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Very Good Things

Recommendations on podcasts, movies, TV, books, recipes, restaurants, technology, travel, shopping and more. Things that make life more interesting or satisfying.

Month

December 2016

Greek Fisherman’s Soup – A Hearty, Simple And Restorative Recipe

Adapted from the Vefa’s Kitchen cookbook (aka ‘The bible of authentic Greek cooking’), this Greek Fisherman’s Soup has a short ingredient list but bubbles away for hours so extracts maximum flavour. After an indulgent and not so healthy few days over Christmas, my husband cooked this for us last night and as always, it left me feeling nourished and happy. It also uses the whole fish so is a more responsible and cost effective way to buy seafood. This serves 4 and you will need:

  • 1 kg whole fish, scaled and cleaned (we use snapper)
  • 250g brown onions, thinly sliced
  • 500g tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and chopped into cubes
  • Large handful of parsley, finely chopped, including stalks
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

View the full recipe.

Thai Salad Recipe – Perfect And Easy Accompaniment To A Summer BBQ

The original recipe for this Thai salad appeared in an old Thermomix cookbook but I’ve adapted it over the years to add chilli to the dressing, snow peas to the salad greens and substituted slivered almonds with toasted sesame seeds. You could play around with different greens in the salad – it’s really the dressing that makes this dish amazing. It serves around 4-6 as a side and you will need:

Dressing:

  • 2cm cube ginger, peeled
  • 20g oil of your choice, e.g sunflower or olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 40g fresh lime juice (approx 2 limes)
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar (optional)
  • 1 red or green chilli finely chopped (optional)

Salad:

  • 1/2 Chinese cabbage (wombok), sliced
  • A few handfuls of baby spinach (around 100g)
  • A large handful of snow peas, finely sliced (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  1. For the dressing, grate the ginger and mix with all the other dressing ingredients. Set aside.
  2. Toast the sesame seeds in a pan over low heat until they turn light brown. Set aside to cool.
  3. Whilst the sesame seeds are toasting, combine all the salad greens in a bowl then pour over the dressing, mix through and finally toss the cooled toasted sesame seeds through just before serving.

The Night Of – A Crime Drama TV Series From HBO

Yet another high-quality series from HBO. They rarely put a foot wrong. The Night Of is an eight-part series that delves into the intricate story of a fictitious murder case in New York City. The series follows the police investigation and legal proceedings, all the while examining the criminal justice system and the purgatory of Rikers Island, where the accused (played brilliantly by Riz Ahmed) awaits his trial. It’s based on the BBC’s Criminal Justice. I’m only up to episode 2 and it’s already a seriously tense and addictive watch. Perfect casting and a potential community service announcement for sweet naive young men that are tempted by the beautiful yet troubled young woman. View the trailer. Get the series from iTunes or stream via Foxtel or HBO.

Midnight Sun – A Riveting Swedish Drama TV Series

Directed by the team behind Scandi-noir success The Bridge, Midnight Sun follows the investigation of the brutal murder of a French citizen in Kiruna, a small Swedish town in the Arctic Circle where the sun never sets. What ensues is the discovery of a ten-year-old secret conspiracy. Shout out to my sister who put me on to this. It’s a riveting watch. The cinematography is stunning and the soundtrack is beautiful and haunting. Watch the trailer or consume the entire series (8 episodes at around an hour long each) on SBS On Demand now.

Chat 10 Looks 3 Christmas Special Podcast – 2016 Recommendations

Chat 10 Looks 3 is a podcast in which Annabel Crabb and Leigh Sales talk about books, television, radio, movies, food, politics and whatever else they feel like. It’s an unrehearsed, casual chat and I love the banter between these two friends. They’ve just released their Christmas special episode which is great if you’re looking for some reading, viewing or eating recommendations these holidays. I can vouch for two books I’ve read on their list this year: Commonwealth by Ann Patchett and Our Souls At Night by Kent Haruf. If you can’t spare the 1 hour 40 minute listen, go straight to their list of recommendations. Listen to the podcast.

Please Like Me TV Series – A Clever and Honest Australian Comedy Drama

My latest viewing obsession is Please Like Me, an Australian comedic drama that is now in its 4th season. The series was created by the star of the show, Josh Thomas, and his real-life best friend, co-writer and co-star Thomas Ward. Although Josh Thomas is the central character, the other characters that play his friends and family bring just as much to it and are all flawed but loveable. The show covers a range of issues including sexuality, mental illness and drugs in an honest and funny way yet also succeeds in making some of these very sad and touching moments. I don’t think it’s for everyone… you’ll either find Josh highly irritating or completely charming. Here’s a scene that’s indicative of the type of humour in the show that I found hilarious (no offense to my reiki friend). You can stream all episodes now on ABC iView.

Saint Peter – A New Sustainably Sourced Seafood Restaurant in Sydney

Saint Peter in Sydney’s Paddington showcases Australian sustainably sourced seafood. The menu changes daily, allowing them to choose the very best quality fish available. We sampled a good portion of their weekend brunch menu and all dishes were excellent but for something truly decadent, opt for the Marron Scrambled Eggs (pictured). Open Fri-Sun for lunch, Wed-Sun for dinner and brunch on the weekend. 362 Oxford St, Paddington. Book online.

Tickled – A Bizarre And Intriguing Documentary

Tickled is a documentary that explores the world of ‘competitive endurance tickling’, starting out as a light-hearted and entertaining human interest story that gets pretty dark, pretty quickly. If you’re indecisive or arguing with someone about what to watch one evening, give this a go as will provide you with part comedy, part thriller, part investigative journalism. For a good overview that doesn’t give too much away, check out this review. Watch the trailer. It’s available on iTunes.

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