Our leek grower in Peats Ridge, in the Sydney Basin, came across a ‘forgotten’ patch of very large leek, and sent us a picture so we know what to expect on Monday… When we mentioned that they look pretty big.
He then sent us another picture from the cousin in the UK who went to a growing competition a few years ago: now THAT’s big!
4 sticks celery, cut into 5cm lengths and julienned
1 zucchini, cut into 5cm lengths and julienned
1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely grated
1 cup coconut milk
6 coriander sprigs
Process flour, a pinch of salt and butter in a food processor until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add egg yolk and 2-3 tablespoons of cold water and process until the mixture forms a ball. Knead the pastry gently on a lightly floured surface, then wrap in plastic and refrigerate for up to one hour.
Preheat oven 190C.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out pastry to a thickness of about 5mm. Line six 10cm tart tins with removable bases with the pastry. Lightly prick the pastry with a fork and freeze for 20 minutes. Place on an oven tray and bake at 190C for about 15 minutes, or until pale golden.
To make filling:
Heat butter in a large frying pan, add turmeric and curry powder and stir over medium heat for about 2 minutes or until aromatic. Add vegetables and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add ginger, coconut milk and salt to taste and stir over medium heat for 2 minutes.
Fill the tart cases with warm vegetable mixture and top with coriander sprigs.
Cube sweet potato and steam until potato pieces yield easily under the pressure of a fork or pairing knife. Approximately, 15 min.
Trim off the dark green part of leek, you can reserve it for a future use. Cut remaining leek in half lengthwise then into ½ cm half moons. Clean thoroughly. In a heavy bottomed pot melt butter over medium heat, add leeks and stir to coat. Cook leeks stirring every five minutes or so until they start to brown. Let the leeks lightly brown evenly, you can turn it down a bit if you like as you don’t want them to burn. It should take about 25 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and then add rice. Stir to coat and cook, stirring regularly for 2 minutes. Add wine and continue stirring until two thirds of the wine has evaporated. Start adding chicken stock in large ladelfuls, stirring often. You want the temperature of the mixture to be at a very light simmer. Continue adding stock until rice is tender and just a little bit al dente. Turn off heat and stir in sweet potato, cheese and chives. Taste and correct for seasoning.
3 fresh orange, juice and grated rind or 200ml fresh orange juice
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 bay leaf
Scrub the beetroot and chop off the roots and stalks. Either chop the beetroot finely or grate them. A food processor is a lovely way of doing this, without covering everything in purple splatters! Then put the beetroot in a soup pan with the vegetable stock, orange rind (if using) and bay leaf. Simmer gently for 20 minutes, until the beetroot is soft. Add the spices and orange juice. Remove the bay leaf. Serve it whole or liquidise until smooth.
6 cups thinly sliced red cabbage (1/2 a medium head)
½ cup red wine
100g mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp minced garlic
3 tbs. minced parsley
1-2 mandarins, peeled and sectioned
Sauté the onions in 2 tbs butter and the olive oil (or bacon fat), lightly seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper, until the onions are golden. Stir in the cabbage and red wine, lightly season again with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and toss to evenly distribute the ingredients. Cover and cook over low heat for 20 to 30 minutes, until the cabbage is tender.
While the cabbage is cooking, sauté the mushrooms, lightly seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper, in 2 tbs butter in a hot pan. Cook the mushrooms in 2 batches to ensure they brown nicely and retain their liquid (if you put too many mushrooms in the pan at one time, they release their juices and stew rather than brown). When the mushrooms are done, toss them with garlic and parsley.
When the cabbage is done to your liking, stir in the mushrooms and cook for 1 minute. Place mandarin sections on top as this gives it a sweet and sour flavour. Taste and add salt or freshly ground black pepper, as needed. Serve.
Trim the tops and roots off the leeks. Cut them in half lengthways and wash under running water, fanning open the layers. Slice the leeks into 1 cm slices and dry well. Heat the butter and oil in a pan and saute the leeks gently for 10 minutes, until soft.
In a bowl mix together the nutmeg, cream, eggs and salt and beat well. Trim the rind off the Brie and slice it thinly.
Roll out the pastry to line a flan dish and trim the edges so they are slightly higher than the edges of the dish (the pastry shrinks slightly on cooking). For a crispy base blind bake – that is cover pastry with baking paper and sprinkle raw rice on top. Pre-bake pastry for 20-25 minutes and take off baking paper with rice on it. Let cool.
Arrange a layer of Brie on the bottom of the pastry. Top with half of the leeks then pour in half of the egg mixture. Mix gently. Top with the rest of the Brie. Then add the rest of the leeks and egg mixture. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the tart has "set" - i.e. the egg mixture is cooked.
Serve warm with cranberry or plum sauce and steamed veggies.
3-4 kestrel potato, peeled and cut into large cubes
600ml vegetable stock
1 cup water
¾ cup coconut milk
A dash of lime juice to taste (optional)
1 tbs soy sauce
Salt for taste
In a soup pot heat oil then add onions, cumin powder, coriander powder and gara masala. Cook for a few minutes until the onion have softened and the spices have burst with flavour. Add mushrooms and potato and stir. Add vegetable stock, water and coconut milk and bring to the boil. Now turn down to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are completely cooked through. Add lime juice to taste to bring out flavour to taste.
