May 13: Barrumundi Burger; Pork Belly with Choucroute

Lunch

The Foodies returned to the Belmont Yacht Club where Foodie Greg had lunch with his parents last week. This older Registered Club is built out into the Lake and we were surrounded on thre sides with water

We both chose the Barrumundi Burger at Au$15.00 (US$11.40)

Dinner

We had seen pork belly at the new Warner’s Bay Aldi so picked up one suitable for three and decided to serve with choucroute. Unfortunately the German owned Aldi only has sauerkraut in October!

We found the necessary ingredients at another supermarket and prepared the meal over three hours.

  • The pork belly was $12.50 or $4.17 per serve
  • Carrots were 24c or 8c per serve
  • A can of sauerkraut was $3.20 or $1.07 per serve
  • Add 20c for onion and seasoning.

The Pork was beautifully tender while the skin had crispened up nicely for “crackling” and the choucroute a perfect complement, even though we forgot the potatoes! A good meal for Au$5.52 (US$4.19) per serve.

May 11: Hamburger Wrap; Ham and Corn Chowder

Lunch

While Foodie Philip repeated the Caesar Schnitzel Wrap of a couple of days ago – taking off one piece of Schnitzel for later – Foodie Greg’s hankering for an Aussie style burger was temporarily thwarted by the lack of a bun.

The suggestion was made, and accepted, that the burger be served as a Wrap. Foodie Greg thinks this unconventional approach is better because the Wrap is better bread than a typical hamburger bun.

Both meals were huge for $12.00 and $8.50 respectively, or an average of Au$10.43 (US$7.90).

Dinner

Mom suggested we cook Foodie Greg’s Split Pea Soup from the ham stock she’d made earlier in the week, but the lack of liquid smoke and a stick blender meant that the recipe would be compromised. Instead it was decided to cook a Ham and Fresh Corn Chowder.

This was a much more successful recipe than an earlier attempt that turned out to be too sweet to eat! The recipe made six serves so we will get two meals from it.

  • The Ham stock had no cost
  • Bacon cost $2.05 or 34c per serve
  • Sweet corn on the cob was $2.50, or 42c per serve
  • Celery was $3.00 but again we used only ⅓ or 17c per serve
  • A carrot was 38c or 6c per serve
  • Add 20c per serve for potatoes
  • Add 15c per serve for spices.

This was a really tasty Chowder for Au$1.34 (US$1.02) per serve.

May 10: Indian Curries; Braised Lamb Shoulder Chops with Tomatoes, Rosemary, and Olives

Lunch

Lunch found us in the local Village as Foodie Philip’s Mom like to go there daily. Today we chose the local Indian takeout and had Beef Vindaloo, Beef Madras and Lamb Korma, with fresh baked – as in while we were waiting – naan.

It was all really tasty for Au$10.90 for each curry serve, and we shared the $3.50 naan: Au$12 .65 (US$9.49)per serve.

Dinner

Because Lamb is more readily available in Australia, we chose some Lamb shoulder chops suitable for  Braised Lamb Shoulder Chops with Tomatoes, Rosemary, and Olives. We shopped with a real butcher shop, not the meat counter!

  • The shoulder chops were very reasonably priced at $10.80 or $3.60 per serve
  • A jar of olives was $3.00 but we only used half, or 67c per serve
  • Tomatoes paste cost 90c or 30c per serve
  • A jar of dried thyme was $2.49 but we used only a fraction (instead of Rosemary) or about 10c per serve
  • Cherry tomatoes were $3.00 or $1.00 per serve
  • A pack of celery was $3.00 but we used ⅓ or 33c per serve
  • Carrots cost 95c, or 32c per serve
  • Add 25c for onion and seasonings.

The dish turned out really well, with a lot of flavor for Au$6.57 (US$5.00) per serve.

May 6: Beef & Mushroom Pie/Quiche; Pork Sirloin with Waldorf Salad

Lunch

For lunch we went out with Foodie Phillip’s mother and some of her friends at a local coffee shop where Philip had a Beef and Mushroom pie, while Foodie Greg had a Spinach and Feta Quiche.

Our meal was paid for by mom.

Dinner

We found some pasture raised pork sirloin, with skin, at the supermarket and we’re going to pair it with an Apple and Endive salad, but the lack of available endive saw it become a Waldorf salad instead.

(Prices in Australian dollars, with a conversion at the end)

  • The pork sirloin was $16.95 or $5.65 per serve
  • A pack of celery was $3.00 and we used ⅔, or 67c per serve
  • Pecan nuts (walnuts not available) were $4.41 or $1.47 per serve
  • Two Modi apples were $1.87 or 62c per serve
  • Add 30c for mayonnaise per serve.

The pork turned out perfectly, except we were unable to get the crisp “crackling” skin beloved by Australians. Otherwise a good meal for Au $8.71. (US $6.55)

May 5: Airline Breakfast; Fillet Steak with Avocado, Tomato Salad

Breakfast

The Airline served a competent breakfast of a cheese omelette, with a sprinkling of home fries and a small chicken sausage link. There was strawberry yoghurt and a muffin as well.

Again a competent meal that, with a slice of toast in the middle of the day, kept us going until dinner.

Dinner

We were invited to dinner with Foodie Philip’s brother and his family. We were served some perfectly grilled fillet steak with an avocado, tomato tossed salad. A big step up from Airline food and much appreciated, particularly as it cost us nothing.

