Monday, 4 November 2013

Recycling Soup Pulp

Waste not want not.

Here a some helpful ideas on how to use your left over pulp from soups/veggie juices etc.

After Cook Club a few week ago, Cal and I had a large amount of pulp left from our Spring pea and mint soup. There was so much green-goodness in that pulp that we didn't want to just throw it away!

Freeze your pulp until you're ready to use it! Otherwise it will sit in your fridge and it WILL go off. Wait for that inspiration.

My first batch of pulp.

Spelt Flour Bread Rolls
400g spelt flour
100g strong wheat flour
1/2 tbs instant yeast
1/2 tbs salt
1tbs olive oil
150ml warm water (you may need more)
200g soup pulp (my pulp was quite moist. If you're using juice pulp, that's usually quite dry so  you might need to add morel liquid)
Pumpkin and sunflower seeds for the top

*makes about 15 muffin-sized rolls*

If you've got a mixer with a dough hook (i don't) then use it! Combine all ingredients and knead for 10-15 minutes. You may need to knead a little longer if you're doing it by hand.
You may need to add more liquid or more flour depending if your dough is too dry or too wet.
Place in a lightly oiled bowl and leave to double in size- about an hour.
Knock back the dough and roll in to small balls and into a greased muffin tin. If you don't have one you could make a loaf or just put the balls on a tray. They will keep their shape.
Paint the tops with a bit of milk and sprinkle some seeds.
Bake in 180 degree oven for 15-20mins.

Serve with good butter and ANOTHER soup!

 The second batch of pulp i used was for a simple recipe!

Stuffed Filo Parcels with Goats Cheese
Filo pastry
Good quality butter
Goats cheese
Soup pulp
Poppy seeds

Defrost your soup pulp and heat it through on the stove. If you want, you can add to your pulp.
Layer 4-5 sheets of filo pastry, painted with melted butter in between each sheet.
Cut the filo in to 4 pieces and drop a big spoonful of the pulp in to the centre of each square. Add a teaspoon or so of goats cheese. Pain two edges with butter and fold over the other corner in to a triangle to seal. Give the pastries a little brush with milk, sprinkle with poppy seeds and bake in the oven on 180 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Anything tastes good in pastry! Serve these with a simple salad and some steamed greens. Or whatever inspires you!

Besides from these recipes, you could make burger patties, mix the pulp in with a pie, make a quiche, fritatta, pasta sauce or another soup! Use your imagination and you won't waste a thing!

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Sunday Buckwheat Pancakes

Good morning all!
This week i was in the Asian grocer and i stumbled upon 1kg of buckwheat for $3.90. Bargain! Pancakes with the parents on a Sunday morning. What a treat!

Deceivingly, buckwheat is not actually related to wheat. In fact, it's not even a grain at all. Buckwheat is actually a seed related to rhubarb and sorrel. There's a fun fact!


1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/4 cup rice flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup almond milk (or whichever milk you choose)
1 tsp vanilla essence

 *Makes about 6 small pancakes*


Heat some coconut oil (or butter) in a  frying pan and drop in a small ladle of the pancake batter. Cook for a few minutes or until bubbles appear on the top of the pancake. Flip and cook the other side for a minute or so.

*These pancakes are a little dense, so if you'd like them a bit more moist, add a mashed banana to the pancake batter before cooking. *

Serve with fruit, yoghurt, maple syrup, nuts, or any sort of nut butter. 

Bon Appetit!

(I should polish my cutlery!)

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Cook Club- Seasonal Spring

Spring is here and there's no better way to celebrate than to eat!

For those of you who don't know, 'Cook Club' is a culinary event invented by Emile and Petr and a selection of their friends that involves eating, drinking, learning and teaching. Cook club happens every 4-6 weeks and we take turns hosting the eating and drinking at our respective houses- each time, cooking to a theme.

Past themes:
Christmas in July
Cajun Kitchen
Drunken Dinner

Each person is responsible for one of the following courses

appetizers  (finger food)
entree (cooked, small, on a plate)
soup  (hot or cold)
salad (pulses included here)
vegetables (weather will dictate how..)
main (come with recipe to share with group)
dessert (yum)

Someone will also be responsible for choosing a wine for each course. (Yes there is plenty of drink to be had.)

I've tagged on to a few of the cook club events and have now put my hand up to document the happenings and keep an archive of the wonderful recipes.

Cook club has been happening since early last year, but i'm going to start fresh and blog our most recent eat-drink-meeting, SEASONAL SPRING THEME.

