Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Annual trip to Casa Iberica

I like to make the journey to Casa Iberica at least once a year from where ever I may be living in Victoria.

I first found this shop in the early 1980's after returning to Australia having been living in Spain for 18 months. There was a sort of longing, a homesickness for all things Spanish so where better than the Hispanic end of Johnston Street.

This fabulous shop sure tugs at the old Spanish heart strings.....paella pans, genuine tasting chorizo, cheeses, olives, prized Spanish Jamon, olive oils, paprika and of course Polvorones. Polvorones are rich, crumbly almond cakes/biscuits that are especially popular in Spain around Christmas time....these explode into airy deliciousousness in your mouth.

Oh and I nearly forgot they sell those oil soaked little fish that are a perfect tapas.....and Portugese custard tarts and Spanish pasties and pies... Oh stop it!!!

Below... Paella pans, lots of ceramics

Really the main reason I go there is for the genuine Spanish tasting Chorizo.....once tasted never forgotten. ....and of course the Jamon.
Jamon is very big in Spain with certain pigs bred for particular tastes, the most prized being fed on acorns. Jamon is like prosciutto only more flavoursome. I state this with a risk of offending Italy's ham....but please, prosciutto has it's own particular flavour of which I am also fond.

The Spanish males make the small goods, as do they cook the paella, and each has their special recipe and way of curing the Jamon.
In the picture below it is a little hard to read the writing. There is Spanish Jamon Serrano at $60.00 or $80.00 kg and Australian at $50.00kg. Their speciality Jamon Bullota at $280.00kg seems reasonable when compared to say at Prahran Market where Great Reserve Redondo Iglesias Jamon is $610.00kg.
Jamon holds a unique place in the Spanish can be used as a minor bribe for a favour and certainly a gift for something well done.

Monday, November 23, 2009

What's been on the Menu 22

After a visit to the fish market last week I was interested in cooking fish.

The below baked snapper turned out a little dry but the fishcakes I made from the coral trout were OK. ( but no photos )

The snapper were not the usual hump back sort of snapper and I'm not sure the correct name of this species.

Below Coral Trout showing the amazing colours

Monday, November 16, 2009

Fare well Ma Poss

The Callignee home is no more....farewell.... revoir.

We were lucky enough to be able to stay there a few nights at the end and got to say a proper goodbye to the house and surroundings. Luckily, we even managed to bid Ma Poss farewell with a tasty pear to remember us by.

As I cleaned and gardened for the last time I was, as I thought, matter of fact and even quite cold hearted about leaving this land we loved. Right up until the very end that is, when the flood gates opened.

We will remember the wonderful times we have had here. I feel very privileged that a city girl such as I am, who has lived in many parts of the world, finally was able to have even this small experience of the culture of the Australian bush.

This blog TreeChangeCallignee will evolve into the next adventure Ian and I get ourselves into, but meanwhile I will continue to post snippets of our foodie interests, gardening pursuits and our life back in Melbourne.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What's Been on the Menu 21

Roast Chicken with sweet corn and Salad (below)

Lamb Steak with Couscous (below)
Below: Fish with rice noodles, snap peas, fresh baby corn, with corinander, lemon grass and lime juice...note that there's no coconut milk. This indicates our efforts to eat less rich food.

Where are we?

Callignee is situated in the foothills of the Strezlecki 's in Gippsland, Victoria.