Aubergine Surprise

Was almost finished this meal when I realised it was one of the yummiest dishes EVER. And it was an accident.

So what is it? Left-over kofta mix from last night (just the meat mix) in a kind of bolognaise/shepherds pie/mousaka hybrid – a North Africa meets Mediterranean style excitement.

Adjust ingredients for number of people.

end summer garden aubergines

EQUIPMENT

Chopping block, peeler, skillet, roasting tray, small cassoulet dish, paper towels, pot, sharp knife, grater, other stuff.

INGREDIENTS

Left-over lamb kofta mix,
Golden sweet potato,
1 leek,
2 cloves garlic
1 carrot,
1 stick celery,
1 aubergine,
1 large brown mushroom,
Handful of very ripe cherry tomatoes,
1 zucchini,
small bunch flat leaf parsley,
Tablespoon tomato paste,
buffalo mozzarella,
sheep yoghurt,
fresh ground black pepper,
olive oil,
nob of butter.
Also, hummus is optional on the side of the plated dish.

METHOD

1. Peel and cube the sweet potato, pop on the stove to boil till soft.
2. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
3. Into the baking tray drizzle olive oil
4. Drizzle olive oil and the nob of butter into the pan on stove top.
5. Slice aubergine lengthways, lay on paper towel, cover each slice with salt to lift the bitterness. Leave for 10 minutes then wash the salt off and dry the slices with paper towel. Lay the slices in the baking tray, drizzle more olive oil over them and add a generous amount of ground black pepper to each. Pop in oven till soft and golden (about 20/30 minutes).
6. Finely chop and dice celery, leek and garlic. Grate the carrot. Add all to the pan on very low heat.
7. Roughly chop mushrooms and zucchini. Add to pan when the other ingredients are softened.
8. Cut cherry tommies into quarters, add them.
9. Add tomato paste and stir all well in together.
10. Add left-over lamb and chopped parsley.
Simmer the lot.

By now the sweet potato is cooked. Drain and mash.
By now, also, the aubergine slices are done.

Assemble time!

In the bottom of the cassoulet dish drizzle a small amount of olive oil, lay a couple of slices of aubergine in the bottom.
Spoon most, if not all the lamb mixture on top of that.
Lay the remainder of the aubergine on top of that.
Spoon lumps of sweet potato on top of that.
Add slices of the mozzarella and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.
Turn oven up to 280 and put cassoulet dish inside.
Cook till cheese is bubbly.

Serve and add a goodly dollop of yoghurt on top.

Bon apetit! x

 

What to do with Biodynamic Lamb Mince? Koftaaaaa!!!

Hi for March!

Kofta. Sure, it’s been done a million times but not today and not (I don’t think) my own exclusive twist. But. That’s irrelevant. This is so delicious!

Today is the lead up to the final battle between summer and autumn. The four seasons always do this. One last push by the intense heat to ripen the last growth.

This is the end of the tomatoes here in Melbourne. And aubergines, chillies, basil. Lettuce and rocquette are long gone but parsley, sage, thyme and rosemary live on. The zucchini are on their last stems, desperately trying to push out that final penile delight… and the onions are sweet.

Some of the bounty –
end summer garden aubergines end summer garden chilies end summer garden tomatoes end summer garden ripening pumpkinsend summer garden miniature lemon

We had a surprise this summer… purslane turned up in our garden. Wild. I tried to grow it in a pot using organic seed. Nothing. It had to want to come, you see. Now it’s all over Nth Fitzroy. You know about purslane? Feed it to the chickens. It won’t be their eggs that fuck with your heart, that’s for sure! And it’s considered a weed! Please! You can eat every part of it raw, steamed, have a bath in the stuff. The tiny black seeds are the good juju, too. It’s a major power pack of Omega-3s.

