Tag Archives: Cooking

A stroll through the garden – October 2017

Duchess and I have decided to take you on a stroll through our garden.

It has been a dry and cold winter and we are hoping to get some spring rain sometime soon. In fact I had a grin from ear to ear one morning earlier this week as we received just a few mls – it was nice to watch and listen to the rain falling.

The garden is coming along nicely and our citrus are now happy with their new home, luckily they survived the harsh frosts, unlike many in the area.

Continue reading

Smoked Trout

Some months ago, we took our first drive from our new home, across the mountains, to beautiful Bright – what a treat. The drive is an easy five to six hours, and the scenery is simply sensational! As we climbed the winding roads, the scenery continued to change. There were eagles soaring, incredible panoramas and great anticipation for a fun few days ahead. It was autumn and Bright in autumn is always a stunning canvas of autumnal colour. Continue reading

The Frozen Garden!

We have recently endured a spate of heavy frosts, and for us it was very cold – minus 7.6 celsius etc. The first morning I got up and wandered down to the vegie patch, before heading into the garden for the community in Stratford. As I worked in the garden there I was kicking myself for not having got up earlier and taken photos of the beauty that a frost creates. I know that it also causes devastation, but all I saw was beauty. Continue reading

Som Tam Salad (Green Pawpaw/Mango Salad)

Som Tam is Green Pawpaw salad that originated in the north-east of Thailand (although some argue that it is actually from Laos). The wonderful, refreshing combination of sweet, hot, sour, salty and bitter is amazing and leaves you reaching for more, particularly on a hot summer’s day.  This salad is Thailand on a plate.

Som Tam Salad 2 – V 2

Som Tam Salad (Green Pawpaw/Mango Salad)

This recipe is based on the Thai Salad, Som Tam, a dish that originated in north-east Thailand, but is now popular throughout the country, and also abroad. Normally served with sticky rice, we enjoy it served with Tod Man Goong (Thai Prawn Cakes).

Ingredients

  • 3 green mangoes
  • 150 g green beans, sliced and blanched
  • 250 g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tbsp peanuts, roasted and crushed
  • Fresh coriander leaves, to serve

For the dressing:

  • 1 1/2 tbsp palm sugar
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • 1 golden shallot, chopped
  • 60 ml lime juice

Directions

  1. Peel the green mango and cut the flesh into long thin strands, if you have a mandolin, use the fine julienne or grater attachment.
  2. Using a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic, shallots, and chillies into a paste.
  3. Add the palm sugar, fish sauce and lime juice and carefully mix to combine. Set aside.
  4. Combine the mango, beans and cherry tomatoes in a large bowl.
  5. Add the dressing and, using your hands, toss gently.
  6. Pile onto a large serving platter and sprinkle over the crushed peanuts and coriander leaves.

Until next time…

Happy Cooking & Bon appétit!

Links:

 

slide1-2

Save

Ravioli Ignudi (Naked Ravioli)

These delicate little pillows of ricotta and Swiss chard / silverbeet were given their wonderful name because they are not blanketed in fresh pasta like the ravioli that we all know and love.  This dish is fast becoming a favourite in our home – it is delicious, surprisingly simple to make, very economical and has very few ingredients.  I love making it because it means I get to make use of produce from our vegie patch.  It is so rewarding to take your basket and fill it with the ingredients needed to prepare your next meal…

Ravioli Ignudi - 20

Ravioli Ignudi (Naked Ravioli)

Ingredients

  • 300 g ricotta
  • 400 g Swiss chard, leaves only
  • 1 1/3 cups freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup gluten free flour blend
  • 90 g unsalted butter
  • 16 whole fresh sage leaves
  • Salt

Directions

  1. Bring a large saucepan filled with salted water to a boil.
  2. Add the Swiss chard and boil until tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. Drain thoroughly, wrap in a cloth and squeeze until the chard is very dry. Chop very finely.
  4. Gradually combine the Swiss chard with the ricotta. Add about two-thirds of the Parmesan, the nutmeg and egg yolks. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Scoop up a small quantity of the mixture with a spoon and, with well-floured hands, form it into a little oval pillow about 3cm long.
  6. Dredge the little pillow lightly with some of the flour and set aside.
  7. Continue forming little oval pillows with the remaining ricotta mixture.
  8. Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil.
  9. Meanwhile, melt the butter with the sage leaves in a frying pan and keep warm.
  10. When the water reaches a rapid boil, add the ravioli, a few at a time, and cook until they rise to the surface (as you would for gnocchi).
  11. Remove the ravioli with a slotted spoon, draining well, and place them into the warm melted butter and sage.
  12. Continue cooking the remaining ravioli in the same manner.
  13. Arrange the ravioli in a serving dish and drizzle with the melted butter and sage. Dust with the remaining Parmesan and grind over a little black pepper.

