Cooking Adventures · Dinner Parties · Melbourne · Sweet Treats

A Summer Night In

This was back towards the end of summer, when the days were still warm and I still had a stash of pippis in my freezer from our last pippi-picking outing at Venus Bay (don’t judge, I’ve a pretty powerful freezer!).

Pippi-picking at Venus Bay
Pippi-picking at Venus Bay

So feeling the urgency to use those pippis before the summer was over, I invited some of the girls over for dinner 1 Sunday night, and to put to use some Jamie Oliver recipes I’ve been eyeing for awhile!

Dinner for A Summer Night In

EntreeWoodfired Shellfish

MainPork Belly Roast

Side – Roasted leeks & carrots

Dessert – Somewhere along Lygon Street! 

Sundays are usually quite packed for us, as our church service is in the morning and most of the time, the rest of the day will be filled with church activities. So the dinner had to be something simple, quick yet presentable. And I just didn’t have enough time to make dessert so we all decided to take a walk along Lygon Street after dinner to see our options!

So I roasted the pork belly the day before, and made the accompanying gravy on the Sunday afternoon the moment we got back from church. The other sisters helped to debeard the mussels (sigh, the most troublesome part of eating mussels!) and prep the entree which was sooooooo easy.

And the result?

More like oven-baked shellfish, but still scrumptious nonetheless!
From the sea to the table…

It is amazing that such an easy dish can turn out to be a crowd-pleaser. The juices of the shellfish were all retained and everything tasted so refreshing with the lemon juice and parsley, with the rosemary, olive oil and minced garlic adding on beautiful flavours. This was such a perfect summer dish!

No other way to eat this but dig it with your bare hands and toss the shells to 1 side... nomnomnom
No other way to eat this but dig in with your bare hands and toss the shells to 1 side… nomnomnom

We couldn’t get enough of the juices so by the time the shellfish were exhausted, we couldn’t help but slurp up the remaining juices at the bottom of the tray. Ms EH commented that if there were more, it could easily turn into a seafood broth!

Now on to the main…

The pork was accidentally cut up by the butcher so I reduced the oven timing to prevent it from drying out
The pork was accidentally cut up by the butcher so I reduced the oven timing to prevent it from drying out

Unfortunately, the pork belly wasn’t as a resounding success as the shellfish. Because the pork was cut up, the skin didn’t crisp up as nicely so I had no crackling 😦 (I find it very hard to get good crackling by the way – any suggestions would help!) And for some reason, I followed the recipe but my gravy turned quite gluggy. I was panicking but Ms JQ calmly came by to add more water to the gravy. This caused it to loosen a little but we ended up with more gravy than intended!

But the meat managed to remain moist and tender so that was a plus point!

Side of roasted veggies
Side of roasted veggies

If you noticed, we didn’t have any carbs on the table but trust me, we were well and full. We usually have a late lunch on Sunday anyway so by the time it gets to dinner, we would get filled up quite quickly!

So for dessert, we walked down to check out the hottest kid on the block – Yo-chi Frozen Yoghurt!

The latest addition to Lygon Street
The latest addition to Lygon Street

Mmmm fro-yo was such a staple during those days of summer. And after sampling quite a few fro-yo shops already and hearing a lot about Yochi, expectations were pretty high..

Yochi has the most unique toppings to date!
Yochi has the most unique toppings out of all of the fro-yo shops we’ve checked out

Yes, I’m happy to say that Yo-chi did not disappoint!

A sweet ending to our summer night
A sweet ending to our summer night

While some of the flavours seem strange for fro-yo (Eg. Coconut, avocado..), some flavours were really agreeable to us, like the Signature Tart and Hazelnut. I usually think yoghurt should be fruity but the Hazelnut actually has a creamy texture and not overly sweet, and seems to go quite well with the sourish tang of the yoghurt base!

And the toppings were yummy, like the popping strawberry pearls and Yo-chi‘s special crumble. With so much variety and as a healthier option for dessert, it’s hard to get tired of this place!

Yo-Chi Frozen Yogurt on Urbanspoon

It was nice that our entire night was light and refreshing, just like the cool summer breeze that we enjoyed that night 🙂

Now that summer has given way to the colder seasons, it’s time to rug up and cook up more hearty meals – to more stews and roasts in the days ahead!

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