Memories of Food Adventures…past

In what feels like a another lifetime I had a brief period as a stay at home mum during which time I had a part-time job at a high end Sydney kitchen & homeware shop which also had a fabulous cooking school. It was owned by a generous woman whose knowledge and connections in the food industry were legendary. I loved the one or two nights a week I assisted her at the cooking school, as well as the few hours a week I worked in her beautiful shop, crammed full of the things I love – kitchenware, cookbooks & food


Part of my cookbook collection

I am pretty certain I spent half if not all of what I earned on items from the shop, and as a result started what has become a pretty impressive ‘Batterie de Cuisine’ & cookbook collection. My husband is now a co-conspirator and for the past few birthdays has given me a Mauviel cooper pot (bliss), so even though another birthday looms large, the promise of a Mauviel splayed saute pan softens the blow of being just that little bit older!


Cooper corner in my kitchen

My job at the cooking school was to assist the chef of the day. If they were from out of town it included prepping & ensuring we were mise en place ready for the cooking demonstration. To this day when I cook at home, I always follow the practice of mise en place…old habits die hard! Local chef’s usually prepped in their restaurants and brought in what was needed for their demonstration.


Mise en Place for Thai Style Chicken Broth with Wontons

If needed I helped to cook extra quantities of the dish being demonstrated, which was always sampled by the audience. I also served and cleaned up at the end of the lesson. It may not sound great, and it was in no way glamorous, but for me it was pretty wonderful. I met and learned from admired chefs and over time built up an impressive collection of recipes, many of which I still use or at least reference


My binder of treasured recipes

I had my favourite chefs, some of whom I continue to follow on TV and/or Instgram, and whose restaurants I visit (when possible), these include Maggie Beer, Sean Moran, Steffano Madfredi , Neil Perry, Guillaume Brahimi, Christine Mansfield, Damien Pignolet , Serge Dansereau & Matt Moran. I also had some favourite recipes which over time have become regular features in my kitchen, like Lorraine Godsmark’s wonderful ‘Tarte Citron’ – which is pretty much the only recipe I use for Lemon Tart!


Tarte Citron

I love pulling out the binder in which is stored these treasures, pouring over the recipes for hours. I always seem to find one which seems to say ‘cook me’ and this week it was Matthew Moran’s, ‘Thai style Chicken Broth with Wontons’ recipe. This recipe actually leans favourably to being ‘played with’ and I am sure that is exactly what Chef Moran would like home cooks to do – use it as a base for the flavours and have fun with the garnish.


Thai Style Chicken Broth with Wontons

Bon Appetit & happy cooking,


Thai Style Chicken Broth with Wontons – Matthew Moran (serves 4 – 6)



2Ltr Chicken Stock
2tbsp Fish Sauce
1tbsp Shrimp Paste
1tbsp Chilli Jam – I make my own but shop bought is ok
6 Lime Leaves – cut (I tie them into a small muslin bag with the lemon grass)
2stalks Lemon Grass –chopped (added to muslin bag with the lime leaves)
Large piece of Galangal – roasted and cut into large pieces
1 head of Garlic – roasted
4 – 5 small Chillies – chopped (seeds in or out as you like)
4tbsp Palm Sugar – I grate mine to make it easier to incorporate
2tbsp tamarind paste


1 pack Wonton wrappers
200g Chicken breast minced – from happy free range chickens
3tbsp Chilli Jam
1 Lemon Grass stalk – bruised and cut finely
2 bunches of Coriander – pick & cut leaves
1tbsp Palm Sugar – grated
2tbs Shrimp Paste
1 egg yolk – beaten


Shitake mushrooms – sliced
Coriander leaves
Tomato – seeds removed and cut into strips
++ I add a sprinkle of fried shallots (available from Asian grocery market) ++



  • Bring the chicken stock to the boil and add the ingredients listed (squeezing the roasted garlic from the skin and discard skin)
  • Bring back to the boil and then turn down to simmer allowing the flavours to infuse
  • Taste and adjust the flavour as necessary
  • Add the wontons & cook for a few minutes until wontons are done
  • Remove the muslin bag & galangal pieces with a slotted spoon


  • Mix all ingredients until cohesive.
  • Using a pastry brush, lightly paint the four sides of the wonton wrapper with beaten egg
  • Add a small teaspoon of the mixture into middle of the wrapper and fold to make a triangle, then gather up one side and then the other, pinching and turning top to seal.

To serve – simply garnish.

About kathryninthekitchen

I find joy in all aspects of food and cooking; reading about it, enjoying the offerings of great restaurants and cafe’s, sourcing beautiful produce & transforming it into delicious meals to share with the people I care about. I quite easily lose track of time when I am engaged in my favourite pastime. I have always dreamt of one day training as a cook and 2018 is the year that journey begins. I am excited I have the opportunity to follow my passion and grateful for the support of my family and friends. I hope you enjoy my journey with me as well as other food related detours.
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