In My Kitchen, May 2016

In My Kitchen there is lunch. Unless I am out and about, I prefer to eat well at lunch time, followed by something light for dinner. This month’s post looks at some of my lunches over the last few weeks. Simple food, good bread, made from the best ingredients- what more could I ever want?

Cos Lettuce, anchovy and garlic, hard boiled eggs.
Cos Lettuce, anchovy and garlic dressing, hard-boiled eggs, sourdough bread

The garden and chooks provide most of my ingredients, though as the season turns, the garden pickings are becoming slim.

Pasta and peas
Pasta and peas

Whenever a pasta dish calls for pancetta, speck or lard, I use anchovies as my pescatarian substitute which provides the salty flavour base.

A foccaccia or a pizza?
A foccaccia or pizza?

There are still a few cherry tomatoes hiding in the garden along with wild rocket. They land on a simple foccaccia, along with potatoes and garlic.

eggplant bake
eggplant bake

My de-constructed eggplant parmigiana is a quick lunch. The new season’s eggplants don’t need salting or de-gorging.  Stir fry them quickly in ample olive oil, toss them in left over tomato passata, add basil and lots of cheese, maybe some cooked ditalini pasta to bulk it out, then into the oven it goes for 10 minutes.

An omeltte and a glass of wine
An omelette and a glass of wine

I once owned an Elizabeth David book entitled, An Omelette and a Glass of Wine. Memories of this book inspire our once a week lunch special- with scattered parmesan cheese and herbs through the rolled omelette. Add salad, bread and a glass of wine!

Leek risotto
Leek risotto

We now have self-sown leeks everywhere and can rely on them in any season. My favourite way to use them is in a risotto, using home-made veggie stock. They are also great cooked with potatoes then mashed with butter. A vichyssoise without the liquid.

Inspired by Celia, I now make little rolls to eat or freeze. Take one portion of risen sourdough, spread out, add toppings- here we have olives, rosemary, a little oil- roll up, then slice into 12 scrolls, and let rise again and bake.

seasonal chilli
seasonal chilli

Our chilli always arrives late in the season and keeps producing well until late winter. Most will be dried. Chilli recipes are most welcome.

Thanks Maureen at The Orgasmic Chef for hosting In My Kitchen. Press that link to see what’s happening in other kitchens around the globe.

40 thoughts on “In My Kitchen, May 2016”

  1. I can hardly wait until my sourdough cooking skills are good enough to make a pizza base or the little rolls you and Celia make. Am baking the second loaf from my new starter today… Your food all looks so delicious, Francesca. I, too, prefer to eat a more substantial lunch and a light dinner. Thank you for sharing your lunch 🙂

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      1. I was able to eat the first loaf just fine, but only being able to find whole meal spelt meant it was very dense. This time I have found white spelt and have tried a 50/50 mix. Fingers crossed 😊

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  2. Lovely lunches, they can be a bit of a challenge here, especially if I have my head deep into something, then leftovers are a godsend. We do have omelette and salad, frequently, i just need to be better organized.

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    1. I need to eat lightly at dinner for reasons that I mentioned to you recently. Mr T eats most of the bread-I can have one slice a day. The chooks get our leftovers. I am finally learning how to cook for 2, not 8.

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  3. What a wonderful & tantalising theme for IMK 🙂 Lunch together at home has been an enjoyable adjustment for us… not major as most of the time we were taking lunches to work but now, similarly, more substantial. I’m taking note of your ideas and waving the laptop screen at the G.O. showing him the pics. Several times a week what I cook for dinner needs to run to leftovers for lunch. We like fridgetata, omelettes, ploughman’s, simple sandwichesnow with homemade sourdough. Even when we go to town we prefer to be home for lunch… our own modest offerings are far better. When we have a quiet day a glass of wine and the necessary nap afterwards will be a pleasant progression.

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    1. Lovely to hear from you EllaDee-you have been quiet lately- I suspect busy too. I know what you mean- eating out can be so disappointing and in the end, a waste of money. I would rather save up for a big splurge than fritter it in cafes. What is fridgerata? Leftovers and bits and pieces? It is amazing how one’s eating habits change after escaping the dark satanic mills.

