Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Baked Rice Pudding with Pear Compote

1 l milk
250 g rice, round/brown
1 cup of currants or raisins
Some lemon juice
1 vanilla bean
50 g agave syrup
1 pinch of salt
2 Tsp butter
A pinch of cinnamon
all organic

6 ripe pears
agave syrup as required
½ cup filtered water

Rinse the raisins with hot water, then soak in lemon juice and some water.
Wash the rice, heat the milk and add the rice. When it boils, reduce the heat and simmer for 45 min. Take pot from stove and let it stand covered for 15 min.
Add the remaining butter, salt, scraped-out vanilla and the soaked and drained raisins and stir.
Coat the baking dish with some butter and preheat the oven to 200°
Place mixture in the baking dish, sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon and a some of butter. Cook until the crust is golden. Serve hot or cold with pear compote or apple compote.

No Spotted Dick Please, We're British
In England the Spotted Dick is a pudding containing suet and currants or raisins. But rice pudding is enjoyed by many other cultures around the world, even without the kidney fat.

Pear compote

Peel and core pears. Slice into a cooking pot. Add boiling water. Cover. Bring to boil and simmer for a few minutes. Mix in agave syrup while still warm.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Kale, Red Onions, Pine Nuts and Feta Entrée

1 head/bunch of kale
4 red onions
or Höri-Bülle
2 cloves of garlic
150 g goat cheese/ feta
1 cup roasted pine nuts
Olive oil
all organic

Wash the kale leaves well. Discard outer leaves and dry well. Cut the leaves from the stem by sliding a knife along them and keep both parts separate. Peel the onions and the garlic. Heat oil in a large pot as the initial amount can be rather bulky. Cut the onion into wedges, keeping one aside.
Fry the onions golden. Chop the kale leaves and stems rather finely. Add the chopped kale stems and garlic. After 6 min. add the kale leaves. Fry and stir for 5 min. Add a small amount of boiling water to the pot, stir and cover. Add the remaining red onion wedges. Lift the lid after 6 min. and let the moisture evaporate.

Tuscan kale

Roast the pine nuts in a dry pan until they are golden. Place in a bowl and cover.

Place goat cheese on 4 plates.

Once the ingredients are cooked to your liking, place an equal amount on each piece of cheese and sprinkle with the pine nuts.

The tasty red onion 'Höri-Bülle' is grown in the Lake Constance region by the Alamanni tribes. The onion can only be harvested by hand (no fossil fuel machinery!) and the seeds are not on the market, but have been used by the people of this Alpine region since 840. Farmers of the Höri peninsula are the main guardians of this vegetable today. Once rejected by EU norms for its non- standard shape, it is now protected by the EU as a regional slow food with a specific geographical indication in 2014.

Curly kale and savoy cabbage
Curly kale with soba noodles and sesame

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Asparagus quiche


2 bunches asparagus
200g spelt flour
50g hard mild cheese
100g butter

4 Tbsp olive oil
6 eggs
4 heaped Tbsp spelt flour.
150g hard mild cheese (cheddar, Bergkäse) (grated finely)
2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese (grated finely)
boiling water
1 cup spelt-almond milk


Break the hard bottoms off the asparagus stems. Wash them well.
Steam asparagus until soft. Cool and drain well.

Preheat the oven to 190°c.

Put 200g flour in a bowl. Mix in 50g cheese. Cut in 80g butter. Mix together with hands. Add drops of water and continue kneading until the pastry holds together. Cool.

Heat the olive oil with 20g butter in a small saucepan. When melted mix in 4 Tbsp flour and allow it to cook a little. Add boiling water bit by bit while mixing. The Flour mixture will absorb the water. Continue adding water until the mixture is a thick paste, then gradually stir in the spelt-almond milk. Add enough to make a very thick sauce. Stir occasionally while cooking for about 10 minutes. Then turn of the heat and continue stirring occasionally as it cools.

Roll out the pastry on a cloth. Form it to a pie shell in a 28cm round baking form. Sprinkle a little cheese on the bottom.

Beat the eggs well until foamy. Gradually add the warmish spelt sauce while beating, starting with a small amount. When it is all mixed in, spoon some into the pastry shell to cover the bottom.
Using scissors cut small pieces of asparagus into the pie shell. Discard any woody bottoms. Save the tips for later. Use half the asparagus. Sprinkle some cheese on top and then add more spelt sauce covering the asparagus.
Cut the remaining asparagus on top as before. Sprinkle with Parmesan and then add the remaining spelt sauce evenly on top. Arrange the asparagus tips on top and sprinkle the remaining cheese evenly on them.

Bake the quiche at 190°C on the second shelf from the bottom for 30 minutes.
When you are ready to serve the quiche, bake it for another 60 minutes at 180°C and serve it hot. Test it with a skewer. It can also be eaten cold later.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Jackfruit Dinner Music

The jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) originates from Asia. It is a fruit of the subtropical rain forests.

"The jackfruit is made up of hundreds or even thousands of individual flowers that are fused together. We eat the "fleshy petals" that surround the seed, which is the actual fruit." (source).

