Monday, December 04, 2006

Meals in the last week

This is a standard of mine.

Take 500gm frozen spinach, 250gm of ricotta or fetta, 3-5 spring onions chopped (or small onion chopped), dash of lime or lemon juice and two eggs.
Mix all ingredients and put into a 20cm pie dish. Take three leaves of filo pastry and fold each in half. Spray with oil and cover the pie dish, take the next leaf of filo and do it again, until you have used the filo. Bake in a moderate oven (185) until brown on top, about 25 minutes and serve immediately.

1 and half cups of risotto rice, 5 spring onions, 1 litre of vegetable stock, 1 glass of white wine, 1 cup of water, vegetables as desired, 125gm parmesan.

Spray frypan with olive oil and toss rice and onions. Once they are coated with the oil, then add the wine. In the meantime heat the vegetable stock and water to boiling point. Ladle stock in one ladle at a time waiting for the stock to absorb, about 20 minutes, then add vegetables (capsicum, peas etc) and stir, once they are warmed through add the cheese and take off the heat and stir.

For this risotto follow the above recipe, but chop two small or one large fennel bulb, two large mushrooms (side plate size), half a cake of blue cheese (about 125 gms or what you like) and a half a cup of parsley. Add these ingredients just before you have added all the stock, to enable the mushrooms to cook.

Both risotto meals are vegetarian and gluten free. Serve both with a green salad. My favourite at the moment is a mix of salad greens, spinach leaves, rocket, with sundried tomatoes, pine nuts, corn and toss. Today I added cucumber, or you can add capsicum. Really does not need a dressing because of the oil from the tomatoes.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Dine on regional chow

This post is all CJK's fault!!!

The article (linked above) discusses eating regionally, within certain limits, such as 250 or 100 mile (it is a US article).

I thought it might be fun to try a dinner made this way! Of course if we limited it to my garden right now we would have a meal of parsley, rasberries (not sure if there are one or two rasberries on the vine), some tired lavender and under ripe peacherines!!

Here are some sources of local ingredients we could use - local to the Canberra region to about 100 miles.

Lets start with wine - Canberra grows a variety of wine in the local region, and is a cool climate wine grower. The main varieties include Chardonnay, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Pinot Noir with some Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Viognier, Sangovese and Merlot.

Map and description of 40 local wineries.

In 1853 John Hardy planted vines in Hardwick, near Yass. Helms wines are one of the earliest wineries in the district, still producing fine wine, with first plantings in 1973. There are tours you can take of the Canberra wineries, which is on my list of things to do in 2007. There is Kamberra wine company, which is an organisation that has its own wines, it showcases all Canberra region wines, runs wine appreciation courses (which I have attended) and does a lot to promote our wines.

And what goes with wine, well cheese of course and so we find Bega Cheese.
Check the link out as it has great cheese recipes. So we have the makings of a good casual get together, but who knows about dinner. Bega cheese also produces milk and so along with the Capital Chilled Foods people who produce Canberra Milk, we should be able to drink something other than wine and water.

For those of us who are not yet vegetarian, we can get some locally produced, interesting and even gourmet meats, as well as smoked vegetables and fruits, from Poachers Pantry, near Hall in the ACT. It is right next door to Wily Trout Vinyard, planted in 1998/99. You can taste test both the wines and the gourmet foods in the one place.

Salad and Vegetables
To put olive oil on our salad, I have found Gundaroo Gold, an olive plantation. Hopefully they will sell at the farm gate. Williamsdale Organics is also a local producer of Olive Oil and other organic products like soap and shampoo (it is good to be clean). I have found a market garden out at Gundaroo, which looks good. The market garden is called Allsun Farm. This means we will be able to eat salad and other vegetables, with our meats, wines and cheeses. Alternatively Joyce Wilkie, a geologist turned farmer at Gundaroo, runs a subscription system in which you subscribe and then go out to the farm and pick what you have requested in your subscription. Often four families will subscribe and then each weekend one family goes out and brings back four boxes of fruit and vegies. Joyce also has free range hens and will supply eggs.

Vegetarian Option and Desert
With the eggs the milk and the cheese, we should be able to produce a vegetarian frittata and a pannecotta or other custard type dessert.

Food we will not be able to put on the table are things like, flour, rice, chocolate, coffee and tea. Anyone for dinner?