Grilled Cuttlefish, Eggplant with Salsa Piccante

In Australia, cuttlefish have mostly been used as bait or for aquaculture feed. Sure, you’ll see them occasionally on restaurant menus and at the fish market, but this cephalopod is seen mostly as a poor cousin to it’s famous relative, the squid or calamari.
Cuttlefish flesh is thicker than calamari, and coarser grained so it can take a little more cooking and is ideal braised, in a soup or a curry. It seems to work well with robust flavours so there’s no need to worry about overpowering it.

But, think of this all you calamari lovers, they put chemicals with the calamari to soften the flesh, and what are you eating!

Cuttlefish contain an ink sac and the ink contained within was used in early photography to attain the distinctive sepia tone. This ink is also a delicacy used to colour and flavour all manner of dishes from risotto to pasta.

In Venice, cuttlefish are cleaned and sliced and fried gently in a pot with chopped onion and parsley, chopped ripe tomato is then added as well as a teaspoon of cuttlefish ink. It is then simmered slowly for an hour or so, seasoned with salt and pepper and served with polenta.

Cuttlefish goes with

Extra virgin olive oil, butter, garlic, onions, chilli, soy and XO sauce, balsamic vinegar, fish sauce, ginger, shallots, spring onions, lime, lemon, tomato, eggplant, zucchini, cucumber, asparagus, beans, fennel, olives, capers, parsley, basil, coriander, most lettuces and leaves, especially roquette, watercress and radicchio, mayonnaise.

Ingredients

500gr ripe tomatoes

juice of half a lemon

1 chilli chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

good handful chopped basil leaves

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 medium sized eggplant

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil for frying

salt

250 gr cuttlefish, cleaned

 

Method

Peel and seed tomatoes and chop them roughly into 1cm pieces. Place in a bow, and add the lemon juice, chopped chilli, minced garlic clove and chopped basil leaves. Season, add extra virgin olive oil, stir well and allow to sit for 1 hour.

Meanwhile cut up the medium sized eggplant into 2cm cubes. Heat 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil on a grill or pan and fry eggplant until they have browned and softened. Season with salt and allow to cool.

Cut cleaned cuttlefish into 4cm square tiles, heat 2tbsp of extra virgin olive oil on a skillet and fry the cuttlefish tiles on high heat until they become golden. Serve on the salsa with the eggplant scattered over.

 

Serves four.

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TIS THE SEASON TO GET BAKING

Christmas has come about so quick in the Ramsay’s household, where has this year gone!

In this household attention now turns to the highly anticipated Christmas season, and the foodie marvels it has to offer.

Christmas does not have to be all about turkey, baked ham, Dry Aged standing beef roast, BBQ, and all the trimmings, with the festive period providing the perfect excuse for a good old baking session!

Ideal to offer as gifts (arranged and wrapped in festive cellophane, tied with ribbon), or to fill up some space on your Christmas tree, now that the kids are off school, let them help as well. Christmas biscuits in particular are quick simple, and therapeutic to make, and taste absolutely delicious too!

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So don the Christmas apron and let the smell of Christmas spices fill your house as you rustle up a number of indulgent and eye catching treats for family and friends to enjoy, the more sparkle the better!

Christmas Spice Biscuits

Ingredients

200 gr self raising flour

100 gr butter

100 gr caster sugar

1 tsp of  ground spice (use a mixture of cinnamon, ginger, or mixed spice, or try a combination)

1 egg

Method

Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees. Rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Add the sugar and spice and mix through. Beat the egg in a small jug, and gradually add to the mixture until it comes together to form a dough.

Knead the dough gently until it is smooth, and then turn it onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll out the dough so that it is 3-4mm thick, and use Christmas shaped cutters to create festive shaped biscuits.

Place the biscuits on a baking tray lined with baking paper, making sure that they are not too close together. If making tree decorations, make a small hole near the edge of each biscuit using a chopstick, or the end of a teaspoon. Ribbon can be threaded through the hole to hang the biscuits once they are cooked!

Place the biscuits in the oven, and bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.

When cooked, remove the biscuits from the oven and allow to cool for two minutes, before transferring them to a wire cooling rack. When cool, the biscuits are ready for decorating! I tend to use a thick icing (made from icing sugar and water), with edible sparkly bits sprinkled on top.

 

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FRESH NEW SPIN ON EVENT CATERING

Ramsay’s on the Run started a new business Ramsay without the f this year, and is now the caterer of choice for the greater area of the Whitsunday’s, we cater from Mackay through to Townsville. I never expected to start this business, it just kind of happened, through a need for something different for the wonderful area that I live in.

