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Cooking Herbs – how to grow and use


Tamarillo relish with deep fried Brie


Tamarillo Relish with deep fried Brie

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Add “Deep-

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For the deep-fried Brie

For the tamarillo relish

Preparation method

  1. To make the deep-fried Brie, dip the Brie wedges first in beaten egg and then in breadcrumbs and again in the egg and again in the breadcrumbs. Fill a wok one-quarter-full of vegetable oil and heat to 180C/350F. The oil is ready when you drop a breadcrumb in and it sizzles. (CAUTION: hot oil is dangerous; do not leave unattended.) When the oil is ready, add the breaded Brie and deep fry until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
  2. To make the relish, put all the ingredients for the relish in a small saucepan and cook gently until thick and syrupy.
  3. To serve, place the deep-fried Brie on a plate and serve with a small bowl of the tamarillo relish.


Making mustard


Making Mustard

First, you need cold liquid. What gives mustard its bite is a chemical inside the seeds reacting with cool or cold liquid. You also need to break the seeds to get at the fiery chemical — it’s like cutting an onion. Heat damages this reaction, however, so to make a hot mustard use cold water, and warm water for a more mellow mustard. Mustard sauces lose punch when long-cooked, and should always have a little extra fresh mustard tossed in at the end of cooking.

This reaction is volatile, too. Left alone, your mustard will lose its bite in a few days, or in some cases even hours. But adding an acid, most often vinegar, stops and sets the reaction in place — this is precisely what happens with horseradish as well. Adding salt not only improves the flavor, but also helps preserve the mustard, too.You have three choices when it comes to which variety of mustard seed you use: White, brown and black. White mustard undergoes a different, milder reaction than do brown or black mustards, which are far zingier. American yellow mustard is made with white mustard seed and turmeric, brown mustards are in most of your better mustards, and black mustard is used in hot mustards or in Indian cuisine.Finally, let your mustard set in the fridge or in a cool place for at least a day before you serve it. Bitterness is a byproduct of the mustard reaction, but that bitterness fades after a day or so. Pure mustards can be kept at room temperature, but mustards with other ingredients, like the Roman nut mustard I mention above, should be kept in the fridge.Want herbs in there? Go for it. Like honey mustard? Pour some in. Want your mustard even spicier? Add chillies or freshly grated horseradish.The one caveat to making mustard at home is to wait. You cannot eat it the day you make it. Mustard needs to marinate to dissipate its bitterness. Try it: Eat a little dab right after you make it, then a day or two later. The difference is dramatic.

Makes about 1 cup.

Prep Time: 12 hours

6 tablespoons mustard seeds

1/2 cup mustard powder

3 tablespoons vinegar (cider, white wine or sherry)

1/2 cup white wine or water

2 teaspoons salt


2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons grated fresh horseradish 1/4 cup minced fresh herbs (really any kind)


Grind the whole mustard seeds for a few seconds in a spice or coffee grinder, or by hand with a mortar and pestle. You want them mostly whole because you are using mustard powder, too.

Pour the semi-ground seeds into a bowl and add the salt and mustard powder. If using, add one of the optional ingredients, too.

Pour in the vinegar and wine or water, then stir well. When everything is incorporated, pour into a glass jar and store in the fridge. Wait at least 12 hours before using. Mustard made this way will last several months in the fridge.

Hummus a la Jamie


Hummus a la Jamie

1 can chickpeas

1 teaspoon cumin seed, pounded

2 small dried red chilies, crumbled

1 garlic clove, peeled and pounded to a paste

1 lemon, juice of

salt & fresh ground pepper

extra virgin olive oil



This is so simple to make. Really it’s all about personal taste – the way I look at it is that chickpeas need a good kick up the backside to really get their flavors happening. So by mashing them up and adding a good pinch of cumin for a bit of spice, a little dried chilli for a touch of heat, garlic for a bit of umph, a good squeezing of lemon juice to give it a twang and seasoning to taste, you pretty much hit the nail on the head. Then add extra-virgin olive oil to loosen and flavor. Love it.



Tzatziki Sauce


2 cups plain Greek yogurt
1 cup diced seedless cucumber
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. In a medium bowl, combine Greek yogurt, cucumber, lemon juice, garlic, and dill. Stir until well combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper. If you have time, chill before serving.

*Note-Serve with vegetables, pita bread, crackers, falafel, meat/fish, souvlaki, or gyros. Will keep in the refrigerator 2-3 days. Stir before serving.

Sesame, Sunflower and Flax biscuits


Sesame, Sunflower and Flax biscuits

200 gm shelled sunflower seeds, roasted, unsalted

100 gm sesame seeds

60 gm whole flax seeds

2 tspn sea salt

2.5 tblsp Psyllium husks

2 cups water

(Can add fennel, caraway, cumin seed or chopped rosemary leaves as a suggestion)


Preheat oven to 160 degrees

In a bowl, mix all the above ingredients together, lastly adding water.  The Psyllium will cause it to become like dough.  Place seed dough on non-stick (or baking paper) oven pan and spread out as thinly as possible, without hole.  The thinner the better.  I find a cup of water and a broad plastic scraper very helpful for the spreading. Place into the oven for 50 minutes, until golden brown and crisp.

Take out, let it cool and if these delicious biscuits are not eaten immediately, keep in sealed container!

For a variation—add ½ cup reduced fat grated parmesan cheese in place of the sesame seeds in step 3—follow steps 4 through


Pea Pesto


Pea Pesto



2 cups frozen peas blanched 4 minutes

Clove garlic

1 – 2 Chillies

Salt and pepper to taste

Fresh basil and mint, a handful in all

Zest and juice of one lemon

2 Handfuls freshly grated Parmesan Cheese



Drain peas and cool in ice water to retain colour

Place all ingedients in food processor and blitz until you have the desired consistency, chunky is good, somewhat finer works as well if preferred.

Use as a spread or whatever.

Top with parmesan shavings, drizzle of olive oil and some cracked black pepper.

Rose Pelargonium Lemonade


ROSE SCENTED PELARGONIUM LEMONADE:  (Concentrated mix : mix 1-8)


5 Large lemons

1.5 litres of boiling water

2 kilo’s granulated sugar

60 grams citric acid

Double handful of Pelargonium rose leaves rinsed


Squeeze juice from the 5 lemons and the rind of one and pour into large bowl.

Pour sugar and citric acid into same bowl

In another bowl, pour boiling water on to the fresh pelargonium leaves and steep for 5 minutes.

Strain this water into the sugar/lemon juice and stir until dissolved and bottle.