Please Pass the Recipe

from one generation to the next

In My Kitchen May 2014

In My Kitchen hosted by Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial gives me the perfect forum to share what’s happening this month, chez moi.

This will be the first year in many that we haven’t escaped the chill and travelled to a warmer climate. I’m looking forward to winter at home. Crazy I know, but rugging up against the cold seems appealing right now. I may have a different opinion come spring. I’m already thinking about meals that fog up the windows as they cook, soup, risotto and pasta, steamed pudding with custard.

A trip to the Mediterranean Wholesalers in Sydney Road Brunswick is like a day out “in Italia”, the air alive with the Italian language and food smells. This Melbourne iconic gem is my go to source for reasonably priced, high quality imported grocery lines, beautifully made local small goods and vino Italiano.

Last week I a made a pilgrimage to stock up on canned tomatoes, olive oil, gluten free pasta and delicious Italian confectionary. Each visit yields new surprises.

20140427-110224.jpg
With great excitement I bought some expensive boxed pasta loudly promoted as being made from Spelt. I’m normally very cautious about new products and read the label carefully but imagine my alarm when I found once at home that the pasta was made from Farro. I can’t even blame the Italian language labelling because alongside, printed clearly in English it says “manufactured from emmer wheat”. Not being able to find a single article online about farro and it’s impact on fructose intolerance, I made spaghetti puttanesca for lunch and waited for a reaction. Twenty four hours later and still feeling good I concluded I am able to tolerate this fabulous pasta. After restricting myself to the occasional pasta meal made with gluten free noodles for 18+ months, this is a major breakthrough.

20140427-110407.jpg
We don’t limit our consumption of Parmagiano Reggiano to pasta meals. This is the best eating cheese in the world as far as I’m concerned and when Organic Parmagiano Reggiano is available at such a bargain basement price, I buy it by the kilo, break each wedge in half and vacuum pack it to prevent surface mould from growing, but it really doesn’t last very long. I use the rinds in soup, or I make Parmesan oil to use as a dressing in salad.

20140427-110610.jpg
For weeks I’ve been itching to get my hands on some chestnut flour, and now the mission is accomplished. Lately there has been loads of recipes circulating on WordPress for crepes, cakes, bread and brownies made with chestnut flour which is of course naturally gluten free. I’m going to start with our host’s recipe for chestnut flour brownies.

20140427-110732.jpg
I also bought this jar of Amarena cherries specifically to make Amarena cherry stuffed amaretti. There is a problem however. The cherries are so delicious, I may have eaten then all by the time I get around to baking.

20140427-110856.jpg
On the fourth Saturday of each month, in the grounds of the Abbotsford Convent, the Slow Food Movement hosts a farmers market. Victoria’s premium producers sell their wares at this market. Small producers of organic and biodynamic fruit, vegetables, nuts, olives, eggs, dairy produce and rice, farmers of rare breed beef, lamb, pork and poultry, and a broad range of value added goods. I love this market. It’s truly local and genuinely seasonal.

Fresh walnuts in the shell from Bright in Victoria’s high country made their first appearance for 2014 last week. I love to eat them fresh from the shell with blue cheese and apple, and team them up with chocolate, and coffee.

What happening in your kitchen?

About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

51 comments on “In My Kitchen May 2014

  1. Ross Duncan
    May 19, 2014

    Thanks for the tip about the Mediterranean Wholesalers, I’m going to head there this week and check it out

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 19, 2014

      If you are into Italian food, at both ends of the price scale, you are in for a treat!

      Like

  2. Kim Bultman
    May 16, 2014

    Sandra, your pasta puttanesca “experiment” was wonderful news to me. I’ve missed pasta more than anything else — even more than bread — since gluten intolerance reared its ugly head. (The GF pasta derivations I’ve tried so far have been less than satisfactory.) There’s hope for pasta-philes yet! I also loved your walnuts, apple, bleu cheese, coffee & chocolate treat… ahhhhhh.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 16, 2014

      Hi Kim, the pasta was a wonderful treat, even by “normal” standards. I am cooking without wheat so much easier knowing a small amount of spelt is OK

      Like

  3. theintolerantchef
    May 12, 2014

    So many great goodies, loving those cherries. Celia’s chestnut brownies are certainly Fab indeed!

