What’s cooking good looking?

This time of year sees me in the kitchen slightly more than the garden.  My intention is always to produce food that is good for us, tastes amazing, and makes us feel good from the inside out.  Here are a few things I’ve created during this last month…

october-2016-pickled-eggs

I’m feeling these are my best fermented eggs ever. I added in some nice pickling spices this time including coriander & mustard seeds, ginger, chilies, cloves, bay leaves, allspice, juniper berries, peppercorns, and cassia (which has an amazingly cinnamon-like flavour). They’re both sweet & sour at the same time and super nutritious & delicious. The carrots and onions give some needed natural sugars but add so much more than that to the finished product. 😍 Wish I could let you all have a taste!  

 

While I’ve always felt triumphant when20161006_212058 making fermented eggs, the same cannot be said about veggie burgers.  That is, until yesterday when I tasted the sweetness of veggie burger success!!  No crumbling and falling apart, no mushy center, and just the right balance between the creamy inside and the crunchy outside.  In fairness to your palate (and my ego, in case it was a fluke) I’ll delay posting the recipe until I’ve made them a couple more times but here’s a picture… *We actually ate them with cheese pierogies and beetroot salad but this leftover agreed to pose with some mixed lettuce before being put away for school lunch.

On another kitchen note, I purchased a new food processor.  After many months of half-hearted research, I finally buckled down and chose one.  I’m thinking it’s fairly decent for the meager price I paid for it.  The Amazon reviews told me so and after using it for the past month I’m inclined to agree.  I haven’t done my own review yet as I want to use it more, especially the juicer attachment (which I didn’t realize was included, Bonus!!)

Quiche is a real labour of love.  A huge commitment of time to make, then it disappears so quickly!  Here I’ve made 3 quiche– Latticed courgette, deep dish pumpkin and goat’s feta, and baby carrot, broccoli, & corn.  Yes, I prebake the crust; lesson learned and a very messy one at that!

Just two more kitchen moments to share… First, Johnny and I working side by side in the kitchen, he filleting his morning’s fresh catch and me preparing veg & eggs to ferment and freeze.

And lastly, job done…2.5 kilos of wild mushrooms dehydrated to 173 grams. They filled 10 of the trays in first picture. Wish I had taken a pic of the whole lot and, even more so, wish I could say these were all island mushrooms, but not so–they’re British wild woodland mushrooms from a chef friend of mine. Amazing flavour and the broth from rehydrating is out of this world! Varieties include shitake, eryngii, oyster, enokitake, maitake, and suna-shimeji mushrooms. Perfect for risotto, soup, stirfry, and so pretty on the shelf until they’re used.

mushrooms-drying

Mushrooms ready for dehydrator

drying-mushrooms

Dried and jarred, ready to store

We’ve also been busy prepping the garden for it’s winter break, taking advantage of the calm weather before it becomes an uncomfortably cold and wet task.  I’ll save that for another post.

I sure hope everyone is enjoying autumn and, if you garden, are also reaping the fruits of your labour.

Cheers for now!  Melissa Xx

43 Comments

  1. Busy, busy, busy! I’ve never had fermented eggs. You make them sound so good. Congrats on having success with the veggie burger. I know how difficult they are to make from scratch. I look forward to your recipe. Those quiches look scrumptious––no wonder they disappear so quickly. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are so amazing creative in your kitchen, Melissa:-)
    All looks so delicous. I agree with your choice of a new kitchen machine, Kenwood use to make solid and great machines.
    How do you dehydrate the mushrooms? Do you have a machine for this? I think, it is so difficult to do good in the oven.
    Your quiches look very delicious.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Happy Sunday Conor,
      The dehydrator is great because it allows for a much lower temp than the oven does. I got mine at a yard sale in America for a fiver and then downloaded a manual off the internet somewhere. I’ve no knowledge about them really, but there’s probably quite a variety available. I always find Amazon reviews helpful.
      Cheers, Melissa

      Liked by 1 person

  3. nanacathy2 says:

    These all look delicious except for fermented eggs. Not certain I would like them. Currently cooking home grown tomato soup and yesterday I made a tomato and bacon quiche. Have to prebake the flan to avoid a soggy bottom! Enjoy the fruits of your labour.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just a basic brine and I always like to add in onions and carrots as sugar is required for lactic acid ferments and eggs have no sugar in them. I’ve added in a splash of apple cider vinegar (which is an acetic ferment) for flavour, just a small bit so as to not inhibit the lactic acid action. If you have any other lactic acid ferment around, some sauerkraut or pickle juice, or whey from yoghurt, this makes an excellent ‘starter’ to add to the brine–as it is already ‘alive’, it gives the brine a great jumpstart. Hope this helps 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Laurie Graves says:

    Lots of good food. When I want to make a quick quiche, I make a cracker-crumb crust—Ritz, Club, whatever. Maybe not quite as good as pie dough, but pretty darned good nonetheless.

    Liked by 1 person

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