Monday, April 14, 2014

Fish Pie for Easter


FISH PIE AND THE ROAD TRAVELLED






Finally the weather is cooling and with it the food we cook. It's been a busy time since my last post, with classes here in Perth and then travelling to country NSW to do seminars and classes. I love to travel and most often, it's with  my dear friend Jeanie - we realise that we have both done more road trips together than with anyone else (family, children etc), and we've done them all around the world it seems! We road tripped from Jean's home out of Murwillumbah to Coonabarabran in Central New South Wales - abut 10 hours, for the Warrumbungle Food Festival, where I gave 2 seminars and we both did classes. Organised by the very inspirational naturopath Jen Berthet, from the Warrumbungles Holistic Health Care Centre, it was a wonderful opportunity to meet new people share information. 

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...

x Jude


With the beautiful Jen Berthet and Jeanie


In Sydney with my dearest friend, Holly Davis. We had just had breakkie at the Boat House in Pittwater



Back home to launch Emma's beautiful, beautiful book My Darling Lemon Thyme, here with Emma and Sam




FISH PIE

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. 


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

AND SOMETIMES LIFE SHOWERS YOU WITH SOMETHING SPECIAL




TRULY MADLY DEEPLY CHERRY PIE





I adore sour cherries - Morello Cherries to be exact - and amongst the very many things I love about the United States, is the respect and love that is shown to the sour cherry. This is the first choice for pie and danish, rather than the general fruity ones for eating. The first thing I want to do when I get off that plane is go find a cherry danish - because they are always made with the sour cherry. I do love cherries but the general fruity eating varieties are not my favourites. Finding a morello cherry is a hard thing in Australia, but last year when in Tasmania (oh, wonderful bountiful land), knowing Tasmania is the cherry growing eden for Australia and discussing preserving with Michelle Crawford (you can read about Michelles life in a gorgeous little wooden farmhouse in the Huon Valley here), I asked her if she ever came across sour cherries. " Oh no, Sally Wise gets all of those". Now as it happened I was going to visit Sally in a couple of days.

Sally Wise is loved and respected by all who read her numerous cookbooks (she who wrote the Australian classic " A Year in a Bottle" and "The Slow Cooker", to name just a few) and is widely regarded as being a legend with regard to preserving. When visiting last year with Jeanie (Artisan Wholefoods), I of course asked about those sour cherries that Michelle had alluded to. Sally, in her generous manner gave both Jean and I a large bottle of them !!!!!!!!!!! I coddled that bottle in my handbag on the plane trip home, nothing was going to break that jar of special, special cherries. I kept them in the pantry just waiting for a special occasion to make - in my mind - a proper cherry pie. And can I tell you OH MY GOD. Oh my god, as soon as I took the lid of the bottle, that deep marzipanish fragrance of the morello cherry wafted into my nose and it was unreal. The pie itself - I can't think of a better piece of tart or cake that I've had, even if I say so myself - even my niece who is not a sweets or dessert person, loved it. 

But, alas you don't have Sally Wise up your sleeve (and even I have finished that bottle), or you might not have a tree close by. You can buy them in the supermarket, but go carefully and choose ones with no additives. This is a beautiful pie for the cooling Autumn Weather and I would suggest Easter. The technique described is also perfect for any pie made with a cooked fruit. A good alternative if you can't find cherries would be an organic, sulphur free dried apricot (reconstituted up before putting into the pie).


Centring the pastry when lining the tart tin


Thickened cherries in a partly blinded shell







TRULY, MADLY, DEEPLY, MORELLO CHERRY PIE


I have written this recipe for Sour Cherries that are commonly available in Australian Supermarkets - they aren't perfect and whilst imported, don't have too many additives. I've specifically chosen to use the semi refined golden castor sugar as it has the least flavour and allows the full beauty of the Morello Cherry to shine forth.


