In My Kitchen – October 2014

In My Kitchen Oct 2014 | Selma's TableIn my kitchen, I have cheese. One of my favourite cheese stalls in London’s Borough Market, is Une Normade a Londres. Run by two brothers from Normandy, these boys really know their cheese. This time I came away with a little rondel of Pérail de Brebis, a ewe’s milk cheese  – seriously savoury and creamy from Aveyron in the Mid Pyrenees in France. The land the sheep graze on is rich in floral growth and this is very evident in the mellow but rich flavour of this cheese. In My Kitchen Oct 2014 | Selma's TableThe enormous variety of goats cheeses they have on display is something to behold – they always have plenty of cheese available to sample – if you are in the area, drop by and see what takes your fancy – I don’t think you will come away empty handed! In My Kitchen Oct 2014 | Selma's TableIn my kitchen I have this award winning, liquid gold, which I was sent to sample, from Olive Branch, a company specialising in Greek produce. Olive Branch’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is cold pressed using only Cretan Koroneiki olives, which makes it a single varietal EVOO. It’s quite floral – more grassy and fruity than peppery though there is little bite of pepperiness towards the end. In My Kitchen Oct 2014 | Selma's TableOlive Branch work with a the local co-op as well as neighbouring farmers to partially produce this low acidity (0.3%) EVOO on their farm. Using early ripening olives and cold pressing them within hours of harvest also ensures that the oil is fresh, aromatic and full of nutrients and anti-oxidants. It is absolutely gorgeous – just look at that stunning colour! It has been wonderful on the last of the flavourful summer tomatoes and drizzled over pasta too. In My Kitchen Oct 2014 | Selma's TableI made a lovely salad with sliced fennel, cherry tomatoes, black grapes, walnuts and bee pollen (the bee pollen featured in my September IMK post)  and this oil was the perfect complement to it.

Greek Inspired Roast Chicken with Bread | Selma's Table

Greek Inspired Roast Chicken with Bread

I also made a Green Inspired Roast Chicken with Bread which was delicious with their oil. Do try the oil if you get the chance – it makes a lovely addition to the peppery EVOO that we are more used to. A little tidbit for you – they supply Ottolenghi with Dakos, that crispy bread he is so fond of! In My Kitchen Oct 2014 | Selma's TableSpeaking of Ottolenghi, I was completely overexcited to receive my copy of the long awaited Plenty More. I have made the wonderful tomato and pomegranate salad, the slow cooked chickpeas, the sweet and sour leeks with goats cheese and the corn fritters – all have been delicious!! The book is divided into chapters by method (Tossed, Steamed, Blanched, Braised, Mashed, Grilled etc…) and is vegetarian but you wouldn’t even notice. Nonetheless, there are plenty of suggestions for the carnivore too. Desperately hoping that he returns to London (he is in Australia on his book tour) with a few more dates for book signings… In My Kitchen Oct 2014 | Selma's Table In my kitchen, Jake cooked dinner – the first time in a long while. He gets invited to dinner at least once a week where he and his friends do the cooking. At least that is what I think is going on! A few times, I have called him and he is in Sainsburys with one or two of his friends, buying groceries to make dinner with. I can’t hear the tell tale sound of clinking bottles in the basket….Anyway, he announced that he was going to cook dinner – he made this delicious pasta dish, sautéing onions and garlic and adding sundried tomatoes, left over roast chicken, a pinch of smoky paprika and some creme fraiche. The pasta was perfectly al dente too. I was so impressed.

