Tag Archives: Free Range

Roast pork, slow cooker style

Slow cooked roast pork

Everyone has made roasts in slow cookers. It’s a fabulous way to make a delicious meal when you have a busy day ahead. And it’s so easy. After all, it’s just prepping the meat and veggies and dropping them into the slow cooker and letting the slow cooker do the work while you go off for the day. Easy peasy, right?

Today I wanted to share something simple with you. Brittany likes crispy potatoes. Who doesn’t? Problem is, the slow cooker doesn’t brown the vegetables. So here is what I did. I cut the soft crackling off the pork and allowed the pork to rest covered with aluminium foil. In a sauté pan, I rendered off the pork skin, making some crispy crackling.

What is a pork roast with out the crackling?

After I removed the crackling, I threw the potatoes in the pan and used the pork fat to brown the potatoes and bring in that delicious crunch. After I crisped up the potatoes, I used the left over juices to make a rich gravy.

It’s a difficult but delicious trade-off. Yum!

Ethically, I’ve used the whole cut, even the fat and juices. For the health conscious consumer like diabetics, pork fat is high in saturated fats and is not the best choices. There are may scientific links between saturated fats and cardiovascular disease. The choice to consume or limit your intake is ultimately yours. Generally I avoid it, but today, I indulged.



Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Sago, Coconut Cream and Banana


Oh sago… Where have you been all my life? Seriously a simple, delicious dessert that everyone will love. Sago is made from the starchy pulp of a specific type of palm tree. Yup, starch. That makes sago about 90% carbohydrates, so be careful, diabetics.

[ Serves: 4 | Time: 60 Minutes | Cost: $4 ]
[ Joes Rating: 4.5 / 5 | My Rating: 5 / 5 ]


100 g dry sago
400 ml coconut cream
½ teaspoon stevia or 2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons coconut, shredded and toasted
2 tablespoons almonds, chopped and toasted


  1. Put the stevia, sago and coconut cream in a pot and cook over a moderate heat for 5 minutes, stirring continually.
  2. Remove from the heat and place in the fridge until chilled.
  3. Serve with toasted nuts and coconut.

Yum, give me extra nuts and coconut!


  • I adore sago. No, I mean I REALLY adore it. I could eat it all day long. It’s so easy and so delicious. Ahh sago……. *drool*
  • Diabetic Note: Banana is always bad for me. When it comes into the equation, my blood glucose levels get crazy. Having said that though, my bloods handled this dish exceptionally well.
  • Ethical Note: I want to do some research about sago. I am not sure how sustainable the crop is. Many south-east Asian rainforests are torn down to make way for crops such as palm sugar. For now, the jury is out until I can find the time to research this further.



Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Chicken, Chickpea and Pumpkin Middle Eastern inspired Curry

I can’t lay claim to having created this dish, as the original came from the Women’s Day fame.

Chicken, Chickpea and Pumpkin Curry

[ Serves: 4 | Time: 60 Minutes | Cost: $8 ]
[ Brittanys Rating: 4.5 / 5 | My Rating: 4.5 / 5 ]


1 small chicken, broken down into pieces (about 1kg worth)
3 cups pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes
1 onion, diced
1 can tomatoes
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic
1½ teaspoons cumin
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon cinnamon
drizzle of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
toasted almond slivers for garnish



  1. In a large saute pan, fry the onions in a little oil until translucent. Add the spices and garlic and cook until fragrant – about 30 seconds or so.
  2. Add the tomatoes to the pan and mix well. Add the chicken and chick peas and ensure they are coated in the mixture. Cook over a moderate heat with the lid on until the chicken is tender; about 15 minutes.

    Submerge the chicken in the sauce.

  3. Add the pumpkin and stir to mix everything well. Cook with the lid on until the pumpkin and chicken are cooked through. This may take another 20 or so minutes.

    Adding the pumpkin

  4. Garnish with toasted almonds and serve hot, with or without rice.


  • I adored the bold flavours of this dish. I am so used to Asian style curries that every now and then I will try a middle eastern curry and be blown away. The pumpkin is a winner in this dish and I think it won over Brittany too!
  • Brittany and I both adored the crunch of the nuts in the garnish. So much so that we ended up including a lot more than is strictly required for a garnish.
  • The sauce thickened up too much for me on a few occasions and I added a splash of water to it to keep it at the right consistency.

    when the sauce has reduced too much, add some water.