ENRICHED SWEET SHORTCRUST PASTRY
This will give you enough for 1 x 24cm x 3.5cm depth tart tin and lattice

This recipe is a variation on my classic sweet shortcrust pastry, the egg giving it a slightly sexier and biscuity crumb. It's incredibly easy to make and rolls well. I like to use spelt flour, and prefer an unbleached white, but you can add wholemeal in ratio as desired. If you are using wheat, ensure you are using a cake wheat flour - you can use this in the same weight as the spelt. I have a preference in Australia for the Demeter Mills Cake Wheat Flour - white or wholemeal.If you are using wheat, you may need a little more water than for spelt.  For those of you that have Wholefood Baking, you will find detailed instructions for rolling there.

200 gm cold unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
300gm unbleached spelt flour or cake wheat flour   
2 tablespoons semi refined golden castor sugar (Billingtons brand)
pinch of sea salt
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla paste (I love the Heilala)  
20ml ice cold water + extra as needed


Add the dry ingredients to a bowl. 
By Hand:
Use your fingertips and thumb to rub the butter with the flour. The aim is to press the butter into flat chips, coated with flour. I tend to lift the butter and flour that I am working on, and let it fall back into the bowl. This helps to aerate and keep the flour cool. You must work quickly and lightly, so the heat from your hands doesn’t start to melt the butter. When ready, chunks and chips of butter should range from small breadcrumbs, to small lentils, to a small navy bean.
Using a Food Processor
If using a food processor, pulse one or two times, or until ready and turn out into a bowl. You are better to pulse – this throws the pastry up, and then drops it, aerating and cooling it. Don’t be tempted to add the water to the food processor it is too easy to overwork the pastry.


Add the egg, vanilla and water to a small bowl and mix together. Add to the flour mix.
Using a bread and butter knife, begin to mix (using the knife to cut the liquid into the dry) the egg mix into the flour and butter. Add extra cold water as needed, but be very very careful not to use too much - wholemeal pastry will require more as it absorbs the liquid, as may the wheat flour.  Once all the mix looks moist, bring it together into a ball, DO NOT KNEAD OR PLAY WITH IT.Break the ball into 2 - 2/3 forms one and the remaining 1/3 forms another.  Form the larger into a ball and flatten,the remaining smaller dough into a rectangle and flatten. Wrap both well and chill for at least 1 hour.

Rolling the Pastry:Before you begin, the pastry should feel well chilled to the top of the hand. Butter the tart tin and place in the freezer to chill.
Using as little flour as possible, but enough to make sure the surface is lightly dusted, roll the larger ball of dough to fit the tin and it should be approx 3mm thick. If your dough is well chilled it should not stick to the rolling surface or pin. Fold into a triangle (see the photo) centring the point on the centre of the tin (removed from the freezer) then gently ease into the tin and trim with scissors. Place in freezer to chill. 

To Bake Blind:
Pre heat your oven to 200c or 180 fan forced and place a black bottom tray if you have one in there to heat also (this will give you a crispier base). Remove the tin from the freezer, line with baking paper and fill with pastry weights, ensuring the weights come up the sides. Place on the hot tray and bake for about 10 - 15 minutes or until the edges are very lightly golden, but it is obvious it is beginning to cook. Remove from the oven, remove the weights and paper and return to the oven. Reduce the temperature to 180c or 165 fan forced and cook for approx 15 - 20 minutes or until it is obvious that the pastry is about cooked, lightly golden but still needs another 20 or so minutes to be fully cooked.If you find the pastry lifting on the bottom too much, reduce the temperature. When ready remove from the oven and set aside (you can put the tray back into the oven).

THE CHERRY FILLING

1360gm (2 x Always Fresh Morello Sour Cherries)
2 - 3 tablespoons cornstarch or kudzu (kudzu will give the better shine)
Golden castor sugar to taste - 2 - 3 tablespoons
1 vanilla pod - cut down the middle.

