In my kitchen, Spring has truly sprung!
Earlier in the month I had a bunch of white tulips and purple hyacinths. Now there is a large bunch of those pretty cream coloured daffodils on the windowsill. If you would like to know more about the rather beautiful handblown glass bowl next to the vase, take a look at my second IMK post for the details.
In my kitchen I have a wonderful new cookbook and some utterly delicious produce. I was thrilled to receive an invitation to Theo Randall’s launch party for his latest book, My Simple Italian. It was held in his elegant restaurant Theo Randall at the Intercontinental off Park Lane, heaving with friendly, creative, foodie people – well, the ones I met were! As we chattered, the most delicious canapés were being served by his charming and knowledgeable staff who also refilled our glasses with what seemed to be a never ending supply of bubbles. The recipes for the canapés are all to found within the covers of Theo Randall’s book and they all depend on one thing – really good, tasty ingredients. He along with many Michelin starred chefs, get their produce from a company called Natoora, who, luckily for those of us without the expense account, also sell to consumers via their website and Ocado. They carry unusual ingredients like Monk’s Beard, Marinda Tomatoes, Calcott Onions, Speckled Wild Baby Radicchio, Wild Garlic Leaves as well as fish, meat and cheese – their website is well worth a browse. I came home with a Theo Randal jute shopping bag, stuffed full of lemons, blood oranges and a selection of the most savoury tomatoes I have ever eaten. There was also a bag of chocolate truffles and a signed copy of his excellent new book, My Simple Italian.
The recipes are simple yet full of flavour with a wealth of tips gleaned from his travels and years at River Cafe. The photography is stunning – showcasing his gorgeous food in a very simple way. I cannot wait to get started – I have earmarked lots of pages and I have a pheasant in the freezer that is now destined to be cooked in milk and celeriac as per Mr Randall’s instructions! (Just a reminder – if you click on the first photo, you can see the enlarged version of the picture in the each of the galleries.)
In my kitchen I have some delicious packets of artisan tea from Adagio Tea and their ingenious IngenuiTea tea brewer. The teas are just gorgeous – full of flavour and really unusual too. If you are a tea drinker, I highly recommend a look around their website – from large range of unusual green teas to a vaiiety of rooibos; herbal teas to flavoured ones – there is such a fabulous and interesting selection. I really like the Blood Orange tea – it’s incredibly fragrant and quite tart – I think it would be wonderful as a cold drink in the hotter weather.
The IngenuiTea brewer is fabulous – after steeping the tea, you place it on top of your cup which releases the valve and the brewed tea pours straight into the cup. I have some recipes which I am going to try out using their blends.
In my kitchen I have a bowl full of gorgeous unwaxed organic lemons from Chegworth Valley Farm Shop in Borough Market. Unwaxed lemons are essential for zesting but don’t keep as long as their waxed ones.
In my kitchen I have a funky tea towel sent by a friend in New Zealand. I feel like I should rename the blog!!
Her sister, who lives in London, also brought me back some wonderful Kiwi Manuka honey – it’s so good spread on my home made sourdough bread!
In my kitchen I have mini spatulas and a pretty new jug. I realised the other day, as I was trying to scrape the last of the peanut butter out of the jar that I really, really needed a mini rubber spatula. I popped into TK Maxx and there was a happy little bunch of them waiting for me to take them home! The jug comes from a fabulous new shop on Queenstown Road called Les Sardines – I couldn’t resist it. It looks wonderful filled with flowers!
In my kitchen I have a new peeler with a ceramic blade. I find these so smooth and efficient – I had my last one for about 8 years so was a little bereft when it snapped. Being ceramic, they are not as robust as metal but with a little care and thought, they last a very long time. I was so pleased to find another one even though it’s a bit wider than I am used to – it does, however, still do a marvellous job.
In my kitchen I have a tub of Dodoni feta cheese. While I was in Cape Town, I observed how feta is sold in large pots rather than the little vacuum packed slabs we are more used to. When I popped into the Mediterranean grocery store around the corner from me, I saw that they sell slices of feta in tubs. It keeps really well in the brine rather than going off in the packet when you have used a bit for a recipe. I used the feta on my Chermoula Spiced Aubergine Wedges and also in my pull apart rolls, below.
In my kitchen I went sourdough crazy and baked up a fruit loaf, a red pesto, feta cheese and olive pull apart rolls and a green pesto and tomato pull apart rolls. It’s the basic overnight dough divided into 2 equal portions, stretched out, filled, rolled up and sliced and baked. Being sourdough, they are chewy rather than soft and fluffy and so full of flavour! Just wonderful with bowl of steaming hot soup.
In my kitchen I had sourdough hot cross buns – inspired and instructed by tweets from Celia! My crosses are very wonky and I also need to work on shaping buns but they were very tasty indeed. I am working on a chocolate chip and espresso version now…
Well, that is it from my kitchen – what’s been going on in yours?
Huge thanks, as ever to the generous Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial who hosts this monthly event – peeking into everyone’s kitchens all over the world is so inspiring! Make yourself a cuppa and have a little browse – all the links to the participating blogs are on the right hand side of Celia’s post. I have linked her post to her blog name so click and take a little tour!