Bliss from the Land Down Under
This week I’m proud to present another Getting Grilled edition of The Food Dude. Our next guest joins us all the way from the Land Down Under. I’m proud to introduce my online gaming friend and proud proprietor of Chinese cuisine, Martin Han from Melbourne, Australia.
Martin Han: Thanks for the interview, T.
Food Dude: Thank you right back. So, first question, right of the hop, how did you come across this recipe?
MH: Well it’s one of the only recipes that I didn’t learn from my parents, who ran a Chinese restaurant out of our first house. I learned this recipe when I was studying culinary arts in France from one of my flat mates. She was an excellent chef from Italy and a bit of a nomad like me. She’s also my ex-girlfriend, I suppose. I did some tweaking with it over the years though and made it my own thing.
FD: Yup, it’s definitely not Chinese food but I can see several Italian elements in the recipe that really make it pop. The mozzarella and garlic combo in particular gives it a nice touch! Did your ex often add her own Italian flair to her recipes?
MH: She tried to make everything just a little bit Italian, especially me – at times, anyway.
FD: I’m not even going to ask. Anyway, it’s an odd but tasty combination of ingredients, just the sort of recipe I like. Are there any variations we should know about?
MH: Well I’m not sure what you mean by variations exactly, but I sometimes add bacon bits or chicken to the mix if I’m feeling the need for protein. Really though, it’s best on its own. Oh, I sometimes add a little household MSG for flavor too, but I pretty much use it in everything.
FD: After trying it, I can’t say it’s not delicious. I hope you don’t mind it if I publish the original recipe and not the MSG variations, though. A lot of people still think its poison for some reason.
MH: Very true, especially here in Aus. It’s one of those myths that just won’t quit even after it was debunked. Even had to list a few MSG-free dishes on our menu.
FD: Crazy stuff. Why did you choose this recipe to share even though it came from an ex?
MH: Honestly, because I didn’t want to be an Asian stereotype and give out one of my Mandarin dishes and because out of all the food I know how to cook that isn’t Chinese, this recipe is the best. I also try to be good about the whole breakup thing and I think I’ve moved on.
FD: That’s why I wanted to interview you so badly. You’ve got zero problem with answering the tough Grill questions.
MH: Open book policies, mate.
FD: Does this soup keep well in the freezer?
MH: Surprisingly, yes. Most veggies don’t freeze well, especially not asparagus, but this soup you can stick it in the icebox and store for weeks and it warms up pretty good. You have to stir it to keep the creams from separating though, of course.
FD: One last question then, have you ever eaten kangaroo meat and if so, was it on “the barby?”
MH: Have you ever eaten, like, seal meat, Mate?
FD: Yes I have. It’s delicious.
MH: Yes, so is kangaroo. Never had it grilled though.
Martin’s Cream of Broccoli and Asparagus Soup
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 2 cups asparagus, diced
- 2 tbsp real butter
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded or balled
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- Salt and pepper to taste
Directions: In a large pan on medium-high heat, melt butter and sauté your broccoli and asparagus with minced garlic for 5 minutes. Set aside. In a large saucepan bring chicken stock to a simmer and add the contents of your pan. Continue to simmer for 5 to 7 minutes and add all remaining ingredients. Stir and let cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until broccoli florets begin to flake away. Serve immediately.
Don B. – Kentville, NS
Dear Food Dude,
I just wanted to thank you for finally posting a vegetarian/vegan recipe. I gotta point out though that you’ve added some oyster sauce to that otherwise vegetarian recipe – which does contain animal protein.
You’re very welcome. You’re also very right. I had somehow always assumed that oyster sauce was a sauce made FOR oysters rather than a sauce made FROM oysters and that’s pretty hilarious. At least my roommate still eats the occasional fish and shouldn’t be too mad about it. Hopefully, I didn’t cause an uproar.
Anonymous – Unknown Location
Dear Food Dude,
Dear Anonymous Person,
I’ll try. There’s a whole WORLD of food out there though and I’ll be darned if I limit myself to one genre. Still, gotta give folks what they like best!
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Terry Bursey, otherwise known as the Food Dude, is a Newfoundland chef transplanted to Ontario who enjoys putting his mark on traditional recipes and inventing new tasty treats with unexpected ingredients. You can reach him at email@example.com.