The One Dollar Dinner

by Christine Salins on April 23, 2015

Poached rhubarb recipe, recipes for rhubarb,

Talk about ten dollar dinners? What about the one dollar dinner!

It’s not quite as cheap as that, of course, because the dishes here drew on other ingredients that we already had in the fridge and pantry. But they demonstrate just how cheap you can eat when you eat seasonally and locally.

Every Sunday morning, the road just up from where we live is closed off and given over to a vibrant and colourful market where we can often pick up some very good deals in fruit and veg.

It’s not a farmers market and unfortunately some of the stallholders are simply selling other people’s stuff. Sometimes the produce is a bit tired and I’m really not inclined to pay a high price for food that has come through the wholesale markets and been carted around from one weekend market to another by an entrepreneurial stallholder. In that case, I may as well just go to the supermarket, where the produce will most likely be cheaper and fresher.

Poached rhubarb recipe, recipes for rhubarb,

But I’m prepared to buy at our local Redcliffe market if the produce is homegrown or if it’s cheap (and still fresh). So when we spotted some bags of fruit and veg for $1 each, yay, that’s a couple of dishes sorted. The tomatoes were still quite fresh and as we already had plenty of tomatoes in the fridge for salad, they were destined for a pasta dish.

Poached rhubarb recipe, recipes for rhubarb, sautéed them in a little olive oil, adding some chopped garlic, anchovies and olives once they’d cooked down a bit. I cooked some lovely spelt spaghetti in another pot, and when it was ready, drained off the water straight into the pan with the tomatoes to give it a bit more liquid. At the last minute, I tossed in some torn basil leaves from the potted herbs we have growing on the balcony. Some grated parmesan on top and, voila, that was Monday night’s dinner.

Rhubarb is not an ingredient I cook with often as I’ve never been greatly enamoured by the rhubarb dishes I’ve had, but my man loves it and at a dollar a bunch, I’m prepared to give it a go. I thought of stewing it but then I found a recipe for Poached Rhubarb in Donna Hay’s 2009 book, Seasons.

Poached rhubarb recipe, recipes for rhubarb,

Her recipe called for 250 grams of rhubarb, a quarter of a cup of orange juice and half a cup of sugar, but it wasn’t enough juice to cover the amount of rhubarb we had so I upped it to a cup of juice. I didn’t want to put in four times the amount of sugar as that seemed excessive, so I doubled the sugar.

I used a good-quality commercial orange juice and found the balance of juice and sugar here just right. The cinnamon and fresh vanilla bean (which I always have on hand in the pantry) added the most beautiful flavours. The dish pretty much cooked itself and everyone pronounced it exquisite. We used the leftover liquid on strawberries the next day. Curtis Stone, eat your heart out.

Poached rhubarb recipe, recipes for rhubarb, RHUBARB

Serves 4


Bunch of rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 10cm lengths
1 cup orange juice
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup caster sugar


Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Place the rhubarb, orange juice, vanilla bean and seeds, cinnamon and sugar in a covered dish and cook for 20 minutes or until the rhubarb is tender.


Lamb Pot Stickers | The Golden Pig Food & Wine School

by Christine Salins on April 17, 2015, Southern Queensland Country, autumn breaks, things to do on the Darling Downs, things to do in the Granite Belt, Queensland wine, Russell Jackson, Best Brook Mountain Resort, The Golden Pig.

As relative newcomers to Brisbane, we’ve only just discovered The Golden Pig, in Newstead, run by talented chef duo Mark and Katrina Ryan. Their food and wine school operates as a licensed café on weekdays and switches to cooking classes, demonstrations and corporate events on evenings and weekends.

Earlier this week we attended an autumn dinner showcasing produce from Southern Queensland Country, and we had a lot of fun helping to prepare the entreés before sitting down to the main course. Among the appetizers we assembled were these Lamb dumplings with a sensational ginger and shallot dipping sauce that we’ll definitely be replicating at home.

Katrina used Mallow organic lamb from a farm near Stanthorpe, and Mark matched the dumplings with an Irish Red Ale from the Granite Belt Brewery at Stanthorpe. This (genuine craft) beer has a caramel taste with bitter finish; we can highly recommend this great pairing.


