Following are recipes for the dishes those that attended the MINDD Foundation conference ate. Thank you to the 200 who came and all who have requested this information.
Slow cooked Chinese style oxtail soup
2 tablespoons duck fat or ghee
1.5 kilos organic oxtail, dried well
6 eschallots peeled and cut in half
6 garlic cloves peeled and cut in half
2 leeks, cut in 3cm lengths,washed and drained very well
6 large slices ginger
6 carrots wedge cut
2 dried organic mandarin skins (dry your own in a sunny place or warm spot in the kitchen)
100mls tamari – wheat free, naturally fermented soy sauce Spiral is my preferred brand in Australia, Clearspring in the UK
200 mls Chinese rice wine or sake
Gelatinous home made beef or chicken stock, and water, to well cover
Heat the duck fat and brown each piece of meat well all over
Place meat into a deep, heavy baking dish or heavy casserole
Add the eschalots and garlic and soften and brown them
Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer
Season and pour this over the oxtails
Cover with a sheet of unbleached baking paper and then cover with a lid or foil
Place in oven preheated to 140˚C
Bake for 3-4 hours or until the meat collapses off the bones
Serve with lots of dark green vegetables, if you eat grains you can and half a cup of pearled barley or whole spelt along with the meat. This will make it more unctuous.
The overall deliciousness is determined by the quality of your stock
Labne – strained yoghurt and whey
Vegetarian, Gluten free
1 kilo yoghurt makes approximately 400gms and plenty of whey
1 kilo thick kefir product or Yoghurt from Goat, Sheep or Cow’s milk (no added milk solids)
Take a large conical sieve and a bowl that this will sit across in the fridge
Line the sieve with a double layer of muslin or a very clean cloth
Pour the yoghurt into the lined strainer and cover
Place in the fridge and leave to drain for 6-12 hours, the longer you leave it the thicker the end product
You can serve the labne as is, or you can add freshly chopped herbs and garlic to it then smother it in plenty of your favourite Extra Virgin Olive Oil or
You could drizzle the labne with some delicious raw honey or maple syrup or add cultured fruit or berries and crispy nuts to it for a great breakfast or dessert option.
Contain the whey in an airtight jar to drink or use a tablespoon in grain and bean soaking water or add to culturing veg, you can wash wounds with whey. The beneficial bacteria reside in plentiful numbers in the whey. it keeps well for a few weeks, in the fridge
Makes approximately 4 litres
3 or 4 whole frames from white fish
2 tablespoons ghee
2 leeks, cut in fine strips and washed well
2 carrots, rough cut
1 bunch thyme
1 bunch parsley
1 bay leaf
6 black peppercorns
1 cup dry white wine
¼ cup white wine vinegar
4 litres cold filtered water
Heat a large stainless steel pot
Add the ghee and all the vegetables
Cook gently 10 minutes to soften the vegetables
Add the wine and bring to a boil
Add the fish frames and cover with cold water
Add the vinegar
Bring to a boil and skim all scum that rises to the surface
Add the herbs to the pot
Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 1-2 hours
Top up the water as necessary
Strain and discard the solids
Allow the stock to cool and then cover and put it in the fridge
Portion into freezeable containers and label with the date made
Freeze for up to 3 months
Coriander Fish balls in, or out, of broth
600 gms wild bream fillets, check no bones and cut in chunks
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 bunch shallots chopped
2cm chunk ginger chopped
80 mls coconut cream
1/2 bunch coriander well washed and chopped
Combine the first 7 ingredients in the food processor in batches and whiz until firm (as shown)
Form the mix into balls 4-5 per person
For the broth
2 litres fish stock, see accompanying recipe
80 mls coconut cream
1/2 bunch garlic chives
1/2 cup sugar snaps tailed
lots of fresh leafy herbs, to taste
Pour the fish stock and coconut cream into a pot
Bring to a gentle simmer
Place the fish balls in the broth
Simmer gently for 5-8 minutes or until cooked through
Taste and re season as needed
Add the sugar snaps and cook for 2 minutes
Blanch the chives and tie 3 at a time in small knots to
garnish each bowl or simply chop them finely
Serve with freshly picked herbs
Click the photo below to see the recipe that transforms quince from yellow to glorious red. It is on The Food Coach website, a great recipe and information resource. Maple and rooibos baked quince
Please respect Copyright Holly Davis, these notes and recipe are for personal use only
Why might you make and eat lacto fermented foods?