Set a sieve over a bowl and strain the cherries. Ensure that all pips are removed and discarded. Set the cherries aside.
Add 2 tablespoons cornstarch or kudzu to a medium size saucepan and add a little of the cherry juice and mix to a smooth slurry. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and the remaining cherry juice, then the cherries. Scrape out the seeds from the vanilla pod and add to the pot, along with the vanilla pod. 
Place over a medium to high heat, stirring constantly until it comes to the boil. Taste and add extra sweetness as needed. Assess the consistency - you may need it thicker - if so, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of cornstarch or kudzu to a small bowl, and mix to a smooth slurry with the tiniest bit of water. Add slowly to the pot, stirring as you go - this will cook as it hits the pot, so stirring is essential. Bring to the boil. Remove the vanilla bean and discard (I give it a clean and add it to the sugar jar).

PUTTING IT TOGETHER.

Have ready 1 egg beaten to brush the lattice before it goes into the oven, and 1 tablespoon golden castor sugar.

Ensure your oven is hot and ready 200c or 180c if fan forced (hopefully with the tray in the oven).

Take the remaining pastry and roll into a rectangle approx 3mm thick. Pick this up and place it on a baking tray that has been lined with baking paper,cut into 1 - 1/2 cm strips and place in the freezer. Very cold pastry will allow you to get through the latticing without it melting and loosing shape. There is a lot of touching and lifting of pastry when doing lattice.

Place the cherry filling in the blind baked tart shell. Remove the cold pastry strips from the freezer and lattice the top, brush with the egg and sprinkle with the sugar. Immediately place on the tray in the hot oven and cook for 10 - 15 minutes or until the lattice is looking lightly golden. Reduce the temperature to 180c or 165c if fan forced and cook for a further 30 - 45 minutes or until the lattice is golden, and the juices are running. Remove from oven and cool slightly before eating.















Wednesday, February 19, 2014

PRESERVING THE HARVEST




LATE SUMMER NECTARINE OR PLUM CHUTNEY





Preserving is one of the things I love to do most, chutney is by far the easiest and a perfect place to use ripe, bruised or seconds fruit and vegetables and any home pot will do - except copper. Whilst I love copper for jam making, chutney with it's use of vinegar is too acidic.

In chutney, the preserving agent is sugar and vinegar.  I like to use Apple Cider Vinegar with Rapadura sugar as the sweetener as my general rule but could be tempted to another vinegar depending on the fruit (sherry, raspberry spring to mind). Sometimes I like the fruity tone and complexity that an apple juice concentrate provides, and given that chutney's are used in small amounts, I'm okay with that use of fructose. BUT, and there is a but. Chutney made with a juice concentrate or Rapadura (a low sucrose content) will require a BOILING WATER BATH (we will talk more about that later) to ensure preservation. Made with brown sugar (even the beautiful semi refined Billingtons Muscovado's) and thus with a higher sucrose content, they will be fine simply packed very, very hot into a clean, dry, sterile and warm jars. 

But let's talk actually making the chutney yes? Dead easy. I like my chutneys to have a bright fruity flavour but with depth and fullness of flavour. I rarely follow a recipe and would like to guide you along that same path. You will get a better result as every bit of fruit you use will be different - all cooking is in essence responding the the raw ingredients nature has grown for you. Fundamentally the fruit forms the base of the chutney (or vegetable), the liquid is that which comes from the fruit and the preserving agents sugar and vinegar. Sweetness and further depth of flavour is ensured with some dried fruit. This is then tempered with a bit of onion for flavour and depth (I'm a bit iffy on garlic) and most definitely ginger. Lots of ginger. Then nuanced with spices - I consider allspice an essential for chutney. This is a spice in it's own right, and not similar to mixed spice. Then depending on what I'm making, I will choose the spices to suit. That's it. oh, and chilli (but please be careful - I think people overdo chilli in a chutney and it overwhelms).




I'm going to give you a guide line to make chutney, but if you'd like an actual recipe, you can find Pear Chutney here. 

