Rich Tomato Pasta Recipe

I had a big UP weekend and an equally big DOWN weekend and so comfort food seems like the best option. On the down side, my darling Boxer spent the entire weekend at the vet as she was too weak to stand or eat. The infection is clear but they still do not know what was wrong with her. They do know that her kidney function is good, her liver function is normal, she does not have a cancerous tumour nor does she have diabetes. They do know that her platelet count is low. So, even though she is now home she has to go back for more blood tests on Friday. Dave was away for the weekend so I had to deal with this on my own, but not alone thankfully as my lovely twitter friends were there for me. Another aspect of this was that my Jack Russell was bereft – her ‘daddy’ and ‘sister’ were not home. It was also the weekend for the Good Food and Wine Show and I was not home Friday night until very late, and all day Saturday into the early evening. So, she slept in the bed with me – which did not please Dave to hear. Another down was my masterclass experience with James Martin – which you can read here.

On the up side, my mother flew in from Johannesburg for a conference and I got to spend Friday night and Saturday morning with her. We had a lovely prawn dinner and a fantastic deli lunch together. It was nice having her to myself even though for such a short time. My friend Sidey had a weekend challenge of comfort food – perfect theme for my meal.

c2a9 rich tomato pasta Rich Tomato Pasta Recipe

© rich tomato pasta

Rich Tomato Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 15mls olive oil
  • 4 rashers bacon, sliced
  • 6 mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 75mls tomato pasta sauce
  • 25g Parmesan, grated

Method:

  • while your pasta is cooking:
  • heat the olive oil in a large frying pan
  • fry the bacon until the fat has rendered down
  • add the mushrooms and when soft add the garlic
  • add the pasta sauce and bring up to a slow simmer
  • add your pasta and toss through
  • garnish with the Parmesan
http://tandysinclair.com/rich-tomato-pasta-recipe/
 Rich Tomato Pasta Recipe

I am submitting this recipe to Presto Pasta Nights, which is being hosted this week by the founder, Ruth, of Once Upon a Feast

Tandy

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Ingredient Challenge To Use Cumin, Onions And Coriander

The ingredient challenge is one of my favourites as it is like a mystery box on Master Chef – each person gets the same ingredients, and usually we end up with a great selection of dishes.

The challenge for this week is to create a dish using the following ingredients:

  • cumin
  • onion
  • coriander

You can use as many other ingredients as you need to complete your dish. There is no end date to the challenge as this is about challenging yourself to make use of a set of given ingredients.

If you decide to take part in my weekly challenge, please link back to my blog in your post and leave me a comment to let me know you have done so. I will do a weekly round up of all posts.

PREVIOUS CHALLENGE ROUND UP

Mandy made a great use of cabbage by preparing tarts.

Tandy

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Review: Good Food and Wine Show: Master Class with James Martin

Before I can tell you why I was so disappointed and let down by my experience at the Master Class I am going to go back to 2008 and tell you about my experiences to date.

In 2008 the Good Food and Wine Show offered a hands on workshop with Anthony Worrall Thompson which I participated in. If my memory serves me correctly, the cost of the ticket was R350. (It may have been R380 but the R30 makes no difference to my memory). The R350 included entry to the show as well as entry to all Chefs In Action Theatre shows I wished to attend on that day. The hands on workshop was behind a glass screening wall which meant that the general public could watch, but not hear or participate in the workshop. Anthony was placed at a workbench in front of us, and we could clearly see what he was doing as there were cameras focussed on him at all times. Furthermore, as the general noise from the show could not be heard, we could clearly hear what he had to say. We made a three course meal and got to take it home with us.

Unfortunately, Anthony was not at his best that day, he was hungover, had not slept enough and cut the workshop short as he had a flight to catch, and I complained. The organizer offered me a free workshop for the following year which I took up. In 2009 I attended the hands on workshop with Brian Turner and I believe that the tickets were the same price. Once again, the ticket included entrance to the show as well as the Chefs in Action Theatre shows for the day. The class was again behind a glass screen – with Brian in front of us. We could hear every word and he was fantastic. We cooked a three course menu and took our food home with us. Brian was so good that I decided not to miss another opportunity to do a hands on workshop. Unfortunately I could not attend the one with Gordon Ramsay last year as I was in Johannesburg.

