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  • Christmas basics: the perfect custard

    27 November, 2015 Christmas basics: the perfect custard

    We're looking at those staple recipes that can make or break your Christmas spread. First up, the much-misunderstood sweet seductress, custard.
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  • Halfway Home

    16 November, 2015 Halfway Home

    I’ve been sugar-free for a total of two weeks, and things are going surprisingly well...
    Read more…

  • Bubbles or nothing

    11 November, 2015 Bubbles or nothing

    Out to impress this party season? To take your entertaining game to the next level, we’ve teamed up with our friends at Halliday Wine Companion to share tips on matching sparkling wines to a range of show-stopping canapes.
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  • The anatomy of the perfect burger

    11 November, 2015 The anatomy of the perfect burger

    Looking for your next weekend challenge? Why not have a crack at making your own cheeseburgers from scratch? Chef Daniel Wilson shares the secret recipe to recreating his famed Huxtaburger, from bun to patty and everything in between.
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  • No Sugar November

    04 November, 2015 No Sugar November

    This month while the boys are growing staches, I’ll be growing a conscience about all the confectionary I consume.
    Read more…

October, 2015

September, 2015

May, 2015

April, 2015

March, 2015

February, 2015

January, 2015

December, 2014

November, 2014

October, 2014

September, 2014

August, 2014

July, 2014

June, 2014

May, 2014

April, 2014

March, 2014

February, 2014

  • Margaret Fulton's expert guide to preserves

    27 February, 2014 Margaret Fulton's expert guide to preserves

    Jams, pickles, chutneys, sauces, compotes and conserves are the best way to preserve abundant produce so you can enjoy your fruit and veg all year round. Margaret Fulton shares her guide to the art of preserving.
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  • Melbourne Food & Wine Festival 2014 | Our picks

    27 February, 2014 Melbourne Food & Wine Festival 2014 | Our picks

    The Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, running from February 28 to March 16, begins in just over a week. We’ve put together our picks of the fest.
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  • Philippa Sibley's expert guide to sweet pastry

    24 February, 2014 Philippa Sibley's expert guide to sweet pastry

    Master of the dough Philippa Sibley shares her step-by-step guide to making sweet shortcrust pastry, taking you through everything you need to know to perfect the art of peerless pâte.
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  • In season | Eggplant

    21 February, 2014 In season | Eggplant

    The unsung hero of the nightshade family, eggplant is found in cuisines the world over. From Sicily to South East Asia, the Middle East to the Mediterranean, many signature dishes feature the versatile aubergine. We sing the praises of the humble eggplant.
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  • Everything you need to know about cuts of pork

    17 February, 2014 Everything you need to know about cuts of pork

    Meat expert and chef Adrian Richardson explains the different cuts of pork, and what you should use them for.
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  • Sticky business | A guide to meat on sticks

    14 February, 2014 Sticky business | A guide to meat on sticks

    Skewers, kebabs, shaslicks, yakitori … Whatever you call them, meat just tastes better when cooked on a stick. We share our tips to help you ace the skewers at your next barbecue.
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  • In season | Figs

    06 February, 2014 In season | Figs

    Figs evoke the flavours of exotic decadence. Sweet and visually striking, figs make for a decadent tart topper, a sumptuous sticky jam or a delightful savoury venture with cold meats. We share some of our favourite fig recipes.
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  • Guide to styling handmade edible gifts

    05 February, 2014 Guide to styling handmade edible gifts

    There's nothing more thoughtful than a handmade edible gift. April Carter shares her tips and tricks for making beautiful and delicious treats for those you love.
    Read more…

January, 2014

December, 2013

November, 2013

Menu: so simple, so sophisticated, so French

Casey Warrener
15 February, 2017

Try this sophisticated, no-holds-barred French menu, designed to delight and indulge your dinner guests.


These cheesy, feather-light puffs of pastry are the ultimate French appetiser. Similar in appearance to a profiterole but made savoury by the addition of Gruyere, they're best served piping-hot from the oven and with plenty of napkins, because while they’re delicate in form, they’re not particularly delicate to eat (hello, crumbs).

To drink: sparkling wine (or Champagne if you’re committing to the theme) is the best friend of salty foods like cheese and the acidity will help to cut through the richness.

Galette quiche Lorraine

While quiche actually originated in Germany (quiche comes from the German word ‘kuchen’ meaning cake), the French made it their own when they called it quiche Lorraine, and the addition of onion in this tart makes it consistent with the traditions of Alsace. This speedy quiche from Posh Eggs will ensure you’re making the most of your dinner party’s shopping list and that you won’t need to spend a tonne of time in the kitchen. You can pre-prepare your tart shell, get your filling ready to go in a separate bowl, and then assemble and cook when your guests arrive. If you have vegetarians to cater for, replace the bacon with veggies like leeks and mushrooms (grilling the veg will give you the smokiness that bacon provides and you already have the saltiness in your cheese, which you can increase in amount if you need).

On the side: You need a fresh and crunchy salad to serve with your rich and flavoursome tart. This Lyonnaise salad by Luke Nguyen will tie in nicely with your theme, as well as using some of the ingredients already at hand (to lighten it up, skip the poached egg). If you want to go fresher, try using in-season ingredients to make a version of this herb salad from Alain Ducasse or this green one from Good Good Food.

To drink: if you haven’t already finished your bubbly, it will work well here too. Another top option is an Alsatian riesling, which is this case is not only an ideal pairing, but also aligned with the origins of the dish. 


This country-style dessert from south-central France is classically comforting fare. It has a flan-like finish and is traditionally made with juicy black cherries, but the fruit is where you can play around and reach for whatever looks good at the market (it’s often made with pears, plums, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries as well). All this simple dish requires is a decent dollop of cream and a dusting of icing sugar to serve. 

To drink: a nip of eau de vie (literally meaning 'water of life') would be a very French way to finish your meal and you can choose kirsch, a style distilled from cherries, for a like for like (if going this way, incorporating the spirit into the dessert itself would help). You might find brandy a bit strong, in which case Sauternes, France’s most celebrated dessert wine, would be a great choice.

For more inspiration, flip through James Martin's French Adventure, Luke Nguyen's France and keep an eye out for Gabriel Gaté's new book So French So Sweet, coming to Cooked soon. 

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