After a whirlwind tour through Europe, I’m back home in the hills of Perth! We all know how much I love dinner parties and the one held on Friday night at the home of Jarrod and Teresa McKenna was one I looked forward to all week – and there is always an open invitation to anyone! everyone is invited!
A few years ago they started The First Home Project which helps those who are new to Australia, and who are seeking a place of safety, find their first home and connect into community.
The Friday night dinner’s here are all about sharing, getting to know each other, playing some music…. and all this happens all over a home cooked meal.
These values are at the core of Ceire’s Kitchen and so I couldn’t wait to get involved in a project like this. Tonight I cooked dinner for about 50 people! Inspired by my Mediterranean roots, I cooked a Jamie Oliver pasta recipe – all in one giant pot!
(see recipe: http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/pasta-recipes/gennaro-s-spaghetti-alla-puttanesca/#qkB3jqkGpsJDZfAs.97 )
It’s always a good idea to cook with whatever’s in season. There are is heaps of pumpkin and potatoes at the moment and so as a winter warmer, to accompany the pasta, we grilled these veggies in the oven until they were golden and crispy and then drizzled over a homemade kale pesto made out of fresh chilli and basil.
SUPER COOL SAVER HINT: Use sunflower seeds instead of pine-nuts. It makes this recipe a lot more affordable, and it’s just as tasty.
Kale and Basil Pesto:
- Large handful of kale
- Bunch of basil
- 200g pecorino cheese
- 1 cup of sunflower seeds
- juice of one lemon
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- seasoning to taste
Whizz it all up in a food processor and there we go!
For more information about The First Home Project, and if you live in Perth and would like to get involved, visit: www.facebook.com/thefirsthomeproject
More stories and cultural recipe exchanges to come!
It’s the last leg of my trip in Europe and ending it here on this beautiful island was the cherry on the top!
There’s nothing as refreshing as going back to basics: back to your roots. Meeting my cousins and drinking their homemade clementine liquor in the house that my great-grandmother was born in, while trying to speak broken Portuguese and being fed endless amounts of Madeira cake, will be a memory I’ll never forget.
Fruit salad for Four
- punnet of strawberries
- 2 plums
- 2 nectarines
- 2 pears
- 4 passion fruit
- handful of nuts and seeds
- Greek yoghurt
- fennel tips (as desired)
- Wash fruit
- Cut strawberries in half and the rest of fruit into bite size pieces.
- Add a few dollops of yoghurt.
- Cut open passion fruit and squeeze the juice over the yogurt.
- Scatter over the nuts and seeds and finish it off with a few sprigs of fennel tips!
It’s time to celebrate and be part of an incredible ‘Jamie Oliver initiative.’ Let’s sign the petition and bring about a positive change to schools and education all over the world! It’s all about healthy eating, healthy living, healthy loving… and it all starts with the kids!
“Man cannot live by bread alone”
I dedicate this post to one of my favourite shops: The Kakulas Brothers, in Northbridge Perth. And to bread. Bread – you make the world go round. You are a food which comes in all different shapes and sizes, and that has been eaten by cultures and communities for hundreds of years. Respect.
I recently discovered an ancient grain called ‘Spelt.’ When milled into a flour and baked into bread – its unstoppable. It’s nutritional value and overall health benefits will blow your mind. Kakulas Brothers is my favourite place to buy this flour and also has an extraordinary selection of different spices, nuts, vinegars and cheeses, to name a few. I couldn’t think of a better place to blow my pay cheque.
Mom’s Yoghurt Bread
(Preheat oven to 180’C)
- 4 cups spelt flour
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 10 ml bicarb
- 5ml salt
- 125ml milk
- 15ml honey
- 500ml plain yoghurt
- 1 cup sunflower seeds
- Mix the flour, oats, bicarb and salt together in a bowl.
- Heat the milk and honey together and mix into the yoghurt.
- Add the yoghurt mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well.
- Pour into a greased loaf tin and bake for an hour or until cooked and golden brown.
For more information about Kakulas Brothers, check out their website: http://www.kakulasbros.com.au
Visit http://thespeltbakers.ca/what-is-spelt/ for the full story on spelt flour
London Town! You’ve stolen my heart! Our European tour is coming to an end but one place I had to visit before we headed home was this bustling city: full of history and the lush green hills of the English countryside. All this exploring built up a healthy appetite and so this hearty and healthy salad with a glass of cold beer, simply hit the spot!
-head of cos lettuce
-1 red apple
-2 boiled eggs
-2 organic pork sausages
-2 TBS white wine vinegar
-6 TBS olive oil
-1 large garlic clove
-1 tsp English mustard
In a pan with a little oil, fry up the sausages on a medium heat for about 15-20min.