    Like

  4. Moya @Food and Tools
    May 10, 2014

    Love the cherries the look so plump and delicious. I have never made anything with chestnut flour… has it a flavor? Thank you for letting me have a peek into your kitchen. 🙂

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 10, 2014

      You’re always welcome in my kitchen Moya. The chestnut flour has a mild deliciously sweet nutty flavour. Oh those cherries have been sent by the devil, they are such a twmptation

      Like

  5. My Kitchen Stories
    May 9, 2014

    The photo of the walnuts is gorgeous. i was a little worried that nobody was going to tell you that Italian never call spelt spelt always farro. It’s very annoying but fact. The three grains are interchangeable and vary so very little you would never know. the pasta boxes look delight fulas do the cherries

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 10, 2014

      Thankfully I worked out the Italian spelt labelling. It did cause some consternation for a day or two though

      Like

  6. tinywhitecottage
    May 8, 2014

    I love this post! Although I will miss traveling vicariously with you I am equally excited to see what you fog your windows up with during the cold months. You have amazing taste in quality foods…especially love the look of your boxed pasta.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 8, 2014

      Thanks Seana, with night time temps dropping close to zero already, even boiling water for pasta is misting up the windows

      Like

  7. The walnuts, the cherries, the ‘stuff’ – I’d be gloriously happy in your kitchen. Thanks for the peek.

    Like

  8. usinguptheveggiebox
    May 6, 2014

    I would love to get my hands on some of those cherries too, they look wonderful, glistening away in the photo. Thanks for sharing

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 6, 2014

      Oh the cherries, I’m trying to forget that they’re lurking in my drawer…..

      Like

  9. Francesca
    May 6, 2014

    Looks like you had a good day at the Medit! I am keen to see what goodies you make with the chestnut flour.

    Like

  10. Spelt, farro, emmer & kamut are all ancient forms of wheat and are therefore quite closely related, so if you are able to tolerate spelt then it is likely you can tolerate the others. The terms spelt & farro are sometimes used interchangeably even though they are different varieties. Just to keep us all confused I think. I love the fresh walnuts. I am going to have to keep a close eye out for them appearing here soon.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 6, 2014

      I took a punt with the farro, but based on my limited understanding of grains I thought the odds were in my favour. Unfortunately I’ve been caught out before….

      Like

  11. tiffinbitesized
    May 4, 2014

    Gosh – I’m like you. I love Amarena cherries so it would be hard to resist though I also love amaretti so feel free to save them and publish that recipe! I bought my first ever fresh walnuts in the Barossa Valley last year and they burned a hole in my pocket as I wanted to use them so many ways. I was amazed how different they taste from the ones in the packet. Can’t wait to go again next year! Thanks for the tour.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 5, 2014

      I’ve hidden away the jar of cherries, out of sight out of mind, so stay tuned for the stuffed amaretti recipe. Thanks for visiting

      Like

  12. My Kitchen Witch
    May 3, 2014

    It’s wonderful having new ingredients to work with and I’m glad you discovered you were tolerant of emmer. I wouldn’t know what to do without pasta in my life. That basket of walnuts is to die for – and love the nutcracker!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 4, 2014

      Visiting Meditteranean wholesalers is like taking a 1/2 day trip to Italy, I love going there, i love cooking with what I find. As the the nutcracker, it was invented by a genius!

      Like

  13. Leah
    May 3, 2014

    One Word.. YUM! I would love to be in your kitchen right now snacking on all those yummy foods, the pictures make them all so inviting! I see a field trip to the Meditteranean Wholesalers next time I visit (not sure why but somehow still haven’t ever been there!) xxx

    Like

  14. Sandra, there’s always so much happening at your place, and I always imagine your kitchen with the sound of seals in the background (even though I know that was at your beach house kitchen and not this one!). 🙂 I hope you love the chestnut flour brownies as much as my Pete does, and it’s good to hear that the farro is gentle on your stomach. Do you think you can use farro flour for bread?

    PS. would you like me to list you as Sandra or Ladyredspecs on the IMK list?

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 2, 2014

      Sandra is fine Celia, thanks. I’ve experimenting with spelt flour sourdough bread for a couple of months now. It’s been hard enough finding a good source of suitable flour, not sure I have the heart to start that process all over again with farro. Your brownies are on the weekend todo list, I’ll let you know how they go

      Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 7, 2014

      Thank you so much for the delicious brownie recipe Celia. They were a great hit with the gluten/ dairy/ almond intolerant members of my family. I made them with margarine (Sorry!) for the dairy intolerant, they worked perfectly. I think this recipe may have tentacles that will embrace more family and friends.

