December has arrived far too quickly this year!! It would have been lovely to be able to press the pause button during 2012 to savor some of the special moments. Nonetheless, I can't wait to celebrate Christmas and enjoy the laughter of friends and family during the holidays.
You may have noticed the lag in my posts over the last few weeks, a hectic schedule and preparing works for a shared exhibition with the exceptionally talented Madame Zen (I was the junior partner with 4 works to her 20) has severely interrupted my (after work) writing time, for which I apologize, lovely reader! Our exhibition opened in Balmain last night and was a near sell out! Hoorah and thanks to all who came along to support us! The exhibition continues to run over the weekend... however, just before their departure to the gallery (and now their new homes), in my kitchen were four works, inspired by our recent travels in Italy and France...
|Artichokes, Dijion Market|
|Joce's table, Beaune, Bourgogne|
|Ivana's table, Montespertoli, Tuscany|
|Kosta's catch, Arles, Provence|
...are a bunch of beautiful vibrant zucchini flowers, grown by my father in law, from an Italian seed variety which has been developed especially for the flowers - rather than zucchini themselves. Inspired by the heavenly stuffed zucchini flowers we had eaten in Italy during the summer, I decided to raid my abundant herb garden and stuff these beauties with a mixture of ricotta, borage, summer savory and chervil.
Stuffed zucchini flowers with ricotta, borage, summer savory & chervil
12 large zucchini flowers
For the batter:
1 cup of plain flour
Pinch of sea salt
3/4 cup warm water
For the stuffing:
1 egg, beaten
1 cup fresh, full fat, ricotta
1 tablespoon each of finely chopped borage leaves, chervil and summer savory
Pepper and salt to taste
1. To make the batter, mix the flour, salt and water to combine. Set aside, cover with a cloth and leave to sit in a cool place for around an hour. Add the egg just before using.
2. To make the stuffing, simply combine all the ingredients.
3. To stuff the flowers, gently remove the stamen and using a teaspoon carefully add some of the stuffing and twist the top of the flower to hold the stuffing in place.
4. Heat a large heavy based pan and add olive oil. When the oil is hot, dip the flowers in the batter and then carefully sauté until golden. Drain on paper towel and serve warm with a sprinkling of fleur de sel.
|The herb garden|
In my kitchen...
...is a large platter of crudités and very garlicky dish of anchoiade, made with some of the voluptuous juicy Australian garlic which is just arriving at the markets and some good Greek olive oil, from Mr K's family in a village near Olympia...
In my kitchen....
...are fragrant, tiny, sweet wild alpine strawberries that have been growing in my garden over spring. Every Christmas I like to make a little homemade hamper for family, with jams, salts, chutneys - that sort of thing! With my home grown glut of strawberries, I have been experimenting with some alternatives to the old strawberry jam. This week I made a batch of strawberry, balsamic and black pepper jam which I served with some ash rolled chèvre and some ham, slow cooked with cranberries and port. There is also a batch of chilli jam, to accompany some Parmesan or cheddar, underway....
In my kitchen...
...is a menu from Melboune Cup day, a reminder of an absolutely stunning degustation at Fionla's restaurant in Balmain. It is also stuck on the fridge as inspiration for planning our family Christmas lunch.
Fionla and her husband David were responsible for creating the most divine feast on our wedding day. Every year since, we head to Finola's on Melboune cup day to enjoy not only her very delicious food but also the festivities! A great family tradition - and Finola and David, and their team, always make us feel like part of their family each year!
In my kitchen is...
Another few reminders from the very successful 'Being Greek' festival which was held in Carss Park a few weeks ago. There was great music, delicious food - but the best aspect was to see old friends catching up and enjoying the sunny day!
Finally, in my kitchen...
...are a few Christmas decorations (and the tree)...all set to inspire my Christmas cooking! Until the next in my kitchen, I hope you find a little moment in your probably very busy holiday season to stop by Celia's wonderful blog, Fig Jam and Lime Cordial, to see what is happening in kitchens from Australia and around the world..... And I wish you lovely reader a very happy Christmas or Kala Christoyenna!!!