A Little Bit Of Southern Hospitality
Wednesday December 17, 2008
South Coast restaurants reveal their secrets in a new cookbook which is also a photographic essay of the region from Berry to Eden. ILSA CUNNINGHAM reports.When Yugoslavian-born Zorana Grbic saw the South Coast for the first time 30 years ago, she was blown away.She had never seen the ocean before, and was instantly mesmerised by the region's endless beaches and vast skies."It's the certain energy and beauty of the ocean wherever you are. You can go off the dunes and go for a walk, it's magical," Grbic says.She decided featuring the area in a book was the best way to honour such a special place.This month she released The South Coast Cookbook, which features 33 tantalising recipes from 27 of the region's restaurants. It's also a photographic journey from Berry, all the way down to Eden.Grbic spent a year visiting the coastal communities and talking to locals and tourists, to decide which restaurants to feature in the book.It involved rising early regularly to capture stunning sunrises on camera, assisted by her children Sasha and Stefan."It was a labour of love, but a very pleasant one as well," Grbic says.Chefs Jamie Oliver and Kylie Kwon had successfully combined recipes with travel in some of their cookbooks, and Grbic thought she could do the same.It wasn't easy choosing which recipes to feature, however.As the South Coast is renowned for its seafood, the book typically has a plethora of seafood dishes.It includes the grilled baby octopus salad specialty from the Pickled Octopus at Tuross, a seared yellowfin tuna with soba noodle salad and wasabi from Merimbula's Zanzibar Cafe, and a seafood quartet from Moruya's The Bank Cafe.If something meatier is more to your liking, The Berry Wood-fired Sourdough Bakery has provided its confit duck maryland with quince, and blue cheese and walnut salad recipe, or there's a kangaroo fillet with black cherry and balsamic sauce dish from Millard's Cottage Restaurant at Ulladulla.If you've got a sweet tooth, you're in for a treat too.The River at Moruya serves up a hot chocolate fondant with mandarin ice-cream, and Coolangatta Estate at Shoalhaven Heads reveals its vanilla bean pannacotta with brandied oranges.Grbic says it's been a delight to combine her passion for food with a love of the area.She moved to Broulee a year ago, and established publishing company Quicksand Publishing.Previously she worked as a fashion designer and food stylist in Canberra, and was the owner of several food establishments.In 2004 Grbic published her first book; The Capital Cookbook. She plans to change topic in the new year, and release a book about art.Beer-battered flathead tails and chipsIngredients:12 flathead tails1/2 cup plain flourvegetable oil (for deep-fryer)3/4 cup self-raising flour (sifted) 1/4 cup cornflour (sifted)110ml cold beer110ml cold soda waterMethodSift self-raising and cornflour into a large bowl. Whisk in beer and soda water to form a thin batter.Refrigerate for one hour and stir before using. Dust flathead tails with plain flour and dip into batter. Shake off excess.Heat oil to 180 degrees and deep-fry flathead tails until golden brown.Serve fish with chips, lemon wedges and tartare sauce.Serves four.Recipe from Fish Cafe, Batemans BaySeafood paellaIngredients:1kg arborio rice (cooked with saffron and fish stock)2 tblspns vegetable oil2 tblspns garlic (crushed)1 chorizo sausage (thinly sliced)16 calamari rings16 green prawns (tail on)2 flathead fillets (cut into 16 pieces) 16 scallops (roe on)2 blue swimmer crabs (cleaned, cooked and halved)250ml fish stock4 tblspns roast-capsicum saucesea salt and cracked pepperMethod:In a large pan, heat vegetable oil. Saute onion, garlic and chorizo until onion is translucent.Deglaze with a dash of fish stock. Add all seafood to the pan. Add arborio rice and capsicum sauce and season to taste. During cooking add remainder of fish stock.Cook until seafood is tender and serve immediately.Serves four.Recipe from Saltwater Restaurant, BermaguiIndulgent chocolate puddingIngredients:200g good quality couverture chocolate140g unsalted butter3 eggs3 egg yolks100g caster sugar100g plain flour (sifted)Method:Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Lightly grease six ramekin moulds with butter. Place chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pot of simmering water. When melted, remove from heat and stir until smooth.Set aside to cool.In a separate bowl, beat eggs, yolks and sugar with an electric beater until pale and thick. Pour in slightly cooled chocolate mixture. With a large metal spoon, carefully fold in flour until well combined.Divide mixture among ramekins and bake for 10 minutes.Remove from oven and allow to stand for one to two minutes before turning out of ramekins. Serve warm with melted chocolate and vanilla bean ice-cream.Serves six.Recipe from Cupitt's Winery - The Vinyard Kitchen, Ulladulla.
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