Posts Tagged With: program

Chicken and shiitake dumplings with chilli and black vinegar sauce

Jill says, “Black-rice vinegar and chilli oil are sold at Asian food stores (Lee Kum Kee’s Chiu Chow chilli oil is very good). Round wonton wrappers are often called gow gee wrappers.”

Fresh from the garden: spring onions, ginger, garlic, chilli, egg
Recipe source: adapted from a recipe by Jill Dupleix on 
Makes: 30 dumplings


  • Stockpot and lid
  • Bowls – large, small
  • Chopping boards and knives
  • Microplane grater, peeler
  • Measures – jug, tablespoon, teaspoon
  • Scales
  • Fork or whisk
  • Tea towels
  • Slotted spoon
  • Serving plates

  • 6 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 250g minced chicken
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 mild chilli
  • A thumb-sized knob of ginger
  • 1 egg
  • 150ml soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 30 round wonton wrappers
  • 1 tablespoon chilli oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons black-rice vinegar

What to do:

  • Soak the mushrooms in hot water for at least 30 minutes.
  • Set a large pot of water to boil & then turn it down to simmer.
  • Drain the mushrooms, discard stalks and finely dice.
  • To make the dumplings: Peel and microplane the ginger to yield 2 tablespoons. Wash and trim spring onions. Chop 2 finely and julienne the remaining spring onion.
  • Carefully slice the chilli in half, scrape out the seeds and membrane and julienne. Reserve the julienned chilli and spring onion for the garnish.
  • Combine chicken, mushrooms, chopped spring onion, ginger, one tablespoon soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and pepper in a bowl, then beat the egg and mix and mulch it in well into the chicken mixture with your hands until combined.
  • Clean down and dry your work space. Lay one wonton wrapper down per person, then place a teaspoon of filling in the centre of each wrapper (don’t overfill!) and brush edges with a clean finger dipped in a bowl of cold water.
  • Bring three sides of each wrapper up to meet the centre, then press together to seal the edges to form a tricorne. Press again at the ends of each point and in the centre. Continue until you finish the dumplings.
  • To make the dressing: peel and finely grate the garlic. Whisk the chilli oil, garlic, remaining soy sauce and black-rice vinegar in a medium bowl.
  • Cook dumplings a batch at a time for about two minutes in simmering water until they float to the surface.
  • Drain and divide among the serving plates. Spoon the dressing generously on top, scatter with the reserved chilli and spring onions and serve.
Categories: Kitchen Garden, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kitchen Garden news – 1st August 2013

We’re back in the swing of things in the cottage and my word, how the children have grown! I swear that they’ve all grown 20cm since last term! It is wonderful to see them again – and lovely to taste the amazing dishes they have been preparing in the last two weeks.

The garden held an interesting array of goodies for us upon our return from the holidays – a little bit of broccoli, a handful of snowpeas, a bunch of coriander, loads of parsley, some juicy radishes nudging their heads out of the soil, a few branches of kale, a forest of rhubarb, a hundred lemons, a thousand eggs, and two dozen beautifully straight carrots planted with care in term two… What to use to compile a tasty menu? This is what we cooked from the spoils: a Warm salad of Nolan’s Road chickpeas and kale with Greek yoghurt  (the unexpected hit of the week), Veggie patch frittata (with sautéed radishes and chopped snowpeas), Broccoli and lemon risotto (with our own bouillon made by 5P last week), Olive and rosemary focaccia (with the bottled Bondi olives that the classes marinated in May this year, and own dried rosemary) and Rhubarb and apple crumble tarts (the expected hit of the week…) So delicious. The recipes are up NOW btw!

We’ve had a few of our regular helpers head back off to work so we are left with quite a few spaces free…  In order to have successful sessions we would love some more volunteers across the 8 sessions a week: if you’re keen to help, please get in touch!

