In My Kitchen, April 2015

I can’t believe this is post number 200. When a friend at work started this blog for me back in October 2012 (which is just as well, as I had no idea what to do), I never knew where it would go. At first it was just an easy way to direct people who often asked what I thought of various restaurants or if I had some suggestions for a group venue or special occasion. But I’ve really enjoyed putting recipes on here as well, and I now often find its quicker to check them here than trawling through my notebooks and cookbooks. I’ve also discovered lots of other blogs that I never would have otherwise, and made some blog-friends, some who I’m sure I’ll meet along the way, and others I will just have to wonder about. I am totally chuffed when someone tells me they tried one of my recipes, like a Japanese friend who made the very traditional Italian zucchini fritters; or another who went to visit someone on the Sunshine Coast and found the trifle I had once made waiting for her there, her friend had seen the recipe on my blog. My gorgeous boys always find it hilarious to try and photo bomb the food pics, but I hope one day they will look at this and remember things that mummy used to make or places we visited together.

One of the things I’ve really grown to enjoy is putting together the monthly In My Kitchen posts, which the big hearted Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial hosts each month. Its a wonderful look into kitchens around the world. Here’s what you’ll find in the Napoli kitchen of late.

Some beautiful Don Antonio pasta from Salt Meats Cheese. I loved this place when I first visited back in January 2013; they’ve expanded a lot since then, not only selling lots of kitchen goodies, but now serving up some hearty Italian food ready to eat and running a variety of cooking classes. This pasta is real artisan pasta made “al bronzo” – which means that the pasta dough is extruded through bronze shapes. It has a beautiful texture and I noticed “holds” the sauce well.imkapril (1)

With the spirals one Sunday I made one of Il Marito’s favourites – pasta forno, or baked pasta. This version has cubes of eggplant, mozzarella, and peas. I diced the eggplant first, coated it in flour and lightly fried it. Cook up some plain tomato pasta sauce, cook your pasta al dente, then toss them all together (I also usually beat up a couple of eggs and toss it through so it all holds) and then bake. It can then be sliced up like lasagne. For the non vegacquarians, you could add cubes of leg ham or prosciutto.imkapril (2)

On another night it was a quick mid week dinner with the spaghetti, I lightly cooked some spring onions, cherry tomatoes and tuna, tossed in the spaghetti and some parmesan and basil. This is something I can have on the table in ten or so minutes and is delicious if you have some good quality tuna on hand.imkapril (4)

I had these lovely Sicilian tuna fillets, which you’ll also find at Salt Meats Cheese. It is made in Sicily; the other brand I like is Callipo which is from Calabria.imkapril (3)

In my kitchen you’ll find a turkey (well not any more). Last year after Christmas Eve mass, we went up to Thomas Dux to get a few last minute things, and this one lone turkey was sitting there. It was an organic one too, and 70% off. I put it in the freezer and recently turkey craving hit so I decided to cook it for me and my boys one Saturday night. It was only a “little” turkey – 3 kilos, compared to the usual 5 kilo plus birds we have at Christmas, so it cooked in an hour and forty minutes or so. Delicious. Having leftover turkey the next day made it feel like Boxing day.imkapril (5)

Every Sunday morning in my kitchen there is homemade sourdough bread that I make using my starter La Figlia, daughter of Celia’s starter Priscilla. With three hungry males in the house, there’s been a supply-demand imbalance of late, so I used 1.5kg of flour this time and made three loaves instead of my usual one kilo and two loaves. We’ve stopped buying sliced bread.imkapril (10)

I also made some sourdough pancakes that were quickly consumed.imkapril (9)

I dehydrated some of my starter following Celia’s instructions to have as a back up just in case I forget to feed La Figlia or kill her off some how. The silicon mats are from Daiso.imkapril (7)

After it was dry, I blitzed it in my mini whizz and sealed it using my recently bought vacuum sealer. Now I have La Nipote, granddaughter of Priscilla.imkapril (8)

In my kitchen you’ll find dragonfruit. I love it and don’t see it often, but have come across it in a couple of grocers recently. Whenever I am travelling in Asia I gorge on dragonfruit, mangosteen and rambutans – yum!imkapril (6)

