It’s been a long time since I’ve been here with you, and done a blog post, lots of very good reasons for sure, but at the heart of it was a plate that was full to overflowing, and an entirely new email and web system being built, both on different platforms than before. Doing a blog in between platforms just felt a little too daunting.Totally rebuilding the website from scratch demanded that I also have a very good think why I continued to keep a blog in the new website. I loved this article on maintaining a long term blog by Heidi Swanson, and others at that time – Heidi talks about this being her practice and the commitment to that practice, and it made me query just actually what my practice was. Along with cooking, writing and photography, the blog itself was a part of her practice. It became immediately clear that for me, my blog was not an essential part of my practice – but rather teaching and writing, that formed that core. I’m not a great photographer and to be honest, I don’t want to learn too much more there – I just don’t have room in my brain for that. That room is saved for learning more about how fats – or any food really – works. I don’t have the ability to run a consistent weekly, fortnightly or monthly blog – some times I am just loaded with teaching commitments (the Whole and Natural Foods Chef Training for example), and sharing my knowledge with in the books I write.
Knowing this, I settled with going ahead with the blog and that I will make it here monthly as best I can, but I knew that I also wanted to be here with you and share what is going on, life and recipe or two. But I also know that I share all those things with you in each of my books, and most certainly in the new book (May 2016) – the book is just about finished (just a few more recipes to go) and editing to commence. I’m incredibly happy with this new baby, I think you will be too. My plan is to post here monthly, and to send out a quarterly newsletter with information and cooking for the season ahead – you can subscribe to that newsletter here
For now, I’d like to give you this yummy and simple recipe, using very seasonal ingredients and to say how lovely it is to be back here with you. Right now, parsnips are being pulled and apples are being picked, and they are a glorious combination. Combined with sage and herbs, a little left over cooked grain and a couple of eggs, they make the most wonderful fritters to eat, any time of the day. I think they will be perfect for the cooler Autumn weather over the long weekend.
Finally the weather is cooling and with it the food we cook.
But, my goodness, it’s lovely to be home – and very exciting to come back to two book parcels – April it seems is the time for new book releases – My Darling Lemon Thyme by Emma Galloway, and Tasty Express by Sneh Roy (the very aptly titled Cook Republic). Incredibly exciting, I love, love receiving books and they are both beautiful. Can’t wait to take them down south with me after easter for our holiday, I am going to pour through them and start cooking! I’ve also been tempted by two from overseas – Whole Grain Mornings by Megan Gordon, and the new one by a favourite of mine, Bryant Terry – Afro Vegan (sorry, I couldn’t connect you to his website, I think it has been hacked !)
There’s not going to be a lot of talk here today, just some photo’s of what and where, and fish pie. It’s the easiest thing to make, and deeply nourishing – perfect for the cooler Autumn weather. We are having it for dinner tonight, but it would be perfect for the Easter Weekend coming up. It’s easy to digest and a great option for young children, or anyone with a dodgy digestive system or simply anyone looking for a delicious and deeply nourishing meal. If you’re looking for a cake, why not try this Apple Shortbread (oh, it would be delicious with Rhubarb and Quince too) or this delicious Walnut and Yoghurt Cake
Have a lovely Easter weekend and I’ll see you after…
Use a fish that is sustainable where you live – this will vary from place to place. I like to choose a some strong tasting oilier fish such as sea mullet, bonito or mackeral and something a little lighter – black bream, flathead or one of the snapper family is great also. If you can, buy the fish as a whole and ask the fishmonger to fillet it for you. Keep the skin on or off, it’s up to you – it will just be a textural thing in the mouth. In the picture I’ve used Spanish Mackeral (skin on) and Goldband Snapper (skin off). Please, no salmon. Unless it’s being flown in from the northern hemisphere, in Australia, this is all farmed – this is not the place to go looking for your very desirable long chain fatty acids, when we have plenty of high omega fish that are wild caught and not farmed. If you live in the northern hemisphere, and they are in season, go for it.
