Sunday, November 11, 2012

DOJO'S Bread

 This awesome bread is made in a beautiful bakery called Dojo's down a side alley in Braidwood, NSW.

I met Matt Hulse a few years ago when I was at the Braidwood Pub having dinner after a day of fieldwork mapping the wetlands in the southern rivers. He told us about how martial arts and bread are similar (a very entertaining conversation) then stormed out and brought back about 6 loaves for us to take into the field the next day. Thereafter I stopped to get bread from DoJo's every chance I could.

The other day we went to get a coffee from the Braidwood main street cafe and were so surprised that they serve "Sonoma" Sourdough (from sydney) on their breakfast menu instead of supporting the local (and high quality) Dojo's Bread. I also forgot Dojo's serve coffee and great hot chocolate, otherwise we would have just chilled there in their dog friendly garden and chatted with Mark who always seems to have all the time in the world to talk about bread and flour and life...and anything really.

Mark runs the bakery now and he is pretty passionate about bread. I like that they always have a new or interesting loaf cut to try on their wooden counter. Mark gave me some freshly milled wholemeal rye flour to use for my sourdough this summer. Its really nice.

Try this recipe for dill cured salmon on Dojo's Rye & Caraway Sourdough

Dill Cured Salmon on DoJo's Rye Bread

This dill cured salmon is very nice on a sweet chewy Rye and Caraway Bread that I got from Dojo's Bread on Wednesday. This is a classy way to appreciate a great bread.

Skinless side of salmon
equal parts sugar and salt
fresh dill chopped finely

Rub the salt and sugar over the salmon so that it has a light dusting (not thicker than 1mm)
Sprinkle the dill over and place in a plastic container in the fridge overnight
Turn in the morning.
Slice and serve in the evening.

Avocado and black pepper with a squeeze of lemon juice and a bit of mint top it off as a great entree.

Although....the bread is what got the tasters talking!

Traditional Cornish Pasties

The Cornish pasty is known and loved throughout Britain and Ireland.

It originates from Cornwall, and it is generally believed that the pasty evolved for Cornish tin miners, who, unable to return to the surface at lunchtime had a hearty, easy to hold and eat, lunch dish. With their hands often dirty from a mornings work, the pasty could be held by the thick pastry crust without contaminating the contents.

The Pastry

•440g all purpose/plain flour

•4 pinches of salt

•220g butter, cubed

•8-12 tbsp cold water

The Filling

•1 large onion, finely chopped

•1 1/2 cups potato, cut into 5 mm dice

•1 1/2 cups swede, cut into 5 mm dice

•450g rump steak, cut into small cubes

•Salt and pepper

•2 eggs, lightly beaten


Makes 10 pasties

Pre-heat oven to 220 °C.

First make the shortcrust pastry.

•Place the flour, butter and salt into a food processor and pulse to create crumbs.

•Add the water to the mixture and pulse till it comes together in a big lump, add more cold water a teaspoon at a time if the mixture is too dry,

•Divide the pastry into 2 balls, wrap in clingfilm and chill for a minimum of 15 minutes, up to 30 minutes (otherwise it gets too hard).

• Take one ball and roll to approx 8mm thickness on a floured benchtop. Cut out circles with a plate or bowl to make pasties the size of half that vessel. (traditional pasties are made with a circle of pastry the size of a dinner plate).

•Place the onion, potato, swede and meat into a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly.
•Divide the meat mixture between each pastry circle and place to one side of the circle. Brush the edges with a little beaten egg. Crack on some fresh black pepper and a small pinch of salt.

•Fold the circle in half over the filling so the two edges meet. Fold and crimp the two edges together to create a tight seal. Brush each pasty all over with the remaining beaten egg.

•Place the pasties on a greased baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes until golden brown.

•Serve traditonally from the pocket after a hard mornings work or walk, or with friends after a bikeride as we did...with mushy peas and tomato sauce!
My friend Paul and I - Eliza told me Paul apparently loves mushy peas. Paul kudos!

Coriander Chicken Burgers with Lime Aioli


2 chicken breasts
1 bunch coriander
1 small onion
handful of pine nuts
salt and pepper
1 egg
handful of breadcrumbs or piece of old bread

Aioli and 1 lime

Whiz all ingredients (except lime and aioli) in food processor to a paste.
Fry in olive oil on both sides till just done.
Meanwhile, mix lime zest and 1 tsp of lime juice with 4 tbsp aioli, set aside.

These are so moist!!
Add salad ingredients and lime aioli to a wrap or bread roll and enjoy.

Tomato, Basil and Bocconcini Salad

most salads don't need recipes, just go forage

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Mac n Cheese with fresh Garden Vegies!

