Thursday, April 12, 2012

Feta and Figs Variations

Some alternative ways to combine feta cheese with figs with optional nuts and herbs:

Get some of these resources:
Feta, organic, non animal rennet preferred
Oil: olive or macadamia & vinegar
Herbs: parsley/basil/mint leaves/dried oregano
Nuts: macadamia, hazelnuts or raw pistachios
flour, honey, fresh cinnamon

Choose and Do

Cold platter
Drain and wash feta. Cut feta into slices, sprinkle oil over it. Arrange fresh figs Optional: sprinkle with lightly roasted macadamia, hazelnuts or raw chopped pistachios.

If dressing is desired
1 tsp organic mustard
6 tsp macadamia oil
1 tsp rice vinegar
scatter over arranged feta fig platter

Toast nuts of your choice in frying pan, stirring frequently. Do not burn nuts. Add last minute with fresh herbs
Fried feta variation
Drain and wash feta. Cut feta into matchbox size chunks. Put whole grain flour on plate, mix in some oregano. Roll feta pieces gently in flour. Heat olive oil, fry cheese gently, turning it till golden. Decorate with fresh figs and parsley/basil/mint leaves

Cook the Figs
Add a small cup of honey and ¼ tsp of fresh cinnamon into a frying pan, cook gently for a few minutes. Add the cleaned figs and toss in this mixture for 1 minute. Place figs on feta platter. Decorate with nuts and herbs

These dishes go well with Okra in Tomato Sauce
Coriander pesto is also an accompaniment with the above dishes
More feta recipes here and here

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Native Raspberry Tea and Fruit

Native Raspberry, Rubus rosifolius Sm, (syn. Rubus rosaefolius) occurs in rainforest or on rainforest edges of SE Australia. It is one of many in the Rosaceae family. The (Thimble-) berries are delicious raw or prepared into desserts. The leaves of the Rose-leaf Bramble make a pleasant tasting herb tea, that is supposed to have many health benefits. The plant is very prickly and can be grown in cultivation. Outside its endemic home range it has the potential to become an invasive plant.

Herb Tea
Remove stems, wash, crunch a hand full of leaves, pour boiling water on and let steep for a short time. Drop in a raspberry ( if available).

Queensland Raspberries
Infusion of Raspberries and Passionfruit

Blackberries (Rubus spp.) weed or native?

Okra in Tomato Sauce

500g small to medium okras (finger length)
500g tomatoes
3 large cloves Russian garlic
Olive oil

Pour boiling water over the tomatoes in a bowl. Then cold water after 5 minutes. Peel them.
Add a little olive oil to a pot and heat. Add garlic cloves. Lightly fry for a few minutes.
Add peeled tomatoes. Cover and cook at a low temperature for 1 hour. Stir and crush tomatoes and garlic occasionally. Remove the lid and continue to simmer for another 1 hour until the sauce thickens.
Clean the okra. Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan. Add the okra when hot and fry for about ten minutes turning from time to time. Add the fried okras to the tomato sauce and cook slowly for ½ hour.Serve hot or cold. This dish goes well with Feta and Figs Variations

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Taro in Coconut Milk

2 large taro roots (Colocasia esculenta)
coconut milk

Soak the cleaned taro in cold water overnight. Cook for 1 1/2 hours, or until tender. It should be completely cooked or it might irritate your skin and throat. Peel and chop it into large chunks. Heat coconut milk, add taro chunks and heat. The taro should be covered.
Optional: You might want to add hot chili and sliced okras (Abelmoschus esculentus). Taro is also nice mashed, or fried in butter.
Taro leaf stands like edible Water chestnuts (Eleocharis dulcis) in permanent water bodies
Many cultures have eddoecorm as a dessert. The Tongans seem to have a large variety of these 'root' crops.