In My Kitchen – July 2013

Can you believe we’ve now passed halfway though 2013?! Christmas is just around the corner! Time flies when you’re having fun.

Here’s a sticky beak into my kitchen this month, thanks to the IMK series, hosted by Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.

In My Kitchen: is Dads home made Bastourma

Armenian Bastourma

Bastourma, or often spelt Basturma or Pastirma, but not to be confused with Pastrami, is a mouth watering Armenian air dried beef, seasoned with chaman, a spice mix of fenugreek, cumin, garlic, smoky paprika and chili and left to cure for 3-4 weeks. It can be served raw or cooked in a bit of oil/butter and served with eggs as a popular breakfast dish.

Armenian Bastourma

My Dad’s been making Bastourma for as early as I can remember. We’d go and buy a few kilo’s of good quality rump, unsliced and he would spend a good chunk of his day sitting on the kitchen table, dividing the rump into smaller portions and cutting off excess fat. Now the next part of this story will probably turn some people off; he would get the rump portions, and wrap them in a clean cloth, place them between two thick layers of wood, pop them on the driveway and hop into the car. He’d then drive up and down the wood, to squeeze all the blood out of the raw rump. Writing this up today makes me laugh at how many people are going to get squeamish at this.

I can assure you, the wooden planks are clean and sanitized, and the meat only touches the cloth, and the tires of the car never make contact with the raw beef.

The raw beef portions are then left to hang for 2 weeks, in the fridge during warmer months, or outdoors in a custom made box with some fly screen stapled on to keep away the critters.

Once the beef is dry, the chemen spice mix recipe is made and basted over the rump and then it is returned to the box/fridge to dry some more.

The end result is a delicacy, unlike any other delicatessen meat on the market, unique in every way. The flavour can’t be expressed, it really must be tried!! It’s hard to find, but many Italian deli’s will have it if you ask, pretty much all Middle Eastern specialty stores sell a pre vacuumed version for between $45 and $60 a kilogram.

In My Kitchen this month is a jar of Armenian Sweet Eggplant Preserve

Noyan Eggplant preserve

It’s not often you find a product made in Armenia, so I squealed in delight when I saw the Noyan sweet eggplant preserve at Village Grocer Balgowlah over the weekend. Small baby eggplants are cooked and infused in the most delicious fresh vanilla bean syrup, the taste is really something out of this world. Biting into the baby eggplants, they take on a crunchy, almost water chestnut texture and you can only have one at a time, they are so sickly sweet and delicious! The small jar is $8.00 and only contains 5 eggplant pieces but we keep all the syrup too and use it over vanilla ice-cream so nothing is wasted and well worth the money spent. YUMMO!

In My Kitchen this month is a jar of Armenian Sweet Eggplant Preserve

In My Kitchen: Are these colourful little glass jars.

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These were my wedding bomboniere when I got married back in 2007. I wrapped ribbon around the base and attached 5 sugared almonds in tulle with a little thank you card for all our guests. Somehow I ended up with a box of 20 left over (I blame Mr. Gourmet Wog for this) so I’ve been putting these gorgeous colourful jars to use, serving dips or sauces in them with carrot sticks or lavosh.

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In My Kitchen: Is this humungous stunning single peach rose, from my beautiful friend Tiffany’s garden.

huge orange peach rose

I don’t know what type it is, but I do know I’ve never seen any rose so big! It’s bigger than my hand, see?! It’s been in the vase and continues to open its petals – 9 days and counting!

Edited to Add: The rose is ‘Just Joey’. Stunning.

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And there you have another edition of In My Kitchen this year. My previous IMK posts can be found here.

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