I have been a proud owner of James Martin’s recipe book The Collection for a number of years now and so when I saw that he would be at this year’s show, giving a master class I sent an e-mail to Kate to make an enquiry. The e-mail correspondence took quite some time but eventually Kate replied and I booked on the 1st of April. I did not hear back from Kate but realized my booking had been accepted when I got an SMS notification from Nedbank that my credit card had been debited.  It was only after I had made the booking that I asked whether the R1500 included an entrance ticket? It did not. So, over and above the R1500 I would have to pay to get into the show. I could attend the Chefs In Action Theatre shows on the day – and pay for them if I wanted to see them. The cost of the ticket to see James Martin in the Chefs in Action Theatre was R150 or R300 for a VIP experience.

I arrived at the show well in time to spend some money and then made my way 15 minutes early to the area where the BBC Lifestyle Hands On Workshops were taking place. The area was open to the public and when I got there over 100 people were sitting on the chairs and the floor waiting to see James in action – this was a cooking demonstration they got to watch and listen to free of charge! There was no clear indication of where the 12 people who had paid R1500 were to go and so I fought my way onto the stage and then to the area that looked like people were waiting. The ‘head chef’ from Capsicum Culinary Studio who was in charge of getting the people onto the stage was most rude. There were no official tickets for the James Martin Master Class as the organizers had not printed them. He had to check our names off a list and he was not at all pleasant about it.

c2a9 james martin and the audience watching him Review: Good Food and Wine Show: Master Class with James Martin

© james martin and the audience watching him

James’ workbench faced the audience and we were placed on the sides of the area – with no clear view of James at all. I was shown to a workbench and then rudely asked to move! The attitude of the ‘head chef’ was so bad that I would not move. I could not see James from where I was standing and moving further back would only make it worse. In fact, the lady who was at the bench where they wanted me to be had most of her ingredients missing and fell way behind.

c2a9 james martin doing sugar work Review: Good Food and Wine Show: Master Class with James Martin

© james martin doing sugar work

This was advertised as a master class – but it was nothing more than a cooking demonstration with a few people following along. The audience were noisy and commenting the entire time. James was cooking for them and there were no cameras focussed on what he was doing so that we could see what to do. The ambient noise intruded so badly, and the microphone system James was using was so poor that we could not hear him give instructions. The sous chefs had no clue as to what was going on.  The ingredients were not all there, they were not clearly marked and as the sous chefs did not know what to do in the recipes, errors were made using their instructions! There were not enough bowls, pans, whisks, spoons etc and each time we realized we did not have what we needed off a sous chef ran to the back to get it. It was a shambles.

We started with the batter – and not being able to hear James I put all my flour in the bowl – I was told off like a school girl by James! As an accomplished and published chef, this has never happened to me before. I managed to make a great batter, even though I poured all my tonic water into it at once. Thankfully I did this, as the lady behind me had no batter and I gave her the rest of mine to use.

After the batter we made the sponge – and mine was no problem. My workbench partner, Heleen, did not have the same experience. She did not fold in her flour, as she could not hear what James was saying, and so knocked back all the air. We had to mix our batters together into the sponge tin and then that was placed in the oven. The oven for the lady behind us had not been turned on, and so our oven door was opened  for her tin to go in. I asked the sous chef to set the timer but he was not interested. I then had to closely watch the sponge which meant I was not really paying attention to anything else. James showed the audience how to flip the sponge out of the tin, but our sous chef decided he knew better. Heleen had dusted kitchen towel with icing sugar instead of using parchment paper. The sous chef then took the sponge out of the tin instead of flipping it. He was not going to listen to me! This resulted in the sponge breaking and our swiss roll failing!

