Content Food  
Beya and Hiram Caton
Hi Folks!
  • Vichyssoise
    (Leek soup)
  • Beef
  • Spaghetti

  • Meatloaf
  • Green
  • Fried chick
  • Hiram's
  • Pimento
  • Hot
  • Corn Bread &
  • Salmon
  • Candied

  • Curry
Thick or thin?  I prefer it thick, which means about a kilo (2 pds) of boiled potatoes for two-three litres (quarts) of soup.  Slice the leek thinly and saute in butter; add the leeks to salted boiled potatoes on low heat.  Stir in three tablespoons of dry chicken stock, a teaspoon of ginger and a tablespoon of garlic, some black pepper, and fresh herbs--marjoram, rosemary, thyme, as suits your mood.  Simmer for 30 minutes.  Puree in a blender or food processor.  Sample the soup and adjust the taste as needed.  Allow the soup to refrigerate overnite (improves the taste).  As you serve, add cream poured in a pattern.  Note: Adding fresh herbs change the cream color of the soup to light brown, dotted by herb fragments.  Straining the soup will diminish these disadvantages.
Consume greets your guest as crystal clear dark brown liquid with a special taste.  No fragment of meat, vegetable or herb should be seen.  To get that result, strain the soup in its last stage, three times if need be.  Consume is a beef broth.  I use a one kilo (2 pds) of chuck roast and a few rib bones.  Boil them in a large pot of water for about 2 hours.  Add salt, garlic, a few cloves, thyme, basil, bouquet garni, rosemary, a bit of Worcheshire sauce, 3 cubes of beef bouillon, chopped onion, chives, and celery to the pot.  The flavor will begin to express after about an hour on low heat.  Taste check and adjust at that time.  Repeat after another half hour.  If the taste seems satisfactory, remove from the heat and commence the straining.  The soup may be served hot or cold.  Garnish with a sprig of dill.

My bolognese spotlights the flavors of fresh herbs long simmered in a deep pot slow cooker (two hours minimum). After an hour in the slow cooker, I sample the taste and adjust as needed (there's always adjustment). I have two versions--cumin heavy and cumin lite. For years I used ground cumin. But on Beya's suggestion I substituted ground cumin seeds, using pestal and mortar. Fab result! Thanks for that, Beya! The herbs, on both recipes, are fresh (!!) marjoram, rosemary, bay leaves, and garlic. I add dried oregano, thyme, basil, coriander, ground black pepper, a cube of bacon stock, Worstershire sauce, Tabasco, a large dash of Vegeta Gourmet Stock, and three chili peppers. No salt. In the cumin lite recipe, the Vegeta Gourmet Stock becomes a dominate element of the taste. Why no red wine? It distracts from flavor. Why no vegetables or mushrooms? They contribution nothing to the carefully nurtured herb-based taste. My preparation is the usual. Saute finely chopped onion in a large pan, then add medium grade mince (for its fat content) and cook it to a finely granulated result. Transfer to the cooker. Add two cans for tomatoes and a packet of tomato paste to the pan. Bring to medium heat and add the herbs. Stir lovingly until thoroughly mixed and pour into the cooker. Cover the cooker, and let it roll. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, a garden salad, crusty Italian bread, and your preferred red. Enjoy! (PS. 500g of mince and two cans of tomatoes make two portions, plus a bite for tomorrow. Double that to serve four.)


Meatloaf's a thrill served hot; a convivial munch served cold. The common Southern version mixes ground beef with ground pork. My version doesn't. I mix veal with pork, or veal with lamb. Here's my way. First prepare the add-ins: finely chopped celery, capisum (bell pepper), onions, garlic, parsley, marjoram, coriander, thyme, lemon pepper, ground black pepper. Thoroughly mix the two meats (500g each) wearing sanitation gloves (more fun that way). Lay the mixture out in a string and add the herbs. Mix again. Again lay out the mix in a string. Add 75-100g of moistened bread crumbs (to keep the meatloaf moist), Worstershire sauce, Tabasco, a splash of Vegeta Gourmet Stock. Mix again. Place the final version in a double bottom teflon baking pan and top with three short slices of bacon. Bake for an hour at 180 C (350 F). You'll love it. Serve with mashed sweet potato, spinach, and a green salad.

Here's another common dish that's charmed friends. Maybe that's because my preparation isn't in the elegant French style, but what you get down on the Tar Heel farm unkown in Oz: thoroughly cooked and strongly flavored. Absent are the chunks of bacon common in Carolina. I use bacon stock instead, because it adds more positively to the flavor. I use no onion. Plenty of salt, though, and plenty of Vegeta Courmet Stock. Cook on low heat for a hour.

