rosti pie topping

This is my attempt to do a cottage pie with lots of pork inside a pressure pan with a Rosti topping instead of mashed potatoes. I think it turned out pretty good despite the medley of ingredients – that’s what makes it work! :)

rosti cottage pie

You will need:

  • Rosti
  • Chorizo sausages
  • Minced pork
  • Fennel
  • Curly kale
  • Eggs
  • Flour
  • Whole pig kidney

frying rosti

I made the Rosti topping first. It’s a Swiss potato dish that comes out flat. It consists of sliced potatoes and herbs and you can make your own but we bought this packaged Rosti that had just enough to fill the pan.

rosti

I needed it to fill the pan coz it’s supposed to be a cottage pie – like a Shepard’s pie, the Rosti needed to cover all the ingredients underneath. I pan fried it until it was cooked and set it off to the side while I made the other ingredients in the pie.

bacon fryup

Next up was the bacon. I fried about 12 rashers of streaky bacon so I ended up with about 3 heaped tablespoons of fragrant pork oil.

bacon grease

Check it out! All this yield from just a dozen rashers of bacon. :)

chorizo sausages

The oil was used to fry up the fresh Chorizo sausages. I chose the fresh Chorizos as opposed to the cured sausage coz I didn’t want the flavorful sausages to overpower the taste of the pie.

fresh chorizo sausages

Plus, it was on special when we bought it so it cost just RM 31.57 for 4 sausages – about RM 8 per sausage (!!!). I also set these aside.

sliced fennel

Next, I cut up the fennel to small pieces and set it aside. I learned how to prepare fennel from a YouTube video and wanted to add it to the pie. Again, set this aside. I didn’t need to cook this so everything that needed to be cooked was given the heat treatment then set aside and the raw ingredients were just set to one side to be combined later in the cottage pie.

steamed kale

The curly kale was steamed while I was working on cooking the Chorizo sausages. Steamed kale is the best way to prepare it coz it retains all of it’s nutrients. It tastes delicious too!

kidney

I went on to cook the whole pig kidney. I didn’t slice it up or do anything fancy – it was just chucked into the frying pan with the remainder of the oil from the bacon fry up and then cooked for a bit.

broke spatula

It was a bit of a challenge to do this coz I forgot to take it out of the freezer and I actually broke a spatula while trying to fry it evenly!

pork mince

After replacing the spatula, I took about a pound of fresh minced pork and fried it. There was still bacon grease at this point! smirk

rosti pie ingredients

Now that I had everything I wanted to cook prepared and waiting set off and ready for the final combination. This is everything that goes into the Rosti cottage pie!

egg filling

I used four (4) eggs and beat them with some flour and baking powder…

raw milk

…before topping the mixture off with raw milk. This is an awesome find. It’s unpasteurized and non-homogenized milk. It’s supposed to be heated up before drinking (due to health concerns) but it tasted just fine from the bottle. Every bottle tastes different too coz there’s no homogenized treatment! I love this milk but it’s really *expensive* at about RM 9+ for 1 liter.

butter lined pan

I also used a long tube of butter and greased up the surface of the non-stick pressure fryer.

kidney pie

I then dumped everything except the vegetables into it – Chorizo sausages, bacon, minced pork, kidney.

meaty pie filling

The egg + fresh milk + flour + baking powder mixture was poured to cover all the meat inside.

setting pie

This was cooked for about 3 minutes and right before the egg mixture solidified, I put the pieces of sliced raw fennel into it.

fennel pie

I then closed the pressure pan again and let it cook until everything was done.

kale topping

The steamed curly kale was added on top and then the pressure pan closed so that it’ll retain the pie shape.

rosti topping

I left it for a couple of seconds before opening it again and sliding the cooked Rosti for the topping. It was left for another minute so the general shape of the cottage pie would be firm.

rosti pie serving

I served this just like a regular cottage pie. It tasted really good! The fresh Chorizo sausages and bacon added a lot of flavor to the pie. The minced pork filled it up and the generous bits of fennel and the curly kale topping made this into a full nutritious meal.

rosti pie

I think my Rosti cottage pie with fresh Chorizo sausages, bacon, minced pork, fennel, curly kale and kidney was quite awesome! My better half even ate more than her usual serving! :)

cooking kangaroo

This is perhaps one of my greatest culinary achievements. I did this in Melbourne during my last day there. I wanted to cook a full course dinner with kangaroo roast as the flagship for my loved one and here’s the recipe for everything!

raw macadamia nuts

I bought everything at Coles Express in Melbourne CBD.

coles receipt

The grocery shopping bill came out to AUD 70.19 (about RM 221) so that’s how much it costs.

raw kangaroo roast

There are five (5) courses to the dinner:

kangaroo roast dinner

Italian Salad with Fresh Garden Greens and Honey Balsamic Dressing
This is the starter (of sorts) – gotta have foliage in the diet.

