With season 2 of MasterChef on its way, Crikey staffers, who last year became obsessed with the show and ridiculously obsessed with Matt Preston, have been talking about the signature dish they’d prepare to audition for George, Gary and Matt.
Mick the sub’s signature dish is Matt Preston himself — “plenty to go around” — though this is presumably a meal that can only be cooked so many times.
First Dog on the Moon even put his recipe in four squares of delicious.
It made me think about my own key dishes and my, gasp, food legacy. Growing up, mum’s signature dishes for dinner parties were brandy snap baskets filled with raspberries and ice-cream, chocolate roulade and lamb cooked in a pool of butter worthy of Julia Child. Each dish was a defining childhood moment.
But me, I’m stuck in a food rut. Even if apple, strawberry and rhubarb crumble is a perennial winner, I can’t keep serving it until I’m 60. Hey, I haven’t even graduated to semi-dried tomatoes yet and that’s a food trend so outdated it’s probably about to come back into fashion. It’s time to get acquainted with some new ingredients.
If you’re similarly afflicted, why not branch out with something completely new tonight. And no, spag bol shouldn’t be your special dish past the age of 25 and student housing (unless it is REALLY fancy).
Looking for the spark of inspiration? Head online for a feeding frenzy of fantastic food blogs and recipe sites.
The details: Times Online‘s article, “50 of the world’s best food blogs”, is a great starter. I’ve also asked around the Crikey table and quizzed friends for sites of inspiration. Here are just a smattering:
- Taste.com.au — a really good entry point with 17,000+ recipes collated (and reader-rated) from publications like delicious, Vogue Entertaining &Travel and Good Taste.
- Sunday Suppers — Amber, resident foodie, suggests this as a personal fave. Their Vanilla Pudding with Candied Cumquats (only the second decent recipe ever made from the backyard fruit) looks amazing.
- Photograzing — Ruth, another resident foodie, whose raw choc brownies are a regular office special, suggested this “unabashed food porn” site. I am particularly taken by a variation on Kir Royale and the strawberry avocado salsa!
- How to shuck an oyster — a blog for people who love to cook food, as well as read about it
- Chocolate & Zucchini — this blog’s been around for yonks, and sometimes its recipes are intimidatingly chi-chi, but you can’t argue with Pecan Mudslide Cookies
- The Pioneer Woman Cooks — for those who like their food hearty and homely. Apple Cake in an Iron Skillet is a typical example, complete with lush photography.
- The Food Section — the place to keep up with food news and trends
Let us know how you go.