3 Beautiful BBQ Tips for Christmas on a Budget

3 Beautiful BBQ Tips for Christmas on a Budget

In Australia, Christmas is a perfect time of the year to fire up the BBQ and put some meat and vegetables over coals or on the hot grill! You can really serve up a Christmas feast with beautiful salads or roasted vegetables as suggested in my first Christmas on a Budget – 3 Top Tips to make your meals go further post.

Here are my 3 Beautiful BBQ Tips for Christmas on a Budget

  1. You can do your roast in a hooded BBQ, no need to make the kitchen any hotter at Christmas. Using the BBQ is also another option if you are running out of room in the oven if you are cooking for the masses. Check out my 5 Top Budget-Friendly Christmas Roast Tips
  2. If you are a roasting or BBQ family then the cheaper cuts of beef and pork will be great, whip up a sticky marinade and leave the meat in the marinade for at least 24 hours, heat up the BBQ and undoubtedly you will definitely have lunch and left over’s for dinner and possibly the next day.
  3. A lamb chop can be something special marinated with smoked paprika, garlic, lemon and parsley and serve with a wonderful yoghurt and mint dressing.

Check out my recipe for Barbeque Ginger Beer Beef and crispy noodle stir fry salad. It is budget friendly and is perfect for those hot Christmas days!

The next blog for Christmas meals on a budget I will share how to get the most out of your Succulent Summer Seafood.

Subscribe to receive Dominique Rizzo’s FREE Christmas EBook.

This Christmas I have created an Ebook of recipes, which is free when you subscribe. There are seven tasty recipes that will help you save on time and spend Christmas with friends and family, not in the kitchen! SUBSCRIBE NOW!

 

5 Top Budget-Friendly Christmas Roast Tips – Christmas on a Budget

5 Top Budget-Friendly Christmas Roast Tips – Christmas on a Budget

Roasts can be the star or centre piece of the Christmas table. Aside from fresh seafood, it can also be one of the more expensive elements to a Christmas Feast. This is a follow-up post to  Christmas on a Budget, where I shared 3 top tips to get more from your meals this Christmas.

Here are my 5 Top Budget-Friendly Christmas Roast Tips:

    1. Your best buys for beef roasts are rolled rib, rib eye or round and if you are a BBQ fan then a brisket is great for that slow tender pull apart BBQ beef smothered in a smokey homemade marinade. Many less tender cuts of beef are tenderised further when cooking if you use the BBQ  rotisserie.
    2. Dress up the humble and old favourite roast chicken with some wonderful Christmas stuffings using, combinations such as apples, cranberries, sage, apricot, and pistachios or parmesan prosciutto and parsley. If you are buying your chicken from the butcher you could ask them to bone out the chicken, pick up some netting from the butcher and stuff the chicken yourself again the yield will be greater as you can then easily slice the chicken, minimal wastage and also is great cold the next day on sandwiches or with salads.
    3. Instead of the Christmas turkey, purchase turkey breasts with the skin on, they can weigh in at 1-2kg per breast. A couple of these which is enough to feed a family of up to 12 as part of a banquet.
    4. Pork roasts are a winner especially if you get the crackling right and the best cuts for a great pork roast is the pork loin you can also use the leg, shoulder or the belly, make sure that your butcher leaves the skin on and get them to score it for you as well. A 1kg portion will take about 60 minutes.
    5. I love duck but it can be expensive and if you don’t know how to cook it properly it can sometimes come out a little tuff, so the cheats and cheap way of a little duck with dinner is to either create a wonderful salad with duck legs or breast which you can now buy cooked and packaged in the supermarket, cous cous, a couple of fresh figs, peaches, pears or fresh dates sliced, shallots, wild rocket and a wonderful orange dressing, or duck goes great with noodles, with some sliced bok choy, shredded green pawpaw and a simple Asian dressing. Heat the duck in the oven and serve it sliced with your favourite roast vegetables and a wonderful cherry sauce. You can also pick up the wonderful Peking duck in Chinatown, also a great place to shop for cheap Asian greens, herbs, and sauces.