Roasted Stuffed Chicken with Gravy
I’ll call this the appetizer since that was how we ate it.

cooking seafood

Sixthseal’s Seafood Supreme (TM) with cream, white wine and garlic – prawns, Tasmanian mussels, bacon, cheese, exotic mushrooms and macadamia nuts with traditional bread
This is the best dish I came out with, according to Ling, and I’m quite proud of myself. It tastes really great! I think it deserves that (TM) bit. ;)

Herb & Garlic Kangaroo Roast
This is the main dish – the one I slaved over for hours, coz I wanted her to try kangaroo meat.

kiwiberry cranberry fondue

Kiwiberries + Raspberries with Caramel and White Chocolate sauce
I’m quite proud of this dessert too!

That’s the menu for the night and I started out by preparing the salad.

Italian Salad with Fresh Garden Greens

coles-salad

It’s a bit of a cheat since it came in a ready made bag but I can’t cook everything from scratch. Haha! Even the sauce came in a miniature bottle that was right beside the salad. It’s “sweet, crisp leaves balanced with shredded radicchio and a hint or aromatic parsley”.

coles italian sauce

I just put the entire contents of the bag into a salad bowl and poured in the 125 ml honey balsamic dressing. It’s store brand but quite good. Ling actually ate a lot of this.

italian salad

I didn’t.

Roasted Stuffed Chicken with Gravy

roast chicken

This is her suggestion coz she thought I’ll take a long time with the kangaroo roast. She was right. We bought 1/2 a stuffed chicken. It comes in a bag and you just need to chuck the bag into the oven and heat it up.

microwave bag

The bag works to keep the moisture in. I kept the bag to use for my kangaroo roast too.

stuffed roasted chicken

It’s pretty good since you can’t very well go wrong with a pre-cooked item from Coles. The stuffing was salty, the meat was tender and it’s delicious coz we were so hungry at that point. I was still slaving over the kangaroo roast at this point.

Sixthseal’s Seafood Supreme (TM) with cream, white wine and garlic – prawns, Tasmanian mussels, bacon, cheese, exotic mushrooms and macadamia nuts with traditional bread

seafood recipe

My proudest dish! I must tell the entirety of this story.

garlic prawns

We bought garlic marinated prawns from Coles – it comes in a package so we didn’t need any other sauces. We were just there for a day and didn’t want to buy large bottles of seasoning.

bacon

I also went to the meat counter and got a rasher of bacon. It’s huge! The bacon measures 1 1/2 feet long and several inches wide – there’s a photo of me holding it later. I wanted the rinds to cook with.

macadamia

Macadamia nuts were from the raw produce section. It’s raw nuts at AUD 33.98 / kg. That makes it AUD 7.56 (RM 25) for the handful of a few nuts I grabbed! I calculated, that’s RM 1.30 per nut. :x

exotic mushrooms

The mushrooms came in a pack that that was labelled 3 gourmet mushrooms – there are two familiar ones (they aren’t “exotic” to Asians) but the orange fungi is new to me.

cheese

I went to the cheese counter and chose bocconcini – a mild mozarella type cheese that you keep submerged in liquid. It would be really hard to find this here but I ate bocconcini for fun as a snack when I was studying in Melbourne.

bocconcini

The best thing we saw was the Tasmanian mussels!

tasmanian mussels

It was marked down to just AUD 0.50! That’s a 92% discount! It was such a good bargain that I wanted it for my seafood bonanza. It’s the best buy of the trip – there’s always price cuts but this just takes the cake.

traditional bread

The traditional bread is supposed to go with this dish to wipe up the creamy gravy (and also to go with the kangaroo roast). There are no preservatives and it’s very good bread – artisan bread handmade using kibbled wheat. AUD 5.50 (RM 17). It’s not cheap, this 800 gram loaf of traditional bread.

seafood ingredients

The ingredients!

seafood stew recipe

I sliced up the bacon rinds and fried it for a bit before dumping in the rest of the bacon.

bacon rinds

I then added in the mussels with all the cream, garlic and white wine marinate…

mussels

…and then the prawns with it’s own garlic marinade.

prawns

Awesome stuff!

cooking seafood stew

A wonderful smell was starting to waft out and this was when I threw the raw macadamis nuts in.

seafood stew macadamias

Added the mushrooms and cheese last and let it simmer for a bit.

adding bocconcini

It’s delicious! I cooked a mess…

adding mushrooms

…but Ling plated it so nicely it could be a restaurant dish!

sixthseal seafood supreme

Ta da!

seafood bread

It tasted wonderful – sweet and salty, with lots of seafood and delicious liquids for the traditional bread to soak up.

