Thursday, 24 December 2015

Christmas vegetables

These simple roasted vegetables from Jamie Oliver are a no-brainer for Christmas dinner or a classic Sunday roast!

Serves 10
Cooks In 1H 35M
Difficulty : Super easy

Ingredients
 - 1.5 kg King Edward potatoes, peeled and halved
- ½ bulb garlic, separated into cloves and crushed with the back of a knife
- 1 small bunch of fresh rosemary, separated into sprigs salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 6 tablespoons good-quality olive oil
- 50 g butter
- 2 kg parsnips
- 2 tablespoons runny honey
- 1 small bunch fresh thyme, leaves picked
- 1 kg Chantenay carrots, if you can't find any, use normal carrots cut at an angle into 2 inch pieces
- 1 orange , zest of

Method
Preheat your oven to 220°C/425°F/gas 7. Parboil your potatoes for 10 minutes. Drain in a colander and toss around to scruff up the outside of the spuds. Toss with the garlic cloves, half of the rosemary, salt and pepper to taste, 4 tablespoons of the olive oil, and 30g of the butter in a large bowl. Arrange in one layer in a roasting tin and roast for 45 minutes until golden.

For the parsnips, cut them in half lengthways, parboil for 10 minutes and drain. Toss with the honey, thyme, salt and pepper to taste, 10g of the butter and 2 tablespoons of the oil. Lay the parsnips flat in a roasting tin in one layer, and roast for about 40 minutes until golden.

Put your carrots in a pan, cover with cold water and add a pinch of salt. Boil for about 15 minutes or until cooked. Meanwhile, finely chop the remaining rosemary and the orange zest together to mix. Drain the cooked carrots and toss with the remaining butter. Season to taste and sprinkle with the orange zest and rosemary before serving.


Serve with some Cheeky Chilli-pepper Chutney - cooks in 1h and is super easy to make.

Ingredients
 - 8-10 fresh red chillies
- 8 ripe red peppers
- olive oil
- 2 medium red onions, peeled and chopped
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves picked and chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 x 5cm stick cinnamon
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 100 g brown sugar
- 150 ml balsamic vinegar

Method
If you want your chutney to last for a while, make sure you have some small sterilised jars ready to go. Place your chillies and peppers over a hot barbecue, in a griddle pan or on a tray under a hot grill, turning them now and then until blackened and blistered all over. Carefully lift the hot peppers and chillies into a bowl (the smaller chillies won’t take as long as the peppers so remove them first) and cover tightly with cling film. As they cool down, they’ll cook gently in their own steam. By the time they’re cool enough to handle, you’ll be able to peel the skin off easily.

When you’ve got rid of most of the skin, trimmed off the stalks and scooped out the seeds, you’ll be left with a pile of nice tasty peppers and chillies. Finely chop by hand or put in a food processor and whiz up. Then put to one side.

Heat a saucepan and pour in a splash of olive oil. Add the onions, rosemary, bay leaves and cinnamon and season with a little salt and pepper. Cook very slowly for about 20 minutes or so, until the onions become rich, golden and sticky.

Add the chopped peppers and chillies, the sugar and the vinegar to the onions and keep cooking. When the liquid reduces and you’re left with a lovely thick sticky chutney, season well to taste. Remove the cinnamon stick and the bay leaves. Either spoon into the sterilised jars and put them in a cool dark place, or keep in the fridge and use right away. In sterilised jars, the chutney should keep for a couple of months.

Here's wishing you a very Merry Christmas and beautiful times spent with family, friends and loved ones!

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Saturday, 19 December 2015

Delicious Jaffels


Jaffels seem to be a good old South African treat, and by combining your favourite filling combinations (mine is mince and cheese) it can be transformed in a traditional, quick and charming meal idea.


I've still got one of the traditional, round Jaffel pans (I wonder if one can still buy them?), which I used over a gas flame. But a hot plate works equally well.

