The Food Junkie

Taste, texture & tales. Inside the mind of a chef.

Personal blog of The Food Junkie, Rebecca Clark. Discover stories of taste, texture and tales inside the mind of a chef that's travelled the globe in search of her next food hit. Bec sports a private cook book collection to rival the British Library and Harvard and shares her cooking wisdom with practical tips and humour. She's co-owner of Fish D'vine and The Rum Bar in Airlie Beach, Australia. An iconic award winning restaurant in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef.

New trend or revamp of old classics?

So why whole grains and superfoods one might ask? Not the junkies usual fare, not what I’m known for. Well, all food fascinates me and I mean everything. With this class I’m using a mix of ingredients I have used before and new ones I’ve just discovered, the intriguing factor has been a fascinating hit - a true food junkie hit!

Who doesn’t love a basket full of fresh greens, the glossy green to the warm hints of sage green. Berries kissed by the summer sun. The earthy, nutty, wholesome feeling of the grains. Fulfilling in so many ways.

The culinary delights that these ingredients can marry together is a true foodies dream.

What has taken me by surprise is what’s out there. What’s available within the ancient grain world. As trendy as they are now and after some experimentation I can understand why. The Aztecs and Incas were onto something then and thank goodness it hasn’t been lost. Just so many options, textures, tastes and then the added bonus of their nutritional value.

Some you can even feel the benefits just by their touch, gloss, shape and colour

In all of my master classes I go into study mode a few weeks prior, to design and create. The test kitchen is open. Using my skills that I’ve gathered over the years of being a chef.  This is my time to mix ingredients to bring new dishes to life, my creations. It’s my true passion. I start with designing a recipe, then test and test, until I’ve mastered the one I wish to showcase. Then I record and write the final recipe - which isn’t common for chefs, as it’s all in the brain.

With this class, it certainly has been a journey. A foodie trail that has blown me away and I can’t wait to share. I know it won’t be the only superfood class I will be holding.

Way too many avenues to explore.

So get out there, grab some grain and green and get creating. Pop in to The Prickly Pineapple and hunt and gather for all you need, book into the class and let your superfood journey begin.

Let's get fruity

 

It is without a doubt, my favorite time of year, spring. The weather in the Whitsundays is just stunning. Perfect blue sky days and just the perfect temperature. Yes, summer is coming and although it can at times be a little warm in the tropics, the tropical fruit start to flourish. Mango madness time, so deliciously sweet and the range now is amazing. Fruit salad for breakfast, just delightful.

Another way to enjoy the beautiful array of fruit is the classic fruit sorbet. A dish to make the most of these fruity delights. As the abundance of local strawberries start to disappear a sorbet is a fantastic way to linger on the delicious flavour. Blueberries, another fabulous berry and so good for you. The colours of all the fruit from mangoes to strawberries is a pleasure of beauty to the eyes and taste just divine. Is it worth it, hell yeah. A touch of pure bliss in the freezer for you to enjoy anytime. Serve in a bowl, in a cone or with another dessert, I love a sorbet with cheesecake, Yum!!

Fruits in season now are strawberries, papaya, blueberries, cantaloupe, bananas, pineapple, and rockmelon. So lets get fruity!

Classic fruit sorbet

This is a base recipe for fruit sorbet. It will cover most fruits but remember all fruits are different so sugar levels and lime/ lemon juice will vary. It will always need to be sweeter before freezing as the sweetness will drop when frozen. So just go a little sweetie. You can infuse other flavours into the sugar syrup, like cinnamon, lavender, cardamom, nutmeg, rose water, citrus peel, fresh herbs, lemon grass etc.

Ingredients

  • 4-5 cups fresh fruit, remove any skins pips or inedible parts
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2-6 tablespoons of lemon or lime juice to taste.
  • Remember you want it to be a bit too sweet but the citrus, important as it will enhance the flavour


Method

Peel, pip, do whatever the fruit requires, then roughly chop. Place sugar and water in saucepan and gently bring to the boil to dissolve the sugar. Cool, this can even be made the day before so it’s good ‘n’ chilled. Place chilled sugar syrup, lime or lemon juice and fruit into a blender and blend till smooth. This mix can now be strained depending on the consistency you require. So now, if using a machine, place into the bowl (frozen) of an ice cream machine and churn away.  Follow the machines instructions. When ready scoop into a plastic container, cover with cling film and lid. Keep in freezer till sorbet time.  Or place into a plastic container, place cling film on to protect from going icy and cover with lid and place in the freezer.

When frozen, remove, cut into chunks and blend again. Usually this step is only required once, but if you feel it needs it again, go for it! To check the flavour, freeze a little, try and adjust if needed. Quickest way on a small saucer.

Store in freezer, once again with cling film and lid to protect. Sorbet will last in the freezer for about a month, then it will start to go icy. But fear NOT. If this dose happen, or even before it does, perfect solution. Blend with Rum to make the perfect fruit daiquiri. YUM.