May 4: The Country Deli; Airline Dinner

Lunch

The Foodies had a business lunch at The Country Deli, where Foodie Philip had his usual marinated skirt steak, while Foodie Greg had a Pastrami on rye. The other party paid for lunch.

Dinner

A very, very late dinner as – actually after midnight so technically not Friday – on an aircraft heading for Australia. We had a small beef stew with overcooked broccoli and a sprinkling of home fries, and a dinner roll. Competent but uninspired food, included in the air fare.

Mar 26: Avocado & Smoked Trout; Roasted Potatoes with Peppers and Onion and Fried Eggs

Lunch

We’ve become fans of the smoked trout. Since avocado and a can of smoked trout provide enough for two sandwiches, it was two – delicious – sandwiches the same.

  • Two slices of bread are 32c per serve
  • The avocado was 50c or 25c per serve
  • The smoked trout is $3.49 per can or $1.75 per serve
  • Add 25c for butter.

The smoked trout on avocado is a great combination for $2.57 per serve.

Dinner

We had planned on split pea soup, but time got away with us, so a quick meal, on the table fast was called for. We had a pack of Trader Joe’s Roasted Potatoes with Peppers and Onion, which we prepared and topped with a fried egg (or two).

  • The roast potato mix was $2.99 or $1.50 per serve
  • The pastured eggs are 50c each: Greg had one, Philip two.

We felt the roast potato mix was disappointing. Prepared to instructions it was not at all crispy (although we could have gone longer) and it was almost entirely potato. Not terrible, but slightly disappointing for $2.00 per serve.

Mar 11: Pork Tumeric Coconut Curry; Japanese Rataouille

Lunch

For lunch we decided to reheat the leftover curry from last night, which we did and enjoyed it again. Instead of rice we served it on some tostadas.

  • The curry was $3.91 per serve
  • The tostadas are 22 for $2.29 or 42c per serve.
The pork, turmeric coconut curry on tostadas.

A good lunch for $4.33 per serve, although the tostadas got soggy with the liquid from the curry. Still tasty.

Dinner

A change to the vegetarian. We enjoyed the Japanese Ratatouille Recipe last time we cooked it and did again.

The dry baking of the vegetables is extra work, but it intensified the flavor, while the dressing added another layer of flavor. With the recipe making so much we served without rice, and will still get six meals.

  • The Kaboc squash was $2.21 but we only used half for the six serves, or 18c per serve
  • Two Chinese eggplants went into the dish costing $1.18 or 20c per serve
  • The bell pepper was $1.49 or 25c per serve
  • Grape tomatoes were $2.99 or 50c per serve
  • An onion adds 5c per serve
  • Miso Easy is $5.99 for the bottle that we used about 1/8 of in this dish, or 13c per serve.
  • Add 30c for ginger and oil
  • Add 20c per serve for the remaining ingredients.

A very tasty dish for $2.01 per serve.

Mar 8: Pastrami, Tabouli & Swiss; Rib Eye with Roast Kabocha Squash and Buttered Balsamic Mushrooms

Lunch

We had some pastrami that needed to be used, so we made two identical Pastrami, Tabouli and Swiss toasted sandwiches.

  • Two slices of bread are 32c per serve
  • Add 25c for butter
  • The 1.25 lb of beef pastrami was $7.69 (32c an ounce), and we used two on the sandwich, or 64c per serve
  • We served 1/2 of the tabouli salad or 67c per serve
  • Gouda slices are 12 for $3.99 or 17c per serve.

Lunch today was decent for $2.05 per serve.

Dinner

It’s “Thursday night steak night” and tonight we picked a rib eye from our Prather Ranch meat delivery and grilled it, as there was a break in the cold weather.

We paired it with roast kabocha squash – rapidly becoming a favorite – and an impressive Buttered Balsamic Mushrooms. We skipped the sugar but added a reduced balsamic glaze

  • The rib eye was $19.97 or $9.99 per serve
  •  The mushrooms were $2.49 or $1.25 per serve
  • The kabocha squash was $1.98 and we used half, or 50c per serve
  • The balsamic glaze adds 35c per serve
  • Rosemary came from our garde
  • Add 35c per serve for seasonings, oil and shallots
  • The butter is $3.99 per block, and we used about 1/5 for two serves, or 40c per serve.

Dinner tonight was better than most steak house meals we’ve had. The buttered balsamic mushrooms were intensely flavored, and almost too much, but paired with the steak or squash, it was perfect. A great meal for $12.84 per serve.

Mar 5: Double Double; Ginger Miso Broth with Chicken Gyoza

Lunch

Foodie Philip was back in the Burbank Monday routine with the normal In and Out Double Double Animal Style for $4.27.

Dinner

An easy meal: prepared ginger miso broth and chicken gyoza, both from Trader Joe’s. Unfortunately they did not have any of the vegetable gyoza, which we found to be the tastiest of the whole selection.

  • Bok Choy was $2.77 and we used ⅓ or 46c per serve
  • The Miso Ginger broth was $1.99 or $1.00 per serve
  • The gyoza were $2.99 and, or $1.50 per serve
  • Shelled edamame was $1.29 or 33c per serve
  • Add 20c for seasonings.

An easy “cheat” meal assembled from prepared ingredients that still manages to be greater than it’s parts. The vegetable gyoza definitely have the most flavor, while the chicken is the least interesting. A good meal for $3.49 per serve.