No surprises here, the process is simple. Bread must be buttered on the outsides (to prevent sticking) before putting it into the maker.

Prepare your fillings beforehand or you can use left-overs - minced meat, cold cooked chicken, mushrooms, tomato and cheese are but a few ingredients you can use.

Place one slice of bread buttered side down, fill with your choice of filling, place the other slice of bread on top, buttered side up, and place into into the jaffel iron. Cut off all excess crusts, place the maker on a hot plate stove and turn it over to crisp the other side. And voila! delicious jaffels!

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Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Pasta Alfredo


(Serves 4)

1. Cook 2 Cups durum wheat pasta until al dente.

2. Gently dry-fry one chopped onion in a heavy-bottomed pot, using only chicken stock water when it sticks. When browned, add ½ C water and simmer till soft.

3. Add 3 rashers finely sliced bacon, and toss until cooked through. 

4. Add 1 punnet sliced mushrooms, 1 clove crushed garlic, and salt and pepper to taste.

5. When mushrooms are limp, add ½ tin low-fat ideal milk and 1 t Maizena pre-mixed with a little water to form a paste.

6. Stir until thickened, and serve immediately over pasta.

Top with chopped parsley.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Melkkos


Serves 6
Low carb
Vegetarian, easy, great value, kid friendly
Prep time : 10 minutes
Cooking time : 20 minutes

Ingredients:
8 cups milk 

1 cup flour 

1 t salt 

2 T ground cinnamon

1 t baking powder 

2 T butter

2 T milk

Cooking instructions:
In a deep saucepan over a medium heat, heat the milk with the sugar until warm. In a mixing bowl, combing the flour, salt, cinnamon (or cassia) and baking powder.
Rub the butter into the mixture, then add the 2 T milk and combine until the mixture has a crumbly consistency.
Add the buttery flour mixture to the warm milk and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve hot in tea cups or small bowls, sprinkled with a little ground cinnamon.


Thursday, 12 November 2015

Meal-size salad



If you are trying to 'lighten up' your evening meals without missing out, a substantial salad is the way to go. Packed with the right ingredients, it will be surprisingly filling and of course packed with all the right nutrients.

Start off with a classic salad (think Greek or green) and add a couple of ingredients you don't normally associate with a salad as a side, and voila, you have a main.

INGREDIENTS THAT BULK UP A SALAD
Beans, lentils and chickpeas : full of fibre, protein, B vitamins and all low-GI, so will keep you full. Soya beans are the only complete protein, i.e., provide all 9 essential amino acids needed for a million processes, including energy production and mood regulation.

Grains such as pasta, rice, couscous, barley wheat and quinoa: all provide important carbohydrates and quinoa is wheat and gluten free, low GI and a good source of iron and calcium.

Eggs: a poached egg is all the rage, but there is always space for a good 'ol soft-boiled egg. Fried egg does the trick too! Eggs contain naturally-occuring Vitamin D and their high sulpher is great for hair and nails.

Cheese: Feta comes to mind first, but blue cheese goes exceptionally well with cabbage, or try a slice of goat's cheese with beetroot, shaved Parmesan over iceberg lettuce, mozzarella - legendary with nectarines or tomatoes and basil pesto or Cheddar or Gouda sliced into small blocks and tossed in a salad with baby leeks and red onion.
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The calcium is essential for healthy bones and teeth and the other essential minerals, such as zinc, for skin health and to support the immune system.
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TIP: You can also turn any salad into a main meal by wrapping it in tacos or tortillas, adding cheese and sour cream or mashed avo if you like.


Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Perfect Poached eggs



Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 farm-fresh eggs
  • 15 ml white grape vinegar

Method
Pour about 6 cm of water into a large pan and bring to a soft boil. Reduce the heat a little to prevent the water from boiling rapidly as this will cause the whites to detach from the yolks while poaching too fast and becoming rubbery. Now add the vinegar, which will help set the whites more easily.

