Tag Archives: Sauce

Stewed Apple Sauce

Apple Sauce

Stewed Apple Sauce

I can’t imagine a juicy pork chop without some apple sauce on the side.  Or my afternoon yogurt snack without a fresh topping of my apple sauce.  Although I have no idea whether I should call this apple sauce, apple compote or just plain stewed apples, it’s one of those simple little side dishes I make constantly.  It’s hardly even a recipe it’s so very simple and I’m sure once you’ve tried it you’ll never use shop bought apple sauce again.

Preparation Time: 7 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

5 x medium apples (I like Elstar) peeled, cored and  roughly diced
A little water, about 1 cm / 0.5in.  in the bottom of your pan, just so the apple sauce doesn’t stick.

Method

  1. Place the apples and water into a heavy bottomed pan, bring to the boil, then allow to simmer until the apples are soft. This takes about 10 minutes or so.  Keep an eye on the apples so they don’t stick or burn, stir occasionally giving them a mash against the side of the pan to check if they are getting soft.
  2. When the mix is soft mash with a fork or a wooden spoon or if you want a really smooth texture, give it a quick whizz up in the liquidizer.

  Tips and Variations

  • The amount of water can depend on the apples, so if you feel it is getting to dry while cooking, just add a little water. Or , if you feel there is too much water, just turn the heat up and let it evaporate as steam.
  • Serve with roast chicken or pork. I love a little on my porridge or with some yogurt as a snack, even on its own.
  • Try using half apples, half pears. If you do this, you can add the pears later, about half way through the cooking time, as they are normally softer and need less cooking.
  • Don’t be tempted to add sugar until the apple sauce has cooled – once you taste it, you’ll more than likely find it doesn’t need any.
  • This sauce keeps in the fridge for up to a week (I often keep it a little longer and it’s fine). You can freeze it also if you wish (even in ice-lolly shapes!)

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Apple Sauce

 

Tomato Chilli Jam

Tomato Chilli Jam

Tomato Chilli Jam

My tomato chilli jam is one of my store cupboard essentials that I just can’t imagine living with out.  I’ve been making it for a good few years and only just realised that I hadn’t put it on my website!  How could I have deprived you of the delicious little recipe for so long.  But now I’m putting it right.

When I came to write this up for you, I realised I’d been chopping and changing the recipe over the years and can no longer find the exact original, which, wasn’t my recipe, but now I’ve been messing with it enough I feel confident to call it my own.

Once you’ve made a nice big batch of this, no sandwich, salad, sauce, stir-fry or stew will want for anything.

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes and then some time for the jam to cool.

Ingredients
1kg /  2.2lb of ripe tomatoes chopped roughly (the riper the better)
150gr / 5oz. ginger, peeled and chopped into 3 or 4 chunks
6 x tbsp Thai fish sauce
10 x red chilli’s chopped finely
10 garlic cloves
600gr / 1.3lb jam sugar
200ml / 6.7 fl. oz. red wine vinegar
2 x tbsp of tomato purée

Tomato Chilli Jam

Method

  1. Place half the tomatoes with all of the ginger, fish sauce and garlic in a processor and blend.
  2. Then add all the ingredients to a heavy bottomed pan and bring slowly to the boil, stirring gently until the sugar has melted.
  3. Set the temperature so that the mixture keeps a quite vigorous simmer, but doesn’t stick or burn, for 45 minutes.
  4. Allow to cool so that you can taste the jam. If it’s not spicy enough for you, add a sprinkle of dried, chopped chillies and stir through.  Spoon into jars, cool and cover.

Tomato Chilli Jam

Tips and Notes

  • It is very important that you do not taste or allow the jam to touch your skin while it boils or before it is cool. Boiling sugar is very dangerous and sticks to your skin, giving very serious and painful burns.
  • It is a good idea to use a pan that holds the mixture with lots of space left as you don’t want the mix splashing out of the pan.
  • You may notice that some scum appears as you are boiling the mix. To give a clearer jam,  skim this off and discard as you go along.
  • It may be tempting to remove the tomato seeds, however, I wouldn’t recommend it as the seeds contain pectin which helps the jam set.
  • If the jam doesn’t set completely firm, don’t worry as long as it has a thick syrupy consistency it is fine.
  • I always put the metal spoons in my jars, just because all the jam makers in my family did it – you can try it without, maybe the quality of the jars are better these days and they won’t crack.
  • This jam is so versatile. I love it with cold meats and strong cheeses like cheddar, aged Gouda, goats’ cheese and parmesan.  I use it in sauces and marinades, add it to stir fry dinners, all sorts.
  • You can keep the jam for at least 6 months in the fridge.
  • To sterilize the jars, either put them through a dishwasher cycle or run the water from a boiled kettle over the jars and lids.