250g Macaroni
1 tbsp Olive oil
1 tbsp butter
handful of grated Colby easy melt cheese
salt and pepper
From the garden:
6 baby leeks, white parts only, sliced thinly two fresh garlic cloves
1 cup blanched and hulled bread beans
1 cup hulled sugar snap peas
handful of lettuce, sliced
1/2 avocado diced

Boil the pasta
Meanwhile, saute the leeks and garlic in the butter and oil.
Add the lettuce, beans and peas.
When pasta is done, strain and add to pan with the vegies.
Add the cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Garnish with avocado

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Spicy and Cool: Fruit Salad with long Pepper Cream

Before chillies arrived in the UK from South America, cooks used long pepper. I watched this recipe on Nigel Slaters BBC series where he travelled on a boat with the Peppermongers. The moral of this recipe is "Be bold" – as the cream takes a lot of the heat out of the spice. If you don't have long peppers go buy some they are something else. "Why am I slightly scared?" said Nigel Slater when presented with a peppery dessert, but on tasting it his fear turned to pleasure as he exclaimed “It’s not at all what I was expecting… it’s like a little bit of an adventure with hit after hit after hit…”


1 x 250ml pot of dollop cream (or crème fraiche)
4 tbsp brown sugar or raw caster sugar
5 cardamom seeds, crushed
1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped from the pod
5 long pepper spikes, snapped, cracked and ground*
Mixed fresh fruit, to serve
Pistachios (optional)
*I bought my long peppers from an Australian supplier in South Australia.


1.Whisk the cream until soft peaks form. Mix the spices and vanilla seeds together.

2.Just before serving, fold the spice mixture into the cream, reserving a little to sprinkle on top for aroma.

3.Dust with icing sugar, particularly if serving the cream with tart fruit such as plums or cherries.

4.Serve with summer fruits, peaches, nectarines, mangoes, plums and/or cherries.

I add pistachios because I love a crunch to my dessert.

Scottish Savory Oatcakes

Savory oatcakes (or bannocks) are quintessentially Scottish. Perfect with some hearty cheese, smoked salmon and dill, cherry jam or chutney.

In Scotland, oatcakes are made on a girdle or by baking rounds of oatmeal on a tray. If the rounds are large, they are then sliced into triangular shapes. Oats are one of the few grains which grow well in the north of Scotland and were, until the 20th century, the staple grain used.

The texture may vary from rough to fine depending on how the oats are ground. Oatcakes may be slightly chewy or hard depending the water content and how long they are cooked.


225g oats
60g wholewheat flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
60g butter/olive oil margarine
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
60-80ml hot water


Pre-heat the oven to 190C.
Mix together the oats, flour, salt, sugar and bicarbonate of soda.
Add the butter and pulse in the food processor. This will make rolled oats finer into more of an 'oatmeal' as well.

Add the water (from a recently boiled kettle) bit by bit and combine until you have a somewhat thick dough that comes together. The amount of water varies; depending on the oats.

Sprinkle some extra flour and oats on a work surface and roll out the dough to approx. 1/2cm thickness. Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes. The final number of oatcakes depends on the size of cutter you use. In a wonderfully Scottish way you can use an upturned whisky glass to make the perfect size!

Place the oat cakes on a baking tray and bake for appprox. 20-30mins. or until slightly golden brown.

Its nice if they are slightly chewy so be careful not to overbake.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Szechuan Pepper Salt with butterflied BBQ Prawns

Gary and Dad and I made these prawns on the weekend and they got demolished in about 5 minutes!

Sichuan pepper or Szechuan pepper, a common spice used in Asian cuisine, is derived from at least two species of the global genus Zanthoxylum, which belong in the citrus family. This did not surprise me because when I tried to take an objective smell of Gary's bowl of Sichuan Pepper Salt I detected a subtle citrus tang to the edge of its warm earthyness.

Szechuan Peppercorns
Murray River Salt flakes
Fresh green King Prawns

Dry roast the pods on a dry pan till they are smoking and aromatic but not burning.
Remove and powderize with the salt in a spice blender (mini coffee grinders work well).
Butterfly the prawns, leaving the shells on, and remove waste tube down the centre.
Drizzle with olive oil and BBQ till just cooked.
Sprinkle the Szechuan Pepper Salt over them to serve.

Fresh Prawns with Green Palm dipping sauce

Gary made these at our party on the weekend in Darook.


