One of the many perks of my j-o-b is all the international travel. I spend a good 5 months of the year away from my soft pillow, high quality mattress and snuggle- lovin Weimaraner, Sula. I spend ALOT of time coming and going through airports and have found them invaluable for a few small things. Duty free, of course.
I always make sure there is a bit of extra time too though so that I can shop the book/mag shops. I just love to peruse the shelves for great food & design mags that I cannot get back home in the US. While they often cost a small fortune compared to Bon Apetit or Saveur, I find that they have such a different perspective on food or design that the cost is “an investment” more than a silly wasted bit of money on some glossy picture pages. Hey, whatever soothes the conscious right?
One of my favorite food mags to pick up in Singapore or Sydney is Donna Hay Magazine. She is a “down under” cross between Nigella and the Barefoot Contessa. The magazine sticks strictly with food, well styled and photographed and inspiring themes or settings. No tips on housekeeping or “make your own invites”. Just great recipes shown on their most flattering plates.
I picked up Donna’s April/May issue on my last trip around the world and was pleased to see it was a whopping 186 pages, as this was Issue #50! Congrats to Donna Hay. While it was full swing Autumn weather in Australia and we were full swing Spring here in the US, there are still many inspiring recipes. I will dog ear a few pages and leave a note to myself to pick the issue back up again in October when we are ready for some hearty food.
While I normally like to take bits and pieces from recipes and make them my own, there was one salad in this issue that I thought worth passing on – just as is!
crispy potato, trout and beetroot salad
- 800 grams chat (baby) potatoes
- ¼ cup (60ml) olive oil
- 2 bunches baby beetroot, trimmed
- 400g smoked trout fillet, flaked
- 400g broad (fava) beans, blanched and peeled
- 1 bunch watercress, leaves picked
- ½ cup (150g) whole-egg mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon store-bought grated horseradish
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- sea salt and cracked black pepper
Preheat oven to 220ºC (425ºF). Place the potatoes in a saucepan of cold salted water and bring to the boil. Cook for 12–15 minutes or until just tender. Drain and cool slightly. Place 2 tablespoons of the oil on a baking tray and heat in the oven for 5 minutes. Place beetroot and remaining oil in a bowl and toss to coat. Squash
the potatoes with the back of a spoon and carefully add to the hot tray with the beetroot. Roast the potatoes and beetroot for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are crisp and beetroot is tender.
While the vegetables are roasting, make the horseradish dressing. Place the mayonnaise, horseradish, garlic, vinegar, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix to combine. Set aside.
Place the roasted vegetables in a bowl with the trout, broad beans and watercress and toss to combine. Spoon over the dressing to serve. Serves 4.
While that salad will certainly give you your daily healthy dose of veggies and protein you might find yourself still craving a little something more after such a light and fresh salad. Perhaps chocolate? The 50th issue of the magazine has more than 10 pages devoted to decadent chocolate desserts. I know it sounds horrible and that you would really rather have a shaved lemon ice here in June. BUT – indulge me.
chocolate mousse cake
- 1 cup (120g) almond meal (ground almonds)
- 1 ⅔ cup (270g) icing (confectioner’s) sugar, sifted
- ½ cup (75g) plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
- ¼ cup (25g) cocoa, sifted
- ½ teaspoon baking powder, sifted
- 5 eggwhites
- 200g butter, melted
chocolate mousse filling
- 400g dark chocolate, chopped
- 100g 70 per cent dark chocolate+, chopped
- 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
- 2 cups (500ml) single (pouring) cream, whipped
Preheat oven to 160ºC (325ºF). Place the almond meal, icing sugar, flour, cocoa and baking powder in a bowl and stir to combine. Add the eggwhites and butter and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into a lightly greased 22cm round springform cake tin lined with non-stick baking paper. Bake for 30–35 minutes or until cake is springy to touch and comes away from the sides of the tin. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
Once cooled, use a serrated knife to trim the top off the cake. Line the tin with plastic wrap. Place the cake in the base of the tin. Set aside.
To make the chocolate mousse filling, place the chocolate and vanilla seeds in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool slightly. Fold the chocolate mixture through the cream until well combined. Spoon the mousse over the cake base. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until set. Carefully remove the tin and plastic wrap to serve. Serves 6–8.
assembly To layer the chocolate mousse cake, firstly trim the top of the cake to make a flat surface. Hold one hand down gently on top of the cake and, using a serrated knife, slice off the uneven surface. Line the empty tin with plastic wrap – this will make it easier to remove the mousse cake – and return the cake to the tin. Spoon the mousse over the cake base and smooth with an icing spatula or palette knife.
serving The cake should be served completely chilled. Remove the springfrom tin and gently peel the plastic wrap off the sides. Use a palette knife to slide the cake onto a serving platter.
It was worth it right? So what if we have to run an extra mile tomorrow and “hold it in” for the mirror when dressing for work. Life is too short to not have a decadent chocolate bit of heaven every now and then. Donna agrees I feel sure.
Take advantage of travel in more ways than your feet in the sand. Check out other cooks, chefs, hostesses and foodies in the new places that you travel to. Even in the US every town has a local TV/Radio person doing food. It’s a great way to learn about a place and expand your repertoire.
What international food magazines do you subscribe to or pick up when travelling? If there is one you really love, let me know as I am about to hit road soon!