This week, I will be sharing some great tips for Christmas on a budget, how to get the most out of your; Backyard Chrismas BBQ; and Saving on Succulent Summer Seafood.

Subscribe to receive Dominique Rizzo’s FREE Christmas EBook.

This Christmas I have created an Ebook of recipes, which is free when you subscribe. There are seven tasty recipes that will help you save on time and spend Christmas with friends and family, not in the kitchen! SUBSCRIBE NOW!

 

 

Christmas on a Budget – 3 Top Tips to make your meals go further

Christmas on a budget – 3 Top Tips to make your meals go further

Christmas time can be a tough time for people on a limited budget, there are presents to buy and a Christmas feast to be had! Whether you are hosting a meal at your home or taking a plate to family or a friend’s house, my next few blogs will help your dollar go a little further this Christmas.

Here are 3 Top Tips to make your meals go further:

  1. One rule that I have which I stick to that keeps the costs down at the Christmas table is to have smaller amounts of the specialty items, and add to the table a selection of wonderful salads, sides and vegetable dishes.
  2. Accompany your roasts with spiced baked fruits, summer vegetable salads and introduce some grains like cous cous, cracked wheat, barley and into your salads to add a substantial element. You can spark up your salads and vegetables with nuts, fresh herbs, dressings, cheeses, and freshly baked garlic tossed croutons for a crunch.
  3. Savoury tarts, quiches, and savoury slices are great and inexpensive and can be teamed up with just about any ingredient, homemade relishes, chutneys and sauces are a great way to use up some of the bargain fruit and vegetables you find at the markets and you can double them up as Christmas gifts.

Over the next week, I will be sharing some great tips for Christmas meals on a budget. I will be sharing how to get the most out of your Chrismas roasts, Backyard Chrismas BBQ, and Succulent Summer Seafood.

Subscribe to receive Dominique Rizzo’s FREE Christmas EBook.

This Christmas I have created an Ebook of recipes, which is free when you subscribe. There are seven tasty recipes that will help you save on time and spend Christmas with friends and family, not in the kitchen! SUBSCRIBE NOW!

 

Impossible Conversations – Dominique Rizzo in conversation with Saint Agatha

DOMINIQUE RIZZO IN CONVERSATION WITH SAINT AGATHA (courtesy of the Queensland Performing Arts Centre)

St Agatha

231-251AD
Saint Agatha

Saint Agatha is said to have been martyred in 251AD in Catania in Sicily at the age of fifteen. Her torture is recorded in detail in the earliest martyrology.

She would ask Dominique Rizzo what made her sad.

Dominique Rizzo

Dominique Rizzo has worked as a chef and restaurateur, at Mondo Organics in West End and now in her own Putia Pure Food Kitchen in Banyo on Brisbane’s northside. Born in 1972, Dominique travelled to Italy with her father Vincenzo who was born in Sicily where St Agatha is patron saint.

Dominique would ask Saint Agatha how she endured.

DR: Dear Saint Agatha.

SA: I am. Lord Jesus Christ, you created me, you watched over me from infancy, kept my body from defilement, preserved me from love of the world.

DR: I can’t imagine the courage it took, and the strength of your faith. When my father first took us back to Sicily, I saw how the community honours the saints. I try to picture myself in your shoes. I couldn’t do what you did.

SA: I’m not sure I understood, Dominique. Jesus Christ, Lord of all things, you see my heart, you know my desires. Possess all that I am – you alone. I am your sheep. Make me worthy to overcome the Devil.

DR: Quintianus arrested you because you wouldn’t renounce your promise to God and consent to sin with him. St Agatha, you were a child.

SA: We are all children, Dominique. He arrested me for my faith in Jesus Christ. He arrested me because I would not renounce my vow. They used tongs and then knives. If you threaten me with wild beasts, know that at the Name of Christ they grow tame; if you use fire, from heaven angels will drop healing dew on me.