  • I start by choosing a pot that will fit the amount of fruit I have - I am looking for the fruit to be approximately 2/3 up the side of the pot. Preferably one that is not to wide as this allows too much evaporation. Wash your fruit and chop - a size to suit you, but ensure that any bruised or damaged bits are discarded. But the wetter the fruit (berries, stone fruit etcetera) the bigger the pieces can be.
  • Add a small amount of onion - I do like purple onion for fruits, I think it gives depth with sweetness.You can see in the picture above it's not overwhelmed with onion. Then chop up a whole lot of fresh ginger - I like nice biggish bits as you can see.
  • Add 1/2 - 1 cup of dried fruit - I like a raisin, as I think it has a deeper and more complex flavour, especially the muscats. But depending on the fruit, others might give a better end result - for example dates with oranges. Nope, you don't have to chop them up.
  • Add your spices. Definitely allspice - the berries, or the ground - I would start with 1/2 teaspoon for 1 kg of fruit and go from there. Cinnamon quills are brilliant, start with one. For this nectarine chutney I chose to use Garam Masala as I love it's play of peppery and spicy complexity, and added extra ground coriander just because I think ground coriander is beautiful with stone fruits.
  • Then add a good amount of apple cider vinegar - enough to give the dish enough liquid to start, with equal amount of sugar - whichever you are using, or apple juice concentrate (you can see the amount of liquid I start with above).
  • Then cover it with a lid and cook over a gentle heat until the juices have sweat out from the fruit - not too long, approx 15 - 20 minutes. Then assess if it needs more liquid - you need enough just about cover the fruit and saturate their cells. Go carefully adding more vinegar, and add in increments - you can always add more, but hard to take away. As you add vinegar, add sweetness to match. Then assess if it needs more sweetness, balancing the acidity or vice versa. Leave the lid off and continue to cook at a gentle simmer - blip, blip - too much boil and you will evaporate that liquid. After about 20 minutes, taste it to see again where the acid/sweetness flavour and liquid ratio is at. Adjust as needed, and also taste for spices and add as desired. 
  • How to know that it's cooked? You are looking to see that the fruit is saturated - it looks markedly different from fruit that is not cooked, or not saturated enough with the preserving mediums of vinegar and sugar. When it's at that stage, you can then reduce it down to the consistency that you are after. A small chutney batch of approx 1 kg will take about 40 - 60 minutes.
  • I check, taste and adjust frequently when making chutney - for amount of liquid, acid/sweetness balance and spice. 
Now you have your chutney. If you have made it with a generic brown sugar (NOT recommended as it is highly refined - thus not good for you -  and won't add depth of flavour) or the semi refined Billingtons Muscovado (I like the Light Muscovado) you can simply funnel the very hot chutney into clean, dry, sterile and warm jars (make sure they are on wood/towels or thick paper so they don't crack) and lid them. Leave to sit for at least 8 hours -you should hear them audibly 'pop' as the lid is pulled down during the vacuum formation, show a visible concave centre and then store them. The heat will give you enough of a vacuum.  But, if you've used a fruit juice concentrate or rapadura, that won't stop the decay process. They will be fine in the fridge for some weeks but not in the pantry. So, you have to use a boiling water bath.

THE BOILING WATER BATH IS THE TOOL (RATHER THAN THE INGREDIENT) THAT YOU USE TO PRESERVE THE CHUTNEY.

