Cooking dinner at home has changed heaps for burger boy and I over the last year – it was only in the last month that I’ve been able to fit in two weeknight dinners and an occasional Sunday lunch. Usually the weeknight meals are quick & simple – salmon & mash, grilled fish & Donna Hay fries, steak & veggies and Korean marinated meat with rice have been regular menu items. Sundays, if I have time roast, osso bucco, pull pork and pasta makes an appearance.
So when Taste said that they’ve started a Great Aussie Dinner Debate, I was keen to know more and see what other Aussies are or would be happy to cook on a weeknight.
Over the last month, a selection of popular Australian recipes have been voted for in the aim to find the ultimate weeknight dinner plan. These are the dinners I’ve voted for this week:
- Monday – Spinach and cheese filo pies
- Tuesday – Vietnamese chicken salad
- Wednesday – Baked fish with tomato, baked zucchini and potato wedges
- Thursday – Creamy bacon, pea and parmesan fettucine
- Friday – Morrocan meatballs
Vote for your favourite dishes on taste.com.au.
Masterchef’s season 2 contestant Marion Grasby, now taste.com.au columnist and founder of her own Thai food range, Marion’s Kitchen, tells me about her take on the Great Aussie Debate. If you’ve read my Dilmah and Mad Mex posts you’ll know I find it interesting to get to know the person behind the business/brand and find out what inspired them to start their business journey so that other aspiring entrepreneurs can do the same. And of course, I had to also ask Marion about her Masterchef journey 🙂 Here’s my interview with Marion, enjoy!
Do you think Aussie homes are still cooking meat and 3 vegetables for dinner?
I would like to hope that the boiled veg and over-cooked meat are a thing of the past. But I’m sure most families eating meat and three veg are probably doing it in a very different way now, for example the meat component might be a grilled chicken marinated with basil and garlic alongside steamed Asian greens, mushrooms and bamboo shoots.
What’s your favourite dish to cook at home and why?
Thai Green Curry is favourite comfort food dish to cook at home. I love the smell of the curry simmering gently on the stove. It reminds me of my childhood.
How did you find the Masterchef journey, what was your most rewarding / most challenging moment?
I loved work with so many chefs from all over the world, particularly Heston Blumenthal and Maggie Beer. It’s amazing to be able to cook with people I would never have had the chance to meet. The most challenging part of the Masterchef experience is how long it takes to film! I spent about 9 months filming the show and 6 months living away from my partner, family and friends.
How often do you travel to Thailand and what’s your favourite restaurant there?
In the past 2 years I’ve been travelling to Thailand every couple of months to develop my Marion’s Kitchen Asian food range. I’ve always felt like it’s my second home so it’s been great to have a work excuse to spend more time there. My favourite restaurant is actually a beach shack on Nai Yang Beach in Phuket. The owner calls himself ‘Mr Fresh’ and he serves up the most amazing prawns fried with garlic and pepper.
What’s your favourite Thai restaurant in Australia?
Thai food is such a homely comfort food for me because I grew up eating my Mum’s Thai food just about every night. So I wouldn’t normally go out for Thai. But when I do go out for Thai I love going to Longrain in Sydney. Longrain’s chef, Martin Boetz, takes Thai food and flavours to another level without sacrificing the authentic flavours I love. He’s a lovely guy too!
What’s your advice to aspiring foodies looking to follow in your footsteps?
Dream big because if you work hard you may just get what you want.
I’d love to know how often you cook during the week? Are you working with food / aspire to start your own business? And if you have your own business what inspired you?