In My Kitchen, June 2015

I’m not a Winter girl, so it is with a little sadness I’m typing June.  Bring back Spring and Summer! Somehow, my rogue tomatoes I mentioned last month are still growing.  When I went to pick a bundle the plant was even still flowering – the tomato plant is clearly confused.  Here’s what has been going on in the Napoli kitchen.

In my kitchen you’ll find these cute little boxes my darling boys made me for Mother’s Day.  They suggested I keep them by the bed for my trinkets.

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My lovely husband got me this gorgeous orchid.imkjune (4)

In my kitchen you’ll find mandarins (and a few lemons), a sure sign that Winter is here.  These are from my father-in-law’s tree; over coming months there will be more bowls of mandarins than I know what to do with from various family members.  Mandarincello, anyone?imkjune (2)

A few people have asked about my starter.  This is what it looks like after it has been “fed” and is almost bubbly enough to make into a loaf of bread.  My starter, La Figlia, is the offspring of Celia’s starter Priscilla, that is eight or so years old.imkjune (1)

It makes some lovely airy sourdough loaves.  I make bread every Sunday these days.

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I had another go at making pasticciotti.  Little winners these are.  This time I got the custard perfect, and I’m getting better and shaping the pastry into the little moulds, which is a lot trickier than I thought.  Now I just have to get the timing exactly right on baking.imkjune (6)

The pasticciotti  are from a region in Italy called Puglia, which I really want to visit, so I couldn’t help buying this cookbook.  It is absolutely beautiful.  A lot of the recipes are “cucina povera” – poor kitchen – style, which is the kind of food I grew up with. I notice a lot of the recipes contain broccoli rabe, which you won’t find everywhere.  My father used to make us eat this slightly bitter vegetable growing up, as according to him, it “purifies your blood” (though he said that about all green leafy vegetables).imkjune (12)

I tried the ricotta cake recipe in the book, though I tweaked it a little as the sugar content seemed too high, and it contained candied fruit which I’m not too keen on.  I need to work on my pastry technique and I should have left it in the tin longer to set after cooking but the end result was incredibly delicious.  I’ll do a little more tweaking then post the recipe.imkjune (9)

imkjune (10)In my kitchen you’ll find tiny shaped pasta varieties from Molisana, another brand of pasta I like.  These are great for the soups I make mid week after work.imkjune (5)

One night  for dinner I made some tuna and quinoa patties.  The original recipe is from the beautiful food blog Chew Town.  Hers are Asian inspired; as I did not have coriander or ginger or a red onion handy, I just used parsley and spring onions.  I also used flour instead of almond meal.  Delicious.imkjune (3)

Making these reminded me of some other tuna patties the Marito always loved that I hadn’t made for ages, so I made them on the weekend.  These are with capsicum and potato and then crumbed before lightly frying.  I whipped up a batch of burger buns, recipe also courtesy of Celia, and we had some great burgers for dinner.  My subconscious must have been affected by all the burger pictures for International Burger Day.imkjune (8)

How’s your winter kitchen coming along?

27 thoughts on “In My Kitchen, June 2015

  1. Francesca

    Some years ago when I was staying in central Sicilia in a little Agriturismo, I tried Mandarincello. It is really delicious and worth the effort, that is, if you can come by some nice home made Grappa. any chance your FIL might have some to spare???
    Puglia is a great region to visit. You wiil love it, from the white buildings of Ostuni to the beehive triulli of Alberobello. I haven’t tried pasticiotti, but they look really wonderful!!
    Such cute Mother’s day presents!

    Reply
  2. Joanne T Ferguson

    What a great post that brightened my day! I always love home made presents and thinks mum’s should be appreciated every day and can’t wait to see what you recreate from the cook book!
    Thanks also for this month’s kitchen view!

    Reply
  3. grabyourfork

    I definitely need to camp out under your kitchen table. Your sourdough looks incredible and how perfect at your pasticcioti!

    Reply
  4. Fiona Ryan (@TIFFINbitesized)

    What great little boxes, filled with love. If you can believe it, I just bought some Molisana pasta from a deli yesterday. I was after orzo but ended up with the tiny tear drops and flowers. Quite a coincidence. In our house, tuna patties are always called salmon rissoles even though my mum long ago gave up on the tinned salmon and substituted more economical tuna. They’ve kept their name though!

    Always interesting to see what’s happening. xxx

    Reply
  5. fergie51

    Those little boxes are so cheerful! The ricotta cake looks great and I want to know how everyone seems to know about ‘International Burger Day’. I’m obviously not in the loop! :)

    Reply
  6. lizzygoodthings

    Oh wow, the orchid and the tulips are just lovely… and how delicious does your ricotta cake sound! Yum!

    Reply
  7. Kim Bultman

    Josephine, the closest I can get to Puglia is when I visit a small Italian grocery that imports olives from there when they’re in season. (Heavenly!) Your post and photos satisfied the rest of my longings for such fare. Love the boxes your children made, and the orchid, too!

    Reply
  8. Maggie

    Your trinket boxes are adorable! I really want to try that ricotta cake! I hope your tweaks go well as I can’t wait to see the recipe.

    Reply
  9. Lisa

    I love those beautiful bright boxes. It’s obvious they put a lot of love into them!

    That bread just looks amazing. Perfect for winter! I too love shaped pasta, but have never seen that brand. Lots of yumminess in your kitchen this month!

    Reply
  10. Elizabeth

    What a fantastic IMK this month. I love the look of that ricotta cake and the quinoa and tuna patties… as well as the pasticciotti, I can’t wait to try them :) Thanks for sharing! Liz xx

    Reply
      1. Elizabeth

        I definitely will… I’m going to try and convert it in my Thermomix… So here goes :-) xx

  11. EllaDee

    The tuna patties made with potato made me nostalgic for my grandfather who had a few kitchen specialties, those among them, that will be my forever favourites.
    The ricotta cake looks heavenly. I’m a fan of Papa Pasticceria ricotta cake and it looks even better than that.

    Reply
  12. missfoodfairy

    WOW you’ve been busy this month Josephine! Lots of pastry takes time to master doesn’t it! What works for one doesn’t quite work the same for the next dish being made – I know, we learnt that in school :) But your desserts looks delicious & I’m sure no one even noticed ;)

    Reply

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