In My Kitchen, February 2015

I’ve said before how much I love the summer months. The warm weather, the long days, it creates the illusion of more TIME, that precious commodity. I’m more energetic at this time of year, wanting to pile more in the day before the cold months arrive. So there has been plenty going on in the Napoli kitchen of late.

In my kitchen you’ll find little fingers that want to lick the bowl. Remember that? I am one of four, and we always used to fight over who would get to lick the cake beaters. The cake is called a Bung In Chocolate Cake, by Kate Bracks from Masterchef (whatever happened to her?). It’s an easy cake made from ingredients I always have in the pantry, and the boys love it.imkfeb (4)

You’ll find a batch of my morning coffee biscuits. I usually make these every few weeks, but hadn’t for a while with other things going on around Christmas and New Years. I was getting complaints from the office (you know who you are) so it was time to whip up a batch. Since I make these so frequently, as well as other biscuits, it made more sense to get the Silpat baking mats, rather than go through reams of baking paper. They are a little big for my baking trays though; in my “next kitchen” (one day) I dream of a monster sized oven.imkfeb (3)

In my kitchen you’ll find pasta sauce. There is nothing better than sauce from home grown, ripe, summer tomatoes. I had so many and they were getting too ripe for salad, so I made a batch of sauce with some basil from the garden thrown in. I always keep some sauce in the freezer, so after work all I have to do is cook up some ravioli or pasta. Presto – a ten minute meal (take that Jamie!).imkfeb (13)

Something to hang onto for your pasta sauce – Parmesan rind. I buy my parmeggiano in big chunks from the Italian deli, and grate it as I need it. Keep the rind – when you are making sauce or stock, chop off a bit and put it in, it’s an extra little flavour dimension. Scoop it out before serving.imkfeb (14)

This is “biscotto” care of Mamma Rosa. I don’t actually know what the proper Italian name for this is, but that’s what we called it growing up. My boys call it “crunchy bread”. It’s a lightly crisped bread, ideal for bruschetta, braised eggplants, cheese, ricotta and any other antipasto. I have the recipe, Mamma Rosa wrote it out for me in my little book of recipes, and its very long! I’ve tried a few people’s versions of this, but no one else’s has this feather light consistency.imkfeb (15)

In my kitchen you’ll find baker’s flour, for my first attempt at baking bread.imkfeb (16)

Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial , who hosts these In My Kitchen sessions each month, sent me a packet of Priscilla, her sourdough starter. Priscilla has been around the world and borne many an offspring with a variety of interesting names. I decided to call mine La Figlia di Priscilla (daughter of Priscilla). Following Celia’s instructions, I bought La Figlia to life.imkfeb1

I then made a dough, shaped a loaf…..imkfeb2

And wow!! My first loaf of homemade bread! It was pretty good for a first attempt.imkfeb3

The following weekend I tried again – this time it was much better as I was much more confident about what I was doing. The first loaf disappeared in the blink of an eye. (Even Mamma Rosa gave it the thumbs up).imkfeb (10)imkfeb (11)

I’m loving my new dishrack from simplehuman. (Do I need to start getting out more when these things excite me?). It has a built in knife block, holds wine glasses, and has a little spout that runs water into the sink. Clever design!

imkfeb (9)

And finally, in my kitchen you’ll find Sydney grown mangoes! My parents have a lovely mango tree in their backyard, and it produces fruit towards the back end of the Queensland season, so we get to enjoy them a little longer. Its the Kensington Pride variety, my favourite. They don’t colour like Queensland mangoes, in fact often they will still have green skin even when completely ripe, but the flavour is amazing.

imkfeb4

So long Summer, it’s been great, see you next time.

12 thoughts on “In My Kitchen, February 2015

  1. ladyredspecs

    Such a busy kitchen, I’m all for freezing ahead for quick week night meal. Your dIshrack is amazing. I make Parmesan oil with my rinds, will try adding to soup instead when the cold days come. Amazing sourdough!

    Reply
      1. ladyredspecs

        It needs a couple of weeks to get started. I just keep adding rinds, and as they become exposed more oil. The current batch is a couple of years old, it makes wonderful dressings

  2. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial

    Look at your bread! It went from very good to absolutely brilliant straight away! Love your ciabatta style loaves! We make a “crunchy bread” too, only our method is dead simple – we slice or tear up old sourdough and bake it in a 100C oven for three hours. Then everyone just eats it like crackers! :)

    Reply
    1. NapoliRestaurantAlert Post author

      Not sure about brilliant but it seems to have quickly become a part of the weekly routine and the boys complain when it runs out but difficult to do a mid-week bake! Thanks so much for your generosity, I never would have done this otherwise.

      Reply
  3. Goldenpudding

    I love the mass biscuit baking, and the sourdough, but I’m reeally coveting the dish rack – it has absolutely everything and I want one now!! ;)
    Also amazed to hear you can grow mangoes in Sydney – I’ll have to suggest to to my sister!
    thanks for the tour
    Beck

    Reply
  4. Selma's Table

    Yes, your dish rack is quite something – I particularly like that it has a spout for the water run-off – very clever! You have done well with La Figila – your loaves look amazing. I always store my rinds in the freezer but keep forgetting to add the to sauces! I love the sound of the parmesan oil though!

    Reply
  5. Kim Bultman

    Josephine, your “fingers in the bowl” photo brought back so many happy memories… fun to see this “tradition” being carried out in your kitchen. :) Hooray for your bread success, too! (I could make a meal out of bread dipped in homemade tomato sauce…)

    Reply

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