St Agatha

DR: *sobs* They cut off your breasts.

SA: Just as wheat cannot arrive at the granary before it is cleansed from the chaff, so my soul cannot enter into Paradise if my body, beforehand, is not humbled by tortures. Yes, they did. Also fire and shards.

DR: To me, you are the essence of a young woman of strength believing in yourself and God.

SA: *smiles, beatific* Saint Peter came to my cell and healed me. I am the patron saint of bell-founding.

DR: But also of women who have breast cancer and of rape and violence against women. Given what’s going on in our world today… When I go into churches, I cry, Saint Agatha.

SA: I said to my torturer, on the last day, your words be but wind, your promises be but rain, and your menaces be as rivers that pass.

St Agatha

DR: I was in Sicily for your feast day, and the bakers made minni di virgini in your honour, little rounded cakes filled with ricotta, coated with marzipan, a cherry on top.

SA: Cakes! I love cakes. I’m the patron saint of bakers too, Dominique, and you aspire to pure food so we’re sisters as well as children of God. And also earthquakes and volcanoes because the Lord unleashed them to punish my tormentors who will burn and suffer in Hell for all eternity. All eternity. *smiles, beatific*

DR: You are a martyr.
SA: I am a girl who died at fifteen.

DR: Exactly. I am in awe of you, Saint Agatha.
SA: Blessings, sister.

St Agatha
Dominique has been travelling to and from Sicily since she was a little girl and now she shares her intimate knowledge of Sicilian food and culture with you on her food, wine and cooking tours.  She has Sicilian blood and is passionate about all things Sicilian.  For the chance to experience Sicily through Dominique’s eyes, go to Pure Food Cooking Tours – Latest Tours.

Impossible Conversations with Chef Dominique Rizzo

Chef Dominique Rizzo returns from her sell-out Spanish “Unique Catalonia” food, wine and cooking tour for the launch of Impossible Conversations, in Brisbane, an event that is a classic celebration of art, ballet and poetic stories.

Impossible Conversations - Dominique Rizzo in Spain 2018 by Helen Gambley

Image: H Gambley

The Museum of Brisbane partnered with QPAC to create a series of Impossible Conversations with celebrated Italian figures from the past, many of whom are unfamiliar to most of us today.

“Inspired by Vanity Fair’s bitingly satirical 1930s series ‘Impossible Interviews’, nine of Brisbane finest residents shared the conversations that they would like to have with their chosen figure from Italian history.”

The conversation

Dominique Rizzo is honoured to be chosen to share her conversation with Saint Agatha, the saint of Sicily.

Impossible Conversations - St. Agatha painting

Image: Il Regno

Dominique’s conversation starts with a heart-felt note to Saint Agatha:
Impossible Conversations - Dominique Rizzo's note to Saint Agatha

Image: Museum of Brisbane

The art

Sam Cranstoun, the artist commissioned to paint the no-longer-living famous Italians, met and talked to Dominique and listened to what she imagined that she would say to Saint Agatha about her brave but tortured life.  It was this conversation that Sam then interpreted in his own watercolour painting.

“Because the historical figures are unable to take part in the conversations, Sam’s paintings hover in the space between question and answer. He offers glimpses of the conversations through imagery and text, inviting us to weave our own narratives.”

Impossible Conversations - Saint Agatha by Sam Cranstoun

Image: Museum of Brisbane

 

When and where can you catch up with Sam Cranstoun’s painting of Saint Agatha and the other eight historical Italian figures?

The stunning results can be viewed at the Museum of Brisbane exhibition Sam Cranstoun: Impossible Conversations, from 10 Oct 2018 – 31 Mar 2019,  and in the QPAC tunnel from November 2018.

