I’m lifting this idea for a post from my friend Celia, over at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. She’s far more organised than me and does a monthly post on interesting happenings in her kitchen. I’m not sure that I can promise to have a fascinating kitchen on a monthly basis, but there are one or two things in there at the moment I thought I might share with you this week. I’m beginning with the sunset on Monday (2 January) evening. While technically not actually in my kitchen, it can be seen in all it’s glory from my big kitchen windows so I’m pretty sure it counts. I took this shot with my DSLR on manual and did no post processing at all – so you can see that the camera class I took seems to have paid off somewhat.
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Happy new year, folks, and welcome to 2011 and the first link to the box contents of the year!!
I hope you all had a minimally stressful holiday break and managed to get through the Xmas food binge without having to do all the work yourselves!
We had a very pleasant Xmas at the beach, sharing the typical Australian summer holiday with a new, young, Afghani friend of ours. He seemed to cope well with the culture shock and his new skills now include body-boarding and being able to play a card game called “Bulls**t”! Taught to him by my terribly culturally sensitive teenagers (not!) and with the winner being the best liar, I’m not entirely sure what his mother would think about the latter.
We have a ridiculously busy January and it looks like I am not going to be all that reliable with this particular section of the blog until the end of the month. I’m sorry if you are inconvenienced by this in any way, but I promise to be back at full steam in the last week of the month. To make up for this in some small way, I want to share a delicious seasonal recipe from one of my Xmas presents – Greg Malouf’s beautiful new book, “Saraban“. I am sure that ham and turkey left-overs are looking pretty tired now, so this vegetarian dish could be just the thing! Greg stipulates white zucchini for this, but I think we can be a bit flexible on that point!
WHITE ZUCCHINI OMELETTE WITH MINT & MELTING CHEESE
100ml olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
1 tsp dried mint
4 zucchini, grated (about 350gm)
2 tbsp SR flour
grated zest of lemon
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
200 gms provolone, grated
Preheat oven to 180C.
Heat half the oil in a pan and fry onion over low heat until softened. Stir in the nutmeg and mint and fry for another minute. Set aside.
Pour the remaining oil into a non-stick ovenproof fry pan and heat in the oven for 5-10 minutes.
Squeeze out most of the liquid from the zucchini.
Whisk the eggs until frothy, then whisk in the flour,lemon zest, salt, pepper, zucchini and cheese.
Pour mixture into the hot oil. Cover the pan with a lid or foil and bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until nearly set.
Remove the lid and cook a further 15 minutes until browned.
Serve hot with thick yoghurt and fresh herbs, or cold with a relish of your choice.
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Every Aussie foodie – and more than a few International ones, too – have heard of Stephanie Alexander, who is something of a living National treasure. Her latest, and perhaps most ambitious, contribution is the The Kitchen Garden Foundation which aims to put both a vegetable garden and a working, multi-station kitchen in Australian schools and to make pleasurable food education a part of the primary school curriculum. Here in Adelaide, in recognition of the fact that there will be a percentage of schools for whom this dream will not be manageable, the Adelaide Botanic Gardens Foundation has supported the development of a Kitchen Garden within the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, with hopes for an educational kitchen in the future. The garden flourishes with seasonal produce and at this stage most of that generally goes to the kitchen of the Botanic Gardens Restaurant. This garden is planned to be an teaching resource for not only children and schools, but also an aid for immigrants so they can see and learn about the food plants which grow in their new home and as an inspiration for any potential veggie gardeners – and I guess that is all of us!
The project was launched during “Tasting Australia”, in April, at the splendid “Home Grown Gala Dinner”, cooked by Simon Bryant, with guests that included Peter Cundall, Maggie Beer and Stephanie Alexander. Some of the fresh produce used at that wonderful dinner came out of the Kitchen Garden and last week I was invited to a “Botanic Gardens Harvest to Plate” cookoff in the Botanic Gardens to show off the last of the current crops in the garden. The Foundation enjoys a close relationship with the Adelaide Showgrounds Farmers Market Kid’s Club and our chef last Tuesday, again the wonderful Simon Bryant, employed a handful of these enthusiastic novice chefs to help him out with the prep work for lunch.