Hello !!! Are you as busy as I am right now, finishing off jobs before Christmas (for me that is putting the new book to bed – going through last pages, checking it twice – and getting my new online tax system finished, making sure my builders are going to get the roof on my new house before Christmas to avoid delays in the new year, thank you notes)….. ? I’ve tidied up the blog a bit (but really it needs a lot more tidying up – as does my garden) and have rounded up some recipes that are 1) Christmas and 2) are great for this time of the year. Please bear in mind, some of these recipes are old (but not bad) and have not imported into the new website beautifully – and, I’m a bit better photographer than before (not a lot, but a bit!) They are still favourites.. especially the puff pastry. I’ll have a new post up next week for a easy, dairy + gluten free + vegan dessert – one of my favourites.
Till then… x jude
This is the kind of ‘a little something’ that I needed on a cold and wintery Sydney day recently.. pure comfort food. And I did indeed need a bit of comfort. I was exhausted after doing the shoot for my new book (out next year), and staying with my good friend (and fellow Whole and Natural Foods Chef) Holly Davis, who helped me, the word we used was ‘shattered’. We were completely shattered, and requiring said comfort food (plus, it was cold). It also seems that rice pudding is back in (mind you it has never really gone away in our house) – I noticed it has made an appearance in this months Delicious magazine, so it seems, we are on trend :) I actually don’t use a recipe, just throw it all in and judge from look, but the all important thing in making a rice pudding is getting the consistency right (not too runny, not too thick) so I’m giving you a recipe. It’s originally from this book (I’ve tweaked it a little) … a truly brilliant book that mum has had for years, it’s well worn and stained, and truly, has all the Australian classics – it’s well worth tracking down.
But whilst carrying on about how exhausted we were, it was a wonderful time. I call it the ‘seeing the view from the mountain’ time. That time, when you’ve worked so hard (over years and years), taken the enormous risks that you take, putting it all out there – and you finally get the chance to see the beauty of it all. To see this book, that in the beginning (and for quite some time over the past year) I couldn’t see at all where it was leading me, but I kept on following a jungle path – finally I got to see that it was beautiful, and that the whole was so much more than the sum of it’s parts. That takes one talented photographer (Cath Muscat) and stylist (Michelle Noriento), and of course a publishing team who are there for you (Murdoch Books). BUT, it also takes a friend. I’ve had a lot of lessons about what makes a true friendship this year – easy for some to talk the talk, but not walk the walk. Thank goodness, that I count Holly as a true friend. Thank goodness she knows how to make a cup of tea because we really needed it. The photo below is a screen shot of the teapot from Cath’s instagram account. It also took another hand in the kitchen, and we were loved sharing more time with Trudie Fenwick – a graduate from the 2013 Whole and Natural Foods Chef Training Program. We also had the opportunity to catch up with another graduate (2010) Belinda Pooley (Wholefood Canteen), another true friend and we got to meet her gorgeous new bub.
A shoot goes like this: you organise what you are going to shoot (we had 40 shots of food + chapter openers + incidentals+ pictures of me) – in 5 days. You organise the shopping list (that was Holly’s job, and no mean feat). You watch in awe as box after box of props are unloaded. You cook your ass off, because that’s a lot of shots you are doing each day. I also keep an eye on the shot so it represents me. No blue plates I say, no twine around everything I say – and in the end, there was blue, and a bit of twine, but I loved it. Loved it to bits. I love who I see this book becoming, I love that whilst I couldn’t see always what it wanted to be, my spirit did and kept me on the path. I think you will like it too. That’s Michelle s hands down there, getting the shot into shape, and below it, is the gorgeous Smeg fridge we used for a shot. Look at the colour – Panna Cotta – it says it all. I literally can’t wait for my new home and cooking studio to be built (that’s another story), but already I have my Smeg oven sorted. I’ll tell you more about that at a later date.
Before I leave and get to the recipe, I will be putting together a class program next week for August, September, October and November for Perth, Melbourne and Sydney. It will post on the website, FB and newsletter. I’d so love to meet you and I hope you can come along. In the meantime, try this out this winter weekend… serve it with any baked or stewed fruit as desired. Eat it for morning tea, snack or afternoon tea or dessert… it doesn’t matter :)
That’s my beautiful Christmas Fairy on our tree – we put it up yesterday. It was a gift from my daughter Nessie – she keeps trying to entice me with Christmas Angels/Fairies hoping to replace the one that sits atop the tree – the one she made when she was four. But nothing will ever replace that angel, but I have to say I adore this fairy. So, after goodness knows how many months, here I am. I imagine that you have given up on me, having had no blog for months. I wouldn’t blame you. For me, it’s been a very good year, and truly I have a lot to be grateful for. It’s a profound thing to see your dreams come to life – to see my books on the shelves (thrilled to see 2 of them sitting on the Book Depository top 10 for weeks), to meet you as I travelled around Australia to launch my new book Wholefood Baking – to be a part of so many peoples lives is a deeply privileged thing. To see my dream of training a new generation and skill base in Australia with the Whole and Natural Foods Chef Training Program realised – now in it’s third year with the program running from August through to November was deeply rewarding. But in all that, I can tell you honestly, I ran out of ability to give to the blog – right now I’m just a tad emotional, exhausted and wanting to nest. I want to bake and watch Season 4 Walking Dead, Season 4 Downton Abby, Season 6 Mad Men – you get the drift. Mostly, I think I want to be IN my home, IN the experience of my Christmas and with those I love. I want to be IN my life and let my day take me wherever without me worrying about the list of jobs to do, places to be or – the person I sometimes expect myself to be. I want to enjoy this view of my life where I now sit – I turned 60 a couple of weeks ago, and can I say it feels very good – for the first time I’m actually IN my life, the life I wanted, in all it’s glorious imperfections. Thank you for being a part of that.
