Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Apple Chutney

225g onions, chopped

900g apples, cored and chopped                                                   

110g sultanas

15g ground coriander

15g paprika

15g mixed spice

15g salt

340g granulated sugar

425ml malt vinegar

Put all the ingredients into a pan and slowly bring to the boil until the sugar has dissolved.  Simmer for 1½ - 2 hours, stirring from time to time to stop the chutney sticking to the pan.  It is ready when you can draw a wooden spoon across the bottom of the pan and the gap does not immediately fill with liquid.  Store in a sterilised jar in a cool, dark cupboard for two to three months before eating.

Tomato Chutney and Ketchup

I set out to make the ketchup and realised the left over 'pulp' could be turned into chutney so I got two goodies from my home-grown tomatoes!

I collected 1lb 5ozs (600g) of ripe tomatoes; 4 small, sweet eating apples and 3 red onions. I fried the chopped onions and chopped apples in a little olive oil until the onion was soft rather than cooked.  Transfer this mixture to the food processor, add the tomatoes and blend everything into a pulp. Sieve the mixture putting the liquid back into the pan but keep the pulp to one side to make into chutney later.  For the ketchup add 20ml red wine vinegar, 80g soft brown sugar, 1 tsp ground ginger and salt and pepper to taste to the liquid in the pan then bring to the boil. I kept stirring it for about 30 mins.  At this stage it was very hot and very runny but it thickens as it cools so I left it  to cool down.  I decided I wanted it slightly thicker so I boiled it again for a further ten minutes. It was still too thin but I let it cool again and it was just the right consistency for me.  Pour into sterilised jars.

For the chutney I then put the tomato/onion/apple pulp into a pan and added a handful of sultanas, 10ml red wine vinegar, 1tsp ground ginger and 5tbsp soft brown sugar.  I then boiled this until the mixture thickened (when you can pull a wooden spoon through it and the gap does not fill up with liquid immediately then it is ready). Store in a sterilised jar and keep for a couple of months to mature before you eat it.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Squash and Cumin Soup

I made a couple of alterations to Sarah Raven's recipe as we don't like garlic but Andy does like 'hot'!

2 medium squash
3 heaped teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 medium onions chopped finely
large knob butter
750ml chicken stock

Heat oven to 190 degrees or Mark 5.  Cut squash in half, scoop out seeds, drizzle with oil and cook until soft.  About 1 hour.
Heat the seeds in a dry pan for a few minutes then mix them with the cayenne pepper.  Fry onions in butter until soft add cooked squash scooped from skins, seed mix and stock.  Simmer and season to taste.  Easy!

Minestrone Soup

 Vegetables (carrots, onions, runner beans, peas and potatoes but anything else will do!)
1tbsp oil
1tbsp chopped sage or basil
Half tsp celery salt (optional)
Tin chopped tomatoes
3pints chicken stock
2 handfuls pasta
 Parsley to garnish

Chop up six large carrots, a large onion, a handful of runner beans/peas and six potatoes.  Heat a small amount of oil in a large pan and fry the vegetables for a few minutes with a table spoon of fresh finely chopped sage (or two teaspoons of dried) and half a teaspoon of celery salt (you can add chopped celery but I don't because Andy doesn't like it!).  Add a tin of chopped tomatoes and 3 pints of chicken stock and seasoning.  Bring to the boil then simmer for about an hour and a half.  Add two handfuls of pasta.  Cook for a further half hour.  Sprinkle with parsley and serve with freshly cut bread and grated cheese.

You can fry bacon in the pan before frying the vegetables and use basil instead of sage to get a slightly different taste.  You can also throw in whatever vegetables you have available.

Leek and Potato Soup

4 - 6 leeks
2 small onions
4-6 medium potatoes
1.5 pints chicken stock
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
1/2 teaspoon thyme
Chop up the onions and saute in a little oil.  Slice the leeks into 1/2 inch pieces and add to onions.  Peel and thinly slice potatoes.  Put all three in a large pan and cover with the chick stock.  Add the herbs and seasoning. Boil for about ten minutes (bit longer if potatoes need it). 
Pour into a blender to reduce the chunky bits. 
You can add milk (or creme fraiche) to make it thicker but I just served it as it was.