diaphainein's Profile

Title Last Reply

US Expat in Sydney; hard time finding US foods in markets!

This is an amazing suggestion.

Mar 25, 2013
diaphainein in Australia/New Zealand

Unique foodie experiences in Sydney

I second Mamak, Spice I Am (best massamun curry EVER), and Gumshara, though I am also a huge fan of Ichiban-Boshi on the top floor of the Galeries building in the CBD. They also do ramen and it is absolutely amazing.

If you'll be in during a weekend, Glebe Markets has some unique food stalls and also some cool flea-market type shops.

I have also had a really awesome breakfast experience at a place called The Book Kitchen. It's in Surry Hills, and is quite a remarkable space with freaking delicious food. http://www.thebookkitchen.com.au/

Mar 25, 2013
diaphainein in Australia/New Zealand

US Expat in Sydney; hard time finding US foods in markets!

Thanks for all the replies, everyone!

Firework Foods, CostCo (this tickles me so much because there is CostCo at home too), Fiji Market, and CBD markets are all on my list to hit up, in addition to other suggestions that have been made to me.

As for embracing local foods, I most definitely am. I love the suggestion to use Barramundi in place of catfish, I already love it and think it would go great in a cornmeal batter. I'll also try Vietnamese catfish and see if the texture is similar. I'll bet it is.

My want for finding these things is that I have a few go-to recipes and sometimes, substitutions change it so much that it just isn't as good. Plus, I want to be able to share foods I love with my Aussie family (in exchange for foods they love) and while they don't know the difference, *I* know the difference...does that make much sense?

I don't have a problem with substitutions however, just the other day we made corn dogs and used low-fat Aussie beef sausages. We did this not only because the sausages were of a healthier construction but also because we knew what was in them. The "American Hot Dogs" we found at Woolworth's were "70% Pork and other meat products" and were 4x the price of the sausages. Not a hard choice there! Plus, they were delicious as corn dogs. A different taste, sure, but they were awesome. Win.

I definitely am loving local food (especially seafood), and all of the fresh options in addition to new things I can experiment with. I love being able to easily find Asian ingredients, which is a huge change from Texas where I had to hunt and peck for things. I love the challenge of making things I could easily find in the freezer aisle at home (corn dogs, jalapeno poppers, taquitos...).

The thing I miss the most is the cheese, though, so I'll be taking a trip to CostCo, pronto. Is it membership based, like it is in the States?

Mar 25, 2013
diaphainein in Australia/New Zealand

US Expat in Sydney; hard time finding US foods in markets!

Okra is also used in a lot of Southern US dishes; today I would have liked some to make a gumbo but am having to settle just for the "holy trinity" instead, which is green capsicum, celery, and onion. I also enjoy it fried and in a bunch of other dishes that have nothing to do with India. Knowing this, though, may make it easier to find. I'll scour some Indian markets and see what's available.

Without knowing what Greek cheese this is, I don't know. Feta is crumbly and salty but does not impart the same flavor as Cotija, plus Cotija is much more mild and creamier than Feta.

Mar 16, 2013
diaphainein in Australia/New Zealand

US Expat in Sydney; hard time finding US foods in markets!

P.S. I know I can find some things online, but shipping is expensive and waiting is a pain in the butt. Being part of the tail end of Generation X, I like instant gratification. ;)

Mar 16, 2013
diaphainein in Australia/New Zealand

US Expat in Sydney; hard time finding US foods in markets!

I'm originally from New Orleans, Louisiana via Dallas, Texas, and have found a hell of a time finding foods I am used to in markets around Sydney. Things like...

Yellow Wisconsin-style cheddar (NOT processed cheese-food...I will kiss any Aussie who knows the distinction, because I cannot find anyone who understands that cheddar is sometimes yellow and not because there's fake stuff in it! I'm a pretty cute lady too, so this is an incentive.)

