Thursday, January 29, 2015

White Cabbage Kraut With Caraway

There is nothing new about me making a batch of kraut, now and again.  This time I made some with a few twists - British white cabbage and caraway seeds.

Here is a flash back to my original kraut blog:

Ferment This

I didn't add any carrots, or kholrabi this time....

Shred one head of white cabbage and pour in 1/4 c. whey from plain yogurt. Add a 1/2 tbsp. of sea salt, and one clove worth of crushed garlic, toss.  Crush with the bottom of a glass, or a purpose made tool.  Cover and let set at room temperature for 30 minutes.  Crush again, add a tsp. of caraway seeds.  Press into a jar and put on the lid.  I used a swing top Kilner jar.  Leave out on a counter at room temperature for 2, or 3 days, burp the jar once a day and press further into the glass.

We found some German style bangers and with the kraut, it made a good lunch. MUSTARD!


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Smoke Me A Kipper, I'll Be Back For Breakfast

You could have slapped me with a kipper when we found some Crasters at the mongers.  Craster Kippers come from their namesake in Northumberland.  Raw herrings are split, gutted, washed and soaked in brine.
The fish are then slow smoked over oak and white wood.  The smokehouses have a distinctive look dotted all over Craster, with white smoke coming from the stone buildings.


Kippers are delicious grilled and served with a soft-centre egg.  Many enjoy a Kipper Tea - kipper on a bap with a cuppa.  I made some potted pate' with one of my kippers.

Many say that kippers this way are far superior to tinned kippers.  

Take one kipper and place in a pan.  Run some hot water from a kettle and heat the fish through.  Pick the flesh from the bones and skin.  Process into a paste with; 1/4 c. soured cream, 2 tsp. dijon, zest of a lemon, a lrg. handful of roquette, 2 tbsp. sweated leeks.  Season with salt and pepper and a pinch of paprika. Pot the pate' and refrigerate.

Spread over bread, or cracker, lovely!


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Till we have built Jerusalem....

Jerusalem artichoke is not really an artichoke at all.  Instead, the tuber is a species of sunflowers, commonly found growing in North America.  

Other names for Jerusalem artichoke include; sunchoke, sunroot, earth apple, or topinambour.  

Thank you Peter Tickle for growing some in the United Kingdom.  I paired the whole package of Kentish grown tubers with some parsnips for soup.  The soup is garnished with roasted Jerusalem artichoke chips. Peel and slice on a diagonal, place in a lined tray and brush with EVOO.  Roast at a high temp., watching carefully, until lightly browned and crisp.  This should take about 15 minutes, depending on thickness of the cut.

                                                   Parsnip and Jerusalem Artichoke Soup

Steam 4 parsnips with 8 Jerusalem artichokes, until fork tender.  Add a cup of single cream and blitz with a hand blender, until smooth.  Thin to the desirable thickness with vegetable stock.  Dot with butter and season.  Top with roasted chips and serve.


Monday, January 26, 2015

Chutney - Two Different Ones

To go on the side of our numerous curry dishes, I whipped up a few batches of chutney.  The mango chutney has a sweet/sour flavour, and a savoury condiment with a bit of a hot bite - tomato chutney.

Both have a delightful highlight from curry leaves.  These are harder to find at the regular grocers in the USA, at least in my neck of the woods.  I bought a big bag of fresh leaves and used what I need for the chutney, drying the remainder. As you serve your chutney take care not to chew on any remaining leaves left in the jar.  They do continue to enhance the mixture if you leave a few leaves in the storage jar.

Curry leaves source off a tropical tree and are commonly used in Indian cuisine.  In other Asian regions regions curry leaves can be a substitute for tulsi.

Mango Chutney
2 red chillis, 1 seeded and chopped. The other split long ways and dropped in the mixture.
2 cloves garlic, crushed
10 g. fresh ginger, sliced thin
1 very lrg. onion half and slice
20 g. water
250 g. demerara sugar
4 lrg. mangos, peeled and sliced
120 g. vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. turmeric
  100 g. mixed dried fruit (sultanas, raisins, currants, etc)1
1 lrg. sprig curry leaves
Sweat onions in pot.  Add garlic, ginger, and curry leaves.  Heat through, then add remaining ingredients slowly, making sure to incorporate completely as you go.  Cook on med. heat until reduced and thicker, about 20 minutes.  Retrieve the whole chilli and curry leaves to discard.  Keep  finished chutney in a swing top jar in the refrigerator and use as needed.

