I still call Australia ...

We recently spent a few weeks on the east coast of Australia. It was good to be home.
Wide open spaces, great coffee, family, friends, a beautiful wedding, the sand between your toes and the bluest of skies. This time it was hard to come back to Singapore, very hard.

It has been busy since we got back (too busy) and I haven't had a chance to get into the kitchen to bring you anything of substance. For now I will bring you a snapshot of our time away and a few of the things we cooked up while staying in 'Bonnydune' a gorgeous little beach house in Byron Bay on the northern NSW coast.

Heirloom tomato salad with buffalo mozzarella ...

Dry aged steaks on the bone, slow cooked ...

Smashed broad bean, garlic and pecorino tartines ...

Heirloom Tomato Salad
Adapted from Jamie Oliver

10 heirloom tomatoes (various shapes, sizes, colours)
3 large buffalo mozzarella balls
1 tbsp of fresh oregano leaves, chopped
4 large fresh basil leaves
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 red chilli, chopped
Olive oil

Cut the tomatoes into varying shapes, sizes, chunks and slices. Put them into a colander and sit the colander on top of a pot or bowl. Sprinkle with a generous pinch of sea salt, mix, sprinkle again, mix again and leave to drain for 20 minutes. This will enable a concentrated tomato flavour as the salt extracts all of the water from the tomatoes.

Discard the tomato water and arrange the concentrated tomatoes onto a platter. Add the mozzarella to one side of the platter, drizzle both the cheese and the tomatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with the garlic, oregano and chilli. Top with the basil leaves.

A punchy and refreshing salad perfect for a hot summers day.

Yield: Making the salad using the above proportions will be enough for 4-6 people as a side dish to a meat main course

Smashed Broad Bean Tartine

2 cups of broad beans, cooked
1/2 cup of grated pecorino cheese
1 clove of garlic, peeled and left whole
4 slices of crusty bread (preferably sourdough)
8 thick asparagus spears
3 tbsp of a good quality olive oil
Sea salt
Cracked black pepper
Additional shaved pecorino to serve

Bring a pot of water to the boil and add the broad beans, cooking them until soft and tender. Drain the beans and while they are still warm roughly smash them up using a fork and stir through the pecorino cheese and 2 tbsp's of the olive oil. Set aside.

Cut the asparagus spears in half. Heat a small pan and gently fry the asparagus for 4-5 minutes, shaking the pan every minute, with 1 tbsp of olive oil, a sprinkling of sea salt and some cracked black pepper. Set aside.

Slice 4 pieces of sourdough and toast them, then rub one side of each slice with the peeled garlic clove. Top each slice with two heaped spoonfuls of the broad bean mix, 4 asparagus spears and shave over some additional pecorino. Serve with some cracked black pepper and your favourite sauvignon blanc!

Yield: 4 tartines

And as for the dry aged steaks ...
You will need to wait a week or two. Andrew is in Dubai for work and the slow cooked perfection of said steaks is his department, stay tuned!