Surfing Santa and Disco Santa

Christmas in July 2019

Saturday 20 July 2019

Chez Cullen, North Hobart (aka ‘The Cullenary’ – thanks Kristafa)

Paul, Dorcas, Julie, Paul, Kevin, Irene, Christine, Christopher, Andrew

John not attending due to a has prior engagement in Sydney/Kuala Lumpur/Limerick.

Gold, Myrrh and...

Gold, myrrh and…


Egg nog (Kevin and Irene)
Raspberry fizz (Julie and Paul)
Pate and sourdough bagette (Andrew)
Smoked salmon starter (Irene)
Waldorf salad (Kristafa)
Roast poultry with sage and onion stuffing (Paul C)
Roast potatoes cooked in duck fat (Paul C)
Mashed potatoes (Paul C)
Roast parsnips (Kevin)
Green beans (Julie)
Buche Noel (Kristafine)
New York cheesecake (Paul Y)
Mince pies (Dorcas)


Moroccan Feast (note: not taken at the dinner)

Moroccan dinner (with Christmas pudding)

Saturday 19 August 2017

Union Street

Julie, Paul Y, Sam, Di, Irene, Kevin, Paul C, Dorcas, Christine


Quotban del Kefta (kefta kebabs) — Julie and Paul Y
Moroccan lamb roast — Paul C
Seafood (or not) dish — Di and Sam
Side dish with couscous and chicken — Irene and Kevin
Eggplant dish — Kristafine
Vegetable tagine — Paul C
Khizou Harra (spiced carrots) — Julie and Paul

Moroccan dessert — Paul C
Christmas pudding — Kristafine


Moroccan Feast (note: not taken at the dinner)

Moroccan Feast (note: not taken at the dinner)

Festive Dinner at Mount Nelson

Sunday 27 November, 2016

Rancho Rialannah

Paul and Julie, Di and Sam, Kevin and Irene, Christine, John, Andrew, Kim, Jan


Canadian Christmas salmon dip (Kim)
……….* Christmas starter (Angels and Devils on Horseback) (Andrew)


Scandinavian Christmas gravlox (Irene)
……….* Christmas chicken (John)
Canuck Christmas slow-cooked barbecue pork (Kim)
……….* Christmas roast vegetables (Di)
……….* Christmas salad
Mexican Christmas salad (Julie)


Australian Christmas plum pudding (Kristafine)
Australian Christmas pavlova (Di)


* insert country name here



French Feast

Saturday 26 March, 2016

Rancho Rialannah

Paul and Julie, Di and Sam, Kevin and Irene, Paul and Dorcas, Andrew, Chris, Christine, John

French menu attached (in English)


Pate or terrine — Paul C
French tomato soup — Andrew
Onion tart — Andrew
Coq au vin Chicken Veronique Chicken Provencal— Irene
Veal Pork bistro style — John
Green beans almondine — Irene
Gratin dauphinois (potatoes) — Julie
Jerusalem artichokes with lemon and garlic — Di
Tarte aux prunes avec vanile et brandy — Kristafine
Crepes Suzette — Paul C
  • bleu
  • rind-ripened Camembert or Brie
  • chèvre
  • washed rind – Bruny or something else
  • hard – raclette or Gruyere
  • good bread
  • aperitif
  • 2 bottles of something sparkling
  • 2 bottles of white Burgundy or Loire style
  • 2 bottles pinot or light red for the chicken and veal
  • 1 bottle good claret
  • 1 bottle to go with dessert





Equinoxal autumnal North Africanish LUNCH

Sunday 22 March 2015

Bayfield Downs
In Attendance: John, Christine, Chris, Julie, Paul, Irene, Kevin, Andrew

Held as the last hurrah at Mr Sexton’s residence at Bayfield Downs ahead of its impending sale and pursuant construction of Bayfield Heights.


Moroccan tomato and lentil soup (Andrew)
Chicken curry (The Maguires)
Moroccan lamb shanks (Julie)
Middle Earth vegetarian (Kristafa)
Autumnal potatoes (John)
Couscous salad (Irene)
Autumnal poached fruits (Kristafine)
The repast was considered by all consuming most excellent.

The Company of Friendly Cooks at the tapas feast

Tapas Feast, 26 July 2014

Date: Saturday Saturday 26 July 2014
Venue: Rialannah Heights
Attending: Andrew, Julie, Paul Y, Chris T, Chris W, Di, Sam, Paul C, Dorcas


Olive and anchovy bits (aka Kevin’s chocolate shortbread) — Andrew
Sweet and salty nuts — Julie and Paul
Spanish olives and cheese — Andrew
Spanish sherry — Andrew


Tortillas — Di
Meatballs with salsa di tomato — Kristafine
Chickpeas with romesco sauce — Kristafine
Flash-fried squid with paprika and garlic — Kristafa
Spinachy-fettay parcels — Kristafa
Something with jamon — Paul C
Something with seafood — Di
Potatoes allioli — Julie and Paul
Chorizo and tomato salsa — Julie and Paul
Avocado, orange and almond salad (Andrew can supply a great recipe, Di) — Di


Dessert — Paul C
Membrillo — Andrew


The tapas feast

The tapas feast

Some recipes from the tapas feast

Sweet and salty nuts

  • 500 g unsalted mixed nuts (I used walnuts, almonds and cashews)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1tsp freshly ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Preheat over to 180°. Spread the nuts on a large baking tray and bake for 5-10 minutes, until they are crisp and slightly coloured. Remove and allow to cool.

