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Tag Archives: Middle Eastern Food

Three Blue Ducks

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Three Blue Ducks is an intriguing restaurant in an intriguing location in the lovely seaside suburb of Bronte in Sydney.

My long time friend Ms M was visting Sydney, her former home, from Cleveland Ohio, where she has lived for the last thirty plus years. We catch up every visit, and it’s lovely to hear her Australian accent to which she has stayed true all these years!

We met at the restaurant, tucked away in a suburban street, almost easy to miss. However the location is deceptive – much bigger than you think,  the restaurant is spread over 2 shop fronts with a little alleyway in between. Melbourne quirk meets Sydney trend – the alleyway is vibrantly decorated with street art and the ineterior is rustic and casual with bar and table dining.

The menu is flexible, designed for sharing or not, depending on the diners’ mood. Ms M and I shared some dishes with a Middle Eastern bent.

We started with sourdough bread from the famous Iggy’s Bread in Bronte,  with house-made cultured butter, which as a butter nut I found utterly delicious!

We shared a “Big” roast barramundi, pumpkin, kale & chickpea salad and harissa. The barramundi was crisp skinned but still moist. The harissa was spicy rather than overly hot. I’m not a huge fen of kale so I missed out on this element of the dish.IMG_5860

The next “Big” dish was my favourite: pressed lamb shoulder, babaganoush, israeli cous cous salad & flatbread. The lamb was compressed into a rectangular slice, and was soft enough to eat with the proverbial spoon. It was served with a lovely flatbread to mop up the babaganoush and the lamb pieces.

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Along with these dishes we had the “Small” roast beetroot, goats curd, pickled carrot, grains & yoghurt, heirloom beets of different colours with a slightly sweet curd and an interesting carrot pickle.

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We finished with orange blossom baklava, berry labneh, fruit & pistachio, an additional Middle Eastern twist on a Middle Eastern sweet, perfect as a shared after dinner treat.

It was a great venue for a catch-up. Ms M was delighted to be eating out in Sydney, in seaside Bronte,  sampling the current food vibe in foodie Sydney. A nice memory to take back to snowy Cleveland!

Three Blue Ducks is located at:

Bronte
141-143 Macpherson st
Bronte NSW 2024
02 9389 0010

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Blood Orange Cake with Lemon Drizzle and Candied Orange

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This recipe is based on the now famous orange almond cake of Claudia Roden, from A Book of Middle Eastern Food (1968).

I have cooked this cake many, many times over the years and made several variations. This version uses blood oranges as I had some left over from jam making.

Ingredients

Cake
2 blood oranges
4 large free range eggs
1 cup sugar
200 gms ground almonds
1-2 tsps baking powder

Candied Orange
1 orange
6 tbs sugar

Lemon Drizzle
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Enough icing sugar to make a lemon drizzle

Method
Cook the oranges whole by boiling in a saucepan, with a lid, with enough water to cover, until the oranges are soft (somewhere between 1-1/2 hours).

Remove from the pan and leave to cool. Process in a food processor until smooth. Add the eggs and sugar, process again. Add ground almonds and baking powder and pulse to mix. The mixture will be quite loose, if too liquid, you can add more ground almonds.

Grease a 22cm springform tin if you want a flatter cake, or a grease a 20cm tin for a slightly higher cake.

Transfer the mixture to the tin and bake in a slow oven (150 degrees C fan-forced, 170 degrees C non fan-forced) for about an hour or until a skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean. You can cover the top of the cake with foil if it is browning too quickly.

Remove from the oven to cool to room temperature.

Candied Orange
Make the candied orange in the following way:
Cut the orange into fine slices, removing the flesh and juice , leaving only the skin.
Place into a saucepan of water, and bring to the boil.
Remove from the heat and drain the rind. Do this twice more.
Finally make sugar syrup with the sugar and 1/2 cup of water. When the sugar is dissolved, place the orange rind into the syrup and cook for 10 minutes or until the syrup is reduced and thickened.
Remove the rind and place on baking paper on a baking sheet making sure the pieces do not touch.
Dry in very low oven for 1-2 hours until the pieces are no longer “wet”.
Store in an airtight jar in caster sugar if not using straight away.

Lemon Drizzle
Mix the lemon juice with enough icing sugar to create the desired lemon icing that will drizzle down the sides of the cake.

Serve the cake iced with the lemon drizzle and decorated with candied orange pieces.

For this cake, I didn’t have enough candied orange, so added some of my cumquats in sugar syrup from a previous post.

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