But, we do have to eat. I don’t know about you, but life gets pretty busy and I like to have quick easy things on hand in the fridge with which to make a meal. I have 3 recipes for you today and next week when the children are home I have a wholesome gingerbread house for you. But before we get into the recipes, this is what you will find being cooked and eaten in my home over the Christmas season at some point – recipes from my books. What you see in my books is very much everyday food and how we do eat at home. From my new book Wholefood Baking – Trifle, Buche de Noel, Rustic Tarts of Seasonal Fruits, Puff Pastry mini pizzettes and Danish, Barley Wheat and Rosemary Crackers, Rugelach and Christmas Crescents. Yes I hear you – that’s all sweet stuff :) Savoury wise – I try to stock the fridge with good basics – home made mayonnaise (Wholefood for Children), the recipes you see here today, pesto, pate, organic nitrate free ham, home made chutney’s and my it pays to have pastry in the freezer (I like puff and shortcrust). Recipes I love from Coming Home to Eat, Wholefood for the Family (my second book) include Poached Chicken with Asian Flavours, Chicken and Bread Salad, Puff Pastry Tart with Roasted Vegetables and Pesto, Market Vegetable Enchilada’s, Japanese Ginger Fish Balls with a Sweet and Sour Sauce and Bok Choy, Little Savoury Chicken Cakes, Rice Paper Rolls with a Sesame Lime Dipping Sauce (it’s a fab sauce). From Wholefood – heal, nourish, delight (my first book) Chicken Fajita’s, Berry Nice Pancakes and Eggplant Parmigiana are big favourites. I haven’t even touched Wholefood for Children!!
I’ll be back next week with the Wholesome Gingerbread… x Jude
Gluten Free Dairy Free
This is a recipe inspired by Lorna Sass, a fabulous American wholefood writer – it’s a great way to include mineral rich sea vegetables in your diet. Arame can be a strongly flavoured sea vegetable – using the robust flavour of olives helps to balance this out. Whilst Arame is rich in iron, it is wise to keep in mind that it is non – heme iron and not absorbed the same way as the heme iron in red meat. Adding some food rich in vitamin C (here lemon juice) helps you to absorb that non heme iron. This will keep for 2 weeks in a sealed, airtight jar in the fridge and just gets better. Use good quality olives and capers – for olives I like the Mt Zero Kalamata or their little green ones. If you’d like to add fresh rosemary or thyme to the tapenade that’s lovely also.
1- 2 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 cup pitted olives
3 tablespoons capers – drained, or if packed in salt rinsed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice or to taste
sea salt to taste – consider here your capers
Put the arame in a large bowl and pour enough boiling water on it to cover it by at least 5cm. Stir through and leave for 10 – 15 mins or until it is soft. Drain well.
Add all ingredients to a food processor and process to a rough pate. Taste and adjust – a lot depends on the quality of the olives and capers – add lemon juice and sea salt as desired.
BEETROOT AND GREEN LENTIL HOMMUS
Gluten Free Dairy Free
This is a recipe developed by one of the 2013 Whole and Natural Food Chef Training students – Camille Reid. It is incredibly delicious and easy. It’s best to use the classic ox blood beetroot for this dish as they will give the best colour. Store for up to 2 weeks in a clean, air tight container in the fridge. I also prefer to use hulled tahini, which has a milder flavour – many people think the unhulled tahini will have more calcium, but this is bound in the hull with oxalic acid and not bio available.
1/4 cup small French green lentils – in Australia I like the Mt Zero
2 teaspoons why or lemon juice
2 small – medium beetroot – washed, scrubbed and chopped into rough 5cm peices
1 cup vegetable stock
2 cloves garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons hulled tahini
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice or to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, with extra for drizzling on top as required
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Begin the night before by covering the lentils with water, adding the whey and leaving to soak overnight.
Drain the lentils and add to a medium size saucepan with the beetroot and stock. Simmer over a medium heat until the liquid is absorbed and the beetroot and lentils are cooked – about 13 or so minutes for the lentils and until a sharp knife can easily pierce the beetroot – about 20 minutes. Add extra stock if required. Leave to cool to room temperature.
Add the lentil and beetroot to a food processor with the remaining ingredients and blend until silky smooth. Taste and adjust flavour as required – more lemon, more salt etc.
HERBED LABNE BALLS
Incredibly easy to make, great for giving this is a variation on the labne recipe here. 1 kg of Paris Creek Yoghurt will make about 10 balls. Make sure you fold the muslin over the labne, then place a plate on top. Then place a can or something heavy to put pressure on the yoghurt, this will give you a nice thick labne, easy for rolling into balls. Covered in oil like this, they will keep for at least 2 – 3 weeks in the fridge and make a wonderful gift. How to make these? Once the labne is ready, spoon it out and gently roll into small balls, then gently roll in finely chopped herbs – you need a lot, more than you think. As they roll and take on the herbs, they become easier to manipulate. I like rosemary, lemon thyme, chives, garlic chives, marjoram, oregano and parsley are all good – be careful with basil as it tends to oxidise very quickly – so instead if you have basil on hand, put it in the oil to flavour that instead. Gently place the balls into the jar and cover with extra virgin olive oil. Add a couple of cloves of peeled garlic (and that basil) to flavour it. When the labne balls are all used, the oil makes a wonderful dressing as the garlic and herbs infuse it with stunning flavour.
- 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