27 April 2010

Cafe de Vili's

Cafe de Vili's is an Adelaide institution and like most Adelaide institutions, not very well publicised. But nobody tells me this stuff so I just learn the hard way through trial and error so I can share the gems with you. Cafe de Vili's is right next to the Vili's factory and they're open 24/7, which is extremely rare for restaurants in Adelaide. Only other one I know of open 24/7 is the Pancake Kitchen which I wouldn't recommend unless you're really desperate. In addition to their main drawcard, the Aussie meat pie, Cafe de Vili's sells all kinds of other stuff. Donuts, lamingtons, slices, cold drinks, hot drinks, sausage rolls, Vili dogs, schnitzels, sandwiches, salads, chips with gravy, chicken, fish, etc. So far, we reckon the winner from the menu is the Vili Burger with chips (pictured below) for around $9. It's actually the best burger we've had in Adelaide thus far, and better than many we've paid a lot more for. Comes with traditional Aussie toppings of a fried egg & beetroot (aka beets) plus lettuce, tomato, bacon and as much tomato sauce (ketchup) as you want from the self serve Vili's sauce bottles (far left end of the sales counter). So if you're in the Mile End South area and you're hungry (or thirsty), no matter the time or the day, stop by Cafe de Vili's at 2-14 Manchester Street.

Vili Burger

Cafe de Vili's on Urbanspoon

24 April 2010

Recipe: ANZAC Biscuits for ANZAC Day

This Monday is ANZAC Day here in Australia so what better way to pay tribute to the ANZACs than to make and consume some ANZAC Biscuits. For those of you not from Australia or New Zealand, ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The biscuits are cookies, believed to be sent to (or some say even made by) soldiers in WWI. They are believed to have been developed (without eggs due to their lack of availability during wartime) to withstand transport and to keep well for a long period of time. Here's a recipe I recommend:

Chewy ANZAC Biscuits

Anzac Biscuits

Preparation time: about 25 minutes (excludes baking time)
Makes about 25 biscuits.

  • 100g butter
  • 40ml (1 tablespoon) golden syrup
  • 92g (1 cup) rolled oats
  • 80g (1 cup) desiccated coconut
  • 150g (1 cup) plain flour
  • 112g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
  • 56g (1/4 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (6g) bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 40ml (2 tablespoons) boiling water
  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Celsius fan-forced). If you will be baking one tray of biscuits at a time, place an oven rack in the centre of the oven. If you wish to bake two trays of biscuits at a time, place one oven rack in the upper half of the oven and one in the lower half of the oven.
  2. Line one or two large baking trays with baking paper.
  3. Place butter and golden syrup in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally.
  4. Place oats, coconut, flour, caster sugar and brown sugar in a large bowl.
  5. Stir together until well combined.
  6. When butter has melted, combine bicarb soda and boiling water in a small bowl or cup, and then stir into the butter and golden syrup mixture.
  7. Add butter mixture to dry ingredients.
  8. Stir ingredients together until well combined.
  9. Roll level, firmly packed tablespoons of the mixture into balls or if using a round tablespoon to measure, just leave as spoon shaped mounds.
  10. Place dough balls/mounds about 5cm apart on the prepared tray/s.
  11. Using your fingers or a fork, slightly flatten the dough balls/mounds to form 1cm thick, 5cm diameter discs.
  12. Bake for about 15-16 minutes, until biscuits are golden brown but still soft (a longer cooking time will produce crisper, drier biscuits). If you aren't using a fan-forced oven, and are baking two trays of biscuits at a time, swap the positions of the trays halfway through the baking time. This will allow the biscuits to cook more evenly. You may also need to extend the baking time by a few minutes.
  13. Cool biscuits on trays for about three minutes, and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
  14. Store cooled biscuits in an airtight container. The biscuits will soften over time. 

20 April 2010

Locust Pizza

And now for the slightly bizarre... Would you eat locust pizza?

