Bill Granger

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On a recent girls’ night out, perhaps my first in over 2 years, I had the misfortune of ordering fish and chips for dinner at a joint more well-known for its hamburgers. My fish looked unrecognisable in its thick and over-cooked batter; a pierce with a knife revealed mostly air pockets inside and an unappetising oil leak. The French fries were cooked well beyond golden and limping with oil, not to mention smelling of a fishmonger’s shop from having been cooked in the same oil as the fish. Both were delivered on a plate sans any green salad or sauce. I almost laughed at the presentation of deep-fried brownness before me, thinking it was a joke, but the owner came to wish me a good meal and I realised that he actually expected me to eat (and pay for) the woeful meal before me.

The only saving grace that night was dessert, my way of giving the restaurant a second chance because my dinner was returned largely uneaten. Thankfully, dessert was a lovely sticky date cake served with a warm butterscotch sauce and a scattering of tart raspberries. I was sharing the dessert with a friend (who shared the misfortune of ordering the same fish and chips), and much politeness was expressed over who should have the last bite, before I feigned reluctance and happily devoured what remained on the plate.

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Old-Fashioned Tomboy Cake

16 August 2012 50 comments
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I recently offered to help out at a kid’s birthday party and somehow ended up with the task of making the actual birthday cake. My first thought was to make Nigella Lawson’s Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake, a simple two-tiered chocolate cake covered in a thick, chocolate frosting with maybe some (shop-bought) sugar flowers for decoration. Simple. […]

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Chicken Curry Puffs

11 June 2012 36 comments
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A visit to most Chinese restaurants will reveal curry puffs on the appetiser menu and I am always a sucker for anything wrapped in pastry. I could sometimes quite happily forego the main dish and just sit down to a huge serving of curry puffs, but afraid of any negative reaction this could elicit in […]

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Happy Australia Day! Lamingtons …

26 January 2012 28 comments
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Happy Australia Day! Although lamingtons have an iconic status in Australia and are enjoyed throughout the year, it seems rather fitting to make lamingtons for Australia Day. Lamingtons are quite popular at bake sales, and anyone growing up in Australia will know of the lamington drives, a fundraising event (usually in schools) where lamingtons would be sold by the […]

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Sweetcorn Soup

2 November 2011 17 comments
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Don’t look too closely at this photo. No, really! A close inspection of this soup might not be so pleasant on the eyes, nor the tummy … Having had a rather intense week at work, I have been resorting to Bill’s Everyday Asian when I haven’t been reaching for the telephone to order (another) pizza […]

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Vietnamese Pork Chops

28 October 2011 6 comments
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Here is another fabulous short-cut recipe from Bill Granger’s new book, Bill’s Everyday Asian. The Vietnamese have a popular dish called sườn nướng where the main component is a pork chop which is typically marinated with garlic, lemongrass and fish sauce. The pork is either grilled or pan-fried until it is golden in colour and caramelised, and served […]

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Chicken Curry Soup

18 October 2011 8 comments
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One of my all-time favourite Vietnamese dishes is chicken curry with sweet potato. My mum makes this dish using a whole chicken which is first marinated in a special mixture of Vietnamese curry powder and other seasoning, and then slowly simmered on the stove with an array of aromatics until the chicken is tender and […]

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