Our sous chef also decided that instead of each of us making a ganache he would make one – which was not too bad, but it did not come off the heat soon enough. He told Heleen to do the same thing with the white chocolate – which was the wrong instruction. White chocolate mousse is not made by melting cream and white chocolate together! We then had to get more ingredients to make the mousse but as our white chocolate had not been melted in time and then allowed to cool, we had to be extra careful to make sure the mousse did not split. Our assembly of the swiss roll was not going to work from the start as there was a huge crack down the middle and Heleen would not cut it in half. The still warm ganache was placed on the sponge – which soaked it up. Then the mousse, and the strawberries and then disaster stuck. The whole thing fell apart as soon as Heleen attempted to roll it. Heleen had to parade this disaster to the audience!

It was then time to make the mayonnaise – now, I know how to do this and it was simple and easy. So was making the tartar sauce to go with the fish. The fish needed to be floured – and so I floured and battered mine and got it into the oil – no utensils were provided and I had to wait for a slotted spoon. The batter was awesome – the fish however was not!

And, after a two course meal James did some sugar work – which the non paying audience got to see, but I did not. I was most disappointed by this, as I had asked him on Friday night to please include this in the master class!

We could not take our food home with us and I left there feeling so let down and flat. I could have paid R300 for the VIP show and had a far better experience, watching James cook without an audience of talking people, without the public announcements and without feeling like an inadequate home cook which I am not.

Frankly, I would say that the organization was diabolical and I feel that I should be refunded for what was a very bad experience. This was not a master class, it was not a R1500 personal experience and it was totally wrong that our extremely expensive experience was marred by poor organization and lack of knowledge by the sous chefs as to what was cooking. I spent 5 minutes watching Atul Kochhar on the Friday night and no wonder he was so openly frustrated – it could not have been easy trying to get 12 people to follow your instructions if they could not hear you or see what you were doing.

c2a9 atul kochhar Review: Good Food and Wine Show: Master Class with James Martin

© atul kochhar

I have no idea what James thought of the whole experience but I personally found it to be a shame that such an amazing chef thought he was giving a cooking class. I also wonder how the people who paid to see him in the chefs in action theatre would feel knowing that their VIP experience could be had for nothing as they could have watched our master class and come onto the stage afterwards to have their photograph taken and a book signed! This master class was not even worth the R300 VIP experience.

c2a9 james martin Review: Good Food and Wine Show: Master Class with James Martin

© james martin

Disclaimer: in no way do I feel that James Martin, or the BBC is responsible for the shambles of the hands on workshop – he is a great person who did his best under extremely trying conditions. The situation was out of his control and it was completely due to the way in which it was organized.

Tandy

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Friday’s Food Quiz Number 54

My friend PinkPolkaDot has posted her weekly quiz, and here are my answers. You too can participate – just let her know.

1. Where does authentic Hungarian Goulash get its reddish colour from?

paprika

2. What is Cataplana?

I am sure we have had this question before! It is a dish used to cook seafood in from Portuguese origin

3. If I talk about Royal Gala, The Starking and Cripps Pink, what am I referring to?

apples

4. What is Bigné and when is it traditionally eaten?

this sounds like Beignets – which I have eaten in New Orleans around Mardi Gras time. They are the holes of the doughnuts

5. What is saladito?

I have never heard of these and so used wiki to learn more! Click here to see the answer

6. What are the main ingredients of Tomato sabayon?

a sabayon is made from egg yolks and sugar and usually alcohol, so I would assume you replace the alcohol with tomato water?

7. What is Pimento also known as?

chilli pepper

8. Ricci di mare is the Italian name for Sea Urchins. What is the best way to eat them?

raw

9. What type of tuna is mostly marketed locally as Musselcracker or butterfish?

this confuses me, as both of these species actually exist. However, we do not always get proper butterfish at restaurants or the markets. As long fin tuna is the most common of all tunas and it is what goes into our tinned tuna, I am going to guess this is the answer.

10. What are traditionally the main ingredients of Parmigiana?

aubergine, cheese and tomato sauce

Tandy

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The Omnivore’s Hundred

The Omnivore’s Hundred

I originally found this on Iky’s Blog: Here’s a chance for a little interactivity for all the bloggers out there. Below is a list of 100 things that I think every good omnivore should have tried at least once in their life. The list includes fine food, strange food, everyday food and even some pretty bad food – but a good omnivore should really try it all. Don’t worry if you haven’t, mind you; neither have I, though I’ll be sure to work on it. Don’t worry if you don’t recognise everything in the hundred, either; Wikipedia has the answers.