Southern cooking? Gotta say something about the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store []. My first encounter was with sister Dottie and brother-in-law Harry during a visit with them in Georgia. It's only casual dining they said -- nothing smart and fancy--but they promised a treat. And so it was-- a return to the best of home cooking. Look at that menu: turnip greens, lima beans, black eyed peas, okra, green beans, spinach, biscuits and gravey, brown rice, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, pecan pie -- all there! That's just the menu; now taste it! Yum! And the service is in the manner of Southern graciousness! Cracker Barrel hasn't yet migrated to Australia. Come on out, Cracker Barrell, to let Hog's Breath Cafe know that they have a rival! The first store opened off I - 40 in Lebanon, TN in 1969. Today there are 538 of them in 41 states. Between 1980 and 1990, eighty-four stores opened across the country. By the end of July 1996, there were 260 Cracker Barrels. And today, there are 538 stores in 41 states. All owned by a company that has no plans for franchising, and run by the same man, Dan Evins, who had the vision to start it all.

Here are two dishes that aren't on Southern tables, but could be.

Spill a can of chick peas (minus the water) into a pan of heated oil. Sprinkle amply with lemon pepper, cumin, and oregano. Stir the chick peas to spread the herbs evenly, then place a lid on the pan. Remove the lid every two minutes or so to stir the peas. They'll lightly brown in about ten minutes. Spoon to a paper towel to drain the oil. Serve as a side dish with a main meal, or enjoy as a snack.
My mayonnaise has drawn lots of praise and I've passed on the recipe to friends. Curious, because it's the common recipe, easy to prepare. Here's how. Break two whole eggs into a blender. Add a couple of tablespoons of vinegar, salt, a tablespoon of dried mustard, the juice of half a lemon, and three dashes of Tabasco (which makes it Hiram's). Buzz the blender until the ingredients are well mixed. Pour in the vegetable oil slowly (otherwise it won't emulsify--visit // to check out emulsification). When the mixture's reached a good thickness, remove from the blender and refrigerate. Once you have the basic stuff, you can modify it for varied uses, such as an ingredient of salad dressing. Just add to a portion of mayonnaise whatever suits your taste, such as chili pepper, basil paste, garlic paste.
The main use of mayonnaise at our place is a spread for sandwiches. I also use it to make pimento cheese. Toasted pimento cheese sandwiches where a lunch favorite when I attended Concord High School. We mobbed into town for the treat. Alas my pimento cheese recipe doesn't match the taste I remember, but it's not bad. Here's how it goes. Shred 500g (1 pd) of sharp chedder cheese with 100g of roasted pimentos. Bring the fragments down to small size. Put the mixture into a bowl and blend in the mayonnaise and ground black pepper. It's ready for sandwiches, toasted or plain.
My grandmother, Agnes Corl, regularly made four breads, biscuits among them. This recipe is hers via my mother, Dot. Start with three cups of self-rising flour in a large bowl. Add a tablespoon of baking powder and two tablespoons of salt. Mix thoroughly. Cut cooking margarine into slices and mix with the flour until it acquires a grainy texture. Slowly pour in whole milk and mead with the flour to make a dough. Remove from the bowl to a surface sprinkled with flour. Level it to a thickness of about 8 mm (or 1/3 inch). Use a round cutter of about 30mm diameter (11/4 inches) to make the biscuits. Bake at 180 C (350 F) until the biscuit tops begin to turn brown (about 12 minutes). Serve hot with the main course. They may also be served as a treat, with honey, butter, or Vegemite. Note: the biscuit flavor can be nuanced by adding condiments or spices to the dough, to suit your taste. The Ozzie version of biscuits, scones, are a sweet bread served with jellies or jams and whipped cream. My recipe, minus the salt and plus some brown syrup, does the job. But scones must be twice the thickness of biscuits and must be cut as squares.
Corn bread in its many variations is a very Southern feed. The basic recipe is simple: buttermilk, cormeal, salt, baking soda, an egg, and shortening ('lard'). Mix well. Pour the batter into an oiled bread pan and bake at 220 C (450 F) for about 30 minutes. Hushpuppies are the same recipe, but shaped into finger- or ball portions, then fried in hot deep oil. Dad liked to serve hushpuppies at his fish fries featuring cat fish and lots of bourbon.
Here's another quickie. Your beginning is a can of quality red salmon (pink won't do). Drain the can and empty the salmon into a large bowl. Add an egg and convet the mix into a puree. Sprinkle on two tablespoons of plain flour and a cup of bread crumbs, to bring the mix to a paste. Spread bread crumbs on a flat surface and work the salmon into patties. When the patties are shaped, add bread crumbs to their surface. Ladel them in a medium hot pan of vegetable oil and fry for about 10 minutes. Serve with an asparagas salad and fried chick peas.
I serve this dish with fancy dinners. The ingredients are sliced carrots, brown sugar, a tablesoon of ginger, two cups of water upgraded by a couple of tablespoons of maple syrup, cooked in lots of butter. I prefer to cook them in the microwave; about 10 minutes on a medium setting does the job. Serve in a Royal Dalton dish, garnished with candied red cherries. Then wait for the raves from your guests.
How many curries are there? Hundreds just in Ceylon, a friend tells me. Here's my humble version. I use yougart as the liquid base (Beya uses coconut cream). As for the meat, beef, lamb, pork, chicken, emu, kangaroo, fish, prawns (shrimp) are doable. I prefer beef, lamb, and chicken and leave the sea food to Beya. The curry I buy off the shelf: korma, vindaloo, tandoori. Paste only. I keep a minimum of two on hand, and usually mix them. Begin by chopping a large onion; saute in a large pan, using quality olive oil. Add 500g of yougart to the pan, stirring continuously on low heat. When it's warmed, stir in three tablespoons of curry paste, and a tablespoon of fresh garlic and of fresh ginger, pureed. Empty into the slow cooker. Add the small cuts of beef or lamb to the pan and cook on medium heat. Transfer to the slow cooker when done. Now add two cans of tomatoes and one packet of tomato paste to the pan, cooking on medium heat. When it's hot, add the herbs: cumin (freshly ground), basil, oregano, cardomon, marjoram, coriander, thyme. Add this mix to the slow cooker. Taste check after two hours and adjust as needed. Four hours of cooking brings out the best. Serve over white rice, with chutney, a cucumber and yougart mix, pappadams, and Indian music. My chicken curry eliminates the tomatoes, using only yougart as the base. Delete the cumin, add some dill, and saffron for color. Chicken curry needs only about an hour to mature to table taste.
Beya's recipes
  • Sour Chicken
  • Baked Blue Berry Cheesecake
  • skinless chicken thighs or breasts (1.5 or 1kg)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 knob fresh ginger
  • small bunch shallots or spring onions
  • tomatoes
  • red capsicums
  • 1 or 2 chillies (fresh)
  • Vegeta or chicken stock
  • 1 tin coconut cream (use low fat coconut cream if desired)
  • 1 lemon (2 if desired)

Cut chicken into cubes or strips.
Crush garlic and slice ginger into thin strips.
Julienne the shallots and red or green capsicums.
Dice tomatoes and chillies.

Put a small amount of olive oil in pan (1 tablespoon).
Add garlic, ginger and sweat but do not brown, add chicken and allow to cook enough to seal. 
Add half cup water and liquid stock or 1 cup water and Vegeta dry stock powder, bring to boil and simmer of 2 minutes, add tomatoes, capsicums and onions, chillies (and any other vegetable of your choice) allow to simmer for another 5 minutes, then add 1 tin of coconut cream and juice of the lemons (sample to tell whether the tangy lemon is to your taste). 
Simmer on low heat just until the coconut cream and lemon juice infuses the chicken (about 2 or 3 minutes) and take off the heat to prevent discolouring the vegetables. Leave the lid slightly ajar.

When serving, place as desired in a bowl and add finely chopped shallot green leaves, chopped coriander, and serve with steamed white rice.

  • 2 pkts of Philadelphia cream cheese  (750 or 500 grams will do)
  • 1 tin condensed milk
  • 3 while eggs
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 punnet blueberries
  • 1 teaspoon gelatine
  • 2 extra teaspoons of sugar and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 packet of Arnotts Nice biscuits
  • 125 grams of butter

Base -  Crumb the biscuits, add melted butter and mix well.  Line a tin or pie pan with the crumbs, patting down firmly.  Heat oven to 140 C fan forced, and cook the biscuit base for 10 - 15 minutes (according to your oven's heating).  Do not brown the base.  Remove and cool and then refrigerate overnight.

Cheese filling - Using a blender, break up the cream cheese and put in blender with condensed milk from 1 tin, add 3 eggs, and 1/4 cup lemon juice and blend well.  Pour into the cooled biscuit base and bake at 160 C fan forced for 20 - 30 minutes.  Allow to cool on a rack.

Blueberry topping -  Place the blueberries into a non stick pan with the 2 teaspons of sugar and a little lemon juice (just enough to add a little tang to the blueberry taste), when the berries have softened and juices increase take off heat and allow to cool, mix 1 teaspoon gelatine according to the instructions on the pack and add to the blueberries, pour over the cheesecake and refrigerate until the topping is set.

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