Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 13 October 2011 Contents WHAT'S COOKING
Page 14 | 13 October, 2011
A recent escape to tropical north
Queensland offered the perfect
break from winter woes.
Sun-filled days were spent
swimming, walking and reading and topped up with tempting creations
from local restaurants.
Port Douglas is famous for its smorgasbord of cafés and restaurants
-- the choice is almost intimidating. So we congratulated ourselves for
choosing Bel Cibo, a stylish but comfortable restaurant overlooking busy
Macrossan Street, the perfect place for people-watching. We discovered
it's proudly owned by Kiwi chef, Andy Gray.
Andy trained in Wellington at the former Park Royal Hotel (now the
Intercontinental) and enjoyed spells at Cobar in Eastbourne, Icon at Te
Papa and Pravda in Wellington central. After a Kiwi OE he joined Sydney
chef Matt Moran's famous Aria restaurant and won many accolades.
He was enticed to Port Douglas 10 years ago to 2 Fish before opening
his own eatery Bel Cibo (www.belcibo.com.au) two years ago. Bel Cibo
offers a modern Italian menu, fresh local seafood is a speciality and our
innovatively-plated food was delicious.
Another special treat is a night at Flames of the Forest (www.
flamesoftheforest.com.au). Guests are driven to a secret location 10
minutes west of Port Douglas, to walk along a candlelit forest pathway
leading to their dining tables. There's not an electric light in sight --
just candles, shimmering and reflecting in the nearby stream, and
hanging like chandeliers over the tables. The food is modern Australian
(including kangaroo bruschetta and salt and pepper crocodile) with
good use of tropical produce such as black sapotes. Dining in this
rainforest is a mystical experience.
Trinity Beach -- a 20-minute drive north of Cairns and 40 minutes
south of Port Douglas -- was our home while in North Queensland.
It's a popular Kiwi haunt but not over commercialised. The beachside
apartments are just a little taller than the palm trees and the
promenade is dotted with small cafés offering a pot-pourri of cuisines.
Two of the most popular with locals from Cairns as well as tourists are
L'Unico Trattoria and the Blue Moon Grill. L'Unico -- overlooking the
beach -- offers an
of pizzas, pastas
and other Italian
The Blue Moon
provides a mix of
and Asian delights.
spring rolls and
duck curry are not
to be missed.
Going Troppo 1 small chorizo, sliced
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
20g prosciutto, chopped
200g prepared squid (calamari)
salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons each: chopped chilli,
chopped garlic, chopped parsley
1 teaspoon chopped preserved
1 small tomato, diced
Pan-fry the chorizo in a little oil
until lightly coloured.
Remove from the pan.
Sauté the prosciutto in the pan,
Add the squid, salt and pepper.
Toss and add the chilli and
garlic. Reduce the heat. Add the
parsley and preserved lemon and
continue to toss, until cooked,
about 30 seconds.
Return the chorizo to the pan.
Brush the balsamic glaze across
the centre of 2 serving plates.
Arrange the squid neatly on top.
Toss the rocket with the remaining
oil and pile on top of the squid.
Serves 2 as a starter.
Calamari with prosciutto & rocket
1kg Chinese-style red roasted duck
1-2 tablespoons rice bran oil
1 onion, diced
2-3 tablespoons red curry paste
400g can coconut cream
2 tablespoons each: brown sugar,
6 slices pineapple, fresh or canned
Discard the bones from the duck
and shred the meat.
Heat the oil in a heavy frying pan.
Add the onion. Sauté until tender.
Stir in the curry paste and half
the coconut cream. Bring to the
boil, whisking continuously. Add
the brown sugar, lemon juice and
remaining coconut cream and
simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the meat.
Simmer gently to warm through.
Meanwhile, pat the pineapple dry.
Grill or pan-fry on a ridge frying
pan until warm and lines have
been burnt into the pineapple.
Serve with the curry. Great
garnished with coriander.
Duck curry with pineapple
Fig Chutney: 300g dried figs, diced
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup port
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
½ cup apple juice
1 cinnamon stick
Steak: 3 tablespoons each: olive oil,
2 cloves garlic, diced
salt and pepper to taste
1kg grilling steak
To make the chutney, place
the figs and butter in a saucepan
and heat to melt the butter. Add
the sugar and stir to caramelise.
Pour in the port, balsamic vinegar
and apple juice and cinnamon.
Simmer for about 40 minutes on
low heat, until fairly thick. This
will keep for several days in the
Combine the olive oil, soy sauce,
garlic and seasonings. Pour over
the steak. Cover and marinate
for at least 1
pat dry. Grill
with the fig
Steak with fig chutney
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 dried chillies, crumbled
20-24 large whole raw prawns,
peeled, tail and head attached
3 tomatoes, diced
4 garlic cloves, diced
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped
fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 pitted black olives
2 cups each: baby spinach leaves,
Heat the olive oil in a pan. Add the
chillies and the prawns.
Pan-fry -- turning the prawns
frequently -- for 2 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, garlic and
parsley and heat through for 1
Stir in the olives and spinach,
heating until just wilted.
Place a mound of rice in the
centre of 4 warm bowls.
Surround with the mixture.
Great served with crusty bread to
mop up the juices.
Serves 4 as a starter or light meal.
This fig chutney recipe is inspired by one from Flames of the Forest. It is
served with marinated kangaroo fillet.
Based on a recipe from chef Andy
Gray at Bel Cibo, Port Douglas.
• Roast chicken could replace the
duck in this recipe.
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