This is one of the most interesting techniques – we know it here in Australia as the Vacola system. In essence, what we are doing when we bottle, is to use heat and an enclosed system to destroy micro-organisms that cause food to spoil and create a vacuum in which remaining bacteria cannot grow. Food is packed into a bottle, a seal (originally rubber) is placed around the rim, then a lid is placed, using a clamping system to keep it closed. The Vacola system uses rubber rings with clamps placed on, the French have the rubber seals on the lids with the clamp attached to the lid. As the closed jar goes into water and is heated to a specific temperature (or in this case, boiling) air is forced out through the rubber, bacteria (and such) are killed, and when removed a vacuum seal occurs as the jar cools. When it’s fully cooled the clamps are removed – it is the vacuum seal that keeps air and bacteria out. Newer systems (mostly used in Europe and the U.S, but used now extensively here in Australia) have the lid and rubber formed into one – using a sealing compound around the edges. This is the creamy “paint” that you see on lids and specifically the fine, more darkly coloured ring closer to the edge. Many of the U.S systems (Ball etc) separate that lid into two: a top and screw section. Glass (only tempered) jars can be re used (if in pristine condition), but lids and rings must be new for each bottling. A special note must be made here that preserving, and especially bottling and the hot or boiling water bath,  is all about understanding acidity. Clostridium botulinum (extremely toxic) grows in the absence of air (a vacuum), low acidity and a moist environment. Fruits are generally high in acidity, vegetables and especially meats, low acidity. Here with chutney's you've got plenty of acidity, but the process I am recommending is only relevant here for your chutney.

In regards to the pot the Fowlers Vacola is a commercial example of a hot or boiling water bath (just in case you are confused about the terms hot /or boiling water bath. In a hot water bath– the water comes 2/3rd up the sides of the jar, and takes a much longer time for preservation.In a boiling water bath – water is below, around and above the jar, and preservation is achieved in a much shorter time). The Fowlers Vacola preserving pot/system is not absolutely necessary - you can use any big (large) pot, AS LONG AS IT IS DEEP ENOUGH FOR THE WATER TO COVER THE TOPS OF THE JARS AND HAVE SPACE TO BOIL FREELY. ALLOW APPROX 12 CM  ABOVE THE JAR TOPS FOR BRISK BOILING.  Basically, the Fowlers Vacola system is a large pot – for a hot water bath it has a well-positioned thermometer, and for a boiling water bath, it has enough room.
With a stockpot, a few precautions must be taken to protect the jars from cracking. A wire rack must be placed on the bottom of the pot to keep the jars from direct contact with the heat, and to ensure the movement of boiling water around the bottom of the jar. Some people wrap the jars in paper or cloth to prevent rattling, but I have never done this. The American system is different and brilliant - it has a basket that holds the jars and is so easy to use - it's available on – line in Australia, coming as a kit (which is worth getting) and you can find it here. Once you get there, you will need to click onto Preserving Kits from the side index. I couldn't get it to link straight up for you.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

LET'S CATCH UP SHALL WE?



QUINOA, TEFF AND CORN CORNBREAD


I know, I look brown - please don't judge me - when you cut me, I have golden corn, green basil, red capsicum -  I'm delicious and need to be served with other things... you can see inside me down below...


Where to start ? A thank you to you all for emailing me and saying how much you enjoy the blog when I have posted so rarely in 2013? A thank you for continuing to send me photo's of your children smeared with food - giggling and laughing with their favourite recipe from Wholefood for Children? A thank you for the friendship and privilege that comes from knowing you trust me and have me in your homes? A thank you for welcoming the new book WHOLEFOOD BAKING with open arms? How about we just start with it all and go from there. I start each year with the best intentions of keeping a regular blog, and I didn't do too badly until the WHOLE AND NATURAL FOODS CHEF TRAINING PROGRAM which started in August- lots of things went by the wayside!  When it stopped, I stopped and have had very little desire to take any responsibility for my life whatsoever since then!! I couldn't have made a decision if my life depended upon it !! But a little bit of going very slowly after Christmas and up to right now, has done wonders. Lets catch up shall we? And I've also got a really simple, delicious gluten free cornbread for you later on.

