Friday, May 27, 2011


We are finally settling into our new premises and enjoying the community of this great street that is Doggett!

59 Doggett Street.  Newstead.  Qld.  4006

This week, a group of mad West Australian guys and girls on their way to Australia Zoo for the day had a little bingle in their hire van.  They turned up at P.J's Smash Repair across the road from our showroom in full animal costume!  After a bit of a paint touch up they were back on their way, but boy did they bring smiles to a lot of faces that morning....


Thank you this week, to Angela Parker from the Sawtell Chilli Festival for contacting us....also big fans of chef extraordinaire Aaron Harvie.  She is lucky enough to be working with Aaron at the festival, being held on Saturday 2nd July in First Avenue Sawtell.  Festivities start at 9am right through to 4pm with street stalls featuring all kinds of Chilli goodies!  

There will also be live entertainment, sensational food and a cooking demonstration by none other than Masterchef contestant Aaron Harvie (word has it he will be cooking up his 'War Pigs' recipe...see our blog from last week for more), who besides being talented and creative is one very cool guy.  

With free rides also for the kids and all for a Gold Coin Donation, who could ask for better value, and a fabulous way to spend the day.

But wait...theres more!  
 Celebrate the end of the festival with the festival after party at the Sawtell RSL $15 presale $20 door
A cool day warming up at the Chilli Festival!...sounds perfect.
For more information, visit the event website



Regarded as one of the most original and adventurous collectors, dealers and designers of our time, Axel Vervoordt rightly considers himself an eclectic collector and dealer, who treasures the timeless and disdains the trendy....hey! wonder the girls have all his books!  Axel would have to be one of Colette and Cathies greatest inspirations.  Vervoordt’s taste spans centuries, continents and economic strata, and his profound knowledge of this history of fine and applied arts has led him to create spaces in which his juxtaposition of objects from vastly different eras and cultures makes a strong and impressive statement on present and future interior taste. More on Axel in the coming weeks...he has a castle you know....
Axel Vervoordt the man
Axel Vervoordt, the creator of magnificent, inspirational spaces.....


Last week we mentioned that we were heading to the Paniyiri Greek Festival.  Fortunately the rain on the Saturday abated long enough for us to be able to down considerable amounts of Saganaki, Spanikopita, Honey Puffs and Char-Grilled baby Octopus, and wash it down with a Mythos or two.
Paniyiri is a fabulous day out for the family, with dancing, food and a huge Ekka-Style showground.  There is something for everyone and its well worth heading there next year...see you there!  
'Pete the Greek' enjoying a Mythos beer at Paniyiri in Brisbane 2011

Thanks once again to Aaron Harvie for sharing yet another recipe with us this week.  Created for the Sawtell Chilli Festival, this particular dish 'Duck On A Hot Tin Roof' ticks all the boxes.  Aaron says..' I came up with recipe when I was at BBQ King in Chinatown… I love the idea of combining for cultures, cooking methods and taste… this dish is my idea of a Mexican ode to Peking Duck…
It was created for the 2011 Chilli Festival on the NSW North Coast… I hope you enjoy'…


 Shredded Roast Duck Rubbed with Molasses, Stout and Ancho Chilli served on a Buttermilk Crepe with Habanero infused Plum Sauce and a Coriander and Cucumber Salsa.