Crack an egg into a cup. Hold the cup near the surface of the water and gently drop the egg into the water. With a spoon, nudge the egg white closer to the yolk to help the white adhere better to the yolk. Quickly continue doing the same with the rest of the eggs. In between additions, gently spoon some of the simmering liquid over the eggs to cook the tops evenly.

Poach the eggs according to your own taste: about 3 minutes for a soft yolk and up to 5 minutes for a firm yolk.

Remove the cooked eggs with a slotted spoon and dab the bottom of the spoon with kitchen paper before sliding the eggs onto a plate. If the eggs have any straggly white bits around them, use kitchen scissors to snip them off then serve at once.


Monday, 26 October 2015

Salsa fresca

This is a very simple, quick and easy to make salsa that goes with absolutely everything - even bacon and eggs at breakfast.

4 Tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh chopped Coriander or herb of your choice
Half a small onion, chopped
2 Fresh chillies, chopped
Juice of half a lemon
Half teaspoon salt
Pinch of sugar
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Mix all the ingredients together and leave for 15 minutes before serving. Serve as an accompaniment to any bean, rice, egg or meat dish. This salsa does not keep long, so make sure you serve at as soon as possible.

Pilchards Salad with Cucumber, Cherry Tomatoes and Cottage Cheese



Pilchards, in any form!, is my latest craving and I've been looking for new ideas of how to enjoy them. This is one of the variations I came up with :

Ingredients:
1 1/2 pilchards,
3/4 cup chopped cucumber,
1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon cottage cheese

Method:
Break the fish with a fork, coarsely. Add the tomatoes, cucumber and cottage cheese. season to taste. Mix through evenly, but do not mince the fish. Season to taste. Serve as is or on freshly baked bread. Yummy!



Saturday, 24 October 2015

Beesvleiskasserol met Kluitjies


BREDIE:
1,2 kg beesvleisblokkies
Sout en vars gemaalde swartpeper
45 ml olyfolie
1 groot ui, grof gekap
250 ml rooiwyn
1 liter goeie beesvleisaftreksel
2 x 410 g blikke gekapte tamatie
500 g groenbone, skoongemaak en gehalveer
1 x 250 g houer sampioene, grof gekap
250 ml room
Paar takkies vars roosmaryn

KLUITJIES:
310 ml bruismeel
Knippie sout
100 g botter
15 ml gekapte roosmarynblaartjies
180 ml karringmelk

Geur vleis met sout en peper en braai in ’n swaarboompot in warm olie tot bruin. Voeg die ui by en braai tot sag. Voeg die rooiwyn, beesvleisaftreksel en tamatie by en verhit tot kookpunt. Bedek en laat prut vir ongeveer 1½-2 uur, of tot vleis sag is.

Voeg bone en sampioene by en prut verder tot groente gaar is. Terwyl groente prut, meng meel en sout in ’n bak en vryf botter daarby in. Voeg roosmaryn by en sny karringmelk met ’n mes in (soos vir skondeeg) tot klam krummels vorm. Druk liggies bymekaar en skep eetlepelsvol van die deeg op die borrelende bredie.

Bedek en laat prut liggies vir 10-15 minute, tot deurgaar. Lewer ses porsies.


Roosmaryn is 'n goeie krui om saam met beesvleis te gebruik – verál in ’n bredie.

As jy nog nie kluitjies gemaak het nie – die deeg moet lekker sag wees (’n voedselverwerker maak dit maklik), weerstaan tog die versoeking om die deksel op te lig terwyl die kluitjies gaar word. Dis die konstante stoom wat hulle lig laat uitrys.

As jy die pot heeltyd oop- en toemaak, kan die kluitjies toeslaan en sal dit ’n digte, swaar tekstuur hê. As jy twyfel of die kluitjies gaar is, druk ’n sosatiestokkie in die grootste een – as dit skoon uitkom, is
die kluitjies reg.

