Category

Picnics

One of the best things about spring is broad beans. They’re only around for a short time, but broadies are worth the wait for their flavour and versatility.

Most people I know love to make falafel with broad beans and with good reason, but we’ve decided to share a recipe for a fritter that uses a few other ingredients in this week’s box.

These were a real hit with the small humans as well.

Broad bean & potato fritters

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Serves: 4 Prep Time: Cooking Time:

Ingredients

  • 1/2 teaspoon each whole cumin, coriander and fennel seeds
  • 3-4 mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 6 asparagus spears, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 mild chili, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or grated
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 350gm broad beans, shelled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 3 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped
  • 40gm breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 50gm plain flour
  • 1 cup yoghurt
  • 2 tablespoons mint, chopped
  • 1/4 cup rice bran (or sunflower) oil for cooking fritters
  • squeeze of lemon

Instructions

  1. Put the seeds in a shallow pan and gently dry-roast until fragrant, then grind in a mortar & pestle or spice blender.
  2. Melt some butter in a frying pan and lightly sautée the mushroom, asparagus, chili and garlic and set aside.
  3. Boil the potatoes in salted water for five minutes, then add the broad beans and simmer for a further eight minutes.
  4. Drain, transfer potatoes and beans to a bowl and add the ground spices, sautéed mushroom mix, turmeric, two tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper, then mash roughly.
  5. Mix in the coriander, breadcrumbs and egg.
  6. Shape handfuls into patties, coat in flour and chill in the fridge for half an hour. Makes about 12 fritters.
  7. While the patties are chilling, mix the mint with the yoghurt and keep cool.
  8. Gently heat the rice bran oil in a frying pan and cook the fritters on a medium to high heat until golden brown on each side.
  9. Squeeze some lemon over the fritters just before serving with the minty yoghurt and a fresh salad.
25 October, 2018 0 comment
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Cake!! I haven’t given much thought to the sweeter side of things when it comes to recipes, but I’m going to address that now.

This recipe came from a friend of mine who answered my plea for ideas to use pumpkin. It came to me as a photo of a handwritten recipe with oven temps in fahrenheit. I must ask her where it comes from, because it sure is delicious! I can’t stop eating it.

Once you’ve cooked and mashed the pumpkin, making the batter is quick and easy, mixed with a spoon, so minimal washing up. Then it’s just a matter of waiting the HOUR it takes to cook… and letting it cool. So hard!

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Serves: 1 loaf Prep Time: Cooking Time:

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cup self raising flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil (not olive oil)
  • 1 cup mashed cooked pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 eggs
  • Icing sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC.
  2. Grease a regular size loaf tin (not too small) and line the base with greaseproof paper.
  3. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl.
  4. Pour the batter into the loaf tin and bake in the oven for 1 hour.
  5. After 1 hour, use a skewer to test that the loaf is cooked. Let it sit for 5 minutes before turning onto a cooling rack.
  6. Dust with icing sugar before serving with a properly infused pot of leaf tea.

Notes

The recipe just calls for mashed pumpkin, so cook it how you like. I baked it, because I hoped it would bring a richer flavour.

8 March, 2018 0 comment
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This is a recipe that is familiar to probably everybody: frittata. Or my version of it anyway. You can make frittata a bizillion different ways. It’s basically just vegetables, cheese and eggs cooked into a pie. It’s the ultimate user-upper of whatever you’ve got. I make mine in a baking dish in the oven, but I’ve seen a few different methods.

I used cherry tomatoes from my garden, but Romas are great as well… not so juicy. Slice or chop them, your choice. Same with the spuds. I also used warrigal greens instead of my usual spinach, which added a lovely flavour. The Dutch Cream potatoes are also a good choice for a frittata as they are the waxy type of spud, rather than the floury type.

Zucchini is great in a frittata… ah heck, anything is. Some people insist on adding ham or bacon. OK, then. Whatever. Anything goes!