Pepper jack cheese

Monterrey Jack cheese

Cotija cheese

Poblano, Serrano, jalapeño peppers, and even chipotle peppers

Okra

Latin spices such as Sazón and Adobo

Freshwater catfish, and other things.

I come from a Southern Louisiana background and am Puerto Rican in my ethnicity, and love to cook Southern US dishes in addition to Mexican and Latin (Puerto Rican and Cuban, primarily) dishes.

I have been able to find some odds and ends at Martelli's (things like plantain bananas) and some things at Asian markets in the CBD (black beans), but I thought perhaps I am missing a key market or two that a local or a fellow expat could clue me into.

Any help is much appreciated! I will happily travel where ever to find these things.

Mar 16, 2013
diaphainein in Australia/New Zealand

Roast Turkey with Creamy Herbed Gravy

Due to last-minute shopping, I had to use dried herbs and it still came out awesome! I stuffed the cavity with a lemon and a half, a whole yellow onion, and two heads of garlic with the tops removed. I tented foil over the bird in the oven. It took forever due to cooking at high altitude, and it didn't make a lot of drippings so I had to add a bit of chicken broth at the bottom for basting. No big deal. I made the bourbon cream gravy to go with this instead of the suggested gravy. Everything was a hit; the bird was moist and flavorful. Awesome!

Nov 22, 2012
diaphainein in Recipes

Bourbon-Cream Gravy

This was a hit! I cut the recipe in half and it still made a ton. This gravy is freaking amazing. I had to use a bit more flour to thicken it up, but otherwise it was easy and delicious!

Nov 22, 2012
diaphainein in Recipes

Maque Choux

I modified this very heavily to suit my needs, and it was friggen delicious. I'm from New Orleans and LOVE okra, and eat it constantly while it's in season. I used the bacon grease from the bacon to cook the okra, and added in onion, tomato, red bell pepper, garlic, cayenne, fresh thyme, and salt. Added the bacon back in after everything was cooked, and I had a fairly light veggie-heavy meal. I want to try this with corn too, but in the interest of shaving off calories (seeing as the bacon adds a TON of flavor and some fat), I won't be adding any cream or milk and instead opting for a more tomato-based sauce.

Aug 29, 2012
diaphainein in Recipes

My Friends Are All Give and No Take

WTF is with all this prejudice about pet owners? I have cats, they DO NOT walk on the countertops (they stay on the ground, they are seriously lazy), and my house is impeccably clean. I vacuum and dust anywhere from 2-3 times per week, and always wipe down my counters and stove with antibacterial cleaner and paper towels. I keep everything ridiculously clean, and anyone who knows me knows I'm OCD about things being clean.

I just think it's asinine to refuse invitations from pet owners. I'd be horribly offended if someone did that to me, and in fact would probably sever my friendship with them. Filthy homes are one thing, but don't be an asshole and assume everyone with pets automatically has a dirty house.

Jul 25, 2011
diaphainein in Features

The Shame of the Dirty Martini Drinker

I wonder what sort of harsh judgement beer lovers get from bartenders.

May 31, 2011
diaphainein in Features

Mail-Order Food Gifts for Father's Day

These are amazing gift ideas for Dads, but I'm also seeing some things my boyfriend will like, too. Hooray for a gift list that acutally has gift-able things in it!

May 31, 2011
diaphainein in Features

What Is America's Worst Restaurant Chain?

As a Southerner, I've never had the pleasure (or displeasure, as you may) to have White Castle, but I have had Krystal. Once sober, and once high as a kite. It was definitely better under the influence of some sort of substance.

As for KFC, I have two words for you: Double-Down. I honestly thought that thing was some sort of early April Fool's joke.

I have to say, though, while spending an extended amount of time in northern England, I found the local KFC (and the McDonald's) to be a haven whenever I craved a taste of home. I sincerely enjoyed the local fare (in fact, I get angry that I can't find a damn prawn cracker in Texas or decent cheese and onion pie), but every once in a while, I really needed some crispy fried chicken!

May 08, 2011
diaphainein in Features