September, 2018

August, 2018

  • Cracking the code on cheffy terms

    28 August, 2018 Cracking the code on cheffy terms

    Sometimes fine-dining menus can seem like more of a maze than a relaxing pre-dining experience. Here, we breakdown some of the cheffy terms you’re likely to come across and include recipes so you can test them out at home.
    Read more…

  • Cooking the classics

    27 August, 2018 Cooking the classics

    We consider those classic recipes we go back to time and time again.
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  • IGNI: The first year

    06 August, 2018 IGNI: The first year

    VIDEO: Acclaimed chef Aaron Turner's stirring account of love, loss and starting again.
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May, 2018

February, 2018

  • How a chef cooks for those he loves

    13 February, 2018 How a chef cooks for those he loves

    Skipping the crowds in favour of a lovingly prepared meal at home is your best bet for a romantic Valentine’s Day. This is chef Jock Zonfrillo's idea of a nice night in.
    Read more…

January, 2018

December, 2017

October, 2017

September, 2017

  • Win a pro toastie pack

    18 September, 2017 Win a pro toastie pack

    Indulge in the ultimate comfort food with this kit, including a no-mess Breville press, a copy of Darren Purchese's Chefs Eat Toasties Too and a subscription to Cooked.
    Read more…

August, 2017

July, 2017

June, 2017

  • Winter entertaining with Gill Meller

    08 June, 2017 Winter entertaining with Gill Meller

    Gill Meller is in the country, his first time to Australia, showcasing his beautiful book Gather with a series of dinners and classes. We caught up with him to find out what's on the menu for his Aussie guests.
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May, 2017

April, 2017

February, 2017

January, 2017

December, 2016

October, 2016

September, 2016

August, 2016

July, 2016

June, 2016

May, 2016

April, 2016

March, 2016

February, 2016

January, 2016

December, 2015

November, 2015

  • Christmas basics: the perfect custard

    27 November, 2015 Christmas basics: the perfect custard

    We're looking at those staple recipes that can make or break your Christmas spread. First up, the much-misunderstood sweet seductress, custard.
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  • Halfway Home

    16 November, 2015 Halfway Home

    I’ve been sugar-free for a total of two weeks, and things are going surprisingly well...
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  • Bubbles or nothing

    11 November, 2015 Bubbles or nothing

    Out to impress this party season? To take your entertaining game to the next level, we’ve teamed up with our friends at Halliday Wine Companion to share tips on matching sparkling wines to a range of show-stopping canapes.
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  • The anatomy of the perfect burger

    11 November, 2015 The anatomy of the perfect burger

    Looking for your next weekend challenge? Why not have a crack at making your own cheeseburgers from scratch? Chef Daniel Wilson shares the secret recipe to recreating his famed Huxtaburger, from bun to patty and everything in between.
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  • No Sugar November

    04 November, 2015 No Sugar November

    This month while the boys are growing staches, I’ll be growing a conscience about all the confectionary I consume.
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October, 2015

September, 2015

May, 2015

April, 2015

March, 2015

February, 2015

January, 2015

December, 2014

November, 2014

October, 2014

September, 2014

August, 2014

July, 2014

June, 2014

May, 2014

April, 2014

March, 2014

February, 2014

  • Margaret Fulton's expert guide to preserves

    27 February, 2014 Margaret Fulton's expert guide to preserves

    Jams, pickles, chutneys, sauces, compotes and conserves are the best way to preserve abundant produce so you can enjoy your fruit and veg all year round. Margaret Fulton shares her guide to the art of preserving.
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  • Melbourne Food & Wine Festival 2014 | Our picks

    27 February, 2014 Melbourne Food & Wine Festival 2014 | Our picks

    The Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, running from February 28 to March 16, begins in just over a week. We’ve put together our picks of the fest.
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  • Philippa Sibley's expert guide to sweet pastry

    24 February, 2014 Philippa Sibley's expert guide to sweet pastry

    Master of the dough Philippa Sibley shares her step-by-step guide to making sweet shortcrust pastry, taking you through everything you need to know to perfect the art of peerless pâte.
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  • In season | Eggplant