Categories: Kitchen Garden, News | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pumpkin gnocchi with burnt butter and sage

Don’t be put off thinking that these gnocchi are too hard to make! The trick here is to lightly knead the dough so that the gnocchi too are light… super-yum! And once you’ve had a go you will NEVER buy packaged gnocchi ever again! The crispy sage is a big hit too – get the kids to have a smell of the savoury and almost meaty sage leaves, and then compare after the leaves have sizzled in the butter…

And if you’re interested in the gluten-free version, see below!*

Pumpkin gnocchi, burnt butter and sage

Fresh from the garden: potatoes, pumpkin, sage
Recipe source: adapted from a recipe by Stephanie Alexander, Kitchen Garden Cooking W/ Kids
Serves: 6-8 or about 24 tastes


  • Ovenproof serving dishes
  • Chopping board & knife
  • Peelers, grater, scales
  • Medium saucepan
  • Wok & steamer basket
  • Bowls – med, small
  • Skewer, colander
  • Baking tray, Mouli food mill
  • Measures – tablespoon
  • Pastry scraper, slotted spoon
  • Frying pan with 5cm sides
  • Non-stick frying pan

  • 500g potatoes (use Nicola or Desiree)
  • Cooking salt
  • 600g pumpkin (use a dry-fleshed variety, such as butternut)
  • 320g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 80g Parmesan
  • 20 large sage leaves
  • 150g butter
  • Ground nutmeg
  • Flaked salt and freshly ground black pepper

Gnocchi ready for the pan

What to do:

  • Preheat the oven to 120C and place serving dishes in the oven to keep warm. Peel the potatoes, cut into chunks, then place in a saucepan with a teaspoon ofcooking salt and enough cold water to cover generously. Bring to the boil and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Peel and seed the pumpkin. Weigh to make sure you have 500g and cut into bite-sized chunks. Place a wok over a high heat and pour in enough hot water to come a third of the way up the sides. Rest a bamboo steamer on top and spread the pumpkin cubes out in it; cover and steam for 10 minutes. Set the pumpkin aside. Meanwhile weigh the parmesan and grate.
  • Check the potatoes are tender with a skewer then drain, return to the saucepan, shake over the heat to dry out and tip into a bowl. In a separate, small bowl, place the flour. Set this aside until needed.
  • Lightly flour the workbench and the baking tray, and have the measured flour close by. Squash the pumpkin and potato through the coarsest disc of the food mill to form a loose mound on the bench. Sprinkle with a good pinch of flaked salt. Sieve most of the flour over the vegetable mound and, quickly but lightly, combine. Knead briefly until the dough is smooth, using a little more flour if necessary.
  • Cut the dough into four pieces and, with your fingers, roll each into a sausage 2-3cm wide. Cut each “sausage” into pieces 2cm long and place on the floured baking tray.
  • Fill a high-sided frying pan with water, add a teaspoon of salt and bring to the boil. Drop in as many gnocchi as will fit easily in a layer. Adjust the heat to a simmer. When the gnocchi rise to the surface (about three minutes), lift out with a slotted spoon, drain well and slip into the warmed serving dishes. Return to the oven after adding each batch of gnocchi. Scatter over the Parmesan and a sprinkle of nutmeg.
  • Spread the sage leaves in the non-stick frying pan and add the butter. Fry until the leaves are crisp and the butter has become a medium-brown colour. Spoon the sage leaves and butter over the gnocchi in the serving dish and add some ground pepper. Place heatproof mats on the tables and serve the gnocchi in the ovenproof dishes.

*Gluten-free note: We took off about 100g of the milled potato and pumpkin mixture and combined it with about 30g gluten-free plain flour, the results were fabulous – check these babies out:

Gluten-free pumpkin gnocchi

Categories: Kitchen Garden, Recipe, School Holiday Program | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Apple and cinnamon compote with vanilla yoghurt

This recipe is a goody for Mothers’ Day coming up – imagine your mama waking up to the smell of this bubbling away on the stovetop, just in time for a lazy breakfast-in-bed?! You’ll have brownie points at least for the rest of the day! And if Dad’s making it just for them, tell him to splosh a tablespoon or so of Calvados or Cognac in too…

Fresh from the garden: apples, lemon
Recipe source: Compote adapted from a recipe by Martha Stewart
Serves: 6 or 24 tastes


  • Bowls – large, medium
  • Colander
  • Peelers
  • Chopping board & knives
  • Citrus juicer
  • Large saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Measures – scales, jug, ¼ cup, tablespoon
  • Spatula
  • Small sauce bowls
  • Serving bowls & plates

