Cairns Recipe Blog Cooking in Cairns, an amateur cook with an emphasis on baking


Good Ol’ Banana Bread

The much maligned and misunderstood humble banana ... many out there are unaware of when this little fruit (herb, whatever) is really at its greatest potential. Once they see a few spots they begin to panic and throw them out before they have reached their finest. Well, let me assure you, the browner they are the better for cooking and other uses. They should have a very pungent overripe odour, almost overpowering. They can take a week to two weeks in the fridge to reach a perfect stage in the presence of apples ... wait ... just wait ... wait for it ... PERFECT. The flesh may even have brown bruises, but thats OK for this recipe, trust me.


Ragu Revisited (Michelin 3 Star? heh)

In the spirit of Mythbusters, I regularly revisit my staple recipes and modify them in an attempt to improve them. Sometimes things work out, sometimes they don't, however this revisit in particular has resulted in a fantastic level of flavour that must be tasted to be believed. It has an ingredient which many people will be put off by, but I have a new found respect for it and I urge you all to give it a go before dismissing it ... the humble Anchovy.


Scientific Meatloaf

Now, this family favourite is a little more complicated than normal, however the end result is worth the effort. Sure, this may not be something you would normally serve to special guests, but "Meatloaf Night" doesn't have to be a boring brown slab smothered in sauce any longer.


Pavlova “I Did It My Way”

Australia has a television show called "Masterchef" based on the original BBC cooking show that pits ordinary people against each other in the kitchen to win the title of "Master Chef". While this is not the place to debate the merits of the Australian format, the Australian show however does have some redeeming qualities, one of which is the opportunity for renowned cooks and chefs to share their recipes with the audience. Once such occasion was when Donna Hay in a challenge asked the contestants to make a Pavlova. Now, the Pavlova is a finicky beast, but at the same time its hard to make a complete mess of it unless you really add the wrong amount of ingredients. This isn't Donna Hays recipe, it is my own, and one key ingredient sets it apart from all the others.


Anchovy Butter

I have a real love/hate relationship with anchovies. On one hand, I understand the point of the anchovy, but on the other I just find their aroma completely offensive. That being said, their use if well managed can elevate an otherwise simple dish into the realms of restaurant cuisine. Anchovy butter is one way of doing this, it takes an otherwise ordinary steak that you would drown in sauce, and takes it to a point where you could comfortably plate it in a restaurant.


Dry Ice Cream

Its a fairly well known trick to make ice cream with liquid nitrogen to get the ice crystals as small as possible resulting in the smoothest creamiest ice cream imaginable. However most people don't have access to the necessary equipment (Dewar Flask) to manage liquid nitrogen easily ... but there is an alternative, dry ice (solid carbon dioxide, purchased from Norstate Gas in Bunda Street). This certainly isn't the cheapest ice cream in the world, but I can tell you now its the most fun to make and certainly smoother and creamier than anything else you can buy from a store.