The lactic acid produced by the lactobacilli preserves the vegetables or fruits and increases their digestibility. This also puts beneficial microorganisms in the digestive tract, which promotes the growth of healthy digestive flora throughout the intestine. This aids digestion and the absorption of other nutrients.
The fermentation process can increase the vitamin levels by as much as 100 times!
Useful enzymes are produced in this process.
Antibiotic and anticarcinogen substances may also be created.
Eating a little fermented food with every meal can aid digestion, particularly of fats.
Eating lacto fermented foods can also reduce the desire for refined sugars.
Oh and they taste fabulous and are a great meal enhancer!
Here is the basic recipe to lacto ferment vegetables
There are many variables when making these foods, always begin with the best quality freshest foods and avoid contaminants.
To make a batch of pickles you will need:
A good board and very sharp knife and / or a food processor with vegetable chopping attachments
Sterile glass jars with airtight lids.
Fresh vegetables clean and dry, chop according to your preference. Root vegetables and cabbages are ideal but softer veg can also pickle well.
Celtic Sea salt approximately 1% of total weight of the vegetables. (If you prefer not to use any salt make sure you add the whey or culture. The presence of the salt prevents putrefying bacteria growing while the beneficial bacteria increase their numbers) personally I prefer the flavour with salt.
Lemon zest is a favourite addition of mine, finely sliced
Spices of your choosing (optional) i.e.chilli, cumin, coriander, fennel seeds.
Home made whey, to introduce lacto bacillus more consistently and rapidly.
Plantarum bacteria culture (‘Culture’ is available from Donna Gates Body Ecology Stockists online at www.bodyecology.com )
Or my preferred method : With no addition of a culture, allowing for the capture of organisms present in your kitchen. Often this works well and occasionally you might lose a batch due to having caught some putrefying bacteria. (You will know if this has happened because your pickle will smell awful and possibly also have become slimy, there is no danger you will want to try them!)
Lacto fermented vegetables can be kept many months when stored correctly and in a cool dark place.
Red Cabbage lemon and ginger pickles
Copyright Holly Davis
1 large fresh organic red cabbage, sliced finely
1 knob organic ginger, grated
1 organic lemon, zest only
Sea salt (1% of total weight of cabbage)
Chop the vegetables
Add the salt and rub in a loving but vigorous manner; until the cabbage has released plenty of liquid
Mix very well with the other ingredients
Contain completely covered in liquid in sterile glass jars, push vegetables down firmly so they are tightly packed and covered in their own juices
Ensure there is a good 5cms between the top of the vegetables and liquid and the lid of the jar as they expand a little during fermentation.
Lid tightly and leave on the kitchen bench 4-7 days depending on the weather. 18-20˚C is ideal (fermentation takes longer when the weather is cold)
The mix will bubble and if you were to open it, it would smell rather unpleasant for the first few days, don’t open the jars now as the process is anaerobic and oxygen at this stage may cause them to spoil. With red cabbage you will notice it turn from purple to bright pink, this is due to the action of the acid produced by the lacto bacteria.
On about day 5 you can place the pickles in the fridge and store there as you use them. Be sure to use only spotless utensils so you dont contaminate the mix.
The flavours continue to develop over several months but these can be eaten any time after the fermentation process has completed, say around 5 days
Note re something course participants are often confused by: Lacto bacillus are not dairy food; though they grow happily in milk products. Lactose is the sugar in dairy food it is not present in lacto fermented vegetables unless you add a dairy product such as whey.
