Tag Archives: Bacon

Broad Bean Salad, and Crab Dip in a Cobb Loaf

Broad Bean Salad

Broad Bean Salad

Last week, we had a busy time catching up with family and friends, entertaining grandsons and (shock, horror!!!) a couple of shifts of work for me.

My youngest son Daniel works at Cafe Aura in Traralgon so with one chef on holidays, and the boss off sick, they are very short staffed and got me in to do some prep work.

The first shift I worked was at really short notice-I had to take up a pair of black pants and get myself organised for a 9 am start after a 7.30 am wake up call from Daniel. I worked just over 5 hours and most of the shift was spent with my fingers either cramping up or threatening to. Not much fun.

Work

Work

The second shift I worked on Tuesday night was much, much better. I had lots of warning and did a nice mix of cooking on the grill and prep.

Saturday, Russ, grandson Rooke and I went to Melbourne for a family get together. Everyone took along either an appetiser, salad or dessert to share and meat for themselves to our Niece Yvonne and husband Stuart’s place. It was a fantastic afternoon catching up with everyone. Russ made us a crab dip using some of our picked frozen crab meat. It was really popular!

Family get together

Family get together

Sunday, we took our grandsons Kobie and Rooke to an open day at the Traralgon fire station. It was great-they got to use the hoses, sit in the fire truck, try on the breathing apparatus, we watched as they burned off a gas fire and saw the Skylift rise 42 metres in the sky. The boys got a free sausage, sticker, tattoos and cardboard cut out fire truck to

Fireman Kobie

Fireman Kobie

make.

This week’s been more of the same.

Wednesday I did kinder duty at Rooke’s kindergarten. I’ve done it once before and really enjoy it. I was in hospital as a new mum (of son Michael) with one of the kinder aides Di, so it’s been great to meet her again after maybe 24 years.

Zeus

Zeus

Thursday, we took Daniel’s beautiful big bull arab pup Zeus(he’s 10 months old) to the local car wash/dog wash for a bath. He was shampooed, rinsed, conditioned, flea rinsed and blow dried til he looked squeaky clean and smelled sweet.

Thursday night we went to a bbq with friends. I made a broad bean salad using our home cured bacon, and another crab dip.

Friday I worked 10 hours and today (Sat 22nd) I’m home now in the middle of my two shifts, so I’ll do another 10 or so hours.

Crab Dip in a Cobb Loaf

  • 1 cobb loaf (I really love Woolworths Onion and Parmesan one)
  • 1 cup crab meat (about)
  • 250 g block light Philly cheese
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 1/4 cup low fat whole egg mayo
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill leaves
  • 3 spring onions, finely sliced
  • a slug of Tabasco sauce
  • 1 400 g can of artichokes, drained, then squeezed really dry, chopped
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

    Crab Dip in a Cobb Loaf

    Crab Dip in a Cobb Loaf

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 150 c
  2. Cut a lid from the cobb loaf, then carefully scoop or cut out most of the soft bread from the loaf and the lid.  Slice the scooped out bread into dipping sized pieces and put them and the loaf and lid on a baking tray and place in the oven for about 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile mix the remaining ingredients together and heat gently in a saucepan over a medium heat.
  4. Increase the heat of the oven to 180 c, then pour the mix into the cobb loaf shell and put back in the oven for about 15 minutes or until bubbling and browning on top.
  5. Serve with the dipping pieces, and the lid torn to bits.

Broad Bean Salad

  • 500 g packet frozen broad beans, cooked per packet instructions, cooled in cold water
  • 125g bacon, diced, cooked crispy, reserve rendered fat
  • 200 g feta cheese
  • 1/2 punnet cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 3 spring onions, finely sliced
  • zest of a lemon
  • juice of half a lemon
  • oil, extra, as needed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste

    Broad Bean Salad

    Broad Bean Salad

Method

  1. Peel the cooled broad beans (gets rid of the tough khaki green outer skin to revel bright green inner flesh)
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, stirring gently to combine. I use the bacon fat, making it up to two tablespoons with extra oil.
  3. Chill to allow the flavours to meld.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Advertisements

Makin’ Bacon

Bacon

Bacon

My youngest son Daniel and I share a love of cooking, buying from farm gates, game meats, and making whatever we can, from what we buy, from scratch. I guess of all the people in our family, we are the ones who really like to know where our food comes from!

Our pig

Our pig

Right now with our house let out in Warrnambool, we are based here in Traralgon with Daniel for an unknown length of time.

Before we arrived with our freezer full of fish fillets, crab, squid and rabbits, Daniel filled his with organic grass fed beef from the Glengarry Free Range Egg lady he deals with at work, and a 5 month old pig  that he arranged to have butchered for us. Both lots of meat are proving to be amazing which is always good when you have a lot of it to eat.

