Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Have You Got Your Pudding Yet?

Like good little elves we are still busy in the Simmone Logue kitchens making fruit mince tarts, wrapping puddings, baking shortbread and biscotti, and boxing my yummy rum balls and coconut ice. Not to mention tying ribbons around relish and sauce jars to bring joy to all my busy customers.

My mum will be in the Double Bay store on Friday 21st, Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd December to hand out samples of my gorgeous fruit mince tarts for all to try. So be sure to come on down for a well deserved cup of coffee and to sample our Christmas goodies!
I will also be in store every day from now until Christmas. Feel free to pop in and say hello, I would love to share my Christmas ideas with you all!
Merry Christmas, happy cooking and go safe,
Simmone x

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My New Cheesecakes

Everyone that I've spoken to about my new cheesecakes have waxed lyrical about some all-time fantastic cheesecake that their mum, gran or Auntie Mavis has cooked for every family function since the time they could remember. Well I'm here to tell you, I reckon I've cracked it and I challenge every cheesecake quaffing expert out there to drop everything you are doing RIGHT NOW and rush into your nearest Thomas Dux Grocer or one of my cafes to  try a Simmone Logue cheesecake for yourself.....

If you don't instantly melt into culinary heaven on first bite then you can get your mum, gran or Auntie Mavis to come and give me a few tips.

I've created three different options all wrapped up in a pretty red gingham box. Perfect to take as a gift if you're going over to family and friends for dinner.

My classic and famous lemon curd is in the mix. Although, for a change, I've added a strawberry curd and a kaffir lime and coconut as well.


They weigh 1kg so they're nice and gutsy and go around a table of ten easily with a dollop of double cream on the side and maybe some fresh berries.

These cheesecakes are baked with fresh eggs and, of course, all the lovely natural ingredients you'd expect. Just like.... well, mum, gran or Auntie Mavis would use!

Happy eating,
Simmone Logue (cheesecake connoisseur)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Aussie Farmers Deserve A Break!

It's this time of the year when the first harvest from out west bares it's luscious fruit and I set about making my annual batch of ruby apricot paste to sell in store for Christmas. So, as they do in the country, I swapped my time as the camp cook for a pallet of Earlicot apricots and headed to Menindee to pick, pack and cook for a few days.

It was so much fun and if I didn't have such a huge amount of fruit mince tarts to make I probably wouldn't have come home!!

We take so much for granted when we pluck our fruit and veg off the supermarket shelves. As an ambassador for Australian Year of the Farmer I would like to take my hat off to every single farmer in the country. Blood, sweat, tears and a whole lot of worry goes into producing our food. After my time on the orcahrd, I am making a personal quest and urging everyone I know to get behind the Aussie farmers and only buy Australian grown produce. To my mind, this is the foundation on which everything else is built on.

The bees are brought in to do their job when the flowers are setting to pollinate the fruit.

A welcome place to lay one's head after a big day in the orchard and a big cook up for the weary workers.

The long road home from Menindee as I farewell my new friends at the desert fresh produce.

My apricot paste is available to purchase off the Christmas brochure along with lots of other gorgeous goodies for the holiday season. Click here to view.

Happy cooking,
Simmone x

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Home Meal Therapy

There was plenty of excitement in my kitchen this week with the launch of my new Home Meal Therapy range.

I cooked up 60kg of my tasty chicken dumplings with slow roasted tomato sauce. Now that's a lot of rolling!

The tomato sauce bubbled away in the brat pan for hours.... the result was rich, sweet and delicious. Then, in with the roasted dumplings and they bobbed away nicely taking in the flavour of the sweet tomato sauce. Luscious! These dumplings will be absolutely divine over the top of some freshly cooked penne and a generous grating of aged Parmesan.

To remind our taste buds they're alive, another dish in the range is my famous African chicken - spiked with lots of coriander root, star anise, cinnamon and turmeric. All you need is a fluffy bowl of steaming cous cous and a green salad with fresh mint and coriander..... and your dinner is sorted!

I cooked up a huge amount of African chicken today, although all you'll need is a 600g tub to feed three (or two super hungry people!).

....and what do I eat when I get home? Simmone Logue Home Meal Therapy!

By the way, naturally I only use the freshest product from the market on the day and there are no preservatives in this range.

My new Home Meal Therapy range is now available in all Thomas Dux Grocer stores in Sydney and Melbourne. Enjoy!