2014 was a full and wonderful year - my fourth book Wholefood Baking was released and I'm incredibly excited to share that it has just been announced as one of the Australian winners of the GOURMAND BOOK AWARDS. Oh my goodness, that hasn't quite sunk in yet. The best part of this book though was travelling Australia with afternoon tea launches, meeting so many wonderful people (including you) and seeing the community of people returning to real food that is being built. It was wonderful also travelling Australia for Wholefood Cooking classes with THERMOMIX, a good collaboration I think :)  

In August we began the 3rd intake of the Whole and Natural Foods Chef Training Program, and this was quite the special group. Amazing, gutsy people in this group that I know are going to go on and make a difference. It's not an easy course - it's intense and pushes you to your limits - but, it's there at the limits that we often discover who we really are or get to eyeball the things (most often our minds) that stop us from being all we can be. There are some photo's I'd like to share with you from the course:

The 2014 WNCTP group (minus Paul) on the ute down south at Blackwood Valley Beef. Back Row standing from left: Justine, Jasmine, Katie, Ari. Sitting in the 'Middle' Row: Gina, Tania and we can just see Angie peeking through. Sitting at front: Julie, Matt, Camille, Tori.



The course does not happen with the legend and wise woman that is Holly Davis, and the rock and talent that is Jean Martinez. I chose this picture as I think it expresses us best - me, exhausted and unable to keep it together, Holly who as soon as I loose it is not far behind, and Jean who stays calm and together. I also have to include this photo below - seriously not the best photo of either myself or Holly (she will probably kill me for putting it up - seriously we look old and haggard). This is us completely loosing it during taste testing of final practical exams - something tasted unbelievably terrible, and Holly and I were profoundly unprofessional and just couldn't stop laughing. Everytime I look at it I just crack up again - Jean as you can imagine stayed quite professional.

 

I've made many speeches this year and turned 60 in November and one thing stands out for me - we are never an island, and when we become who we want to be, it is always because we are loved and supported. Interestingly I was listening to a interview with Catriona Rowntree yesterday, and she was saying that to be unconditionally loved is the most empowering thing in life (for her, it was her Nanna). I have long wanted to be the person I am now (no not the achievements, but how I feel each day - empowered, trusting, joyful, aware of this gift that is life, alive and on purpose) and for me, those that have enabled that are varied - the most important thing and person in my life (my daughter, Nessie) would at the head of the line, but family, my cousin Fran, best friend Nene, Holly and Jean are not far behind. I think my higher self has pushed me to my limits and it's there I found who I really am -  I love most that I've got to this place with compromising my principles - I it's a deeply organic sense of self worth.

Over summer I've had had some wonderful people to breakfast in my kitchen - for once 
the eastern states are coming west - here I am with Jo Whitton 

Jo Whitton, Quirky Cooking 

And here with Jane Grover 

Jane Grover

And, for the life of me - with my technological skills (poor) I can't get the photo of Alexx Stuart and her son Benjamin on here.. but you can see that wonderful woman on my Instagram feed. It was such a treat to have time with these inspiring women and hear their stories.  

Which brings me to Instagram - I've used it more than Facebook towards the end of the year because it was so easy - hence the lack of lots of photo's on FB !!  

So for this year, it's a whole new website (should be up about March) and there will be lots of goodies for you there. I'm working on a new book, so it will be head down, not too much travel and very few CLASSES. I do have a NOURISHING WISDOM INTENSIVE  happening for Perth (this one comes with a pantry pack of grains, legumes, sea vegetables and other treats). It's a 4 day rather than a 3 day, as this is it - we have extra time to do some of the things you would like to do. You can find information for that here

As a final note, in case you are looking for some reading? Whilst I actually didn't end up reading a lot last year (which is a tragedy as I love reading, but was too busy most of the time) my favourites were:
The books I've just bought / am really looking forward to buying or being published this year:

I wish you the most joyous and wonderful 2014 - may you be unconditionally loved, nourished, inspired and delighted often. I look forward to sharing more with you over the coming year - and if that is with a cup of tea and we happen to find ourselves having breakfast, morning or afternoon tea, all the better. 


x Jude



| QUINOA, TEFF AND CORN CORNBREAD |

This is an adaptation of a recipe from my previous book, Wholefood for Children/ Nourishing Young Children with Whole and Organic Foods. In summer when the corn and basil are abundant, this makes a wonderful gluten free quick- bread for breakfast, lunch or tea, but honestly all kinds of things could be added to this.  I also think it's a great template for wholesome, nourishing gluten and dairy free cooking. When it's cold you can slice it into wedges and freeze - this is delicious fried in a little bacon fat or ghee in the frypan to have with an eggy breakfast or whatever... 