Combine the sugar, spices, salt and pepper and mix well.

Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat and add nuts. Sprinkle spice mixture over nuts and stir for 5 minutes, or until nuts turn golden. The sugar will melt and coat nuts. Gently shake frying pan to ensure even cooking. If nuts stick together, separate with a wooden spoon. When nuts are cooked, remove from heat and spread them on a lightly oiled baking tray to cool.

The nuts will keep for a few weeks in a tightly sealed jar. (Though not if Paul finds them.)

[From The Little Tapas Book, Murdoch Books]


Lamb and filo cigars

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 small brown onion, finely chopped
  • 235 g lean minced lamb
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tsp freshly ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • pinch cinnamon
  • pinch saffron threads, soaked in a little warm water
  • 2 tbs coriander, chopped
  • 2 tbs Italian parsley
  • 1 egg
  • 8-12 sheets filo pastry
  • 90 g butter, melted
  • 1 tbs sesame seeds

Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the ions and cook over low heat for 5 minutes, or until the ion ion is soft. Increase the heat, add the lamb and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, breaking up any lumps with the back of a wooden spoon. Add the spices, coriander and parsley. Season to taste and then cook for 1 minutes, stirring to combine.

Transfer the lamb mixture to a sieve and drain to remove the fat. Put the mixture in a bowl and allow to cool slightly. Mix in the egg.

Count out 8 sheets of film pastry. Stack on a cutting surface with longer side in front of you. Measure and mark pastry into three equal strips and cut through the stack with a sharp knife to give strips 12-14cm wide and 30cm long. Stack strips in the folds of a dry cloth.

Place a strip of film on the work surface with the narrow end towards you and brush with melted butter. Top with another stip. Place 1 tbs of the filling 1cm in from the base and sides of the strip. Fold the end of the film over the filling, fold in the sides and roll to the end of the strip. Place on a greased baking tray, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Brush the rolls with melted butter and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Preheat the over to 180°. It is best to do this after the rolls are completed so that the kitchen remains cool during shaping. Bake the briouats for 15 minutes, or until lightly golden. Serve hot.

[From The Little Tapas Book, Murdoch Books]

Potatoes with allioli (garlic mayonnaise)

  • 750 g potatoes, cut into 4cm cubes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Allioli:
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup mild olive oil

To make allioli, put egg yolks, garlic and half the lemon nice in a bowl. Using a balloon which, whisk until well combined. While you continuously whisk, gradually add the oil in a slow stream until a thick mayonnaise forms. It if becomes too thick, add remaining lemon nice and continue adding the rest of the oil. Season well.

Preheat oven to 200°. Season the potato cubes and toss in olive oil and put on a baking tray in the over for 45 minutes, or until golden.

Serve hot with allioli.

Allioli will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

[From The Little Tapas Book, Murdoch Books]

Dishes at the Italian feast

Italian Feast, Saturday 12 April 2014

DATE: Saturday 12 April 2014

Venue: Union Hall



Antipasto (Kristafine)
Pistache [think double shot lasagne] (Paul Y)
Risotto with gorgonzola and asparagus (Irene)
Meatballs with eggplant and pecorino (Paul C)
Roast porchetta with balsamico (Paul C)
Spring Bay mussels gremolata (Paul C)

Italian chicken TBA (Julie)

Marinated courgettes (Kristafa)
Eggplant, lemon and caper salad (Kristafa)
Caprese salad (Kevin)
Zucchini stuffed with meat and cheese [he didn’t give me the Italian translation] (John)
Italian bread (Kristafine)
Dolce with quince (Andrew)
Affogato (Paul Y)
More dishes at the Italian feast

More dishes at the Italian feast

The feast begins

Vietnamese Feast Menu – Chef Paul ‘Uncle Ho’ Cullen

DATE: Saturday 14 December 2013

VENUE: Seymour Mansions

Attending Aunties: Paul and Dorcas, Julie and Paul, Irene and Kevin, Maureen and Peter, Chris, Andrew, John, Christine, Di and Sam

Paul rolling salmon and veg 'nem'

Paul rolling salmon and veg ‘nem’

Auntie Chris peeling ginger and galangal

Auntie Chris peeling ginger and galangal


NEM THIT LUON— fried rice paper rolls with minced pork, wood ear mushroom and bean thread

NEM — cold, hand rolled with smoked salmon and herbs

NUOC MAM CHAM — simple dipping sauce for nem, made with rice vinegar, fish sauce and lime juice