  • I used a whole size 10 chicken in this recipe. I broke it down into pieces and removed the skin from the larger pieces. This reduces the fat content and makes it a healthier meal without losing on taste.
  • Diabetic Note: There are about 15 grams of carbohydrates in the pumpkin but the rice, as always is a killer. There are around 45 grams of carbohydrates per 150 grams (about half a cup) of cooked rice. Watch your serving sizes to stay out of trouble.
  • Ethical Note: I won this chicken in a raffle and instead of roasting it, I broke it down to use it in this meal. I reserved the bones to make my own chicken stock. Sustainability sometimes requires thinking outside the box.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Turkey English Muffins for Breakfast

I never usually buy commercial bread products. Mine are so much tastier and a darn sight better for me! Nevertheless, I have succumbed and bought a packet of English Breakfast Muffins. The reason behind this is to understand the texture and taste of them because I think my sourdough adventures will lead to a tastier home-made version sometime soon.

So my experiments begin. I must seek awesome ways of eating this delightful muffin. Is this awesome cleverly disguised as a breakfast dish? Id say so, but I may be biased.

Turkey English Muffins for Breakfast

[ Serves: 2 | Time: 15 Minutes | Cost: $5 ]
[ Joes Rating: 5 / 5 | My Rating: 4.5 / 5 ]


2 English muffins
100g turkey breast
2 organic free ranged eggs
1 tomato, sliced
2 cheese slices
handful baby spinach leaves
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons cranberry jelly
salt and pepper to taste


  1. Slice all the ingredients ready for construction while the muffin is hot.
  2. Split the muffins in half at the join line and toast lightly.
  3. While the muffin is toasting, lightly scramble one egg in a bowl and pop it in the microwave oven for 30 – 40 seconds until cooked. 

    Quick method for light fluffy eggs

  4. Once the muffin has been toasted, spread mayonnaise on one half and cranberry jelly on the other. On the mayonnaise side, add the baby spinach, tomato, salt and pepper, turkey, cheese, egg and more salt and pepper. 

    Construction of a master piece.

  5. Devour immediately.

So yummy


  • This was so tasty and filling. Much happiness comes from such a complete breakfast!
  • A note about seasoning. If you noticed, I seasoned the muffin twice; on the tomatoes and on the eggs. I believe both require adequate seasoning to enhance their flavours. Do a blind taste test on a piece of tomato and a bit of egg both seasoned and unseasoned and you will understand my rationale behind this.
  • I’ve heard and read a lot of things both for and against microwaved proteins. I hardly ever use my microwave, but this 30 – 40 second zap for one egg produces light, fluffy eggs that are otherwise time-consuming and require a lot of clean up. My only word of caution is to not over cook the eggs in the microwave, unless you want rubber fighting weapons for comic skits.
  • Want a vegetarian version? Just leave the turkey off and perhaps substitute a lentil patty!
  • Diabetic Note: One of these muffins is within my carbohydrate budget. The protein from the turkey, cheese and egg (particularly the egg) keeps me full for hours. While you may be pushing the fats friendship from the egg content and cheese, all in all this is a pretty balanced and awesome breakfast!
  • Ethical Note: I used tomatoes from my garden. YAY! And with any luck, next time I write to you about English Muffins, it will be about my own home made sourdough version. Fingers crossed!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Banana and Coconut Cream Custard

I stumbled across this wonderful recipe by Real Food Forager and was very eager to try something similar. I don’t know why I waited so long, to be honest. It should now be a part of our regular diet – it was just that good!

Silky, creamy and smooth – a perfect dessert.

[ Serves: 4 – 6 | Time: 30 Minutes | Cost: $4 ]
[ Joes Rating: 4.5 / 5 | My Rating: 5 / 5 ]


2 ripe bananas – puréed
1 can coconut cream – well incorporated ¹
4 free ranged eggs
2 tablespoons agave ²
2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon stevia


  1. Mash and purée the banana in a blender until it is smooth and creamy.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until well aerated.
  3. Pour the mixture into a tart tray and bake at 180°C for 30 minutes.
  4. Serve hot or cold ³.

Creamy and delicious.