    21 February, 2014 In season | Eggplant

    The unsung hero of the nightshade family, eggplant is found in cuisines the world over. From Sicily to South East Asia, the Middle East to the Mediterranean, many signature dishes feature the versatile aubergine. We sing the praises of the humble eggplant.
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  • Everything you need to know about cuts of pork

    17 February, 2014 Everything you need to know about cuts of pork

    Meat expert and chef Adrian Richardson explains the different cuts of pork, and what you should use them for.
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  • Sticky business | A guide to meat on sticks

    14 February, 2014 Sticky business | A guide to meat on sticks

    Skewers, kebabs, shaslicks, yakitori … Whatever you call them, meat just tastes better when cooked on a stick. We share our tips to help you ace the skewers at your next barbecue.
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  • In season | Figs

    06 February, 2014 In season | Figs

    Figs evoke the flavours of exotic decadence. Sweet and visually striking, figs make for a decadent tart topper, a sumptuous sticky jam or a delightful savoury venture with cold meats. We share some of our favourite fig recipes.
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  • Guide to styling handmade edible gifts

    05 February, 2014 Guide to styling handmade edible gifts

    There's nothing more thoughtful than a handmade edible gift. April Carter shares her tips and tricks for making beautiful and delicious treats for those you love.
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January, 2014

December, 2013

November, 2013

10 ancient grains you need in your pantry

By
Molly Brown
Added
12 March, 2014

We've all heard of ancient grains, but what are they, and what do we do with them? We look at 10 grains including quinoa, Kamut, amaranth, freekeh and more, that you should add to your pantry.

Ancient grains are so-called as they have been used over the world for thousands of years and have only relatively recent gained popularity in western cooking. These grains are generally eaten as whole-grains and hark back to times of less-processed forms and greater genetic diversity in our foods. 

Camargue red rice | Spelt

Camargue red rice | Spelt

Camargue red rice

Camargue red rice is cultivated in the wetlands of the Camargue region of south-west France. Like brown wholegrain rice it has a chewy texture, although it does become softer than brown rice when cooked. You can cook it in plain water and drain it, or simmer it in stock, allowing the stock to become absorbed as the grain softens.

  • Soaking & cooking: no soaking. Cooks in 35–45 minutes.
  • Full of: B vitamins, iron, calcium and the antioxidant anthocyanin.

Spelt

Spelt is an ancient wheat now available as white and wholemeal flour, as well as grain. It can be eaten by some people who are intolerant to regular wheat, although it still contains gluten. Spelt grain becomes quite creamy when stirred so it can be used to make risotto in the same way that pearl barley can, although it isn’t quite as starchy. Pearled (all bran removed) and semi-pearled (some bran left on) are both available, although pearled is easier to find. Cook in water and drain, or in stock by the absorption method.

  • Soaking & cooking: no soaking. Cooks in about 45 minutes.
  • Full of: fibre, protein, B vitamins, zinc and manganese.

Farro | Freekeh

Farro | Freekeh

Farro

Farro is an ancient wheat that can be used in soups, stews and salads. It can also be used in risottos as it becomes slightly creamy when simmered in stock and stirred, although never as creamy as pearl barley or spelt. As a salad base it is delicious dressed with vinaigrette and works well with a range of flavours. Farro is most commonly sold semi-pearled. Like freekeh, spelt and wheat, farro softens when cooked but remains a little firm.

  • Soaking & cooking: no soaking for semi-pearled farro; soak non-pearled farro overnight. Cook semi-pearled farro for 20–40 minutes; cook non-pearled farro for 60–70 minutes.
  • Full of: protein, fibre, iron, niacin, zinc and magnesium.

Freekeh

Freekeh is roasted green wheat with a strong smoky taste, which is widely used in Syria, Lebanon and Egypt. It stands up well to big flavours – preserved lemon, dried fruit and pomegranate molasses for example – and is great with barbecued food. Freekeh does not need soaking and cooks in 30 minutes; boil in water and drain, or cook in stock by the absorption method.

  • Soaking & cooking: no soaking. Cooks in 30 minutes
  • Full of: fibre, protein, calcium and iron.