Wash lettuce and place in a bowl.
Finely slice the radishes and apple and sprinkle onto the greens.
Slice the boiled eggs and sausages and place on the bed of greens.
Sprinkle over the chopped parsley.
Grab a little glass jar, place all the ingredients together in the jar, give it a good shake and drizzle over your salad!
I’m back in the garden and this time there are figs growing! Usually they are eaten by the possums but this year they have survived and to celebrate, I’ve created two different recipes to try:
-fig and Persian feta salad
-fig and thyme jam
What’s growing in your garden? I’d love to hear from you and please let me know which recipes you’d like me to try out. Leave your comments in the box below…
Fig and Persian Feta Salad
- 250g rocket
- 4 large figs
- 1 small block of Persian (or Damish Feta)
- handful roasted walnuts
- Balsamic reduction and olive oil
- Place the rocket in a large flat salad bowl.
- Cut the figs into quarters and toss onto the rocket.
- Crumble in the feta and drizzle over the reduction and olive oil.
Fig and Thyme Jam
- As many figs as you can get your hands on! (A large bowlful will do, the more squishy and over ripe they are – the better)
- Treacle sugar
- Port or red wine
- 5 sprigs of Thyme
- Roughly chop up the figs and place in a saucepan on the stove on a medium heat with enough water to cover them.
- Add a bit of red wine or port if you have.
- Sprinkle in the thyme.
- Add the sugar (I did about 2 tablespoons but adjust depending on how sweet you like it)
- Let the mixture simmer gently for an hour or so, until it is thick in texture, dark in colour and tastes like winter nights by a glowing fire.
- Smear onto a piece of sourdough bread with some brie cheese. Heaven.
On Va Manger… Let us eat!
This week we’re off to the South of France. Everything the French do, they do with style and confidence, so I’m thinking, a mouthful of this salad will give us all a bit of ‘La-France!’
- 100g rocket
- baby gem lettuce
- small block of Roquefort cheese (or gorgonzola)
- handful walnuts
- 2 slices of bread (preferably stale white bread)
- a few sprigs of chives
- olive oil and balsamic reduction
- Wash your greens and place into a large flat bowl
- Cut up the bread into bite size chucks, place on a baking tray and drizzle over some olive oil. Grill in the oven at 180’C for about 10 min, or until golden brown. Add the walnuts in the last few minutes and roast until golden and crunchy.
- Crumble the cheese over the bed of greens and add the walnuts and croutons.
- Finely chop the chives and sprinkle over the salad.
- Drizzle over the olive oil and balsamic reduction
- Enjoy with a cold glass of white wine.
Delicious things are growing in my garden and I’m excited to share some recipes with you. Meals made from the vegetables that are growing here!
- 1 red capsicum (red pepper)
- 1 eggplant
- 2 chicken breasts
- sprig of rosemary
- sweet chilli sauce
- olive oil
- Chop chicken breasts into about 3 x 3cm sized pieces and marinade them in lemon juice, sweet chilli sauce and seasoning. Wrap in cling film and keep in the fridge for about 2 hours.
- Chop vegetables into similar sized pieces.
- Alternate the rosemary, chicken and vegetable pieces on skewers.
- Place on the BBQ/Braai/griddle pan for about 5 min each side or until chicken is cooked.
This salad is full of flavour, colour and passion – a fiesta in your mouth!
Let the party begin!
- head of lettuce
- 100g rocket
- handful of basil
- 6 sprigs of chives
- 1 red onion
- 2 chorizo sausages
- clove of garlic
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 4 large tomatoes
- handful cherry tomatoes
- small block of feta cheese
- 1 loaf sourdough
- bottle of red wine
- Finely slice the onion and fry on a medium heat with a diced clove of garlic, a lug of olive oil and a dash of red wine.
- While that’s gently sizzling away, slice up the chorizo and add to the frying pan with the fennel seeds.
- Once cooked, remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Chop up the large tomatoes into chunks and add to the frying pan.
- Wash your lettuce leaves and chives and place in a salad bowl with the fresh cherry tomatoes.
- Pour your tomato and chorizo mix over your lettuce leaves and crumble in the feta cheese.
- Rip off chunks of the sourdough and scoop up all the juices left in the pan.
- Call over your friends and enjoy the feast!
Ceire’s Kitchen is back in 2015 as the SALAD QUEEN! I’m starting a SALAD REVOLUTION with colours, textures and flavours that will blow your mind! New videos and recipes every Monday – please share the video below and subscribe to my YouTube channel… LET’S GO!