      Like

  15. I don’t think I could resist those wonderful looking cherries. Even the jar looks good. We have a walnut tree, so provided we can beat the squirrels to the walnuts, we’re self sufficient in them. I use them to make an “English pesto” – if you can have such a thing. Love your nutcrackers.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 2, 2014

      The nutcracker is fantastic, I bought it a couple of years ago from the walnut grower. It’s spring loaded and perfect for arthritic hands. It requires very little effort.

      Like

  16. Lisa
    May 2, 2014

    Those cherries! Also, is it too awful if I admit I wanted to lick my screen when I saw that photo of your pasta dish? Yum 🙂

    Like

  17. those walnuts look AMAZING. Growing up we always had nuts in the shell at home and walnuts were my favourites. I saw a packet at the supermarket yesterday so will also have a look at my local markets on the weekend.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 2, 2014

      We had walnut trees many years ago and developed a love of fresh nuts thanks to them. I’m always glad to see the new season’s walnuts from Bright arrive at the farmer’s market. The season is only just starting, you should be able to get them easily in a few weeks. thanks for dropping by Mel

      Like

  18. Liz Posmyk of Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things
    May 2, 2014

    Loving those cherries. So plump and delicious!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 2, 2014

      …With a flavour like cherries on steroids! Thanks for dropping by Liz

      Like

  19. Misky
    May 2, 2014

    Oh, those cherries look fab!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 2, 2014

      Oh Misky, they are, way too delicious, I can’t leave them alone!

      Like

  20. bakeritalia
    May 2, 2014

    It sounds like a little Italy! I have never tasted walnuts as fresh as I have while living in Florence…blue cheese is all I need with them. Sadly my kitchen has been abandoned so I must fix that

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 2, 2014

      Melbourne’s Italian community is large and strong, so everything Italian is easy to come by, and to be honest I think i make more italian influenced food than traditional Anglo Aussie fare. Gorgonzola dolce, walnuts and pears mmmmmm. Good luck with the relocation

      Like

  21. dishnthekitchen
    May 2, 2014

    Great IMK post ladyred! I don’t think those cherries would last long in my house either, in fact I am thinking of tracking down a jar for myself..
    I have also been wondering about the chestnut flour. I’ve heard people use it to make pasta. I have a giant tin of Chestnut puree in my pantry and I STILL don’t know what to do with it!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 2, 2014

      Hi Bernice, I intend to make Celia’s brownie recipe this weekend, I’m sure it will be good. The only way I known to use chestnut puree is to make a dessert called Mont Blanc, I’m sure you’ll find a recipe on the internet

      Like

  22. heidiannie
    May 2, 2014

    Your photos are fantastic! Those cherries look sumptuous and the walnuts are just lovely! Thanks so much for sharing- I feel like my eyes just feasted!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 2, 2014

      Thanks Heidi Annie. My camera and I are struggling with the fading light conditions, but if a choose the right day, all is good. Glad i was able to give your eyes a treat, the fresher than fresh walnuts are sensational

      Like

  23. G’day! Love your pasta dish and photo, true!
    YUM re your Amarena cherries…my fave too!
    Thanks for this month’s kitchen view!
    Cheers! Joanne

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 2, 2014

      Thanks Joanne, I’ve had to hide the cherries from myself, they are so delicious…

      Like

  24. Glenda
    May 1, 2014

    Hi Sandra, I will be interested in how your stomach copes with the chestnut flour. Chestnuts really played havoc with both Maus’ and my digestive systems.
    You know, I prefer Grana Padano than Parmagiano Reggiano weird, I know. We buy GP by the kilo and vacuum seal it as well.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 1, 2014

      Hi Glenda, I hadn’t considered chestnut flour causing digestive issues, and I have more than my fair share of those. I will proceed slowly, thanks for the words of caution.

      Like

  25. kyliepickett
    May 1, 2014

    Some lovely foodie bits for this months IMK!!! I love a good pasta (with plenty of parmesan too) in winter, and those Bright walnuts are the best!!!! Enjoy!

    Like

  26. Selma's Table
    May 1, 2014

    Gorgeous photos and another lovely IMK post. I love those amaretto cherries and can tell you that they would not last long in this house either! And that basket of walnuts is beautiful. Also, such brilliant news about the faro pasta – you must be so pleased! Enjoy the cold weather cooking!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 1, 2014

      Thanks Selma, we’re still having the odd warm day, but soups and braises are uppermost in my mind. I can’t believe I’ve only just discovered those delicious cherries, sinfully delicious.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Information

This entry was posted on May 1, 2014 by in FODMAP diet, Food, Gluten Free, In My Kitchen, Pantry Essentials and tagged , .
%d bloggers like this: