Hello hungry peoples,
Today we visit Colleen, a new Hometaste chef who specialises in Australian food. Colleen began cooking when she married and had a young family. When her children were young they couldn’t afford take-away and Colleen would lovingly prepare dinner every night. She learned to stretch the family food budget by making tasty healthy meals the whole family enjoyed. She recently came to the realisation that she has cooked dinner pretty much every night for the 31 years since.
Colleen grew up watching her mother in the kitchen and draws great inspiration from her. Her mother is now 74 and still happily baking away. Colleen is passing down this love of food down to the next generation and loves spending time with her grandchildren. One of her goals with cooking is to cook food the whole family can enjoy.
Some of Colleen’s recipes have been with her through her entire food journey. Tried and tested does not seem a sufficient description. This wealth of experience serves her well in the kitchen as her philosophy is that everything should be made from start to finish. Her pantry has been described by friends as looking like a greengrocers because of all the whole and fresh ingredients.
Colleen can also be described as a structured cook. She likes to approach a dish with a clear list of ingredients and processes to make it the best she can. Some of her favourite dishes are a shepherd’s pie and a traditional lasagne, both of which she has been making for many years. I was lucky enough to try both. I particularly liked the addition of mashed pumpkin into the cottage pie top, which produced a lovely flavour. I also sampled Colleen’s home made sausage rolls with a lovely crispy pastry encircling a vegetable and beef mince filling. Very tasty!
Lastly I sampled Colleen’s special home made apple crumble. This was easily one of the best crumbles I have ever had. The apples were perfectly cooked, topped with the crunchiest crumble and just the right amount of sweetness. The secret ingredient according to Colleen is love…..and Weetbix. This is something I need to replicate at home as the use of Weetbix, rather than oats, produced a perfect crispyness without the chewyness that oats can impart. So clever and so delicious!
Colleen cooks Australian classics and adds her own tweaks to make them extra delicious. You can order her food at Hometaste here.