The ballet – the pièce de résistance of this cultural event

The Italian theme of the Impossible Conversations celebrates the spectacular first-time visit of  Italy’s iconic Teatro alla Scala ballet company to Australia, to Brisbane only, performing Rudolph Nureyev’s grand Don Quixote and the ever-beautiful Giselle at QPAC.  What masterpieces are to be enjoyed by the lovers of ballet and theatre.

Impossible Conversations - La Scala Ballet Don Quixote

Image: teatroallascala Instagram

If contemplating these cultural events is making you think of food, why not cook Italian style with Dominique Rizzo’s recipe for Sicilian Arancini? These are show-stoppers in the arancini world.

Where to eat in Barcelona

Where to eat in Barcelona, Tips from Chef Dominique Rizzo as She Savours the World of Travel, Food, Wine and Cooking

Hi fellow travellers to Spain and welcome to Barcelona.  On the eve of  my Pure Food Wine & Cooking Tour “A Taste of Spain, Unique Catalonia“, here are a few more tempting insights into this majestic city to whet your appetite.

Tip 1.  The best Tapas in the city

Tapas where do you start and where do you finish and that is just in Cervecería Catalana with their fantastic choices, start at one end of the bar and try each one is our advice.

 

Image: Barcelonaroom


Tip 2. Churros at Xurrieria Dels Banys Nous

churro is a Spanish traditional deep fried-dough pastry that is powdered with sugar and sometimes dipped in chocolate as a snack.  It is a decadent number that you must try at least once.

Image by Yaho Dkr

Tip 3.  Must do restaurant in the Ravel neighborhood
Suculent” on Rambla del Raval, 45 is one not to miss if you love seafood.

Image by Miguel Lanos

Tip 4.   The ultimate experience 
The word on the street is that “Enigma” by Albert Adria (Carrer de Sepúlveda, 38-40, 08015 Barcelona, Spain) offers a dining experience of a life time.

Image by Nicholas Leong

Tip 5:  For chocolate like you have never tasted before
For chocolate check out Enric Rovira Chocolatier.  His chocolates are works of art. (Sant Geroni, 17, 08296 Castellbell y Vilar, Barcelona, Spain)

Image: www.gastronomiaalternativa.com

Tip 6.  For the deli lovers
Call into La Pineda (Carrer del Pi, 16, 08002 Barcelona, Spain) in the Gothic Quarter – it’s a feast and celebration of Spanish foods.

Image: Jossh Pappon

Tip 7. Mercat De La Boqueria (the marketplace)
 One of the best Spanish Barcelona experiences is to eat at Mercat De La Boqueria (La Rambla, 91, 08001 Barcelona, Spain); find the bar called El Quim de la Boqueria; one of its delicacies is baby squid with egg.

 

Tip 8.  And just another thing ….. 
There is no tipping just round up the total.
Dinner is usually eaten very late (10p.m.) after bar hopping and tapas.

Travel tips

Essentials To Pack in your carryon:  Medications, Prescriptions, Passport copy, Passwords, European adaptor, phone/ipad/laptop chargers; an outfit (in case your luggage is delayed), sunglasses.
And in your suitcase:  swimmers, hat, sandals, espadrilles.

 

Follow Chef Dominique Rizzo on her “A Taste of Spain” travels in “Unique Catalonia” on her Instagram page She Savours the World.

Beef Week 2018 with Chef Dominique Rizzo

Beef Week - Chef Dominique Rizzo

Beef Week 2018 was that wonderful mix of recipe writing, prepping, cooking demonstrations, hosting special dinners and cooking with some of the best beef in Australia. It was also a week of working and laughing with an esteemed group of world class Celebrity Chefs.  From the demonstration “Butcher’s Kitchen” where the butchers work alongside the chefs inspired to prepare interesting recipes, to the Chefs showcasing their talents with creative lunches and dinners in the Celebrity Chef restaurant, where there was an explosion of creativity showcasing traditional fine cuts of beef through to the lesser or “Tastier Cuts” and the rarely-heard-of cuts like the Bicep, Bavette, Tri tip, Flank, Coulotte and Flat Iron  popular in Europe, the USA and England. Hot topics of conversations were unique cooking techniques and flavour combinations, sustainability and working closely with producers, farm to table and keeping the message alive about Australia having the best beef in the world.

