Great Ocean Road milk
Another great product from the Western District of Victoria, they do a nice line of cheese (the Vintage Cheddar gets our thumbs up) and I always buy their milk.
Cobram Estate Olive Oil
There’s very little that I cook that doesn’t use a good drizzle of olive oil, whether I’m sautéing a sofrito (a fragrant vegetable sauce often used as a base in Italian, Spanish and Latin American cooking), dressing a salad or finishing a dish - I suppose it’s the Greek in me. This Victorian product is the business. It’s so fresh, nothing can beat a local olive oil. I always get the Robust Flavour.
There will always be a big jar in our pantry. I eat them straight out of the oil or maybe on a Jatz cracker with a thick slab of butter. I add the oil to dressings or to flavour a stew or pasta sauce. I love them for a Caesar salad. I love them, full stop.
Can of beans
It could be cannellini or kidney, chickpeas or even old-school three bean mix, but there’s always a good store of canned legumes at home. They are great to add to salads and soups, make a quick dip, or my tacos (see above).
I will always reach for the best local butter I can find. It might be Great Ocean Road or it could be Organic Milk Co. I love the ethos of the brand which is centred on ethical and sustainable dairy.
Whether it be S&W Whole Egg Mayonnaise or Kewpie, there’s always some good mayo in my shopping trolley. I use it to add creaminess to a salad dressing, and as a must-have spread for sandwiches. Pro tip? Smear it on the outside of a toastie before pan-frying it for a super-crisp finish.
I am going to call it: I make the best lasagne. I even once beat [Attica chef] Ben Shewry in a lasagne cook-off. It’s true. But I can’t take all the credit, that goes to chef Neil Perry because his recipe is the bomb. It has a light cook, so you retain the freshness of the tomato, and loads of garlic and onions which add sweetness. You finish the sauce with a generous handful of basil so I suppose it’s a spring lasagne for winter. I will always reach for the Vetta lasagne sheets.
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Great Ocean Road Milk is available in Victoria and NSW.
Great Ocean Road and Organic Milk Co butters are available in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.