Meanderings of a Domestic Goddess
This month’s recipes are about food as a social occasion. We recently had the pleasure of dropping in to a neighbour’s place for a ‘cup of tea’, and we left Leonie and Ray’s four hours later after a delightful repast of simple and very social food. The spread included spinach and fetta muffins, fresh bread, cheese, chutneys, vege frittata and a divine vegan choc cake. Well for me, this was the real definition of ‘slow food’. It had the essential ingredients of local produce, care and right intention on the part of the cooks, and a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere to dine in. So here is a small offering of what you could serve as ‘slow food’ on a lazy weekend, or at an evening supper.
The ‘swilli’ recipe from Lisa needs to be made and kept in your larder, and is well worth the effort. If the ‘swilli’ isn’t made, try some grilled tomato or caramelised onion as a topping.
If you eat cheese, grill some haloumi slices to serve with the pancakes or simply serve with creamed or cottage cheese. If you don’t want the dairy, try it with a mild hummus or baba ganoush, or even a roasted capsicum spread.
Savoury Basil & Poppy Pancakes
Ingredients (makes about 16):
2 cups of self raising flour
1 and a half cups of milk (use soy or rice if you like)
juice of half a lemon
1 tablespoon of poppy seeds
a few sprigs of fresh basil, chopped
a pinch of chilli powder
a little salt and pepper to taste
Beat all the above ingredients together with a fork or whisk. Grease a frying pan with a very small amount of olive oil and heat to a medium heat. Drop spoonfuls of your batter onto the pan. Turn with a flat spatula once little holes form on the top of the pancakes. These usually take a couple of minutes each side but it will vary depending on how hot your pan is. Serve warm with spreads as suggested in the introduction.
(courtesy of my friend Lisa)
7 or more Red medium/mild chillies (Thai style)
1 large capsicum,preferably roasted (peeled) if possible - but ok raw (optional 2 capsicums)
4 large cloves of garlic
5 tblsp Thai Fish Sauce
1 cup vinegar (white, white balsamic or rice)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup water (or less)
1. Roast capsicum under griller or above gas flame, till skin steams up. Cover with teatowel or foil for 5-10 min to make the capsicum “sweat” and skin easier to peel. Discard seeds. Chop.
Alternatively chop fresh red capsicum as is.
2. Chop chillies (set seeds aside) and grind in mortar with pestle with garlic.
3. Combine with fish sauce, vinegar, water & sugar. Add the seeds.
4.Bring to boil in saucepan, reduce heat and simmer until mixture thickens and lightly coats the spoon – about 20-30 min.
5. Bottle and seal (Easy tip – pour into clean jar/bottle, seal lid tightly and invert until cool to vacuum seal)
Optional Flavour Enhancement
Add grated ginger to taste before boiling (approx 3 tsp) and /or
4 Finely chopped kaffir lime leaves at the end.