In my kitchen there were fancy, schmancy cupcakes because Jake turned 17. For the past few years, I either take him and a couple of his friends out for dinner or a group of us go out – this year, one of his friends threw him a surprise party. We spun him a tale and made him believe that I was taking him and this friend out to lunch and that afterwards they were going to go to the park and maybe meet up with a couple of friends (because “everyone is away”). I bailed at the last minute, but made him take the Ambassador Cupcakes that I had made in case anyone turned up to the park. He didn’t suspect a thing and got such a surprise when he got to his friend’s house and found everyone there!! I made the cupcakes the night before and the icing, early in the morning. I took him up one hastily and hideously iced and assembled cake with a candle in it, all his birthday cards and his present. Then I watched some icing videos on YouTube and iced the rest in a slightly more professional manner!! The recipe for these Ambassador or Double Ferrero Rocher Cupcakes with Nutella Icing is on the blog – they went down a treat! In My Kitchen Oct 2014 | Selma's Table In my kitchen, I have Lurpak’s Cook’s Range. I was sent a couple of packs of ‘Baking‘ of and a bottle of ‘Cooking Liquid‘. ‘Baking’ is simply amazing for baking and icing – a blend of butter and rapeseed (canola) oil, it is soft from the fridge so that within a few seconds of beating it looks like this – In My Kitchen Oct 2014 | Selma's TableI used ‘Baking’ to make the Nutella icing for the Double Ferrero Rocher Cupcakes and also used some to make my Carrot and Apple Cake Cheesecake (more about that later) and I think it is pretty amazing. I’ve used the ‘Cooking Liquid’ which is also a blend of butter and rapeseed oil, to sauté onions and brown meat – it does the job brilliantly. There is also a mist and a clarified butter in the range which I would love to try. I have been very impressed with both the products. If you bake a lot, Baking would be a great asset in the kitchen. Lots of recipes on their website as well as a very clever shopping tool which links to your on-line grocery store! In My Kitchen Oct 2014 | Selma's TableIn my kitchen I made a Carrot & Apple Cake Cheesecake. My friend Rupert, was hosting a Coffee Morning fundraiser for Macmillan and asked me to help – not that I did much other than bake this cake and bank the money raised. In true Rupert fashion, there was a mouthwatering array of hot and cold savoury bites, Bucks Fizz  in Vera Wang crystal flutes and Jasmine tea in a Coalport tea service. There was no selling of anything, just very generous donations from everyone instead – it was lovely and so much fun! He raised a good sum of money too, which was the whole point! The recipe for the Carrot & Apple Cake Cheesecake is now on the blog.

Well, that is it from my kitchen – huge thanks to Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial who hosts this monthly event – peeking into everyone’s kitchens all over the world is quite the eye opener sometimes!  Pour yourself a drink and take a little browse – all the links to the participating blogs are on the right hand side of Celia’s post. I have linked the page to  her blog name so click on it and take a little tour! Have a wonderful October, everyone!

55 thoughts on “In My Kitchen – October 2014

    • It only seems busy Suzanne – compared to what it used to be like, it really quiet these days! The olive oil is wonderful – I cannot say enough about it. The cheese is one of my favourites – I was actually begrudging Jake his mouthfuls!! And the butter is brilliant if you bake a lot which I know you do xx


    • It was lovely – glad to see that he has been listening over the years. I must have bored him silly talking about pasta boiling times but it worked! I have such a weakness for cheese – it is the thing I most look forward to at Christmas – the whole ritual of queueing up at Neal Yard and tasting all the traditional ones before deciding what to get and then supplementing with cheese from the other cheese stalls. Once year I ate too much and couldn’t manage even a sliver of cheese and was so cross when most of it was wolfed down by everyone else!!


  1. I am very jealous of your Lurpacks cook bag. It is one of my favourite brands of butter. That cheese from the Borough market looks incredible too. My dad was a green grocer for years when I was growing up so sometimes I would visit the tradesmans Borough market which starts about 4 am in the morning. A very different kind of market with boxes of fresh produce straight off the boats or from lorries that had travelled up and down the country. I’ve been to Covenant Garden flower market too as a kid which is a real spectacle too.