Fresh Prawns
1/2 cup Coriander finely chopped
1/2 cup Mint finely chopped
2 tbsp plum sauce

5 tbsp palm sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
1/4 cup chopped spring onion
2 tbsp finely grated ginger
1 birds eye chilli finely chopped
2 limes: zest and juice

Boil 1 cup water with the palm sugar to reduce.
Throw in each ingredient as it is chopped except the mint, coriander and plum sauce.
Boil till reduced by half.
Remove from heat and add the greens and plum sauce and stir to combine.
Taste and adjust balance with more fish sauce or plum. It is meant to be sweet, not salty.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Some notes on Sémillon, our gift to the world

Hunter Valley Sémillon is described by international wine experts as “Australia’s wine gift to world” – it is the highest quality, purest expression of dry white Sémillon wine produced anywhere on the globe.

I was first introduced properly to Sémillon by my best friend Katherine Partridge at the Hunter Valley 'Sémillon  and Seafood' luncheon/wine tasting festival. Kat worked at Brokenwood at the time which is well known for its Sémillon. It was actually an intimate event with only about 100 people or so at Tyrell's Winery. There were stalls from local wineries showcasing Sémillon from their vineyards as well as local gourmet food stalls serving all sorts of lovely seafood from Newcastle and Port Macquarie. We ended up at the Irish Pub down the road for a crazy night of dancing and table games and toe tapping and beer throwing... So, I pair Sémillon with many good memories.

Sémillon is a French word that originates from the Old Provençal semilhar, which means "to sow," which itself comes from the Latin semen, which means "seed"— stop giggling!

The purity of dry white Hunter Sémillon is due to its zesty, bright and positive lemon / lime aromas and flavors, with hints of honey and mineral, and its delicate racy acidity onto the finish.
The greatness of Hunter Sémillon comes from its unique capacity to age. Hunter Sémillon retains its zesty youthful fruit for many years, also complexing with biscuity, malty, honey and toast richness as it matures.
Sémillon is also the key to producing the most expensive sweet dessert wines in the world, from Sauternes and Barsac in France. The Hunter Valley also produces excellent Botrytis Sémillon dessert wines and these too are regarded as world-class. In this instance the grapes are left to ripen & develop on the vine until lusciously sweet. This Sémillon richness is further super-concentrated with Botrytis Cinerea, or “Noble Rot”, which develops on the berries prior to harvest.
Dry white Hunter Sémillon marries with a wide variety of seafood dishes. Zesty young Hunter Sémillon is a perfect match with the salty tang and creamy freshness of oysters, and also with the array of finer white fish, such as Snapper, John Dory and Whiting. Mature Hunter Sémillon is ideal with stronger flavored fish, such as Atlantic Salmon, as well as richer crayfish or crab dishes.

Botrytis Sémillon is always wonderful with desserts & blue cheeses & lovely choose and wine loving friends.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

French Custard Caramel Pie

French Custard Pie, at Robert Blanc Mountain Refuge (Originated from Brittany), en route Tour Du Mont Blanc, France.

After walking over 1500 metres up and down over the highest pass I have been on, we arrived late afternoon at Robert Blanc refuge. No walkers were there. Just Adriano, a french boy and an amazing cook!
He cooked us mountain soup with fromage (tomo de prezzo local cheese; we were near the italian border), wine and roast chicken with champignon and herb rice. We were so impressed and grateful already, then eh came out with this huge delicious custard pie, a recipe from his family in Brittany.

6 Eggs
1 cup Flour
1 cup Milk
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup pitted prunes

Whisk all ingredients together except the prunes.
Pour into a deep pie dish.
Chop the prunes and scatter in.
Bake for 1 hour at 150 C or till golden on the edges.

Serve with caramel cream and salted caramel sauce!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pumpkin Chia Bread Rolls


7g active dry yeast
150ml lukewarm water
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup mashed roasted pumpkin

300g white bread flour
100g wholemeal flour
1 tsp salt


Combine the yeast, water and honey in a mixer bowl. Leave for 5 minutes.
Add the pumpkin, golden syrup and olive oil.
Add the flours and salt and mix with a dough hook for 8 minutes, or 10 minutes on the bench.

Note: you want a sticky dough that just sticks to the bottom of the mixing bowl when the dough hook churns - you dont want it dry enough to form a ball that bounces around in the bowl. If too dry, add a few drops of water at a time to get the desired stickyness. Same concept for a dough that is slightly too wet.

Leave covered for 1.5 hours in a warm place to prove. Fold halfway through the proving.

Shape rolls from the dough (approx 6) and place on a tray lined with baking paper and dusted with semolina flour.  Cover with plastic to prove another 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees C.

When ready to bake (fully proved), the rolls should be 1.5 times their original size and when pressed gently with one finger the dough should spring back about 90%. Brush the tops with milk and scatter with chia seeds.

Place in the oven and spray with water to create steam.

After 10 minutes turn the oven down to 200 degrees C. Bake for another 10-15 minutes until the rolls are dark brown and sound hollow when tapped beneath.

