His best mate on MasterChef Australia has been eliminated but Mayfield's Reece Hignell is still in it to win it.
Brendan Pang said his goodbyes on Sunday night and is back working at Bumplings Perth, his mobile dumplings restaurant. Some MasterChef fans are already pushing for a spin-off cooking show starring Hignell and Pang, such is their popularity.
Hignell won two immunity challenges in a row this month but will be in survival mode at the next elimination cook-off.
This week, he shares with us this immunity-winning winter warmer.
Vegan pumpkin and onion curry
1/4 cup canola oil
1 brown onion, diced
1 thumb ginger crushed
4 cloves garlic crushed
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp ground cumin
1/2 tbsp ground chilli powder
2 tsp ground coriander seed
2 tsp ground turmeric
1 litre vegetable stock
1/2 butternut pumpkin, cubed with skin on
1 eggplant, cubed
2 tsp sugar
salt to taste
Heat oil in a large pot, then gently fry the onion with ginger and garlic for 3 to 4 minutes or until fragrant. Add the tomato paste, cumin, chilli powder, coriander and turmeric and cook for an additional 2 minutes, continually stirring. Add the vegetable stock, eggplant and pumpkin then cook at simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes until the pumpkin is tender. Add the sugar, salt and a squeeze of lime (add more of any of the seasonings to your taste) then garnish with coriander leaves. Serve with freshly cooked rice or flat bread.
Back in business
More markets are returning as COVID restrictions relax. Just remember, weather conditions can cause markets to be cancelled at late notice so make sure you check before heading out.
Broke Village Market is back at on July 5, 8am to 1pm. The Farm & Fork Market at Morisset Showground is back on July 17, 8am to 1pm, and Handmade in the Hunter Markets return to Kevin Sobels Wines this Saturday, June 27, 9am to 3pm. Hunter Wine Country Markets are also on this Saturday at De Bortoli Wines, Pokolbin, and Lake Macquarie City Farmers Market is at Speers Point Park (7am to 1pm).
Newcastle City Farmers Market continues to operate on Sundays at Newcastle Showground.
Mixing it up at the Town Hall
Charlie Sundays is now operating at Waratah's Town Hall Hotel on a Sunday, noon onwards. The menu contains pub food staples - but everything is vegan. Last week, for example, mushroom and lentil parcels with colcannon mash, vegetables and mushroom gravy was on the menu, alongside bangers and mash and nutloaf roast.
Cellar door open
Inner City Winemakers has reopened its cellar door at Wickham and, to welcome locals back, winemaker Rob Wilce is offering a free wine tasting, including a complimentary cheese board. Call him on 0413 655 441. Also, you can buy a mixed six-pack of award-winning Inner City Winemaker wines featured in Winestate Magazine this month for $180 with free local delivery in Newcastle. A delivery fee of $15 otherwise applies. Check out the range online at innercitywinemakers.com.au.
Friday Night Feast
Keep an eye out for Friday Night Feast as restrictions (hopefully) ease further in the coming weeks. It is a fortnightly Friday night event in Newcastle "showcasing local food truck vendors, live music and a bar" and is being touted as "a family friendly regular outing for locals". Organisers Hunter Events hope to hold the first street feast on September 4.
The Ship Inn
The team at The Falcon Restaurant on Pacific Street are branching out to another Newcastle venue in late July. It's called The Ship Inn, it will be at 102 Hunter Street, and seafood is involved. Keen eyes might recognise the address: it's the historic ANZ bank building and the former home of Reserve Wine Bar.
Muse Kitchen at Lorn
Pokolbin's Muse Kitchen teased us foodies earlier this week with three words: "Muse Kitchen Lorn". Oh, and these two as well: "Coming soon". What Food & Wine can tell you at this stage is that the talented Josh Gregory is involved, and it will be "French bistro style".
Chocolate festival returns
A date has been set for this year's Hunter Valley Cheese and Chocolate Festival at Hope Estate - the weekend of October 10 and 11.
Low and slow at Cardiff
Cardiff RSL Club is back in business and now home to Bluey's Smokehouse - Burgers & BBQ. It's all about low and slow cooking combined with housemade rubs and sauces. The new menu looks the goods and caters for different dietary requirements.
To your door
Lake Macquarie residents, (east, west, north and south) listen up. Papa Al's Bakehouse is delivering fresh bread, rolls, cakes, slices and pies from their Mayfield bakery to your door this Saturday, June 27. Minimum order is $20 plus a $5 delivery fee. Orders close Thursday, June 25, at 5pm. Go to papa-als-wholesale-bakery.myshopify.com to place your order.
Also, Susuru Ramen & Gyoza are delivering frozen ramen and gyoza packs, plus sauces and oils, on specified days. Check out their Facebook page to find out what suburbs they are delivering to next, and phone 4049 8448 for details.
Freebie of the week
Explore interesting tastes and spices with this beautifully presented cookbook.
Coya is a celebration of Middle Eastern, French and modern cooking, combining the techniques, spices and ingredients that make these cuisines so popular. Chef Ashraf Saleh, a self-described gastronomic chef, draws his inspiration from around the globe, and his easy-to-follow recipes will transport your tastebuds to another world.
Coya: French Middle Eastern Cuisine is out now through New Holland Publishers, RRP $39.99. Food & Wine has a copy to give away. To enter, send the word "Coya" with your name, address and number to email@example.com. Entries close on Monday at 9am.
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