If you follow us on Instagram
, you've probably seen some pictures from our recent road trip touring the stunning NSW South Coast. Cruising around the towns of Kangaroo Valley & Berry, it was a week of pure leisure, slowing down and soaking up some much needed down time.
We booked ourselves into a pet-friendly self contained house nestled in the heart of Kangaroo Valley
. Days before I had envisioned us lounging on the sun deck, tucking into some local cheese and this homemade Dukkah
whilst sipping on some slightly chilled pinot noir. Sounds serene huh?
Well let me tell you, the weather had other plans. The skies opened and rain bucketed down the minute we took off from Sydney. We kept saying to each other "It doesn't matter about the rain, it will be cosy in the house with the fire on, curled up watching movies".
Doesn't sound too bad right?
Well,when we finally arrived at the house, we learned very quickly that the power was out. No lighting, no fire (as it was gas unit with an electric ignition!), no movies, just our luck. Cold and hungry, we left our pooch in the house and headed to the local pub. Luckily, the town centre's electricity had just come back on (we were told the residential area would be mid afternoon). We surrendered to the weather and got stuck into some hearty pub grub, sharing stories over a couple of glasses of local cider.
After two days of hibernation, we eventually got to enjoy the great outdoors. The local towns of Kangaroo Valley & nearby Berry are beautiful country villages, steeped in history & charm. The entire South Coast region is fast emerging as a foodies haven with its abundance of local produce, local wineries and gourmet cafes & restaurants dotted throughout. Well worth the visit, even in the rain.
Below is our super easy recipe for Dukkah
. We tend to make it if we're entertaining as it makes a great casual starter. You could also bring it along to a picnic or like we had planned, a self catered short escape. If you've never heard of Dukkah before, to put it simply it's an Egyptian spice mix. You can read more about it here
if you like.
Hazelnuts 1/3 cup
Almonds 1/3 cup
Sesame seeds 1/2 cup
Coriander seeds 2 1/2 TB
Cumin seeds 2 TB
Fennel seeds 1 tsp
Peppercorns 1 tsp
Salt Flakes 1 TB
Firstly, in a large pan over a medium-high heat, gently toast the hazelnuts & almonds until lightly browned. This should take 2 -3 mins. Remove nuts from the heat and place in the middle of a clean tea towel. Rub the nuts until most of the hazelnut skins in particular have been removed.
Place the nuts in a small food processor & blitz until the nuts are finely chopped (careful not to over blend as you don't want a fine powder). Pour nuts into a small mixing bowl.
Next place the sesame seeds in the pan and toast for 1 min until they start to colour. Remove immediately and place into the small mixing bowl with the nuts.
Add the spices (coriander, cumin, peppercorns & fennel) to the pan & toast for approx 2 mins until they start to colour, crackle & release a fragrant aroma. Place the spices into a mortar & pestle (you can use the food processor if you don't have one) & pound the spices until they are finely crushed. Add spices to the mixing bowl.
Add the sea salt to nuts, spices & seeds and mix until well combined. Feel free to taste test using the "dip finger" method. Add more salt if required.
Serve with fresh crusty bread and good quality olive oil. Dip the slices of bread into the olive oil then dukkah to enjoy.
You can also use the Dukkah as a rub for meats or sprinkled in salads.