episode 1

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lights, camera ACTION!! Episode 1 of Ceire’s Kitchen is here…

see the recipes page for cooking instructions.

Enjoy!

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kale

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I arrive home with my little kale cup-cake and three big bunches of the frilly bush tied onto the back of my bike. I walk into the house and announce to my housemate Jack that I am going to cook us an exciting kale dinner! He is speechless. And a little afraid. He knows I love ‘getting creative in the kitchen’ but there was no way I’m going to be able to make that plant edible.
I laugh, “Anything is possible in Ceire’s Kitchen, Jack!”

Grab a frying pan,
pour in 3 table spoons of olive oil
add two cloves of chopped garlic.
Let that sizzle away for a minute or two and then add your kale (which has been washed and chopped) – kale is like spinach and wilts down once cooked.
Add a splash of water to get the flavors going
Season with salt and pepper
Drizzle over some balsamic vinegar.
Once cooked, squeeze in a quarter lemon
Finish it off with a sprinkle of finely chopped chilli

Not only is kale packed full of iron and anti-oxidants and other powerful life-prolonging hipster nutrients, but it’s also delicious raw – in a breakfast smoothie (recipe to come).

Jack ate more than I did in the end. He who laughs last, laughs longest.

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markets

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They are my best. Not only are they noisy, chaotic, full of pushchairs and toddlers, wandering dogs sniffing, bargaining store holders, smells of freshly ground coffee and chargrilled steak, homemade ice-cream melting in the sun, floor stained with smashed strawberries and dropped free range farm eggs, wicker baskets filled with spinach, kale and other retro organic veggies… but markets always offer a bustling conglomeration of happy Saturday morning meetings, lots of delicious tasters (practically a second breakfast in my case) and always a story or two from the farmers. Farmers hold a wealth of knowledge and the years of toil ingrained in their stained, lined hands are… to behold. I like supporting them.

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I arrive at the Eveleigh Farmers Market, Sydney and I’m hungry. I walk through the stalls and I’m overwhelmed by choice. I feel like a kid at Christmas with all the plates of little bites of Brie cheese, double-chocolate brownie, roast macadamia nuts, humus and freash bread, cured salmon with crème fraiche, and some chardonnay… is it too early for wine? The wine-maker assures me it’s not. Ok then! I might as well try some the sauvignon blanc while I’m at it.

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After tasting a gluten-free cupcake from Kimmy Choux (her stand was so beautifully decorated that I couldn’t resist one of her tasty treats), a scoop of delicious buttermilk ice-cream from the Dessertmakers, a big chunky piece of Angus steak (big Bill told me his favorite meal in the world was steak with mashed potatoes and gravy – some tastes never change) and then Jordan from Wormticklers gave me the most delicate little Kale plant! His parting advice, with a thick aussie accent was, “Give it a good water and you’ll be laughing!” As I was leaving I engaged a handsome young gentleman in a conversation about his family’s organic farm. I was genuinely interested in their produce and amazed at how they had been going since 1912… But either he wanted to get rid of me, or thought I was flirting with him as he gave me 3 big bunches of red kale! I was thrilled. With my basket overflowing, a mouth full of kumquats, I hopped onto my red bicycle and cycled home happy.

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salad days

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rainy day beetroot and blue cheese salad

I come from a family of salad eaters and book readers. It’s raining outside and to celebrate the weather, I grabbed my book and opened the fridge…

½ tin beetroot, cut in quarters

handful of dry roasted walnuts

big plate of washed rocket

match box size of crumbled blue cheese

2 medjool dates, pitted and thinly sliced

drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar

I love Jamie

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“Jamie Oliver” – probably the first words that will come out of a toddler’s mouth these days. He’s crazy, he’s cookin, he’s courageous and his food is simply smashin’.

As a self-employed actress, I’m not afraid to admit that I’m a part-time waitress on the side; the bills have gotta be paid somehow! And besides, working at Jamie Oliver’s restaurant has its perks – I’m basically an undercover food spy who’s highlight of the day is getting to taste the specials. Foodie heaven.

Jamie’s Italian is in Sydney city central and surrounded by skyscrapers, handsome business-suited gentlemen, photo-snapping tourists, smoke stained seagulls and then there’s young Ceire (usually slightly late for work) whizzing down the main street on her brilliant red bicycle, ringing her bell madly as she nearly takes out an unsuspecting pedestrian. From the moment I moved to Sydney over a year ago, I knew that this restaurant was where I wanted to work.

The food is rustic, proper old-school Italian, best quality prosciutto and bocconcini I have ever tasted (and I’ve tasted a lot) and every dish is finished off with a dollop of love. And a story or two.

I’ll try not swamp my blog with too many Jamie Oliver recipes but I have to admit that I’m a big fan and have since developed a passion for describing food with my hands, tasting everything I lay my eyes on and have begun talking with a slight cockney accent.

I love chefs. I love anyone who works in hospitality. It’s hard long hours – and a whiskey after a double shift has never tasted better!

where it all began

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[My father and I sitting on suitcases. My gran, strolling down the city streets.]

Here we go! So this is where it all starts…

I thought I should start off with introducing my father Ellis and grandmother Hilda. These are the two people that got me into cooking. I used to steal handfuls of chocolate-chips and tins of condensed milk from my gran’s cupboard (she lived in a cottage next to our house when I was growing up) and it was one day when I was caught red handed that she thought the best solution for her diminishing supplies, was to pass on all her Portuguese cooking tricks to me and teach me to cook every dish in her entire old, brown, smudged cooking book. I’ve never been the same since.

My father is an artist and lives day to day by breathing in the smells of freshly ground coffee, the simple flavor of marmalade on toast, sips his tea with his eyes closed as though it’s the last taste he’ll ever have, gets excited about color and texture and is an advocate for using ones hand wherever possible.

His passion and my gran’s all encompassing loud voice of love is where it all began…