Eating notes 2017

Mon 31 July 2017 A slow-cooked kangaroo stew, cooked yesterday and allowed to sit overnight: onions, celery, carrot, garlic, tomato paste, double stout, passata, kangaroo, fresh bay leaves. Reheated tonight and some baby spinach and flat-leaf parsley stirred through. Served with a puree of steamed potato, cauliflower, and white beans; also brussels sprouts cut into thirds lengthways, tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper, and roasted at 200 until softened and golden.

Sun 30 July 2017 Three Indian dishes: a dal with sweet potato and zucchini; palak paneer based on this recipe, with a dash of coconut milk added at the end instead of cream; dry-cooked okra based on this recipe.

I also made a kangaroo stew for later in the week, and roasted and peeled some red and yellow capsicums for even later. Kitchen stocked.

Sat 22 July 2017 Back from a visit to the US (a week and a half in New York followed by a week in the midwest), I wanted to try making a version of broccoli and rice casserole with fresh ingredients. Turned out quite well: lots of steamed broccoli and sauteed mixed mushrooms, a mix of black, red and wild rice, home-made chicken stock, grated gruyere, a dash of creme fraiche; mixed together and tipped into a baking dish; topped with panko breadcrumbs; baked until bubbling and crisp on top.

Sun 14 May 2017 Cooked a massive quantity of chicken stock, two stock-pots worth – 12 carcasses and an equivalent weight of necks, plus onions, carrots, celery, peppercorns, fresh bay leaves. After several hours’ simmering, I strained it three times: first through a colander, to catch large pieces of detritus; then through a sieve, to catch smaller pieces; finally through a linen handkerchief spread over the sieve, to filter out fine sediment. I poured the filtered stock into large bowls and will leave it in the fridge overnight, then scrape off the fat tomorrow. Most of this stock will get packaged into small ziplock bags and frozen for use over the next couple of months.

While the stock was simmering, I made a big tray of roast vegetables – two aubergines, two capsicums, six zucchini, two red onions, a head of garlic – to eat later in the week with lentils and cheese. I also made a pan of slow-cooked, almost caramelised onions, which will go with various dishes in the coming days.

And, finally, I made dinner: this mushroom soup from Green Kitchen. I used some of the fresh chicken stock rather than vegetable stock, and added a tiny bit more umami by stirring in a heaped teaspoon of miso paste after blending the soup.

Dessert was a fig from the tree in the back yard. I think it was the best fig I ever remember eating – sweet and juicy.

Sat 13 May 2017 I picked the first ripe fig off our tree today, and shared it with Ted. There aren’t so many this year – possibly because of the overcast summer?

We had lunch with Ben in Collingwood, at Stomping Ground. An autumn tart of pumpkin, zucchini, walnuts and goat curd.

Tues 9 May 2017 I noticed that we had two litres of really good milk in the fridge, left by Matt and Leonie. In one of those not very rational moments, I decided to use it to make bechamel for moussaka. I used Poh’s recipe, which is supposed to feed 6-8. In fact I think it easily serves 10-12. Leftovers frozen for lunches, I guess. Served with roast carrots and steamed bitter greens.

Mon 8 May 2017 I flew back from eight days in Brazil and Colombia for work today. A worthwhile trip, but my god I am tired of eating and drinking.

I made a vegetable curry – carrots, cauliflower, sweet potato, aubergine; lots of cumin, turmeric and chilli – and eating it was such a relief.