The fruit can weigh as much as 35 kg. The flesh has a very strong odour, and oozes a thick white sap. In India various dishes such as pudding are made out of it.
"There is also another tree which is very large and has wonderfully sweet and large fruit; it is used for food by the sages of India who wear no clothes." Theophrastus 300 B.C. (source)

It seems that every part of the tree can be utilised - food, dye and wood for musical instruments. The hardwood from the trunk is used to make drums for the gamelan.

As both the fragrance and taste did not agree with us, we prefer the percussive instruments made of the tree and the music generated on it. Dinner will be accompanied by the traditional ensemble music of Java and Bali, 'reverberations the influence' (video) of Steve Reich. (video)

Friday, April 10, 2015

Davidson's Plums with Cashew Cream

15 Davidson's plums/ Oorays
1 Vanilla pod (forget extracts)
10 Tbsp maple syrup

Cashew cream:
120 g cashew seeds
5 Tbsp filtered water
3 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
A dash of lemon juice
A pinch of salt

Click to enlarge
Soak the cashews 2 - 6 hours before in water. Preheat the oven. Wash plums, cut and remove seeds. Cut the skin very fine and the pulp can be chopped. Mix the content of the vanilla orchid pod and the syrup and add it to the plums. Place in a casserole and roast for 20 - 30 min at 190°C. Keep an eye on the roasting process. Stir if necessary or even add water. It is not to go black!

Place cashews in a sieve and rinse. Pound in a mortar (or blender). Add the remaining ingredients as you go. Taste and add more sweetener or water if necessary.

The plums can be served warm or cold with the cashew cream.

Davidson's plum sauce
Cinnamon biscuits filled with Davidson plum jam

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


When you sit before delicacies and fancy foods, you will recognize their nature if you bear in mind that this is the corpse of a fish, that is the corpse of a bird or a pig; or again, that imported wine is merely grape juice, and this purple robe some sheep’s wool dipped in the blood of a shellfish; and as for sexual intercourse, it is the rubbing of a piece of intestine, then a convulsion, and the spurting of some mucus. Thoughts like these go to the heart of actual facts and penetrate them, allowing us to see them as they really are. 

Tomb of Menna, Scribe of the king, scene: Hunting and fishing, detail: Fishing, Thebes 1422-1411

Corinth, Lovis: Butcher shop, 1913

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Bunya Pine Nuts with Sauerkraut and Pasta

650 g organic Sauerkraut
500 g pasta (Spirali, Spiralini or Rotini)
300 g Bunya Nuts 
or chestnuts 
2 onions
1 red capsicum
150 ml cream (optional)
Olive oil
300 ml stock/water
A pinch of caraway
6 juniper berries
2 bay leaves

Bunya Pines, Araucaria bidwillii

Chop the onion finely, and fry in olive oil till golden. Drain sauerkraut and add together with some hot stock/water. Add the caraway, juniper berries and bay. The kraut should be covered with liquid. Add the peeled bunya nuts, stir and cook for 30 min.

Bunya 'nuts' with lost cowrie shell

Cook the pasta al dente. Chop the capsicum in small thin strips and add to the dish, keeping a few bits for decorative purposes. Add some of the parsley. Cook for another 15- 20 min.
When the pasta is done, take the sauerkraut off the heat and stir in the cream. Decorate with chopped parsley and the remaining capsicum.

Serve with a rucola salad and slices of Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Baked penne with tomatoes

This dish is a favourite with leftover pasta and tomato sauce from the day before, but can be done from scratch too.

500 g Penne
1 cup of tomato sauce
1 cup of cherry tomatoes
Some basil leaves

2 cups of cream
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/4 cup rennet-free cooking cheese 
1/4 cup Gorgonzola cheese
1/4 Mozzarella cheese

A)  The leftover option:
The pasta and tomato sauce have been already mixed the day before. Now add the small tomatoes and if you like the cream and cheese mixture. Heat the oven. Grate some of the cooking cheese over the dish and cook till the pasta is hot and the cheese has melted. Decorate with basil.

B)  Without the leftovers
Boil the pasta al dente and drain. Mix all cheeses, cream in a bowl. Mix pasta, dairy and the small tomatoes and place on shallow baking dish. Grate some of the cooking cheese over the dish. Cook till the cheese has melted. Decorate with shredded basil leaves.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Butternut Pumpkin Soup

2 butternut pumpkin
8 carrots
10 yellow button squash
4 cloves of garlic 
Some ginger
1 bunch of coriander
Some parsley
4 chillies
6 peppercorns
Olive oil

Peel and gut pumpkin. Put 1 l of filtered water in a pot and add the pumpkin offcuts. Add the chilies and peppercorn. Peel the carrots, wash the parsley and add to the stock.

