Category: Sweet & Savoury

Roasted Sweet Apples Recipe

Bowl of apples from our garden
Photo by JMorton

Roasted Sweet Apples Recipe

This recipe is ideal served with roast pork and roast turkey.  Perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas celebration.

You can cook the apples separately with the roast pork or turkey but it would be better and tastier cooked around the meat of preference.  They would then soak up juices as the apples cook.

Ingredients:

  • 6 sweet apples
  • 50 g butter
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Method of Preparation:

  • Peel the apples, leaving them whole.  Remove the cores, easier using an apple corer.
  • Drizzle the lemon juice all over the apples, to prevent them browning even before they start cooking. 🙂
  • Insert a pat of butter into the middle of the apples, sprinkle with salt, cinnamon and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper.
  • Put them around the roast 20 minutes before the meat is cooked.
  • Or put them on a baking sheet and cook separately on a preheated oven at 190ºC for 25 minutes.
  • Serve around the baked apples with the roasts.
  • Enjoy!

 

Delicious Home Made Pickled Beetroot

Delicious Home Made Pickled Beetroot

Our good friend and close neighbour Mick regularly supplies us with fresh vegetables grown on his allotment located across the road from us.

Mick has had his allotment for over fifty years, planting vegetables and even fruit trees.

One of my favourite vegetables he grows for harvesting each autumn time are beetroots. Mick grows a popular type called ‘Boltardty AGM’. Boltardy seeds can be sown at various times during the growing year and in most types of soil. It does not have excessive ‘bolting, a gardening term, which means premature sprouting of stalks flowering stem(s). Bolting can divert resources & nutriment from the beetroot and reduce it’s quality.

All Photos By PH Morton

After harvesting, Mick then produces jars of delicious slightly sweet pickled beetroot for his family and us. We save a jar for Christmas time. Beetroot is perfect to accompany Christmas meals.  This year, Mick invited me to harvest some of his beetroot. He then showed us how to make his ‘signature’ pickled beetroot. I took various photos from harvesting to our jars filled with delicious picked beetroot. Under Mick’s tutelage and help, Jean & I enjoyed producing our own jars of this delicious vegetable. Making pickled beetroot is quite simple & straightforward. 🙂

If using home grown beetroots from garden or allotment etc., a good time to harvest is from 50 to 70 days after planting. Avoid letting the beetroot get too big. A hand or tennis ball size is ideal. Do not let the stalks/stems bolt or grow above 6 inches (15cms). Dig around the beetroot and pick up avoiding breaking the stalk/greens from the beetroot.

Thoroughly clean & wash the dirt off and trim the stalks/stems short. Again do not pull out the stems, as water can get into the beetroot and damage it when boiling prior to pickling.

Harvested fresh beetroot can be stored in a refrigerator for about seven days.

Depending how many beetroots you are pickling, you will require:-

  1. Pickling /preserve jars with airtight lids. The normal size is around 500ml, or as large as you want. Most hardware stores will supply.
  2. Pickling vinegar, which comes in 1.4 litre size. Most larger supermarkets etc supply.
  3. Brown or white sugar granules to sweeten the vinegar taste to your choice.

Place the beetroots in a suitable sized saucepan(s) and cover with water.

Boil for two hours.

Carefully strain off the water and either allow air cooling or running cold water over the beetroots then dry.

Completely remove remaining stalks/roots etc.

The boiled soft skin of the beetroot does not need to be peeled with a knife as can be easily removed by hand.

Cut or slice the beetroot to whatever size you prefer.

Pour in small amount sugar, then add a small measure of the pickling vinegar, enough to cover the first layer of the slices of beetroot into the bottom of the jar.  Sprinkle with a teaspoon of sugar (to taste) then add another layer, pour pickling vinegar, then another layer, sugar, pickling vinegar until it reaches the top of the jar.

Close the jar, gently shake it then turn it upside down and leave for about 30 minutes. This will allow the vinegar and sugar to seep through the beetroot. Top up with the pickling vinegar if needed to completely cover the sliced beetroot in the jar.

If you want you can label the jar with day & month of pickling.

Home made pickled beetroot can be kept for 6 weeks to 3 months, refrigerated.
In practice, it can be longer.

But if you store them beyond 3 months and you’re worried, check for signs of spoilage (rising bubbles, cloudy liquid, unnatural colour) and don’t eat or taste.

Dipping Sauces Recipe

Dipping Sauces, photo by PH Morton

Dipping sauces complete a dish especially those which are fried and steamed.  The sauces takes a perfect dish to another level.

The photo above are some of the delicious dipping dishes we love.

Below are more recipes for you to try.

Dipping Sauces Recipe

 

Spring Onion Sauce Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 stalks spring onions (scallion), finely chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled and grated finely
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp light sauce sauce
  • 3 tsp sunflower oil

Method of Preparation:

  • Place the spring onions, ginger, salt and soy sauce in a heat-proof glass, a pyrex bowl would be ideal.
  • in a small sauce pan, heat the oil until it just began to smoke.
  • Carefully pour the heated oil over the spring onion mix.
  • Give it a good stir.
  • Leave to stand for 2-3 hours to self-cook and allow the flavours to fuse together.

This dipping sauce is ideal for meat and poultry.

 

Sweet & Sour Sauce Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp ginger marmalade
  • 2 tbsp orange or lime marmalade
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp hot water

Method of Preparation:

  • This is an easy recipe to do.
  • Just combine all the ingredients together in a small mixing bowl.
  • Give it a thorough stir.
  • Pour into a pretty sauce dish and serve. 🙂

Delicious with fried food.  This sauce can be stored in a sealed container and will keep well for a week. 🙂

Salt & Pepper Sauce Recipe

Ingredients

  • 50 g Szechuan peppercorns
  • 75 g coarse grain salt

Method of Preparation:

  • The dry frying of the peppercorns will bring out all its flavours.  A heavy bottomed pan or a wok is ideal for this preparation.
  • Put the pan over medium heat.
  • Add the peppercorns and salt and stir-fry until they turn golden brown.
  • Remove from heat and let it cool.
  • Pour the cooled peppercorns and salt onto a mortar and pestle and then grind into a fragrant coarse powder.

This is a popular dip for deep-fried food in China.

 

Why not serve these delicious sauces in pretty little dishes!

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.

Korean Yellow Pickled Radish

pickled radish, photo by jmortonn

pickled radish, photo by JMorton

Korean Yellow Pickled Radish

Due to excessive, almost obsessive newly acquired habit of watching Korean dramas (Kdramas), Korean way of life as depicted on television has influenced how Peter and I eat our dinner.

Suddenly we are going to Korean restaurant to try Korean cuisine, which thankfully is rather good

Korean pickled radish is daikon radish

Ingredients
  • 1 large daikon (labanos) radish
  • 2 cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 11/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorn
  • 3 bay leaves
  • distilled tall pickling jar
Instructions
  1. Peel the daikon and cut in half lenghtwise; each half cut crosswise in two parts or 3 portions if radish is really long.
  2. Arrange the pieces standing up into the tall pickling jar.
  3. Make the pickling liquid by mixing the vinegar, sugar, salt turmeric, bay leaves and pepper corns together.
  4. Pour the spiced vinegar over the pieces of daikon.  Ensure that they are soaked through with the the pickling marinade.
  5. Cover the jar and leave overnight in the fridge.
  6. Store in fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Delicious as addition to grilled meat, fish and vegetables also as a side to a freshly made ramen soup.

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!

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