  • Note 1: The original recipe called for coconut milk and gave instructions on how to convert coconut cream into coconut milk. I opted to just use a tin of coconut cream and the results were delicious. If your coconut cream is solid in the tin, warm it until it melts and becomes incorporated.
  • Note 2: The original recipe uses four tablespoons of honey, however, I was concerned about the glucose content. I’ve altered it to be half agave and a little stevia to make up the sweetness required. The dish didn’t suffer for the substitutes. If you don’t have agave, you can use sugar, honey or just stevia as desired.
  • Note 3: The original recommended refrigerating the custard and serving it cold. We had some hot to taste test it (for research, I assure you!) and found it was moist and not all that appealing. When we set it in the fridge, the moisture seems to disappear and the texture and taste strengthens. Although it can be eaten hot, it is our opinion that served chilled is the only way to enjoy it.
  • Diabetic Note: There is always something about bananas that sets my blood glucose levels screaming. This dish, however, even when served with some low GI ice cream (Bulla lite brand) was ok. Watch the fat content of your coconut cream (I use a lite variety), the sugars (see note 2) and serving size as there is plenty of sugar in the bananas.
  • Ethical Note: These bananas were well past their prime and were due for the compost heap. Even so, they were perfect in this dish.

Served chilled with low Gi Ice Cream – a diabetics dreams come true.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Stuffed Chicken Thigh

Every now and then, Joe cooks dinner. I always enjoy a night off and I adore the amount of effort he puts into his cooking. He spends days (yes, days) researching what he wants to make, watches a dozen or two youtube videos on the techniques used and makes a deal out of shopping for his ingredients. It’s like a dinner AND a show when Joe cooks.

I have asked him to blog this himself, but he is a little shy. So, I’ll do it for him. I bring you, Joes Stuffed Chicken Thighs. (I mean, he stuffed the chicken thighs. Not that he has stuffed chicken thighs…)

Joes Stuffed Chicken Thighs

[ SERVES: 4 | TIME: 60 MINUTES | COST: $15 ]
[ JOES RATING: 5 / 5 | MY RATING: 5 / 5 | BRITTANYS RATING: 5 / 5 ]


4 free ranged chicken thigh fillets
1 cup breadcrumbs 
1 cup macadamia nuts, chopped coarse
1 cup dried cranberries
½ brie wheel
2 eggs
Butchers String


  1. In a bowl, mix the nuts, cranberries and wedges of brie cheese.
  2. Lay the chicken fillet on a board with the smooth side down. Cut into the flesh with a sharp knife but do not cut all the way through. Push the cheese and nut mixture into the cut lines of the chicken thigh before rolling up and tying up tightly with butchers string.
  3. Beat the eggs in a bowl. In a large container, place your breadcrumbs. Egg wash the rolled fillets, ensuring it gets an even coat. Then place into the container with the breadcrumbs and shake the container gently to coat the fillet evenly. Repeat this process so the fillets are egg washed and crumbed twice.

    See how Joe has tied these thigh fillets with butchers string? This will stop them from falling apart during the cooking. Just be sure to warn your guests before they eat the string!

  4. Once they are crumbed, let them rest for 10 minutes before cooking. This allows the stuffing to bond firmly.

    Note the cracks in the crust? This is after one egg wash / crumbing. Allowing them to rest reveals the imperfections in the coating.

  5. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Arrange the fillets on the baking paper so they aren’t touching. Bake at 200°C for 40 – 50 minutes or until golden and cooked through.

Perfectly cooked stuffed thigh fillet with char grilled vegetables. What’s not to love here?


  • More Joe, more… WE WANT MORE. Seriously though, it was delicious. Joe served it with some char grilled and steamed vegetables which were just delicious.
  • I know I’ve sung the praises of free ranged chicken a lot, but this is one meal that really enhances the delicate tastes of free range chicken.
  • Joe warns that the stuffing mixture was very sticky because of the brie. Work gently and carefully to ensure it ends up all throughout the thigh.
  • Don’t like the idea of dry baking these babies? Fry them in a little butter for a tastier alternative. Just add a splash of olive oil to stop the butter from burning.
  • Diabetic Note: This is pretty good from a diabetic angle as far as carbohydrates go. Fats may be a different story, though. There are a fair amount of fats in the cheese and of course if it’s fried in butter… The healthier option is to dry bake it.
  • Ethical Note: Free Ranged Chicken – enough said.

Joe is getting better and better in the kitchen. I’d best watch myself before I lose my family cook title.


