Guest Post: Spiced Lamb Mince with Hummus from Shuki and Louisa

Introducing Louisa from Shuki and Louisa

Louisa is one half of Shuki and Louisa, a producer of Middle Eastern specialties, based in Melbourne, Australia. We met on a cold morning at the Woodend Farmers Market when we recognised each other from our blogs, and realised we were both having babies around the same time. Once a month I stock up on some of Shuki and Louisa’s delicious hummus and babaganoush, which are both creamy and perfectly seasoned. If you’re in Melbourne, you can taste them for yourself at Coburg, Flemington, Woodend and other famers markets. Check out their Facebook page for more info, and enjoy this simple and tasty Middle Eastern recipe.

Spiced lamb mince with hummus Hi there! I’m Louisa from Shuki and Louisa, taking over the reins of Amelia’s delightful blog, just for this week. I met Amelia a few months back at a farmers market, where I sell home made dips and I was stoked when she asked me to contribute a recipe to Simple Provisions.

The recipe I’ve chosen to share features one of the dips we make; hummus. I’ve not shared the actual recipe for hummus, not out of caginess but because I honestly belive that how you like your hummus is up to you! So either make it yourself with just the right amount of lemon and garlic, or buy a great one from your local store.

So what I am going to show you how to do is make a great appetiser/party dish with a lovely tub of hummus. It’s basically crisp, spiced lamb mince on hummus. There’s two important things here though, you need to make sure you hummus is not fridge cold. Like cheese, hummus is best served at room temperature, so store it in the fridge but take it out half an hour before you want to eat. Also, you need to make sure the lamb mince is good and crisp. This means careful stirring, breaking up and watching as you brown the mince. Then, you’ll achieve a nice textural contrast between the creamy, smooth hummus and the crisp lamb. Continue reading

How to Make Labneh

How to Make Labneh | Simple Provisions

I often breezily suggest I’ll bring “nibbles” when I offer to bring a plate to a group gathering. Promptly, any notion I formerly had of what makes a good plate of appetisers leaves my mind and I am left in a mild panic, not able to think of anything remotely nibbly.

Appetisers can be a very fussy course. Regular food is shrunk into tiny portions, often featuring small bits of toast begging to be topped with dainty dollops of tasty morsels, or one food gently wrapped in another and prodded with a toothpick. I haven’t got the patience for fussy food, so finding an appetiser that I can prepare simply that tastes great and looks impressive is what my blank mind attempts to remember when the party is the next day.

Labneh is a fresh cheese popular in the Middle East. It is made by straining yoghurt to remove the whey, leaving behind a versatile ingredient with the consistency of cream cheese and the tang of yoghurt. It can be bought in good grocery stores, but it is also super easy to make at home. And, it makes a fantastic, fancy looking dip, perfect for a group of friends in need of something little to whet their appetite for lunch. Continue reading

Roasting Chestnuts and an Autumn Salad

Roasting Chestnuts and an Autumn Salad

Roasting chestnuts wasn’t as fun as I thought it would be when I stopped at the farm gate on a beautiful stretch of gumtree-lined road to pick up a bag for $3. Like broad beans, chestnuts herald a new season and only hang around for a short time. This is key, as they both rely on you to forget how much effort you had to put in to prepare them last year. Unlike broad beans, shelling chestnuts is a full-contact sport that carries risk of puncture wounds and burns. But if you manage to avail the sweet flesh of a chestnut from its burning shard of shell, you will be rewarded with the full earthy flavour of this nut.

The beauty of eating seasonally and locally is that the produce you’re presented with at the market tends to work well together. The rust-coloured pears, crisp dandelion leaves and mild, crumbly blue cheese that I picked up at the market were very content to be paired with the sweet chestnuts from the nut farm. It doesn’t take much effort to follow nature’s plans for your dinner table; just buy what looks good, prepare it simply and be rewarded with the flavours of the season. This salad is autumn fare, no doubt.

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How To Put Together a Charcuterie Plate

How To Put Together a Charcuterie Plate

The deli counter is my favourite part of a market. The pungent smell of cured meats and cheeses lures me in so that my eyes, and inevitably my belly, can feast on the array of briny, salty treats behind the glass. The thick cured sausages hanging overhead next to strings of menacing looking chillies beckon to me, inviting me to order more than I need as I reach for a taste of cheese on the counter. Tins of things dressed in bright Italian labels line the shelves next to more types of mustard than I thought possible. Buying a large wheel of parmesan or a whole leg of prosciutto seems like a perfectly reasonable option as I stand there, trying to decide what cured goodness I will take home with me.

Whatever I bring home doesn’t last long. As those parcels are unwrapped their contents usually go straight on a board, surrounded by jars of pickled things, fruits and whatever takes my fancy from the pantry. It’s Saturday lunch. The best kind. It’s the sort of lunch that encourages lingering, flicking through the weekend papers and drinking a cheeky glass of cold beer. There are no rules to a Saturday lunch, but a good charcuterie plate does have some variation. So here’s a rough guide to a well-balanced plate of meat that is also a simple, no-fuss dinner party appetiser.

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