Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘tomatoes’

*When the lovely folks at the English Provender Company asked if I would like to try a jar of their all natural Sweet Tomato and Chilli Chutney for a review, I jumped at the chance to do so!  Anything that is foodie and contains no artificial ingredients at all scores highly in my opinion.  Suitable for vegetarians and vegans, the deliciously zingy Sweet Tomato and Chilli chutney boasts a list of natural ingredients that include tomatoes, apples, roasted tomatoes in olive oil, sultanas glazed in sunflower oil, and organic sea salt amongst others.

They also use an open pan method of cooking which is a fairly slow process but one which reduces the ingredients down to a spectacular flavour and aroma that when I opened the jar to sample it, after a few minutes, the husband walked in wondering what I was cooking!

The first bite of the chutney on it’s own is nice and sweet which then develops into a sensational yet a ‘not too hot’ chilli and tangy taste.  We tried ours with a pork pie (or two), breadsticks, and thick cut baguette with a mature cheddar cheese.  I also sent the husband off to work with a ham and sweet tomato and chilli chutney sandwich!

At the moment, in the major supermarkets, you can find their Sweet Tomato and Chilli Chutney, Caramelised Red Onion Chutney and Ploughman’s Plum.  The jars are clear with transparent labels so you can see the rich colours of the ingredients.  You can also buy other delicious chutneys such as Moroccan Spiced and Apple, Pear and Fig from their online store along with ideas and recipes.

Visit English Provender Company to see their scrumptious ranges of chutneys and condiments and you can follow them on Twitter A Good Dollop and like them on Facebook too! for chances to win your own chutneys.

*All my own words and opinions.

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

I am glad to say that I am not a total amateur when it comes to some things. In fact, I would go as far as saying that I am actually very very good at one thing…and that is cooking!

I come from a background that involved food. My parents were restaurateurs (now retired) and my father a chef. My mother ruled the roost at home and I have nothing but fond memories of all the delicious meals she would make. Unfortunately, my repertoire only stretches to making middle eastern or Persian dishes so whilst I learn to make a mean beef stroganoff or simple chicken pie (from scratch of course) you will have to bear with recipes that I’ve learned over the years that are a hit in any Persian household.

One night, I had no idea what to make for dinner for the children. I could have done a quick pasta but was bored with the idea myself as we’d only had pasta a few days ago so as I had some minced beef out already, I decided to make something that I grew up on. Pan fried kebabs served with fluffy white rice.
 
 
For this, you need a very good non stick frying pan. Mine isn’t a good one..as you can see from the picture, the kebabs were a little *over-done* and that is due to the pan being no good after many years of being used to the brink of it’s own extinction. The tomatoes make a good mixer with the white rice because there is no sauce. Iranians mix butter with their rice to make it less dry but tomatoes work just as well and is a slightly healthier option.
You can also add any kind of vegetables you want, it really doesn’t matter. We had mushrooms in so I just simply sauteed them in the pan with the tomatoes after the kebabs were made.

All you need is:

500g minced beef (or lamb)
1 medium onion, grated
2 heaped tbsp natural breadcrumbs
1tsp turmeric (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Mix everything by hand in a bowl and make as many oval kebabs as you can. Don’t make them too thick otherwise they will take longer to cook through and end up burning on the outside. Don’t make the pan too hot and use 2 tbsp cooking oil and keep turning the kebabs. Have a plate ready at the side for the ones that get done first and as you get space add the others otherwise you’ll end up taking forever. We like to have crunchy vegetables with our meals so I have added radishes as a complement but a fresh salad will do the trick and give a bit more colour to the meal.

If you don’t fancy rice with it, pitta bread will do just as good. The preparation takes a bit of time but trust me, it will only take five minutes to eat it all and the children will LOVE it!

**If you don’t fancy minced meat, very thin slices of chicken breast will also do very nicely, or for vegetarian, a mix of more vegetables.  You can make a quick spicy sauce to go with the vegetables using 2 tbsp tomato puree, 1 tbs cooking oil, half a pint of water salt and pepper to taste, 1/2 tsp chilli powder (or none if you don’t want it hot), 1/2 tsp garlic powder and 1/2 tsp dried oregano.  Bring it to the boil, then simmer and reduce for 20 minutes.

Read Full Post »

By now, you will have realised that my best skill is cooking and I like blogging about it too.  I am sure, or at least I hope that at some point, I’ll get to the sewing, knitting and other stuff!  Here is another food one I wrote  in the summer last year but I am now going to use it in a series of *Make your own* posts that I am going to experiment with.  Enjoy.

The fresh ingredients...

My parents have been away for a couple of weeks and I was left with strict instructions to pick the tomatoes from my fathers garden and eat them.  Well, I love tomatoes as much as anyone else but I have to admit, there were quite alot of tomatoes to be contending with and there is only so much salad we can eat!! 

I wanted to do something to test my own skills and so I decided to make a Passata sauce. I have never actually eaten any passata before so was very worried about what I was doing but decided it was all for the name of experimenting!

I found a simple recipe online that called for ingredients that I had in the house already.  Tomatoes, fresh basil, (I have a pot that was given to me on my birthday), garlic and onions – check!

Firstly, I boiled then simmered the tomatoes along with a whole onion and a couple of sprigs of basil for about an hour.  Then I had to strain the mix through a sieve as I don’t have a mouli (a food mill) and this took quite a bit of time and really hurt my arms (cooking is good exercise!) but I was pleased with the end result.

Once you have the sauce ready, you then add a finely chopped onion and several finely chopped cloves of garlic with more basil and salt to taste.  I boiled it down until I thought it was thick enough to be a *sauce*.  The aroma of garlic and basil had engulfed the house making us all hungry.

For my first attempt at making this sauce, I think it went very well indeed.  I was more happy because I used two homegrown ingredients which, even though I didn’t grow at home myself, it still gave me a personal sense of satisfaction!  If you feeling even more adventurous, you can couple the sauce with a homemade pasta and garlic bread too!

 

 

Read Full Post »

Yesterday was a busy day for me.  I had the in-laws coming around for tea and cake (like, TOTALLY shop bought) and I had a lot of washing and ironing to do (just call me the last minute homemaker!) On top of this my youngest is sick (we had a throw up festival) and I decided that I was going to completely overhaul and sort out my daughter’s room as well.

I had put out some lamb the night before and the last thing that I really wanted to do was to cook a huge meal and stand over it, stirring and making sure it didn’t stick to the bottom of the pan or burn or anything SO I brought out my trusty three litre slow cooker and here is what I finally decided upon!

 

I had previously bought half a leg of lamb from the butchers, chopped into medium sized casserole pieces INCLUDING the bone.  You can either leave that out and make a soup stock later or cook it in the casserole like I do for added flavour.  I split the half leg of lamb into two as there are two adults and two children, aged 5 and under who don’t eat huge portions. I recommend using fresh ginger and garlic but the *lazy* or ground varieties will work just as well if you can’t get to the shops.

Ingredients

Half a leg of lamb (to serve 4 adults), fat off, chopped into medium sized casserole chunks

1 onion, diced

300g green beans chopped about 1 inch long

2 tbsp cooking oil

1 tin chopped tomatoes

2 tsp finely chopped garlic

2 tsp finely chopped ginger

1/2 tsp turmeric

salt and pepper to taste

Add all the ingredients into the slow cooker and put it on high.  Serve with white fluffy rice and greek yogurt. You can use beef if you don’t like lamb and you can also try the same thing with diced chicken breast as well.

Enjoy!

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: