In My Kitchen – June 2012

Chillies

In My Kitchen in June, we’re still dealing with mountains of chillies from our amazingly productive chilli bush. Celia, who has a lovely blog called Fig Jam and Lime Cordial, suggested last month that I freeze them.

I’ve taken her advice but I’m wondering how much loss of flavour there’ll be? Time will tell.

Speaking of chillies, when I was in Adelaide last month I picked up a packet of chilli-flavoured Wiech’s egg noodles. Wiech’s has been producing fabulous egg noodles in the Barossa Valley since 1935 but the chilli noodles are a new line.

Chilli NoodlesI love this product. The noodles have plenty of oomph but are not so hot that they burn your mouth. You can make a nice easy sauce for them by frying some garlic and onion, then adding some diced tomato, meatballs and a good splash of red wine – or should that be a splash of good red wine?

I’ve been using the chilli noodles with leftovers too. You might have read my blog post on the Biggest (and Sparkliest) Morning Tea my daughter hosted to raise funds for the Cancer Council.

As you’ll have gathered from some of my other blog posts, I’m the queen of using up leftovers. At the end of our morning tea, we still had lots of little buns that had been filled with pesto, tomato and mozzarella.

We were never going to eat all the buns, so I scraped off the filling, put it in a frypan and gave it a bit of a stir with some olive oil. And so it became a sauce for the chilli noodles, making a deliciously light dinner.

Hazelnuts

In my kitchen in June, we’ve been enjoying ever so fresh hazelnuts from Lakeview Farm at Bungendore. I can’t begin to tell you how beautiful and sweet they are.

We love quick and easy salads, and we usually make them up as we go along, using whatever ingredients we have on hand. This one was made with lettuce and wombok leaves, tomato and orange slices, olive oil and a sprinkling of those wonderful hazelnuts.

With some pan-fried salmon on the side and a glass of Chardonnay – nothing goes better with salmon than Chardonnay – it was quite a feast. Currently I’m drinking Frogmore Creek 2010 Chardonnay, a beauty from Tasmania with citrus and peach notes, great acidity and subtle oak. Yum!

Salad

We do most of our shopping at the Farmers Market but sometimes we supplement it with ingredients from the garden or special goodies that I’ve picked up at the shops or on my travels. One evening recently, we sat down to a meal of roast chook and realized that absolutely everything on the plate was from the Farmers Market – the chook, the Josephine potatoes, the pumpkin, broccoli and incredibly sweet cauliflower. Heaven.

Yarra Valley CaviarIn my kitchen in June, we are enjoying Yarra Valley Caviar with poached eggs and ham on toast. You might have read my blog post about my adventures milking salmon. I brought this exquisite product back with me from that visit. This is the roe from young salmon that have never been milked before, and each little ball provides a salty ‘pop’ in the mouth.

And finally, I’m seeking some more advice. My wombok and other greens are being chewed by hungry insects. What can I do to keep the pests away (without resorting to any nasty chemicals)? All suggestions welcome!

Garden

9 Comments

  • Christine, there is a garlic spray available that works well. The chillies will be perfectly fine.

  • Glenda says:

    Lovely post Christine.
    My neighbour puts chillies in her home made spray. I am not sure how she makes it but I know she puts garlic and chillies in a blender with some water and then combines the juice with more water and detergent. You are sure to find a recipe on the web. It will help use up all those chillies.

    Have you ever thought of drying them? I dried some years and years ago and we are still using them. Once dried you can make chilli powder out of some. I dry mine in a dehydrator but if your oven goes down really low you could use that with the door slightly ajar.

    • Christine Salins says:

      Thanks Glenda, that’s a great idea to use the chillies to help deter pests from my other plantings. I’ll see if I can find a good recipe on the net.
      I have a dehydrator so will use that for the next batch of chillies.
      I’ve just had a look at your site and it looks lovely; I’ve signed up to receive your posts!

  • celia says:

    Christine, thanks for sharing your lovely kitchen with us this month! I LOVE the fresh hazelnuts, they sound absolutely superb. I didn’t even know we grew them locally. My chillies are always fine out of the freezer, but only for cooking – the defrosted texture isn’t as crisp as fresh. And the advice I’ve been given re growing greens is to grow garlic with them – if you have anything shooting in the pantry, just stick it in. You might end up getting lovely fat corms down in Canberra, but even if you don’t, the leaves and shoots will help deter the white moths.

    • Christine Salins says:

      Thanks for all your good advice, Celia. I’ve just amended the post because I remembered that I didn’t buy the hazelnuts at the Farmers Market; I bought them at a tiny little market in Bungendore. They were grown locally and have incredible flavour compared with the nuts that supermarkets sell.

  • Christie says:

    I was fortunate to buy some of the Lakeview Farm hazelnuts on a recent trip to Orange. I agree with you about the taste. Once you taste them others seem tasteless and stale. I saved them to eat on their own on in my museli.
    This year I made sambal ulek with some excess chillies. It is very easy and great to use as once it is made there is no more chopping required.
    Remove stems, and seeds if you wish. Put chillies in a blender and whizz until chopped. Add some salt and white vinegar, enough to make a paste. Whizz to desired consistency, store in a sterilised container. Use whenever recipe calls for chilli.

    • Christine Salins says:

      Thanks for the great suggestion about making some sambal with the excess chillies. And yes, aren’t the hazelnuts incredible!

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