Menu 19/10/13

Alcohol to match
(Matched by Nicola)
 Asparagus and blue cheese, wrapped in filo pastry.
Blood orange and mint infused gin fizz (Recipe for blood orange cordial can be found HERE)
 Thai Fish cakes with dipping sauce
Riesling- Gewurz Traminer from Alsace.
 Spring pea, mint and herb soup with spiced pumpkin loaf and homemade butter
Pilsner Beer
Mik and Cal
(same as main)
Baked, baby snapper with spring onions, carrots, lemon rind with blanched asparagus and green beans with an olive oil, orange rind and chili reduction
Oaked Chardonnay
Pinot Grigio
Lemon tart with limoncello sauce

Italian dessert wine

Asparagus and blue cheese wrapped in filo pastry:
 This one is pretty self explanatory. Blanche the aspargus and pat dry. Prepare the filo pastry, layering about 4-5 sheets, buttering each piece. Lay out your aspargus on to the filo and add your favourite blue cheese or parmesan. Cut into smaller rectangles and roll each spear in to a cigar. Voila!

Thai Fish cakes with dipping sauce:
 Please contact me for recipe

Spring pea, mint and herb soup: 
 Makes enough for about 8 as entrée. Sauté 3 leeks with 2 cloves garlic till soft. Add 4 bay leaves and a handful fresh thyme. Cover with 1.5litres stock,simmer 1/2 hr. Add 1kg peas (frozen works) a big bunch of fresh parsley, mint, spinach  and cook only for 5 mins. Let cool for a while. Blitz soup & pass through sieve. Add Salt/ pepper to taste.Serve with some freshly cooked peas floating, fresh mint/thyme, cream etc (keep the pulp, recipe to come!)

Homemade butter:
 300ml double or thickened cream i used Meander Valley, Pure Double Cream and1-2 pinches of salt to taste.
 In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, place all of the double cream and a couple of pinches of salt. Cover with a tea towel and whip on low initially and then increase the speed to beating or creaming. 
Double cream seems to whip and thicken faster because it has more fat in it (50% minimum). Mine took less than 2 minutes to separate.
 At first it looks likes it has curdled. Keep whisking!
When the butter comes together place it in a sieve to drain off the excess buttermilk. Roll up into a sheet of greaseproof paper and shape into a sausage by rolling it back and forth. I also used a paper towel to pat off any excess buttermilk.

Spiced Pumpkin Loaf:
Recipe can be found HERE

Baby snapper parcels
Julienne carrots, zucchini, spring onions, Cut baby snapper fillets in half, Salt, Pepper, Lemon slices, Cubes of butter, Basil leaves, Mint leaves, thyme
Use 30cm piece of baking paper to make parcels. 
Place equal amounts of julienned veges in centre of baking paper. Don't be afraid to season ! Add fish on top. Add basil, mint and thyme. Place lemon slice over herbs and cube of butter on top of that. More salt and pepper..  Fold baking paper in half and pleat edges to seal into little parcel. Place in preheated oven (200) for 20 minutes.

Olive oil, chili and orange rind reduction. (for the beans)

Leeks, thyme, skinned Roma tomatoes, celery, mushrooms, red and yellow pepper, courgettes
All in a pot and cook for ages.
Lemon and lime tart with lemoncello
165g unsalted butter, chilled
65g margarine
225g plain flour
2 tbs icing sugar, plus extra to dust
6 eggs
       200g caster sugar
1 lemon, rind grated, juiced plus 2 extra lemons, juiced
1 lime, juiced
40ml (2 tbs) lemoncello*  
Lemoncello sauce
1/2 cup thin cream 
220g (1 cup) caster sugar
3 lemons, zested
1 lime, zested
80ml (1/3 cup) lemoncello*

Place 65g of butter, the margarine, flour and icing sugar in a processor. Process to combine. Add 1 of the eggs and process until a smooth ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Grease a 2.5 x 26cm round loose-bottomed tart pan. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface and use to line the pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line pastry with baking paper and fill with rice or pastry weights. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove paper and weights and bake for 5 minutes until dry and crisp. Cool.

Place remaining eggs, the sugar and lemon rind in a food processor. Process for 1 minute. Melt remaining butter and add to mixture. Process to combine. Add lemon and lime juice, lemoncello and cream. Process to combine (don't over process). Pour into tart shell and bake for 20-30 minutes until the filling is just set but still has a slight wobble.

