Tagged: queensland

Mango and avocado panzanella

Tropical panzanella 2

Tired of the serving up the same-old salad every time friends come around for a barbecue or party but don’t know how to mix it up a little? 

Then this easy mango and avocado panzanella dish is for you.

Panzanella is a traditional Tuscan recipe which literally translates to peasant salad.

Like so many recipes from Italy, it makes use of simple ingredients that would have been available to even the poorest families, hence the name.

It’s usually based around stale bread, tomatoes and onions. These ingredients would almost always be on hand in Italy.

At my family’s recent New Year gathering, one of my jobs was to bring along a salad. I didn’t want just any old salad though, I wanted something different, something interesting . . .

I started thinking about what is fresh and in-season here in the tropics in summer.

I started thinking mangoes.

Continue reading

How to catch doggie mackerel for the table

DSC_0018a

Learning how to catch doggie mackerel for the table has become a family tradition in my house and recently my son had a chance to put his skills to the test.

Ever since I was a boy, early morning fishing trips in search of the humble doggie mackerel have been a winter ritual.

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve sat in a small aluminium dinghy in the pre-dawn cool as it glides over the swells of the Coral Sea, on the way to one of the local hot spots.

I didn’t come from a fishing family. My father, and grandfather for that matter, weren’t fishermen.

But for me, it was different – I loved fishing . . .

Continue reading

Orange cordial

DSC_0027a

Making cordials at home is almost a lost art but creating your own refreshing blend is surprisingly easy.

It’s certainly the time of year for citrus here in the Wet Tropics and I think everyone would agree it has been a bumper crop.

Every tree I see, whether it be orange, mandarin, lemon, lime, grapefruit or lemonade, is dripping with fruit.

With such a bounty, it’s hard to ensure as little as possible goes to waste. . .

Continue reading

Fiery freebies

DSC_0033a

Bird’s-eye chillies grow like weeds in Far North Queensland. You find them springing up everywhere. In gardens, banana paddocks and along the edges of the rainforest. Most people have no use for them, believing they are way too hot to be enjoyable to eat. It’s a shame because with little effort, they can become a very handy ingredient . . .

Continue reading

Sweet shellfish

Delicious pipis cooked in garlic and butter

Pipis are one of the best tasting wild foods you could wish for and gathering them is a fun outing for the whole family.

It never ceases to amaze me how many people know pipis taste good, yet they never bother to go and collect them. As far as I am concerned they are missing out on one of the ocean’s tastiest treats.

I just love pipis and often hit the local beaches to gather a feed of these delectable little shellfish.

Continue reading