There is often so much gloom and doom surrounding Australian industry (food or otherwise) and sometimes it feels very difficult to buy Australian made foods, never mind about the company being Australian owned.
When the press release dropped in the inbox, announcing that Bondi Chai was now available retail my first thought that this was not for me, or Eating Adelaide. The most exotic I get with my tea is matcha and if I’m out I will always drink coffee because cups of tea in cafés are just never the same as the ones you make at home.
However, the word “Australia” was mentioned a few times which made me dig a little deeper. The good news is that Bondi Chai is 100% Australian owned (it’s a privately held company) and 99% of its ingredients are sourced from Australia.
You may be familiar with Bondi Chai from café menus but you may not know that in April this year it became available retail. Packs of eight single serve sachets are available from Woolworths for $6.99. It comes in two flavours: club cinnamon and vanilla honey.
Did you know there is such a thing as World Gin Day? Well, there is and it rolls around again this Saturday 15 June.
I always think of gin as a summer drink so it’s hardly surprising that World Gin Day (now in its fifth incarnation) originated in … the UK where 15 June is as good a guess as any as to when that one day of summer might actually be!
But even if it is a bit wintery in Adelaide, if you’re prepared to brave the cold on Saturday, there are plenty of gin related activities.
The Howling Owl on Frome Street is offering a gin masterclass as well as gin tasting boards and, naturally, the chance to win gin.
Yelp is running a more structured event in conjunction with West Winds gin, where you can head to four different venues, sampling four different gin cocktails along with the way … with a gin expert in tow.
Even some venues outside the CBD are making an appearance: Eden Dining Room & Bar will be showcasing four different gin cocktails (including one that involves basil and sous-vide, I’m told) at a pop up bar on Leigh Street.
And if you can’t participate in any of these more official activities … you do have the perfect excuse to start your Saturday evening with a gin based apéritif.
If you are trying to be healthy, filo pastry is an excellent way of having pastry and feeling virtuous – all at once. It IS a pain to work with – no matter how beatific TV chefs look while they’re using it, cheerfully advising to cover it with a damp tea towel. Generally I find we open a packet, don’t use it quickly enough and it becomes a troublesome flaky and yet in patches gooey horrid mess.
I suppose the moral of that story is to use it more often.
The recipe I posted for Jamie Oliver’s spinach and feta filo pie is one of the most popular on this site. And as popular as it is in our household, variety is always the spice of life.
This pie will not only help use up that pesky filo, but contains meat (chicken), so it satisfies those who aren’t keen on a high vegetarian meal count!
It received a thumbs up from all and so will definitely be on the menu again.
Chicken, Ricotta and Lemon Pie
- 1 packet chicken thigh fillets (there are usually 6 in a packet and ~ 500g)
- 250g frozen spinach
- garlic (to taste) - I used a couple of cloves
- chopped rosemary or thyme (fresh is best, but use dried thyme as a substitute, dried rosemary is horrible)
- zest of 1 lemon
- 6 eggs
- 100g ricotta
- filo pastry
- olive oil
- Defrost spinach in microwave and then dry fry in a hot frying pan, to evaporate the water. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 220C (conv, 200C fan).
- Chop chicken into bite size pieces and place it in a bowl with some olive oil, the chopped garlic and chopped herbs. Season with salt and pepper. If you have time, set aside for half an hour.
- Heat a large, oven proof frying pan. Brown the chicken: do this in two or three patches so the pan stays hot and the chicken takes colour. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside in a clean bowl.
- Wipe the pan out with a paper towel. Working quickly, brush the pan with olive oil and start layering the filo. Brush each layer of filo with olive oil. You will need about 6 or 7 layers. If you have the filo overhanging the pan you can fold it over the filling to make a pastry lid.
- Add the chicken to the pan, reserving the juices.
- To the juices add the lemon zest and eggs. And then beat in the spinach.
- Pour this mix over the chicken and scatter over the ricotta.
- Fold over any overhanging pastry.
- Cook on a medium heat on the stove for a few minutes before placing in the hot oven.
- Bake until filling is set. This took about 40 minutes (in our normally very fast oven). If the filo pastry starts to brown, cover lightly with either baking paper or tin foil.
- When the filling is set, remove from the oven, cover and set aside for 10 minutes. This makes it much easier to remove the pie from the pan.