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We are not the normal catering company, recipes are inspired by conversations with our producers and our field work, which includes interviews with clients with interesting memories of foods and childhood.

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We pride ourselves on cultivating long term relationships with our farmers, hunters, fishermen and foragers, giving us access to rare ingredients we feel honoured to work with. All our purveyors keep sustainability high on the agenda, and we in turn constantly keep this complex topic at the fore of our development strategy.

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We put the ingredients at the centre of our cuisine, aiming to show them in their most natural and delicious form. We keep messing around to a minimum, preserving fresh, delicious and traditional flavour. If you are looking for a wedding, event catering company with a difference, then we may be able to help you. We also do private cooking classes, from yourself to 16 clients. Children’s cooking classes are a must in this ever busy world, I am always amazed to hear that young adults can not cook, after being with us they walk out proud!

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Coeliacs often cringe at the mere mention of the words “catered event”.

It usually means platters of sandwiches and sausage rolls, and tiers of cakes and slices chock full of gluten, dairy and sugar. And that means going hungry. Or at least sitting in the corner nibbling on a blackened emergency banana or squashed gluten free bar.

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All that is going to change for the greater area of the Whitsundays, with one of the area’s hottest new caterers, offering gluten free, sugar free, vegetarian and even vegan sweet and savoury dishes.

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So the next time you have an event coming up, sit down with us and we will work with you and not against you. It’s been a really enjoyable ride so far, and its become something I never knew was possible.

 

 

RENT MY BRAIN…THE SOLUTION

 

WHAT DO YOU BUY THE PERSON IN YOUR LIFE THAT HAS EVERYTHING

As the festive season draws ever closer, thousands of shoppers will frequent online and offline outlets in search of the ideal gifts for their loved ones.

Unfortunately, although you may find it easy to shop for many of your friends and family members, at Ramsay’s on the run we recognise how there will always undoubtedly be a certain special someone for whom it seems impossible to buy! Regardless of whether this loved one is a spouse, relative or close friend, many of us face the annual gift-giving dilemma of finding presents which will suit the person in your life who seemingly already has everything they could ever want or need!

Fortunately, at Ramsay’s on the run,  we have devised a solution to this dreaded festive dilemma; private staff support! By giving the gift of time in the form of temporary, part-time or full-time private staff assistance, you can reward the person in your life who seemingly has everything with a thoughtful present from which they will benefit throughout the year.

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Consequently, if you have begun your Christmas shopping and would like to reward a family member or friend with a gift like no other, then listed below are our helpful hints on how to match them with their ideal avenue of private staff support:

Private chefs: If you have someone in your life who seemingly has everything but never has time to cook then why not give them the gift of a private chef?

At Ramsay’s on the run we can match your friend and relatives with extensively qualified and diversely experienced culinary professionals who can provide the following services:

 

  • Plan and prepare an array of delicious menus in accordance with your friend or family member’s particular culinary tastes or dietary requirements
  • Provide the person  in your life with one-to-one cooking lessons and demonstrations, introduce them to a broad spectrum of international cuisine.
  • Provide exquisite catering services for formal dining events or social gatherings.

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In this manner, investing a private chef service will enable your gift recipient to enjoy delicious and nutritious meals on a daily basis with minimal hassle. Moreover, giving the gift of a private chef could even lead to the person in your life discovering a new passion for cooking; thereby equipping them with culinary skills that will benefit them far beyond the festive season! One of the best things is that we can do it anywhere!

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Who is Ramsay’s on the Run?

Rod Ramsay;

Has been living his dream of fine cuisine and travel. His chef background establishes him as one of the foremost chefs in New Zealand and Australia, having managed and run award winning restaurants, hotel kitchens and event venues. Rod, along with wife Belinda, managed world renowned Sign of the Takahe, one of Christchurch’s most popular boutique event venues, in the Port Hills of Christchurch. This restaurant won the Beef and Lamb award 5 years running. Also Hapuku Lodge and Tree Houses, Sheraton Perth

A highlight of Rod’s career was to be invited to act as private chef to Prince Philip during an Australasian visit, Rod travelled with the Prince and prepared fine cuisine for his small entourage.

Belinda Ramsay;

has extensive knowledge in customer service in the art of making the customer feel that they are the only person that is on the planet. Both Rod and Belinda have travelled the world, and are very knowledgeable in travel and food. Belinda is the stylist from a passion that she has nurtured for many years. Belinda is always looking for new inspiration in magazines, cookery books, shops and anything else that catches her attention.

Please contact us by email:chef.rod.ramsay@gmail.com for more information and prices.

RENT MY BRAIN…THE SOLUTION