It was one of these Sundays in Adelaide, when the cold wind of winter bites your face and the rain just won’t stop . Latin music playing on the car radio, the crispy air seeping through the windows. It was the perfect day to enjoy some comforting and joyful food and it does not get better than a legendary tasty cuban sandwich.
Basically, a Cuban sandwich (also called a cubano) is a variation of ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, mustard, shredded lettuce, tomatoes and baguette. Biting in a cubano, it s not just like biting in any regular ham cheese sandwich… it’s taking a slice of vacations because once the flavours melt on your palate you can feel the sun, the warm atsmosphere, the music, the colours, the people…
This is how on a rainy and cold Sunday, I ended at Henley Beach in a little restaurant called Hermanos Cubanos. Don’t be fool by the size of the place, it may look tiny but wow oh wow the food is absolutely amazing. I must say I experienced one of the most amazing sandwiches I had in a long time. Imagine the delectable savory roasted pork marinated in garlic, orange and lime juice, the dill pickles tingling your tongue and the mustard magnifying all the flavours. All in all a good hearty sandwich with punchy flavours where every bite is absolutely pure bliss.
But maybe the best way to fully enjoy this moment is to start by watching this feel good movie called CHEF, if you want to know, a culinary masterpiece for the eyes where foodtrucks and savoury cubanos are legends! After this, there is no way you can resist going to Hermanos Cubanos for the real deal or if you are feeling adventurous and want to awaken the chef vibes in you, challenge yourself by cooking your very own cuban sandwich for the perfect tasty Sunday afternoon treat! And why not, if you feel like it, come and share with me your experience by commenting!
What could be better than sitting on the Semaphore jetty, catching crabs, drinking beers and having fun with a bunch of good friends?! That’s called a perfect Aussie summer day 😉
Last Friday, Kim (Vietnam) came up with the perfect and most original idea: “Let’s go crabbing at sunset”, she said! It is something that none of us have experienced before. We thought, yes sure, why not, let’s give it a try! Jessica (Mexico) believes that each week we should do something totally new in order to embrace our new Australian lifestyle and make some good memories.
I must confess I was a bit confused about the technique and was picturing myself running on Semaphore beach, lifting (small) rocks and chasing (or being chased) by crabs and running even faster should this happen to me! I thought, yes well, worst case scenario I would enjoy the beach and maybe even an ice cream.
But actually, I was wrong, crabbing is easier than I thought, all you need is a jetty, a bucket to hold your catch, a fishing basket with line and a little bait to attract crabs such as fish heads… mmm I know yummy! Like fishing, it requires some patience, so the best way to make the time flying by is to enjoy this activity with some crazy and lively friends!
Our friend Kim (Vietnam) was the best instructor ever. She gave us many instructions how to throw the fishing basket far far away. You need to keep if flat and be careful with the strings attached to it because you don’t want to end in the sea with it eaten by the crabs. Three, two, one, GO and fly away!
We were pretty successful and we managed to catch something like 12 crabs. Actually we caught more but we had to release the little ones. Everybody was super happy and Peggy’s kids (Taiwan) were so proud and they had so much fun. It is definitely a good idea for a family/friends activity.
Summer time can be so hot in Australia, sometimes the temperature is so high that sleeping at night becomes nearly impossible despite a good air con. Some people prefer instead to spend the evening until late at night on the jetty crabbing. There is a cold breeze coming from the sea and as the sun is disappearing the temperature is dropping. Actually I recommend to bring sweaters, socks, trainers as it can get pretty cold on the jetty… As it was a first time, many of us did the mistake to come in their beach gears, not the best idea especially at sun set, it was “freezing”!
We spent a really good time together and stayed at Semaphore beach from 6pm to 10pm. We also had like a little picnic there because the sea, the air, the activity make you very hungry! Kim was thrilled, I must say some crabs were HUGE and Liliana tried to make me pause with a crab on a picture but I was a bit scared (she is a naughty girl haha). All in all it felt like being on holidays somewhere else. Sometimes you don’t need a lot of money or being in fancy hotels to enjoy life, simple things can actually feel even better. Best Friday, since a long time, I really enjoyed it ❤
But the fun did not stop there. Crabbing is something and eating crabs is something else! And the party went on at Kim’s house. She invited us in her beautiful home and taught us how to cook the crabs. She also made some delicious sauce to go with. It was fun, because we learnt how to eat a crab, breaking it in small pieces and sucking the flesh out of it… does it sound like a zombie/vampire thing?! I must say it was delicious and we all enjoyed it very much and we can’t wait to go again crabbing!
