Beet Root and Cabbage Kraut

Ingredients1 medium cabbage 2 medium beets, peeled and grated 3 1/2 teaspoons fine-ground sea salt 1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped (optional) 1-2 teaspoons Caraway seeds (optional) Extra salt and water as needed for brine 1/4 cup whey (optional – It should be fine without this too)

Method 1. Finely chop the cabbage. As your chopping board fills up with cabbage, toss it into a large bowl (or pot). Add the grated beets on top. Sprinkle over the salt, garlic and carraway seeds. 2. Wash your hands, roll up your sleeves and start scrunching the cabbage with your hands! As you go, mix everything together really well so that the salt, cabbage and grated beets are mixed together. Do this for about 5-10 minutes. If you tilt the bowl and move the cabbage out of the way, you should start to see juice collecting in the bottom of the bowl. 3. When everything has been mixed and scrunched really well, and you have juice collecting in the bottom of your bowl, you’re ready to transfer the contents to the jar that it will ferment in.

Note: It’s important to use a glass jar as opposed to a plastic or metallic container because the glass is non-reactive and won’t interfere with the fermentation process. Also, make sure you have a way of weighing down the contents while they’re fermenting. 4. Pack the contents into a jar tightly to remove as many air pockets as possible. If the juice does not cover the vegetables, make a brine (1 cup of brine = 1 teaspoon sea salt dissolved in 1 cup filtered water) and add enough to cover the vegetables.  Throughout the fermentation process, the vegetables will release more liquid too. 5. Add a glass (or you could use a glass jar) to weigh down the vegetables, which causes the level of the brine to cover the vegetables and keeps them all below the liquid. 6. Cover it and put it in away in a cupboard that is cool with an even temperature for a week. 7. Remove from the pantry after a week. It should have a nice crisp, tangy smell to it. The flavours will marry and mature over time - becoming less salty and more tangy with the sweetness of the beetroot shining through.

Kimchi

Sandor Ellix Katz, author of 'Wild Fermentation", has a self-described "fermentation fetish" .  This kimchi recipe is based on his. Kimchi is a spicy Korean pickle, made in an impressive variety of styles.  It is prepared by fermenting Chinese Cabbage, radishes or turnips, scallions, other vegetables and often seafood, with ginger, hot red chili pepper, garlic and often fish sauce.

Ingredients 500 grams chinese cabbage 1 whole daikon radish or several red radishes 1 to 2 carrots 1 to 2 onions and/or leeks, bunch of scallions, or shallots 3-4 cloves of garlic 3-4 hot red chilies 3-4 tablespoons of fresh, grated ginger

Method 1.  Mix a brine of about 1 litre of water to 4 tablespoons of salt. Stir well to thoroughly dissolve salt.  The brine should taste good and salty. 2.Coarsely chop the cabbage, slice the radish and carrots, and let the vegetables soak in the brine, covered by a plate or other weight to keep the vegetables submerged, until soft, a few hours or overnight. 3.  Prepare spices: Grate the ginger; chop the garlic and onion; remove seeds from the chilies and chop or crush, or throw them in whole.  Kimchi can absorb a lot of spice.  Experiment with quantities and don't worry too much about them.  Mix spices into a paste. (If you wish you can add fish sauce to the paste.  Just check that it has no chemical preservatives which function to inhibit microorganisms.) 4.  Drain brine off vegetables, reserving brine.  Taste vegetables for saltiness. You want them to taste decidedly salty but not unpleasantly so.  If they are too salty, rinse them.  If you cannot taste salt, sprinkle them with a couple of teaspoons and mix thoroughly. 5. Mix vegetables with the chili, onion, garlic paste.  Mix everything together and stuff it into clean litre sized jars.  Pack it tightly in to the jars, pressing down until brine rises.  If necessary, add a little of the reserved vegetable-soaking brine to submerge the vegetables.  Weight the vegetables down with a small jar filled with brine. 6.  Ferment in your kitchen or other warm place.  Taste the kimchi every day.  After about a week of fermentation, when it tastes ripe, move it to the refrigerator.

 

Vegetable Pakoras - from Paul Dempsey

Paul and Lisa Dempsey are the faces behind Big Blue Backyard, a local, secluded, award winning, ocean beach hideaway for couples. Designed to blend into the natural environment, this unique retreat sits perfectly between the dunes abutting the National Park at wild and often deserted St Andrews Beach. Paul is a wonderfully diverse chef who draws his inspiration from the ingredients presented to him each week.  The meals served to guests are unique, exquisite and seasonal with ingredients sourced locally. This recipe is a great example of that.  Use it as a starting point to create something from what you have in your box.

Paul makes his pakoras on the fly so there really isn’t a recipe just a list of ingredients and a methodology of sorts.