I never make the same frittata twice, so this is just the way I made it last time.

Leftovers are also really great for lunch the next day.

Oven baked frittata

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Serves: 4 Prep Time: Cooking Time:

Ingredients

  • a slug of oil (olive, rice bran, whatever you fancy)
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or grated (or more!)
  • 1 large carrot, scrubbed and grated
  • 1 zucchini, grated
  • a few mushrooms, halved and sliced
  • 2 potatoes, scrubbed and chopped into 2cm chunks (or sliced)
  • 1 bunch warrigal greens, leaves removed and chopped
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
  • 1-2 cups tasty cheese, grated (or combine with a hard, sharp cheese as well)
  • 6 eggs, lightly beaten
  • a splash of milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200ºC.
  2. Grease a baking dish (not too big).
  3. Boil the potato chunks in a saucepan until they’re at least half cooked to almost cooked, then drain well.
  4. While the spuds are boiling, gently heat your favourite frying pan.
  5. Once it’s at temperature, add the oil.
  6. Gently cook the leek and garlic in the oil for a few minutes until the leek goes soft. Don’t burn the garlic! Turn the heat down if it starts to brown. Add the mushrooms and grated carrot and zucchini and continue cooking for at least another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. It should all be nicely soft and cooked down. Take it off the heat.
  7. While the spuds and leek mixture are cooking, boil the kettle.
  8. Put the warrigal greens in a large pot or bowl. After the kettle boils, pour the hot water over the the greens. Give it a bit of a swoosh around until the leaves are wilted and take on a rich colour. This should only take a couple of minutes, max. Drain well.
  9. Toss the leek mixture, potato chunks, warrigal greens, cherry tomatoes, cheese and parsley into the baking dish and carefully mix around a bit.
  10. Add the milk to the eggs and season with salt and pepper, then pour over everything in the baking dish.
  11. Bake for around 40 minutes. Check it at 30 minutes. Cooking time will vary according to the size, shape and thickness of your baking dish, so you’ll have to use your judgement. It should be nicely golden on top and firm but not dry in the middle.
  12. Let it stand for at least 5 minutes so it can set.
  13. Serve with a salad.
1 February, 2018 0 comment
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When you ask growers what they’ve got available to supply the LocalTable boxes, sometimes you get an interesting suggestion, like tomatillos.

I’m guessing not many Aussies have had a tomatillo or even heard of them. I’ve heard of them, but never eaten them. This is my first foray, with a recipe from the grower, Sasha Ermichina. I’ve cut back the vinegar content, as it ended up pretty runny and I didn’t add any other liquid. Other than that, it tasted great!

Tomatillo salsa

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Serves: 1 bowl Prep Time: Cooking Time:

Ingredients

  • 500gm tomatillos, husked and washed in warm water to remove the sticky coating
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 garlic clove (or more!), peeled
  • 1/4 cup white or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried or fresh oregano, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped
  • some chilli any way you like it (optional)
  • juice of half a lime, or more if not very juicy

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200ºC.
  2. In a baking dish, roast whole tomatillos, onion, garlic and chilli until soft and with a bit of colour, about half an hour.
  3. Transfer to a saucepan along with all the juice in the baking dish. Add the vinegar, lime juice, oregano and coriander and cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. Let it cool, then transfer to a blender (or use a stick blender in the cooled saucepan)  and purée. Add a little water if you want a runnier consistency and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve with corn chips or anything that will carry the salsa from the bowl to your mouth.

28 January, 2018 0 comment
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One of the LocalTable subscribers, Susan (we have a few Susans), once mentioned that she wasn’t a big shallot eater, but when faced with more shallots than she knew what to do with, she consulted the great Google oracle and made spring onion jam. Nice one!

When I ended up including a big load of red onions in the boxes last week, I remembered Susan’s idea and thought I’d give it a go with red onions. My first attempt ended with red onion toffee, but my second attempt was a winner! Super duper yummy with a stinky, hard cheese I bought at the SAGE Farmers Market on Tuesday.

