One hundred and nineteen

Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi

When I lived in Melbourne, Australia a couple of years ago, I really enjoyed eating kangaroo – steaks, burgers – but I’ve never cooked with it myself.  I found out I could buy kangaroo topside from the St. Lawrence Market (for $25), so decided to have kangaroo represent Australia for Cooking 30 Countries month.  I had a hard time at first when I took the kangaroo out of the package and the blood and gamey smell hit my nose.  Cutting the pieces of its flesh did almost make me gag.  But the recipe was simple and the kangaroo tasted delicious.  I’d probably make the recipe again with another type of meat.  I think $25 for one steak of kangaroo is a little too pricey to be a regular purchase.

Before I get into the recipe, though here are some facts about kangaroo meat:

  • Kangaroo meat is very lean, with usually less than 2% fat and high in protein, iron and zinc, so therefore very healthy.
  • In a report commissioned by Greenpeace, Dr. Mark Diesendorf says that cutting back on beef production in Australia by 20% and substituting kangaroo meat could save 15 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions over the next twelve years (read about Vancouver kangaroo sales on canada.com)
  • Kangaroo is always free-range organic meat – never farmed
  • The Ecological Society of Australia, the Australasian Wildlife Management Society and the Australasian Mammal Society have all released statements saying they support kangaroo harvesting.
  • Kangatarianism – people who exclude all meat except kangaroo on environmental, ecological and humanitarian grounds (read this article from The Sydney Morning Herald for more information)
  • Sources: Southern Game MeatWikipediaKangaroo Industry Association of Australia, and the others mentioned above.

Sesame Kangaroo with Asian Greens

Seasame Kangaroo with Asian Greens, from the Kangaroo Industry Association of Australia:

Serves 4-6

Quantity Ingredients

2 Tsp Minced garlic
2 Tsp Minced ginger
3 Tbs Soy sauce
3 Tbs Oyster sauce
4 Tbs Plum sauce
500 G Lean kangaroo topside cut into thin strips
900 G Hokkien noodles
    Spray or olive oil
2 Each Sweet potato julienne
2 Each Bok choy
1 Each Green capsicum, sliced
1 Bch English spinach, trimmed
3 Tbs Toasted sesame seeds
60 G Snow pea sprouts

Method

1. Combine the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, oyster sauce and plum sauce in a glass or ceramic dish
2. Add the kangaroo and toss to coat. Cover and marinate for 15 minutes
3. Drain the meat and reserve the marinade
4. Put the hokkien noodles into a large heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water
5. Leave to stand for 2 minutes, pushing gently with a wooden spoon to separate the strands
6. Drain well and set aside
7. Spray a non stick wok or frying pan with oil and heat
8. Stir fry the meat in 2 or 3 batches over high heat for 2-3 minutes or until browned. Set aside
9. Reheat the wok, add the sweet potato and capsicum and stir fry for 3 minutes then add the reserved marinade and bring to the boil
10. Add the spinach leaves, bok choy and toss until just wilted
11. Stir in the noodles, kangaroo, sesame seeds and snow pea sprouts and toss to heat through

Of course for dessert I had to have Tim Tams (a chocolate wafer cookie, coated in more chocolate) dipped in either tea or coffee.  The trick is to bite opposite corners off, then suck the hot liquid up through the biscuit until it collapses in on it itself and starts to fall apart, and throw the whole thing in your mouth.  It was one of my favourite treats in Melbourne and I was so happy to find a place they sell them in Toronto.

Today 

Perogies

Day ninety-one

Another set-up blind date

The Footy Player

Look at those big manly hands.  The Footy Player is a first for me in many ways this month – the first Aussie, the first jock, and the first really big, muscular man.  It was a completely blind date, set-up by a friend of mine from work.  He had asked my friend whether I would be paying for the date, because he was ‘doing me a favour’ by going on a date with me for my blog.  I turned it into a joke, asking him what kind of flowers he would like when I picked him up (and I actually did bring him a flower).

The original plan was a trip to High Park (it would have been his first time there – he’s only been in Toronto for six months), but the dark clouds and high probability of rain changed into a walk around his area (I met him outside of his apartment, by his suggestion) and a couple of beers at the Bier Markt on King.  We sat on the patio (the rain held out for a couple of hours) and watched the crazies come by – one even trying to sell us Visine, saying it was a good way to drug your date by putting it in their drink, then smashing it with his foot, spraying all over The Footy Player’s leg.

The Footy Player’s from Melbourne, where I lived in 2008-09, and ‘barracks’ (cheers) for the same Aussie rules footy team that I cheered for when I was living there – the Western Bulldogs (go Doggies!).  He travels a lot too.  But after that we really didn’t have that much in common.

When the lightning started and it was about to rain, the server brought us our bill.  He asked whether I wanted us to split it.  I said I’d pay for.  We ran into a friend of his who said he’d just been on the worst date – they had a quick two drinks, then she said she was tired and left.   Funny because we just had two drinks and I was really tired.  As I waited for the streetcar, he ran off home, trying to avoid the impending rain.

Not the best date, but not the worst.  There wasn’t any romantic connection there, but he’d be a great person to party and travel with.  And I did love to hear about all his travels (especially some crazy stories from his trip in Africa).  It was a piece of Melbourne – a city that I miss terribly.

Go Doggies! Aussie rules football in Melbourne.

Matchmaking services

If you don’t have friends to set you up, there are a bunch of matchmaking services that will match you up with someone they think you are compatible with.  I could not afford to do this, hence me relying on my friends to be my matchmaker.

Soulmates – Jewish matchmaking services

It’s Just Lunch – matchmaking for busy professionals

Venus and Mars Matchmaking– exclusive introductory service: must be single, successful, attractive, marketable, secure, and interested in a long term relationship – $1,000 package (three introductions) and a $5,000 “elite” version (a personalized search for up to 10 people).

Eligible Inc. – professional relationship service

Perfect Partners – personal relationship executive search firm – packages range from $3,800 (which gets you 18 months unlimited introductions) to $15,000 (for two years of “highly personalized” searching)

Hearts Canada – professional introductory service for sincere singles

LifeMates – Relationship consultants arranging meetings with interesting, compatible people of the opposite sex to achieve your relationship goals

Click here for an article from the Toronto Star about matchmaking services in Toronto: ” She paid $8,000 plus a “success fee” of $4,500.”

Today

A home-cooked lunch with my pick-up from Friday night.