  • 1.5kg apples, such as Granny Smith or Pink Lady
  • 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • A cinnamon quill
  • 2 cloves
  • 200ml Greek yoghurt
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar

What to do:

  • Wash the apples, then peel them, cut into quarters and then carefully cut out the inner core. You may need to ask an adult to help. Discard the cores into the compost, then chop the remaining pieces into 2cm cubes. Put the cubes into the saucepan.
  • Cut the lemon in half and juice one half to yield 2 tablespoons, measuring them into the saucepan.
  • Combine the rest of the ingredients into the saucepan. Cover, and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender, about 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile prepare the yoghurt: halve the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape the seeds from inside each half. Mix these into the yoghurt with the tablespoon of white caster sugar, and divide into small sauce bowls. Chill until ready to serve.
  • When the compote is ready, divide it among your serving bowls. Place the bowls on a serving plate with the small yoghurt bowl and serve!

Notes: What are cloves – are they garlic? What is Greek yoghurt? What could you add to this dish to make it even yummier? What is a compote?

Categories: Kitchen Garden, Recipe, School Holiday Program | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spelt pasta

Our Kitchen Garden students love making pasta! This recipe uses spelt flour, an ancient grain that is slightly nutty. Spelt has a lower gluten content than wheat flour, and whilst not suitable for a coeliac diet, can be eaten by those with a low threshold gluten intolerance.

Spelt linguine with quick pesto

Fresh from the garden: eggs
Recipe source: adapted from a recipe by Sean Moran at Sean’s Panaroma
Makes: about 600g pasta, enough for 6, or 24 tastes


  • Scales
  • Stand mixer, bowl & paddle
  • Pasta machines
  • Measures – tablespoon
  • Plastic film
  • Large knife
  • Pastry brush

  • 570g spelt flour plus extra
  • 4 free-range eggs
  • 15ml water

 What to do:

  • Weigh the flour into the bowl of the mixer, then with the motor running, add the eggs one at a time. Process for a few minutes until the dough clings together and feels quite springy.
  • Tip the dough onto a clean, dry workbench. Knead the dough for a few minutes, then wrap it in plastic film and let it rest for about an hour at room temperature.


  • Get an adult to help fix the pasta machine to a suitable bench. Screw the clamp very tightly.
  • Set up your pasta hanging poles, ideally between 2 chairs.
  • Clear a large space on the workbench alongside the pasta machine. All surfaces must be clean and dry. Press the dough into a rectangle about 8 cm wide.
  • Set the rollers on the pasta machine to the widest setting and pass the dough through. The dough will probably look quite ragged at this stage. Fold it in 3, turn it 90 degrees and roll it through again. Go to the next-thickest setting and pass the dough through 3-4 times.
  • Continue in this manner (changing the settings and passing the dough through) until the dough has passed through the second thinnest setting. Don’t use the very thinnest setting, as the dough gets too fine and is hard to manage. If the dough gets too long to handle comfortably, cut it into 2-3 pieces using the large knife, and roll each piece separately.
  • Depending on which type of pasta you want, you can either lay the strips out on a lightly-floured table and cut them by hand, or you can fix the cutter attachment to the machine and carefully roll the pasta strips into strips for linguine or the thinner cutters for angel hair, gently catching them as they come through.
  • Drape the pasta over the hanging poles to dry while you make your sauce.
  • Clean the pasta machine parts by brushing them down with a dry pastry brush, pop the collected parts back into their boxes, and then clear and clean the table.

Notes: Never wash the pasta machine – it will rust! Just brush down with a strong pastry brush to remove the leftover dough.

Busy hands!

Categories: Kitchen Garden, Recipe, School Holiday Program | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

OKG School Holiday Program – Tuesday 23rd April 2013

Tuesday’s menu


Introduction – Knife Licences

Carrot muffins with garlic butter*
Rhubarb and pear compote with vanilla yoghurt*
Ava’s orange Anzacs* 

Chook care – Garden Walk – Herb id

Chickpea and green veggie soup*
Spelt rags* with quick pesto*
Warm beetroot & quinoa tabbouleh*

Seedlings & seeds
Take home: start a herb garden!