Photo © Cloudy Rhodes
A maturing free ranging cockerel offers deeper flavour and a coarser texture than a hen, it makes for a superb flavoursome meal. Cook in plenty of good stock for extra flavour and sound nutrition. The acidity of the wine also helps to soften the meat and sinews while the low temperature and a long time cooking ensure the meat is not too dry or tough. I like to cook this dish in a roomy enamelled casserole pot, it makes the perfect stove to table ‘one pot’ winter meal. A ceramic (lead free) slow cooker is another option.
3 tablespoons ghee or duck fat
1 truly free range cockerel, rinsed and well dried inside and out
12 eschalots, peeled
1 head purple, new seasons garlic, peeled
4 carrots, in bite size wedges
1 fennel cut in wedges
1 cob of corn kernels (optional)
1 large leek, cut in medium dice and then well washed
10 white peppercorns
½ bunch thyme
½ bunch flat leaf parsley
2 bay leaves
1 bottle of biodynamic shiraz
1.5 litres gelatinous chicken stock (check seasoning before adding salts)
Sea salt and or fish sauce, to taste, this dish cooks a long time and the liquids reduce so don’t over season at the start, adjust towards the end
Add lots of freshly chopped thyme and flat leaf parsley at the end of cooking
Heat the cooking pot and add the fat
Sauté the eshallots until they are starting to brown all over
Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes
Turn these into a bowl and set aside, put the pot back on the stove
Brown and seal the cockerel then sit it breast bone up
Add back the eschallots and garlic and the remaining ingredients
Bring to a gentle simmer
Turn the heat down, place a lid on the pot and simmer very gently for 2-2½ hrs
The meat will be falling from the bones
Remove and discard the cooked herbs and add the fresh
Serve with plenty of the cooking liquor, barely wilted greens and boiled kipfler potatoes,
naturally fermented (cultured) vegetables and a glass of delicious red wine
Give thanks for the bird that feeds you so well
I am moving slowly and it seems that Easter came and went too quickly and so these beautiful eggs hang before me still, to be enjoyed a few more days. I spent lots of easter cooking, not a great surprise to any who know me. I spent time cooking for us and for friends and did a wonderful catering job that challenged my ‘real’ foodiness. The menu included four dozen freshly shucked Pacific oysters, three Eastern rock lobsters; hand picked on Saturday and killed on Sunday, and three rock cod that were speared at Palm Beach in the morning and brought to me to kill. By days end I was done with death and chose to use the experience to take note of and value the life I am surrounded by. Once dispatched the lobsters were halved and cleaned the meat loosened from the tails and tarragon butter poured beneath them before they were placed to grill on the barbeque and served in the shell, there were plenty of happy noises and not a morsel to discard later and so, I think they were appreciated and did not die in vain. At home the fare was simpler cooked at low temperature for longer, which suits this season and the produce on hand.
This slow cooked Potti Morran pumpkin made a memorable and delicious meal. I stuffed it with lamb mince I cooked with quinoa and pomegranate molasses. Antonio, who features in my last post inspired the filling and he and Camilla grew the pumpkin. Look out for small dense fleshed pumpkins to fill with whatever delicious thing you can think of. I have made them with a filling similar to the Millet recipes from a previous post and mushrooms are seasonal and go wonderfully with pumpkin. It works best to rub the outside of the pumpkin with a little duck fat or ghee, cut the base so it will sit flat on a baking tray, cut off a lid and remove all the seeds. Spoon in a fairly wet, pre-cooked meat, vegetable or grain based filling, replace the lid and pour a little stock or water into the baking tray, cover loosely with foil and bake at 140C for an hour or two, depending on size. Remove the foil and continue to bake until a small sharp knife passes easily through the flesh at its thickest point. Rest a few minutes, transfer to a platter remove the lid and sprinkle with freshly shucked pomegranate and lots of freshly chopped flat leaf parsley. This is a truly Autumn offering that will help keep out the chill. Then there is the Coq au Vin recipe I promised you…
I turned Camilla’s gift of one of her much loved cockerels into my version of a Coq au Vin. The secret to delectability here is lots of good organic red wine and thyme and time and looong low slow cooking. A free ranged cockerel whose time has come, is quite a different beast to the young chooks we are used to buying. The meat is stringy and much drier and so the wine provides more than its delicious flavour, it helps to soften the sinews and ensures it does not dry out, adding lots of eshallots and sweet root vegetables also adds great texture and flavour and the addition of a litre or two of gelatinous stock ensures fabulous, easily digested nutrition. You may wonder, why eat a stringy older bird, when sweet juicy hens abound, its all about the amazing flavour and fabulous texture and making the most out of a life well lived scratching in the dirt. Since you may not have a cockerel to use, you can make this with a regular chook, reduce the cooking time to an hour and a half but none the less, keep it low and slow and serve some fresh raw fermented foods and a lightly simmered side dish to ensure there are plenty of live enzymes to aid digestion of the fats and proteins in the dish.
I’ll post a recipe for this dish…soon, in the meantime I am off to spend four days with 11 women at Seal Rocks. There will no doubt be tails to tell.
The photo’s above were taken by my much loved friend Cloudy Rhodes. Cloudy is a well recognised surfing talent and an up and coming young photographer. Clouds has a delicate yet quirky eye and many of her photos express a painterly sensibility I love. Watch her space at http://cloudyrhodes.tumblr.com We spent a lovely day shooting a range of dishes; the results will be available soon.
Oh and who is coming to class? I have a fabulous sourdough baking class coming up May 22nd in Bondi, see Bondi Programme tab to the right here. Please tell whoever you feel might like to know how to make and active leaven so that this ‘No Knead Fruit loaf’ is at their fingertips and so much more besides, naturally leavened cakes and pastry to eat with divine cultured cream and ….
In my book, growing real organic wholefood and friendship go hand in hand. It takes tenacity and hard work to grow real food but the rewards are many fold. I count my daughter and I incredibly fortunate to have such foodie friends, whom we adore, who are committed to growing free range organic food, at home in the country. ‘The country’ fits the Sussex like area they live, where hills roll and European trees proliferate, this is not really ‘the bush’. We spent a fabulous wet weekend prior to Easter, at Glenquarry, a magnificent rural haven; not far from Bowral, two and a half hours from home. Antonio Ramos and Camilla Mahony are the proprietors of ‘Olive Green Organics’ their life is about providing Australians with the best packaged organic produce,sourced in Italy and South America. They sell many great products including the best gluten free pasta I have ever tried and traditionally farmed high altitude Quinoa and Amaranth from the Irupana collective in Bolivia. They and their truly divine nippies Paloma and Maximo live on the land in harmony with the elements growing most of their fresh food. This family is committed to developing nourishing soil in and on which to raise nutrient rich produce, to feed themselves and many of their friends. Maximo and Paloma are learning about respect for life and death and real food through their inclusion in everything it takes to grow your own. These are happy free roaming children who are a delight to be with, they are well nourished with love and the best the land can offer. All the animals growing here are destined for the pot, in their right season but while they live, they are much loved and carefully tended.
In the past couple of years we have cooked and feasted on incomparable home grown pig, sheep, duck,cockerel and a wide assortment of vibrant mineral rich vegetables. On this Autumn visit, we came home with large Queensland blue and French heirloom Potti Marron pumpkins, onions, carrots, eggplants, fat bunches of just picked herbs, yacon (a South American tuber to eat raw or cooked) and a Cockerel; not much makes me happier than having fine produce to create with. Antonio and Camilla share the many tasks but it seems to me, he is lord of the four legged beasties, Henry the dog and the soil, while Camilla devotes her time to raising the two legged creatures including the most fabulous collection of heritage breed ducks and poultry, however, the lines of work are fluid. Camilla is breeding poultry with function as her goal, there are 40 or more chooks and we were fortunate to arrive the week 14 young cockerels met their maker and thus the cooking pot, that was a delicious sadness, pics of a most delicious Coq au Vin to come.
