Caraway

I use caraway seeds in my bread baking, and so found this very interesting. Caraway is a popular Middle Eastern herb. Its seeds are used as an anise-scented spice in cooking. You might find this under the name of Persian Cumin. The leaves, roots and seeds are used.

caraway Caraway

caraway

photograph sourced from Deviant Art

Caraway is a biennial with divided fern like leaves and a parsley-dill fragrance. It has a spindle shaped taproot which can be cooked as a root vegetable, like carrot. The flowering stem bears tiny white flowers touched with pink that are followed by crescent shaped ridged ‘seeds’. These are known as ajmud and is a popular Indian spice.

Caraway requires a well drained fertile soil and  a warm sunny position. Sow caraway seed directly into the soil in either spring or autumn. Regularly weed and water the crop, as the seed is slow to germinate. Water in the morning and not from above.

Gather leaves at any time. Lift the roots after harvesting the seeds. Cut flowering stems when the seeds begin to darken and ripen. In order to dry, hang the stems upside down in small bunches. Shake the bunches before storing. The seeds often contain insects so freeze before storing to kill the eggs.

Caraway seeds are used to flavour rye bread, sausages, cabbage dishes, cheeses, soups, pork dishes, goulash, harissa and cooked apples. Schnapps contains caraway seeds, as well as ‘sugar plums’ which are sugar coated caraway seeds. Use the feathery leaves in salads and soups.

information sourced from The Complete Book of Herbs

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Tomato and Anchovy Pasta

I have a good friend who is in love with anchovies! Well, at least I think she is, as she uses a whole bottle to make potato salad. My friend Cindy not only loves anchovies, she also prompted me to do Tandy Tuesday. This is a pasta theme that started with using only 5 ingredients to cook a pasta dish, excluding the pasta, oil, salt and pepper. I love the simplicity of pasta and the fact that you can make a sauce of olive oil, garlic and chilli’s; or go over the top and add a shopping cart of ingredients to make a sublime ragú. Every time I cook pasta, Cindy becomes a part of my kitchen, and the night I prepared this meal, she was even more a part of the whole cooking experience as I used her favourite ingredient. I too love anchovies, but it is a taste I had to acquire. Ten years ago you would not have found me eating one and now, I can quite happily not only cook with them, but eat them with a slice of cheese on a cracker. I have been told they are expensive, but, you use so few at a time that I personally feel it is worthwhile having a jar in your fridge, not only for pasta’s, but for tapenade and to use when you next roast a leg of lamb.

c2a9 tomato and anchovy pasta Tomato and Anchovy Pasta

© tomato and anchovy pasta

TOMATO AND ANCHOVY PASTA

ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 whole chilli, split down the middle

1 garlic clove, sliced

4 anchovy fillets

125g roma tomatoes, cut in half

small handful of fresh basil, chopped

parmesan for garnishing

method:

while your pasta is cooking heat the olive oil in a large frying pan

add the chilli and the garlic and sauté the garlic until soft, without browning

add the anchovy fillets and allow them to break down

add the tomatoes and let them heat up

remove the chill

mix in your pasta and basil

garnish with parmesan

Printable Version

I am submitting this recipe to Presto Pasta Nights, which is being hosted this week by Helen of Fuss Free Flavours

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Taste Test: Wasabi

We were gifted 25kg of sushi grade tuna and I knew that we had no wasabi in the house. Ordinarily I buy the powder so that I can make the paste myself, but I could not find any at my local shops. I happened to be at the Woolworths store in Cavendish where I found some of their preprepared paste. I purchased this and one taste at home left me with one desire – “take it back”. Before I could do so, I was at the Good Food and Wine Show and I tasted the Wasabi-O products. Hayley kindly gave me a selection of their products and it was this that inspired me to do a taste test, comparing their paste to the Woolworths paste. Dave did not know which wasabi was which, and so his blind taste test results are what I have listed here.

wasabi taste test Taste Test: Wasabi

wasabi taste test

WOOLWORTHS WASABI PASTE

Dave scored this a 2 out of 5. He thought it was tasteless. I thought that the taste was not good at all, it is not strong enough and the texture is gritty.

WASABI-O WASABI PASTE

Dave scored this a 4 our of 5 and he said it has a nice citrus flavour. I thought it had a very strong wasabi taste but it was a bit too oily for me.

WASABI-O WASABI MAYONNAISE

This has no wasabi taste but Dave still scored it a 3 out of 5. I thought it was mild and sweet.

WASABI-O WASABI POWDER

This is a real traditional wasabi and Dave scored it a 5 out of 5. It is strong and smooth but I am sure the strength has to do with how I made it.

WASABI-O WASABI SAUCE

This is very sweet and scored a 4 out of 5. It is flavourful but mild and gets better the more you use. Dave decided that if he used lots of the sauce it was the clear winner.

CONCLUSIONS

Woolworths need to send their paste back to the supplier as it does not meet their high standards. Get the Wasabi-O products into stock and there will be a lot of happy people around icon smile Taste Test: Wasabi If you are only going to get one of the products, the powder is more versatile. But if you don’t feel like making your own, get the paste (1st choice) or the sauce (2nd choice).