The most perfect cup of chickpea & green veggie soup!

Well! We came, we saw, we conquered! Conquered the peeling, the chopping, the boiling, blending, the baking, the eating – and the washing up! We had such a wonderful time – the children were so helpful and enthusiastic, and made super delicious food. And I think we all learnt something new… Thanks to all the wonderful kids who attended, you are all so inspiring!

Warm beetroot & quinoa tabbouleh

If you’d like to try the recipes at home, click on the asterisked menu listings above to be directed…  xx

OKG Knife Licence

Categories: Kitchen Garden, School Holiday Program | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kitchen Garden Holiday Program next week!

We still have a few spots left for our kitchen garden school holiday program extravaganza next week – Tuesday & Wednesday, 9.30 to 3pm, for kids aged 7 to 12, $85 with all food and activities included… message me here asap and I’ll send you on all the details!


Categories: Kitchen Garden, School Holiday Program | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shanghai-style eggplant

Chris says, ‘This is a very simple and a traditional Shanghai home-cooked dish. Every family in Shanghai has their own way to cook it and uses the exact same ingredients. The woman in Shanghai who is the best cook for this dish is very special. She is my mum. So I believe the best seasoning in the world is memories.’

Melissa says this recipe is for Grace & Estella!

Fresh from the garden: eggplant, chilli, garlic
Recipe source: adapted from a recipe by Chris Yan on
Serves: 6 or 24 tastes


  • Paper towel
  • Bowls – large, small
  • Scales
  • Chopping boards and knives
  • A wok
  • Slotted & wooden spoons
  • Measures – jug, tablespoons
  • Serving plates

  • 6 Japanese eggplant (also known as Lebanese) or 2 large eggplant
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large red chilli (or green if you don’t want too much heat!)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 200ml water
  • 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

What to do:

  • Wash and wipe dry the eggplant and cut off the stem & leaves. Weigh to make sure you have 500g. Then cut into 5cm thick pieces.
  • Wash and wipe dry the chilli and roughly cut into chunks.
  • Bruise the garlic cloves with your hand or the blade of a large knife and then peel.
  • Heat oil in wok until shimmering. Add chilli and garlic cloves and cook for 20 seconds. Remove the chilli with a slotted spoon and reserve.
  • Add the eggplant and gently stir-fry. When eggplants have soaked up all of the oil, add 1 tablespoon of the water. Keep adding water, a tablespoon at a time until eggplants are soft and you have used half of the water.
  • Stir in dark soy sauce and sugar. Stir well and add remaining water. Cover with a lid or foil and cook for 1 minute. Uncover, the liquid should have been absorbed.
  • Return chilli to wok, toss for 30 seconds and serve.
  • Eat immediately, but watch out the temperature very hot! Seriously!


  • Wash your hands thoroughly after coming in contact with chilli, as the capsaicin (the oil within the chilli) burns when it comes in contact with your eyes or sensitive skin.

 Notes: What does bruising a clove of garlic mean? Where is Shanghai? What food memories do you have?

Categories: Kitchen Garden, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Steamed eggplant siu mai with ginger and chilli dipping sauce

We love making any sort of dough here but if you’re not up to it or are short of time you can always substitute gyoza, gow gee or wonton wrappers…

Fresh from the garden: eggplant, coriander, ginger, garlic, chilli, lemon
Recipe source: adapted from
Makes: about 30 dumplings


  • Bowls – large, small
  • Fork or chopsticks
  • Scales
  • Kettle
  • Measures – jug, tablespoons, teaspoons
  • Tea towels
  • Salad spinner
  • Chopping boards and knives
  • Peeler & ruler
  • Garlic press
  • Rolling pins
  • Large baking trays
  • 2 large woks
  • 2 large steamer baskets
  • Baking paper
  • Serving plates & small sauce bowls
Ingredients:For the dough

  • 280g plain flour plus extra for dusting
  • 250ml very hot water


  • 2 eggplants
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • A small knob ginger
  • A bunch of coriander
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon black bean sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • Cornflour for dusting pan

Chilli Sauce

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 small knob ginger
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar or honey
  • 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • 1 red bird’s eye chilli

What to do:

For the dough

  • Fill the kettle and turn on to boil. Place the flour into a large bowl. Carefully measure the hot water and stir it gradually into the flour, mixing all the time with a fork or chopsticks, until the water is incorporated. Add more water if the mixture seems dry.
  • Tip the dough mixture onto a clean work surface and knead it with your hands, dusting the dough with a little flour if it’s sticky. Continue kneading until it is smooth – this should take about eight minutes.
  • Put the dough back in the bowl, cover it with a clean damp towel and let it rest for about 20 minutes.