Edible weed - Purslane

There! You probably pulled it out, didn’t you? Never again! Okay…

EQUIPMENT

Baking tray, skillet, chopping blocks, sharp knives, two bowls for sauces, spoons to serve such, grater, peeler

INGREDIENTS

Kofta –

Between 250 and 400 gm bio-dynamic lamb mince,
Olive oil
1 finely diced red onion,
Half a cup toasted, crushed pine nuts,
Half a preserved lemon (just the skin),
2 grated garlic cloves,
Small handful of flat leaf parsley,
Goodly sprinkle each of Ras El Hanout, cumin, crushed chilli flakes, turmeric, dukkah, sumac, salt (optional), black pepper.

Sweet paprika, purslane and mixed mesclun lettuce with rocquette and olive oil for garnish.

Tahina –

2 tablespoons of organic tahini (sesame paste),
1 clove grated garlic,
Juice of half a medium-sized lemon,
Dollop of olive oil,
Filtered water,
Cracked black pepper,
Pinch of salt (optional).

Tzatziki –

Half a delicate cucumber,
Mint,
Half a cup sheep milk yoghurt.

KOFTA METHOD

Place all the kofta ingredients in a biggish bowl and mix really well. Cover and refrigerate for a while (an hour, overnight, till the sauces are done). Pre-heat oven to 200 and place the baking tray inside.

Dinner - Lamb Kofta cookingkofta in the pan.

When the mix has sat for a while pop the skillet on the stove, add olive oil, light and warm oil over a low heat.
Form the mince mix into hand-length cigar-shape sausages. Brown in the skillet. When golden pop them in the oven for 2 to 5 minutes. Rest.

Dinner - Lamb Kofta Ingredients (some)a few other ingredients (I’ve already put the spices away).

TAHINA METHOD

Dead easy…
Grated garlic, squeeze of lemon, tablespoons of tahini, few drops of olive oil, all in a bowl, start mixing madly.
When it comes together, ever-so-gently drizzle in filtered water until it is all the goopy consistency of mayonnaise.
Drizzle it onto the serving plate.

TZATZIKI METHOD

Dead easy as well.
Peel and finely dice the cucumber
Add it to the bowl of yoghurt
Finely chop mint, ditto.
Mix.
Pop it onto the plate as well.

Delicately sprinkle this lot with sweet paprika

Add a bed of lettuce to the side of the plate, and, if you have it, left over roasted sweet potato cubes.  Optional are freshly plucked cherry tomatoes.

Dinner - Lamb Kofta Complete

Yummm!

Bon apetit! x

 

The Supreme Quiet (possibly the best recipe ever)

Last Friday I panicked – almost. I am quite deaf in my left ear and have worn an aid for a decade or else I can’t hear birds or any high octave sounds. I won’t go that far into it but it’s a terrible thing to hear one moment and not the next. So this recipe was created in that silence.

But that’s not why I’m calling it what it is. Four of us for dinner that night. No one spoke. Every now and then eyes would meet and we would laugh or shake our heads because… how can anything taste this good, right? Unless you can’t stand the flavours of North Africa or the Mediterranean. But! We forgot to take piccies! You’ll just have to trust me. Besides, when you read the ingredients your psychic smells and tastebuds will do the math.

(for 4 people)

EQUIPMENT

Bamboo skewers, two griddles, sharp knife, helpers (if possible :)), chopping blocks, several bowls, soup ladle, blender, couple large pots, stirring spoons, baking tray.

INGREDIENTS (this requires 4 parts, but it’s ultimately still easy)

1: DIP 1

1 aubergine
2 rinds of preserved lemon
2 shallots
1 tsp each of tumeric, chili flakes, ground coriander, ground cumin, smoked and sweet paprika
half a cup olive oil
1 tspoon tahini
dukkah
quarter lemon (juice)

METHOD

Preheat oven to 180.
Halve the aubergine and score criss-cross into the pulp (don’t cut the skin)
Discard the pulp in the preserves lemon and finely chop the rind, pop it into one of the bowls
Finely dice the shallots and add to the bowl along with the tumeric, chili, coriander, cumin and both paprikas
Add the olive oil and mix all up
Dash of olive oil onto the baking tray
Massage the mix into the top side of each half aubergine and pop onto the baking tray, skin side down, and into the oven for 40 to 60 minutes (or until the flesh is goopy)
When cooked, allow to cool then scoop pulp into a bowl (discard skin)
Add a teaspoon of tahini and a sprinkle of dukkah (salt if you need it) and the squeeze of lemon
Put into the middle of the table and cover it in case the cat decides it like weird un-cat stuff like this.