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Tomato Chilli Jam

Sausages in Onion and Tomato Sauce

Sausages in Onion and Tomato Sauce

Sausages in Onion and Tomato Sauce:

This follows on from my last blog post in that I love to eat garlic spinach with these sausages.  This is a very simple recipe that uses store cupboard ingredients so you should be able to make it (or a version of it) without too much forward planning.  I make this a lot for friends when they come round as I know that everybody loves a sausage especially when paired with classic favourite flavours and some fresh vegetables and a few potatoes.  Home cooking at its best.

Oh, I use my home made ketchup to make this:  Homemade Chunky Tomato Ketchup

Preparation Time:  10 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes

Serves 4
1 x tbsp olive oil
600 to 800gr / 1.3 to 1.7 lb sausages.  I like to use plain pork, something like bratwurst or a breakfast sausage.
2 x large onions sliced into thin rings
3 x large cloves of garlic chopped finely
6 x medium sized ripe tomatoes, chopped roughly
3 x tbsps tomato ketchup
2 x tsps English mustard
1 x tbsp tomato purée
100ml / 4 fl. oz. red wine
100ml / 4 fl. oz.  water
1 x tbsp of fresh thyme leaves chopped finely
1 x tbsp honey
Salt and pepper to taste

Sausages in Onion and Tomato Sauce

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a deep sauté pan then place the sausages in it, turning them to brown. Leave them on each side a couple of minutes to do this.  Make sure your pan is on a relatively high heat so that you get colour.
  2. Add the onions and garlic, allow to brown and cook for a couple of minutes.
  3. Add the wine and water to deglaze the pan, stir through.
  4. Add the tomatoes, ketchup, mustard, tomato purée, thyme, honey and a little salt and pepper. Stir through and bring to the boil.  Set the heat to a gentle simmer, cover with a close fitting lid and let the sausages cook for about 15 to 20 minutes or until they are cooked through.
  5. Check for seasoning and serve.

Tips and Variations

  • The sausages don’t have to be completely covered by the sauce during cooking, about half way up is fine.
  • When the sausages are cooked you can reduce the sauce if you want by turning up the heat, taking the lid off and allowing to cook until you get a thicker more concentrated sauce.
  • I like to serve these sausages with some boiled potatoes and garlic spinach.

  Sausages with Onion and Tomato Sauce

Spinach and Garlic

Italian Meatballs in Fresh Tomato Sauce

Italian Meatballs in Fresh Tomato Sauce

Italian Meatballs in Fresh Tomato Sauce:

I feel a bit guilty.  I’ve neglected this recipe recently.  It was a favourite of clients for cooking lessons, they couldn’t get enough and then suddenly they and I just kind of forgot about it.  All of a sudden everybody wanted to eat middle Eastern, eastern Mediterranean and all those delicious Italian recipes fell by the wayside.  It wasn’t just clients though, I decided last year that I was eating far too much pasta, I mean like 5 times a week!  So, I cut back and cut down on a lot of my old favourites.  Then, last week I was tidying up some files and came across this recipe and of course had to make it right away.  Needless to say it’s straight back on my list of favourites (have had it three times in 2 weeks!).

PreparationTime: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes 

Serves 4
For the Meatballs
650gr / 1.4 lb lean beef mince
50gr / 1.7 oz. porridge oats
3 x cloves of garlic, crushed
50gr / 1.7 oz.  of grated parmesan cheese
4 x spring onions (scallions) chopped very finely
2 x tbsp of dried oregano
2 x tbsp of fresh thyme
Salt and lots of ground black pepper
2 x tbsp olive oil

For the Sauce
2 x shallots chopped finely
1 x clove of garlic, chopped finely
2 x tbsp fresh rosemary leaves chopped very finely
Honey to taste
1 x tbsp of dried oregano
6 x medium tomatoes chopped roughly
2 x tsp of tomato purée
2 x tins of chopped tomatoes
Black pepper and Salt to taste
To Dress, shaved parmesan, fresh basil and oregano leaves

