Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Puddings & All Things Christmas

Christmas really is my most favourite time of the year. As a foodie I love bringing joy to people's tables with all of the beautiful fare we are planning at Simmone Logue's this year!

Our fruit mince tart production has hit an all time high with the number baked hitting ninety thousand units this year!! Wow, I never dreamed this would be the case when I first starting pinching the pastry into the tiny muffin tins, fifteen years ago, in the back of my Balmain shop. My mum, my sister Joey, and I would be barely pulling them from the oven before another dozen would be sold!
Our puddings are so beautiful this year too. Laden with fruit, and lots and lots of brandy, they've been hanging in the barn at Essington Park since July, ready to be finally hung in store this week. They range from 1kg to 3kg in size and the great thing is we have made a gluten free pudding this year too!
Don't forget to order your ham.... double smoked and glazed with orange, seeded mustard, garlic and thyme, they are perfectly baked with their glistening golden and gooey glaze. Try my stone fruit relish bumped up on the side too!
Leg ham.. what a great thing to have left over for the holiday season for sandwiches, salads and late night cheesy toasties!

If you're worried about what to stuff your turkey with and how long to cook it. Don't! Just leave it to me. This year, as always, I cook my turkeys in the bag so all the wonderful flavour and moisture stays in the bird. All you have to do is take it from the bag and heat it in your oven. It's really no biggie!
Click here to view the rest of the goodies on my Christmas menu this year!

Eat, drink, love

Simmone x

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Apricot Season!

Well it's apricot season again and my good friend and orchardist Dave Murphy has come good again and delivered me the sweetest little apricots for my yearly cook up of all things' apricot.

Big Dave's orchard, Pegasus, is in the Coal Valley in Tasmania where the unique cool climate helps slow the growth of the fruit, which then enables them to ripen for longer on the tree. What that means is the apricots are sweeter and juicier than fruit produced on the mainland.......... I'm so lucky!

I started with the Goldrich variety and simply poached them in a light sugar syrup. These will be used over the coming months in my classic chicken with braised leek and apricot, frangipane tarts, upside down cakes and ice creams.

With the More Park variety I cooked them up in equal amounts of sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice to make the most divine apricot conserve.

Last, but certainly not least, the little Orange Reds were used for a very large batch of my apricot paste. The perfect accompaniment to goats cheese, cheddar or my chicken liver pate with green peppercorn. Delicious!!!

All of these apricot beauties are available now in both my Cammeray and Double Bay stores.

Simmone's Apricot Paste

1 cup water 250ml
1 cup wine 250ml
1 cup sugar 400g
2 bay leaves
Juice from 1 lemon
Apricots 500g

  1. Combine all ingredients except the apricot and bring to a simmer.

  2. Add apricot halves and gently simmer for 1 hour or until the fruit becomes transparent.

  3. Remove the bay leaves and process the fruit to a smooth paste. Pour into a lined and greased cake tin. Cover and refrigerate until set.

Happy cooking,
Simmone x

Thursday, October 20, 2011

My Favourite Soup Kitchen in Town

.....you know those days when the only thing that's going to make everything better is a big hearty bowl of chicken soup!!!

This one is my favourite and I would honestly walk 100 miles for it. It's called Pho and it's a bowl of Vietnamese goodness which soothes my soul at least once a week.

I can't tell you the name of the place because we just call it "the chicken soup place" but its on George Street in Chinatown just around the corner from the ginseng and Chinese herb warehouse on Ultimo Road, up the from the pub on the corner.... got it? Good!

It's a very basic little place; you know the type with the laminated tables and no fancy overheads. Run by Vietnamese, the place is a hustle and bustle of Vietnamese students, families and local office workers all there for their daily fix.

The soup is made up of a beautiful clear broth with rice noodles, sweet slices of fresh onion and generous slices of tender chicken beast perched on top. It all comes accompanied by a bowl of bean shoots, Vietnamese mint and a wedge of lemon. The usual squeeze bottles of fish sauce and chilli are there too with a pot of freshly sliced chilli as well. Tea is served before you even put your bum down and your order is taken in a matter of minutes.

The best thing is this bowl of heart warming goodness only costs $9! Although, best to catch a cab from wherever you’re coming from as parking is impossible!

Happy eating!

Simmone x

Monday, October 10, 2011

My Summer Menu Photo Shoot

I've just flopped into a chair with a gin and tonic after a twelve hour day shooting parts of the new Simmone Logue summer brochure.... what a day!!

