For those of you who ordered the Sunset at Home hamper to get you through the coronavirus isolation, we hope you are enjoying it!
We've pulled together a few ideas of different ways to serve it so you get to enjoy it to it's full potential!! It is far more versatile than just a dollop on a cheese platter, although of course that is our favourite!
#1. The Classic - Served on your Cheese Platter
It would be remiss not to include this one. We recommend the pumpkin chutney with a classic aged cheddar or a creamy brie on a jatz or a wafer cracker.
#2. The Lunch - Delicious Ploughman's Lunch
A British classic:
I love to make my own bread when doing a ploughman's lunch and see below for a recipe for a super-easy, no-knead wholemeal bread. (It doesn't keep for long so either freeze any you don't eat on the day and use it for toast)
#3. The Beer Snack
Are you looking for some nibbles to serve with your beer?
Try some mini poppadoms with condiments such as lime pickle, a cucumber raita (see recipe below) and of course some pumpkin chutney
The poppadoms are super easy to make in the microwave. I do three at a time on the highest setting for 40 seconds. Perfecto!
The next couple of ideas have come from one of our favourite restaurants on Magnetic Island: Saltwater Magnetic Island. [Put it on your list of places to eat when you visit the island!]
#4. Scrummy Curry
Along a similar theme as the beer snack...but by jazzing up the pumpkin chutney it is the perfect condiment to a spicy curry.
Fold the pumpkin chutney through some natural yogurt, add sliced dates or nuts like almonds, a pinch of cinnamon and season. To intensify the flavour add some hot chilli or dried chilli.
#5. Morning Tea - Treat yourself to a Savoury Scone
Serve a savoury scone with some butter, pumpkin chutney and a dollop of sour cream (or creme fraiche, my favourite!). See below for a delicious savoury scone recipe.
A big thank you to Jen & Dan from Saltwater for their suggestions.
We hope you've enjoyed these suggestions and please share any ideas you have in a comment below!!
How to Make the Perfect Cheese Platter "Pilgrim Style":
Our Pilgrim Sailing sunset cruises are one of our most popular things to do onboard. On every trip, we not only go sailing, but we serve unlimited Tamburlaine Organic Wines, and local beers and every group are served their own personal cheese platter.
Although I certainly wouldn't call myself an expert, I have made a lot of cheese platters over the past ten years, and have enjoyed refining it as I go along! So, how do I do it?
Firstly, The Cheese:
I always select three kinds of cheese to go on my cheese board, unless catering for a large group of people when you may need to add a couple of extras.
My platter includes:
1. A hard cheese, generally a good quality cheddar which has some bite.
2. A soft cheese, generally a brie, camembert or similar
3. An interesting cheese. Our absolute favourite is the Gallo Dairyland macadamia nut cheese. It is to die for. Alternatively, you could choose a washed rind or a blue cheese.
How much cheese per person?
As a rule of thumb, you're looking for 25-30 g per cheese per person assuming you have three kinds of cheese on the platter for an entree or dessert.
Secondly, is the crackers:
I also like to serve three types of crackers, but this may be over the top and two would be sufficient.
1. Jatz or Savoys - ok, controversial, I know. A little bit basic, but everyone loves them. Paul wouldn't let me put a cheese platter out at home without a Jatz featured, so I apply that principle on board too.
Side note: The importance of the Jatz cracker was confirmed by one of our regular guests onboard Pilgrim. Just before I brought out the cheese platter, he proudly announced that one of the favourite things about our sunset cruises was that we always served Jatz on the cheese platter. You can imagine how hard it was to tell him that due to an oversight on my part, we had run out on that day. Note, I have not run out again since!!!
2. Some plain crackers - water biscuits or wafers. If you're buying wafer crackers, make sure you don't buy a cheap brand as they go stale very quickly once exposed to the air.
Top tip: if you don't finish a whole packet keep them in a plastic container in the fridge. They'll last much longer.
3. Some interesting crackers. This could be a bark style cracker or OB Finest - Goji Berry and Coconut is my favourite. [OB Finest, is my go-to brand on Pilgrim]
Another alternative is Janet's sesame crispbread. Here's the recipe:
JANET'S SESAME CRISPBREAD
1 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup flax seed
1/4 LSA mix
3 desert spoons ground psyllium husk
2 oz finely grated Parmesan
Large pinch Malden salt
Water, (about 1/2 cup)
1 beaten egg
Add different toppings: herbs, rosemary, chilli, seaweed salt. For variation.
Next, on the perfect cheese platter is the Condiment:
This one is a no-brainer on Pilgrim: Clare's famous Pumpkin Chutney. This is now available for sale, or if you want to give it a go yourself, here's the recipe.
Then, comes the Fruit:
The most obvious being grapes, I like to use red and white for the colour. But out of season grapes are either terrible quality or very expensive! So my advice is to look for something in season, colourful and reasonably priced. Some of my favourites are passion fruit (picked straight off our vine at home), kiwi fruit, strawberries or figs.
Now, the olives:
Olives can be a personal thing - black, green, whole, pitted, stuffed etc. My personal favourite is the almond stuffed olives from Stubborn Olives (a Sydney based company).