These moments make me realise how important it is when you are abroad to be surrounded by amazing and generous people that you can call friends. They will make you smile, welcome you in their home and share some part of their culture with you. This is the beauty of living overseas, getting to know new people, bonding with them, discovering new places, opening your heart to new experiences and so much more. The more you are discovering about what is surrounding you, the more you are learning about you ❤
Who could have imagined that crabbing could be so deep 😉
At the moment, it seems that I have a thing for vietnamese food and I can’t get enough of it. When you think of it, it is not that surprising, Vietnamese and French cuisine have history.
It all started in the 17th century with the arrival of Catholic missionaries in Vietnam. But it did not stop there, then France colonized Vietnam and Cambodia forming the Indochinese Union in 1887 which was the start of the French influence in Vietnam for the next 70 years to come! So naturally when you stay that long in a country, you leave pieces of yourself in several ways: be it architecture, culture, words, names and of course cuisine. I find it fascinating to discover (and taste) the French influence on Vietnamese cuisine (the tasty baguette sandwich called Bahn Mi is one of them). For sure it is different comparing to what I am used to in my home country, and sometimes it is hard to make the link between the two countries but there is something magic about all these flavorful dishes and I can’t help being attracted to them (maybe it is in my DNA).
For those who know me well, I often go to Central Market in China Town. Most of the times to buy herbs or lemon because the quality and the price is much better than what you would get in the supermarkets and also the atmosphere is really nice and friendly.
Last time, I went there, I remember it was a beautiful day and as I was feeling a bit hungry I thought I should pass by Little NNQ and see if it was not too crowded. This is a vietnamese restaurant and it is quite popular so it can be tricky to get a good seat sometimes. This place has been recommended to me by John’s vietnamese friend, his name is Phong and lives in Adelaide (and John is American from California who happens to know a lot of people everywhere because he has traveled and worked in so many countries). Luckily the odds were with me and there was a lovely table by the window and the friendly waiter told me I could sit here. As it was a beautiful day, the large windows were opened so it was like I was sitting at the terrasse outside watching people passing by, cars honking and for a minute imagining I was in another country, in a galaxy, far, far away…haha. As things were going well for me, I decided to continue playing my luck and I asked the waiter to choose his fav dish for me. Besides, as I felt adventurous, I opted for the Vietnamese coffee. Normally I’m not the kind of coffee drinker type (I am more into chai or matcha latte) but I’m always happy to try new things and this was the opportunity to get the true vietnamese experience… besides one coffee can’t hurt, can it ?!
My dish was a combination noodle salads. It was very colourful, tasty, crunchy and pretty healthy I believe. So I really enjoyed it and I really recommend it! But I must confess, my favourite part was definitely the Vietnamese coffee as I’ve never had this kind of experience before. By the way, I apologise I have not a lot of pictures to demonstrate the technique but I think I was so overwehlmed by this experience that I completely forgot to document it, my bad !
First the coffee was served in a slow drip filter tool. So basically, the coffee was slowly dripping into the condensed milk in the glass just below it (one drop at a time, so it is a long process). The waiter explained to me that in Vietnam locals would use this time to chat and catch up with their friends while waiting for the coffee to fully drip through. Once it is finished, all you have to do is to transfer the content in a glass full of ice cubes, and enjoy your ice coffee with a straw. So basically drip coffee is the way Vietnamese people create and enjoy conversation with their friends or relatives. I ❤ the concept, I must say and I can’t wait to renew this experience with my friends next time!