Notes:

  • I like to bake some tomatoes and add them together with a few shards of crispy prosciutto to the plate when serving, just for colour, flavour and texture.
  • We also like to crisp some of the Ignudi up a little in the butter.
  • While I have used my Gluten Free Flour Blend, this recipe was originally made with normal wheat plain flour, so either can be used, depending on dietary requirements.
  • Adapted from a lovely old book, Tuscany – The Beautiful Cookbook (1996) L De Medici, p78.
  • I make my own soft ricotta style cheese.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

slide1-2

Links

 

Chard, Onion and Cheese Gratin

I have read many recipes for Swiss Chard or Silverbeet gratin, where the prominent ingredient is the stalk, rather than the rich green leaves.  I recently stumbled upon this recipe that I thought I would try, because it includes some of the leaves as well.  I was so thrilled with the end result, I cooked it again a couple of days later.

This gratin really is very easy to make, and the end result is a delicious cheesy gratin with the stalks providing texture, the leaves, colour, and both contributing to the wonderful flavour.

Chard, Onion and Cheese Gratin

The stalks of Swiss Chard make a gratin that is delicious and delicate in flavour, and pairs beautifully with a roast. Equally it can be served as a light meal with a fresh green salad on the side.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely sliced
  • Stalks from a large bunch of chard, washed, trimmed and thinly sliced.
  • 4 chard leaves, thinly shredded
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 150 ml full-cream milk
  • 1 tbsp double cream
  • 30 g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Sea Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the topping

  • 3 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 180˚C
  2. Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add the oil and half the butter.
  3. Add the onion and chard stalks, place the lid on and cook over low heat for 5-10 minutes, until the onion softens.
  4. Stir in the flour, and cook for a 1 minute over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the milk. Bring to the boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer until the sauce has thickened. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  5. Stir in the chard leaves and cook for another minute or two until the leaves have wilted a little.
  6. Then stir in the Parmesan and the cream, then pour into a greased gratin dish.
  7. Mix the topping ingredients together and scatter over the top of the gratin. Dot with the remaining butter.
  8. Bake 20-25 minutes until bubbling and golden on top.

Notes:

  • This gratin can also be popped under the grill ’til golden and crispy, if short on time or oven space.
  • For a gluten free version, simply replace the flour with the same amount of gluten free flour blend.
  • Adapted from Easy Vegetarian One Pot, 2011, R Woods (ed), p159

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

slide1-2

Links:

Chard, Onion and Cheese Gratin

Gluten Free Four Blend

Swiss Chard

Chard, Chicken and Potato Soup

I love this soup, the chard stalk in this soup gives it a little texture and the leaves add a lovely rich green fleck through it. This is also a great way to use up left over roast chicken, but if you do not have any left over cooked chicken, you could poach some chicken thigh fillets in the stock and then shred or chop them up and add to the soup.

Chard, Chicken and Potato Soup

A delicious soup that can be enjoyed all year round.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 250 g cooked chicken, chopped or shredded
  • 125 g bacon rashers, cut into fine julienne
  • 125 g onion, diced
  • 125 g celery, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 500 g potatoes, cut into 1 cm dice
  • 2 litres chicken stock
  • 10 swiss chard/silverbeet leaves, washed
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Remove the swiss chard leaves from the stalks. Finely chop the stalks and set aside, then finely chop the leaves and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan, add the bacon and gently fry, stirring, until slightly crisp.
  3. Add chard stalks, onion, celery, garlic and potato, stir, put the lid on the pan and cook gently until onion is soft, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the stock, bring to the boil and simmer, until the potato is just tender.
  5. Add the cooked chicken and swiss chard leaves, simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Serve hot.

Notes:

  • The broth keeps the soup nice and light.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

slide1-2

Links

Chard, Chicken and Potato Soup

Swiss Chard AKA Silverbeet

1 2 4