Who knew a jam made with onions could be so good? And it also meets one of my key recipe criteria: it’s easy-as (as long as you don’t over cook it).

Red onion jam

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Serves: 1 small jar Prep Time: Cooking Time:

Ingredients

  • 2 red onions, halved and sliced
  • 2 generous blobs of butter
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (get the real stuff, it's worth it)

Instructions

  1. Gently heat your favourite frying pan.
  2. Once it’s at temperature, throw in the butter. It should quietly sizzle and not smoke or go brown. If it does, turn it down, clean the pan and start again! Don’t burn the butter!
  3. Chuck the onion in the melted butter and gently sautée until it’s very soft, about 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in the sugar and cook over a low heat for about another 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  5. Tip in the vinegar and cook for about another 15 minutes. Keep stirring occasionally.
  6. Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool a bit.
  7. Spoon the onions into a jar or dish, then pour as much of the liquid in as you like. It will thicken as it cools, so don’t worry about it being runny. You might not want to use all of the liquid.
  8. Let the jam cool to add to a cheese platter, or serve slightly warm to top meat dishes.

19 January, 2018 0 comment
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I would usually prefer to post a recipe that is more for a meal than fingerfood, but I needed to bring a plate of something to a New Year’s Eve party and I wanted to use the parsnips from this week’s box, so this is what I dug up.

Actually very tasty! I think you could easily make these patties more meal-size than snack-size and enjoy them with a fresh salad.

Chicken & parsnip patties

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Serves: 24 mini serves Prep Time: Cooking Time:

Ingredients

  • 2 parsnips (or 1 if they're big), chopped
  • 1 bunch spinach/silverbeet/chard, trimmed
  • 250gm chicken mince
  • 4 spring onions, thinly slicked
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • salt and pepper for seasoning
  • some polenta for coating patties
  • oil for shallow frying
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup horseradish cream (more if you like)

Instructions

  1. Boil the chopped parsnip in a saucepan until it’s very tender. Drain, then mash until it’s very smooth. Set aside to cool.
  2. While the parsnip is cooking, boil the kettle.
  3. Put the spinach in a large pot or bowl. After the kettle boils, pour the hot water over the spinach. Give it a bit of a swoosh around until the leaves are wilted and take on a rich colour. This should only take a couple of minutes, max. Strain the spinach and rinse in cold water. Let it drain.
  4. Squeeze as much water as possible out of handfuls of spinach and chop finely.
  5. In a bowl, mix the parsnip, spinach, chicken, spring onion, egg yolk, breadcrumbs, lemon juice, thyme, salt and pepper.
  6. Shape into bite-size patties (approx 24), pressing firmly together. Put the polenta on a flat plate and lightly coat the patties. Shake off any excess polenta.
  7. Gently heat the oil in your favourite frying pan to a medium-high heat (not too hot!). Add the patties to the pan in batches to cook, around 4-5 minutes each side, or until lightly golden. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels.
  8. Combine the sour cream and horseradish cream in a bowl. Serve either with a dollop of the sour cream mixture on top, or with a bowl on the side for dipping.

Notes

Make your own breadcumbs, they're so much better! Grab the old bits of bread no one wants to eat, chuck them in the toaster or a low oven for a bit, let them cool, then give them a whiz in a blender or food processor. They're chunkier and tastier than what you buy at the supermarket.

 

Get creative with the sour cream mixture. I used horseradish cream because that's what I had in the fridge. Try a mild mustard, or blue cheese...try anything!

1 January, 2018 0 comment
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Silverbeet, spinach, chard… whatever you want to call it… it takes up a lot of space until you cook it.

At the risk of boring you with another of my childhood food stories, my mother (love you, Mum!) used to boil the crap out of it in very salty water, then put a mug of “spinach water” on the table at dinner, from which we all had to drink some. Looking back, I’m like “What the? Why didn’t you just blanch it and we could eat the nutrients instead of drinking the salty-as water they leached into?” Hey, we do what we know, right?