    • That is amazing Emma! What brilliant experiences. I bet it was different to the retail version we see! I watched a programme on Billingsgate – I’ve been there early in the morning to get fish but this programme was focussing on the people who work there and how they traded too – so interesting. Do you know the blog ‘Spitalfields Life’ by The Gentle Author? He/She does a lot of research into the old days, as it were – you might find it interesting. It’s a blog I love – all about London (mainly the East End) and so beautifully written too.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t seen Ottolenghi’s new book yet, but I’ll look out for it now. I loved his first one! And how nice to have a cheese stall with vendors who really know their stuff – I’m surprised you managed to come home with just one bit of cheese! :) Clever Jake, lovely pasta he’s cooked and happy birthday to him. I hope he’s feeling better now! Your cupcakes look the bomb, Selma, I bet he was very impressed! :)


    • Thanks Celia – full disclosure is that I usually get at least 3 but I only had the Brebis left to photograph! Must get more organised…Jake is feeling much better now, thanks. And I have managed to avoid catching it, thankfully.


  3. Oh my, Selma, you really have me salivating! (Am reading before breakfast!) It ALL looks wonderful. Ottolenghi has just arrived in Australia, finally, via his TV program. I’ve been hearing about him for a year or so but until recently have seen nothing. Thanks for a wonderful gastronomic tour!


  4. JESUS CHRIST ! – this post is like something designed by Torquemada, Selma ! – meaning that I can’t lay my hands on any of it !
    I use Lurpak, but the range on offer here is very limited.
    I am going to have to check out that Ottolenghi book, and that’s a fact !


  5. All your offerings are wonderful but the ferrero rocher cupcakes grabbed my interest as the G.O.’s birthday next year is his 60th. He’ll be reluctant to have a fuss made but as a fan of ferrero rocher he’ll enjoy those.
    i have no way of justifying yet another cook book purchase, so I won’t and Ottolenghi’s Plenty & Plenty More are at stage 1 – wishlist and inevitably stage 2 – bookcase will eventuate :)


    • I will post the recipe for those cupcakes tomorrow, all being well. I have severely curtailed my cookbook buying but I just had to get Plenty More – there are a fair few of the recipes from it on the web so you can try some out without it!


  6. Some lovely items her Selma, and I see the apple and carrot cake you mentioned – I’m interested to hear about the cheesecake part! I also love the fact that you’re missing Yotam Ottolenghi because he’s over here! I actually investigated the book signings in Australia but they were all quickly sold out :(


    • Yes, the irony of Ottolenghi being in Australia is not lost on me!!! I am not surprised that the book signings are sold out – he is phenomenal! I will post the recipe for the cheesecake quite soon. Just wishing I had had the foresight to take more pictures of it :(

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  7. Oh Selma, you are such a sweetheart and a wonderful mother! I love that you made all these cakes for Jake (who looks to be following in his mother’s footsteps as an accomplished cook, I see) and planned a surprise with his friends for him. I can’t wait to have children to do things like that for them. Also, the abundance in your kitchen is so fun this month. Love that roasted chicken, the liquid gold, the cheese!, and of course, Plenty More. I am going to have to put my order in for that book soon. All the things you’ve cooked from it sound amazing! Hope you’re having a great week, dear! xx


    • Hi Ngan – sorry for the late reply…and thank you for your lovely comments. You will be an amazing mother – I can see that already! And your virtual “family” will be here to help you whenever you need it! And definitely get Plenty More – it is fabulous! Ottolenghi is apparently on his way to the US so you may even get to see him talk and get your book singled – the signing sell out quickly though…xxx


  8. I don’t know much about you, but I already know that your kitchen couldn’t be otherwise! It seems that you’re alway ready to feed someone with scrumptious food! I agree with Ngan… Jake is following his mother’s footsteps!


    • Thanks my lovely!! I could say exactly the same about your kttchen too! Always feel proud of Jake when he cooks something and I wish he would do it more often! That pasta was really good and I loved how he added the smoked paprika to it!


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    • Liz, thank you. Cooking large croutons with the chicken makes a really nice change. Regarding the butter, I have a feeling that Lurpak is international – try googling them to see. And yes, the oil is just gorgeous and that cheese!! I bought some more the other day and shared it with a friend over a glass of wine – she thought it was just heavenly too! Thanks so much for stopping by!


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