Tags: , , , , ,

Tomato and Capsicum Sauce

I’ve been craving a smooth tomato sauce with some bite for a while now. I have been tossing around some ideas until this one just sort of formed one afternoon for no particular reason. Its so easy that I’m embarrassed to post it, but nevertheless, here it is because it deserves to be shared!

Tomato and Capsicum Sauce

[ SERVES: 4  |  TIME: 60 MINUTES  |  COST: $2-3  ]
[  JOES RATING:  4  / 5  |  MY RATING:  5  / 5  |  BRITTANYS RATING:  4  / 5   ]


1 can tomatoes, crushed or diced
1 capsicum, quartered and de-seeded
1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon chili flakes, to taste
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
splash of olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste


  1.  In a saucepan, fry off the onion in a little olive oil until caramelised. Add the garlic and stir until cooked.
  2. Add the capsicum and tomatoes and allow to stew over a medium heat for several minutes. Add chilli, salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Continue to stew until the sauce has reduced and the capsicum has started to break down ¹.
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool before puréeing in a blender.
  5. May be served immediately hot or stored in the fridge for several days.


  • Note 1: If you stew it long enough over a low enough heat the capsicum will break down and release more flavour. It will also give the chilli time to incorporate well into the dish.
  • Note 2: For a silky sauce, push the sauce through a drum strainer. Although I blended it for several minutes, it was still quite textured.
  • I loved this very simple sauce. It was absolutely delicious without being over bearing. Id happily eat this forever as my new pasta sauce base. I can just imagine it drizzled over steamed vegetables…
  • Diabetic Note: I didn’t use much oil in this dish at all so its a perfect sauce for all diabetics. Almost no carbohydrates or fats in this dish means you can have a little more pasta, right?
  • Ethical Note: YAY! I have found the perfect sauce! This means I am no longer dependant on beef replacement products for certain pasta sauces. Healthier for me and the environment. I also have to admit that the capsicum I used was well past its peak so reduced landfill to boot!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bean Stew with Tarragon

While I was in Sydney at the Good Food and Wine Festival, I got to attend The Flavour Workshop that featured Oxford Landing Estate wines with Maggie Beer inspired foods. Of the tasting, two tastes really struck a chord with me. The first was a Prosciutto with Mustard Apricots which was just brilliant. I should mention that the apricots are not available yet, but once I get my hands on a jar later this month, you can expect a full review.

The second was a Chicken Breast with a Tarragon Butter. Generally, this is not the sort of flavours Id work with, but I was really inspired by this subtle combination that I decided to have a play with the flavours and textures. I am not sure what to call the results really. To Tarragon, With Love? Cannellini Beans with Tarragon Butter? Tarragon Flavoured Beans? Bean Stew with Tarragon? I don’t know. How about, Yes Please!?

[  JOES RATING:  3.5 /5 |  MY RATING:  4 /5 |  BRITTANYS RATING: 3.5 /5 ]


1 can Cannellini beans, rinsed
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup leeks, quartered and sliced
1 cup zucchini, quartered and chopped
1 cup peas, frozen is fine
½ litre veggie stock
½ cup carrots, diced
1 – 2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon tarragon, chopped
1 teaspoon thyme
drizzle olive oil
salt and pepper to taste


  1. Melt the butter in a frying pan with a little oil ¹. Sauté the leeks and garlic until they are transparent and fragrant.
  2. Add the carrots and celery and cook until tender.
  3. Add the stock, zucchini, beans, peas and herbs ² and cook covered until tender.
  4. Season and serve hot.


  • Note 1: When you are cooking with butter, add a splash of oil to stop the butter from burning.
  • Note 2: While I was in Sydney, one of the TV celebrity chefs mentioned that he only ever puts soft herbs in at the end of the dish to keep them fresh. More recently, I heard someone on Masterchef say they put woody herbs in early and soft herbs in late. I’ve started doing this since I came back from Sydney and I have noticed the difference. The herb flavour is a lot stronger using this method!
  • I really adored this dish. The tarragon gave such an amazing flavour to it. Joe also enjoyed it, but Brittany wasn’t such a fan. She would have preferred for it to be served with some form of carbohydrates (surprise, surprise!) such as rice, pasta or couscous.
  • Diabetic Note: There are no real carbohydrates in this dish, perhaps 1 exchange (15 grams carbohydrates) per serve. There are some fats, though, so be aware and adjust accordingly. The beans full of fibre, low GI and high in protein leaving you full for longer. All in all, this is a wonderful choice for diabetics.
  • Ethical Note: It’s the day before shop day and the fridge was kinda bear. I am always a happy camper when I can invent something tasty with limited ingredients. Instead of throwing away wilted fruit and veggies, attempt to be creative. If it fails, you’ve lost nothing as you were throwing them out anyway. If you succeed, you’ve learned something while reducing landfill.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Onion, Sage and Macadamia Nut Pork Stuffing

Oh happy day!