DIP 2
Just a full bowl of sheep’s yogurt (Meredith Vale here in Melbourne is the best). Put in the centre of the table

About now also grab a large bowl per person, soup spoon, a bamboo skewer for each, salt(Himalayan pink) and fresh ground pepper and plop them all in the middle of the table.

2: SOUP

med/large organic butternut squash or local pumpkin
half handful of rosemary and a few springs of thyme
4 cloves garlic
tblspoon Ras el Hanout

METHOD

Peel, de-seed and cube the squash (pumpkin)
Pop into a pot and just cover with water
Boil till soft
Finely chop the rosemary and thyme
Crush the garlic
Once the squash is ready empty just a little of the water
Add the herbs and the Ras el Hanout to the blender and scoop in in half a blender full of squash with some of the water
Whip it up and pour into a large bowl
Continue to blend the remainder of the squash and add to the rest
Put it all back in the pot now and over a very low heat with the lid on (it’s going to plop vigorously, warning!)

3. SALAD

INGREDIENTS

Handful each coriander, parsley, mint
A dozen pitted and chopped green olives
2 or 3 cherry tomatoes
2 spring onions finely chopped
Quarter cup each of pistachios, slivered almonds, pine nuts
6 or 8 macadamia nuts
Juice of half a lime
Organic olive oil

METHOD

Dry fry the almonds and pine nuts till golden, put aside
Into the mortar and pestle go the maccas and pistachios and pound till crumbly
Finely chop all other ingredients and add to the salad bowl along with the nuts
Give the almonds and pine nuts a light grind and add them as well
Splosh in the olive oil and mix it all about
Put into the middle of the table.

4. LAMB (or chicken… whatever, not a heavy meat like kangaroo, or fall-apart fish)

INGREDIENTS
500 grams diced lamb
4 red chilies
Marinade:
goodly splosh of olive oil, tsp each sumac, ground cumin and coriander, dukkah

METHOD
Mix lamb (or chicken or whatever) and marinade in a bowl, put aside
Split the chilies with a small slit to stop them exploding
Oh, for goodness sake turn off the heat under the soup!
I use both my enamel pan and my cast iron griddle so get em both good and hot
Chuck on the chilies because they take the longest (you want them charred)
Now chuck on the meat. Toss it, turn it. It’s only going to take a minute cause you don’t want it tough.

Get everyone seated.
Ladle a goodly bowl of soup each complete with a dollop of yogurt. Share around.
Take the chilies off the griddle, deseed and warn people they are hot, hot, hot.
Turn off the heat and pour the meat into a large bowl, place in the middle of the table.

Now to eat this you’ll place some salad in the soup, a large dollop of the aubergine and skewer meat. Dip the meat iin the soup and keep adding everything till no one can eat any more.

Bon apetit! x

Spicy Pumpkin Soup

This is for anytime you want a really delicious snack. Great on the tastebuds, dead easy to prepare.

EQUIPMENT

Chopping block, sharp knife, garlic grater, 2 large pots, soup ladle, blender. This recipe feeds 3 at one sitting or self for three. Oh, is awesome next morning if popped into the skillet and two eggs poached in it, so I’ll add breakfast to the Categories.

INGREDIENTS

Whatever size deep orange organic pumpkin you want, depending on how many you are feeding.
For this recipe I use half a large.
Well chopped sprig of rosemary spears
Small bunch each coriander and parsley, finely chopped
1 clove garlic finely grated
Desert spoon Ras el Hanout
2 dollops favourite yogurt

METHOD

Skin, core and chop pumpkin
Pop it in a large pot and JUST cover with water, set to boil
Chop the greens
Grate the garlic
Set up the blender, the other pot and the soup scoop in prep
When pumpkin is tender drain half (only half) the water
Pop the greens and garlic into the blender
anytime - ladle
Ladle in a third of the pumpkin and water
Blend till smooth and pour into the spare pot
Put another third pumpkin and water in the blender with the Ras el Hanout, blend and add to that already blended
Add the remainder to the blender and blend till creamy, add to the other.
Anytime - spicy pumpkin soup w Ras el Hanout parsley coriander rosemary
Pop it back on the stove over a VERY low heat for five minutes, until the ingredients have melded.
Serve with lashings of yogurt.

Bon apetit! x

Salmon with nut butter sweet potato n baby carrots

My friend Mieke currently works in Melbourne weekdays , lives in a new apartment in Bondi on weekends. Our conversations are always miles deep, everything from love to NLP to kabbalah. But I feed her first. My only quest, herein, to deliver that which she has never eaten before. Hence this exotic, but simple, thing.

this recipe serves two.

EQUIPMENT

Skillet, pot, sharp knife, chopping block, masher, layabout bowls and spoons.

INGREDIENTS

Two portions of pin-boned salmon (tastier than the tail)
Largish golden sweet potato
Bunch baby carrots, de-topped
2 dobs of butter
Olive oil
Desert spoon of capers
3 spring onions finely chopped
Small handful each fresh coriander and parsley
A handful baby cherry tomatoes
Desert spoon protein nut butter (WARNING: The commercial one shown here has peanuts in it, I’ll come back with a home made version later).
protein nut butter
Teaspoon Egyptian dukkah
Half teaspoon dried chilli
Wedge of lemon
Freshly ground black pepper

METHOD

Peel the sweet potato, cube and drop into a pot. Cover with cold water and pot lid. Set to boil.
Trim the baby carrots.
Add a dob of butter to the skillet over a low heat. Melt.
Add the chilli flakes and the dukkah. Stir.
Add the bunch of trimmed baby carrots and toss.
Cover with a lid to allow to both steam and saute.

Finely chop the coriander and parsley together.

Pin-bone the salmon.

By now the carrots should be tender. Remove from stove and put aside,in a bowl, for now.
Add a little more oil to the skillet and place the fish, skin side down, over a medium heat.

Test the sweet potato.
When soft, drain and mash.
Add capers, coriander, parsley, nut butter and the other nob of ordinary butter. Mix well. Cover to keep warm.
Check fish, should be just done.
Plate up with a good dollop of sweet potato mix, carrots to that, half handful each of the tiny tomatoes, fish atop the lot.
Squeeze a little lemon over the lot.

Hopefully you’ll have left-over sweet potato to add to brekky tomorrow.

Bon apetit! x

Walnuts, Macas and a Day in the Life…

Okay, so this is not a recipe. It’s information. Because of this eating regime… Did I write about that yet? I didn’t? I did a little. Here’s a typical week when I’m not travelling…. (I’ll get the the walnuts and macas later in this article. You can skip to the end if the interim is annoying).

Mornings I wake usually around 8:30/9. I love my sleep and I love to dream. Those of you up at sparrow’s fart? Onya lovelies but it’s not for me.

MORNING

I shower and head straight to the kitchen because I’m STARVING.

Into a glass of water I drop a drop of Vitamin D and a teaspoon of C for immune and bone health. I used to also use Vital Greens but, to be honest, with a garden full of organic greens I’m just not spending the dosh at this stage.

I do recommend it, though, if you’ve got anything freaky going on with your body that needs an extra boost. I was prescribed it, plus shots of vitamin B, plus psyllium husk and huge doses of Vitamin C, when I had a crazy bout of mercury poisoning a few years back. Thought I was going nuts. Luckily my doc was savvy that I’m a fitness person so he got my blood tested for any one of a dozen heavy metals that can mimic depression and anxiety. What caused it? The only thing we could ascertain was that I was taking a daily dose of ‘top shelf’ Omega 3s from wild caught fish. Ditched that super quick. The above ingredients leached the toxin out of my system over about 12 weeks.

Please get tested if you think you’re nuts. Most medicos will advise that you have a mental disorder and put you on anti-depressants or something equally as horrid. It could be the above.