Heat some oil in the soup pot. Fry the sliced carrots and ginger. Cut the pumpkin into large chunks (keeping 1/4) and add. Cover all vegetables with the hot (sieved) stock and simmer for 40 min. The cut the remaining pumpkin into mouth-size pieces and the red chili into thin strips. Cut each yellow button squash into 8 parts.  Simmer for another 10 - 20 min. Sprinkle with chopped coriander.

Some people use coconut milk or put the lot through the mixer. It is nice to not have machine noise or tins in the kitchen.

Sweet potato carrot turmeric soup

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Mushrooms with pesto

250g large open field mushrooms
100g spelt flour
5 tbsp olive oil
Lemon thyme

1 bunch of basil
200g macadamia nuts
2 large cloves of garlic
1 cup olive oil

Clean and remove the stems from the basil. Chop finely.
Medium grate the macadamia nuts and add to the basil in a bowl. Mix.
Crush the garlic and add.
Add oil bit by bit while stirring until a thick paste forms.
Press into the bowl. Dribble a little oil on top and cover.

Clean the mushrooms, dry them, cut a little off the stem and discard. Cut into thick slices.
Put the flour on a large plate and roll the mushrooms in it. Do this in 2 lots if there are too many mushrooms. Leave for ½ hour so the mushrooms collect lots of flour. Turn from time to time.
Heat olive oil in a stainless steel frying pan and add enough mushrooms when the oil is hot so that they do not touch. Turn when golden.
Push the mushrooms to the side of the pan when they are golden on both sides and fry the remaining mushrooms.
Sprinkle with lemon thyme.

Can be served with potatoes and a salad or with noodles and tomato sauce.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Creeping Cucumbers, Cucamelon or Mouse Melons

The Mexican miniature watermelons (Melothria scabra) are an edible fruit. They look like 'mouse' melons but appear like little cucumbers when cut up. The skin is rather tough and the center is like a juicy center of a cucumber.

Our mouse peeled them and chopped them into a salad.

Another method was to pour boiling water over them, let them stand for 30 min. Cut the tops off and press out the 'cucumber' pulp into dressings or salads. Capsicums, cut into thin strips were also mixed in a salad with the cucamelon pulp.

The fruit of the pretty, high-yielding vines are also very suitable for pickles.

Yet again another meso-american cultural product.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Bunya Nut and Macadamia Burgers

20 bunya nuts
200g macadamia nuts
80 ml tahini
1 small onion
100g organic spelt flour
filtered water
4 tbsp olive oil

Steam the bunya nuts in their shells for 40 minutes.
Peel and chop the onion finely. Place in a large bowl.
Mix in the tahini with a wooden spoon.

Medium grate the macadamia nuts and add to the mixture. Mix.
Cut the hit bunya nuts in half with a serrated-edged knife. Removed the bunya flesh and press through a garlic press into the mixture. Mix after each couple of bunya mash is added. It is important to mix the bunya paste in while it is hot or it becomes too firm to mix in. Do a few bunyas at a time leaving the rest in the steamer to keep warm. When they have all been added, mix well. Add some more grated macadamias if necessary to lighten the mixture.

Place flour on a large dinner plate. Put some water in a bowl. Put a large flat spoon in the water. Dip your clean hand into the water.
Scoop some of the mixture using the wet spoon and press it hard onto the palm of your wet hand to form a burger. (You can use 2 wet spoons if you don't like to use your hand). Place the firm burger on the flour and turn it. Leave it on the flour and turn occasionally so it becomes covered in flour. Repeat until you have enough burgers. Cover the rest of the mixture and store in the fridge.
Heat some olive oil in a frying pan. Fry the burgers at a low heat until lightly coloured.

These burgers will become quite crunchy if fried golden. If you prefer them that way, they also taste good golden.

Also recommended cold and on the next day.

I use the tahini from the bottom of the jar when it is too thick for other purposes.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Champagne Melon with Finger Lime 'Caviar'

The Champagne melon (Citrullus vulgaris) is a watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) with yellow flesh. It has seeds just like most of the red watermelons. On a hot day slices of refrigerated melon, sprinkled with tangy finger limes, make a refreshing dessert.

Finger limes (Citrus australasica) are from the Australian subtropical rainforest and make the ideal vegan 'caviar'.

Rather than extracting the ovaries from an ancient survivor (Acipenseridae) and driving wild sturgeons into extinction, it would be wiser to allow the 'living fossils' to continue to be on the planet.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Mango with Finger Limes

Failure to act on a habitable climate will bring more unbearable heatwaves across Australia. They are becoming hotter, lasting longer, occurring more often and starting earlier.

In the present heatwave only chilled fruit helps. In this case a gigantic deep red mango is cut in half and sprinkled with green finger limes.

The varieties of mangoes are dazzling, each having a different taste and structure. There is no such thing as 'the mango'. The non-organic fruit tried this season had an awful aftertaste which I think is due to pesticide. Organic seems to be the answer with Australian mangoes.

Another issue is the declaring of native wildlife a 'pest' that might 'steal' suburban exotic mangoes. In the Northern Territory mango farms shoot magpie geese.

As a consumer one should take care that not too much pesticide or blood clings to one's fruit crop.