I never shop at large supermarket chains so I often don’t see new products. It just so happens, though, that the kitty litter we buy (which is sawdust which would be thrown away from a sawmill) is only available from Coles. So once every six months, we go buy a couple dozen bags and sometimes I get to check out some new products. Well, this time I discovered that Coles is now stocking free ranged pork. YES! Free Range Pork!

Of course, I just had to sample some so I bought a piece of rolled pork roast to sample. Its been so long since we have had a pork roast (possibly two or more years!) that I was beside myself with ideas. Eventually I decided to stuff the roast, roll it and roast it. The results were rather delicious, even if I do say so myself…

[ SERVES: 5 |  TIME: 90 MINUTES  |  COST: $20  ]
[  JOES RATING:  5  / 5  |  MY RATING:  5  / 5  |  BRITTANYS RATING:  5  / 5   ]



1 rolled free ranged pork roast
splash of olive oil
rock salt


1 cup breadcrumbs
1 onion, chopped finely
½ cup macadamia nuts, chopped
1 egg
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon sage, diced
splash of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste


  1. Caramelise the onion in a frying pan with a little olive oil.  Add the garlic, sage and macadamia nuts. Cook off until well incorporated and cooked through. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. In a bowl, combine the onion mixture with the breadcrumbs and egg. If it is too dry, add a little water 1 tablespoon at a time ¹.
  3. Lay your pork skin side down on a flat surface and use a sharp knife to cut into the flesh. Do not cut all the way through. If possible, cut Y shapes into the flesh. Use your fingers to force the mixture down into the slits, packing it as tight as possible.
  4. Once the stuffing mixture is packed on the meat, roll the roast as tightly as possible. Use butchers string to tie the roast into a roll.
  5. For a crispy crackling, score the skin but take care not to cut right through the fat layer. Rub oil into the skin before applying a good quantity of  salt, ensuring it gets right into the score lines.
  6. To cook the roast, preheat the oven to 220°C and bake for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 180ºC and cook for 45 minutes per kilo of meat. Baste ever 30 minutes.
  7. Remove the roast from the oven, cover with aluminium foil and allow to stand for 10 – 15 minutes. This resting allows the juices to settle, the muscle tissues to relax and finishes off the cooking process.
  8. Carve and serve hot.


  • Note 1: When I made the stuffing, I felt it was a little dry so I added some water to the mix. Unfortunately I didn’t take much note of how much water I used, but Id hazard a guess and say around ¼ cup. The amount of water you will need to make a moist (but not wet!) stuffing will vary according to how much oil you have used, how big your onion was and how dry your crumbs are. Just add a little water at time until you have the right consistency. Use the pictures above as a guide.
  • The meat was so juicy and tender, but that stuffing was amazing! Joe (who is quite partial to stuffing) went as far as to say that it was the best stuffing he had ever tasted. Why, thank you my love!
  • Today, I partnered the pork up with some traditional roast vegetables and some asparagus, broccoli, zucchini and purple carrots. I opted not to use apple sauce or gravy today because I didn’t want to lose the flavour of the stuffing (which was the feature to compliment the pork).
  • I haven’t tried purple carrots before, and just happened to notice them on my way out of the store. I decided to grab some to try them. They had a definite earthy flavour and were not as sweet as a dutch carrot. I quite enjoyed the flavour and it worked well with this dish.
  • Diabetic Note: Balance, dear diabetic friends. This dish has balance! The baked veggies were only baked in a little oil and if you avoid eating the pork skin, you avoid a lot of fat. The boiled vegetables give you nourishment with no carbohydrate content. The carbs in this meal are in the stuffing but I would hazard a guess and say it is possible 2 exchange points (30g) carbohydrates at most. This is diabetic meal planning at its best!
  • Ethical Note: We have avoided eating pork for so long because of the ethical issues involved with pork farming. I had forgotten how much I missed it. I can’t say it will grace our plate often, but once a month should be enough to keep everyone’s taste buds happy while having no adverse effects on the planet.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Ricotta Cheese Tart

I guess the trip home last week for the competition instilled a lot of cultural pride in me. Certainly, its made me yearn for Maltese food! Today’s dish is a classic example of a simple but common meal in my family when I was growing up. I hope you will enjoy it.