I'm currently searching for a Queensland olive producer, ideally from North Queensland, but so far my research has not delivered. Please get in touch with any recommendations!
Finally, the sprinkle or the gap filler:
I use nuts or blueberries to fill up the cheese platter and make sure it looks pretty and there are no gaps, that is until someone takes the first bite.
To conclude on my take of the perfect cheese platter:
By no means is this the only formula for a delicious cheese platter but it's one which has helped me over the years and takes the thinking out of it every time.
The three overarching principles I apply to every cheese platter, whether at home or on Pilgrim:
- Support local producers, wherever possible
- Choose seasonal ingredients - they taste better and are generally cheaper
- Don't skimp on quality
I hope you enjoy serving you your next cheese platter!
Check out our favourite places to eat near Rose Bay.
Pilgrim Sailing has just arrived back in Sydney for our ninth year of operation on Sydney Harbour! You can jump on board for a range of activities, specialising in Twilight Racing, Sunset Cruises and Private Charters.
Generally, we pick up and drop off guests from Rose Bay and often get asked for recommendations of places to eat in the area either before or after a charter or while they are visiting the area.
Here are our favourites:
Our number one recommendation is the Empire Lounge at the Sydney Seaplanes Terminal.
You can check out the food and beverage menu here.
Because we love it so much, we have arranged a dinner package for our Sip&Sail Twilight Cruise guests after the twilight cruise. For an additional $56 per person, you'll be able to select one main dish, one side dish to share, a dessert and one glass of house wine or beer. Just book it as an extra when you book your Sip&Sail Twilight Cruise!
THURSDAY – SUNDAY OPEN FROM 12:00 PM TILL LATE | SERVING LUNCH AND DINNER
Photos sourced from Instagram : @empireloungesydney
But don't look past some of our other favourites, which come HIGHLY RECOMMENDED too:
An easy walking distance from Rose Bay Wharf:
Great place for breakfast, lunch, coffee. Located in the middle of Lyne Park. One of our favourite spots for brekkie!
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 6 am till 5 pm Sat to Sun 6 am till 6 pm
Jewel on the Bay
An excellent Indian restaurant, only a few minutes walk from the wharf. It has a great atmosphere and fantastic food. Bookings recommended.
Opening hours: 7 Days | breakfast & lunch 7 am to 3 pm | Dinner from 5 pm to 10 pm
A Japanese tapas bistro - we enjoy coming here. There are some interesting items on the menu which you don't find in every Japanese restaurant.
Opening hours: Tuesday - Sunday from 5 pm to 9 pm
Mangia e Bevi - This is a nice Italian restaurant in Rose Bay. This one is a little walk away (approximately 10 minutes), but the pizzas and pasta are delicious, and they always have a good specials board. Good for bigger groups.
For that extra special occasion, there are two restaurants within walking distance of the Rose Bay Wharf - the Good Food Guide's, one hatted, Catalina and Regatta Rose Bay. Both have great views of Sydney Harbour and serve fantastic food, although they come with the Sydney price tag!!!
A little bit further afield by a short bus ride or taxi/uber ride is Double Bay
(approximately 5-10 minutes in car/bus or 20 minute walk)
Here are our absolute favourite restaurants in Double Bay:
Spice Market - a fantastic Thai, very reasonable with long bench tables. Casual with excellent food. We have been visiting Anthony, the owner, at Spice Market for over ten years! If you visit, tell him we sent you!! [BYO]
Chinta Ketchil - delicious Malaysian food in a cosy, quirky restaurant. [BYO]
Quirky and delicious! @chinta_ketchil
Arte Bianca - authentic Italian food - you have to try the pizzas!
18 Footers League Club - GREAT for a sundowner with views overlooking Double Bay and Pilgrim on her mooring!
A little bit further afield again, opposite Edgecliff station (but if you're in a taxi what does it matter), is our favourite Japanese in Sydney - Makizo. We LOVE IT, as do many locals in the area.
Note to readers: All of these restaurants (except for Regatta and Catalina), we frequent regularly and can 100% vouch for the quality of food and service. On the other hand, we have not been to all the restaurants in the area, so there may be some others worth a mention, which we haven't tried.
Feel free to comment below if there is somewhere, we should try and potentially add to the list!!
Launching our first ever Sip & Sail with Tamburlaine Organic Wines
A couple of wonderful evenings sailing around Sydney Harbour enjoying the sights while sipping a range of Tamburlaine's wines and enjoying Woombye Cheeses....
How do you provision a boat for Cruising?
Provisioning (i.e. shopping) for several weeks cruising offshore is a very different from your weekly shop at the local supermarket, when you can pop back if you forget the butter.
After over six months of living on board we learnt a little bit about the dos and don'ts of provisioning. Often the hard way. So when we were asked by our friends from Pilgrim's bestie "Wine-Dark Sea" to give a talk at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron to their cruising members about provisioning for cruising, we welcomed the opportunity to share what our tips.
You can see all recommendations in the link to the presentation below.