There are some things that you can do here to make a better product and variations:

  • The polenta can be a coarse or fine grind, but for better flavour and nutrition, look for polenta that has the germ intact - in Australia I like the Four Leaf brand. Secondly, choose a baking dish that the heat can rocket through - tin, enamel coated tin or cast iron. 
  • Then pre heat that baby with the fat in it, so when the mix is ready you take that hot tin with the sizzling fat out of the oven and pour the mix into it... this is what will give you the crisp edges that you really want. Technique is always a powerful tool. 
  • In this cornbread I made for the blog, I used teff flour instead of quinoa flour, and black quinoa instead of royal - simply because that's what I had. If you are using teff I like the Bobs Red Mill brand (sometimes hard to get but easy to find online) and be careful of the quinoa flour - personally I find Bob's Red Mill too bitter, and be careful of an Australian quinoa that you might mill into flour - will be too bitter also. In Australia I like the Olive Green Organics.  Just remember just because it says quinoa flour on the packet doesn't mean it's the same as all the other quinoa flours - they each will reflect their growing conditions and processing in the flavour. 
  • If you would like to add grated cheese (cheddar, parmesan or pecorino) it's yummy, but won't be dairy free.

Prepare The Quinoa The Night  Before: 
¼ cup quinoa
1 teaspoon whey or lemon juice

The Next Day:
A stable fat for heat - animal drippings (duck is fabulous, nitrate free organic bacon fat is stunning), ghee (but it won't be dairy free mind you many that can't tolerate butter can tolerate ghee). These are best - coconut oil will give too much flavour
¾ cup polenta / 110gm
½ cup quinoa flour / 60gm
½ cup / 60gm true arrowroot starch
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder (bi-carbonate of soda)
1 tablespoon rapadura sugar
¼ teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 cobs corn, kernels only
I had some capsicum so chopped that in to
good handful fresh basil, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon dulse flakes
2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
100 ml macadamia oil, coconut, olive or almond oil
250 ml/1 cup rice or oat milk

Add the quinoa, whey and 1 cup of water to a small bowl. Cover and leave to sit out on 
the bench (it's fine to leave it out even when the weather is warmer) over night or during the day.

Rinse the quinoa and drain well. Pat dry with a tea towel then add to the saucepan with 100ml water (or for more nourishment and ease of digestion, bone stock).  If the grain is un-soaked, add ½ cup water. Cover with a lid and bring to the boil As soon as it comes to the boil, turn the heat down low and cook for 15 - 20 mins. Check if there is any water left by tipping the pot on an angle about 5 mins before the end of cooking time. If so, continue to cook until there is no water left. When it is ready small steam holes should appear on the surface.

If not soaking the quinoa, rinse it well as described and add ½ cup water.

Pre heat oven 190c

Place a generous dollop of fat into the dish (roughly 20cm x 20cm) and put it in the oven. 

Add the polenta, quinoa flour, arrowroot, baking soda, baking powder, rapadura, sea salt, pepper, corn, basil and dulse flakes to a medium size mixing bowl. Whisk through to evenly distribute the ingredients.
Add the apple cider vinegar, oil and milk in a separate bowl and whisk together. Add the cooked quinoa to this and whisk to combine well. Add to the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined.
Take the tin out of the oven, tilt to evenly distribute the fat and pour in the mix, immediately place in oven and bake for 25 – 30 mins, or until a skewer inserted into the 
middle comes out clean. Turn out and serve immediately, or cool on a wire rack.

The bread will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days, and freezes well.