Category Archives: Recipes

Quick Food Tips

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I have made a video!  It’s very short, and the first in a series of Quick Food Tips.  It’s not going to win any awards, but I hope that over time the various flaws will become areas that improve.  But the info will be useful if you’re not already aware of it!  Enjoy it and leave a comment!

Deptford Kimchi

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Deptford Kimchi

This recipe is my interpretation of Sandor Elix Katz’s Fruit Kimchi, in Wild Fermentation (p 50). I call it Deptford Kimchi because I bought the exotic fruit on Deptford High Street, where there are many shops that reflect the ethnic diversity of the area. The ingredients are a list of possibilities, with a few must-haves: the basis of the recipe is cabbage, and as long as there is some spice it will be kimchi, and including fruit will make it fruit kimchi.

As for quantities, the balance of fruit and veg is about 50:50.  This ferment needs to be consumed much faster than all-vegetable ferments – because of the fruit, the sugar begins to turn to alcohol, which is a stage on from what we want.  Therefore, I use 1/2 a cabbage and eat it within a week after fermenting.  If you have more to share it with, by all means double the quantities.

Here goes:

1/2 white cabbage

1/2 an onion and/or 1/2 a leek – for variety, take some from the top and some from the bottom

1/2 a pepper (optional)

A selection of fruit, for example, mango, papaya, grapefruit, orange, lemon, lime, ugli fruit, dragon fruit, physalis, grapes, pineapple, fresh or dried figs, fresh or dried dates, pomegranite, sharon fruit, you get the idea!

Note – I haven’t tried banana in this recipe but it hasn’t done well in water kefir.  And I’m wondering what melon would be like, so will try it and let you know.

A few cloves of garlic and/or a chunk of ginger, sliced or grated and/or 1 chilli, chopped

Other spices such as peppercorns, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, star anise, cinnamon sticks – all optional

Unsalted cashew or other nuts (optional)

2-3 tbsp sea salt

 

Shred or grate the cabbage in a food processor.

Slice the remaining vegetables.

Chop the fruit – this enables you to have a selection of fruit in a serving, but you might prefer to have wedges or slices of fruit – experiment!

Put the fruit and veg into a large mixing bowl, add the nuts, garlic cloves/ginger/chilli, any other spices you’re using and the salt.

Mix gently, taking care with the fruit.

Transfer to a 1-1.5 litre kilner jar or other fermenting vessel.

Press the kimchi down to eliminate pockets of air, top up with filtered water, ensuring the water is about 2.5 cm/1″ above the level of the fruit and veg.

There are several options for keeping the kimchi beneath the top of the water.

1.  Press it down every day.

2.  Fill a food-grade plastic bag with water, tie a knot in the top and place on top of the kimchi.

3.  As 2.  above, but replace the water with clean stones, or a combination of water and stones.

4.  If your vessel has a wide enough mouth, insert a plate and hold it down with clean stones.

Leave the kimchi at room temperature for 1 week, I usually place my ferments on a tray initially just in case there is leakage.

Consume within one week – which really isn’t difficult!!!

 

 

Corn Cakes and Oat Cakes

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I used to love the convenience of ricecakes, corncakes and other crisp bread products – until I discovered that the baking method, called extrusion (cooking quickly at extremely high temperatures), denatures them, that is, they are stripped of their nutrients (1, 2, 3)

However, my children say these corn cakes taste better than the packaged crispy varieties!

Here’s the recipe:

2 cups organic maize meal

1 cup yogurt

1 pastured egg

sea salt

Mix the maize meal and yogurt together and leave covered in a warm place overnight or longer.*

Beat the egg and mix it with the soaked corn and salt to taste.

Form into balls and press onto a greased baking tray.

Bake at 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 for 15-20 minutes, until just starting to go brown – if left longer they become too hard.  They should bend like a cake and break rather than snap like a biscuit.

To make oatcakes is even simpler.  Substitute rolled oats for maize meal and leave out the egg.  Soak for 7 hours or longer.

*I haven’t managed to find out how long corn should be soaked – some South American tribes used to soak corn for several weeks!  Sally Fallon recommends soaking it in lime water for 7 hours, after which she adds yogurt or another acid and soaks for a further 12-24 hours.  Traditionally corn is soaked in lime.  At first I thought this was lime juice, but it’s actually a pickling lime that isn’t readily available in the UK.  I have found it on ebay and amazon, but haven’t tried it yet as I’d like to research more about the source first.  The main benefit of soaking corn in lime water is that it releases vitamin B3.  But this only becomes an issue if corn is a staple in the diet (Sally Fallon, Nourishing Traditions, p 454)

References

(1) Sally Fallon, Nourishing Traditions                                                                                                                           (2)http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/dirty-secrets-of-the-food-processing-industry/           (3)http://www.answers.com/topic/rice-cake-1 (I tried to check the references for this article but none of the links work.  I’ll update this information if I get any further)

Deptfordwives Vingatge and Christmas Craft Fair

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It’s been a long time since I posted here!

