Long Time No Post but I Did Bring Quiche…

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Wow! It’s been 2 whole months since a post from me. I know. That’s pretty bad but when inspiration doesn’t hit it really doesn’t hit. Not that I haven’t been creating and cooking, it’s more like….um…okay….it’s laziness….

I haven’t been writing things down as I do them or taking photos of what I’m doing while I’m doing them.

Part of this here personal laziness stems from having a new job. Most of my creativity is used up between the hours of 7am and 2pm where I’m in someone else’s kitchen baking away so by the time I finish work and get home I don’t have an awful lot of creativity left.

I did however manage to document this recipe (only because I had a couple of days off)

Zucchini and Sweet Potato Quiche.

There they were…all green and bright sitting just so on top of each other. How was I supposed to walk by them. In the shopping trolley they went. Next, the sweet potato. We love sweet potato everything in our home.

Then I thought…

Why not bring these two fantastic veggies together and make one fantastic meal…

So I did.

To make it even more fantastic I added some sheep’s milk feta that we bought home with us from a weekend away at Mudgee in central west New South Wales. What a winning combination.

Zucchini and Sweet Potato Quiche

Shortcrust pastry pie case – blind baked- (recipe here)

4 large zucchini – coarsely grated

1 medium sweet potato – coarsely grated

2 spring onions – thinly sliced

6 free range eggs

100ml cream

salt, pepper – to taste

1/2 teaspoon curry powder

80 – 100g Feta cheese

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Squeeze out as much moisture as you can from the zucchini and sweet potato. Put in a large bowl and add the spring onion.

In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, cream,salt, pepper and curry powder. Pour this over the veggies, give it a really good stir then pour the whole lot into the pre-baked pastry case.

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Crumble the cheese over the top and bake in a pre-heated 170oC oven for about 55-60 minutes or until the middle is no longer wobbly.

Let it cool for about 10 minutes before you slice it up and serve.

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Here’s hoping it won’t be another 2 months before I manage another post.

As always…

Enjoy…

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Shanklish – A Lebanese Herby Yoghurt Cheese.

This is an amazing cheese. I remember not liking it so much when I was really young because of all the herbs and chilli coating the outside, but I definitely grew to love it and at the moment can’t seem to get enough of it.

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I did some research this morning with my mum and found it’s made from heating yoghurt to a certain temperature and then straining it through a cheese cloth  for several days. Once most of the liquid has drained, herbs and chilli powder are mixed in. Then you roll it into balls and roll the balls into another mix of herbs and chilli. It’s then left to dry for a few more days.

Aaahhh too long so for now I’ll just buy it from my local Lebanese green grocer who has a fridge full of different cheeses. I  will, however, one day attempt to make it.

Shanklish has a very crumbly consistency and is usually served mixed with tomato, onion and olive oil. Even writing about it makes me hungry for it…

The other week I was trying to figure out what to make for our traditional Fun Food Friday and came up with Shanklish Bruschetta. It was a hit…

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And really easy…

All you need is:-

1 ripe tomato – diced

1/4 small red onion – finely diced

a few fresh basil leaves – finely chopped

a little fresh parsley – finely chopped

a generous glug of excellent extra virgin olive oil

some freshly ground black pepper

some crumbled Shanklish Cheese

A few slices of your favourite bread (or in this case what was available late on a Friday evening)

1 clove of garlic – peeled

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Mix everything but the shanklish in a bowl until combined then add the cheese and gently stir it through. You don’t want to over mix and cause the cheese to break down too much or you’ll end up with a mush…you want small chunks of cheese…

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Grill or toast your bread then gently rub the garlic clove over the surface (as little or much as you like)

Arrange on a serving plate then spoon the cheese mix over the top making sure not to waste any of the yummy dressing left at the bottom of the bowl.

Serve…

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Sooo Goooood…..

Enjoy…

It’s easy eating greens….especially when your mum’s neighbour grows lots of it.

Spinach and Feta Pie

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My mums across the road neighbour has a green thumb and a generous hand to go with it.

No matter what she pushed into the dirt, it grows and so my mum gets all these wonderful freshly harvested veggies.

Last week there was bags of silverbeet, kale and lettuce on my mums kitchen table when I went to visit.

‘Take what you want’ is all I needed to hear and I descended on those veggies with a bag of my own.

And so a wonderful filo pastry pie is on tonight’s menu.

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Unfortunately I didn’t really measure ingredients for this recipe but I’ll approximate.

After washing and draining maybe half a bunch of silverbeet and half a bunch of kale I finely sliced them up and added them to a large bowl with 2 thinly sliced spring onions (mostly the green parts, the whites I put in the salad), 200g fresh ricotta cheese, 120g crumbled goats feta (cows feta works well too), a little sprinkle of salt (the feta can be salty, taste it), 1/2 tbls coarsely ground black pepper(put less if you not a big fan of pepper, we are), 1 tbls fennel seeds (yum), and 4 free range eggs.

Mix really well until thoroughly combined.