Happy cooking,
Simmone x

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Best served with a lovely fruity Riesling!

It was my first day off in a couple of weeks. After a long soak in the tub and a walk along the coast to my local cafe for some caffeine, my thoughts drifted to lunch.

With the sun beaming down hard and the ocean glistening with blue and green, it was a perfect day for a glass of fruity wine and my barbequed chicken and fresh mint salad with Thai dressing and roasted peanuts.

This salad is a no brainer as all you need to do is shred the chicken, snip the salad bags, drizzle with dressing, top with a sprinkle of the toasted peanuts and there! You have lunch sorted!

You will need......

1 barbequed chicken (or, in my case, last night's leftover roast chicken)
1 bag of mixed leaves
2 cups white cabbage, roughly shredded
1 bunch coriander, roughly chopped
1 bunch mint, leaves picked
1 punnet cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
1 handful peanuts, roasted and roughly chopped
2 limes, cut into wedges
1 bottle Simmone Logue Thai dressing
(served 6)

Gently toss all ingredients together except for the peanuts and lime. Drizzle with the Thai dressing and sprinkle with the peanuts. Serve with a generous squeeze of lime and dive in!!

NB. I like to source out the garden variety of mint for this salad rather than spearmint. It reminds me of hot summer days in our backyard as kids playing around the garden tap.... there was always an abundance of that fleshy green and gloriously pungent mint!

Happy cooking,
Simmone x

Monday, August 27, 2012

What A Great Time To Be In The Market!

This week at the market I couldn't resists the cheese at Ocello's stall where I purchased a lovely soft cow's milk cheese from Italy called Brillat Savarin. The line of shaved truffle through the centre was a true indulgence.

I also sampled the semi hard cow's milk cheese from Italy called Latteria Vecchio which I bought and bumped alongside these lovely little baby pears.
I found green mangoes and other fresh as fresh can be aromatics at Fiats Thai Produce stall which inspired last night's dinner; yellow chicken and coconut curry with snake beans and Thai eggplant. I also whipped up a green mango salad with frehs mint and coriander.
The passionfruit was so beautiful this week that I decided to make little tarts with creme patissiere topped with passionfruit pulp.

The scent from the stall selling these deep purple bombs of orange and black lava could be smelt a mile away. It transported me back to memories as a kid in my backyard where the whole back fence was covered in this pretty flowered vine.

Shortcrust Tarts with Creme Patissiere and Passionfruit Pulp

Shortcrust Pastry
1 1/2 cups plain flour
125g butter, chopped
1/3 cup caster sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon chilled water

1. Combine flour, butter and sugar in a food processor. Process until the mix resembles fine bread crumbs. Add yolk and chilled water. Process until dough comes together.
2. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and kneed until just smooth. Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for 30mins.
3. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Roll the dough out, cut and place in small tart moulds/tins. Bake in the oven for 15mins or until tart cases are golden brown.

Creme Patissiere
3 large egg yolks
1/2 cup white sugar
3 tablespoon cornflour
300ml whole milk
1 vanilla bean pod, slit and scraped

1. In a medium size stainless steel bowl mix the egg yolks and sugar with a wooden spoon. Sift the flour and add to the mixture.
2. Add milk and vanilla bean to the bowl. Mix until thoroughly combined and smooth.
3. Place in a pot on medium heat and bring to the boil stirring constantly. When liquid boils, whisk for a minute or until mixture becomes stiff and hard to stir.
4. Pour into a clean bowl and immediately cover with cling film to prevent a skin forming. Allow to cool.
5. To serve, spoon creme patissiere into tart cases and top with fresh passionfruit pulp.

These beautiful little tarts are available at my Double Bay and Cammeray stores on Sunday. Why not come in for high tea?

Happy cooking,
Simmone x

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Catering Adventures

I've been catering now for the past 20 years and still get so much joy out of coming into people's homes and cooking beautiful food for them and their friends........ and last Saturday night was no exception.

We bumped into the most gorgeous French-style country kitchen and got stuck into the cooking immediately. I had serious kitchen envy the whole night and if asked, I would have moved in within a split second!

Blackie and Goldie helped with the food preparation and even managed to woof down a few lamb burgers with eggplant relish and tahini sauce in the process.
We started with mojitos for everyone on arrival and my scallops on spoon with nam jim.
Next on the menu were the corn fritters with avocado mash and chilli jam, crispy king prawn wrapped in wonton, and our famous Peking duck crepes.
A good gluten free option is always the fresh Vietnamese rolls with the freshest prawns we can find in the market that morning.
This is lovely Rob Flynn who supervises most of our events... great service, great looks.
Another successful night came to a close. We packed up the van and cleaned the kitchen like good little catering fairies and disappeared into the night. Leaving all as we had found it except the doggies weren't hungry anymore.
I would love to come into your kitchen one day soon? See our beautiful catering menu on our website or phone us on (02) 9519 3680.... it's that easy!
Simmone x

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Fun

How great was the weather this Easter?? Normally this time of the year we are lighting the fire.

This year we took long walks on the beach at dusk, did our daily walk to the local coffee shop for lattes and newspapers, explored our local vintage stores, and of course we had so much fun in the kitchen....

I had my close friends from elementsilove.com staying with me which is always lots of fun. They helped me clean paint off and wax an old favourite piece of furniture I've had for years under the house. We knocked it up in under an hour - it was really quite amazing to watch!

On Good Friday I poached a nice big side of trout and pumped a bowl of boiled baby chats with fresh chives along the side. Adding a lovely fresh rocket salad with spikey lime and dill mayo hit the spot for a luxurious and easy Friday night dinner.

Saturday my friend, Brooke, roasted spatchcock in the oven with cauliflower, cherry tomatoes and caramelised garlic...... what an absolute treat!!! Isn't it funny how food always tastes better when somebody else prepares it for you?

Monday we had a big bake off. My pork and fennel sausage rolls were a hit and while the oven was hot we banged out a batch of the best Anzac biscuits I think I've ever tasted!

Lots of cups of tea and a good old girly chinwag saw a great weekend come to a close, but not before one more misty and contemplative walk in the sand......

Anzac Biscuits

1 cup plain flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut125g butter
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda

  1. Sift the flour into a bowl. Add the rolled oats, brown sugar, and coconut and mix well.
  2. In a second bowl melt the butter and add the golden syrup, water, and bicarb soda. Then add to the dry ingredients bowl and mix well.
  3. Place heaped teaspoons of the mixture onto a lined baking tray. Bake in the oven at 170 degrees for 20 minutes. Store in an air tight container.

My Anzacs will be available for the month of April at both the Simmone Logue stores and at the new Elements I Love store in Surry Hills.

Simmone x

Monday, March 5, 2012

Take One Rainy Day.......

The rain comes and I suddenly feel the need to buy those less expensive cuts of meat and braise away until my heart's content. Well, that's how I felt last week and with my creative juices in overdrive I stumbled across an absolute winner; my pesto, parmesan and sun dried tomato chicken dumplings in a gorgeous slow cooked tomato sauce.

What you will need...................

1 rainy day
1kg chicken mince
2 brown onions, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons basil pesto
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
2 cups fresh sourdough breadcrumbs
4 eggs
Salt and pepper

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and kneed until combined.
  2. Roll into balls the size of a walnut and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  3. Bake for 15mins in a moderate oven.
  4. Place the dumplings and juices from the baking dish into the tomato sauce and gently cook for 30mins.
  5. Serve on penne pasta, cheesy polenta or potato mash.

For the sauce.....................

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 brown onions, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 440g tins of crushed tomatoes
2 cups water
1 tablespoon mixed dry herbs
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar

  1. Heat oil in a heavy based pan.
  2. Saute the onion, garlic and herbs until softened.
  3. Add the tomato, water, salt and sugar and gently cook for 30mins.

Climb into bed with a bowl of steaming chicken dumplings, a glass of your favourite wine, turn on the World Movies channel and you'll be in heaven!

..........and if you're too busy to cook, my chicken dumplings are available in both of my stores every Friday :)

Happy cooking,

Simmone x

Monday, February 20, 2012

Eveleigh Markets

Lately I've started heading to Eveleigh Market on Saturday morning. Wow, what a great start to the weekend! It's fab really because it is so inspiring - it helps keep me in touch with what's in season and then, of course, that reflects in my beautiful dinners cooked in each of our stores through the week. Also, the trip gets me geared up for a lazy weekend of foodie adventures and puts great stuff in the fridge for my busy week ahead!

Last week I met Paul at his exotic mushroom stand. So magical, so enticing that I couldn't help but buy a bag. There were Swiss browns, lovely vivid orange pines from Oberon, cloud ears and fresh shiitake. Later the evening, I gently stirred my mushrooms into a silky risotto with a drizzle of Paul's precious truffle oil. Mmmm....

I visited Andrew at my favourite fruit and veg stand where I gathered a basket of kipfler potatoes, little baby carrots, a beautiful bunch of crisp and deep green silverbeet, and a few bunches of delicate and fragrant herbs. Andrew threw in a bunch of wild garlic and I was ready to go.

A quick stop at the free range chicken stand and I had a roast chook for our Sunday night dinner! The flowers are great at the market too, but the best thing ever is on the way out when I buy all of the Saturday papers. My true idulgence..... ha!!!!

This time of year is perfect for late summer stone fruit and for the second week in a row I couldn't walk past the stand selling the sweetest blood plums you could imagine. I poached them in cinnamon and star anise and served it with a big dollop of organic yoghurt on the side. Yummy!

Poached Sweet Blood Plums

2 cups water
3/4 cup raw sugar
2 cinnamon quills
3 star anise
1 vanilla bean pod, cut in half
1kg blood plums

  1. Bring the water and sugar to a rolling boil. Add the cinnamon, star anise and vanilla bean pod. Simmer for 5mins.
  2. Turn the heat to the lowest point possible and add the fruit. Poach slowly for 20mins or until tender. Remove the fruit from the syrup.
  3. Reduce the syrup by half or until you have a nice glaze. Pour over the fruit and refrigerate. Serve the poached blood plums with creamy yoghurt on the side.

My market-inspired dinners are ready by lunch time each day at both of my stores. Just view the 'Daily Dinner Menu' at www.simmonelogue.com

Happy cooking!

Simmone x

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Summer Lovin'

I've spent a large part of January down at our little shack on the beach with my family and special friends. Over the month our table was set for four to twenty four on any given lunch or dinner so I had to be quite creative at times.

Every morning when I opened my eyes I would start to plan the day deciding on what beautiful food I would cook for them. There is no better pleasure I know, really, than to spoil those I love and adore with fresh, wholesome and tasty treats as we laze around and bask in the summer sun.

It was funny though because whenever I put their options to a vote they would jump up and down like frenzied gastronomes requesting my fresh Vietnamese rice paper rolls. This was certainly a great option as they are quick and easy, and it also meant that I could make the most of leftovers from the night before.

I used barbequed chicken, poached or barbequed fish, leftover fillet steak and yummy little sweet school prawns pulled in by my best fishing friend, Marty.

A pot of fresh mint at the back door kept up with us over the four weeks too!

Another great thing is you can rope in your buddies into helping with the rolling!!!!

Simmone's Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls

1 packet rice paper (10")
1 packet rice sticks or vermicelli, cooked and refreshed in cold water and roughly chopped
Salad leaves, roughly chopped
1 bunch fresh mint, leaves picked
1 bunch coriander, roughly chopped
1 knob ginger, grated
2 large carrots, grated
1/4 cup peanuts, toasted and chopped
1/4 cup toasted shallots
Salt and pepper to taste
1 bottle Simmone Logue Thai Dressing, or your favourite dipping sauce

  1. Combine all ingredients except for the rice paper, dipping sauce and salad leaves. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Fill a 10" bowl with hot water. Let it cool enough to put your hands in.
  3. Place ten rice papers one at a time into the hot water and leave them for one minute or two. Gently retrieve in one bunch from the water and give them a squeeze. Place the pile out on a clean, dry bench and as quickly as possible take one at a time and lay them out.
  4. Place a small amount of salad leaves 1/4 of the way down from the top of the rice paper and then place a small handful of the mix over the leaves. Add a small amount of chicken, prawn or fish to top.
  5. Take the bottom of the rice paper and place over the top of your filling. Bring in each side, crossing over slightly and then roll!
  6. Serve with the dipping sauce, cheeks of fresh lime and fresh flowers from your garden.

It's that easy! Why not check out the Simmone Logue website for my catering menu? I can roll them for you for your next cocktail party or casual get together!

My Vietnamese rolls are rolled fresh just before lunch in both of my retail stores. Grab a bottle of Simmone Logue Thai Dressing from Simmone Logue stores, or from all Thomas Dux Grocer and David Jones stores nationally.


Simmone x