Here are the quantities he used yesterday but that made at least 180. Par cooked pakora’s freeze beautifully so you can always have them on hand for last minute dinner ideas or unexpected guests.

Ingredients 1kg chick pea flour All the vegetables you want to use— Root vegetables – grate Peas – just podded Cabbage – shredded Peppers – julienned 5 brown onions sliced The roots of the coriander bunch blended with 10 whole green chillies 12 eggs, beaten

Method 1. Mix all the vegetables, beaten eggs and blended herbs together. 2. Depending on how much liquid comes out of the vegetables, one may have to add more chick pea flour to the mix to make the batter more viscous. 3. Gently heat canola/sunflower oil in large sauce pan or wok – medium to deep – oil should get to around 165degrees Celsius.  Using a large serving spoon, spoon big dollop of mixture one by one into the oil – make sure the stay separate and then as they brown gently roll each pakora around in the oil to cook and brown on all sides. (if you want to freeze a few, just let them get to golden brown) With a slatted spoon remove each one from the oil letting excess oil drip back into the pot and then lay to rest on some kitchen paper. 4. Serve warm with a grated yogurt and cucumber mix. 5.  If freezing some, allow to cool and then pack in zip lock bags and put in freezer.

 

 

Coleslaw - Bahamian Style!

Growing up in America, I have eaten many coleslaws.  It has never really been my first choice for vegetable sides as it is usually so gloopy...for lack of a better word. Bahamian style coleslaw is fresh and light, and although it still has some sugar, the crunch of the raw vegetables is complemented by the sour spice of the hot sauce and lime juice.

This is my mum's recipe. She lives happily on Long Island, part of the Out Islands in the Bahamas.

Ingredients 1/2 head of cabbage 2 medium carrots

Bahamian Style Coleslaw Dressing 2 tbsps Mayonnaise 2 tbsps Basic Dressing (below) Juice from 1/2 a lime Few shakes of Hot Pepper Sauce (or more to taste) Sea Salt and Pepper

Method 1. Make Basic Dressing (below) and allow to cool. 2. Combine all ingredients for the coleslaw dressing and blend with a wire whisk or in a food processor. 3. Core cabbage and finely shred with sharp knife (don't chop). 4. Grate carrots, if they are large, or finely slice if they are small. 5. Mix to taste with dressing.

Basic Dressing Boil until sugar has dissolved: 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 cup white vinegar 1/2 cup water Cool, and add salt and pepper to taste.

Mum's Note: I always keep this in my fridge in a glass jar with a lid.  This is an excellent dressing alone for cucumbers and onions, or beets and onions.  A bit of it is wonderful with sauteed red cabbage, sauteed greens, or in potato salad.

Tatsoi and Cabbage Stir Fry

This is a versatile stir fry that you can make with any vegetables.  I add in broccoli, zucchini and red peppers when we have them.  The carrots replace the red peppers in the winter and spring adding the sweet counterpart to the whole flavour of the stir fry.  Tatsoi is a delicate green.  I chop the stems into pieces and add them with the cabbage. But the tops, I leave whole and add right before serving so that they are only slightly braised.  I have included chicken in the recipe. This can be omitted. Ingredients olive oil 750 g chicken thigh fillets, cut into strips 2 egg whites, lightly beaten ½ cup cornflour 3 cloves garlic, chopped or put through a press 2 onions, thinly sliced or 1 large leek or a bunch of green onions 4 medium sized carrots and/or 1 red sweet capsicum, cut into match sticks 2 heads of Tatsoi, remove tops and set aside, dice stems into 1 cm pieces 1/2 head of cabbage, cored and thinly sliced 2 tbsp soy sauce 2 tbsp sherry 1 tbsp oyster sauce 2 tbsp sesame seeds

 

Method 1. Heat the wok until very hot, add 1 tbsp of the oil and swirl to coat the side. Dip a quarter of the chicken strips into the egg white and then into the cornflour. Add to the wok and stir-fry for 3-5 minutes or until the chicken is golden brown and just cooked. Drain on paper towels and repeat with the remaining chicken, reheating the wok and adding a little more oil each time. 2. Reheat the wok, add 1 tbsp of the oil and stir-fry the onion, carrot and/or capsicum and garlic over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened slightly. If using green onions, wait and add with the cabbage.  Add cabbage and tatsoi stems, continuing to stir. Increase the heat to high and add the soy sauce, sherry and oyster sauce. Toss the vegetables well. If you like more sauce, just add soy, sherry and oyster sauce (double the amount of soy and sherry to the amount of oyster sauce). 3. Return the chicken to the wok and toss over high heat for 1-2 minutes to heat the chicken and make sure it is entirely cooked through. Add sesame seeds. Toss the Tatsoi leaves through the chicken mixture, and serve immediately over rice or udon noodles.