To make sauce, place sugar and 1/2 cup water in a pan over low heat and stir until sugar has dissolved. Add zest and lemoncello and boil for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool. Dust tart with icing sugar and serve drizzled with sauce.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Halloween Tricks and Treats

I'm not much of an advocate for Halloween celebrations, but on the weekend I was at a Halloween/birthday party and was very impressed with some of the edible gory bits and pieces.  I thought i would share and inspire those of you who are interested in Halloween.

Spider-web and brain cupcakes.

Almond, shortbread finger biscuits

Mandarin, mint pumpkins

Decorations also included a bloody, (cauliflower) brain and some carved apple faces! (similar to the one below)

Guacamouldy featured as a snack and main meals were GHOULasch  and macaBONEY pasta bake. 

But, i thought, the scariest thing of all....was that Tony Abbott came to the party.... 


Saturday, 14 September 2013

Homemade blood orange cordial

It's blood orange season and as the weather gets warmer we're all looking for the perfect drink in the sunshine.
Try this blood orange cordial recipe. Its super tart and tangy and tastes amazing with some soda water ... or gin...

4.5 cups of blood orange juice. That was about 10 oranges for us.
Zest of 4 oranges
30g citric acid
250g caster sugar

Put juice, rind and sugar on stove. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally,  ensuring the sugar disolves then bring down to a simmer, still stirring occasionally for 15 minutes.  Turn off the heat and stir in citric acid.
Let cordial cool. When cool strain into clean bottle.
The cordial will store in the fridge for a few weeks.

Here's a cheeky cocktail recipe to get you inspired.

Rosemary infused blood orange, gin fizz
  1 cup of Blood Orange Cordial 
1 sprig rosemary - pluse 2 extra for garnish (optional)
30 ml gin per glass (120ml al together)
Soda water or sparkling mineral water

Infuse the rosemary sprig in the cordial in a small saucepan over a low to medium heat for approx 10 minutes. Set aside to cool
Pour equal parts gin and cordial into a glass add some ice and pour over the soda. Garnish with a rosemary sprig.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Spiced Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Yoghurt Dressing

The cafe I used to work at makes a yummy cauliflower salad. This is my inspired version.

1/2 cauliflower
1/2 capsicum chopped small
1/2 tomato chopped small
1-2 red onions sliced thinly 
1/3 cup currants
Cumin powder
2 tsp Cumin seeds
Lemon juice
2 tsp Black Mustard seeds
Half bunch flat leaf parsley finely chopped

First, caramelise the onion. 
In a frying pan heat oil until hot and cook onions on low heat until soft and caramelised. Before they are done add the currants and cinnamon and some salt. The currants should expand and become really juicy. Set aside.

In a big frying pan, heat oil until very hot and add cumin seeds and mustard seeds until they pop.
Throw in the cauliflower and fry to absorb  flavour of the spices then add tomato and capsicum. Add some cumin powder and some more cinnamon. Salt if you need. Add a big squeeze of lemon juice. 
Fry until combined and cauliflower has softened a little. 
Add caramelised onions. 

When the salad has cooled off a bit add the chopped parsley and mix well.

2 tbs tahini
2/3 cup natural yoghurt
Lemon juice

Combine tahini and yoghurt. Mix well. Add water gradually until you reach the consistency you want. Add lemon juice to taste. 


Sunday, 21 July 2013

Red Pesto, Green Pesto

 When Cal and I were in Vienna, our friends picked us up from the train station after a long trip from Prague. We were tired and hungry and when we got to their place they fed us red pesto spaghetti. Every time i eat this pesto now i get Vienna nostalgia.

Red Pesto
1 cup Sun-dried tomatoes
1/.2 cup fresh parsley
1/3 cup kalamata olives, pitted
1/2 small red onion
1 hard boiled egg, cooled (the egg is the winner of this pesto. You can't taste it, but it gives the pesto a beautiful creamy texture)
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in food processor until you reach the consistency you want. 
If you want your pesto to be more tomato-ey add a teaspoon of tomato paste.

Green Pesto
1 bunch fresh basil
1/3 cup salted cashews (you can use pine nuts too)
1/4 cup good quality parmesan cheese freshly grated'/
1 clove garlic
1/3 cup olive oil
pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in food processor until you reach the consistency you want.
If you want to make the pesto in to a sauce, add some boiling water 

Pesto's going on my veggie lasagne tonight.

Friday, 12 July 2013

The Wednesday Winter Cook Up.

Our Wednesday night cook up was a success. Good food, good company, good wine.