Tomato Chutney
1 tbsp. ground coriander seeds
1 tsp. ground cumin
3 tbsp. oil
2 tsp. Nigella seeds
1 sprig curry leaves
2 green chillis, 2 seeded and chopped. The other split long ways and dropped in the mixture.
2 cloves garlic. crushed
1 small onion, small chopped
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 1/2 c. fresh tomatoes, peeled and seeded
4 tsp. tomato paste
2 tbsp. vinegar
1/2 c. water
1 tsp. turmeric
salt and pepper
Heat oil in a pot, add nigella seeds and curry leaves. Toast in oil, then add onions and garlic to sweat them.  Add remaining ingredients.  Incorporate completely and cook through, until bubbly and reduced, about 20 minutes.  Fish the whole chilli and the curry leaves out of the mixture.  Place in a jar and store in the refrigerator until needed.


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Mincemeat Glazed Stars

If you you are making homemade mince pies, give this a try!  This will use up all the pastry ends and some of the mincemeat left in the bowl/jar.  A nice, little, bite-sized, glazed star biscuit.

Preheat the oven to 200 deg. C. to get started. If you are making pies this should be easy.

Roll out a rather thin layer of your pate brisee and cut into small stars. Dock the pastry all over with a fork.

Bake for a few minutes, until slightly firm and easy to pick up.

Brush with mincemeat that is free of bits (suet won't hurt).  Bake a few minutes more until golden.

Light and crispy with a slight sweet flavour, Enjoy!


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Living On Tulsi Time

We grew Tulsi this year.  A bit of a challenge to grow in zone 5, but we did.  All of the garden centres in the area claim they can't provide stock in plant form, or in seeds.  We ordered the seeds from a source on Amazon.  One can also get a hold of the seeds from Johnny's Select Seeds.  There are other names it comes under; Holy Basil (not to be confused with Thai Basil, or Holy Herb), Ocimum tenuiflorum and tulasi .  It can come in the form of tea, dried powder, essential oil , or mixed with ghee.  It is believed to be a stress reliever and is also used as a healing herb in several cultures. 

Tulsi / Holy Basil

We found that it grows pretty slow.  It took months to get to this point.


Here is the major reason we decided to grow it!  Sean loves to cook Thai cuisine.  

We dedicated a whole garden bed to Thai plants for delicious meals made by Sean.  


We even have a Kaffir lime tree under LED grow lights for the lovely flavour in our Thai dishes.

Purchased in California and brought back by Sean's father.

Here Sean is making Tom Yum - Thai Mushroom soup.

This is the recipe he used:


We got to use some of our Kaffir lime leaf in this soup!

Second course is Pad Prik King.  This is the recipe he used, except his is a Pescetarian version with some adaptions:

The first adaption is tofu cutlets instead of chicken.

The second adaption was using the Tulsi in the dish and as a garnish.

We also had fried garlic and peanuts as a garnish.

Our Tulsi had to be brought in...It was truly living on Tulsi time when a arctic blast brought us very cold temps. and lots of snow.  Grows lights are the remedy.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Pineapple Sage Advice

 It finally bloomed!  The wait for my Pineapple Sage Pound Cake is over.  I didn't think it would be the end of October until they blossomed out, I thought it would be more like the end of September.  

Pineapple Sage is used for all kinds of things, delicious things.  It is good to brew as a tea, I have dried some for that purpose.  It is good in poultry dishes, pestos, flavourings for lemonade, smoothies and etc.  Plenty of uses!

Pineapple Sage Pound Cake

1 c. butter
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
5 eggs
5 tbsps, leaves and blossoms of pineapple sage
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking powder
2 c. flour

1/4 . c sugar seperately.

Preheat oven to 325 deg. Grease and flour a loaf pan.  Then, sugar it with 1/4 c. additional sugar.

Place some small tender leaves and blossoms in the pan as pictured.

Prepare the batter and pour into the pan in blobs, such that the leaves and blossoms aren't displaced. spread to flatten on top.

Bake for approximately 55 minutes.