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July, 2011

  1. Free Range Chickens & Eggs

    July 8, 2011 by ThePieMan

    One of the core philosophies guiding the selection of ingredients in the Villa Tempest Kitchen is the choice to use the best possible products available at the time. For example through the “Friends” network we have acquired Kampot Black Peppercorns and Kampot White Peppercorns so that we can grind fresh spice when needed.

    We use Vietnamese Sea Salt because of it’s outstanding savoury flavour. When the need arises we use Tahitian Vanilla Beans as a flavouring and flavour-melding agent,  we use Rau hữu cơ Thanh Xuân Organic Vegetables, and our meat, supplied by Hanoi Small Goods, is usually Halal certified, Australian Beef and Lamb.

    In line with this philosophy to use the best quality ingredients we are proud to announce that we are now purposely selecting our chickens & eggs from Naturally Vietnam. These are wonderful products. They are Free Range birds and are produced according to Fair Trade Principles and are traceable back to the producer.

    Here are a couple of flyers about these new products being used in our kitchen.

  2. Pancake Parlour-style Pancakes Tabriz

    July 4, 2011 by ThePieMan

    A long time ago, I used to live in the suburbs of Melbourne. Each time I or my family travelled to the countryside by train, we would stop in at The Pancake Parlour. I used to love the olde worlde feel of the place, it’s decoration, the giant chess peaces and boards, it was like being in an Alice in Wonderland theme park. 

    My all time favorite dish was their Pancake Tabriz. The menu described it as, “Ground beef cooked in red wine with herbs, bacon, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, and other delights.” 

    To me, it was kinda exotic sounding, and was always flavourful, if somewhat salty from time to time. Since those times, I try to take my son there whenever we go back to Australia for a visit. I still order the Tabriz, it still has the same salt issues, but I love it. However, childhood memories, as dear as they are to me, still taunt me with an unattainable past. 

    I make my own crepes now, and occasionally take a tilt at the Tabriz Sauce, which is at it’s core, a Boeuf Bourguignon with tomatoes, made with ground beef. But there are also some specific herbs and aromatics that make this sauce a Tabriz and not a Bourguignon. These are: tarragon, dill, parsley, tumeric, and leeks.

    This recipe is another “pinch and dash” recipe, one of those that you can play with endlessly.

    Pancakes Tabriz


    • 250g Ground beef
    • 100g Whole bacon or bacon rashers
    • 1/4 cup Diced Onion
    • 1/4 cup Diced Mushroom
    • 1/2 cup Diced, seeded, skinned tomatoes (optional) or
    • 1 tbsn Fine diced carrots (optional)
    •  2 tspn Tarragon
    • 2 tspn Parsley
    • 1/2 Leek
    • 1/4 tspn Tumeric (optional)
    • 1 tspn Coarse ground back pepper
    • 1 tspn Rough crushed sea salt
    • 400ml Beef/Chicken Stock
    • 1/4 cup Red wine
    • 1-2 tbsn Olive oil &/or butter


    1. Cut bacon into batons (or rashers into coarse dice) and sweat off in a dry nonstick pan until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, set aside and retain the fat.
    2. Sweat the onions and mushrooms (and carrots) in the bacon fat. Tip off into a stewing pot, add stock and boquet garni bag made of leek, parsley & tarragon.
    3. Brown the beef in the pan with some extra fat, add the pepper and tumeric (optional) and mix well. Deglaze the pan with wine, drop the heat to a simmer and reduce by half.
    4. Add meat mixture to the stewing pot and bring to boil. Finely dice/shred the bacon and add to the stew pot. Simmer uncovered for 20 min. Or until the liquid becomes the consistency of a thin sauce.adjust the seasoning with salt and, if necessary, thicken slightly with cornflour.

    Take two freshly cooked pancakes (crepes) add some of the Tabriz Sauce to the center, roll (or fold over) and top with more sauce. Garnish and serve, with a fresh garden salad if you like.

    And there you have my, “Pancakes Tabriz.”

    That’s all from the Bait Layer today,

    Get that int’ ya! 

  3. Happenings in the Kitchen

    July 4, 2011 by ThePieMan

    Well, I guess it’s well past time for an update of what’s actually been going on in the kitchen.


    That’s right. No sadder or truer statement can possibly be made. Reasons. I could give you dozens. In essence: I’ve been sick; I’ve lost several batches of fresh produce and meat through power outages caused by faulty supply equipment; and, my pie press is still no closer to being completed, after eight frustrating weeks. Between that, getting frustrated, angry and depressed over the situation, the family traveling back to Germany for the Summer Break, and a very sick cat, I’ve let it all get away from me and grossly out of hand.

    If you have placed an order with me, please accept my sincerest apology for not having fulfilled that order. I will make amends and get this sorted.

    Current state of the kitchen? We have the house kitchen, and the pastry space is starting to come along: industrial deck oven with granite slab; marble top benches; a two burner station that still needs connection to gas; temperature controlled water oven; two large sinks but no plumbing as yet; some electrical work that still needs to be done; two freezers; one fridge; another cooling cabinet/refrigerator is desperately needed; Pie Press is partially complete; Dough Sheeter is partially complete; Kitchen Mixer needs to be replaced with a dedicated Mincer and Stand Mixer; need some pallets made up to hold the pi tins as they go into the oven because the sheet pans buckle and warp – providing uneven heating of pies being cooked.

    Our ordering system, based on an the Handshake App for Apple IPad, worked nicely but the IPad has somehow been trashed. None of us have any idea how this might have  occurred. All orders thankfully are being stored in Handshake’s Cloud so past business data has not been lost. And all of this to be done on a shoestring budget largely funded by the orders you place.

    All is not lost, just ever so slowly moving forward, but forward we still move. I will be using this summer break to try and bring order to all of this chaos, with the firm target of having proper systems in place that WILL ALLOW for people to place an order, a week in advance. For pickup and delivery, I will continue to maintain a stall at the Weekend Market , as a kind of once a week shopfront.

    In the meantime, if you’d like to place an order, or refresh/change an existing order please feel free to contact me and I will give you a realistic and personal assurance of production and delivery.

    The Pieman.

  4. Summertime Pies

    July 3, 2011 by ThePieMan

    As many of our customers are currently away traveling to escape the Summer heat, and since pies are not so popular at this time of year, we have decided to shorten the menu to our current, “Most Popular” items. This will make it easier for us to supply customers who have chosen, like us, to enjoy the humidity, and also to ensure product quality and food security. With this heat, we feel it is necessary to reduce the risk of product loss, caused by intermittent power supply and under utilization of raw ingredients.

  5. Weekend Market Closed

    July 3, 2011 by ThePieMan

    Just a quick not to let you know that the Tay Ho Weekend Market has closed its doors for its Summer Break. It should be back up and running by the Aug. 20. We at Villa Tempest would like to thank all those who came to the market and sampled our sausages and hamburgers. If you’re traveling during the Summer ‘School’ break, we wish that you have a safe and pleasant journey and look forward to seeing you when you return.