However, here I am again, to spread the word about the Deptfordwives Vintage and Christmas Craft Fair.  I will have a fermenting stall at this fair on 14th and 15th December.  If you’re in the area, come along and make a ferment to take home!  There will be loads of other stalls including jewellery, “vintage classy items” (!), pottery, local art, leather work…

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Dairy-free, sugar-free ‘Chocolate’ Mousse

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It’s about time I added a dessert recipe to this blog, don’t you think!  I used to make a delicious mousse that included double cream, but one of my daughters finds the cream difficult to tolerate, so I have replaced it with avocado… The rest of us sometimes add a dollop of raw cream. Pictured above are the two versions of this that I serve – one with and one without egg white. This is a great way to get children eating raw eggs and avocado.

Ingredients (serves a family of 4)

1 avocado

2-3 (truly) free-range, organic eggs

1 banana (optional)

1-2 tsp raw honey, as local as you can get

half a vanilla pod

1-2 tsp carob powder (some brands have a more bitter taste, so the honey may need to be adjusted too)

A little sea salt  (this is purely for added minerals

Method

Separate the eggs – whites into a glass bowl, yolks into something tall.  Sometimes I use more yolks for added yellow goodness, for example 3 or 4 yolks and 2 whites, and save the remaining whites for making meringues or macaroons.  Scoop the avocado in with the yolks, add the carob powder, honey, optional banana, vanilla seeds (or replace with vanilla essence) and salt.

Using a hand blender (immersion blender for US readers!) whizz up the egg yolk and avo mixture till it’s really smooth.  I start it off on the lowest setting and then use the Turbo button. Taste and adjust the flavours if necessary.  Next whisk the egg whites till they stand in stiff peaks.  Finally fold the two mixtures together.  One of my daughters dislikes the airy texture of the mousse when it’s mixed with the egg whites, so I dish her mousse from the avocado mixture before combining the two.

Dairy-free and grain-free Moussaka

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This is a Greek-style Moussaka, with a creamy sauce that has a cheese-like taste (well, we haven’t eaten cheese in a while, so you might think differently!)  The sauce is made without the addition of flour of any type, being thickened with eggs and optional arrowroot.  This should serve 3 adults with side dishes of vegetables, or more if serving with rice or potatoes.

Ingredients

500g  minced lamb

3 cups homemade lamb stock or broth

1 onion (I used red this time, just because that’s what I had)

4-6 tomatoes, depending on size and preference

2-3 aubergines

3-4 cloves garlic

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp allspice

3 cups homemade chicken stock/broth

2 eggs

1-2 tsp arrowroot (optional)

A few splashes of tamari soya sauce

About a tsp miso

sea salt and pepper

Method

In a frying pan, cook the mince till browned, stirring occasionally.  Drain off the fat.  Place the meat in a casserole dish or slow cooker with chopped onion, stock/broth, garlic, salt and pepper, herbs and spices.  Cook in the oven for 6-8 hours at 120°C/250°F/Gas Mark 2, or equivalent slow cooker setting.

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About an hour before serving, prepare the aubergine and sauce.  Although traditionally olive oil is used to sauté the aubergine, I use coconut oil because it’s much healthier to cook with.  Slice the aubergine and sauté in batches.  Set aside and use the same pan to heat the chicken stock.  Meanwhile, beat the eggs and mix with the arrowroot if using.  Gradually add some of the warmed chicken stock until the egg mixture has thinned out and off the heat pour this into the pan whilst whisking – now this is the tricky part:  turn on the heat again, keep it low and keep whisking – really, don’t stop or the egg cooks separately and so the sauce won’t be as smooth.  It still tastes good, but doesn’t look that great!  Once the sauce has thickened – about 5 minutes – remove from heat and add the tamari and miso, pepper and maybe a little salt – keep tasting it till you like it, and think about cheese if that helps!

Now remove the mince from the oven, slice the tomatoes and layer everything, starting with the meat, then the tomatoes, the aubergines and finally the sauce.  Sometimes I do one layer of each, and sometimes I make two layers.  It depends on the dish, the size of the tomatoes and aubergines and how much time you want to spend layering!

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Finally, put it back in the oven for about 20-25 minutes at 180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.  The dish above is quite shallow, if your dish is deep, it may take a little longer to heat through and so it might be necessary to cover the moussaka towards the end.  The top should be nicely browned.

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Something Fishy

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When cooking fish I find it challenging to get it just right on the stove-top or under the grill, but when I use the oven it always goes like a dream…

In this recipe you can use a whole fish or fillets.

Ingredients

1 or 2 whole white fish or fillets – about 400-500g works for 2 adults and 2 children, based on a 140g portion for an adult

Home-made fish stock, or chicken stock if fish not available

1 leek

1 or 2 carrots or more if that’s what you fancy!

Thyme

1 lemon

garlic cloves

Black pepper

Sea salt

Method

Clean and gut the fish if necessary, rinse and pat dry.  If using whole fish, make diagonal cuts across the skin on one side and on the other create a criss-cross with the diagonals.  Place in dish with this side up.  Add all other ingredients and put in the oven at 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 for 25-45 minutes – adjust according to whether you are cooking a large whole fish or small fillets.