Rice with Kale, Pumpkin and Chestnuts

It’s harvest time at Growlers Greek Grove so it’s a great time to try some new chestnut recipes using our fresh seasonal chestnuts. We have adapted Jamie Oliver’s fried rice with kale, squash and chestnut recipe and I must say the result is delicious.

Tasty satisfying dinner that took about 30 minutes to cook (we roasted the chestnuts the night before)…you could taste the chestnuts and the parsley gave the dish a really fresh taste. The kids comment…..”mum you could add more chestnuts”…no surprises there!

This recipe is packed with goodness…kale (fibre, folate & magnesium)...pumpkin (fiber, potassium & vitamin C)..parsley (vitamin A, C, K, folate & iron) and of course chestnuts (folate, vitamin C, magnesium and so much more).

2 cups rice
1 onion finely sliced
Half a butternut pumpkin cut into 2cm chunks
Chilli flakes
500g of fresh chestnuts roasted, peeled and roughly chopped
3 cloves of garlic finely sliced
Half a bunch of Kale finely chopped – great way to make sure the kids eat their greens
Bunch of flat leaf parsley finely chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
Half a tsp of cinnamon
Half a tsp of cloves
Tsp of chicken stock

We roasted the chestnuts on our open fire the night before…it’s a great family tradition we roast the chestnuts then all peel the hot chestnuts together…the rule is eat one chestnut then the next peeled chestnut goes into the bowl for tomorrow nights dinner. How to roast chestnuts.

Boil the kettle. Heat some olive oil in a large saucepan, add 2 cups of rice, stir for a couple of minutes, then add some hot chicken stock. Cook the rice using the absorption method. While the rice is cooking chop all the other ingredients.

Heat some olive oil in a large fry pan, cook the onion and garlic for 5 minutes, add the pumpkin, chilli, cinnamon and cloves stir for a couple of minutes then add a splash of hot water. Cook stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes, until the pumpkin is cooked.

Add chestnuts, stir and cook for 5 minutes. Add rice, kale and parsley, stir, add some more hot water if needed.

Serves 6
Enjoy. ♥


La Fiera Gala Dinner

On Friday night we enjoyed great company, good local wine and fabulous food at the La Fiera, Fiera Cena di Gala. It was the perfect way to celebrate the end of our chestnut harvest.

The food was delicious…that depth of flavour that lingers in your mouth…it’s the reason you eat out, to enjoy great food made from fresh seasonal ingredients that has been prepared with skill, care and passion.

Stefano Manfredi and Cameron Cansdell from Manfredi at Bells (Bells at Killcare), just north of Sydney prepared the feast. Every dish contained chestnuts ….. the food was amazing.

Stefano is from Northern Italy he moved to Australia in the 1960’s at the age of 6. He told us great stories about his childhood in Australia….how his mother struggled to find ingredients that she always used in Italy….one example; she had to buy extra virgin olive oil from the chemist in 50ml bottles….so of course she bought 20 at a time! 

Thanks to all immigrants our food in Australia is so diverse today…but we still have a lot to learn…the Italians focus on seasonal produce, use, preserve and enjoy what is abundant and fresh and in season…they don’t waste anything and make their backyards and balconies productive.

Entree was a generous serving of oxtail and cabbage roll with chestnuts, grated horseradish and cream of cannellini.
Those tasty little chestnuts are hiding inside the cabbage roll.

For main we enjoyed roast rabbit with bread and sage stuffing, braised lentils, chestnuts and cauliflower gratinata. I have never had such tender rabbit. Stefano explained that it was farmed rabbit…he said ‘the white fluffy ones’….hmmm don’t think I needed to know that…but gosh it was good!
You can clearly see one of the chestnuts this time…happily perched on top of the rabbit.

Finally for dessert, warm rice pudding with candied chestnuts, anise anglaise and persimmon. 
This dessert was amazing….nothing like my childhood memories of rice pudding…which was white rice with milk, sugar and sultanas….hmmmm…need I say more!

The chestnuts are happily swimming in the anise anglasie. After dinner Cameron told us that the candied chestnuts were our De Coppi Marone chestnuts from last year…he had preserved them in a syrup and kept them in the fridge!

Chestnuts, Brussel Sprouts and Bacon

Roast veggies and chicken for dinner with a fabulous side dish of chestnuts, brussel sprouts and bacon…it’s just an amazing combination…the kids licked their plates clean…what more could you ask for?
Go on, try the recipe go to http://www.growlerscreekgrove.com.au/recipes.html

Autumn in Wandi

It really feels like autumn…the leaves have changed colour tones of green, amber, orange, yellow and red. 

Late autumn harvest is beautiful, foraging for chestnuts with yellow leaves falling alongside chestnuts and husks.

The wildlife is busy too… birds sifting through the fallen leaves looking for bugs, lyrebirds scratching for bugs and singing their mimicking tunes. Wallabies are our early morning harvesters…up early to fill up on chestnuts for breakfast. The parrots seem to enjoy chestnuts for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

The kookaburras arrive each night around 6pm to farewell the day with their nightly chorus before retiring to the bush.

Autumn…Growlers Creek Grove.

Scruffty the chestnut hound

Scruffty, our resident head of security is now our official snake spotter. He was barking on Wednesday, I glanced down the driveway couldn’t see anyone coming so continued grading chestnuts. I then noticed Scruff slowly walking backwards up the driveway (in stalking mode)…it was a snake coming up our driveway…well done Scruff!