Salad" »

13 January 2008

See you at Wilenskys


With Christmas and New Years behind us, I can finally start blogging again. I apologise for the lapse of time between posts. It has been a hectic, all-consuming time with food, family and friends.   

For my first post of 2008, I have decided to revisit some of the Montréal travel highlights that I have been meaning to get to. In particular, there is one place that has remained with me since our trip in September: Wilensky Light Lunch.

Wilensky's is a Montréal institution that mustn't be missed. The historical Jewish diner is most famous for its 'Wilensky Special';  a toasted salami and bolonge sandwich served with mustard and a homemade pickle (also known as a 'half-sour') on the side. The food by itself isn't outstanding (it's a toasted sandwich), but it is the whole 'Wilensky experience' that makes it so special.


Wilensky's time-worn wood-top counters and "hospital-scrub-green" walls take you back into the early 1930s when it first threw open its doors. The place is fascinating and it's hard not to feel like you're part of something special when you step through its doors. A cabinet on the left side of the room, wallpapered with dozens of articles in which generations of Wilenskys pose with their famous sandwiches, bears testament to a diner steeped in history.

For over 75 years Wilensky's has been serving all sorts of clientele from politicians, celebrities to Montréal locals. There are only nine bar stools available so you have to wait your turn and there is a strict policy on no chit-chat or loitering. You are in and out!

We arrived at Wilensky at 3.45pm and their doors close at 4pm on the dot (we didn't know this at the time). I could feel that they were anxious for us to leave but when we started taking so many photos, I think they thought what the heck, we'll let them sit down and enjoy the special. We washed it down with the best chocolate milkshake I have EVER had and then were promptly escorted to the door.


Wilensky Light Lunch
34 Fairmount Street, West
Montréal, QC

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