Which is why I didn’t eat silverbeet for many years after I left home. Then I discovered it only needs the teeensiest bit of cooking and it tastes superb! Especially without the gobs of salt (really love you, Mum!). So now I’ll eat it any old how, but in pies is my favourite. You can even eat it raw. You might be surprised what vegetables you can eat raw. Almost anything leafy, also corn, asparagus for example… even Brussels sprouts, so be warned.

I’ve tried a few different spinach pie incarnations, but this one is my favourite so far. Because easy. I’ve never quite got the pastry to puff up how I’d like, but it still tastes great.

Use whatever cheeses you like. I was going to add in some blue, but I’m saving it for Christmas. Some people like ricotta (not a real cheese)… I’m not such a fan. Just use your favourites.

Lazy spinach pie

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Serves: 4 Prep Time: Cooking Time:

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch spinach/silverbeet/chard, roughly chopped
  • a generous blob of butter (don't hold back)
  • 1 leek sliced (soft white part)
  • 1 garlic clove (or more, if you like), minced or finely grated
  • 3 or 4 medium sized mushrooms, chopped (don't use the little ones, they have no flavour)
  • 1-1 1/2 cups grated tasty cheese, or cheddar, or cottage cheese (pretty much whatever cheese you like)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan or pecorino (Tilba Dairy make a good one), finely grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, finely ground (grind your own, tastes so much better)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten (retain a small amount to brush onto the top of the pie)
  • 1 sheet puff pastry, defrosted
  • dusting of flour for benchtop

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
  2. Boil the kettle.
  3. Put the spinach in a large pot or bowl. After the kettle boils, pour the hot water over the spinach. Give it a bit of a swoosh around until the leaves are wilted and take on a rich colour. This should only take a couple of minutes, max. Strain the spinach and rinse in cold water. Let it drain.
  4. Gently heat your favourite frying pan.
  5. Once it’s at temperature, throw in the butter. It should quietly sizzle and not smoke or go brown. If it does, turn it down, clean the pan and start again! Don’t burn the butter!
  6. Gently cook the leek and garlic for a few minutes until the leek goes soft. Don’t burn the garlic! Turn the heat down if it starts to brown. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking for at least another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. It should all be nicely soft and cooked down.
  7. While the leek mixture is cooking, put the cheeses, nutmeg, salt, pepper and most of the beaten eggs in a bowl. Give that a mix.
  8. Add the drained spinach. You need to get as much water out of it as possible. Squeeze handfuls of spinach to do this. Really give it a good squeeze. It’s ok, it’s going in a pie.
  9. Then add the leek mixture and give it all a good stir to combine. Maybe let it cool a bit first, while you sort out the pastry.
  10. Dust the flour over a clean benchtop. Give the pastry sheet a bit of a roll, just to stretch it out a bit. I use a 23cm pie dish and the pastry sheet is about 25cm. I could probably use the pastry sheet without rolling it, but I do it anyway, just to give me that bit extra to work with.
  11. Place the pastry sheet over the pie dish. Don’t worry too much about shaping it into the dish and DO NOT trim the edges.
  12. Tip the spinach mixture into the pie dish. Then – here’s the good bit – fold the corners of the pastry into the middle to form the top of the pie. Oh my lordy, it’s so easy, you won’t believe it. Don’t worry if the corners don’t meet exactly or if there’s a gap.
  13. Brush the top with the remaining beaten egg.
  14. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes.
  15. Let it cool on the bench for 5 minutes to set, then serve with a salad of whatever you’ve got.
21 December, 2017 0 comment
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I am very fortunate to manage the SAGE Farmers Market in Moruya every Tuesday afternoon (from 3pm! be there!). The market is how I met all of the growers I now work with to supply the LocalTable boxes each week. While I love bringing local fruit and vegetables to people, there’s so much more to our local food system that the market showcases. Seafood, dairy, eggs, beef, lamb, goat and… pork. Amazing tasting, genuinely free range, pastured pork.

