Kitchen news 9th Feb 2016

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新年快乐

With a bumper twelve classes a week in the Kitchen Garden Program we’re jumping into 2016 Year of the (Cheeky) Monkey! And celebrating in true style with our famous Chinese Banquet Menu. I can quote Mr White saying today he think it’s his favourite menu so far… And judging by the empty plates I think the children thought so too. They even ate all the stinkingly-hot chillies they so carefully prepared, with only one or two capsaicin-casualties! And helping us harvest it all – and even starting lessons this week, and getting used to all the little helpers every lunch-time – was our new gardener, Mish. Mish comes highly recommended through Byron and has a wealth of green-fingered experience. Come and say hello to her!

In the Cottage we practised our wok technique with Asian greens and our chooks’ summer eggs, with a hundred little bush tomatoes and lovingly sorted coriander in Stir-fried eggs with tatsoi, tomatoes and chilli soy. We loved the crazy flavour combo of chocolatey, vegemitey Shanghai-style eggplant, braised until black and almost gooey, served with a restaurant-quality mound of Perfect steamed rice to mop up the sticky sauce. The children perfected the art of the wonton-squeeze, with the translucent Chicken and shiitake dumplings with chilli and black vinegar sauce – delicious and so easy to make at home too!

The simplicity of KK’s Chilled cucumber salad, dressed with ginger, garlic, sesame and soy is child’s play, but the savoury elements come together as adult flavours: a really grown-up dish. We wok-fried green beans, carrots, bean sprouts, some thin rice noodles and more lovely coriander and then rolled it all up into beautiful Vegetable spring rolls, making our own Sweet chilli sauce to dip them in. And to complete the banquet, some lovely Jasmine tea to refresh the palate.

And talking of palates – one last thing! ‘The Secret World of Wine Tasting’ is the inaugural Kitchen Garden Wine Tasting Fundraiser, coming up on Saturday 5th March at 7pm in the Cottage. Hosted by yours truly and $30 a head. Includes the actual tasting – a relaxed look at the most popular varieties, what they are, where they come from, why you like some more than others – and nibbles! Sponsored by Tyrrell’s Wines thanks to Joanna Robinson (mum to Summer and Chase). Bookings limited! Let me know if you’re interested!

Gong Xi Fa Cai!
Melissa

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