But you know even though I spend all day every day in a kitchen somewhere cooking up a storm I always feel so inspired when I see my food come together in a photograph. It's really such an expression of who I am culinarily and I get such a buzz out of expressing myself this way!
The props for the photo shoot

I always work with the same brilliant team and we are such a great fit. It feels like we have been working for years together. We are a little creative family that fit together like my trusty kitchen whizz! There's Carlu who styles the shots so beautifully; Camilla who waits for the light to be just right and then takes the photograph; and Mel my clever designer.
The brilliant team!

The best bit is when we take a break and all sit for lunch together. You know you've got it right when a sudden blanket of quiet comes over the house and then the "mmm's!!!" and the "ahhh's!!!" start!
My fresh mint that I used to make gin and tonics for the girls at the end of the day!

Today the shoot happened at my little shack on the beach down south as I really wanted to capture through the food and images a feeling of effortless and spontaneous food - the food we want to prepare when we are in holiday mode with lots of close friends around. I think I got it so I'm really happy.

My favourite shot for the day was my goats cheese on crute with roasted capsicum, red pepper jam and basil. Be sure to keep an eye out for my new Summer brochure which will be available very soon!

A dish that we can't live without during the Summer is my smoked trout salad with green mango, mint and toasted peanut with Simmone Logue Thai vinaigrette.

Smoked Trout, Green Mango, Mint and Toasted Peanut with Simmone Logue Thai Vinaigrette
(serves four)

1 smoked trout, skin and bones removed and separated into chunks
1 green mango or ripe one if you prefer, julienned
1 bunch coriander, leaves picked
1 bunch mint, leaves picked
½ a medium sized Spanish onion, sliced finely
2 cups Chinese cabbage sliced finely
2 small Birds eye chilli, chopped finely
1 red capsicum, finely sliced (optional)
2 tablespoons peanut, roasted and chopped
1 lime, cut into 4
¼ cup Simmone Logue Thai dressing*

1. Combine all the ingredients (except for the toasted peanut, Thai dressing and lime) in a bowl and toss gently.
2. Drizzle with Simmone Logue Thai dressing and sprinkle the crunchy peanuts on top.
3. Garnish with the lime cheeks.

*My Simmone Logue Thai dressing bottles are available for you to purchase from my Double Bay and Cammeray stores!

Happy cooking,

Simmone x

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Ricotta gnocchi with Gorgonzola cream, pappardelle with braised oxtail, linguini with clams and baked chocolate tart with mascarpone. These glorious dishes are only a taste of the supremely divine food Andy Logue (my gorgeous brother) is dishing up in his new little trattoria, Pinotta. I know because I’ve just spent nine magnificent days down in Melbourne by his side for the grand opening, taking in my yearly gastronomic hit of culinary inspiration.
My brother, Andy with his business partner, Heidi.

Andy’s food is an immediate response from what is in the market that day and the quick calls from bed in the morning to talk to his fishmonger determines the morsels from the sea.
Pinotta's first menu board on opening day - written by yours truly!

Over the week we grilled the finest snapper with a little oregano, salt and pepper, tossed glistening bits of tender seafood into freshly cut ribbons of saffron pasta, stirred velvety risotto with mussels and for the ‘dish of the week’ Andy’s calamari ripieni with slow roasted tomato sauce. He makes all of his own pasta too!!!
Andy likes to wear organic flour bags on his head during service!

Andy’s desserts are kept simple and he only offers two or three per night plus some wonderful cheeses. Whilst I was there he made his fabulous baked chocolate tart, strawberries flambéed with Chambord and served vanilla bean ice cream, and his tiramisu; all fantastic and totally irresistible.

Andy's delicious baked chocolate tart and Johnnie Black a.k.a. the best waiter in Melbourne!!

The chambord that Andy flambées his strawberries with.

I’ve always said you can judge a great restaurant by its bread and salad. Well, here at Pinotta both are perfectly executed. Johnnie Dench supplies the bread… the best bread in the world and Andy’s salad is a mix of delicately picked leaves, finely sliced fennel and a dressing of lemon, Dijon, garlic and oil.
The bread supplied by Johnnie Dench (the best bread in the world!!)

The place is quirky, intimate and dimly lit with all the ingredients to make you feel like you could almost kick your boots off and slide into your slippers… oh, I didn’t mention there is an open fire ticking away in the back room! The wines are lovely too! My favourite is the little curly flat pinot noir ‘07.

So I say get a move on! What are you waiting for?! There’s a 4.15 from Sydney which should get you there in time for cocktails and the best little home-style Italian dinner you could ever hope for!

Simmone x

32 Best Street
North Fitzroy, Melbourne
Ph: 03 9481 3393