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Guardian Of The Barossa Valley

NEW Beautiful Cabernet from the Vale

Our specialty is seafood where we take a pared down approach. Less is better. And over the last decade we have been working out how to best cook freshly gathered funghi. Then there are recipes which we have used successfully over many years. These are adaptations of recipes we have taken from books and we will give you our source. Mostly these will lead back to another book.

Our Recipes

The Use of Decanters to Create Theatre at a Xmas Lunch
Friday, 6th October, 2017 - David Farmer

You can find great food in humble restaurants and spotting these places before the crowd arrives is most satisfying. In general though the great restaurants of the world, though I only know France and Australia well, are not modest in appearance. It seems success at the highest level of cooking is associated with creating a similar level of ambience, even luxury, as after-all the clientele are wealthy. more...

All About Chinese Tea, Part 2
The Famous and Special Teas of China

Wednesday, 2nd March, 2011 - David Farmer

I was fortunate to spend time in China in the late 1970's and early 1980's which came about from one of the poorly thought out business ideas of my brother and I to import tea from China. What follows comes from notes I took during an extended stay in June, 1980. I believe this information will prove quite useful to those who love tea and its many types. more...

All About Chinese Tea, Part 1
Thursday, 16th July, 2009 - David Farmer

I was fortunate to spend time in China in the late 1970's and early 1980's which came about from one of the poorly thought out business ideas of my brother and I to import tea from China. What follows comes from notes I took during an extended stay in June, 1980. I believe this information will prove quite useful to those who love tea and its many types. more...

A Fish Sauce and Tony Bilson's Whiting Quenelles
Sunday, 28th June, 2009 - David Farmer

Elizabeth David

Catching and eating fish is the ultimate life's pleasure. I seldom use a sauce as the approach to fish is cook them when fresh and keep it simple. With that said for a number of years I have experimented with a recipe of the great Elizabeth David which was published in The Complete Imbiber, No. 6. (Vista Books, London, 1963). more...

- Rabbit Pie with Pine Mushrooms

Friday, 5th June, 2009

- Mark Lloyd of Coriole Talks About Olives and Oil

Friday, 28th March, 2008

- Tales about Oysters, Opening and Eating

Thursday, 6th December, 2007

- Yeast Leavened Pancakes

Thursday, 22nd February, 2007

- Peasant Mushroom Soup

Friday, May 26th, 2006

- Fish, Eggs and Steaming Bream

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006

- Cheong Liew's Steamed Eggplant with Tomato Chilli Sauce

Tuesday, 28th February, 2006

- Time for Saucing

Friday, 24th February, 2006

- Slippery Jacks in August?

Wednesday, 17th August, 2005

- Lentilles du Puy

Friday, 5th August, 2005

- A Delightful Warm Vegetable Salad

Wednesday, 20th April 2005

- A Tasty Fish Soup

Friday, 28th January, 2005

- The French Pizza from Provence - Pissaladiere

Friday, 28th January, 2005

- Another Broad Bean Option

Wednesday, 3rd November, 2004

- A Good Recipe for Broad Beans

Saturday, 30th October, 2004

- The Collection and Smoking of Mussels

Sunday, 18th October, 2004

- Cooking East Coast Whiting

Thursday, 14th October, 2004

- A Great Yabby Recipe

Saturday, 17th October, 2004

- The Perfect Fish Batter

Friday, 8th October, 2004

- Flathead Sushi

Wednesday, 15th September, 2004

- A Classic Carp Recipe

Wednesday, 4th August, 2004

Slippery Jacks in August?
Wednesday, 17th August, 2005 - David Farmer

The mushroom season in the Barossa Valley has been poor. There was no autumn crop as the rains did not start till the 9th June. Despite that we noted that the rains bought out some late crops and we have had one small serving of field mushrooms.

Then the other day brother Richard arrived with a kilo or so of one of the ‘pine mushrooms’, the slippery jack or Suillus luteus which he had gathered under local pine trees. Often these are gathered with the very tasty mushroom Lactarius deliciosus. Incidentally it is important when gathering mushrooms under trees to look up and identify the tree as it helps in keying out unusual mushrooms that you have not identified before.

Now the slippery jack is not the tastiest of fungi but has a wonderful, slippery, spongy texture, one I would imagine appealing to Asian chefs who emphasis texture much more than western chefs.

Knowing I would need to build flavour I went about it this way. I lightly cooked some chopped onions and garlic with quite a lot of French shallots in a minimal quantity of olive oil. These went in a pan with white wine, a small amount of chopped flat parsley and oregano and a fair handful of torn tarragon, plus a few slices of tomato and lemon. I find tarragon goes well with mushrooms and use it a lot. I also had some leftover cooked and caramelised garlic from a previous roast and a small amount of this was pureed and added.

The slippery jacks after cleaning and drying were added though I removed the stalks so they would pack nicely. Then several large dollops of Bowles veal glaze were smoothed over the top of the ‘jacks’. You could use a good, rich beef sauce but I had none and find this veal glaze nice to have in the cupboard. Place a lid on the pan.

The ‘jacks’ were cooked for about 30 minutes on low heat but what you want is for them to shed a fair amount of moisture. I removed the ‘jacks’ and placed them in a baking dish. They were sprinkled with fine breadcrumbs and dampened with a little of the cooking juice and placed in the oven under medium heat. No cooking juice or wine is added to the baking dish.

Now reduce the cooking juice and after it has say halved pour through a sieve to remove all the bits and pieces. Taste at this stage. My sauce was to acidic so I added a small amount of tawny port. You could use brown sugar but even better would have been proper Madeira bual or malmsey or an old amontillado or oloroso sherry. The ‘jacks’ in the oven will have shed moisture so pour this in as well. Get the flavour balance right and maybe adjust with salt and reduce to a smooth, thick sauce that will still pour.

Take the slippery jacks from the oven, coat with the sauce and liven up with a squeeze of lemon. Delicious, but it needed the contrast of a powerfully flavoured mushroom. The following evening we bought several large ‘horse’ mushrooms from the local supermarket and cooked these in a non-stick fry pan with a lid on. These were added to the leftover ‘jacks’ and provided just the lift the dish needed.

When cooking mushrooms we are these days very cautious about the use of oil and particularly butter as they absorb these like a sponge and make the dish to heavy. The use of butter which is referred to in all cooking books creates a cholesterol bomb. For more information in cooking all manner of fungi refer to ‘The Mushroom Feast’, Jane Grigson (Lyons Press).

The ‘slippery jack’ image taken from a wonderful book, ‘Fungi of Southern Australia’, Neale Bougher and Katrina Syme (UWA Press).

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