Archives for posts with tag: Coconut

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Even though I understand coconuts are available year round, for me they are the essence of summer. Just the scent of coconut transports me straight to the beach no matter how far from one I may be. Conjuring memories of road tripping the NSW north coast with my surfer brother, coconut surf wax drifting through the haze from the boot outwards, coconut is the emblem of vacation. It also recalls golden days of childhood adolescence reaching for the third fourth piece of coconut slice in that special tin of Mum’s, always and ever a family token. Memories aside, coconut has also captured my imaginations of the present this summer, and it’s been the feature ingredient on my mind these past few weeks. A morning tea at work this week gave me the perfect excuse to bring out an old and treasured family recipe for coconut slice that is so easy and quick to make that it can be done in half the time it takes to get to the supermarket and back.

Since I can’t be on a proper holiday this summer I’ve been making the most of what my home city has to offer, and Sydney in January really isn’t such a bad place to be. The roads are quiet, the nights are long and there’s plenty going on around town as part of the annual Sydney Festival. I couldn’t resist including some pictures from a recent trip to Palm Beach, Sydney’s northernmost beach and a beach haven/heaven for lovers of sunshine, surf, beach walking and lazy summer days.

My tips for this recipe are to make the slice a day ahead and to let the slice cool completely before icing. I tend to pour the icing on to the slice and pick up the tin to move it around, because if you use a knife or spatula the crumbs from the slice will mix into the icing. After icing, store in the fridge overnight before removing to slice and serve. This will ensure that you get nicely cut, even squares (or rectangles, if that’s how you like to roll).

Coconut Slice

125g unsalted butter, melted

1 cup self raising flour

1 cup desiccated coconut, plus extra to serve

1/2 brown sugar, firmly packed

~2 cups pure icing sugar

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Grease and line a 28 x 18 cm slice tin. Combine the flour, brown sugar and coconut in a bowl. Add in the butter and mix well. Press into the slice tin and bake for 20 minutes or until lightly golden. To make the icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl and mix in the lemon juice. You may need to adjust the amounts to get the consistency you are after, which should not be too thick. Scatter the desiccated coconut over the slice and set in the refrigerator.

*Makes 18 squares.


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It seems I just can’t get enough of the beach this summer, and I’m wondering how it is that I managed to spend the last five or six summers of my life living away from the coast. Since moving back to Sydney I’ve been taking every opportunity I can get to head to one of Sydney’s many spectacular beaches to explore new spots and rediscover some old favourites. This morning I headed over to Collaroy on Sydney’s Northern Beaches and took a walk from the south end of the beach, which took me around the headland and over to the north end of Longreef Beach. There’s an aquatic reserve along this stretch between Collaroy and Longreef, and a rocky reef plateau perfect for wanderers (and wonderers) like me. The headland at Longreef is a popular spot for paragliders, and on a morning like this I could definitely be tempted to give this sport a try. Definitely Maybe, that is. For today though, a walk and a swim was the perfect way to start a summer Saturday. The water has warmed up significantly since I first started swimming in the ocean again in September and if I had come better prepared with sunscreen I could have stayed on the beach all morning.

A summer swim can’t be without a summer breakfast, and this muesli provides the perfect sustenance for a Sydney summer’s day. Surprisingly easy and satisfying to make, I wonder why I haven’t been making this myself until now. The best thing about making your own muesli is that you can make it just exactly how you like, and not have to deal with ingredients you find offensive. I can’t say that I have any specific aversions for my muesli ingredients, but I will say (again) that the simplest combinations are often the best, and there is definitely a place in my heart for the humble dried apricot. Here’s my recipe for homemade apricot muesli, which you can adapt or adhere to as you please.

Apricot Muesli

2 cups rolled oats

2 cups wheat-bran sticks

3/4 cup coconut flakes

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

2 tablespoons slivered almonds

150 ml fresh orange juice

2 tablespoons honey

3/4 cup dried apricots, chopped

3/4 cup sultanas

Preheat oven to 150°C. Combine all of the dry ingredients except the slivered almonds and dried fruit. Heat the orange juice and honey together over a low heat until warm, then mix through the dry ingredients. Spread the mixture out on a large baking tray or shallow dish and bake for 30 mins or until the mixture is lightly toasted. Toast the slivered almonds separately in a dry pan over a medium heat until just toasted. When both mixtures have fully cooled, stir to combine with the apricots and sultanas added. Store for up to one month in an airtight container.

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I’ve been to love.fish twice since moving to Balmain, and it’s already one of my favourite hot spots on the Rozelle/Balmain strip. It’s a seafood restaurant with a focus on sustainability and green initiatives from the sea to the plate. love.fish sources all it’s fish from Australia and New Zealand and uses 100% sustainable packaging and environmentally safe cleaning products. Even their waste management systems are environmentally friendly! So as well as being a great place to eat out, it’s also a great example of a local business with a strong, climate-focussed ethic that sets a pretty good benchmark for similar businesses city-wide.

What I love about love.fish: It’s a low key but still classy restaurant right in the hub of Rozelle, and the food is delicious and good for you at the same time. Both times I have visited, the staff have been friendly, accommodating and informed. If you’re visiting on a chilly night, there are blankets and heaters outside and the low lighting both inside and out adds a warm glow to keep you comfortable, and a nice touch of ambience as well. It’s the kind of place you can go to for a special occasion dinner or even just a casual dinner for two. On my first visit I had the salt & pepper hawkesbury loligo squid with pickled green paw paw and the pickled radish salad with green beans, apple and watercress. Both squid and salad were delicious and are definitely on my win list for future visits. Returning with a bigger appetite on my most recent visit, I ordered the grilled trout with eggplant, beetroot and cous cous from the specials menu and was more than happy with my choice, not to mention full! My sister was similarly satisfied with her choice of beer battered nsw rock flathead, and we ordered the radish salad and twice cooked hand cut sebago chips to share. The menu has a good range of grilled/battered fish as well as a decent selection of sides and entrees and an interesting range of biodynamic and organic wines. I’ll definitely be back on a regular basis.

love.fish is open for dining in or taking away from 5pm – late, 7 days a week. 580 Darling Street, Balmain.

Inspired to cook some seafood of my own, tonight I bought some fresh barramundi and poached it in coconut milk and lime juice. I planned to have it with some steamed rice, but because I’m lazy, I opted for vermicelli noodles instead and was quite happy with the results. This recipe is super easy, quick, and involves hardly any prep or washing up..my favourite kind of meal. The flakiness of the barramundi worked well with the rice noodles and the creamy coconut milk tipped this dish into laksa territory only on a much simpler scale, with only a handful of ingredients and a lot less liquid.

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Coconut Lime Barramundi with Chilli + Coriander

1 large barramundi fillet, cut in two pieces

400g can light coconut milk

2 tbsp fish sauce

Juice of 2 limes

1 long green chilli, sliced

160g vermicelli noodles, cooked and drained

1 handful fresh coriander

*Serves 2

Place the coconut milk, lime juice, fish sauce and half the sliced chilli in a pan and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and place the fish in the broth, poaching for 3-4 mins on both sides. When the fish is cooked through, divide your cooked noodles into 2 bowls and place a piece on each bed of noodles, pouring some broth over the top. Garnish with some fresh coriander and sliced chilli and enjoy!

Trini xo

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