So, vitamins out of the way I switch on the kettle and pop a plain black tea bag into a mug in preparation. Then I do whatever egg dish takes my fancy. I pour boiling water into the mug and pop it on the table for later (I drink the black tea afterwards, while reading the news on my phone).

Monday, Wednesday and Friday I then get ready for the gym. Meet whoever hangs out with me on that day (anywhere from just me to four people) and we do coffee together and chat. By then it’s about 10:30/11am and we drive to my gym. I’m a member of Anytime Fitness Coburg. Lovely staff.

We do an enthusiastic warm up and stretch session then pump iron on whatever body part the regime requires.

Ly in piccie
(Me in the background filming Nila’s workout for when she goes home to Cairns. Can you believe my shoes? (And, yes, that’s a flanno around my hips)

AFTERNOON

We’re back at the house by about 1 (can be later if I don’t have work that afternoon) and I strip off my wraps and wash the perceived ‘other people who touched that fucking dumbbell before me’ OCDness from my hands and go pick salad stuff from the garden.

garden magic 2014 ly
(Yes, I wear a fucking huge hat in the sun. Cost me heaps to get my years of mega-tan skin damage undone.)

We delegate who will chop, pour or mix and other prep, and who will do the dishes later.

We feast on any one of the recipes on this site or variations thereof. Then we have tea and natter.

I tend to work most afternoons, either tarot or writing or editing. One or two days a week I’ll go to Queen Victoria Market, or source any of many whole food outlets, and shop for a few meals. I don’t want to buy in bulk. Not fresh enough. It’s worth discovering how much time has passed between farm and market.

I’ll usually snack on something really small (a bit of left over salad, usually, sometimes a slice of cheese, sometimes I graze through the garden.

Around 6:30 I’ll stop work and make dinner (see recipes).

Just recently I’ve been researching the properties of certain nuts and yesterday I bought activated organic walnuts and organic macadamia nuts, ground them down in the mortar and pestle around 10pm and ate them before bed.

Worth your research. Many other sites also sing the praises of these and many other nuts for balancing your cholesterol. Also as a snack to tide you over.

nuts

Life is good x

Kangaroo Stroganoff with Video

This week the Witches’ Kitchen has had the Amazing Ari nomnomming in harmony to the general theme of almost paleo and he’s flicked off the grains, as well, to get rid of an annoying tummy that’s graced that awesome body for far too long. He’s agreed to film this evening’s kangaroo demo, so it’s a win-win for both of us.

And yes, the meat comes from what was once pounding across the landscape, I will not lie to you!

This feeds 2 people on the night with sufficient left over for breakfast tomorrow.

Enjoy!

Part 1

Part 2

EQUIPMENT

Skillet, sharp knife, chopping block, mortar and pestle, assorted bowls to hold stuff.

INGREDIENTS

Kangaroo fillets
2 onions
2 cloves garlic
4 spring onions
Porcine mushrooms
A dozen button mushrooms
Olive oil
1 red capsicum, also a desert spoon char-grilled red capsicum
1 Zucchini
1 can tomatoes
Cup of snap frozen baby peas (or fresh)
half handful each of California walnuts and macadamia nuts
1 teaspoon each of smokey and sweet paprika
A sprig of rosemary
A sprig of parsley
Sour cream
Fresh rocquette to garnish

METHOD

Grind a small handful each of macadamias and California walnuts in the mortar
Add porcine fungus to warm water, set aside
Rough chop garlic and onions
Olive oil in the pan on medium heat
Add onions and garlic
Chop capsicum and mushrooms, add to pan
Add nuts, stir all about
Chop zucchini and add to the pan
Add the smokey and sweet paprika
Chop rosemary and add
Add the tinned tomatoes, chopped parsley, porcine and half the juice.
Add a cup of snap frozen baby peas.
Stir and cover.
While that’s all simmering slice the kangaroo fillet into wafer-thin slices.
Remove the lid and add the meat to the pot.
Stir for 10 to 20 seconds, until the meat has just lost its redness.
Add the sour cream and mix all together.

Garnish the plates with rocquette, dish over the strog, add freshly ground black pepper and nomnom!

Bon apetit! x