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      1. “Fridgetata” is frittata made from whatever is in the fridge. We were busy then we discovered a few house issues that needed extra ASAP attention but this weekend we had to make a trip south so we turned it into a mini break at Port Stephens…we’re ever trying for balance 🙂

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  4. It will be somewhere Lisa- it’s not the sort of book you could throw out! I think that’s why Mr T always insists on a little glass of wine with lunch- If Elizabeth David can have one, so can I, is his thinking.

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  5. I like an omelette with lettuce for lunch but forgo the bread. I have come to love a Korean omelette without cheese. It’s just eggs (no milk), soy sauce, sesame oil and lots of chives whisked together and dropped into a splash of hot Peanut Oil for 1 minute only (turn after 30 seconds). It’s almost an immediate meal for breakfast or lunch with some salad. I do it in a wok – it tends to work better. Add chilli if you like but it might spoil it. Am trying to eat thinner!

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  6. Grear lunch ideas here. Especially useful as I’ve a couple tof vegetarians coming for lunch tomorrow. But are they pescatarians? Willhave to ask them.

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  7. What delicious lunches! I’d like to apply for Honorary GrandMama status and routinely join you for lunch in your kitchen. Did I miss the application form somewhere?

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  8. An omelette is my favourite ‘late breakfast, it’s nearly lunch, I better make something to eat’ meal. I don’t know how it escaped my attention but I didn’t realise you had chickens. That’s very handy. I’ve taken to making batches of rolls and popping them in the freezer also. There will be some in my edition of this month’s IMK also.

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  9. I am working on making more of lunch – it is hit and miss but I think your lunches look really beautiful – in particular I love good bread – the foccaccia looks superb and I really love your bread rolls. And I would love leeks on tap (not to be confused with a tap with leaks) because they cost so much but are so lovely

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  10. I love your lunches. Those olive rolls look scrumptious. My chilli is prolific at the moment too. I’ve been turning it into homemade tabasco, and using it in chutneys. I also wash it and freeze whole – I find it chops much nicer when frozen and I just throw it into meals that way too.

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    1. Great idea. When I get back from NZ, there will be heaps to pick so I’ll freeze them. Homemade Tabasco- never made that but shall give that a go too. And Chilli oil- always served on the side in Sicilian restaurants. Thanks Lisa.

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  11. I’m loving your olive sourdough scrolls Francesca, something to look forward to making one day 🙂 You have leeks in your veggie patch, I can’t wait to grow some, and you get them all year round? I bought some a couple of weeks ago – $2.20 per leek! EEEK! As for chilli recipes, check out my Pinterest board – everything chillies! (https://au.pinterest.com/missfoodfairy/chillies-chilli-chiles-everything-chilli/) Lovely lunch ideas for #IMK xx

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  12. Ohhhh! I’m travelling back to italy right now, just looking at those pics! I’ve never eaten better than in Italy, Sicily . Just amazing travel memories. xx cathy

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  13. Francesca, lunchtime in your kitchen looks healthy and delicious. (Beautiful photos and food!) I like your philosophy about eating the biggest meal of the day in the middle of the day, too. Thanks for a fun “themed” post!

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  14. How absolutely fabulous you are. Cooking a gorgeous lunch is such a lovely thing to do for your self, and others. So much great stuff from your garden must make you feel very fulfilled.

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  15. How do you make a sourdough starter? I love your ideas for bread but every recipe I read starts out….’1 cup of sourdough starter….’ Does starter keep….indefinitely? Your lunches look fabulous!

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      1. If you would like some starter, contact me at morgana3761@gmail.com. Starter needs to be fed every week to keep it alive but by de-hydrating it, you can stash it in its dried for then bring it back to life when ready to make bread again, so yes, it does keep for a long time when dried out, otherwise it needs to be fed.
        You can acquire a starter commercially or from friends. I sent out about 6 packets last Christmas to people who read my blog and it was just great to see their photos after they made their first sourdough bread.
        I can get some dried for you if you are keen to have a go. Francesca

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      2. You are too kind, Francesca, but I am in Florida, USA. I just love sourdough and am so sure the ‘really good’ sourdough that I buy at one of our better grocery stores is nowhere near what really good sourdough should taste like.

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        1. San Francisco is the home of good sourdough so I’m sure you would get a good one in Florida too. . But you can buy some good starter there should you wish to make your own. Here our handmade sourdough loaves cost $7.00 or more, so for me, making a similar bread for less than $1 is appealing.

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