Braised Red Cabbage with Bacon

You can make this dish up to one day ahead; it gets better as it sits.For a vegetarian option, omit the bacon and substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth.

Ingredients 1 medium head red cabbage 6 thick slices smoked bacon, cut into lardons (about 1/4-by-1/4-by-3/4-inch pieces) 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 1/3 cup cider vinegar 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

Method 1. Slice cabbage in half lengthwise. Use a sharp knife to cut a V-shaped notch around the white core and discard it. Slice both pieces in half again so you have 4 quarters, then thinly slice each piece crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick strips. Set aside. 2. Place bacon in a large Dutch oven or other large, heavy-bottomed pot with a tightfitting lid over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and most of the fat has rendered. 3. Add onion and stir to coat in the bacon fat. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook until the onion softens and the edges begin to brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. 4. Add the reserved cabbage, stir to coat in bacon fat, and cook until the cabbage begins to wilt, about 4 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar and mustard. 5. Deglaze the pan with the cider vinegar, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a spatula. Add the chicken broth and season with a few pinches of salt and more freshly ground pepper. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium low and cover the pan tightly. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is soft and soupy and the bacon is tender, about 45 minutes. If the cabbage begins to look dry, add more broth or water.

Pickled Red Cabbage

I really like pickled red cabbage with cheese and a chunk of sourdough bread or as an afternoon snack! Ingredients 1 large red cabbage 4 tbsp kosher or flake salt 1.2 L malt vinegar (1.2 litres) 3-4 tbsp of the homemade pickling spices in cheesecloth (or loose) OR you can use Herbie's Pickling Spice (available locally at the Blairgowrie IGA)

Pickling Spice 10-15 dried bay leaves 2 inch piece dried ginger 1 tbsp black mustard seeds 1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds 1 tbsp black peppercorns 1 tbsp white peppercorns 1 tbsp mace blades 1 tbsp allspice berries 1 tbsp coriander seeds 2 tsp dill seeds 1 dried red chile, crushed 2 cinnamon sticks, crushed 6 cloves 1 tsp whole coriander seeds 1 tsp cardamon pods, crushed 1/2 star anise pod, crushed

Method 1. Pickling Mix - Combine all of the following, or make your own mix with what you have on hand, and store in an airtight container for up to six months. 2. Sterilize some jars and lids. Note: You need vinegar proof lids. 3. Quarter and finely shred your cabbage. Place in a bowl and sprinkle on the salt before mixing 4. Cover and leave for 6-8 hours (or overnight) - This is an important step as it draws the water out of the cabbage.  If omitted, your pickled cabbage could spoil. 5. Using a colander, rinse off the salt 6. Add the vinegar and the mix to a large saucepan and bring to the boil 7. Turn off the heat and let cool leaving in the spices for 3-4 hours before removing them 8. Pack your shredded cabbage into the jars before filling with the spiced vinegar. 9. Store in a cool, dark place for 2-3 weeks before using. Eat within 3 months.

Ministrone

I have been told that every region in Italy has its own ministrone.  Keep that in mind when you are making this, substituting and adding anything you feel works. I have written the straight recipe from Slow Cooking by Joanne Glynn.
Ingredients
220 gms dried borlotti beans
50 gms butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
15 gms parsley, finely chopped
2 sage leaves
100 gms pancetta, cubed
2 celery stalks, halved then sliced
2 carrots, sliced
3 potatoes, peeled
1 tsp tomato paste
3 roma tomatoes chopped or 400 gm tin chopped tomatoes
8 basil leaves
3 litres chicken or vegetable stock
2 zucchinis, sliced
220 gms shelled peas
120 gms green beans, cut into bite sized lengths
1/4 cabbage shredded
150 g small pasta
6 tablespoons pesto
grated parmesian cheese
Method
1. Put the borlotti beans in a large bowl, cover with cold water and leave to soak overnight.
2. Next morning, drain and rinse thoroughly under water.
3. Melt butter in a large saucepan and add the onion, garlic, parsley, sage and pancetta.  Cook over a low heat, stirring once or twice, for about 10 minutes, or until the onion is soft and golden.
4. Add the celery, carrot and potatoes and cook for 5 minutes.  Stir in the tomato paste, tomatoes, basil, and borlotti beans. Season with plenty of freshly ground pepper.
5.  Add stock and bring slowly to a boil.  Cover and leave to simmer for 2 hours stirring once or twice.
6.  If the potatoes have not broken up, roughly break them up with a fork against the side of the pan.  Taste for seasoning and add zucchini, peas, beans, cabbage and pasta.  Simmer until the pasta is al dente.
7.  Serve with a dollup of pesto and Parmesan.
Source - Slow Cooking by Joanne Glynn