To finish add soy sauce to taste. To make the soup smooth, cool soup slightly and use a stick blender puree soup.
1 choko, chopped (remove skin optional) Seeds have nutty flavor can eat these.
½ butternut pumpkin
1 cup risotto rice
3 cups stock
⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Cut all the vegetables into small pieces about ½ cm. In a large pan, heat the olive oil to medium heat and add the onions, cook for 5 min. and add the garlic. When the onions are soft and almost transparent add the choko and butternut pumpkin, cook for 10 min.
Add the risotto rice and start adding the stock, a little bit at a time. Let the rice absorb the stock before adding some more. Repeat until the rice is soft and has a creamy texture. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.
Par boil potatoes and set aside. When cool cut in half.
Marinated to piquant perfection, these olives are far from ordinary. To fully develop the flavor of garlic in the recipe, it is best to allow the olives to marinate for at least several days before serving.
Lightly crush the olives, without breaking them, and pour into a glass jar with a lid, discarding any oil produced. Add the dried chillies and garlic, lightly shaking the jar to ensure equal distribution. Pour in enough red wine vinegar so that the jar's contents are entirely submerged.
Add a dash of lemon juice, seal the jar, and store at room temperature for several days, shaking the jar occasionally.
Pan fry cocktail potatoes in oil, garlic and coriander chopped. Serve marinated olives, potatoes with toothpicks.
In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil with the bay leaf. Keep the stock warm over very low heat. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring until opaque, about 3 minutes. Add the white wine and cook, stirring, until completely absorbed, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup of the warm stock and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until nearly absorbed.
Continue adding the stock 1 cup at a time and stirring until it is absorbed between additions. After about half of the stock has been added, stir in the corn, then add the remaining stock. The rice is done when it's al dente and creamy, about 25 minutes total. Stir in the cheese and butter; season with salt and pepper. Discard the bay leaf and serve.
Make a breadcrumb mixture by food processing bread and anchovies with oil from tin and chillies or capsicum.
Heat a frying pan with oil and fry these breadcrumbs until golden brown. Finely chop cauliflower florets and chop stalk.
To Make risotto
Heat stock. In saucepan put olive oil, butter, onion, garlic, celery and chopped cauliflower stalk and cook for 15 minutes. Add vermouth or wine. Stir. Add rice if you wish this then a ladle of stock and pinch of salt. Simmer. Add florets of cauliflower. Add ladles of stock, stir. Allow each ladle to be absorbed before adding more. This takes about 15 minutes.
Without the rice the cauliflower becomes the Risotto.
Remove from heat and add butter and parmesan cheese. Stir. Add parsley.
Lid on pan and let sit for 2 minutes. Serve with parmesan sprinkled on top.
Fennel is a wonderfully aromatic vegetable, its peak supply is during winter and early spring Fennel is indispensable in many Italian dishes such as risotto, or simply braised in some chicken stock to make a tasty side dish.
It can also be eaten raw in a salad, provided you like the aniseed flavour (which is reduced to just a faint taste during the cooking process). The frond can be used to flavour salad dressing, soup stock or as garnish.
1 – 2 chillies, chopped (take out seeds unless you like extra hot)
Cut off the stalks flush with the tops of the bulbs. (Reserve the stalks for vegetable soup or boil and mash them along with potatoes. Save the leaves to flavour soups.) Turn the bulb cut side down and cut them into quarters through the cores. Remove the tough outer layers from the pieces, then cut out the cores. Slice the pieces crosswise into 4cm strips.
Heat the butter in a medium frypan over medium heat until foaming. Scatter the fennel pieces and chillies over the butter, season them lightly with salt and pepper and cook, tossing and stirring, until they begin to brown, about 6 minutes. Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a boil.
Lower the heat so the stock is simmering. Cover the pan and cook until the fennel is tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
During the last few minutes, remove the lid from pan so about half the liquid evaporates.
If you’d like to serve the fennel ‘dry’ and lightly caramelized, continue cooking until all the liquid has boiled off the fennel is lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Taste and add more salt and pepper if you like.
Bring the chicken stock to the boil, keep at a slow simmer.
Put the butter in a large heavy saucepan over low heat. Add onion and garlic and sweat until soft. Add the rice and stir to coat in the butter. Add the white wine and cook for 30 seconds. Start adding chicken stock, a ladle at a time. Increase the heat to medium while constantly stirring the rice. Add more stock ladle by ladle, as it will be absorbed by the rice. Cook for approximately eight minutes then add the shaved fennel and mushrooms. Keep stirring and adding stock until the rice is 'al dente' for about 15 minutes.
Stir in the grated parmesan, ensure the rice is not stodgy (add a little more stock if it is). Season to taste and serve immediately
Creamy sweet potato and fennel soup with parmesan wafers