For the pot stickers:, Granite Belt Brewery Irish Red Ale, Southern Queensland Country, autumn breaks, things to do on the Darling Downs, things to do in the Granite Belt, Queensland wine.4 leaves wombok, finely shredded
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon sugar
300 grams lamb mince
¼ bunch garlic chives, chopped
½ cup water chestnuts, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
2 teaspoons cornflour
24 round wheat dumpling wrappers
2 tablespoons peanut oil for cooking


Toss the cabbage with the salt and sugar and leave for 30 minutes. Squeeze the moisture from the cabbage and place in a bowl with the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Place a small spoonful of filling in the centre of a wrapper and moisten the edges with water. Fold over to make a half moon shape and pleat the sealed edge with your thumb and forefinger.

Place on a tray lightly dusted with cornflour and cover with a tea towel. Cook the dumplings in two batches. Boil for 4 to 5 minutes in plenty of boiling water. Remove from the water with a wok sieve, drain well and then tip into a hot frypan with the peanut oil to colour the base of the dumplings.

Ginger and shallot dipping sauce:, Granite Belt Brewery Irish Red Ale, Southern Queensland Country, autumn breaks, things to do on the Darling Downs, things to do in the Granite Belt, Queensland wine.3 tablespoons caster sugar
2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine
2 tablespoons red vinegar
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1½ tablespoons peanut oil
2 green shallots, finely sliced
2 tablespoons fine julienne ginger


Whisk together the sugar, Shaoxing wine, vinegar and soy sauce until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the oils, shallot and ginger.

Recipe courtesy of The Golden Pig Food & Wine School.

You might also like: Strawberry Roulade, Southern Queensland Country; Exploring Killarney.


Strawberry Roulade | A Sweet Country Finish

by Christine Salins on April 17, 2015, Southern Queensland Country, autumn breaks, things to do on the Darling Downs, things to do in the Granite Belt, Queensland wine, Russell Jackson, Best Brook Mountain Resort, The Golden Pig.

Earlier this week we attended a delicious autumn dinner showcasing produce from Southern Queensland Country. It was quite a feast, as you can see by our post on the event, and the sweet finale was this very more-ish Strawberry Roulade created by Jocelyn Hancock.

Jocelyn is a Brisbane chef whose family has had a property in Killarney (Southern Queensland’s Killarney, that is) for many generations. Jocelyn and Killarney chef Bev Ruskey are the driving forces behind the Southern Downs Harvest lunch, to be held on May 2. Jocelyn has kindly shared her recipe here.


Serves 8


5 grams melted butter for brushing paper-lined tray
140 grams room-temperature egg white (about 5 egg whites)
275 grams caster sugar
47g flaked almonds


300ml cream
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
30 grams icing sugar + icing sugar for dusting
1 punnet strawberries, quartered, or 1 punnet blueberries
1 punnet raspberries

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Whisk egg whites in a bowl until soft peaks form, gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, still on high speed. When stiff and glossy, spread smoothly and quickly into a 33cm x 25cm Swiss roll tin that has been lined and lightly greased (allow 2cm overlap of paper). Sprinkle with almonds.
Bake in the middle of oven at 200 degrees C for 8 minutes then reduce temperature to 160 degrees for a further 15 minutes until just golden. The meringue will puff up and crack slightly. Whilst baking, place the whipped cream in a medium-sized mixing bowl with vanilla and icing sugar. Combine until just firm; don’t over beat.

Remove meringue from oven and set for a few minutes then invert onto a sheet of baking paper dusted with icing sugar; slide the whole meringue and paper onto a cooling wire. Remove top sheet of paper from meringue gently and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
Top with whipped cream, allowing a 2cm border on longest sides. Sprinkle with sliced strawberries/blueberries and raspberries.

Create the roulade by beginning the roll with the longest edge closest to you. Once firmly rolled, fold the overlapping end paper under the roulade to secure the roll. Chill for a minimum of 2 hours before unwrapping and re-dusting with icing sugar.
Serve with extra strawberries or raspberries, or poached rhubarb when in season, and Crème Anglaise. Cut with a hot dry knife to achieve a clean and neat slice.

You might also like: Lamb Pot Stickers; Southern Queensland CountryExploring Killarney.