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

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