Herb & Garlic Kangaroo Roast

kangaroo mini roast

I had a lot of trouble with this. I set the oven wrongly and the bag nearly caught on fire (which has the potential to trip the fire alarm, causing a huge fine).

kangaroo roast

Luckily, she smelled something burning and I sorted it out.

eating kangaroo

I wouldn’t want to go through the arduous process, but it was 3 am when this was finally ready.

kangaroo meat

It’s worth the time and the blood, sweat and tears I put in though – it’s cooked to perfection!

roasted kangaroo

Ling tried it and had several more pieces, she said it tasted like liver. Oh well, at least she’s tried kangaroo meat now.

me bacon

I liked it – I ate quite a fair bit of the kangaroo roast. It’s gamey and flavorful, with chewy meat. I’m glad we didn’t cop out and go for kangaroo burger patties or kangaroo steaks – a kangaroo roast is the proper way to eat kangaroo meat. Lovely stuff!

Kiwiberries + Raspberries with Caramel and White Chocolate sauce

kiwiberry

This is the dessert I made for her – kiwiberry is a small fruit that looks like mini kiwifruit and tastes like kiwifruit but it’s much sweeter. You can just pop it into your mouth to eat it without peeling anything.

kiwiberry-chocolate-dip

The raspberries are fresher too and I mixed both fruits into a glass (don’t have a parfait server).

chocolate caramel dip

I had two dips of caramel and white chocolate and I spooned each in turn into the fruit mixture to create contrasting textures.

kangaroos

It was so good we finished the fruits the next day by dipping it straight into the leftover caramel and white chocolate dip. :)

kiwiberrry cranberry

I had fun cooking for her. It’s a nice change, and it’s kind of her to rinse the plates before I loaded the dishwasher coz I was bushed by then. She got to eat kangaroo meat and it was an awesome way to spend the last night in Melbourne together. It’s a lovely end to a wonderful trip!

hardware lane melbourne

Breakfast at Hardware Lane is one of the greatest Melbourne institutions. Hardware Lane is filled with tiny little sidewalk cafes that crowds into each other, every one vying for your attention and crammed with people eating and drinking coffee.

breakfast hardware lane

It’s more of the coffee culture and the breakfast (they also serve lunch, of course) that I go for. POP Restaurant is one of the most well known nowadays, offering modern Australian cuisine. Part of the ambiance of Hardware Lane is the people stuffed into small tables and chairs on both sides of the narrow lane.

pop restaurant melbourne

I wanted Ling to experience this so we took a tram to Elizabeth Street and walked over to Hardware Lane. I remember making this very same commute 10 years back. :)

cappucinno

POP Restaurant has their POP Breakfast from 9 am – 3 pm on weekends. It’s basically an all-day breakfast or close enough to make no difference.

Atlantic poached eggs, salmon and hollandaise (AUD 14.50)

atlantic poached eggs

There are various sides on offer – bacon, hash brown, sausage, mushroom, spinach, baked beans, ham, avocado, grilled tomato, salmon, prosciutto, parmesan and hollandaise sauce. You can add one for AUD 3 for choose a package of 2 or 3 sides for AUD 5.50 and AUD 7.50 respectively.

bacon avocado salmon

I added on bacon, avocado and ham but they forgot my ham and I didn’t want it by the time it came out. Thus, this breakfast set me back AUD 19.50 which isn’t too bad if you don’t convert. It’s almost RM 63 if you do. ;)

French Toast with rhubarb and almonds (AUD 14.50)

french toast rhubarb almonds

This is what she ordered from the Sweet Tooth menu. I thought it was pretty good – I like the rhubarb jam on top of the nicely done French Toast and the sprinkling of almonds but she thought it was the worst French Toast she ever had.

poached eggs

My bad, dear. I gave her some of my breakfast instead.

