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marinated fettaWell it’s Melbourne cup day here in Australia, which is the (horse) race that stops a nation. People don elaborate headgear and gather for parties and picnics. One of my favourite party nibbles is Luke Mangan’s Persian Fetta Tarts, but persian fetta is expensive. So before I share my version of Luke’s recipe in the coming days let me share with you how to make your own marinated fetta.

Creaminess to the 10th degree with flavours of juniper, bay, thyme and garlic, marinated fetta has a little bit of the Mediterranean in each mouthful.

Unfortunately in Australia it comes at a cost, between $6 and $12 for 150 -200grams! It doesn’t have to be this way! People of Australia you can make your own marinated fetta in minutes at a fraction of the cost!
Marinated Fetta
What you’ll need;
150 – 200 grams of fetta (Smooth creamy styles work best – I’m partial to South Cape Tasmanian)
1 or 2 dried bay leaves
1 clove of garlic
4-6 sprigs of fresh thyme (I like to use a mix of normal thyme and lemon thyme)
6 black peppercons
6 driedJuniper Berries (Essential ingredient stores around Australia stock Juniper berries)
Canola oil to cover (You can substitute another oil here just don’t use olive oil or anything else that solidifies in the fridge)
Airtight container big enough to hold everything
How to do it;
1. Wash & dry your container in hot water and detergent.
2. Cut the fetta into cubes no smaller than 2cm x 2cm x 2cm
3. Place the garlic in the bottom of your container then layer in the fetta, bay leaves, thyme, juniper berries & peppercorns.
4. Slowly fill container with oil until all fetta is under the level of the oil.
5. Refrigerate for at least 4 days before using.
Fetta will keep in the fridge in covered by oil for quite a long time, it never lasts in our house, but I take the “use by” date from the fetta as my guide. (just mark it on your container)
Tips:
– Boccocini containers are often a good size for this project.
– Adjust the flavours to suit your tastes but be careful with the garlic, a little goes a LONG way!!
– Delicious served with a drizzle of rocket pesto on crostini
– Use left over oil to brush over vegetables or meat for chargilling.
– Why not find some pretty jars and give as a lovely homemade hostess gift?

I hope you enjoy my marinated fetta, let me know what your favourite uses for marinated fetta are!

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Corn Bacon & Cheese Muffin

I remember very clearly the day I got given this recipe, our neighbour Paula had come around for a cuppa and she had brought a foil-wrapped plate that smelled like cheese and bacon heaven. It was enough to drag my fourteen year old self away from the basketball (I was obsessed at the time) on the television to hover expectantly at the edge of the kitchen where my Mum and Paula sat sharing cigarettes and tea.

My Mum wasn’t much of a cook (that’s  story for another post really) so baked goods that didn’t smell like they’d been on fire were a novelty.

“Don’t just stand there love,get the butter out of the fridge before these go cold” Paula always called me love, I hated it, but if she was going to bring food over, she could call me the purple people eater and I’d put up with it.

The foil was unwrapped and with the little burst of steam the golden hued muffins seemed to light up the room. (ok, I’m exaggerating a little, but when my mum baked the fire brigade was put on stand-by and these looked amazing!)

We slathered them in cold butter and devoured them and when the plate was finished Paula saw me still hovering.”Canyougivemumtherecipethosewereexcellent”
Paula looked at me, then at my mum, she too had been on the receiving end of burnt goods of doom. “How about I show you how to make them?”

It’s been 18 years since Paula showed me how to make these muffins and I’ve made a few small changes to the recipe along the way, adding corn, reducing the onion etc but now it’s time to send the recipe out into the world where I hope someone else can teach their neighbours kid how to make them.

Corn, Bacon & Cheese Muffins
Ingredients
2 full rashers of bacon, diced (approx 75 grams)
1/2 medium onion, diced (I like to use red onions but whatever’s in the cupboard is fine)
1 Egg, beaten
250ml Milk
20grams Butter, melted
270grams Self raising flour
1/2 teaspoon Salt
50 grams Grated cheese
50 grams Corn, drained

Tips: Don’t use muffin liners, these muffins like to stick to paper and so are best cooked in a greased and floured tray. Best eaten straight from the oven.

  1. Preheat oven to 220°Celsius
  2. Grease and flour a 12 cup muffin tray
  3. Fry onion and bacon over a medium heat until onion is translucent. Spread on paper towel to drain off excess fat and cool.
  4. In a large bowl mix milk, egg and butter until combined.
  5. Add remaining ingredients and mix with a fork until just combined (overbeating will make them tough)
  6. Divide mixture into your muffin tray (I’ve never tried it but I’ve heard an ice cream scoop is the ideal portion maker for this.)
  7. Bake until golden; 10-15 minutes, test with skewer and check if clean.

Enjoy!

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