The best part of my job as market manager is getting to visit all the farms. Earlier in 2017, I visited Dewsbury’s Pork out near Goulburn. I’m not much of a pork eater — I never seem to cook it quite right and I’ve never felt comfortable about the welfare of the animals. But with Dewsbury’s Pork, you can rest assured that these animals are well looked after and get to express their natural pigginess every day. The result is a superior tasting product. I grabbed a great deal from Eli & Ebony at the market recently — 2 x half kilos of pork mince for TEN DOLLARS — because it needed to be eaten or frozen within a couple of days (their products are all vac-packed).

I’m going to make my next spag bol with one of the packs and I made sausage rolls with the other, along with the leeks and fennel from this week’s box. This is my second go at it and I switched up the recipe a bit. Great for lunch, dinner, snacks, picnics… you name it. They are fantastic!

For locally grown Shoalhaven Mushrooms (the BEST), if you’re in the northern part of the shire, check out Alcheringa Cottage, or if you’re in the Moruya area, Southlands Fruit & Veg stock them. Seriously the best mushrooms.

Pork & fennel sausage rolls

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Serves: 4-6 Prep Time: Cooking Time:

Ingredients

  • 1 slug of oil (rice bran is good, don't use olive)
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced, chopped a bit
  • 2 cloves garlic (or more if you like), minced or finely grated
  • a few mushrooms, depending on size, finely chopped
  • 1 fennel (or half if it's huge), finely chopped
  • 500gm pork mince
  • 1.5 to 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup parsley, roughly chopped
  • a bit of fennel top, roughly chopped, not too much
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten (used separately)
  • a few sheets of puff pastry, defrosted
  • a yummy tomato chutney

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200ºC and line a tray with baking paper.
  2. Heat your favourite frying pan over a medium heat.
  3. Once it’s at temperature, add the oil. Gently cook the leek and garlic for a few minutes until the leek goes soft. Don’t burn the garlic! Turn the heat down if it starts to brown.
  4. Add the mushroom and fennel. Cook for 10 minutes or so, stirring. You want the mushroom and fennel to absorb the flavours of the leek and garlic and soften a bit before going into the sausage roll mix.
  5. Take the pan off the heat and let cool a little.
  6. In a large bowl, throw in the pork, breadcrumbs, parsley, fennel top, cumin and one of the lightly beaten eggs. Season (if you’re the type to add salt and pepper), mix well (get your hands into it).
  7. Add the leek, fennel etc mixture and mix, mix, mix.
  8. Place a sheet of pastry on a clean, dry surface. I use the frozen sheets from the supermarket, so I leave the plastic on the back, so it doesn’t stick to the bench.
  9. Make a roughly 4cm thick roll of sausage mixture and place it on the pastry, about 10cm in from the edge.
  10. Roll that baby up (peeling off the plastic as you go, obvs), leaving a 2cm edge. Brush the edge with some of the beaten egg, then seal it up. With a super-sharp knife, cut into 4 mini sausage rolls and place on the baking tray.
  11. Keep doing that until you run out of mixture. I made about 14 last time, but results will vary, as they say.
  12. Brush the tops of the sausage rolls with more egg mixture, then cook in the oven for at least 30 minutes, depending on the oven.
  13. When they look nice and golden-brown and you’re sure they’re cooked through, serve with salad and a really nice chutney. Don’t insult them with regular tomato sauce!

Notes

Make your own breadcumbs, they're so much better! Grab the old bits of bread no one wants to eat, chuck them in the toaster or a low oven for a bit, let them cool, then give them a whiz in a blender or food processor. They're chunkier and tastier than what you buy at the supermarket.

 

You can top the rolls with some sesame and fennel seeds just before you stick them in the oven for a bit of extra flavour, but I didn't have any at the time...

14 December, 2017 0 comment
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