Beef Week - Chef Dominique Rizzo

Experiencing Beef Week Australia 2018 in Rockhampton is a meat-lover’s dream where the taste and quality of the meat reigns supreme across the board. It was a great experience to also meet some of the producers and to learn from them the intricate cuts that chefs and butchers alike are not so familiar with.  Each International Chef was paired with an Australian Chef to showcase how Tasty Cuts are incorporated into everyday meals as well as showcasing culinary masterpieces.

Beef Week - Chef Dominique Rizzo

The choices on where and what to eat were endless, from the “Beef Australia Bar and Grill Restaurant” to the Beef Australia Smokehouse – presented by “Black Bunny”,  the food kiosks in “The Paddock” and the number of independent outlets all showcasing the best of Australian beef and the various ways in which to cook, flavour and enjoy it.

One of the personal highlights of this year’s event for Chef Dominique Rizzo was seeing how much the esteemed Iron Chef Sakai enjoyed her signature ” Veal Carpaccio” dish, also cooking alongside Chef Jack Stein and meeting some of the world best Australian Beef ambassadors in one of Australia’s leading beef events. Meanwhile on a professional basis, the opportunity to cook,  talk and share ideas with Australia’s top celebrity chefs, is the inspiration behind many of the new dishes on the Putia Pure Food Kitchen’s seasonal menu.  Dominique was so impressed by the brisket and the cuts of beef under the brand “Oino Gustus” by Blair Angus, she now proudly uses this on the Putia menu. Showcasing the point end of the brisket, Putias’ Slow Roast Brisket with green pea smash, potato and three cheese hash, gravy, fried egg and topped with wicked crispy onions is such a show-stopper that it sells out in a flash.

And in the name of rich, hearty Winter comfort food, Putia has also included dishes such as super-tender beef cheek pie and Italian slow braised beef ragu with fresh tagliatelle pasta and in Clapham Junction Wine Bar, the New York style bicep beef dish is a knock-out.

Putia Pure Food Kitchen sources its top quality beef from North Queensland producer Signature Beef. Signature Beef is the culmination of four generations of the Angus Family’s continual dedication to produce the world’s best beef. With a surname steeped in beef history it was, in a way, inevitable that this proud tradition was passed down through their family. Signature Beef owned by Blair and Josie Angus and their four children, is a company strong on tradition yet constantly looking forward with a culture of innovation.

To get a feel for  the action and atmosphere at Australia’s National Beef Expo by listening to the  Beef Australia 2018 Podcasts – this one features Jayne Cuddihy speaking to Shane Bailey – Celebrity Chef Coordinator, Jess Pryles – Cook, Author and ‘Hardcore Carnivore’ and Dominique Rizzo Chef Putia Pure Food Kitchen.

Since a large part of the program at Beef Week Australia is dedicated to a paddock to plate experience, they talk about food vans, pop up restaurants and the Celebrity Chef program that is dedicated to not just treating people to a beefy taste sensation, but educating people on cooking techniques and cuts of meat.

Click on the Listen Here to catch some of the action of Beef 2018.

Listen here  

At the end of Beef Week, we  look back and marvel at the hectic pace visiting farms, sharing stories, meeting incredible food pioneers and passionate producers and look ahead to Beef Week 2021 in three years time.  We loved Beef Week Australia.

 

UrbiPod Know How with Chef Dominique Rizzo

Next in this series “How to grow fresh herbs with Chef Dominique Rizzo” –  UrbiPod Know How

UrbiPod Know How - Chef Dominique Rizzo with her UrbiPod

Follow Chef Dominique Rizzo as she shows you how to grow your herbs on your kitchen bench with Urbipod Know How.

