Local Love

Image source: Contributed

With the Mary Valley celebrating GourMay for the whole month of May, local food lover Matt Golinski has come up with some Autumn recipes using his favourite producers from the region.

Haloumi Saganaki, Figs, Chilli Honey and Thyme

Saganaki is a traditional Greek dish named after the pan it is served in. The idea is that the small heavy based pan keeps the cheese hot at the table while everyone digs in. Prawn Saganaki uses the same pan but generally consists of prawns cooked in a tomato-based sauce sprinkled with fetta cheese. You can usually pick up a suitable pan at a cookware or camping shop.

I find some haloumi to be either too hard or too salty, but the Kenilworth Dairy one is just perfect for this. Saganaki is so simple and quick to throw together and autumn is the best time to enjoy the beautiful fresh figs that come out of the Mary Valley.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 200g Kenilworth Haloumi
  • 50ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 ripe figs, cut into quarters
  • 2 tbs Hum Honey Chilli Infused honey
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • Cracked black pepper
  • Lemon wedges
  • 1 small baguette, sliced

Method:

  1. Dry the block of haloumi on paper towel.
  2. In a small cast iron pan large enough to fit the whole block of haloumi, heat the olive oil and fry the it on all sides until golden and crispy.
  3. Arrange the figs on top and drizzle with the chilli honey.
  4. Sprinkle with thyme and pepper and serve to the table in the pan with the baguette slices and lemon wedges on the side.

BBQ K2 T-Bone Steaks, Sumac Roasted Pumpkin and Cherry Tomato Salad, Yoghurt and Tahini Sauce

Tim and Amber Scott produce their certified organic grass-fed K2 Beef on their farm in Kandanga. They are strong advocates for regenerative farming and are leading the way in their industry. You can drop into their Kandanga Farm Store to purchase their meat as well as other local organic produce.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 K2 T-Bone steaks
  • 1 kg Kent pumpkin, peeled and diced
  • 1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tsp sumac
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ cup fresh oregano leaves
  • 50ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 150gm Kenilworth Natural Yoghurt (or good Greek Yoghurt)
  • 50gm tahini
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Toss the pumpkin and cherry tomatoes with half of the olive oil, sumac and cumin and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Spread in a single layer on a baking tray lined with baking paper and roast for 30 minutes at 210C.
  3. Toss in a bowl with the oregano leaves, lemon juice and remaining olive oil.
  4. Whisk together the yoghurt and tahini and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Rub the steaks with oil and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Grill to your preferred doneness on a hot BBQ, then allow to rest for 5 – 10 minutes.
  7. Serve each steak on a generous amount of yoghurt and tahini sauce and divide the pumpkin salad between each.

Rosella and Native River Mint Meringue Roulade

Greg and CC from Petersen’s Farm in Woolooga are one of the main growers of rosellas in the country – each season they pick tonnes of fruit which either gets shipped off to the markets, or CC turns into over 30 products in their on-farm kitchen.

On the first weekend in May they hold the Big Rosella Festival, giving the public the chance to visit the farm and learn all about this beautiful fruit.

Native river mint is available as tube stock in most Landcare nurseries, but if you can’t find it regular mint is fine.

Serves 8 – 10

Ingredients:

  • 150gm rosella jam (see note)
  • 4 Forage Farm pastured free-range egg whites
  • 150gm castor sugar
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 300ml cream, whipped
  • ¼ cup native river mint (or regular mint)
  • icing sugar for dusting

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C.
  2. Line a 25 x 40cm baking tray with baking paper.
  3. Beat the egg whites using the whisk attachment of an electric mixer until they form soft peaks.
  4. Slowly add the sugar and beat for 5 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved.
  5. Gently fold in the vinegar and cornflour and spread the meringue in an even layer on the lined tray.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes at 160°C.
  7. Lay out a clean tea towel and cover with a piece of baking paper.
  8. Sprinkle evenly with icing sugar and turn the meringue out onto the baking paper.
  9. Peel away the lining paper and replace with a new piece of baking paper, then roll up tightly in the tea towel, starting from the short side. Allow to completely cool then unroll and remove top sheet of baking paper.
  10. Spread evenly with the whipped cream and generously spoon on the rosella jam.
  11. Sprinkle with half of the mint leaves and roll tightly into a log, using the bottom sheet of baking paper as an aid. (like using a sushi mat)
  12. Gently transfer to a serving platter and dust generously with icing sugar.
  13. Serve each slice sprinkled with the remaining mint.

Note:

Rosella jam is readily available pre-made, but if you’d like to make your own:

  1. Remove the outer calyx’s (the red bit) from the rosellas, reserving the inner green pods.
  2. Place the pods in a small saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain and discard the pods, keeping the liquid (it contains the pectin to help your jam set)
  3. Place the rosella calyx’s into a medium saucepan and add the pod liquid. (it doesn’t need to cover the fruit, it will cook down very quickly)
  4. Simmer over a low heat until the fruit breaks down in the liquid, then measure the amount of pulp you have, and add the same amount of sugar by volume.
  5. Simmer over a low heat until the jam becomes very thick, stirring occasionally. (When I think mine is ready, I like to put a little bit on a saucer and put it in the fridge to check that it sets firmly enough.)
  6. Pour the jam carefully into heatproof sterilised jars.
About the Author /

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Matt Golinski is a highly regarded chef with a passion for simple, produce-driven cuisine based on seasonal, fresh local ingredients. He is an active member of the Slow Food movement, a champion of artisan producers and a generous mentor to keen young chefs. He is the Food and Culinary Tourism Ambassador for the Gympie region; Ambassador and Advisory Executive Chef for Peppers Noosa; and a festival favourite.

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