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I love to cook, I've always loved to cook.

As a young girl, my time was spent reading the cookbooks that mum kept in the bottom kitchen drawer. Always looking for a new recipe to try, a new food idea. Many weekends were spent making rainbow cakes with as many colours as possible – have you seen my Instagram, not much has changed, and looking for recipes that I could cook using what was available in the cupboard or from the vegetable garden.

At the aged of about 16, I remember stating that I wanted to leave the farm and travel the world. This would be followed by retiring by about 30 and moving back to South Gippsland to grow vegetables and cook. From 16 fast forward 20 years and I returned, starting Jacican Food Studio in Mirboo North, Gippsland where I grow vegetables and cook. This blog is where I share my food adventure.

Jaci

We are very lucky to live in Gippsland, especially Mirboo North, as the area grows a high percentage of potatoes, that you find in the supermarket. And I do love the local potatoes. Lately I have been working with Cummaudo Farms to make and share gnocchi with you all. You my find us - Jacican & Cummaudo Farms serving this recipe for gnocchi at an event near you.

gnocchi

If you don't catch us for a serve, we do make this recipe in my Harvest Lunch cooking classes

Gnocchi is easier than you think to make. Best of all, it can be made ahead of when you would like to eat it. I like to eat my gnocchi triple cooked – blanched in boiling water to cook through, pan-fried in butter, then finished off under the grill.

Ingredients

1-kilogram Mirboo North potatoes - cleaned

1 egg

250 grams plain flour

1 pinch of salt

Method

1. Place potatoes in a saucepan of cold water. Bring to the boil, then simmer until cooked.

2. Strain the potatoes. You could peel when still hot but move straight onto step 3.

3. Place the potatoes in a mouli and process the potatoes straight onto the bench into a mound. You may need to do this in steps, as the weight of one kilo of cooked potatoes, may be too heavy to hold.

4. Make a well in the centre of your mound and shift over the flour. Add the egg and a pinch of salt to taste.

5. Using your hands, gently bring the dough together until just combined and the dough is slightly springy. Divide the dough into 6.

6. Roll each piece of dough into a long cigar shape. Cut into 3 cm lengths, using a pastry scraper or knife. Roll each piece on a gnocchi pad or press with a fork to create sauce groves in your gnocchi.

7. Line an oven tray with a clean tea towel. Put this aside until you cook your gnocchi.

8. Bring a large pot of salted boiling water to the boil. Add the gnocchi and return to the boil. The gnocchi will be cooked when it floats to the top of the water.

9. Remove the gnocchi from the water using a slotted spoon and place on your clean tea towel lined tray.

At this point, you can add your cooked gnocchi to your chosen sauce. I like my gnocchi finished in butter, top with an aged sheep’s milk cheese.

2019 is the year to focus on cooking classes, as well as getting out and about and meeting new (and all my) friends.

So, I closed the shop front to the public. Now you can only visit Jacican as a guest in a cooking class or when you book a private gathering. Private gathering can be anything. This year we have had Vegan cooking classes, private harvest lunches, group training for mentors and their mentees and I’ve been invited to take part in the Village Feast in Jindivick in March. And it’s only February. 

Jacican has joined Open Table as it’s booking portal for restaurant meals and functions. Upcoming Jacican events, you can find on Open Table are Restaurant Express support by Open Table – Part of the MFWF and Mother’s Day High Tea.

See you in 2019,

Jaci

Restaurant Express Jacican 2019Restaurant Express supported by Open Table

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This is the continuing story of Nadine, from Wattlebank Park Farm, taken from the Winter 2018 edition of Gippsland Magazine. The article was put together by me, using Nadine's recipes ...

... Like myself, Nadine is a great supporter of other local farmers, producers, and artisans. As her farm does not supply poultry, we source a chicken from a Korumburra, free-range chicken grower. Sadly, as the cost of product and regulations has overwhelmed the farmer, this product is no longer available. We used the last roast chicken from this small holding for our meal and to share this recipe with you.

roast chicken GCLM Winter 2018 Wattlebank Park farm

If you would like to see more Gippsland produce, please remember to get out there and support your local farmer and buy their local farmed goods.

Ingredients

Freerange 2kg Chicken

Salt

Pepper

Butter

1 cup chicken stock

Method

1. Preheat oven to 220c

2. Pat down the skin on the chicken with kitchen towel place chicken on a baking tray and set aside.

3. In a small pan melt 50g of butter until just melted. Brush butter over chicken then, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Turn oven down to 180c and place chicken in the oven bake for 30 mins.

4. After 30 mins add 1 cup of warm chicken stock to the bottom of the pan under the chicken. Cover the chicken with foil and return to the oven. Bake for a further hour or until the juices run clear between the thigh and the leg.

We served the chicken with slow oven roasted red onions.

roast chicken GCLM Winter 2018 Wattlebank Park farm 2

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