Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sweet potato and cauliflower for @shewgirl

When I recently returned to Australia, it was to discover that many of my online friends were participating in a #blogeverydayofjune project. I have been reading their blogposts and sometimes commenting and all the while reflecting on how slack I have become in my own blogging. So one of my aims this weekend was to do a few blogposts and in particular to finish off a few outstanding and half-written posts. This post is not one of those though it was triggered by my online community within some Twitter comments last night.

It has been a very long week here in Australia with the excitement of a new Prime Minister and all the lead-up to that. I also had a very busy week ending with all day Friday at Lilydale in a workshop on emergency management standard operating procedures. It was cold and pouring rain. When I finally got home after 7pm I wasn't in any mood to cook anything that was going to take time; nor did I even want to go to the supermarket on the way home to pick up anything.

A search of cupboards and fridge revealed that I wasn't going to starve (God forbid that that would ever happen!) and I started making a quick old vegetable stand-by. I think the origin of it was in an old Penguin Indian cookbook and related to cooking green peas with onion and turmeric. Over the years I have usually cooked the dish with green peas and often added potatoes. I often cook it with turmeric but sometimes with the first spicy ingredient that comes to hand, be this Malaysian curry powder, Vindaloo or whatever. Last night the potato shelf was bare, but I had a sweet potato and a cauliflower. And a jar of curry powder was the first spicy jar my hand reached for. So that was what I prepared to cook quickly before catching the end of the news and the start of the Geelong St Kilda match.

As I sat down to await the cooking, I reached for my iPod and found myself in the middle of a Twitter exchange that was about people wanting something quick for Friday dinner. After I mentioned my sweet potato and cauliflower, quick as a blink @shewgirl pointed out her expectations of a blog post so that she could check it out! So here it is @shewgirl! I think it has taken me longer to write this than it did to reach for the ingredients, chop, and cook!

Curried sweet potato & cauliflower

1 white onion
Olive oil
1 orange sweet potato
Quarter cauliflower
Curry powder


Heat some olive oil in a saucepan which is large enough to contain all ingredients
When oil is hot, add sliced onion and stir until softened
Add to onions about a tablespoon of curry powder of your choice and stir
Slice the sweet potato and add to mix stirring again
Break the cauliflower into small flowerlets and add to mix and stir to combine
Add a cup of water to the saucepan
Place on the lid and cook until tender

Last night, I also unearthed some spicy sausages in the freezer and grilled them while the vegetables were cooking. I served them with Maggie Beer's plum sauce (ala Polyxena) and the vegetables. That was a yummy and very quick dinner. Unfortunately the AFL match was not so yummy :((

Monday, June 14, 2010

Trahanas in chicken stock

As some of you have been keen to tell me I have been very bad with my food blogging recently. I do apologize. Unfortunately my home PC was suffering and in death's throes and then I went off on long service leave. However, I am back now and ready to chase up all those half-written posts dating back to Christmas.

Today's post is a new one though. Trahanas is a Greek "pasta" apparently created by shepherds as an instant food as they could drop the yoghurt noodles into boiling water while tending their flocks. Today these noodles can be purchased ready made at shops carrying Greek produce and come in two forms, "sweet" which are made with milk and "sour" which are made with yoghurt. You can find a recipe here.

Trahanas is normally cooked with water and then served with crumbled fetta, parsley or avgolemeno. I well remember eating a bowl of it made by a student in Thessaloniki in the 1970s. Tonight I decided to do something a little different. I had some dried sour trahanas in the pantry. I heated some chicken stock, added the trahana and some dried thyme. Before serving I added some shaved parsley. It was delicious!


1 litre chicken stock
1.5 cups sour trahanas
Dry thyme
Shaved parmesan

Bring stock to boil
Add trahana
Add dry thyme
Stir regularly until thickened (about 15 minutes)
Serve topped with shaved parmesan


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