Italian Meatballs in Fresh Tomato Sauce

 Method

  1. Mix all the ingredients for the meatballs in a bowl until everything comes together evenly. The best way is to use your hands.
  2. Make small balls by rolling the mix in your hands, roughly walnut sized, set them aside on a plate.
  3. Heat the olive oil on a medium heat in a non-stick pan that is quite wide and has a good fitting lid.
  4. Place the balls in the pan, let them brown for a few minutes and turn over to brown the other sides/surface area and cook them through. This should take about 7 to 10 minutes (depending on the size of the meatballs and the heat of your pan).  Brown them all over and then place the lid on for about 2 to 3 minutes.  Being careful not to burn, but also making sure they are cooked through.
  5. Remove the meatballs, being careful to retain the oils and juices in the pan, and set them aside (not on the same plate where you had the raw meatballs sitting)
  6. Put the pan back on the heat, leaving the oils and cooking liquid from the meatballs, add the shallots and garlic and let this brown for a few minutes. If you need a little more oil, add it now and allow it to heat.  You shouldn’t need any more than one tbsp.
  7. Add the fresh tomatoes, let them cook for about 3 to 5 minutes.
  8. Add the tomato purée and the tin of tomatoes, then the oregano and rosemary, stir through.
  9. Keep the mix to a gentle simmer, add some salt and pepper, cook for about 15 minutes and then check for seasoning, add honey if necessary.
  10. Return the meatballs to the pan with the sauce, warm through again if necessary, and mix to cover the meatballs.

Tips and Variations

  • Serve with tagliatelle, spaghetti or linguini.
  • For a richer sauce cook it longer. Leave it to simmer on a gentle heat and the flavour will deepen.
  • You can make large versions of the meatballs, but I find it best to cook these in the oven.
  • Instead of Parmesan, these are great with blue cheese crumbled through the meatball mixture, but be careful not to over salt in this version.
  • Try adding some chili to spice them up.
  • In some areas of Italy, especially in the south they add raisins and/or pine nuts.
  • Both the sauce and the meatballs can be frozen, although best to freeze them separately.
  • Of course you can use breadcrumbs instead of porridge oats in the meatballs. I tend to use oats as I always have them around (It’s a Scottish thing!)

Italian Meatballs in Fresh Tomato Sauce

Home Made Chunky Tomato Ketchup

Home Made Chunky Tomato Ketchup
Home Made Chunky Tomato Ketchup

It’s turned into a bit of a mad dash, but I’ve made it.  I’m talking about my flourish of preserving which I always do at this time of year.  As the temperature begins to drop I feel the calling to get into the kitchen and surround myself in what’s left of summer flavours – before it’s too late.  I start chopping and adding preserving agents (like sugar and vinegar), get boiling, get sterilizing and get those flavours into jars before it time runs out.  This year, my goal has been to keep hold of summer in a jar in the form of tomato ketchup.  I’ve found this recipe much easier than most pickling, jamming or chutney making, it seems more forgiving and less technical than some preserving methods.  So quick!  Get out and buy the last of the ripe summer tomatoes and get into the kitchen!

Preparation Time: 30 minutes (most of this time is spent de-seeding your tomatoes)
Cooking Time: 2 hours
Makes: About 3 liters depending on how much you reduce your ketchup when cooking.

Ingredients
2 x tbsps olive oil
1kg / 2.2lb onions chopped roughly
2.5kg / 5.5lb tomatoes, de-seeded and chopped roughly
200gr / 7oz. brown sugar
300ml / 10 fl. oz. red wine vinegar
1 x tbsp Worcestershire sauce
250gr / 8.8oz. tomato pureé
12 x garlic cloves chopped finely
1 x tbsp coriander powder
2 x tsps cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
1 x tsp nutmeg
150gr / 5.2oz. ginger, grated
1 x tsps salt
1 x tsp ground ginger (powder)
2 x tsps ground black pepper

Home Made Chunky Tomato Ketchup

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large heavy bottomed pan. Add onions and garlic and cook them on a medium to high heat to soften and colour the onions.  This will take about 20 minutes.  Keep an eye on it as you don’t want it to burn or stick.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for about 1.5 hours.  This should be a gentle simmer with plopping bubbles.  Check the pan regularly to make sure the ketchup isn’t sticking.
  3. When it is cooked through the onions should be soft, it should be a thick ketchup-ish consistency and the flavours should have matured and combined. Check for your seasoning and adjust as you wish before you turn off the heat.  Allow the ketchup to cool and spoon into sterilized jars and keep in the fridge.

Tips and Variations

  • You can make a spicy version by adding one or all of some chili powder, dried chili’s and fresh.
  • If the tomato seeds don’t bother you, of course you can keep them in – it does save time in preparation. To de-seed them, I cut the tomato in quarters and slice out the seeds from the stem then lift them out.
  • The whole idea of this ketchup is to preserve your summer tomatoes through the winter, so you can keep it for a long time. I always say up to about 6 months (as long as you keep it refrigerated in sterilized, tightly closed containers),  but to be honest, I have kept it longer and it has been fine.
  • If you prefer a smooth ketchup instead of a chunky one, all you have to do is purée the mix once it has cooled down for a smooth result.

Home Made Chunky Tomato Ketchup