Here is a recap of the evening's rules-

1. You must bring 3 of your favourite ingredients
2. These ingredients are secret
3. Two of these ingredients are for savoury dishes and the third is for dessert.
4. Another rule i forgot to add was - No meat.

What was brought? 

Between the 8 of us and a few misinterpreted rules, we managed to collect some pretty impressive ingredients.
  • Chickpeas
  • Coconut milk
  • Zuchini

  • Mushrooms
  • Truffle oil 
  • Pine nuts

  • Potatoes
  • Olives
  • Finger limes

  • Tomatoes
  • Coriander
  • Strawberries

  • Chocolate
  • Black tahini
  • pumpkin
  • frozen bananas

  • Passionfruits and kiwis
  • Chickpeas- soaked and boiled
  • Ashed goats cheese

  • Bok choi
  • Garlic chives
  • Capsicums
  • Cherries

What was made?

After guessing each others secret ingredients, we put our heads together to invent this beautiful Wednesday winter menu: 

-Dinner dishes-

Truffle oil mushrooms
mushrooms sauteed with truffle oil, chili, garlic and red wine vinegar, topped with pine nuts.

Colourful, Sweet and spicy salsa
Tomatoes, coriander, green chillies, capsicum, red onion, finger limes and red wine vinegar.

Roasted potatoes
Boiled until soft and then roasted. 

Oven warmed kalamata olives

Sauteed greens with miso and sesame dressing
Bok choi, garlic chives and broccoli sauted and topped with miso dressing with toasted sesame seeds.

Roasted chickpeas
roasted chickpeas mixed with indian spices, zuchini and cherry tomatoes, topped with goats cheese.

Roasted Pumpkin
Roast pumpkin wedges with black tahini and toasted pumpkin seeds (from the same pumpkin)


Kiwi fruit and strawberries with chocolate and coconut sauce and banana ice cream topped with finger lime and passionfruit.

Banana ice cream is literally frozen bananas whizzed in a food processor for about 5 minutes.
For the chocolate sauce, we melted a block of loving earth raw chocolate with some warm coconut milk. The fats separated a bit, but the sauce still tasted amazing!

The night ended with a very humorous game of Scategories and some midnight salted caramel popcorn. 

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Savoury, Spiced Pumpkin Loaf

I went out on a whim today and trialled an idea I've been brewing in my head for the last few days.
Based on the method for the banana bread i posted the other day, i baked a spicy pumpkin loaf to go with our soup.

This one is also wheat free, but not entirely gluten free. Ideally i wanted to bake the mixture in muffin tins, but i couldn't find any at the place we are staying at the moment.

Spiced Pumpkin Loaf:
    1/2 cup oat flour/ oat bran
    1/2 cup rice flour
    1 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp toasted and ground coriander seeds
    1tsp toasted and ground cumin seeds
    1 big pinch good quality salt
    1 handful linseeds and sunflower seeds (you can use any seeds)
    1/2 a small pumpkin, roasted and mashed. (Half way through roasting i added some crushed garlic)
    3 eggs, beaten
    1/4 cup milk of choice or water
    2 tbs coconut oil
    Preheat oven to 180 degrees and grease loaf tin or muffin tray.
    Combine the dry ingredients and wet ingredients in separate bowls.
    Combine everything together and bake for about 35-40 mins.
    Loaf is ready when you can insert a skewer and remove it clean.
    Serve warm with good quality butter or goats cheese or anything you like!

    You can substitute flours for whatever flour you like. Add or take seeds, nuts, spices.
    You could stir cheese through the mixture, or turn this in to a sweet loaf with different spices and adding a sweetener like maple syrup/stevia/sugar etc.
    Substitute pumpkin for banana or stewed apple. Pumpkin is great sweet though!

    We ate ours with a veggie soup- leek, potato, celery, carrot and lentil.

    Bon Appetit!

    Tuesday, 9 July 2013

    To market to market... stock up for the cook up.

    Cal and i are minding my aunty and uncle's beautiful house for a week and what better way to celebrate being here than to have all of our favourite people over for a winter cook-up.

    This is not just any cook-up though- there are strict rules of entry.

    1. You must bring 3 of your favourite ingredients.
    2. These ingredients are secret
    3. Two of these ingredients are for savoury dishes and the third is for dessert.

    Before revealing our ingredients we will be guessing what everyone has brought.
    Stay tuned for Thursday's cook-up post.

    Today at the Queen Victoria Market...
    Market Lane Coffee- mis-spelt name.
    Tangelos in season! grapefruit-cum-tangerine- yum!