The recipe is incredibly loose and forgiving – basically, if vegetables have less water in them (onion or leek instead of spring onions), or more carbohydrate or cellulose such as carrot and celery, cook them first. Today, I lightly cooked some leek from the garden, finely sliced celery, fine diced carrot in good dollop of ghee and a sprinkle of sea salt. Added that to the baking dish, then sprinkled roughly chopped garlic chives and lemon thyme. And, honestly? I don’t even bother weighing the fish, I just decide how much I’d like in the dish.
2 – 3 medium potatoes, well scrubbed and cut into 2 – 3 cm dice
100 or so gm broccoli – roughly cut
sea salt to taste
1 generous tablespoon butter or ghee
1 – 2 extra tablespoons butter or ghee
2 stems spring onions, roughly chopped or 1 small onion finely diced (I used leek today)
2 tablespoons fresh herbs – lemon thyme, parsley or basil
grated zest of 1 small lemon and generous juice
Vegetables – you can read above what I used, with corn in season, that would make a lovely addition too. English Spinach and Silverbeet (Chard) can be added straight to the dish, but some of the kales might need a little cook with the root vegetables to help break down their strong cellulose structure.
4 – 6 tablespoons cultured or sour cream (be generous)
1 teaspoon seed mustard
pinch sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
300 gm fish, checked over for bones and roughly cut into 3 cm chunks
Pre heat oven 190c
Steam the potatoes and when nearly ready, add the broccoli and cook until the broccoli is just soft. Take care not to overcook and dull the colour of the broccoli. Add 1 generous tablespoon butter, salt to taste or ghee and roughly mash. Set aside.
Choose a shallow, ovenproof dish.
Melt the remaining butter or ghee in a small saucepan and if using onion or leek, add this and cook over a gentle heat until soft. If using spring onion, just throw it in let it soften for a minute or so. Add any root vegetables to cook for a few minutes until soft, and if using kale, give that a little go in the frying pan also.
Add your vegetables of choice to the baking dish and if using English Spinach, add that now too. Top with the chunks of fish. Sprinkle with a little sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Add the lemon zest, juice, cream and mustard t0 the warm frying pan. Stir through gently – the cream will ‘melt’ and relax. Spoon the mix over the fish and vegetables (and if you have more sour cream, go ahead and use it – make sure the fish is well covered) and top with the mashed potato.
Place in the oven and cook for approx 20 mins or until the top is lightly golden and the juices are bubbling. I like to serve this with greens – I’m serving this with green beans from the garden tonight.
I had the most wonderful surprise late last week – I came home to find a parcel against my front door – it looked like….., it was!!!!! My new baby. My new book. My books are like my children – really they grow inside of you, under your heart, though my first born – Nessie, my wholly human child (!) is my favorite. I tell Nessie, who is an only child, she has books for siblings – she just rolls her eyes, as 27 year olds are prone to do. She does think her Mum is a bit of a dill. But, dilly and all, I love them. Though challenging, I absolutely love the process of writing and creating something beautiful.
Enough of me rambling – here it is, it’s BEAUTIFUL (I am a bit biased) but I am so very, very pleased with it. It is out 1st March 2010, and I would love to introduce you to it on SATURDAY 6TH MARCH, at our Harvest Seminar. The emails are going out in the next couple of days, and you will be able to buy tickets also in the next couple of days. We’ll focus on Nourishing Young Children, good lunches (for adults and children) and welcome Bee Winfield from Merri Bee Farm to talk about growing good food, and good eggs, and Gotthard Bauer from Yallingup Wood Fired Bread. It will rock. We will celebrate the harvest and my new baby. I’ll look forward to seeing you there.
- Afternoon Tea
- Chef Training
- Core Recipes
- Dairy Free
- Gluten Free
- Grass Fed Meat
- Late Summer
- Making a Book
- Meals from my Garden
- Quick Dinner
- Ramble and Roam
- Seasonal Cooking
- Soaked Grains
- Sustainable Fish
- Wedding Cake
- Whole and Natural Foods Chef Training
- Wholefood Kitchen