pop restaurant

It showered slightly (as weather in Melbourne tend to do) in the middle of our breakfast so we shifted slightly inside so the patio covers the worst of the rain.

pop restuarant bill

I like the service at POP Restaurant, I’ve always had positive experiences at Hardware Lane in Melbourne. Granted, I only go for breakfast, but that’s the most important meal. ;) The waitress apologized for messing up my order when I asked for the bill (they forgot the ham) and told me the other two sides I ordered are on the house. I thought that was a really nice gesture.

hardware lane breakfast

I ended up tipping her just about the same amount so the karma balances out. smirk

lobster and clam pasta with mango

This was originally planned as a yee sang cooking session which somehow mutated into a lobster fest. We were at Cold Storage searching for fish when I saw this awesome looking lobster for RM 59.88. It’s bright, colorful and knobby in all the right places. I stood there marveling at the crustacean instead of looking for fish. I was still staring longingly at it when Eiling came out of the pork section.

lobster

Thus, we decided to forgo the fish and went for lobster instead. I was concerned this wouldn’t fit into my pot and contemplated going for Cambodian lobsters instead. Cambodian lobsters are much smaller than regular lobsters, and doesn’t look like it has a lot of meat in it. There’s a live lobster in the fresh seafood area too, for RM 78 but that monster is definitely too big for my pot.

lobster going into pot

Besides, it’s regular red instead of this wonderfully hued lobster. =D

ingredients

Anyway, when there’s Eiling, there’s always wine – she brought along a bottle of Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Brut and a bottle of Cadet d’Oc by Baron Philippe de Rothchild. This is what we used to cook the CNY (?) meal:

Lobster
Clams (la la)
Streaky bacon
French beans
John West anchovy fillets
San Remo spaghetti
Garlic and parsley infused olive oil
McCormick Season All Salt
Ripe mango

spaghetti

We started off by cooking the spaghetti until it was al dente with lots of McCormick’s Season All Salt. This is drained and left aside while the other dishes were prepared.

french beans

The bacon wrapped French beans is a concoction of Eiling – she shows how it’s done here. The beans are sliced into hors d’oeuvres sized pieces before being dipped in boiling water. Don’t overcook the veggies or it’ll lose the crunchiness!

rolling bacon

It is then rolled in a raw bacon slice.

bacon rolled

This is how we roll in KL. ;)

bacon rolls

The bacon rolls are then fried with olive oil on low heat until it cooks. It is important not to overcook it, you don’t want crispy bacon, but something nice and chewy that drips with mouth watering lard.

cooking bacon

Next up: Lobster!

lobster pot

Okay, this motherfucker is a bit of a challenge to put into my pot so I cooked it tail first with the head sticking out. The water is seasoned with LOTS of salt so it would impart some into the lobster (or so my rationale goes).

lobster cooking

The lobster needs to be boiled for about 30 minutes or so – we turned it over to let the head cook and found out that after cooking, it is possible to stuff the entire lobster into the pot!

mango

Take a break and dice the mango at this point. Choose one that is firm, yet sweet and juicy.

clams

The clams go in last since they’re quite easy to cook. Make sure your lovely crustacean is cooked before you chuck in the clams. I have no idea how long you should cook it, we just guesstimated and it worked out very well!

You should reheat the pasta at this point – we used the broth from the lobster and the clams to reheat it, and it really imparts some flavor into the spaghetti!

aglio olio

Now it’s time to make the aglio olio sauce for the spaghetti. Remember the frying pan you used to cook the bacon wrapped beans in? That’s perfect as a base due to the flavors imparted by the streaky bacon. Just add in the infused olive oil and pour in a bit of the anchovy fillet grease and you’re set!

fried lala

Dump the clams into the aglio olio sauce, fry it for a bit and pour the mixture onto your pasta!

serve

Don’t forget your anchovies to add a bit of zing (salt) into your spaghetti!

anchovies

Eiling was a bit doubtful about the addition of mangos into the dish but I managed to convince her that it’ll taste great. It did!

lobster and clam pasta with mango final

I really loved the lobster – it came out just nice, and the flesh is sweet and juicy. Digging into the lobster’s head and eating the stuff inside is pure heaven.

french beans rolled in bacon

The bacon rolled French beans were great – the beans are crunchy and fresh while the bacon was done just right. The mango cubes worked very well too, providing a sweet and juicy burst of nectar which goes very well with the lobster and clam pasta.

lobster tail

There’s a saying that all the meat in lobster is in the tail and I agree…but all the taste is in the head of the lobster!

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