discovering a simpiler life

discovering a simpiler life

Saturday, 20 July 2013

A most memorable morning

Earlier this week I was in Melbourne, but unfortunately only had just under 3 hours to be unleashed in the city before heading for the train home.  I love the city, if I was to move back tomorrow it is where I'd want to live, no suburbia for me - the hussell and bussell, so many cafes, restaurants and different walks of life is where its at.

Instead of venturing somewhere new, I found myself heading for my 2 favourite spots, guaranteed never to disappoint. The first is a Melbourne institution, a place that has been blogged to death no doubt, Pellegrinis Espresso Bar.

Serving Italian classics crafted by the nonnas in the kitchen, it breaths old school Italian cool.  I go for the pure entertainment value mostly and a quick coffee at the bar, and watch the floor show that is the waiters at work.

Next stop is not too far further down Bourke Street, Grossi Florentino's for some breakfast.  

I have eaten here numerous times and I must admit to being smitten.  Not just because of the owner Guy Grossi, although he is a draw card, it is the total experience that has me sucked in.  The attentive staff, the warm ambiance and of course the food.  I decided on something left of centre  not your normal breakfast; soft polenta with a mushroom ragu and a poached egg on top. It was deep and rich in flavour, the egg runny and oozing, a taste sensation.  I was full to pussies bow and happy as a pig in the proverbial for my train ride home.

The menu

Mushroom ragu
1/4 cup evoo and a knob of butter
1 large onion, finely diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
some fresh thyme, maybe the leaves off 3-4 sticks
500g of mixed mushrooms, button, porcini, swiss browns, portabello, whatever you can get your hands on.  If using porcini, use the water used to reconstitute them also.
100ml marsala
1 litre of chicken stock
Heat oil & butter in a large frypan or pot that will hold the liquid required. Sautee the onion and garlic quickly, add the mushrooms and thyme and once the mushrooms have some colour add the marsala and stock. Simmer until reduced by 1/3 or so and mushrooms are still tender. You may need to thicken it with a roux ( softened butter mixed with plain flour). Check seasoning.
Great on pappardelle pasta, or with polenta like my breakfast dish or even as a topping for a steak or chicken breast.

Ciao, Jan

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