Category: Sauces & Relish

Rosehip Syrup

Rose hips

I noticed the abundance of rosehip from my garden and I got to thinking if I could do something with them. My husband suggested a rosehip syrup that he remembers fondly from his childhood. The syrup was sweet-tasting and bursting with goodness of Vitamin C, just the drink, hot or cold, during the autumn season.

Anyway here is a recipe from Hugh Feanley-Whittingstall

Rosehip syrup

 

Rosehip syrup is dripping with vitamin C and has long had a reputation for keeping colds at bay all winter. Far from being austere, though, it has a surprisingly tropical tang, with notes of lychee and mango. Diluted with about five parts cold water, it makes a delicious cordial drink, which kids will love, and a fantastic autumn cocktail for grown-ups. It’s also an indulgent alternative to maple syrup on ice cream, waffles and pancakes.

 

  • You will also need a jelly bag (or a clean cotton cloth and a big sieve)
  • Put two litres of water in a large pan and bring to the boil. Throw in the chopped rosehips, bring back to the boil, then remove from the heat, cover and leave to infuse for half an hour, stirring from time to time.
  • Strain the mixture through a jelly bag. (Alternatively, line a colander with a couple of layers of muslin and place over a large bowl. Tip in the rosehip mixture, and leave suspended over the bowl.)
  • Set the strained juice aside and transfer the rosehip pulp back to the saucepan, along with another litre of boiling water. Bring to the boil, remove from the heat, infuse for another half an hour and strain as before. Discard the pulp and combine the two lots of strained juice in a clean pan. Bring to the boil, and boil until the volume has decreased by half. Remove from the heat.
  • Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Return to the stove, bring to the boil and boil hard for five minutes. Pour into warmed, sterilised jars or bottles and seal.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1kg rosehips, washed and chopped
  • 1kg caster sugar

Just Tomato & Salt

Salty Tomato, Photo by JMorton

Vine tomatoes, photo by JMorton

Just Tomato & Salt

There is some truth about the best things in life are the simplest things.

Like this recipe for instance.  A few ripe tomatoes, sliced and then drizzled with a bit of salt is delicious with boiled rice and some fried fish.

Sometimes though, this salted tomatoes is a complete meal with a plate of fried rice.

I remember when we were still children, my mother would serve us rice with some viand of vegetables and fish and this recipe of salty tomatoes. I would watch her not bothering with a knife to slice the juicy ripe tomatoes.  With dexterity she you would pull a tomato apart with just one hand and it was the loveliest memory of delicious childhood.

I have to say that when I first came to the UK, the tomatoes did not taste like the Philippine tomatoes.  They looked the same but the UK ones are bland.

It was some few years later that Sainsburys started selling flavoursome tomatoes.  It tasted slightly like the good tomatoes of the Philippines.  But why has a tomato has to be flavoursome to taste like the real thing?

The Recipe:

Ripe firm tomatoes, sliced

a pinch of salt

  • Sprinkle the salt to the sliced tomatoes.
  • Stir
  • Serve
  • 🙂  Yummy

 

Green Tomato Chutney

Green Tomatoes, photo by PH Morton

Green Tomato Chutney

The origin of chutney comes from Hindi word chatni, which apparently means to lick and lick you shall with our green tomato chutney recipe.

Green tomato is not an offshoot species of the red fruit.  They belong to the same tree; just pick the tomatoes while still green prior to ripening.

Below is the easy and very straight-forward recipe:

Ingredients:

6 cups of sliced green tomatoes

4 cups of cooking apples (or the tart variety)

2 cups chopped onions

2 cloves garlic

1 cup raisins and sultanas mix

1 cup white wine vinegar

4 cups Demerara sugar

3 tsp salt

1 tsp mustard seed

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground cloves (use that mortar and pestle hiding at the back of the cupboard 🙂 )

a pinch of cayenne pepper

Preparation:

Using a heavy bottom large sauce pan, arrange the apple slices at the bottom, followed by the tomatoes, then onions.

Add the garlic, raisins and sultanas.

Pour in the vinegar.

Tip in the sugar and salt.  Add the mustard seed, cinnamon, cloves and cayenne pepper.

Leave to simmer under very low heat.  Stir often to incorporate all the ingredients together; stirring will also prevent burning the bottom.  Cook until it is mushy and really syrupy.

Let it cool and store in distilled jar or lidded pyrex containers.

Enjoy with hot pitta bread or naan.

Tzatziki Cucumber Dip

Tzatziki dip, photo by JMorton

Tzatziki Cucumber Dip

Tzatsiki is a very refreshing Greek yogurt dip, which is ideal to go with toasted flatbreads such as naan and pita bread as well as julienne of fresh vegetables.

This cucumber yogurt dip is most beloved in Indian, Greek and Turkish restaurants usually served with breads as you peruse the menu.

This is easy to make at home:

Ingredients

  • 2-3 medium cloves garlic, peeled and chopped coarsely
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt or according to taste
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped finely
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. In a glass bowl, mash the chopped garlic with the salt.
  2. Cut the cucumber lengthwise then scoop out the seedy middle bit, throw away the seeds into the recycling bin.  Then chopped the rest of the cucumber finely.  Wrap the minute pieces of the cucumber in a clean muslin cloth or tea towel and squeeze out most of the juice.
  3. Stir in the cucumber into the bowl of garlic.
  4. Add the yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, dill and pepper; ensure to stir thoroughly.
  5. Cover the glass bowl with cling film then store in the fridge for at least a couple for all the tastes to come through,

Enjoy with bread, vegetable and grilled meat.

