Making Tofu from Scratch, a step by step description with photos

Making Tofu from Scratch, a step by step description with photos

It's been a little time coming, but finally, tofu from scratch! I promise you, its silky texture and fresh taste are good enough to endure the effort. Yes, it's quite a process, so settle in with a cup of tea, or just enjoy the photos and leave the hard work to me (and come to my tofu class!). Here we go...

1. Soak the soy beans in lots of water in one of your large pots for at least 12 hours, changing the water every few hours or so, if you can.

2. Drain…

Edward Behr's Ragù Bolognese (aka Bolognese Sauce)

Edward Behr’s Ragù Bolognese (aka Bolognese Sauce)

Edward Behr is a slow food legend. His The Art of Eating magazine is the written equivalent of this sauce. Meaty, layered with time and patience, producing a tender, provocative meal.

You might think describing Bolognese Sauce as 'provocative' is a bit of a stretch, but Edward Behr's ragù is defiant in the face of Bolognese versions I've grown up with. This sauce contains the scantest amount of tomato (it almost makes me wonder what it's doing there). And the meat is cooked so slowly that it feels like it might incubate back to life. But this patient…

Mirepoix (or, aromatics cooked in fat)

Mirepoix (or, aromatics cooked in fat)

Every food culture has its own combination of vegetables cooked in a fat or oil until their flavours meld. These combinations become the  foundation of a dish, on which it can build all its other flavours.

In Louisiana Creole it's 'the holy trinity' of onions, green capsicums (bell peppers) and celery. Italy has their soffritto of garlic, leeks, fresh herbs, celery and onions, sauteed in olive oil. Spain uses onions, garlic and tomato. Thai curries use pounded pastes of red shallot, chilli, onion and ginger. Sichuanese dishes use a of stir fry garlic, ginger, chilli and fermented soy beans.…

A Good Compost Heap

A Good Compost Heap

I've always been a slack composter.

Sure, I know the rules, but lack of time, materials and general laziness have encouraged me to cut composting corners. Enthusiasm for planting, impatience, SOMETHING definitely overcomes me when I'm in a gardening mood. I'm all in for immediate results. I'll do a sheet mulch style bed, but never add enough material to make up for the uncompelling substance masquerading as soil on this inner city block (most of our backyard being gravel back fill sitting over a clay plug).

But things are changing. My composting habits are reforming.…

Rosella (Wild Hibiscus) Jam

Rosella (Wild Hibiscus) Jam

Rosella Jam is the simple sweetheart of this subtropical gardener.

In early spring she buries rosella seeds in a sunny corner of the garden and forgets about them.

The jam stays in her heart all spring and summer, while the little rosella plants turn into big rosella bushes, bullying neighbours out of their way. But the gardener doesn't mind. She leaves things be, and waits and waits, and when the sun throws long shadows, she returns to the spot and, with secateurs and a big bowl, goes to work on the…

Gari (Pickled Ginger), Christine Manfield style

Gari (Pickled Ginger), Christine Manfield style

Ginger is so young and juicy at the moment, I'm making pickling a priority. Homemade pickled ginger refreshes, gets taste buds salivating and bites. Something very dreary must happen to the store bought stuff, which often tastes bland and only nibbles.

Gari (or pickled ginger) is traditionally eaten as a palate cleanser between sushi, sashimi or grilled meats, but I love using it as a last minute seasoning in many dishes, particularly those which incorporate ginger in other ways as well. Like a stir fry, where ginger's been added with other aromatics early on, or in a…

Banana, Walnut and Quinoa Cake

Banana, Walnut and Quinoa Cake

Yesterday, in a state of hanger (that's hunger + anger, or, what happens when I forget to eat lunch), I took a bag of sausages from the freezer and fast thawed them in a bowl of hot water. Not the best of kitchen practices, I know, but hanger makes you do stuff like that.

They turned out to be peeled bananas. Once we'd blown our budget on burgers and chips down the road, I returned to the bananas and saw their true boon: cake!

I actually need little excuse to make banana cake (or bread-…

Pimientos de Padrón and Midyim Eco Produce

Pimientos de Padrón and Midyim Eco Produce

I've been fantasizing about Pimientos de Padrón since Barcelona last year. I first tried this dish at a little Catalan bar, Bar del Pla, and I figured the cook must be some kind of genius. The flavour of these charred chillies was sweet and savoury, the texture soft and slippery with oil. I needed nothing else besides a clean cold beer. I'd made my way through a whole plate of the humble looking peppers before Mathew'd finished chasing Oliver across the cobblestones, so I ordered another before he noticed and tried harder to share.

I thought I'd…