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Welcome to Jacican

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I love to cook, I've always loved to cook.

As a young girl, my time was spent reading the cookbooks that mum kept in the bottom kitchen drawer. Always looking for a new recipe to try, a new food idea. Many weekends were spent making rainbow cakes with as many colours as possible – have you seen my Instagram, not much has changed, and looking for recipes that I could cook using what was available in the cupboard or from the vegetable garden.

At the aged of about 16, I remember stating that I wanted to leave the farm and travel the world. This would be followed by retiring by about 30 and moving back to South Gippsland to grow vegetables and cook. From 16 fast forward 20 years and I returned, starting Jacican Food Studio in Mirboo North, Gippsland where I grow vegetables and cook. This blog is where I share my food adventure.

Jaci

Back in the Eighties, I remember I once skipping computer class and attended a Home-eco one instead. It must have been "International Day" as we made a potato curry. I remember having to make the curry paste with a lot of ginger, garlic, and fresh tomatoes.

Now skip forward to today and this dish has evolved over the years, becoming more refined, and I would like to share it with you.

A recipe for Potato Curry from Jacican

Recipe Potato Curry

Ingredients

1 kg Potatoes

4 small red chilies

4 cm peeled piece of ginger

1 head of garlic

1 tsp salt

250-gram jar tomato paste

2 tsp turmeric

1 tsp cumin seed

2 TB clarified butter

1 Tb yellow mustard seeds

 The ingredients for Potato Curry

Method

Peel and cut the potatoes into bitesize pieces. Place in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Cook until soft, but not coming apart. I use Sebago potatoes, as these are the one Tom, the local potato farmer, grows. Once cooked drain and allow to cool.

Potato cut into bite size pieces  Cooked potato

In the food processor puree, the ginger, garlic, and chilies with the salt and tomato paste to make a fresh curry paste. You may have to adjust the amount of salt, as the tomato paste will contain salt. I make my own tomato paste and it does not contain any salt. Adjust accordingly to your taste.

Curry paste ingredients in the food processor  Pureed curry paste 

Fresh curry paste

Fresh curry paste

Heat the clarified butter in a saucepan, add the curry paste, cumin seeds, turmeric and mustard seeds. You will need to cook off for about 5 minutes. The aromas will really be lifting off the pan.

Add the spices to the curry paste Cook off the curry paste

Add the cooked potatoes and stir to heat through, without breaking up the potato too much.

Add in the potato  Mix the potatoes into the curry

Serve

You may want to serve alongside a lentil dahl, with some yogurt on the side or wash it down with a fresh lassi.

Potato Curry served at the Curry in an un-Hurry dinner

 

 

 

roast pork 011

I remember cooking my first roast pork at the age of 9, while Mum was away having my little brother. I took it upon myself to cook a pork shoulder with roast spuds and pumpkin. I guess I was trying to show how grown up I was.

I now braise my pork at a very low temperature for a long time, until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 55C. There is always a meat thermometer hanging out the side of the oven, where I can read the internal temperature of the meat. This can take upwards of 20 hours depending on the size of the cut and whether it has been boned or not. To serve and form the crackling, the pork is then blasted at 250C to serve. This lovely piece of pork has come from Amber Creek Farm, Fish Creek.

 

Ingredients

1.2 kg shoulder of pork

500 ml pork stock (you can use chicken stock if you can't get pork stock)

250 ml white wine

1 carrot – peeled and finely diced

2 stick of celery – peeled and finely diced

large sprig of thyme

1 star anise

1 strip of orange rind

4 peppercorns

 

Method

  1. Turn your oven on low – very low. I use the 70C warning setting on mine.

  2. Place the finely diced carrot and celery in a roasting tray that allows you to cover the pork with the thyme, star anise, orange rind and peppercorns.

  3. Stick a kitchen probe thermometer into the middle of the pork from either end of the piece of meat. 

  4. Place the pork on top of your vegetables and cover with stock and white wine.

  5. Place a piece baking paper, followed by aluminum foil on top of the pork to seal in the roasting pan.

  6. Place in the warmed oven until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 55C. This will take at least 8 hours at 70C

  7. Once the internal temperature of the pork has reached 55C, remove from the oven. Remove the pork from the braising liquid. roast pork 031

  8. Strain the braising liquid to remove the vegetables and seasonings. Place the braising liquid in a saucepan and reduce over medium heat until you have a serving jus.

  9. To serve, turn the temperature of the oven up to 250C. Place the pork in a clean roasting dish and place in the very hot oven for 45 minutes to heat through and form crackle on the top.

roast pork 021

I served on a bed of sauerkraut mixed with shredded purple cabbage and date stuffed apples.

 Jaci

Two-thirds of the photo's on this recipe blog post have been taken by Marc Morel.

Cancer sucks. Nothing new there. Almost everyone I know has been touched by cancer in some way.

My friend Penny is one of those who cancer paid a visit too. She was diagnosed with breast cancer - she fought and she won.

Penny at Pink Ribbon Day at Jacican

Jacican Zucchini Bread and Butter Pickles

What to do with the excess of zucchini we have here every summer? I know - let's make Bread & Butter Pickles.

We make these pickles in my summer preserves - relish cooking class, held in March each year.

What are Bread & Butter Pickles?

The story goes (thanks to Wikipedia) that the Fannings - who trademarked the name "Fannings Bread and Butter Pickles" in 1923 - survived the rough years by making this type of pickle with their undersized cucumbers and bartered the pickles with the grocer for staples such as bread and butter. If you want, I'll barter a jar of my Bread & Butter Pickles too in exchange for one of your jars of preserves. Could you please make it something I don't make myself?

Instead of using cucumbers, I make my Bread & Butter Pickles with zucchini. You could use cucumber in the recipe if you prefer.

Zucchini Bread & Butter Pickles Recipe

In the past, I have cut all the vegetables for this pickle by hand but time is short, so now I use the food processor to save time when I am making a large batch (about 12 kg). For this recipe, I've used a mandolin but be careful of your fingertips. Hand cutting the zucchini is also fine but you may not get a uniform thickness unless you have a lot of practice when it comes to slicing finely. I cut the onions by hand.

 

Ingredients

1 kg zucchini, sliced

500 grams brown onion, peeled and sliced  

60 grams salt

1-liter vinegar

250 grams sugar

20 grams yellow mustard seeds 

5 grams turmeric

 

Method

Place the zucchini and onion in a large, non-corrosive bowl (I use a large plastic bucket that will fit in the fridge). Sprinkle the zucchini and onion with salt and cover with tap water. Leave them in the fridge overnight to soak.

mix together zucchini and onion 

The next day, drain the vegetables well. Place zucchini and onion in a large saucepan then add the sugar, mustard seed, and turmeric. Pour in the vinegar until the mixture is just submerged but not swimming, don't worry if you don't use all the vinegar as your mileage may vary.

draining zucchini and onion   

Stand for 2 hours.

ingredients with vingar 

Bring to the boil and cook for 5 minutes. Do not cook for too long, as you want your zucchini to remain crisp and not break down and become soggy. I drain the cooked zucchini, as this makes it easier to bottle.

drain the zucchini 

To bottle, I use my hands covered with two pairs of gloves. I fill each jar with zucchini, then top the jars with the vinegar solution. Seal in hot sterilized jars.

Enjoy!

Jaci

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