For the Duck
1 x 2.5 kg Duck
1 lemon
3 tbsp Molasses
3 tbsp dark soy sauce
150 ml Dark Beer or Stout
1 cinnamon stick
2 tbsp Ancho Chili Powder
For the Crepe
¾ cup of all-purpose flour
1 tbsp of melted butter
1¼ cups of buttermilk
2 tbsp of sugar
2 eggs
¼ tsp of salt
For the Habanero infused Plum Sauce
1 Dried Habanero Chilies
1 cinnamon quill
4 each cloves and coriander seeds
2 star anise
150 ml cider vinegar
500g red plums, halved, stones removed
1 eschalot chopped
100 ml port
Juice each of 1/2 lemon, lime and orange
1/4 tsp five-spice powder
1/4 firmly packed cup (50g) brown sugar
For the Coriander and Cucumber Salsa
1 Cucumber Seeds Removed Diced
2 tbsp Coriander finely chopped
2 tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
Drizzle of Canola Oil
Micro Greens
For the Duck
1-    To make the marinade, cut the lemon into 1/4 cm slices and place in a medium saucepan with 1.2 liters of water and the rest of the ingredients. Bring to the boil.
2-    Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes until flavors are infused.
3-    Wash duck inside and out, then pat dry with paper towel. Place duck in large strainer above larger bowl. Scoop boiling mixture all over duck for about 10 minutes. Hang duck again in cool, windy place for 6 hours until thoroughly dry.
4-    Place duck breast side up on a greased rack in oven preheated to 180 degrees. Set a pan filled with 5 cm of water in bottom of oven. Roast 30 minutes. Turn duck and roast 30 minutes more. Turn breast side up again. Roast 10 minutes more. Rest.
5-    Once the duck has cooled a little bit, use two forks to shred all the meat off the carcass and reserve the skin. 
For the Crepe 
1-    Combine all ingredients into a blender and mix until well-blended
2-    Refrigerate the batter for at least 30 minutes.
3-    For the Habanero infused Plum Sauce
4-    Heat Griddle pan add Habanero Chillies. Roast Chilli till fragrant then remove.
5-    Place Habanero Chillies into bowl, cover with boiling water and submerge for 20 minutes. Use a tin of something to keep them under the water. After they have soaked remove Habanero from water, de-seed and de-stem.
6-    Place the cinnamon, cloves, coriander and star anise in a muslin bag and secure with string.
7-    Place remaining ingredients, except the sugar, in a large saucepan. Add the bag of spices, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
8-    Stir the sugar into the plum mixture and cook for a further 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent catching, until reduced and thickened.
9-    Cool, discard spices, then blend in batches until smooth, sieve and reserve.
For the Coriander and Cucumber Salsa.
1-    De seed Cucumber and dice. Finely chop coriander.
2-    In a bowl add cucumber, coriander, salt, rice wine vinegar and drizzle with oil. Mix well.
To Finish
1-    Spray Crepe Pan with Canola oil and place of medium heat. Add Crepe mixture to middle of the pan and swirl to coat evenly. Cook approx 45 sec to minute on first side, flip and cook for additional 20 sec. Reserve
2-    Place crepe on plate and add Habanero Plum sauce. Top with duck meat and skin.
3-    Place Coriander and Cucumber Salsa over the top and garnish with micro greens.
Recipe for this dish and much more can be found on Aaron's 'Food That Rocks' website:



Now, now...before you say anything, this is a cocktail not to be knocked before trying.  We decided to keep with the Chilli theme and after being inspired by Aaron's dish, I dug out this recipe for Chilli Martini, because we are quite partial to the Martini.  It always sounds like an elephant in a bottleshop when we get out the stash to create cocktail havoc every week!  I had to dig around for a few ingredients, but it was all worth it.  This is a fabulous cocktail to bring out on a cold winters night...enjoy with friends and be sure to wash your hands really...REALLY well before touching anything or anybody afterwards because after a few of these, things can get a tad messy!   The Chilli Martini drinking rules go a bit like this: To be shared with friends, outside by the brazier fire with a big jacket and scarf and some chill out blues (I am thinking Miles Davis perhaps??) to create even more of a relaxing ambience....hmmmmm if I close my eyes I am there right now :-)
Til next week!  Cheers from the Charcoal Team....
Chilli Martini Cocktail Recipe
**Warning- start with a little bit of chilli first because each chilli’s level of spiciness varies. Continue to add more chilies to your liking.
1 chili, serrano or Thai ( or more to your heat preference)
1.5 oz vodka
2 oz peach or nectarine juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
1. Clean the chilies and remove the seeds. Muddle the chilies with simply syrup and Vodka.
2. Drain liquid in shaker and then add fruit juice.
3. Shake well with ice.
4. Serve in martini glass. Garnish with chili on rim. For a sweeter treat, sugar the rim .

'In the hopes of reaching the moon men fail to see the flowers that blossom at their feet.'
Albert Schweitzer