Bron: Arina du Plessis
Plasing; Henriette Wessels / WATERTAND RESEPTE VIR OUD EN JONK

Romerige Aartappelgebak


Lewer 6-8 porsies

6-8 groot aartappels
45 ml. (3 e) olyf-of kookolie
125 g swoerdlose spekvleis, in stukkies gesny
125g knopiesampioene, in skywe gesny
60g-pakkie sampioensoppoeier of wit uiesoppoeier
750 ml (3 k) melk
gemaalde swartpeper na smaak
125 ml. (1/2 k) gerasperde Cheddarkaas

Metode:
1. Skil die aartappels en kook tot sag, maar steeds ferm. Sny aartappels in skywe en pak die helfte in ‘n lag in ‘n groot oondvaste bak.
2. Verhit die olie en braai die spek en sampioene tot gaar en skep die helfte oor die aartappels.
3. Meng die soppoeier met die melk in ‘n swaarboomkastrol. Bring tot kookpunt en roer aanhoudend vir ‘n paar minute tot dit begin verdik. Voeg peper by.
4. Giet die helfte van die sous oor die spek-en-sampioenlaag. Herhaal met die oorblywende aartappel, spek en sampioene en laastens die sous.
5. Sprinkel kaas bo-op. Bak vir 20- 30 min. in ‘n voorverhitte oond teen 180 grade C of tot goudbruin bo-op.

Common edible flowers: A guide



Edible flowers are all the rage at the moment, but not every blossom is palatable. Here's a helpful guide to which petals to plate, anything else can be left in the vase.

The subtle flavours of edible garden flowers impart an extra dimension to a dish with their delicacy and uniqueness. However, you can't just throw a handful of petals into your stew. To use them effectively one needs to understand the ideal use for each kind of flower. Something we have simplified with our guide below. 
Apple blossoms have a delicate floral flavour and aroma and are a great accompaniment to fruit dishes. They can easily be candied to use as a garnish.

Calendula (or marigolds) can be spicy or bitter, tangy or peppery. Also known as poor man’s saffron, their petals are lovely sprinkled on soups, pastas and rice dishes.

Carnations can be steeped in wine, candied or used as cake decorations. To use the sweet petals in desserts, cut them away from the bitter white base of the flower.

Chrysanthemums range in taste from faintly peppery to something resembling mild cauliflower. They should be blanched and the petals scattered on salad.

Dandelion flowers are sweetest when picked young. They have a honey flavour and can be eaten raw or steamed.

Day lilies are slightly sweet with a mild vegetable flavour, somewhere between asparagus and baby marrow.

Fuchsia blooms have a slightly acidic flavour. Their explosive colours and graceful shape make them ideal for use as a garnish.

Hibiscus blooms have a cranberry-like flavour with citrus overtones. Use petals sparingly in salads or as a garnish.
Impatiens have a sweet flavour and look lovely floated in drinks.

Jasmine’s tubular, waxy-white flowers are intensely fragrant and traditionally used for scenting tea.

Lavender flowers have a sweet, floral flavour, with lemon and citrus notes. They look beautiful – and taste good too – in a glass of champagne, with chocolate cake, or as a garnish for sorbets and ice creams.
Lilac flowers have a distinct lemony taste with strong floral overtones. They are great in salads and crystallised with egg whites and sugar.

Nasturtium blossoms have a sweet, spicy flavour, which is similar to watercress and are ideal on open sandwiches and savoury appetisers.

Roses vary in flavour according to soil type and colour, although the taste can be described as being reminiscent of strawberries and green apples.
Sunflowers are best eaten steamed at bud stage, when they taste like artichokes.

Tulip petals taste like sweet lettuce or fresh baby peas and have a cucumber-like texture and flavour. Note that some people have a strong allergic reaction to them.

Violets have a sweet, perfumed flavour and make pretty adornments to iced cakes and sorbets. They can also be crystallised.

This info from Woolworths TasteMag


Buttery baby spinach



150g baby spinach, cut into slivers
1-2 tsp butter
salt & pepper

Heat butter in a pan over medium low heat until foamy. When foam dies down,
add the spinach. Cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes, just until tender. Add
salt and pepper to taste.

1-2 Servings (500g spinach = 3 tbs butter)

Grilled Asparagus and Goat's cheese



Ingredients:

200g asparagus, washed and dried
1 T olive oil
100g goat’s cheese, sliced
salt, coarse pepper

Cooking instructions:

Toss the washed and dried asparagus in olive oil and grill on a hot griddle pan for about 2 minutes a side.

Place in an ovenproof dish, top with the sliced goat’s cheese, and grill for 3 to 4 minutes, or until melted and golden.

Season and serve. 


Cheesy Potato bake



Serves:

Category: Easy / Great value / Kid-friendly
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:
2 kg Woolworths Everyday Large Potatoes
400 ml Woolworths Heat & Pour Cheese Sauce
400 g Gouda
Sprinkle of Parmesan (optional)

Cooking instructions:
Thinly slice 4 to 5 potatoes and arrange a layer in a greased ovenproof dish. Pour over 2 to 3 T Heat & Pour cheese sauce, then repeat with the remaining potatoes and cheese sauce.
Generously grate Gouda over the potato bake, adding a little Parmesan, too, if you like. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling. 
Serve hot with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Easy Guacamole


3 ripe avocados
1 lime
1-2 gloves of garlic finely minced
pinch of salt

Cut avocados in half, discard pit and scoop out flesh into bowl. Add the juice of the lime, garlic and salt. Mash together and serve with tortilla chips.

Curried Butternut soup


Two butternuts peeled and diced,
two chicken stock cubes,
4 cheese wedges,
two long leeks washed and sliced,
a heaped teaspoon of curry powder,
salt and pepper to taste.

Cook it all up until veggies are tender then put in blender. Serve hot with fresh warm bread and a swirl of sour cream or even some crumbed feta.

Corn fritters



Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:
3 corn cobs
140 g cake flour
2 free-range eggs
½ cup milk
100 g mature Cheddar cheese, grated
2 T Italian parsley, chopped
1 T chives, chopped
1 t baking powder
sea salt, to taste
oil, to deep-fry

Cooking instructions:
Cook the corn in boiling water until soft. Cut the corn off the cob.
Mix together the flour, eggs, milk, cheese, herbs, baking powder and salt.
Add the corn. Heat the oil in a saucepan until hot. Drop spoonfuls of batter into the oil.

Cook until puffed up and golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper.
Keep warm until ready to eat.

Cook’s tip: You can also use 1 x 410g can of sweetcorn kernels instead of fresh corn.

Cauliflower Tabbouleh (raw, vegan, gluten-free)


Salad


1 medium Cauliflower – broken into florets

1 large handful (40g) Fresh Flat Leaf parsley, Chopped

1 small handful(20g) fresh Mint, Chopped

½ (200g) Cucumber diced

1 (190g) red onion, finely chopped

6 (600g) tomatoes diced

1 (200g)green pepper diced

Dressing

Juice of 2 Medium lemons (±150ml)

½ Cup (125ml) Olive oil

½ tsp (2g)ground garam masala

½ tsp (1g) freshly ground cumin

Vegetable salt and black pepper to taste

- In small batches, pulse the cauliflower florets until they are riced.

- Combine the dressing and toss through the cauliflower rice and allow to stand for 10 minutes.

- Add the rest of the salad ingredients and mix thoroughly.

- Garnish with shredded cucumber or romaine lettuce

Serves 6

70k Cal per 100g

BLT Sandwich



Ingredients:
2 slices Monterey Jack cheese or mild Cheddar
2 thick slices rustic, farmhouse loaf or sourdough bread
1 T mayonnaise
4 pieces of streaky bacon, fried
4 slices of tomato
2 leaves butter lettuce
1 free-range egg

Cooking instructions:

Place the slices of cheese on 1 piece of the toasted bread and place under the grill until the cheese has melted.

