Friday, October 17, 2008

Goode Eating

Today's recipes are taking into account seasonal produce, and some - although not unusual - are not the first choice when it comes to making a preserve or pickle.
This first could make good use of the very last of the rhubarb in the garden, often left because it has become too coarse.
Cottager's Marmalade: makes 2 lb (900g)
1 lb (450g) rhubarb, chopped
3 oranges
1 lb (450g) granulated sugar, warmed
Grate the zest from the oranges and put into a pan with the rhubarb. Remove the pith from the oranges and also the pips and tie these in a muslin bag. Add this to the pan. Slice the oranges across the centre, and cut each slice into quarters and add these to the pan, adding only enough water to just cover. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes until the fruit is soft, then remove the muslin bag of pith and pips. Stir in the warmed sugar then when dissolved, bring to the boil and boil fairly rapidly for 15 minutes or until setting point has been reached. Cool slightly, and stir well before bottling up into hot sterilised jars. Seal in the usual way.

As courgettes are just young marrows, if you allow some to grow to adult size these can be used to make this jam, or use a marrow, grown as a marrow (if you know what I mean). A friend of mine used to just love this and each year I made several pots especially for her.
Marrow and Ginger Jam: makes 5 lb (2.25 kg)
4 lb (1.75 kg) marrow, after peeling and dicing
3 lb (1.5 kg) sugar
grated rind and juice of 2 large lemons
4 oz (100g) stem ginger, chopped
Place layers of marrow and sugar in a bowl, cover and leave in a cool place for 24 hours. Next day put the contents of the bowl into a preserving pan together with the lemon zest and juice and the ginger. Stir over low heat until the sugar has dissolved, then boil for 45 minutes until the marrow is clear and tender and setting point has been reached. Pot up into hot sterilised jars in the normal way.

Although chutneys are an economical way of using up produce, they can take time to make, so thought you might be interested in a chutney that requires hardly any cooking.
Almost no-cook Date Chutney: makes 4 lb ( 1.75 kg)
1 oz (25g) pickling spice tied in muslin
1 pint (600ml) vinegar
2 lb (900g) dates, stoned and minced
2 tsp mustard powder
6 tblsp (90ml) golden syrup
Put the spice and vinegar into a pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 7 minutes then remove the spice bag. Stir in the remaining ingredients, and when thoroughly blended remove from heat and leave to get cool. Give a good stir then pot up into clean jars and seal with vinegar proof lids.

We now come to the foods proper, starting with a dip that uses salami although almost any continental cooked and spicy meats (all very similar) could be used in this dish.
Spicy Salami Dip: serves 4
3 oz (75g) salami, roughly chopped
6 oz (175g) cream cheese (philly type)
2 tblsp mayonnaise
1 tblsp tomato ketchup
2 tblsp olive oil
1 tblsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp mustard powder (or made mustard)
salt and pepper
Put everything into blender or food processor and blitz together into a smooth puree. Spoon into a bowl and chill. Serve with crudites, tortilla chips or savoury biscuits.

Many of us have been lucky this year to have our own apples, or some given to us, and although this recipe uses cooking apples, any sharp eating apple would do just as well.
Bombay Apple Soup: serves 4
1 oz (25g) butter
1 onion, finely chopped
2 oz (50g) plain flour
1 tblsp curry powder
1 1/2 pints (900ml) chicken stock
1 1/2 lb (750g) cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced
juice of 1 small lemon
salt and pepper
6 tblsp natural yogurt
Melt the butter in a saucepan and gently fry the onion until softened. Stir in the flour and curry powder and stir/cook for one minute, then add the stock, lemon juice and apples. Raise the heat slightly and keep stirring until the liquid thickens and comes to the boil, then add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the apples are softened then blitz to a puree in a blender or food processor. Reheat in the original saucepan and serve in warmed bowls, adding a swirl of yogurt on the top of each.

Because chickpeas and split peas contain plenty of vegetable protein and cheap with it, am including this vegetarian dish for that very reason. If you haven't a block of creamed coconut, use a little coconut milk or even soak some dessicated coconut in hot water and use that instead.
Two Peas and Mushroom Curry: serves 4 (V)
2 oz (50g) split peas, soaked overnight
2 tblsp sunflower oil
1 oz (25g) butter or marg.
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 onions, finely chopped
1 tblsp curry powder (or to taste)
3 tblsp tomato puree
2 oz (50g) creamed coconut, grated
8 oz (225g) button mushrooms, sliced
1 lb (450g) cooked chickpeas, drained if canned
salt and pepper
Cook the soaked split peas in boiling water until tender. Drain well. Heat the oil and butter and fry the onion until softened, then add the garlic and fry for a further minute. Stir in the amount of curry powder you wish to use (you could always add more later), then stir in the tomato puree, the coconut and the mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes, adding seasonings to taste, then stir in the chickpeas. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve with boiled rice or any cooked grain you may prefer.

Before I move onto the cake recipe, here is an 'eat in the hand' vegetarian snack, although it could be made using 'real meat' sausages
A Pocketful of Crunch: serves 4 (V)
4 vegetarian sausages, sliced
2 red eating apples, cored and sliced
1 lb (l450g) cottage or curd cheese
1 - 2 ribs celery (approx 2 oz/50g) chopped
4 pitta breads, pref wholemeal
Grill the sausages until crispy, then chop into small pieces. Mix together the apples, cheese and celery and season well with the pepper (or to taste). Warm the pitta breads under the grill, split to open up the pockets and stuff with the filling. Heat through in a warm oven 180C, 350F, gas 4 for 10 minutes before serving.

Although there are plenty of recipes for fruit cake on this site, this one is made using no sugar as the dried fruits themselves contain natural sugar (fructose).
Sugar-free Fruit Cake: makes 1 cake
6 oz (175g) plain flour
6 oz (175g) wholemeal flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp mixed spice
4 oz butter or marg.
3 oz (75g) each currants and raisins
3 oz (75g) dates, stoned and chopped
1 ripe banana, mashed
2 eggs, beaten
4 tblsp orange juice
Sieve the flours, baking powder and spice together, adding any coarse flour left in the sieve. Rub in the butter until like crumbs, then stir in the dried fruits, the banana and eggs, adding enough orange juice to make a soft dropping consistency.
Spoon mixture into a greased 7" (18cm) cake tin and bake at 180C, 350F, gas 4 for 1 1/4 hours (that's 75 minutes) until the centre of the cake springs back when lightly pressed. Cool in the tin for a few minutes then turn out and leave to get cold on a cake airer. Store in an airtight tin. Will not keep as long as a normal fruit cake.