Saturday, July 07, 2012


This is my special place. Killcare, up on the central coast of New South Wales. Surrounded by national park, the beach is still wild and untouched, an Australian beach of yesteryear.  

On one side of the escarpment is Putty Beach, the other the serene village of Hardy’s Bay. I’m a dog person so one of the enduring appeals of this place is the four legged are allowed off the leash once on the sand. It makes for great for Sunday morning entertainment. 

Killcare had receded into the past for me. Another time and place. For 10 years a group of us would come here every summer. Marriages, kids, mortgages brought that era to a close, but a couple of weekends ago one of our posse celebrated her 40th by returning.

It’s winter here, but when the skies are clear and the wind slaps, the brave still take a dip in the ocean. Killcare is my favourite kind of weekend: a hectic schedule of eat, beach, swim, followed by eat, nap, drink, and then more eating.

Radicchio is in season, and I’m always on the lookout for recipes that make use of its bitter flavour. I once sat in on a cooking demonstration by Alex Herbert of Bird Cow Fish fame. She crisped it up and served it with quail. Here Karen Martini matches it with calamari. 
Calamari with Potato, Radicchio and Fried Breadcrumbs
check out the recipe on Karen's website

This salad isn’t for the faint hearted. The aniseed taste from the fennel, the bitter leaves of the radicchio, and the intense hit of garlic and chilli, make for big flavours. I love it though. Served with champagne, it is a perfect winter lunch by the sea... Followed by dessert down at the Killcare General Store!

PS It’s been a restaurant month rather than a cooking month at ToM and the highlight was the discovery of the Three Blue Ducks cafe in Bronte, Sydney. They focus on seasonal produce and have their own veggie patch out the back of the restaurant.
This was lunch. Check out their menu here. Can’t wait for their cookbook. 

Calamari with pearl barley, parsley, spicy chorizo and almond gazpacho

Crispy skin ocean trout with wakame & cucumber salad and a wasabi mayo