Here’s what I want you to do:

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here linking to your results.

The Very Good Taste’s Omnivore’s Hundred:

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Tandy

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Recipe For Cabbage Salad

I love the crunch of fresh, raw cabbage, but I would never consider cooking with this vegetable. That is not to say that cabbage cannot be cooked, it is just not my choice. When I was in Johannesburg to meet my new niece, my mother made Friday night supper and her meal included this lovely salad. In fact, her other guest for the evening requested that she make it. I so enjoyed this crunchy salad that I had more that one helping, and I asked her for the recipe. The one I have here is what I made but all credit must go to my mom for this.

Cabbage Salad Recipe For Cabbage Salad

Cabbage Salad

Cabbage Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 baby cabbages, finely shredded
  • 4 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 85g 2-minute noodles, broken up into small pieces
  • 100g slithered almonds
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
  • for the dressing
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • ¼ cup sugar (I used fructose)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to season

Method:

  • fry the noodles, almonds and seeds in the oil until they are golden
  • remove from the pan and allow to cool on some paper towel
  • mix up the dressing
  • toss the noodles, nuts and seeds together with the cabbage and the spring onions
  • add the dressing to the salad just before serving

Cooks Notes:

• you can substitute the seeds for your choice of seed mix • if you don’t like raw onions in your salad then add the spring onions to your dressing • if you think you are going to have left over’s then rather dress the salad after serving as this is not good the day after if it has been dressed!

http://tandysinclair.com/cabbage-salad/
 Recipe For Cabbage Salad

I am submitting this recipe to Scintillating Salads, which is the theme for Monthly Mingle, being hosted this month by Divya.

Tandy

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Recipe For Slow Cooked Lamb Neck

Our friend Nico is a red wine drinker, and as we are cut from the same cloth Sunday afternoons are set aside for wine tasting. We will compare varietals and vineyards and we swallow - no spitting is allowed. A few years ago he was given a selection from a friend’s cellar. The friend had passed away and his wife decided to give Nico a gift of Roodeberg. Of all the red wines in the cellar, he was given his least favourite, and each time he shares a bottle with us he tells us the story and we all end up enjoying the wine.  So, when I saw this month’s challenge I knew it would not be a problem to find a bottle of the wine, and I knew it would go perfectly with the lamb. We went to Nico and I asked him if I could please have a bottle of Roodeberg. He told me that he had given away the last 6 bottles as a thank you gift to someone. That lucky person has a wine that I could not find in any of my local wine shops, grocery stores or bottle stores. This however did not deter me from making the dish, which is perfect for a cold winter’s night.

Slow Cooked Lamb Neck Recipe For Slow Cooked Lamb Neck

Slow Cooked Lamb Neck

Slow Cooked Lamb Neck

Ingredients:

  • 500g lamb neck
  • freshly ground black pepper and salt for seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and halved
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 1 small shallot, peeled and diced
  • 300g whole peeled tin tomatoes
  • 125mls red wine
  • 75mls lamb stock
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar (I used fructose)
  • 1 stick rosemary

Method:

  • preheat the oven to 150° Celsius
  • season the lamb
  • heat the oil in a thick bottomed casserole dish
  • brown the lamb, making sure the fat is nicely rendered down
  • cover with the garlic, carrot, shallot, tomatoes, wine, stock and sugar
  • place the rosemary on top
  • season and cover with foil
  • cook for 2 hours and then remove the foil
  • cook for a further 1 hour
  • remove from the oven and allow the lamb to rest while you further reduce the gravy
  • serve on butter mashed potatoes

Cooks Notes:

Adapted from Caro de Waal’s Lamb Knuckles in Tomatoes and Wine

http://tandysinclair.com/slow-cooked-lamb-neck/
 Recipe For Slow Cooked Lamb Neck

The Vinatics task for the month was to pair the Roodeberg with a selection of recipes, and even though I cannot state that the wine does go with this, I can tell you for sure that red wine is a perfect accompaniment to this really hearty dish.