Camilla’s free ranged chooks provide eggs in the extraordinary array of colours, seen in the photo below. The grey blue birds are Arucana they lay the light blue egg, this breed, like Antonio, hails from Chile. I am sure Antonio’s heritage is a contributing factor in his magnanimous come one, come all, lets eat together nature. Camilla quietly embraces and engages the many and ensures peace and order have a home too, they are a special family and India and I always leave with full hearts and fuller stomachs. Together we all cook and chat and plant and reap and laugh and walk and bake and cook and eat… This trip we ate hot cross buns from ‘Flour, Water, Salt’ Bowral’s Sourdough bakery, definitely worth a detour to go here where the bread and cakes reflect someones careful attention and passion. We made a range of delicious meals that included one of the Potti Marron pumpkins stuffed with home grown minced pork, garlic, onions and whatever else it was Antonio added to what he called his ‘porkognese’, this dish inspired me to make something similar when I got home but I used lamb and pomegranate in mine, photos will follow. These pumpkins have a dense flesh, they are not very sweet but they are totally delicious and look gorgeous. India and I made a fig and chestnut tart and Camilla wowed us all with her cockerel casserole and roasted rack of home produced lamb. I left them with a monster loaf of freshly baked sourdough bread, which Antonio told me he was still eating a week on. Above are photos of the poultry, the magnificent French ‘Moran’ cockerel is top left, his feather footed missus lays the chocolate brown eggs below, on his right is a Dutch Barnevelder chicken, she lays the medium brown breakky. The ‘Silver Laced Wyandotte’ is an American breed, she lays the cream coloured eggs. The white eggs belong to the large showy five toed, top-knotted French heritage Houdan, she refused a photo; the French once considered Houdan to be the best birds for eating, today they are mostly bred for their looks. It seems then that egg colour has to do with breed, not feed as I had previously thought. These impressive looking eggs are all utterly delicious. I am keen for my own heritage breed chickens but for now I make do with tending my neighbours two free roaming Isa browns, reliable layers who provide us with a delightfully brown egg each, each day they are away. Collecting eggs from free ranging hens is somewhat like finding hidden treasure and is, I believe, a pleasure not to be missed by anyone. That eggs from truly free ranging hens are also a perfectly balanced package of easily digested nutrients makes them a gift of nature not to be taken for granted.
1 cup hulled millet
½ tablespoon duck fat, ghee or raw sesame oil
3 cups well seasoned stock, I used chicken
1 cup peeled, par cooked chestnuts
1 knob fresh young ginger, roughly chopped
12 fresh or raw dried walnut halves soaked overnight in lightly salted water, drained well
Bring the stock to a simmer
Heat a separate pan and add the fat or oil
Toss in the millet
Stir using a wooden spoon, keep it moving until the millet is evenly lightly toasted and nutty smelling
Pour the hot stock into the pan, being careful of the steam created
add the chestnuts and ginger
Stir to combine and cover with a tight fitting lid
Place on a diffuser and turn the heat to low
Cook for 30minutes
Turn off the heat but leave the lid on for a further 10 minutes
Stir gently to combine, the grains should be fluffy and very slightly sticky. For greater fluff factor toast a little more and add ¼ cup less stock
Serve with soaked walnuts, freshly steamed green beans and broccoli
We ate this with sticky slow roasted pumpkin, parsnips, onion and garlic and cultured red cabbage pickles; it was declared a big hit. A little grain and lots of vegetables, a fine meal makes.
Note: The fat and chicken stock are optional, I use them because they not only increase the nutrient value of this dish, they also contribute fantastic flavour, great texture and slow the absorption of sugars in the grains; so you stay satisfied for longer. The cultured vegetables assist your body to utilise the nutrients and provide plenty of vitamins, live enzymes and probiotic bugs; to aid digestion. These are some of the principles of nutrient dense dining.