In my kitchen you’ll find semolina and a few other things I picked up at the Oriental and Continental Food warehouse in Artarmon (pictures on my Facebook page).  My mother-in-law put me on to this place years ago.  There is every manner of nuts, unusual flours, spices, oils, as well as catering stuff.  A lot of it is bulk size as they are a wholesaler, but there are a variety of products in smaller quantities. It is hard to find both coarse and fine semolina, so I always buy it here, and at $2.50 per kilo, its a bargain.imkapril

Of course, having just celebrated Easter, in my kitchen has quite a lot of chocolate!imkapril (13)

And a beautiful “cuzzupa”, a traditional Italian Easter bread, made for us by a lovely friend.imkapril (12)

And finally in my kitchen are two pear frangipane cakes, care of Francesca’s recipe at Almost Italian, waiting to be dusted with icing sugar. I made these on Easter Sunday to take to my in laws and my parents, something sweet – other than chocolate – but not too heavy to share  after a lovely meal.

imkapril (11)

31 thoughts on “In My Kitchen, April 2015

  1. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef

    200 posts is a lot, congratulations. You have wonderful things in your kitchen this month and I can’t decide what I like best!

  2. Moya

    I too love compiling the IMK post each month and of course checking out other bloggers treasures. Hooked on sourdough too and those frangipane cakes look wonderful. :)

  3. Lisa

    I love the look of the pasta, and the sour dough loaves look amazing. I’ve had dragon fruit in my kitchen this month too! Wish I could grow it myself as I love it so much :-)

  4. Vicki @ Boiled Eggs & Soldiers

    Congratulations on 200 posts. I love Salt Meats Cheese too, so many lovely things in there and I will have to get some of that tuna next time I go. Looking the look of everything in your kitchen this month but especially the pear frangipane tarts.

  5. Nancy |Plus Ate Six

    Congrats on your 200th post! That’s brilliant. As is every single thing in your kitchen this month! I’m working on spelt sourdough at the moment – it tastes great but it’s a bit on the ugly side. I have those frangipane tarts on my to-do list – one day:)

  6. Francesca

    The pasta dishes look lovely- especially the melanzane in forno. Oh yum, it’s pear time- and the tarts came out so handsomely. Congrats on your 200 anniversary. I love your posts so keep them coming Ms Napoli.

  7. EllaDee

    I’m a fan of Salts Meats Cheese as well… and always leave with too much but it’s so good, nothing is wasted. I love the generous tubs of olives :)

  8. fergie51

    Happy 200! I love picking up little tips and finding contacts for supplies on these posts. Always nice to see such positive people at work. Cheers :)

  9. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial

    No, no, don’t tell me I can get silicone mats at Daiso! It’s dangerous if I have any excuse to go there! :) Your pastas look mouthwatering and your bread – mamma mia! – how amazing do they look! Better than the woodfired loaves we used to buy! I’m glad you have a little dried starter now to keep and share. And that is the smallest turkey I’ve ever seen! It’s very sweet.. :)

    1. NapoliRestaurantAlert Post author

      Hehe – love Daiso – there are so many awesome kitchen and baking nick nacks. The Silpat equivalent of those mats cost a fortune! The whole family is grateful to you Celia for turning me into a breadmaker!

  10. Ania @ Milk, Toast and Honey

    Gorgeous IMK this month, thanks so much for sharing it with us. Already looking forward to next month’s instalment :-)

  11. Beck @ Goldenpudding

    Congratulations on 200 posts Josephine! And what a busy month it seems you’ve had – I love the look of that bread, and the tuna looks so much nicer than the tinned stuff! Good reminder about having a starter back up – I really should dehydrate some too…

  12. Liz @ spades, spatulas, and spoons

    Congratulations on the 200 posts! I look forward to the IMK posts each month although it takes me a few weeks to go through them all. Wonderful things in your kitchen.

    Beautiful bread, lucky family to have you as a baker. I still have to perfect my timing on the sourdough…it could be Sunday or Monday or maybe Saturday midnight!


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