Sunday, October 04, 2009

Oh No! Not another market Sue.

The Prahran Market - Est 1864

Feeling guilty as I was going to be be out most of Sunday, I said to Sue, “Why don’t we try another market on Saturday?”
We have a Saturday market in the inner suburb of Prahran. It’s about a few kms out of the City.
It was originally established in 1864 just after the gold rush era.
During the late 1960s I actually worked across the road from the market but being a teenage boy it had no attraction for me at the time. I did however enjoy Prahran as it had a sort of alternative grunge factor that lives on today.

From the Prahran Market website
Although land was sold throughout Prahran in 1840, it was not until the gold rush days of the 1850's that the community really began to grow, and in 1856, Prahran's first Council was elected. Prahran was famous for its small farms and market gardens, and at first goods were sold or bartered locally or carted into Melbourne.
What was needed was a central market place in the municipality of Prahran and this was organised by the Prahran Council in 1864.
The spot originally chosen was near the corner of Greville and Grattan Street, where the garden is now located.
Eventually the Grattan Street market became hopelessly overcrowded and a new spot had to be set aside. In 1881, the market was transferred to its present site on Commercial Road.

Sue's favourite shop at the Prahran market - Essential Ingredients

Anyway Sue said that she didn’t want to spend too much, yeah right!!!!
A new fry pan from Essential Ingredients was purchased. It is the most marvellous cook and chef’s shop. Essential Ingredients is Sue's very, very favorite place to be. A cook's heaven.

Marinated baby figs - one of Sue's many favorites.

We bought some marinated baby figs which are devine. They also have a foodie book shop which included a couple of new releases, one in particular from Stephanie Alexander. Her previous books have included a book she co-wrote with Maggie Beer about their Tuscan cooking travels and another about her time in the Dordogne.

Products by Maggie Beer.

Maggie had her own TV program called "the Cook and the Chef" which has just finished after four very successful seasons. Her products sell in this shop. Check out her website Well worth a look with a few cooking videos from the show. and also Stephanie's

From the market Sue also purchased duck breasts, wild rabbit (again), quail, strawberries and mangoes.
Looking like a good week out of the kitchen for me.......

I love big chunky field mushrooms - as good as a big fat steak.

Tonight we ate the duck breast.
How was it cooked Sue?
Pan fried slowly to get a very crispy skin, then finished in the oven served nice and pink, with a blood orange sauce made with red wine vinegar, chicken stock and a little sugar, pommes anna and a salad.
I needed to think about something other than the fact that our youngest (21) moved out today, and I’m feeling sad. Happy for his new adventure, but sad ‘cos I’ll miss him. So…I cooked.

It was probably good therapy for Sue as Sunday I was out most of the day racing on the Velodrome.

Wild rabbit, duck breast and quail went into the back pack for next week's dinners.

Fennel, beetroot and leak.

Tonight I've come home to a lovely meal but a sad wife with her youngest just flying the coop. But like a homing pigeon, I'm sure it won't be long before he returns.

That reminds me that I need to change the door locks next weekend.


  1. Hi Leon and Sue,
    What a swell market, not unlike the Halles of Tours in France. I couldn't help noticing the 'portobello' mushrooms. Have you ever tried them stuffed 'galipette'-style, like they serve them in the Loire Valley. Interested? Have a look here: Martine

  2. Hello L & S,

    I'm afraid $1.80 EACH for leeks, per your photo, seems outrageous. How much is the Aussie $ worth in euros?

    Changing the locks? Ha ha ha. Poor kid.


  3. Ken,
    I think our Aussie $ is at 62c to the euro - We get 87c for the US$ at the moment and our economy seems to have not suffered as much as other countries. It may depend on where you shop as well. Prahran Market is not cheap where the Dandenong market is. The trendy live in Prahran where the less wealthy live in Dandenong and this is refected in the prices. Sue also prefers the produce from Dandenong.

    I'll get Sue to answer your questions - she cooks, I enjoy.

  4. Ken, I agree about the leeks. Getting to be out of season now, so have almost doubled in price, but they are never really cheap. They are not considered a staple in Australia, there are a lot of people who would never have cooked with them.
    Ladybird, thanks for the link. They are not portobello mushrooms with the darker skin as we know them here at least, rather we call them field mushrooms. They have a very earthy flavour, and as a kid we would pick them from the fields (paddocks) after rain.
    We went to great mushroom caves near Ken and Walt's. Can't remember the name of the place right now.
    I love stuffed mushrooms, but didn't see them in France. Dang!

  5. Crimini mushrooms are baby portabello. I am sure they have other names in different places. I don't know if they have them in France or Europe for that matter.
    I just love "cepes" (bollets, porcini) and girolles, but like for good wine, the soil (terroir) makes a huge difference in their taste. I bet Sue is an excellent cook.

  6. Thanks for your comments Nadege, yes Sue is an excellent cook and an obsessive foodie.
    She's just started a cooking class with her first only two weeks ago.
    She had two students. Maybe the start of a new career.
    It was very successful and a heap of fun.

  7. Have you guys seen "Julie and Julia" yet? I am sure Sue will love it as much as I did.

  8. Nadege,
    We saw it yesterday and it was great. Sue showed me several youtube episodes of Julia Child TV shows.
    Wasn't Meryl Streep marvelous?


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