Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Being domesticated

I am off on my travels again tomorrow, going down to Hampshire for a few days before I collect our eldest daughter from her Dig at Stonehenge. I will be meeting up with a fellow Forum friend (Yarrow) on Friday, and can't wait.

I will try and share some recipes with you before I go, and of course, more photos too. Below are the two trays of vine tomatoes (I got about a box of about 5lbs for £1 from the wholesaler last week) I used to make Roasted Tomato Puree. I used a recipe from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingall's book "The River Cottage Year" to make this puree which will be a base for soups, pasta sauces and anything else requiring tomato. You simply cut the tomatoes in half and place them in deep baking trays, finely chop 2 or 3 cloves of garlic per tray, season with salt and pepper, a pinch of sugar, and a little drizzle of olive oil and cook in a moderate oven for about 45 mins.

They will then look like this. Mine were a little watery, as they needed using up fast so there weren't any nice sticky juices to deglaze, as Hugh says to do with a little water or stock. In fact, I had to pour some of the juices off as they were thinning the resultant puree too much.

This is one of our regular meals, a non-onioned (!) lamb Mince Cobbler, with cheesy scones. It is a real rib-sticker.

For the first time in over a year, I made home-made sausages again. I had the hog casings frozen and just popped them in a jug of cold water to defrost until I was ready for them. I believe the recipe if something like a kilo of pork shoulder, minced with a kilo of pork belly, ditto. 150g (5 oz) of pork fat, very finely chopped; 200 g (7 oz) of breadcrumbs (I had some REALLY stale bread in the fridge, so that got used up); 2 oz of fresh sage, finely chopped; 10g (1/2 oz) black pepper; 10g (2 level tspn) salt; 250 ml (8 oz) water; 2m (6 ft) hog casings. The recipe is from the October issue of "Home Farmer". You mince the meat and combine it in a bowl with all the dry ingredients and then add the water. It always helps if you fry a little patty of the meat before you start the sausage stuffing, so that you have the right balance of herbs and spices for your palate. You can of course, vary the spices, adding garlic, or chilli powder, or tomatoes, onions, leek, apple, whatever you fancy combining. Then stuff the hog casings - I have an electric mincer and sausage stuffer now. My son had one for tea and pronounced it delicious!

Mrs Debden's Chocolate Pudding

Sorry - no picture as it got scoffed too quickly. I'd not made this for years and had forgotten quite how delicious it was. Enjoy.

4 oz (100/125 g) plain flour
2 tspn baking powder
1/4 tspn salt
6 oz (175 g) granulated sugar
1 oz (25 g) plain chocolate, melted
2 tblspns butter, melted
1/4 ping (150 ml) milk

2 oz (50 g) brown sugar
2 oz (50 g) caster sugar
3 tblspns cocoa, sifted
6 fl oz (175 ml) cold water

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Stir in the granulated sugar, melted chocolate and melted butter (I melted them together in a pan). Blend in the milk. Pour the mixture into a buttered 1 1/2 pint (850 ml) ovenproof dish. Over the top, sprinkle the brown sugar, caster sugar and cocoa in seperate layers. Pour over the cold water.

Bake in a pre-heated oven (170 deg. C/325 deg. F/Gas Mark 3) for 1 hour. A layer of chocolate-fudge sauce will form under the sponge topping as the pudding cooks. Let the pudding cool for an hour before serving, but do not chill. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream (and just as fab. cold with ice cream too!) Somewhere amongst my cookery books, I have a recipe for a lemon version of this, which I feel I need to make again too . . . Real comfort food.

Below is some material I bought from a discount shop in Brecon (now sadly closed). I am thinking of turning it into new kitchen curtains . . .


MrsL said...

I covet that fabric! That is beautiful. Nice looking sausages too.

Bovey Belle said...

It was dirt cheap too - £3 a metre I think. It probably "should" go in a sitting room, but to hell with convention!

Shirley Landis VanScoyk said...

That roasted tomato sauce is all over the Food Network here - so trendy! I reduced mine in a large sautee pan and then put in fresh pasta and then put on some fresh basil and peccorino romano. FABULOUS!!