These were very nice; savoury but sweeter than normal bread of course. They had a warm nutty flavour and were lovely toasted with tasty cheese and pickled cucumbers.

photo to come :)

Woodfired Pizza

at Geoff and Jess's Place

Geoff had some nice olive oil dough ready to go

Laura's Gluten Free Pizzas were also great

Shawn made a supreme
Anthony made an avocado and cheese - Bellissimo!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Tacheen - Almond, Pomegranate and Coriander

Basmati Rice
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
Handful of green beans from the garden.
Toppings of your choice (see below)

Place rice (about 3 cups for 4 people) in saucepan and rinse will water runs clear.
Fill rice saucepan with water again and add a pinch of salt.
Bring rice to boil on stove till just slightly cooked (still has a slight hardness to it)
Remove rice and strain.
Place butter and olive oil in pan (*non-stick deep saucepan is important)
Add 2 tbsp water and swirl round the bottom.
Pack half the strained rice into the base and press down.
Pile the rest of the rice in a pyramid over the base and make a few deep holes to allow steaming.
Cover with a lid and bake in the oven for up to 1 hour.
Add green beans to the top 5 minutes before serving to steam them.

To serve, upturn the Tacheen onto a wide plate and observe the amazing "Tahdeeg" the crust!
(In ancient persian feasts this was fought over for its deliciousness!)

Place lovely toppings over the crust - pomegranate seeds, fresh coriander,
roasted pine nuts and pistachios and a few cranberries.
It is also lovely served with fresh yoghurt and mint.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012



250g raw cashews
250g raw macadamias
250g raw slivered almonds
150g raw shelled pistachios

1/3 cup sesame seeds
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
1 tablespoon black peppercorns

1 tablespoon dried mint leaves
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon baharat (cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg)
2 tbsp salt


Spread all the nuts on a baking tray and bake for approx 8-10 minutes in the oven at 180 C.
Watch them! So they dont burn.
Once cooled, pulse in food processor. Dont do this while they are warm because they are still soft.
Spread out again on the tray with sesame seeds and place in the oven on very low (50 C) heat.
Meanwhile, dry roast coriander seeds till just fragrant. Bash in Mortar and Pestle.
Do the same for the cumin seeds and black peppercorns.
Add the bashed spices and the other ingredients to the nuts and toss together.
Turn off the oven to allow to cool with the door ajar.
Store in airtight containers and use within the month!

Nice with olive oil and any kind of crusty freshly baked bread.

Autumn Meals: Lebanese Cooking at Andarra Farm

Last Saturday I had a lovely autumn morning running Manuka round the Macquarie River bike track that now does a big loop past the zoo and Dundullimal Homestead before crossing back over the river. Before I left I took a bowl of Pain a l'ancienne out of the fridge and left it to warm in the study where Dan was working. When I got home I shaped baguettes, mini rolls and a plaited loaf for dinnertime.

I then travelled to the Farm of Rosie and Richard Hicks named 'Andarra' with a bag of fresh vegies and my camera. Rosie had planned a whirlwind of family Lebanese recipes to teach me over the afternoon.

Our Menu :
Roasted peanut kernels w cayenne pepper & salt
Kibbi – balls and diamonds
Madjudra (lentils & rice)
Cabbage rolls
Lubban (or Leben)
B’learwa (guttural sound – like “Bucklawa”)
Lavendar and Rose Tea

First we started with the dessert! Layers of fillo, butter, cashews, pistachios and cinnamon, with a rosewater sugar syrup poured over the top at the end. This was a lovely subtle flavoured and delicious dessert.

Rosie pouring the syrup over a spoon.

We then started to make Kibbeh. This involved soaking course bourgul in boiling water and then mixing it with raw lamb mince. Then, we cooked minced onion with pine nuts and more minced lamb, with generous amounts of cinnamon. This cooked filling was placed inside patties we made from the courgul mince and rolled to form these torpedo shapes:

We also made a layered meatloaf with the same ingredients, sprinkling a little extra water over the top as the bourgul keep soaking up the water as they cook.

We then fried them in Ghee and roasted them in the oven.

We served these with cabbage rolls which we made by wrapping more cooked lamb mince, onion and cinnamon with medium grain rice in blanched cabbage leaves and baking in a shallow pot covered in tomato puree. The Lentils and Rice were cooked in the canned lentil water with onion salt and pepper, and were delicious in their simplicty (my favourite). Tabbouleh and Labne were refreshing side dishes.

We couldnt wait to try the Baclari!

The Rose Tea was beautiful - we just added rose petals and buds to hot water with a few drops of rosewater.

Thanks for the wonderful afternoon Rosie and Richard.