Next, melt some butter and brush a sheet of filo pastry with it, cover it with another sheet and brush with butter. Repeat this with another 4 sheets of pastry. Fold the buttered sheets in half and line a buttered deep medium oven proof dish.

Spread the spinach filling over the pastry and butter another 6 sheets as before. Cover the filling and tuck in the sides and edges. Brush liberally with butter and bake in a pre heated 180c oven for 45-50 minutes or until lovely and brown.

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Serve with a fresh salad and for the grown ups a chilled glass of white wine.

Mmmmmm…

Enjoy…

Local Tasmanian goodies…..

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This was a feast. There was so much to choose from.

Basically we picked up bits and pieces from different places as we travelled along.

Tasmania is a great place to visit.

We started in Launceston and made our way anti-clockwise around the state. Unfortunately it was raining and snowing around Cradle Mountain so we didn’t get to do the magical walks we wanted to, but it was a beautiful place to be, standing on our little verandah watching a huge wombat eating the grass below.

Then heading west to Strahan and Queenstown and all the little towns along the way. Picking our way through a list of nature walks.

Onto Derwent Bridge, then Hobart.

Thanks to Emily (Chilli Marmalade)’s recommendation we dined at ‘Smolt’ in Salamanca Square. If you’re ever in Hobart you should try it. We started with the taster plate then had Lamb with smokey eggplant purée and Venison with spiced cauliflower almond and quinoa salad. Plus local wines and beers.

It was very, very satisfying.

oh and you’ve got to visit Salamanca Markets on every Saturday. Fantastic atmosphere.image

South of Hobart is Kettering where we caught the ferry across to Bruny Island for a couple of nights then back up and around to the Tasman Peninsula. Beautiful part of the state.

Bruny Island is where we had the little mezza in the first photo. The veggies and olives were from Salamanca Markets, the smoked ham from a deli and we stopped off at a lovely bakery/cafe called Jackman & McRoss in Battery Point on the way to the ferry for the yummy sourdough bread. We stopped at Bruny Island Cheese once we were on the island, (oh and we had also stopped and shopped at Ashgrove Cheese Farm near Deloraine)  and bought a couple of new cheeses, then off to ‘Get Shucked’ for a dozen oysters for $12 and I juicy lemon for 60c.

Along with the tassie wine and beer it made for an absolute feast.

Onwards and upwards then stopping at Freycinet National Park where we climbed the saddle between two mountains to an amazing lookout over Wineglass Bay.image

We had a short stopover at Bicheno where we walked along the coast on huge rocks to get to a blowhole then to a bakery for good strong coffee and sausage rolls by the boat ramp while fending off crazy sea gulls.

Continuing up the Tasman Highway to St Helen’s then up bright and early to make our way back to Launceston for a final night.

Polished off the rest of the Tassie cheeses with some apples and carrots and the last glass of Tamar Ridge Pinot Gris before heading out for a healthy Thai meal finishing with some lovely green tea and pistachio ice cream.

it’s been a very full couple of weeks but we had a great time. Tasmania is a beautiful place to visit we’re already planning our next trip. Though we’ll probably come during late summer and take advantage of all the berry farms that are scattered all over the country side.

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I can’t wait…..

Fun Food Friday (Nachos)

Friday night at our place is Fun Food Friday. It’s the end of the working week and we can sit back with some wine or beer and look forward to work free weekend. Unless, of course, my husband has to work on Saturday in which case we make Fun Food Friday really count……Image

Beef and Bean Chilli

To a small saucepan add 2 tbs olive oil, 4 cloves finely chopped garlic, 1/2 finely diced brown onion and 2 finely chopped red chillies and cook on medium high heat for 4-5 minutes or until the onions start to brown on the edges. Be sure to stir occasionally.

To this then add 1 tsp each cumin seeds, fennel seeds and hot or medium paprika, and 1/2 tsp each of ground cumin, ground coriander, tumeric, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper (optional, depending on how much heat you like). Stir well and cook for 1 minute before adding 200g lean beef mince and stirring in really well, making sure to break up any clumps, until the beef is browned.

Throw in 200g diced canned tomato (with the juice), 1/2 cup water, 1/2 tsp sugar and 1 1/2 tsp salt.

Once it comes to the boil, turn the heat down to low, half cover the saucepan with a lid and let it simmer away gently for 30 – 35 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add 200g canned 4 bean mix (or whatever beans you like – red kidney works very well), mix it all in and allow to continue simmering for another 10 – 15 minutes.

I love serving with lots of corn chips, grated tasty cheese, some hot tomato salsa, sour cream or Greek yoghurt and heaps of guacamole :

In a bowl mix together 2 mashed avocados, 1/4 very finely diced or grated brown onion, 1 clove minced garlic, 2 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1/2 tsp  salt, sprinkle of pepper and a sprinkle ground cumin.Image Tonight meal was accompanied by a glass of Peter Van Gent Verdelho for me and a Coopers premium Lager for  Brian.

Perfect…

Enjoy…