Just so you know the Vietnamese coffee has a strong taste (always Robusta, twice as strong caffeine wise, so be prepared to jump like a kangaroo after that ). Once again, it is one of the many heritage from the colonists period. The French introduced coffee to Vietnam in the 1800s, they also brought with them condensed milk as they could not get fresh milk in Vietnam and they also brought phins which is a slow drip filter that sits on top of a cup. Since that time, it has become a tradition in Vietnam to enjoy coffee this way. It is more than just coffee, it is an invitation to relax and chat. I think that the combination of the bitter coffee beans allied with the sweetness of the condensed milk and the cool refreshing kick of the ice cubes just work perfectly! I think I have officially became a Vietnamese coffee lover ❤
So next time you are in the mood for Vietnamese food, why not go and try Little NNQ with some friends and indulge yourself with a Vietnamese coffee while chatting remaking the world. Vietnamese coffee will boost your body while relaxing your mind, call it magic or mystique, the choice is yours 😉
Lately I became addicted to those trendy and colourful beverages called : SMOOTHIES! Not only they are delicious but they are supposed to be healthy as well : perfect combo then, I’m all in! This is the perfect excuse for me to indulge myself with some nice and fresh fruits ❤
It all started with the purchase of a magic kitchen device : Mr Blender! Mr Blender has many qualities :
He is POWERFUL : he can blend anything !
He is CHARMING : nothing can resist him
He is JOYFUL : with his little yellow hat on
He is EASY GOING : dishwasher safe, space saver
And this is the part where I started to buy and blend many fresh fruits but also frozen ones to make refreshing smoothie bowls. I also started to be more and more interested in green juices and I purchased Kale, spinach, cucumber etc… I tried many combinations, but I have a sweet tooth so I must confess that I am more a fruity girl than a veggie one!
I think it is a good way to start the day with a smile on your face. Besides I like to have a bit of fun with my smoothie bowls topping them with superaliments and cool stuffs such as : chia seeds, sunflower seeds, linseeds, grated coconut, goji, almond milk etc… I am having also fun decorating them with layers so it looks like a landscape. I think it is worth it spending a couple of minutes on the decoration because you eat also with your eyes, don’t you?
Anyway, I am quite happy about all my creations. I like the texture and I like the colour, my favourite being anything involving blueberries, strawberries and vanilla soy or coconut milk! I have also a sweet spot for banana, milk and safran (or matcha) shake. It is easy to find on internet many recipes ideas but generally I prefer to follow my intuitions and what I have actually in my fridge and kitchen cupboard. You can’t go wrong with smoothies so let your imagination lead!
So next time, you are looking for ideas to brighten your breakfast, have a colourful smoothie bowl : it will cheer you up for the rest of the day 🙂
“Breakfast is my speciality. I admit it is the easiest meal to cook, but I make everything with a twist!” – Hugh Jackman
Breakfast is my favourite meal during the weekend and luckily Adelaide offers a wide range of nice places where to enjoy the most important meal of the day ❤
I tried many places since I arrived in Adelaide but the restaurants that have, in my opinion, the best breakie in town are: East Terrace Continental, The Royal Oak, The Findi and the Original Pancake kitchen!
But as my grandmother would say, nothing beats an homemade meal and breakfast is no exception! I must say, when it comes to breakfast, my friend John (from California) masters the art and I am a huge fan of his American breakfast! You would think that as a French person, I stick to cocoa, baguette, butter, jam, croissant and pain au chocolat but I must admit that since I moved abroad I changed my breakfasts’ habits. Now I really appreciate a nourishing and salty breakie to kick the day!
John’s American breakfast is the BEST and even the restaurants can’t beat the quality of his cuisine. Generally he makes: scrambled eggs, homemade baked beans with a twist, rosemary potatoes, portobello mushrooms, grilled/garlic tomatoes, crunchy bacons and toasts! Breakfast is served with a lovely English breakfast tea with some milk and sugar. It is absolutely divine and I really adore it! It smells so good and I like the colours and the texture, it is absolutely fantastic. Pictures don’t do justice to it so you will have to take my word for it!
You can always look on the internet and try to find “chez John” to taste his amazing American breakfast but I am afraid it is a very exclusive address and if you want to get invited, you will have to become friends first and move to California 😉
There is always something nice to taste, a new flavour to discover or a new technique to master while learning English!