Spread the mayonnaise on the other slice of bread, then top with fried bacon, tomato and lettuce.

Slide the egg, crisp around the edges with a runny yolk, on top of the lettuce, close the sandwich and indulge right away.


Avocado-Cherry Tomato Salad with Lime Vinaigrette


Ingredients:

• 4 firm-ripe avocados, halved, pitted, peeled and cut into chunks

• 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved crosswise

• 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

• 1/4 cup Lime Vinaigrette (See recipe below.)

• Coarse salt

• Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

1. In a mixing bowl, combine avocados, tomatoes, pine nuts and vinaigrette. Toss gently, taking care not to smash the pieces of avocado—you are not making guacamole!
2. Season generously with salt and pepper.

Serve chilled. Makes 4 cups.

Lime Vinaigrette
A sweet tangy blend of lime, honey and cilantro, this versatile Lime Vinaigrette lends pizzazz to a salad, or makes a great basic marinade for fish or chicken.

Ingredients:

• Juice of 2 to 3 limes, (about 1/4 cup)

• 1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar

• 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

• 1 garlic clove, minced

• 1 teaspoon coarse salt

• 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

• 2/3 cup canola oil

• 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Instructions:
 
1. In a blender, combine lime juice, honey, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper. Blend on medium speed for a few seconds, and then reduce the speed to low.

2. With the motor running, slowly add the oil until emulsified. Pour into a container or jar and mix in cilantro.

3. Keep any left-over vinaigrette covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Makes 1 cup.

Potato puffs



Ingredients
3 cups of mashed potatoes
2 eggs
1/3 cup sour cream (optional extra for serving)
1 heaping cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped chives or parsley
Salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease with butter 8 - 9 of the wells of a nonstick muffin pan.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the eggs then mix in the sour cream. Stir in both cheeses and the chives. Add potatoes and mix well. Spoon them into the pan filling the cups to slightly below the top. Bake 25- 35 minutes until they pull away from the sides of the cup and are golden brown.

Remove from oven and let them cool 5 minutes in pan. Serve with sour cream if desired.

Traditional Frikkadel with garlic and Chermoula



Cooking time - 25 minutes

Ingredients:
500 g free-range beef mince
4 ripe tomatoes finely diced
1 grated onion
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 egg
1 T worcester sauce
1 T brown vinegar
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 T olive oil
2 T garlic cloves thinly sliced
cos lettuce leaves, for serving
tomato and red onion salsa, for serving
chermoula paste, for dipping

Cooking instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Combine the mince, tomato, onion, parsley, breadcrumbs, egg, Worcester sauce and brown vinegar.

Season to taste, then mould the mixture into large balls. Place a nonstick pan over a medium to high heat and add the olive oil.
When hot, fry the garlic and frikkadels, until the latter are browned on all sides. 

Transfer to an ovenproof dish and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until firm and cooked through.

Serve nestled in crisp cos lettuce leaves with a tomato-and-red onion salsa and a small bowl of chermoula paste, for dipping, on the side.

Cook’s note: Chermoula is a fragrant spiced paste available from selected Woolworths stores and delis.

Spicy Tuna pasta



Serves 4-5

Nutritional content per serving:
2010kj | 77g carbohydrate | 27g protein | 7g fat | 7g fibre

Ingredients:
15 ml olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
5-10 ml crushed chili from a jar John West
2 x 400 g cans of cut, peeled & diced tomatoes (Garlic, Basil and Oregano flavour)
15 ml capers
a hand full of black olives, pitted and chopped
5 ml brown sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
500 g penne pasta
2 x 170 g tuna in oil, drained
Handful fresh basil leaves

Instructions:
1. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion and chili until soft and translucent.
2. Add the fresh cut tomatoes, capers, olives and sugar and simmer for 15 minutes. Season to taste.
3. Cook the pasta according to the pack instructions. Drain the pasta and stir the tomato sauce through.
4. Lastly, drain the tuna and scatter over the pasta.
5. Scatter with basil leaves.