18 April 2010

The 'Mites

Something I definitely never tried in America is spreads made from yeast extract. These are used very commonly in Australia on toast, sandwiches and crackers. The best selling one in Australia is Vegemite...an Aussie food icon. I think it's something you have to grow up eating because I just can't handle the bitterness of it except in microscopic quantity. But a cheese and Vegemite sandwich is pretty much the Australian version of the American PB&J (peanut butter & jelly sandwich). I recently tried a couple of the other yeast spreads - Promite and Marmite (the New Zealand version, not the British version). Promite is the highest in it's sodium (salt) content. Marmite is the highest in sugar and probably for this reason a little milder in taste, which I like. Marmite also has the advantage of 11.5g of Dietary Fibre per 100g and 36mg of Iron per 100g, which none of the others claim on their Nutritional Information labels. I haven't tried the new Vegemite Cheesybite (formerly known as iSnack 2.0), the British version of Marmite, or Mighty Mite, but at the moment my vote goes to Sanitarium Marmite. I've been having a bit of it on my toast some mornings. Do you have a favorite 'Mite?

14 April 2010

Breakfast Tacos & Flour Tortillas Recipe

bean & cheese breakfast taco
bean & cheese breakfast taco in homemade flour tortilla

I grew up in San Antonio, Texas - king of breakfast tacos (I hear Austin's are pretty good too). In San Antonio, you roll out of bed and hit up one of the many Taco Cabana, Las Palapas, or Bill Miller drive thrus...or you pick your favorite local taqueria for a hot soft flour tortilla (or two!) in aluminum foil filled with your favorite fillings like bean & cheese (my personal favorite!), bacon & egg, potato & egg, chorizo & egg (chorizo is sausage), or one of the more creative choices from the menu. Without a doubt you will scarf down your taco and start your day very satisfied and having spent only around a dollar or two per taco. You can hardly get any decent Mexican food in Australia so you certainly can't buy any decent breakfast tacos in Adelaide (yet). So even though none of my friends' abuelitas (grandmas) ever taught me how to make homemade flour tortillas back home, my love for breakfast tacos has led me to give it a go here in the land down under. I replaced the traditional lard with butter or margarine or canola oil. The results even on the first try made me want to make all my tortillas fresh and without preservatives and crap for almost nothing instead of paying almost $1 per tortilla for the packs from the supermarket. All you need is a rolling pin, a fry pan, a few ingredients and a bit of muscle. I'll leave it up to you what you put inside and what time of day you eat them but believe me you will want to eat them. and the plate will be lonely again...

Homemade tortillas

Flour Tortillas Recipe

Makes approx 6 tortillas. Double the quantities for approx 12 tortillas.

2 cups all-purpose flour or self-raising flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter or margarine or canola oil
approx 1 & 1/2 cups boiling water

Preparation method:
1. Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl.
2. Mix in butter or oil until the mixture resembles the texture of polenta or fine breadcrumbs.
3. Add a little boiling water at a time, stirring each time.
4. Begin mixing with your hands to make a soft dough. You may not need all the water.
5. Knead the dough for a few minutes on floured surface until it becomes smooth and elastic.
6. Put the dough back in the bowl, cover it with cling wrap and let it rest for 20 minutes.
7. Divide the dough into small balls similar to the size of golf balls and roll out one ball at a time using a rolling pin into the size and thickness you prefer. (I try to get mine as thin as humanly possible)
8. Cook one at a time in a dry heavy frying pan until the top starts to bubble. Then turn to cook on the opposite side.
9. Place cooked tortillas on a large plate with a clean tea towel over the top to keep them warm.
10. Fill with your favorite fillings and enjoy!

13 April 2010

Breadtop is in Adelaide!

Breadtop is in Adelaide!Chocolate Horn & Blueberry Danish
OK this is probably not important to you unless you're actually in Adelaide, but the world needs to know that as of 26 March 2010 Breadtop is in Adelaide! What is Breadtop, you ask? It's lots and lots of yummy buns, pastries, cakes and bread. You walk in, grab a plastic tray and some metal tongs, and wipe your drool while trying to decide what NOT to buy. In all of our past visits to locations in Melbourne combined with our numerous visits so far in Adelaide, we have managed to try something new pretty much every time. It's part of the Breadtop adventure - there's a different selection on offer depending on what has just come out of the ovens. Kinda makes you want to camp out for a whole day just to see what they will bring out next! If there's a location near you, definitely a must try.

Breadtop on Urbanspoon