Today was a very special day because there was the famous South Australian Life magazine covering our international cuisine event! Actually they wanted our dishes to appear in their food and wine section…. wow… can you believe it, our dishes are making the news!!!
So we did our best to represent our countries with food we really love! I think we did a great job and we enjoyed plates from different part of the globe:
– Yosuke (from Japan) made delicious sushis for us! The tuna and the salmon came from Adelaide Central Market and it was very fresh and tasty! I think all the eyes were turned on this piece of art and we were all more than welcome to give it a try. It was not that easy and rolling a sushi is a real technique! Actually Marjorie (from Colombia) and Balbina (from Spain) were really good at it!
– Jessica (from Mexico) cooked amazing chicken tacos with a fabulous fresh guacamole: OMG it was divine! I love the colours of Mexican cuisine, it is so lively! It is like the party is already starting in your plate before it has even reached your mouth.
– Marjorie (from Colombia) prepared some vegetable roots with cheese and tomatoes/onions sauce. Somehow the sauce reminded me of the taste of one of our traditional dish from South of France called: ratatouille. What a lovely surprise I must say!
– Pegguy (from Taiwan) made a beautiful Taiwanese beef noodle soup, such a comforting dish! The beef was literally melting in my mouth and the flavour was absolutely lovely!
– and I (Virginie from France) cooked a “tarte au thon”. Basically it is a kind of quiche made with mustard, tuna, tomatoes, cheese and cream! It can be a starter or a main dish with a salad… depends on how hungry you are! I got the recipe from my grandmother and it is always a hit when I make this dish. My family and friends absolutely love it, and so do I ❤
As always, this class was good fund and a great success! It was a wonderful opportunity to taste some lovely dishes and bond with each other 🙂
“A classic and comforting recipe from the French countryside that will please your palate during winter, especially after an outdoor walk in the biting cold.”
For 4 people:
• 400 g onions
• 2 liters of chicken stock
• 70 g unsalted butter
• 150 g of Bleu d’Auvergne (blue cheese)
• 4 slices of country bread
• Coarse salt
• Ground black pepper
• Peel and chop the onions.
• Melt the butter in a large saucepan add the onions and gently brown over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spatula.
• Then add the chicken stock, seasoned with a pinch of coarse salt.
• Stir and bring to a boil and allow to simmer about 1 hour over low heat. Stir from time to time during cooking.
• Meanwhile mash the Bleu d’Auvergne (blue cheese) in a bowl with a fork until you obtain a creamy texture.
• Lightly toast the slices of country bread and while still warm, spread the cheese on the top of them.
• Once the soup is cooked, remove half of the volume of onions with a skimmer or a slotted spoon. Let the mixture cool down and put it in the blender to obtain an onion puree.
• Then put the onion puree back into the saucepan, mix, adjust seasoning to taste adding salt and pepper and mix well again.
Serve this traditional dish in preheated soup plates. Place the toasted bread spread with bleu d’Auvergne on the side ready to be immersed in the soup.
A little trick to avoid ” crying ” while mincing onions: use a sharp knife! Actually a bad knife crushes the pulp of onion instead of slicing it – it spreads a fine mist of onion juice in the air followed by a river of tears!
If you can’t find Bleu d’Auvergne, you can use a local blue cheese as well, in that case choose a creamy and flavourful one.
Bon appétit 🙂
Kellie, who is the North Adelaide Community Centre coordinator, asked me to take part to a good cause by writing a recipe from France. The idea was to create a “City Community – favourite soup recipes” book in order to raise money for the Welcome Centre of South Australia – http://www.welcometoaustralia.org.au/ – so they can replace a trailer which was recently stolen from them! The goal was to obtain a collection of recipes that reflect a little bit about our family and heritage. I really liked the initiative and I was happy I could help! I chose to translate this recipe into English because I originally come from Auvergne and I liked the idea that “Bleu d’Auvergne” (a typical blue cheese from this region) was part of this comforting dish. My favourites French cheese are: Bleu d’Auvergne, Fourme d’Ambert (another blue cheese), Cantal, Saint-Nectaire, Salers and Gaperon – all made in Auvergne haha! Luckily some of them can be found at the Adelaide Central Market which is good when I am missing French cheese.