Daniel has just started getting interested in the home curing of meats so the first thing he and I did when Russ and I arrived was to cure some of the pork belly to make bacon.  He (Daniel) organised the cure for it, I turned it daily for 5 days, then yesterday, I washed it and oven baked it at 120 c for about 2.5 hours until it had reached 64c internally.

Home made bacon

Home made bacon

This morning, Russell cut off a few slices (well small slabs maybe) and we cooked it for our brunch. It’s amazing to say the least.

Daniel’s Bacon

  • 1.2 kg pork belly
  • 30 g salt
  • 15 g sugar
  • 5 g pepper
  • about a teaspoon of liquid smoke
  • good sprinkling dried oregano and dried thyme
  • 1 g curing salt #2

Method

  1. Rub the pork belly with the combined remaining ingredients. Place in a non-reactive container or zip lock bag and refrigerate. Turn every day for 5 days. Can leave it for longer but it’ll get saltier by the day.
  2. On day 5, wash and pat dry, then bake in an oven preheated to 120 c for about two hours or until the internal temp reaches 64 c when tested with a thermometre.
  3. Cool then refrigerate. Use as you would any commercial bacon.

My attempt at Corned Silverside (under instruction)

  • 2 kg fresh silverside, trimmed of most of its fat
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 180 g salt
  • 4 g curing salt #2
  • Pickling spice mix (ingredients below)
  • 1 litre very hot water
  • 2 litres very cold water

Pickling Spice Mix

  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon allspice berries
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dill seeds
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 4 dried crushed chillies

Method

  1. Place the meat in a non reactive food grade container (garbage bags and bins are not food grade) or zip lock bag.
  2. Mix the salt, sugar, curing salt and pickling spices together with the hot water, stirring until the salt and sugar are dissolved.
  3. Add the cold water, stir then pour over the meat in the container.
  4. Submerge the meat in the brine in the brine with a weight (I used a plate)  placed on it to keep it under. It needs to stay under for about at least a week.
  5. I’ve read that it can stay longer so it might work well to cook one, then remove the next one a week or so later and cook it?

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Albany Farmers’ Market

Albany Farmers Market

Albany Farmers Market

Albany Farmers’ Market is held every Saturday in the middle of town. When we first visited it about 10 years ago, it was considered one of the best in Australia. It’s still good, but certainly not one of the best any more-the Kyilla Community Farmers Market market near Blair and Leah’s in Perth beats it hands down these days.

Yesterday, Russ and I, Janette and David drove the 120ks to Albany, mainly for the market but also to have a look around town too. Although the market is not quite as good as it used to be (where were the yabby people, the smokehouse goods, the baked treats?) we still brought home some great produce.

I got some lovely fresh lime cordial, chilli strawberry sauce and strawberry vinegar at one stall, leeks, peppery Farmers Market Saladrocket, local asparagus and cucumbers from another, jersey cow feta from yet another. I’m imagining a rocket, asparagus, feta cheese salad with strawberry vinaigrette beside a steak for my dinner tonight.

Salmon Holes

Salmon Holes

We drove out to Emu point and Middleton Beach to show J&D the parks we’ve stayed in on other visits, then went into the local Woolworths bought ourselves a cooked chook, fresh bread rolls and tomatoes and had a picnic by the water. After lunch we took a look around town, a drive around Princess Royal Harbour, then on to Frenchman Bay for a look at the new botanic gardens, the old whaling station and Salmon Holes.At Salmon Holes (named for the calm, sheltered pools the salmon like), we were almost blown off the lookout platform by the wind! I was thrilled to buy myself a new pair of UGG slippers in town. My last pair died a few years ago after about 23 years of hard wear. Here’s hoping this pair last as long!

Wildflowers Frenchman Bay

Wildflowers Frenchman Bay

We came home and while Russ cooked us a pork loin and roast vegies, I made creamed leeks with those lovely leeks we bought earlier in the day at the market. I also used some of the smoky, fatty bacon off cuts we bought at the Kyilla Community Farmers Market the week before. Without the bacon fat I’d use a couple of tablespoons of butter to cook the leeks. I didn’t get a photo of the leeks so you’ll just have to imagine!

Creamed Leeks

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 rashers bacon, diced
  • 2 leeks, washed sliced into thin rings
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 2 teaspoons mustard (seeded or Dijon)
  • 40g grated parmesan (or as much or little as you like)
  • Plenty of freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste (I used Maldon smoked salt)

Method

  1. Heat the butter and cook the bacon for a few minutes or until crispy and the fat is rendered from it.
  2. Add the sliced leeks and cook, stirring until the begin to soften. Put a lid on your pan and cook over a low heat until well softened and cooked.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until the cheese is melted, then serve. We had ours as a side dish, but I think this would be good over pasta too.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.