Tandy

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Lemon Curd Recipe

I love curd, any flavour, and will have it in yoghurt for breakfast or with crumpets for afternoon tea. This is so easy to make and I have given a recipe for lemon curd but as you can see in the photograph below, I have made it with granadilla’s. I have been asked for this recipe twice in the past couple of days and it appears originally in Lavender & Lime.

granadilla curd Lemon Curd Recipe

granadilla curd

Lemon Curd

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 125mls sugar - I used fructose
  • 125mls strained lemon juice
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 125g chilled unsalted butter

Method:

  • beat the eggs and egg yolks until frothy
  • gradually beat in the sugar until thick and pale
  • mix in the lemon juice and zest
  • cook in a heavy saucepan over a low heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon
  • remove from the heat and beat in the butter with the wooden spoon
  • place into a sterilized glass jar and refrigerate

Cooks Notes:

Use unstrained granadilla pulp, strained lime, orange, or grapefruit juice – use the zest from the citrus fruit you choose

http://tandysinclair.com/lemon-curd-recipe/
 Lemon Curd Recipe

Tandy

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Recipe For Pea And Bacon Ravioli With A Blue Cheese Sauce

There is something about blue cheese that I love! Not just the smell, which my friend’s children call ‘stinky’ but the lovely taste and texture. I have tried blue cheese from all over the world, and I love Gorgonzola, Roquefort and our very own local Blue Rock. Use the best cheese you can afford and if possible, get a local cheese – it is a good way to support your farmers.

Pea And Bacon Ravioli With A Blue Cheese Sauce Recipe For Pea And Bacon Ravioli With A Blue Cheese Sauce

Pea And Bacon Ravioli With A Blue Cheese Sauce

Pea and Bacon Ravioli with a Blue Cheese Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 200g home made pasta
  • 6 rashers streaky bacon
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 125g fresh peas
  • 100g blue cheese
  • pepper to season
  • 2 tablespoons thick cream

Method:

  • place the bacon into a pan with the water and cook until the fat is nice and crispy
  • allow to cool and blend with the peas until you have a paste
  • use the paste to make the filling for the ravioli
  • cook the ravioli in boiling salted water for 3 minutes
  • add the blue cheese to the pan that you cooked the bacon in
  • season and allow to soften
  • add the cream and use this as a sauce for your ravioli
http://tandysinclair.com/pea-and-bacon-ravioli-with-a-blue-cheese-sauce/
 Recipe For Pea And Bacon Ravioli With A Blue Cheese Sauce

I am submitting this recipe to Presto Pasta Nights, which is being hosted this week by Trish of My Slap Happy Kitchen

Tandy

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Recipe For Chicken Stuffed With Avocado

Avocado is one of the healthiest fats you can eat. I can highly recommend that when they are seasonal you make the most of the lovely green flesh and eat them in which ever way takes your fancy. I love them plain, or with salt. My grandmother loved them with brown malt vinegar and sugar and as I type this I am salivating at the thought. I use avocado on pizza and will eat it with cheese on toast. It is great with pasta and even better with chicken. This chicken stuffed with avocado dish is easy to prepare and all you need to do is be a bit patient when you slice the chicken breasts and stuff them. The oven takes care of the rest.

Chicken Stuffed With Avocado Recipe For Chicken Stuffed With Avocado

Chicken Stuffed With Avocado

Chicken Stuffed With Avocado

Ingredients:

  • 70g cream cheese
  • 70g avocado
  • ½ red chilli, sliced
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • handful of rosemary stalks
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
  • paprika for colour

Method:

  • preheat the oven to 180° Celsius
  • using a fork mash together the cream cheese and the avocado
  • add the chilli
  • make a slit in the flesh of the chicken breast
  • using a spoon or a piping bag fill the slit with the avocado mix
  • place the rosemary stalks on the bottom of an oven proof dish
  • place the chicken breasts on top of the rosemary
  • season
  • sprinkle the paprika over the skin
  • bake for 40 minutes, making sure they are properly cooked before removing from the oven
http://tandysinclair.com/recipe-for-chicken-stuffed-with-avocado/
 Recipe For Chicken Stuffed With Avocado

Tandy

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