Barley | Quinoa

Barley | Quinoa

Barley

Pearl (or pearled) barley is processed barley that has had the germ and some bran removed from the grain. While not strictly a whole grain, unlike most grains, barley’s fibre is not concentrated in its outer bran but found right through the kernel. This means that pearl barley contains at least 8% fibre and retains much of the distinctive earthy flavour of unprocessed barley. For unprocessed barley (often referred to as pot barley or Scotch barley) just follow the soaking and cooking instructions provided here and continue the recipe as for pearl barley.

  • Soaking & cooking: soak pot or Scotch barley overnight; no soaking for pearl barley. Cook pot or Scotch barley for 40–50 minutes; cook pearl barley for about 30 minutes.
  • Full of: fibre, phosphorus and manganese.

Quinoa

Quinoa is a versatile South American grain-like crop that can be eaten hot or cold, and is similar to couscous and burghul in texture and size. Quinoa benefits from being toasted in a dry frying pan for a minute before cooking in liquid for 10–15 minutes. The cooking instructions on most brands suggest using more liquid than necessary; 675 ml per 300 g quinoa is enough to produce a moist grain that fluffs up well like couscous. Quinoa is a gluten-free complete protein (rare in the plant world), which means it contains all the amino acids we need. Quinoa is available in white, black and red versions, flakes (that can be treated like oat flakes) and flour.

  • Soaking & cooking: no soaking. Cooks in 10–15 minutes.
  • Full of: iron and calcium, and also a good source of manganese, magnesium and fibre.

Buckwheat | Amaranth

Buckwheat | Amaranth

Buckwheat

Buckwheat is technically a leafy seed grain and has been a staple for centuries in Russia and Eastern Europe. Buckwheat groats and roasted buckwheat both have an assertive ‘meaty’ flavour, particularly the roasted variety. Unroasted groats are more palatable and the version to look out for – just quickly toast the groats in a hot pan with a little oil for a minute before cooking in water or stock. Buckwheat flour, commonly used in blini, has a gorgeously earthy flavour and is also used in cake batters, pasta and Japanese noodles.

  • Soaking & cooking: no soaking. Cooks in 10–15 minutes.
  • Full of: fibre, manganese and magnesium.

Amaranth

Golden amaranth seeds are considered super grains as they contain all the essential amino acids that make up a perfect protein. They come from a tall leafy plant (the leaves are eaten in many parts of the world) and have an earthy, grassy flavour. They are best popped like corn rather than cooked in liquid – where they quickly disintegrate if overcooked and can be sticky and gruel-like. Pop the seeds and add to breakfast cereals or health bars, but only pop 1 tablespoon at a time because the seeds are so tiny. Amaranth flour is also available – you can use it for flatbreads and cakes – but most people find it produces rather dense baked goods.

  • Soaking & cooking: no soaking. pops in a few minutes.
  • Full of: protein, calcium, fibre and vitamin E.

Kamut | Burghul

Kamut | Burghul

Kamut

Technically called khorasan but commonly sold under the brand name Kamut, this is an ancient variety of wheat related to durum. It has large honey-coloured kernels that make an excellent base for salads. Kamut contains 20–40 per cent more protein than conventional wheat and has a less wheaty taste; it is good paired with assertive flavours such as preserved lemon, capers, anchovies and feta. Once cooked, it keeps well in the refrigerator for a couple of days and is also available in flour form.

  • Soaking & cooking: no soaking. Cooks in 50–60 minutes.
  • Full of: protein, fibre, iron, zinc, vitamins B2, B3 and E, phosphorus and magnesium.

Burghul

Burghul, or bulgur wheat, much used in Turkish, Greek and Middle Eastern cooking, is one of the quickest and easiest starches to prepare. It is produced when wheat (usually durum) is boiled and then dried, cracked and sorted by size. Burghul is not strictly a whole grain as the outer layers of bran are removed, but still contains plenty of fibre. Cook in boiling water or stock – the time will depend on the coarseness of the grain, so check after 10 minutes. Alternatively, soak in water and eat cold. Do not confuse with cracked wheat, which has not been precooked.

  • Soaking & cooking: soak for 20 minutes instead of cooking, or cook for 10–15 minutes.
  • Full of: protein, fibre, iron, potassium, phosphorus, manganese and B vitamins.

Now you know all about which grains are what, check out the incredible recipes in the book Grains.

20 WAYS WITH ANCIENT GRAINS

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