For the stuffing

  • Meanwhile, wash then peel the eggplant. Finely chop until you have 4 full cups (about 500g).
  • Peel and squeeze the garlic through the press to yield 1 tablespoon. Peel and finely chop the ginger to yield 2 teaspoons.
  • Wash and spin-dry the coriander, then finely chop to yield about 4 tablespoons.
  • Heat oil over medium-high heat in the wok. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  • Add the eggplant and stir-fry over high heat for 4 to 5 minutes until very soft, adding a little water if needed. Add soy sauce, bean sauce, sesame oil, and coriander and cook, stirring, until thick for about 1 minute. Let cool while you prepare the wrappers.

Preparing the dumplings

  • After the resting period, take the dough out of the bowl and knead it again for about five minutes, dusting with a little flour if it is sticky.
  • Once the dough is smooth, shape it into 2 rolls about 23cm long and about 2cm diameter, using your hands.
  • With a sharp knife, slice each roll into 16 equal-sized pieces (each piece is about 15g). Using your hands, roll each of the dough pieces into a small ball and then, with a rolling pin, roll each ball into a small, round, flat and thin ‘pancake’ about 9cm in diameter.
  • Arrange the round skins on a lightly floured baking tray and cover them with a damp kitchen towel to prevent them from drying out until you are ready to use them.
  • Dust another baking sheet with a little cornflour. Arrange several ‘pancakes’ on your work surface. Place 2 teaspoons of filling in the centre of each, then pull up sides into pleats, and plop onto the baking sheet, flattening the bottom and leaving the top open so you can see the filling.
  • Transfer each finished dumpling to the floured tray and keep it covered until you have stuffed all the dumplings in this way.

To cook

  • Put the steamer basket into the wok and then using a jug, fill the wok with cold water to just touch the bottom of the basket. Remove the basket and turn the wok on to boil the water.
  • Line base of the steamer baskets with baking paper. Place dumplings in a single layer into the baskets. Carefully place the steamer baskets over woks, ensuring the dumplings don’t touch any water. Steam dumplings for about 8 minutes until tender and cooked through.

Chilli sauce

  • Meanwhile make the chilli sauce: Peel the clove of garlic and squeeze through the garlic press into the medium bowl. Peel the piece of ginger and rub over the microplane grater to yield one teaspoon. Add the ginger to the garlic.
  • Cut the lemon in half and juice one half to yield 1 tablespoon of juice. Add to the bowl.
  • Carefully slit the chilli in half lengthways and scrape out the seeds of one half, discarding the seeds. Finely slice that half and add to the bowl.
  • Mix all the remaining ingredients in and transfer to little dipping bowls.

To serve

  • Carefully remove the baskets, drying off the bottoms first with a dry tea towel if needed, and serve direct to the tables with the dipping sauce.


  • Wash your hands thoroughly after coming in contact with chilli, as the capsaicin (the oil within the chilli) burns when it comes in contact with your eyes or sensitive skin. 

Notes: What is a steamer basket? What other ingredients could you use as filling? How else can you spell siu mai?

Categories: Kitchen Garden, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

School holiday program!

Getting stuck in!

I’m so excited to be able to announce 2 new dates for the Our Kitchen Garden school holiday program!

I’ll be opening the cottage in the autumn holidays on Tuesday 23rd April and  Wednesday 24th April for 2 full-day sessions – for students aged 7 to 12 – for more details click out the School Holiday Program tab at the top of the page!

And if you need any convincing, take a look at the photos and recipes from our previous classes in this blog – these kids love rolling up their sleeves and getting their hands dirty!

Beans and beans

Categories: Kitchen Garden, School Holiday Program | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: