Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Winter Garden 2011

Winter garden bed contains: 2 Purple Kale, 10 Curly Kale, 1 Parsley, 1 Golden Oregano, 8 Parsnips, 4 coloured Silverbeet, 9 Baby Spinach, 8 Snow Peas, 8 Broccoli, 4 Romanesco Broccoli, 2 Purple Sprouting Broccoli, 2 Buok Choy, 2 Pak Choy, 8 Broad Beans, 2 Garlic, 10 Brown Onions, 20 Red Onions, 3 Lemongrass (dying in frost though), 2 Fennel, 1 Rocket, 1 Coriander.

Worm farms drip worm wee into soil.

Manuka often tries to help. He is good at tearing open bales of lucerne mulch.

Purple Kale and Broccoli.
Since its an organic garden, there are some while cabbage moths (and caterpillars) around eating holes in leaves. Though, as my friend Jess told me: if you grow enough to feed them and yourself you are happy. They are only eating the leaves of broccoli so far and the broccoli are all almost ready to pick. I have protected the baby spinach from slugs by using egg shells smashed up to make a sharps line around the patch.

The first head of Broccoli!!

Dan is marginally enthused. Not very happy about the greens.

Beautiful purple Kale - will be going in my indian dhal tonight.

Gnome Geoff and Jess gave me for the garden.

Mini Pies with Peas

Mini Pies with Peas


Leftover lamb and vegetable stew
1.5 sheets shortcrust pastry
1.5 sheets puff pastry
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 180 degree celcius. Spray a muffin tray with olive oil.
Cut circles out of the shortcrust pastry and line the muffin holes.
(I used a large measuring cup, and cookie cutters are useful)
*optional: blind bake these bases if you like a crunchy pie dish by lining with foil and weighing down with beads or rice. Cook for 15 minutes in a 180 celcius oven.

Fill the pies with filling to the brim.
Cut circles that match the top diameter of the muffin holes out of the puff pastry.
(I used my 3/4 measuring cup).
Place each circle on top of each pie base and cut a steam hole in middle.
Pinch sides to join the shortcrust to the puff.
Add extra puff on top (make sure there reamins an steam hole) and paint with eggwash.
Grind pepper and sprinkle oregano on top.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Serve with green peas, tomato sauce and Lager.

Garden Greens

These are a few of the greens I am growing in the garden.
Some are Brassica's, including the purple Kale (bottom right) and Curly Kale (top right).
Then there is Buok Choy, coloured Silverbeet and baby spinach.  

Crispy Skin Salmon w/ Spinach and Ricotta Arancini

Crispy Skin Salmon w/ Spinach and Ricotta Arancini

2 salmon fillets skin on
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp lemon myrtle EV olive oil
salt and pepper
350g Ricotta Cheese
2 free range egg yollks
approx 500g english or baby spinach leaves
150g Pecorino Pepato
plain flour for dusting
homemade basil  pesto
1.5 cups wholegrain breadcrumbs
salt and pepper


Blanche the spinach in boiling water for 4 minutes then in cold water.
Squeeze out excess water and chop finely.

Lightly mix ricotta, egg yolks, and 3 tbsp of grated pecorino pepato. Season and add spinach and mix.
Roll into little pyramids using heaped tablespoons in a bowl filled with breadcrumbs.
Place in fridge for 10 minutes while you cook the Salmon.

Preheat the oven to 180 celcius. Season the salmon on both sides and rub the lemon zest in with the oil. Set aside. Heat a heavy based frypan for the Salmon.

Place the arancini in the oven on a tray sprayed with olive oil.

Place the salmon skin side down onto the hot frypan and cook until the sides appear to be whitening and small bits of white (cooked fat) seep out and harden along the edges of the Salmon. We want it cooked so that the centre is still rare but warm. Allow the skin to crisp up - about 5 minutes - this depends on your stove heat. Turn over and cook for approx 4 minutes on other side. Place in oven with Arancini for 10 minutes.
Arrange Arancini on plates with Salmon and dot of homeade basil pesto.

I served this with some sweet potato, french eschallots, carrots (which I put in the oven at the same time) and steamed green beans.

Chocolate Rum Balls

Chocolate Rum Balls

1 packet shredded wheatmeal biscuits
1 can sweetened condensed milk
3 tbsp cocoa
2 shots smooth Bundaberg Red Rum
1 cup dessicated or shredded coconut
cocoa to dust

Mix all ingredients together and roll into balls.
Coat with cocoa and place in mini muffin cups in fridge to set.
Serve with tea and coffee after dinner.