Avocado Canapés

Cross section of Avocado - JMorton

Cross section of Avocado – JMorton

Avocado Canapés

Party season is coming up!  Avocado Canapés is delicious finger food or something for the buffet table.  It is easy to make and rather exotically healthy.

For the buffet table:

Ingredients:

1/2 packet of loaf thick white bread

2 ripe avocados

1 tbsp English mustard

1 lemon

salt

paprika

Method of preparation:

You can really use your imagination with the bread by using seasonal cookie cutter such as Christmas tree shape, sledge or any pretty cutter in your cupboard.  Cut the bread slices with abandon :0

Cut the avocados and remove the stones.  Scoop the flesh using a spoon.  Put the flesh into a food mixer together with  mustard, juice from the lemon and salt.  Blend until smooth.

Spread generously the avocado mixture over the shaped breads and lightly sprinkle with paprika.

Enjoy!

Easy Spiced Onion Recipe

Sliced Red Onions, Photo by PH Morton

Sliced Red Onions, Photo by PH Morton

Easy Spiced Onion Recipe

The weather is getting colder, sooner or later all sorts of viruses will come a calling.  We do not need to welcome them with open arms and ,therefore, we need to prepare, after all prevention is better than a cure.

A bit of spice in our food can only be a good thing to build or immune system.  A recipe of spiced onion, which is very easy to make and can be made a few days before and  use as you want, is just the perfect cupboard food.

Spiced onion can be made to taste rather sweet or sour instead of sweet and sour.  I, myself, prefer it to be more on the sour side.

Anyway here are the ingredients:

1/2 caster sugar (or less if preferred, I would used just 1 heaped tablespoon)
1 cup white one vinegar (for a stronger taste, use red wine vinegar)
1 tbsp coriander seeds, crushed finely
1 tsp cumin seeds, crushed (cumin powder can also be used)
1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1 clove
1 heaped tsp salt
2 large red onions, peeled and sliced into rounds

Method of preparation:

Using a large pan, put the sugar, vinegar, spices and salt to boil.  Stir thoroughly to mix.  Leave to simmer for at least 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the onion slices on a clean glass pyrex dish or any heat resistant non-metallic covered container.  Pour in the hot spicy vinegar marinade onto the  onions.  Give a stir to ensure all the pieces are drenched with the marinade.

Cover and store in the fridge or pantry until needed.

Delicious with fried food, roasts and salad.

Creamy mushroom sauce

recipes-with-mushroom-sauce

Creamy mushroom sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 15g/½oz butter
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 225g/8oz button mushrooms, wiped and sliced
  • 150ml/5fl oz dry white wine
  • 150ml/5fl oz crème fraîche
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation method

  1. Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan and add the onion. Cook the onion until softened but not coloured.
  2. Add the garlic and the mushrooms and cook for 3-4 minutes until the mushrooms are soft but have not released their juices.
  3. Add the wine and reduce by half.
  4. Stir in the crème fraîche and parsley and heat through.
  5. Season to taste.

Spicy Tomato Salsa

tomatoes and onions, Photo by PH Morton

tomatoes and onions, Photo by PH Morton

The weather today at North London is pretty bright, so bright I am tempted to fire up the barbecue again and eat al fresco in the garden.

A great complement for charred 😉 delicious meats from the BarB is something fresh and something full of goodness, that it provides the essential 5 fruits a day.

Below is just the thing.  No seasoning required. Just fusion from fresh vegetable creating a fresh explosion of taste.

Spicy Tomato Salsa

Ingredients:

6 medium red tomatoes or 1cup cherry tomatoes, chopped finely, try to keep the oozing juices
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped finely
3-4 jalapenos, chopped finely; this would be really hot to remove some of the seeds and use just two if preferred.
1 medium white onion, chopped finely
1 red onion, chopped finely
4 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 tbsp of finely chopped basil or parsley (or a bit of both)

Method of preparation

There is no need for any seasoning for this salsa.  Just mix all the finely chopped ingredients in a serving bowl and let it speak for itself.

Any leftover can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Lemon French Dressing Recipe

What makes a salad that much more and take it to another level is the dressing you drizzle over it. In my opinion, you can never go wrong with a generous tipping of a lemon French dressing over a concasse of tomatoes and onions or any green leafy vegetables.

The good news is that it is very easy to make.

Lemon French Dressing Recipe

Ingredients:

2 tbsp virgin olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
ground black pepper, generous amount
pinch of salt

Method of preparation:

Using a lidded jar or big enough container, add the oil, lemon, garlic, black pepper and salt together.

Give the jar a good shake (shake and shake some more) to fully incorporate all the ingredients.

Now you are ready to drizzle a bit of this to your salad. Any left over of the dressing can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Tip: To give the dressing a different taste, herb or herbs of your choice can be added; mustard, sugar or soy sauce can also be blended for variation to the dressing.

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