Sunday, 20 May 2007

A Perfect Day

We had great weather in Sydney today. Perfect blue skies. The temperature was ideal for the SMH Half-Marathon and al fresco celebration afterwards. It was an enjoyable run for both Em, a dear friend whom I used to train with, and me. While we were happy to see Quikong at the end of the run, I miss seeing my mom and sis who were terrific supporters, and my nephew who always made posters for me as he cheered me on.

How did Em & I celebrate? Well, we did not want to waste such a beautiful day trapped indoors, so decided to have lunch at my place but outdoors, and made an impromptu visit to the Sydney Fish Market. It is the largest market of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and the world's second largest seafood market in terms of variety outside of Japan.

Do you like our "backyard"? Well, it’s actually a waterfront reserve, but we like to think that it’s ours since we spend so much time there – not just for meals, but also to read a book or just to enjoy the sunsets which are amazing.

Ok, back to the all important food part – the stars of our long celebratory lunch:

Balmain Bugs (tastes like lobster) and Pacific Oysters (tastes creamier than Sydney Rock Oysters)…

Steamed King Prawns

Mussel Bouillabaisse (recipe below)…

Quikong also made this amazing grilled squid which he marinated in kaffir lime infused olive oil, grated ginger and soy sauce (sorry, I was too busy eating to snap a photo). We ended the meal with a warm chocolate mud cake (which I made last week and froze) served with cookies and cream ice-cream and rhubarb compote (no photos - again, I was too busy eating!)

Quick & Easy Mussel Bouillabaisse
(adapted from “Light & Luscious Summertime Cookbook” by the Australian Women’s Weekly)

1kg Large mussels, scrubbed & beard removed

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 small can (400g) of diced/crushed tomatoes

2 tbsp tomato paste

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp Tabasco sauce or chilli flakes

1-2 tsp sugar

2 tbsp chopped parsley


Heat oil in a large pot and sauté garlic and onion till onion is soft. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, the sauces, and sugar. Bring to the boil, cover and reduce heat. You can make the sauce ahead of time.


After simmering for about 5 minutes, add the mussels and parsley, bring to the boil again. You may wish to add some boiling water to adjust the consistency of the sauce to your preference. Put the lid on the pan and shake it all about to distribute the sauce. When all the mussels open up, serve immediately with crusty bread. We had a nice olive sourdough bread.


jenjen said...

Congratulations on the run, and wasn't it just the perfect day. The fish markets would have been a great place to spend the afternoon.
We ended up going to the Bondi markets, although there was so much traffic getting there because of the Swans game it almost ruined our afternoon.

Em said...

Miam! That's my only comment.
Your pictures look gorgeous - just like the food! I like the fact that there are only two pieces of bread left in the plate. I suppose Quikong and I had something to do with it... Thanks again for the feast!

Eva said...

That's a veritable feast! After such a run, you truly deserved it! And have I ever mentioned that I do envy you for your backyard...;-)

Patricia Scarpin said...

Nora, I'm allergic to shellfish but my husband loves it - those prawns look huge!
I'd love to have a piece of that bread... ;)

Nora B. said...

JenJen, can you believe that winter is almost here? Days like that makes me feel very lucky to be living in Sydney.

Em, it was your company too that made the difference! And well done on your run - I am very proud of you.

Eva, you know that you are always welcome to our place :-) Esp since you missed the sunset the last time.

Patricia, the seafood we bought were very fresh and there was a lot of variety at the market so your husband would have been spoilt for choice. The bread was good too, the only reason we couldn't finish the last two slices was because we were so full of seafood!