Crispy parmesan and chilli kale chips

Crispy parmesan and chilli kale chips

Market ingredient: Kale
Difficulty: Ridiculously simple
Deliciousness: An awesome pre-dinner snack
Did The Beard like it? “It’s a crowd-pleaser, Brown”

Sometimes I get a little too excited with the amount of veggies I buy at Eveleigh. It’s all so fresh and delicious that I just want to buy everything! About a week ago, I’d bought a ridiculously large bunch of kale, thinking that I would get through it pretty quickly. I love a good bit of kale pan-friend with olive oil, garlic and chilli; Kale is quite a bitter, fibrous leaf, so really goes need some cooking to make it a bit more palatable. However, I found myself at the end of the week with 3/4 of a bunch left and nothing to cook with it. Not until I discovered Donna Hay’s recipe in this month’s edition of donna hay magazine for oven-baked kale chips. Hooray!

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Chicken and Leek Pie

Chicken and Leek Pie straight from the oven

Market ingredient: Leeks
Difficulty: Easy but you end up using heaps of bowls.
Deliciousness: A snuggie for your soul
Did The Beard like it? “I liked it; it just needed a bit more salt” (this seems to be a bit of a theme for The Beard).

It’s Winter. It’s cold. Beautiful bluebird days that lead to f*$king cold nights (apart from my love of skiing, I’m essentially a summer person). Our little terrace in the Inner West, with its floorboards, gaps in the skirting boards and lack of direct sunlight only serves to exacerbate the situation. It’s these kind of nights that force me to cook something that warms you to the core and nothing is more warming than a piping hot pie. Like a snuggie for your soul.

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Tarte Tartin with a twist

Tarte Tartin ready to serve

Market ingredient: Pink Lady apples
Difficulty: This version was a little fiddly
Deliciousness: Childhood in a dessert
Did The Beard(‘s friend) like it? “This was worth driving up from Canberra for.”

I was struggling a little for food inspiration this week. I was doing laps of Eveleigh for at least 40 minutes, struggling to work out what should be my key ingredient. That was until I discovered the new apple guy who’d arrived this week. Actually, it was really so much the apples that caught my eye, but the crazy contraption this guy had going that peeled, cored and cut the apple into one curly snail of fruit all at the same time that actually excited me. I’d never seen one of these things before and I couldn’t help but laugh as this this sliced so efficiently. As a result, I walked away with 10 apples; a mixture of tart Pink Lady & slightly sweeter Fuji’s.

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Silverbeet and chorizo soup

Silverbeet and chorizo soup

Market ingredient: Silverbeet
Difficulty: Easy as
Deliciousness: Warming
Did The Beard like it? “It made me feel good.”

Cabbage and silverbeet are not particularly sexy vegetables. Generally seen as “peasant food”, they are often overlooked for more attractive and exotic leafy greens. Often soggily overcooked and served up as a greying mess, most people would turn their nose up at the thought of eating cabbage, let alone serving it to others. Since becoming a markets regular, I’ll often buy great big bunches of great leafy bunches of silverbeet, kale or cavalo nero to fry, steam or incorporate into frittatas. I love the slight bitter taste that seems to be perfectly matched with a good olive oil, garlic and chilli.

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Macadamia and coconut tart

Macadamia and coconut tart

Market ingredient: Macadamia nuts from Hand ‘N’ Hoe
Difficulty: One you’ll whip out all the time
Deliciousness: You have to love macadamias
Did The Beard like it? He was expecting something sweeter

I have a very nostalgic feeling towards the macadamia. Growing up, my grandparents had a huge macadamia tree in their backyard that we would climb, run around and forage for the fruit. The excitement that would build as the tree would begin to drop the nuts. If we could climb to reach them, we would; otherwise we’d just wait for them to fall to us. I have fond memories of long afternoons, piles of macadamias in front of us, one by one peeling back the fuzzy green outer shell and using all the strength our little child biceps could muster to crack through the tough, hard brown inner shell. Hammers, nutcrackers, bricks; anything was used. It was one of the most satisfying moments when the shell would split open to reveal the beautiful, fresh macadamia nut. Every time I see macams, they make me smile.

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