[ SERVES: 3 per tart  |  TIME: 4.5 MINUTES  |  COST: $3 per tart  ]
[  JOES RATING:  4.5 /5 |  MY RATING:  4.5 /5 |  Brittanys RATING: 4.5 /5 ]


4 sheets frozen puff pastry
1 wheel of ricotta – usually 1 – 2 kg
2 – 3 free ranged eggs
½ cup parsley
olive oil spray
salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large bowl, mash the ricotta and two eggs with a potato masher. When smooth and soft, discard the masher and use a spoon to mix through the parsley.
  2. If the mixture is too dry to mix easily, add one more egg ¹. Do not make the mixture too moist – it should hold a peak. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Spray a pie dish lightly with olive oil before carefully lining the bottom of the dish with the pastry.
  4. Spoon mixture into the pie dish until it is full. Use the back of the spoon to flatten the mixture out and remove any bubbles.
  5. Lay a sheet of pastry over the top of the tart. Using a fork, seal the tart edges by pressing the top and bottom pastry layers together. Use a fork to prick the top pastry a few times before giving it a milk wash.
  6.  Bake at 200°C for 30 – 45 minutes ², checking regularly.

    I press the top and bottom pastry layers together with a fork to seal the tart and then milk wash it before baking.


  • Note ¹ It is really important not to make the cheese mixture too moist. It should still hold its peaks and shape once mixed through. The consistency after two eggs can alter significantly due to the starting consistency of the cheese, so add the eggs slowly.
  • Note ² The cooking time varies significantly based on the moisture levels of the tart filling. If the cheese filling starts out too moist, it will require more cooking time and will not be as light and flakey at the end. If the cheese is not firm when you start to slice into it, put it back into the oven for a while longer. It must be firm as it is in the top photo.
  • Love Spinach? No problems! Add one packet of frozen shredded spinach to the ingredients list. To use, defrost the spinach in a sink before squeezing all the moisture out of the spinach. Press into a colander with the back of a spoon or literally squeeze with your hands until there is no moisture left before adding to the cheese mixture.
  • Sun dried tomatoes or roasted capsicum also make delicious additions, but ensure they are void of as much moisture as possible before adding them to the cheese.
  • As you can see, I didn’t fill this pie up as much as I could have. That is because I ran out of mixture. I tend to make several tarts at a time and freeze them until I am ready for them. They make a wonderful slap together lunch or part of a delicious meal. They are also super when guests unexpectedly stop over.
  • When you buy your ricotta, don’t make the common mistake of buying the little tubs of ricotta in the dairy case. They are often too moist, and are not the right taste or consistency for this dish. Go to a deli and ask for a wheel or basket of ricotta such as the photo below. When purchased in cheese baskets (pictured) the cheese has had a chance to drain. The results are a firmer and drier consistency to the cheese making it ideal for things such as this dish, making pasta such as ravioli and stuffing cannelloni.

This cheese basket is full of ricotta and is left to drain leaving it firmer and drier in texture. Source: Australia on a Plate

  • Diabetic Note: Again, another comfort dish that I must be careful with. The pastry is rich in butter and oil making it not a so great choice for the diet concious. The cheese is heavy in saturated fats which are not wise choices for people with heart issues. Diabetics need to be aware that your blood glucose levels will respond poorly to the pastry and ensure the serving sizes stay on the lower end of the scale. To make it more attractive to people watching their weight, have a quarter of a tart and pair it with a side salad.
  • Ethical Note: Before my father died, he was making his own ricotta cheese. He would purchase 10 litres of milk straight from the dairy and make it up into ricotta to feed the family with. These old traditions are being lost in an age of commercialisation and convenience. In an attempt to reconnect with some of these old practices (which are better for the environment) I am going to be doing a cheese making course later this year. I cant wait to make my own cheese and forgo the commercial alternatives.

It could just be just me, but do you see Winnie the Pooh in my cheese tart crust?


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

%d bloggers like this: