Paneer Jalfrezi-With Raab! Yum.

Dinner last night was a take on Rick Stein’s paneer jalfrezi a recipe from his “getting better with every recipe I try“, ‘India’ cook book. This recipe is basically an indian curry stir fry of peppers and tomatoes but as there was a shortfall of peppers in our kitchen I added extra green capsicum and some broccoli raab. Funny, I hadn’t heard of ‘raab’ until I read Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial‘s post today and she mentioned broccoli raab in her post. It looked  suspiciously like what I was growing and had picked to use in this dish. I had planted and grown seed labelled as Broccoli ‘Sessantina grossa’, guess what? Yep, broccoli raab. I’m much more excited about it now, just thought it was a scrungy variety of broccoli until I researched it more closely.

As well as adding the ‘raab’ I also had some pre soaked yellow split peas that were prepared for another dish, I ran out of puff for that, so they went into the pan too. I cut back the chilli powder in the recipe by half and the curry flavour was beautiful, just right. Served with steamed rice, but I would love to have tried it with some fresh naan or flatbread.  That can wait until next time when I make it with more peppers and tomatoes when they are at the peak of their season. I love any dish with indian  paneer cheese (similar to a heavy cottage cheese) in it and the split peas added a nice textural change. Worked out well and tasted delicious.

Paneer jalfrezi

Lamb, oranges and leaf mold.

Citrus is in!

I pulled up the blinds in the lounge this morning (yesterday really) and noticed how many oranges were now singing out to me to be picked. Excuse the photo, it is taken through the 90-year-old glass!

Orange tree

With 2 of our 3 kids and their partners coming for tea I needed to think of a way to put some of these beauties to use. From another angle, you can see how this tree is loaded with fruit. I’m really chuffed as the first season here we only had 2 oranges that were like golf balls and as dry as a ….. Lots of chicken poo and water later and this is now a really valuable asset. Need to work out a plan, as its root zone is right where we are planning to build  a fence.

Orange Poppy Seed Cake and slow cooker roast lamb!

Dinner menu for the family was Slow cooker roast lamb, greek style roast potatoes served with carrots and broccoli freshly picked from the patch. I’d taken a leg of lamb I bought from ‘Wayne the great’ at Trafalgar Butcher Shop a couple of months ago out of the freezer to defrost, cut some slits and put garlic, rosemary into them and then rubbed some, chopped oregano and mint over it and poured some olive oil and white wine and lemon juice over, let it sit for about an hour turning a couple of times, then into the slow cooker.

LambGreek style roast potatoes are one of my favourite ways to serve spuds. Due to my limited kitchen, I peeled the spuds, cut them to required size and microwaved them for about 8 minutes, still a little firm in centre but a little soft on outside, shake to roughen them up. I made a coating of equal parts olive oil and lemon juice, chopped some oregano and put the potatoes on a tea towel to cool. These were going into an oven dish to bake about an hour before dinner was served.

Greek roast potatoesCarrots quartered lengthwise and cooked with the lamb, broccoli cut into florets zapped with some peas then topped with chopped spring onion and a little melted butter and S&P.  Didn’t get a shot of the finished dinner, but I served the lamb shredded off the bone, roasted spuds, carrots and broccoli and peas dressed with a reduction from the slow cooker juices. Yummy!

Dessert was an orange poppy-seed cake made with our oranges served with cream. I’d been saving this recipe for about 8 years. Not being big dessert or cake eaters (kids never got dessert or cakes) I wonder why I am now keen to bake. Maybe its getting older, or living in an old home that has brought this out.

Orange Poppy Seed cakeLeaf mold time!

We keep resisting the big clean up of leaves until they have all fallen but it gets to the point where it is just too overwhelming and we need to attempt to regain a sense of control. I must admit having the plan this season to blow them all into one spot has proven to be a great time and energy saver. Notice the fence line where leaves go up to and see the next picture, gives some sense of the volume.

Oak tree leaves16 mower catcher full loads later, chopped, added to the bin in layers with lime, blood and bone and compost in between layers, watered  and sit back now to wait for it to magically turn into beautiful leaf mold which can be spread where needed.

IMG_4447 IMG_4448So many people comment on what a pain it must be dealing with these leaves, but I reckon if you love the trees you have to relish everything that comes with them. While we can manage them I intend to do so.