there has been a lot of this lately
grey skies, pitter patter, thunder, cool, darker mornings and dusk,
and its strange to think that soon I'll be on the other "side" in the full thrust of spring!
so i've been making the most of this weather,
for thought, reflection,
for the making of comforting food,
here are some of my favourites of late:
-rainy day soup-
you will need:
an assortment of root vegetables like carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, parsnips, swede - as well as an onion, clove of garlic, vegetable stock, smoked paprika and rosemary.
-chop up vegetables in pleasing shapes
-Start with the onion by frying gently in a tablespoon of olive oil
-add garlic and paprika and fresh rosemary (chopped fine)
-add rest of vegetables, add stock till vegetables are well covered,
-bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer for 30 mins - 1hr
- checking every now and again for more liquid required
-for a chunky soup mash lightly with a potato masher or blend for a fine puree
eat: with salt and pepper, spoon, hearty bread, dollop of cream...
you will need:
-potatoes, sweet potatoes (I used about 500g in total)
-1 tablespoon tomato sauce
-1/2 clove of garlic minced finely or crushed
- 1/2 cup tomato puree (you can use fresh or tinned tomatoes for this)
-2 tablespoons mayonnaise
-1 teaspoon smoked paprika
-1 teaspoon fresh thyme chopped finely
-few drops of tabasco sauce
-handful of fresh parsley leaves, chopped fine
-peel potatoes and parboil whole (if the potato is really big cut in half or quarters)
-drain potatoes and cool. Cut into cubes.
-meanwhile in a small bowl mix tomato sauce, tomato puree, mayonnaise, paprika, drop of tabasco sauce, garlic and fresh thyme.
-in 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil gently fry potatoes until cooked and crispy on all sides. I add sprigs of fresh rosemary and salt and pepper as they were frying.
-drain potatoes on some kitchen paper and place in serving dish. Pour bravas sauce over the hot potatoes and sprinkle fresh parsley on top.
eat: as a tapas dish or as an accompaniment to a steak or part of a ploughman's grazing lunch.
-spiced apple marmalade muffins-
I am currently on a muffin rampage... wanting to make these guys just about every day. This is my favourite invention yet.
you will need:
-2-3 ripe pears
-1 cup caster sugar
- teaspoon vanilla essence
-2 cups plain flower
-1 1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
-1/4 teaspoon of sea salt, ground
-2 teaspoons of ground five spice
-1 cup of sour cream
-a citrus marmalade like orange or grapefruit
-raw sugar for sprinkling on top
-preheat oven to 200'c (400F)
-peel skin off pears and chop into cubes
-in a medium bowl beat eggs with sugar until light and creamy. beat in vanilla essence.
-combine flour, bicarb soda, salt and spice in a separate bowl
-using a wooden spoon stir dry ingredients into the egg and sugar mixture alternatively with the sour cream (as you would with pikelet batter) in 3 or 4 stages.
-fold in pears
-grease or line muffin tins.
-spoon mixture half way up muffin tins. add a small teaspoon of marmalade and spoon mixture over the top. sprinkle raw granulated sugar over the tops.
-bake for 20 minutes or until golden and cooked all the way through.
eat: with a fragrant black tea (think lapsang or earl grey) and some literature...