CHA CA — ling fillet marinated with galingale and turmeric, then fried with fresh dill and spring onions

PHO CA — Vietnamese noodle soup made with fish broth and fresh salmon fillet

BUN CHA — grilled marinated pork, rice noodles, fresh herbs and pork broth

TOFU in TOMATO SAUCE — marinated with garlic and galingale, then cooked with fresh tomatoes

EGGPLANT — salad with daikon, carrot, bean sprouts and crisp fried shallots, rice wine dressing

CHE HANOI — tapioca pearls, black grass jelly, fresh fruit and sweetened coconut cream

Maureen and Chris roll some 'nem'

Maureen and Chris roll some ‘nem’


Mes amis,

Yes, we are back from our month away in Vietnam and full of enthusiasm for the cuisine.  We had wonderful experiences of the food, the language and most of all the Vietnamese people.  It’s a brilliant country full of young folk with tremendous brio and enthusiasm.  I learned a lot in a short time, eating everything from fertilised duck eggs to writhing silk larvae, but I won’t burden you with those, even in jest.  I will try to pass on some of the lovely tastes of the more approachable foods we learned there and particularly the techniques native to Vietnamese cooking.

I think that the best of a day spent on this is a worthwhile exercise, but you’ll decide yourself whether a visit to two markets (Salamanca Market and a side trip to Wing On in Sandy Bay) in the morning suits your schedule.  Either yes or no, then please join me for a long afternoon of gentle food prep at Seymour Mansions from about 1:00pm and an enjoyable social feast from 6:00pm.  What time you lob into this program depends on your level of interest in Vietnamese cuisine and your capacity to absorb alcohol and still wield a sharp knife.

Here are some things we learned to like and cook:

NEM – of several varieties, these are Vietnamese ‘spring rolls’ of two main tribes:  there are the tasty fried nem cua and nem thit luon and then the gossamer-soft cold nem rolls with fresh herbs, prawns, tofu and veg.

CHA CA – indigenous Hanoi dish of fried fish with turmeric and dill.  Not one you’ll see in the Women’s Weekly cookbooks.  I learned this one in a bar.

BAN CUON – I’m not sure I can reproduce this feather-light steamed rice batter roll with dried shrimp, mushrooms and pork, but I’ll have a go.  How it’s made is fascinating.

BUN CHA – what the frankfurter is to New York, bun cha is to Hanoi.  Grilled pork, good broth, rice vermicelli and herbs.

PHO BO – don’t try this at home.  Long cooked beef broth with tendon and star anise, served with fresh herbs and noodle.  OK, do try this at home.

TOFU in TOMATO SAUCE – well, just what it says it is, but in Vietnamese style.

More than this, there are the several good salads and vegetable dishes we learned to eat and the Vietnamese dipping sauces that make the most of a cuisine largely eaten with the fingers.  I’ve even brought home a bottle of the fabled first-pressing Phu Cuoc fish sauce (this is to fish sauce as Dom Perignon is to cask Moselle) to impress your taste buds.

CHE HANOI – this is kind of like strolling up Lygon Street and choosing an ice cream to finish the night off.  Many flavours, many ingredients.  Sweet.  Cold.  Nice.

Chef Paul leads the 'aunties' in preparing the Vietnamese feast

Chef Paul leads the ‘aunties’ in preparing the Vietnamese feast

What to Bring?

  • an apron
  • your favourite sharp knife (sharpening available on site)
  • a cutting board just for you
  • a mortar and pestle, if you have one
  • * a couple of torchons or tea towels
  • $10 a head to tip in the market purse

Let me know if you’re into the market tour (around 10:00 am), otherwise I’ll see you at Seymour Mansions (thanks, Andrew!) around 1:00pm.

ANH DI,  DURNG NGAI.  (Don’t Worry, Just Eat).

Xin Chao,

Paul & Dorcas

Salmon and veg 'nem'

Salmon and veg ‘nem’

Auntie John and the brilliant vegie grater

Auntie John and the brilliant vegie grater

Auntie Paul pounding curry paste

Auntie Paul pounding curry paste

Auntie Christine chopping shallots

Auntie Christine chopping shallots

Deep-frying tofu

Deep-frying tofu

Paul giving Andrew's little kitchen a thorough workout

Paul giving Andrew’s little kitchen a thorough workout

Aunties hard at work, slicing and dicing for our Vietnamese feast

Aunties hard at work, slicing and dicing for our Vietnamese feast

Sliced and diced

Sliced and diced


Italian spring dinner

Saturday 12 October 2013 at Paul and Dorcas’s

Cafe Cullen

Attending: Christine, Paul & Dorcas, Julie, Irene & Kevin, Andrew, Christopher


Minestrone primavera (Christine)
Scallopini alla funghi (Paul C)
Asparagus Dorcas (Dorcas)
Risotto of some sort (Julie)
Gnocchi with Gorgonzola sauce (Irene)
Caprese salad (Kevin)
Pasta of some sort (Andrew)
Tiramisu Tartuffe  (Christopher)