Soft fudge



Prep time : 15 plus 2 hrs. settling time
Cooking time : 10-15 minutes

Ingredients:
4 cups soft brown sugar
3 cups double-thick cream
1/2 a vanilla pod

Cooking instructions:
Pour the brown sugar into a deep saucepan and add the double-thick cream. Melt over medium heat.
Bring to a boil and simmer over a low heat for 5 - 10 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon until the sugar has completely dissolved.


Remove from the heat, add salt and seeds from half a vanilla pod.
Beat the caramel sauce with a wooden spoon for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Pour it into a greaseproof container and allow at least 2 hours to settle.

Serve the soft fudge as a snack with fresh figs and a glass of bubbly, or as a desert with a glass of ice-cold sherry.

Cook's note: You can also serve the caramel sauce as is with fresh figs.

Replace the vanilla by adding flavours such as chocolate, candied ginger, lemon rind, freshly ground black pepper or freshly chopped thyme, or add a handful of chopped walnuts or macadamia nuts.


Spaghetti bolognaise with bacon

Ingredients

  • 500g Fresh Beef Mince.
  • 400g Dried Spaghetti.
  • 4 Rashers of Smoked Streaky Bacon, finely diced.
  • 2 Tins of Plum/Chopped Tomatoes.
  • 6 Fresh Cherry Tomatoes.
  • 2 Medium Onions, peeled and finely diced.
  • 2 Sticks of Celery, trimmed and finely diced.
  • 2 Carrots, trimmed and finely diced.
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic, peeled and finely diced.
  • 1 Medium Chilli (optional), seeded and finely sliced
  • 75g Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese, plus extra for grating over.
  • 2 tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 1 Beef Stock Cube.
  • Glass of red wine (optional)
  • Herbs:
  • 2-3 Sprigs of Fresh Rosemary.
  • Handful of Fresh Basil, plus extra for Garnish.
  • 1 tsp Dried Oregano.
  • 1-2 Fresh Bay Leaves.
  • Olive oil.
  • Sea Salt and Black Pepper.
  • Crusty bread, to serve.

Method

    1. Get yourself a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, and place it on a medium heat. Add a good lug of olive oil and gently fry your bacon until golden and crisp, then reduce the heat slightly and add your onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Next remove the leaves from the Rosemary sprigs and add them to the pot, discarding the sprigs. Move everything around and fry for around 8-10 minutes until the veg has softened.
    2. Next, increase the heat slightly, add the mince and stir until the meat is browned all over.
    3. Stir in your tins of plum/chopped tomatoes, (plum tomatoes are best as they contain less water, but either will turn out great!). Add your remaining herbs, tomato puree, stock cube, chilli and if using, the wine. Slice your cherry tomatoes in half and throw them in aswell.
    4. Give everything a stir with a wooden spoon, breaking up the plum tomatoes as you go and bring to a gentle simmer. Reduce the heat to low-medium, put the lid on and leave it blipping away for about an hour and 15 minutes until the flavours develop into a wonderfully rich tomatoey sauce. Stir occasionally to make sure it doesn't catch.
    5. Just as the sauce is nearly ready, Add the parmesan and season to taste. Meanwhile add salt to a pan of boiling water and cook the spaghetti according the the packet instructions. Once the spaghetti is ready, drain it in a colander and add it to the pan with the sauce. Give it all a good stir, coating the pasta in the lovely tomato sauce. Serve with a little grated parmesan and use the extra basil leaves to make a great little garnish. Beautiful!
This recipe is from Good Food 

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