Dominique prepares her new Urbipod for planting, giving you hints on which way is up with the self-watering system and which way is down for the natural coir growing discs, before she gets to the best part, actually planting the seeds.

UrbiPod Know How - the coir mats expanding with added water

After watching Dominique go through the steps, it will take you a mere 10 minutes from start to finish, to unpack, confidently set up and plant your new Urbipod.  Just sit back

Order your UrbiPod with Dominique Here

Or visit the UrbiPod website.

Watch “UrbiPod Know How with Chef Dominique Rizzo at Putia Pure Food Kitchen ” 

And these are the results of your UrbiPod Know How in just a few days:

UrbiPod Know How - the first growth of the herbs.

 

Next in the series “How to grow fresh herbs with Chef Dominique Rizzo”: harvesting the herbs, which seeds grow fastest, recipe tips.

How to grow fresh herbs with Chef Dominique Rizzo

How to grow fresh herbs with Chef Dominique Rizzo - Dominique unpacking the urbipod

How to grow fresh herbs with Chef Dominique Rizzo made easy. My new project is to grow herbs, not only in Putia garden, but also on the Putia kitchen bench with my new urbipod from Urbotanica.   

How to grow fresh herbs with Chef Dominique Rizzo

Join me as I demonstrate the first in a series on my urbipod experience from unpacking the box of all the pieces, simplifying the jigsaw of putting them together ready for planting. I want to share my tips on what bits of the pod fit in where and which way up so that you can confidently move onto the next exciting step of planting your herb seeds. This may save you time and streamline the assembly of your urbipod when you join the ever-growing number of kitchen-herb-gardeners.

You will soon see your urbipod looking like this:

How to grow fresh herbs with Chef Dominique Rizzo - Urbipod on kitchen bench.

 

Watch How to grow fresh herbs with Chef Dominique Rizzo

on her YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/ChefDominiqueRizzo

If you would like to check the Urbipod, here is their website Urbotanica. Perhaps you would like to join me and plant your herbs at the same time and we can grow and compare the results of our simple, fresh herbs.

Buy one now!

Next in this series “How to grow fresh herbs with Chef Dominique Rizzo“: Planting the seeds will be out soon.

 

Make food waste a thing of the past with clever cooking techniques – Chef Dominique Rizzo and Sam Thaiday

Make food waste a thing of the past with clever cooking techniques – Sam Thaiday & Celebrity chef Dominique Rizzo set out on a mission to bust the fact that food waste costs the average household about $2200 to $3800 per year.

Make food waste a thing of the past - Chef Dominique Rizzo and Sam Thaiday

At the Brisbane City Council Green Heart Fair, Chef Dominique Rizzo and NRL legend Sam Thaiday shared their tips on how to turn what is already in the fridge into creative meals, how to reduce your food waste and how to save time and money creating delicious dishes at home.

That’s good for your budget and good for the environment.

Living sustainably is all about reducing waste, recycling, reusing and being kind to the planet.

Make food waste a thing of the past - Sam Thaiday and Chef Dominique Rizzo

Getting into action on stage at the Green Heart Fair, Dominique and Sam chose the ingredients for the dishes that they were cooking from food leftovers that usually were tossed out in the garbage bin.

Together, they demonstrated how to cook a delicious menu of dishes starting with

Corn Soup with Avocado Salsa,

Vegetable San Choy Bow,

Sweet Potato Pizza, 

Bacon and Vegetable Strudel.

Make food waste a thing of the past - Sam Thaiday and Chef Dominique Rizzo

There were no sad lonely vegetables in the kitchen after this cook-off.

Watch Brisbane City Council’s video of Dominique in “Make food waste a thing of the past – Chef Dominique Rizzo” on You Tube

If you want to know more about how to cut down on food waste, join the “Love Food Hate Waste Workshops” supported by The Brisbane City Council and presented by Dominique at her cooking school at Putia Pure Food Kitchen.