Apricot and (Dunedin) Rosemary Jam


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I am a bit of a jam tragic, if there is anything in abundance I need to make jam from it (or preserve it one way or another). I have a lot of apricots and Dunedin has a lot of rosemary. There are no genuine Italian food ingredients to be had over here, apart from all this rosemary. It grows in every garden, cascades down garden walls in the university grounds, grows vigorously several public spaces, parks, everywhere but in my garden. Why the inhabitants plant so much of it, I can not fathom, since I can not believe that they cook with it. But, I seem to be the only person in Dunedin who has not succeeded in growing a single sprig.  To get my hands on rosemary I have to resort to theft from lush bushes of the stuff overhanging various pavements around where I live.

Apricot and Rosemary Jam 

3 Kg Ripe Apricots

2 Kg White Sugar

20 g Finely chopped Rosmary leave

15 g Apricot Stone kernels, finely chopped

Cook everything together in a big pot for half an hour. Let it rest for some 12 hours.  Cook again until the jam consistency reaches the “Freezer Test ” thickness. Stir in a tablespoon of butter and take it off the heat. When it is cool enough to handle. bottle and seal. Sterilise the closed bottles as described before.

This flavorsome jam is ideal for eating with strong cheeses and using as a glaze for pork and poultry.

Peperoni Soffritti con le Uove (Sweet Peppers)

2014-02-26 - Peperoni

This is peperoni preserve time and I have been asked what to do with “Peperoni Sott’Olio” other than serve it as anti pasto – here is but one recipe. It could also be used in any recipe that calls for capsicum, or you can make a fresh panini with your preserved capsicum, fresh tomato and strong cheese or salami and a fresh bread roll just out of the oven.

Fry your preserved peperoni in some of the oil used to preserve it in for a few minutes until soft. Ad  some chopped peeled and deseeded fresh tomato. When the tomato and peperoni are both soft pour on two slightly beaten eggs (eight eggs if you use quail eggs), add salt and pepper, and cook very briefly until just set. Sprinkle with a bit of grated Parmigiano Cheese. Serve immediately with that bread that just came out of the oven – Breakfast fit for a King (and Queen).

The only problem is that the peperoni in the photo is not from my garden and I am still trying to grow it successfully in Dunedin – maybe next year!

Raw Milk Ricotta Cheese

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My raw milk ricotta has turned out very well.  I don’t even want to talk about the vile supermarket stuff,  but the raw milk effort is vastly different in taste and texture to the batch I made with supermarket milk. The high cream content, and the absence of added water makes a very rich, creamy, soft cheese. Here is a link to my ricotta cheese recipe, good enough but if you can, do it with raw milk.

I made bruschetta for lunch

Toast bread, rub with a clove of garlic drizzle olive oil over . Sopon ricotta cheese thickly on to the bread, add a few dabs of carrot top pesto, salt, pepper and another drizzle of olive oil. Eat it immediately befor the bread cools. Delicious. Link for carrot top pesto


2014-02-24 - Peperoni

One part water and one part vinegar (good quality) add salt and pepper to taste plus a few bay leaves. Bring to the boil. Cut peperoni in 3 mm strips and throw into the water/ vinegar. When the water boil again, drain the peperoni. While still hot put into the jars and cover with good olive oil – ad two fresh bay leaves and a few garlic to the jar and seal immediately. Keeps in the pantry for ever. Beautiful!