A Food & Travel Blog

Asian Pork & Vegetable Pancakes

18/03/2016 | By

After an indulgent weekend of music and food, these pork & vegetable pancakes are a perfect tasty, simple meal.

Asian pork & vegetable pancakes

It’s been a full-on long weekend here in Adelaide and some of us are still recovering from the four day music festival, WOMADelaide

(more…)

Subscribe to Lambs' Ears and Honey

Enter your Email

More Mushroom Love – My Speedy, Simple Mushroom Pate

24/07/2015 | By

A deliciously tasty mushroom pate recipe, using only 4 ingredients, prepared in no time and can be frozen for later!

Mushroom Pate

I’m all for food that is fast, fabulous and flavoursome. I’m particularly keen on anything that can be made ahead, then saved for later, or dishes which can be frozen and pulled out to impress impromptu guests at the drop of a hat – reinforcing any concept they may have of my domestic goddess status. 

(more…)

Subscribe to Lambs' Ears and Honey

Enter your Email

Warming up Winter with Mushrooms

10/07/2015 | By

Discover some of the health benefits of mushrooms & warm up your winter with my simple, tasty soup recipe.

Mushrooms

On a cold, wintry day a couple of weeks ago I found myself wandering in the wilds of Woodcroft, one of Adelaide’s outer southern suburbs, searching for a large mushroom farm which, I was told, was unmissable.

(more…)

Subscribe to Lambs' Ears and Honey

Enter your Email

Mushroom Mania 2014, Vino Ristorante & Roasted Mushroom & Cauliflower Soup!

18/07/2014 | By

July is one of my favourite months. I enjoy the cooler weather, the dark rainy days give me the perfect excuse to hunker down in front of the fire with a book and it’s also Mushroom Mania month.

(more…)

Subscribe to Lambs' Ears and Honey

Enter your Email

Mushrooms go Pink in October & a Bacon and Mushroom Focaccia Recipe

02/10/2012 | By

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to a dinner which was being held to officially  launch the Australian Mushroom Growers Association annual conference and also to mark the national launch of the mushroom industry’s “Mushrooms go Pink” campaign.  The dinner was held in the “Graduates Restaurant”, the restaurant run by South Australian TAFE in order to give all of their hospitality students first-hand experience on the front lines.  The food, decor and service was perfect and a credit to the students and their teachers – and a credit to the mushroom industry too, whom I discovered are continuing a 27 year association with TAFE and it’s students.

However, that’s not all I discovered.  While being simply delicious, mushrooms are also becoming known as one of natures nutritional  powerhouses as ongoing research finds out more about them every year.  We know already that one serve of delicious mushrooms provides over 20% of the recommended daily intake for each of the B vitamins riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, and the minerals selenium and copper.  We also know that they are the only non-animal food to have natural vitamin D, are very low in kilojoules while being energy dense and research reveals that they are filling and dampen the appetite at subsequent meals.  But wait – there’s more!

Current, ongoing research is beginning to unveil even more about this super-food – especially it’s role in the prevention of cancer.  Since 2006 there have been successive research results published, both here and internationally, indicating that there is a very real link between the consumption of mushrooms and an significantly decreased risk of breast cancer.  Extracts from mushrooms have been found to suppress aromatase activity and oestrogen biosynthesis.  Oestrogen plays a major role in both the development and proliferation of breast cancer, so suppressing this activity has the potential to reduce the risk. There is now also further evidence to suggest that polysaccharides in mushrooms may actually activate immune cells to attack cancer cells.  While increased consumption may offer increased protection, one study found that women eating as little as 10g or more of mushrooms each day had a 66% reduced risk of breast cancer.  Needless to say, I’ve upped our mushroom consumption since that evening.

In Australia, 2680 women die from breast cancer each year.  That is over seven every day of the year.  In October mushroom growers are pleased to be able to show their public support for the fight against breast cancer, through the Mushrooms Go Pink in October promotion.  The promotion will see mushrooms throughout Australia packed in bright pink packaging in order to attract consumer attention to Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the Cancer Council’s Pink Ribbon Day on Monday 22 October.  Australia’s mushroom growers are particularly passionate about this promotion and through it aim to raise $50,000 to support Cancer Council work in relation to breast cancer.

So – next time you are doing the shopping, keep your eyes open for mushrooms in the distinctive pink packaging and help support further research into this very promising area.  In order to encourage you to go out and buy some “Pink” mushrooms, I’m sharing a very simple, but extraordinarily tasty treat that I put together to feed starving teens during the holidays.   Really, this can be as easy or as hard as you want to make it.  I sometimes make my own dough, but sometimes buy it too, if there is any in the store, or you could buy some bread mix and use that – whatever.  This bacony, cheesey, mushroomy carb hit is designed to appeal to teenaged boys especially and it will freeze for later reheating.


Bacon and Mushroom Focaccia
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • DOUGH
  • Pre-made yeast pizza dough
  • or
  • 500 gms strong bakers flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 sachet of instant yeast (8 gms)
  • 200 mls milk
  • 120 mls water
  • 50 mls good olive oil
  • FILLING
  • 300gms mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 rashers bacon, chopped
  • 1 cup grated tasty cheese
  • 4 spring onions, chopped
  • 2 tsp dried oregano (I use the imported Italian kind, or my own fresh from the garden)
  • 50 mls olive oil
  • pepper
Instructions
  1. DOUGH
  2. Whisk flour, salt, and yeast together in a large bowl.
  3. Heat milk and water to blood temperature and add, with oil, to flour.
  4. Mix all together until combined in a rough dough.
  5. Cover and stand for ½ hr.
  6. Give it a very quick knead, cover again for 1 hour or until doubled.
  7. Roll out into a large rectangle, roughly 50x40 cms.
  8. Cut in half and place half the dough on a greased shallow baking tray.
  9. Preheat oven to 220C.
  10. FILLING
  11. Heat oil in fry pan, add bacon and spring onions, saute until bacon crisp. Remove and drain on kitchen towel.
  12. Add mushrooms to same oil and saute until soft and cooked, sprinkle with oregano, add pepper to taste. Cool.
  13. Sprinkle base of focaccia on the baking dish with the grated cheese, then sprinkle remaining ingredients over evenly.
  14. Gently cover with other half of dough and pinch edges together.
  15. Dimple top of dough with your knuckle, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
  16. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from baking pan and cool on rack.

 

Subscribe to Lambs' Ears and Honey

Enter your Email

Cultured butter from South Australia’s Woodside Cheese Wrights

05/07/2012 | By

Whenever anyone asks me what were the high points of our recent trip to Europe I always answer with two simple words – the food.  We happily indulged ourselves whenever possible, knowing we would be walking it all off within days and I was pleased to note that I came home carrying no more extra baggage than my shopping.

I was having a conversation about our foodie finds with my friend Kris Lloyd, the hugely talented and multi-award winning Woodside Cheese Wrights, not long after we got back and was waxing lyrical about some butter made from clotted cream (cultured butter) which we had bought on our last day in London.  It was part of a significant haul that we took home from London’s Borough Markets (more about that later) for a final feeding frenzy and had made  quite an impression.  Kris commented that she had recently been “playing around” (her words) with cultured butter, including one which she had washed in whiskey.  With the taste of the delicious, golden London lipids still lingering, to say I was eager to try Kris’ efforts would be something of an understatement.

Cultured butter is something of a recent discovery for many Australians, but has been in use for 100’s of years in Europe.  The butter which we are used to is what Europeans refer to as sweet cream butter – delicious, but lacking in the depth of flavour of cultured butter.  Cultured butter is made in exactly the same way as ordinary butter, but a live culture is added to the cream which is allowed to ripen for some time before being churned, salted (or not) and rinsed.  Kris adds the culture to her cream 24 hours before she uses it to make butter, giving the cream time to “clot”.  Cultured butter has a richer, deeper flavour  which some find somewhat tangy and also comes with a little probiotic boost from the addition of the live culture.

Kris gave me three different batches to play around with – an almost unsalted butter, salted butter and the remarkable whiskey-washed version – and I’ve had a very happy day or two getting to know them.  They are all truly delicious and definitely add an extra facet to the dishes I used them in – a Mushroom and Almond Bruschetta with Chevre and Vanilla Poached Oranges with Pikelets.  I kept these recipes fairly simple in order to let the ingredients do the talking – there’s no point in using outstanding produce and then smothering it with other flavours and fancy techniques – good food doesn’t need to be tricky.  The mushrooms I used came from Marco the Mushroom Man in the Adelaide Central Market and the sublime oranges were in our CSA box from Jupiter Creek Farm – all fresh, local and fabulous.  I couldn’t help adding some wonderful Beerenberg Caramelised Onions to the mushroom dish – they finished it off perfectly.

Mushroom and Almond Bruschetta with Chevre
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This made a good lunch for 2, but would also make an entree for 4.
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 500 gms Portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • 30 gms toasted almonds, ground as fine as your food processor will allow
  • 100 gms Woodside Cheesewright chevre
  • 80 gms Cultured butter
  • 1 tbsp chopped thyme
  • 1 good pinch of salt
  • Beerenberg Caramelised Onions
  • 2 large slices sourdough bread
Instructions
  1. Melt the butter in moderately hot pan, add mushrooms and salt, cook gently.
  2. When mushrooms begin to soften add the ground nuts and the thyme, continue cooking until mushrooms are cooked to taste.
  3. Slice bread and toast. (At this point you may/may not choose to butter it with more of the cultured butter. I'll leave you to guess what I did.)
  4. Pile the cooked mushrooms on the toasts, sprinkle each with a teaspoon or two of the caramelised onions, then crumble the chevre over the top, serve.

 

The whiskey washed butter was used in an even simpler dish of pikelets with vanilla poached oranges, but the combination was absolutely stunning and much appreciated by the guests to whom I served it yesterday for afternoon tea.  My good friend Meg is very partial to a wee dram or two of whiskey and her eyes glazed over just a little while eating these.

I’m sure everyone can work out how to make basic pikelets.   As for the vanilla poached oranges –  the oranges were simply peeled, making sure all of the pith was removed, sliced about 10mm thick and gently poached for ten minutes in a syrup made of 1 1/2 cups of white sugar, 1/2 cup of water and one vanilla bean, split open and scraped – hardly a recipe at all!  I cooled them slightly in the syrup, buttered the hot pikelets with the whisky washed butter and layered the oranges and pikelets, topping with a dab of the precious butter.  Eat, then swoon.

Woodside Cheese Wrights Cultured Butter is available from the cellar door at Henry Street, Woodside and both the Adelaide Hills Farmers Market and the Adelaide Showgrounds Farmers Market.

Subscribe to Lambs' Ears and Honey

Enter your Email