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Friday’s Food Quiz Number 58

PinkPolkaDot has posted her weekly food quiz, and here are my answers:

1. What are the main ingredients of Oyster sauce?

oyster essence, sugar, salt, water

2. Ginger is native to which continent?

South Asia

3. What are Calçots?

Spanish onions

4. What spices are used to infuse sangria?

I was under the impression that sangria is not a spiced wine, but if it is, then it would be cloves, cinnamon and vanilla?

5. What does contain the most vitamin C? Red peppers or oranges?

This is so funny, I have a similar question set for our weekly Gordons Bay Quiz! Kakadu plums have the most Vitamin C and red peppers have nearly 4 times as much vitamin C as oranges per 100g.

6. What is Verjuice?

an acidic juice made from unripe grapes

7. In what substance are preserved lemons preserved in?

salt

8. What is Ketjap manis?

a thick and sweet soy sauce

9. Tamarind paste is made from which fruit?

the tamarind

10. Which vegetable is served with steak Oscar?

asparagus

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Regional and Seasonal

Do you know where your food comes from, and do you care? Seems like there are a lot of people finally acknowledging that we should be eating food grown locally, and that which is in season. I have been promoting this challenge for quite some time now, as I am fully behind local farmers and home grown produce.

This week the challenge is to cook using any citrus fruit

Remember, if you take part in the challenge, please link back to my blog, and leave a comment here for me so that I can include you in the round up! This week, the person who uses the same fruit as I do will ‘earn’ themselves an apron! This is open to bloggers anywhere. If more than one person uses the same citrus fruit, a random draw will be done.

PREVIOUS CHALLENGE ROUND UP

PinkPolkaDot has contributed a spicy butternut and orange soup – this would qualify for two recent challenges!

The winner of the iced cake and flowers is The Only Cin for her regular and original contributions to the challeges.

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Recipe For Olive Tapenade

One of the most amazing things about Italy and France is the fact that farmers farm the land right up to the edges! Another thing is that on one side of a hill you will see grape vines, and on the other, olive trees. Here, our farmers farm only part of the land, and seldom do you see a wine estate growing olives, or an olive oil estate growing grapes. There are of course the exceptions. When I think of olives I think of my father – it is something we both like. I love the salty taste of olives, and I am not fussy about which type I snack on. I use olives for my bread making, and they are an essential ingredient to any good paella and it is one thing I am never without in my store cupboard. I marinade olives in olive oil with lime, lemon, thyme, rosemary, garlic. etc. – what ever takes my fancy that day. On this day I decided an olive tapenade would be good, as I wanted to make pizza’s with a difference for lunch.

Olive Tapenade Recipe For Olive Tapenade

Olive Tapenade

Olive Tapenade

Ingredients:

  • 10 capers
  • 2 anchovy fillets
  • 20 olives, depipped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Pinch of herbs Provencal
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
  • 30mls olive oil

Method:

  • place all the ingredients into a food processor and blend until you have a fine paste
http://tandysinclair.com/olive-tapenade/
 Recipe For Olive Tapenade

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Recipe For Vegetable Cous Cous

I met my friend Kim when I started high school in 1983. Her sister Lynda was friends with Nadine and Michelle, my mom’s sisters and so we were instantly drawn to each other through me knowing Lynda. We are still friends today and yet since we were 21 we have seldom lived in the same city. Kim has traveled and lived in many interesting places. Currently she is living in Denmark, a small village in Australia. I have spent a holiday there with her and it is truly beautiful – forests and beaches and greenery. There are cows and wildlife to be seen but the most memorable aspect is that it is very quiet. This solitude is so good for the soul, and one cannot help but want to eat healthy food to nourish your whole being. This cous cous recipe is from Kim, and I have adapted it. Funnily enough, when we were chatting on the phone yesterday she asked me if I had tried it. I had told her that Dave is not a fan of cous cous, but that I had made it regardless and that he ate more than half!

c2a9 cous cous Recipe For Vegetable Cous Cous

© cous cous

Vegetable Cous Cous

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced thickly
  • 1 yellow pepper, sliced thickly
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried origanum
  • 500mls stock
  • ½ teaspoon white balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon light soy sauce
  • 2 sprigs of basil
  • 2 tins crushed tomatoes
  • 150g cous cous

Method:

  • put the olive oil into a pot
  • soften the onion and the garlic
  • add the vegetables
  • season to taste and add the origanum
  • add the stock, the vinegar and the soy sauce
  • add the basil
  • simmer with the lid on until the vegetables are tender
  • add the crushed tomatoes and cook for a further 5 minutes
  • sprinkle the cous cous into the pot and allow to stand for 15 minutes

Cooks Notes:

you can use any vegetables of your choice, including potatoes, asparagus, butternut, courgettes

http://tandysinclair.com/vegetable-cous-cous/
 Recipe For Vegetable Cous Cous

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Recipe For Tuna Lasagne

I came home far too late yesterday to blog my Tandy Tuesday pasta recipe for the week. I of course would not let it slide, as I love being a part of the Presto Pasta Nights community. This recipe for tuna lasagne has been a firm favourite of mine for a long time. It is what I would call a cheat’s recipe, using tinned ingredients, or what my friend Pink calls Meals In Minutes. No matter what you call it, give it a try. A version of this recipe appeared originally in Lavender and Lime.

Tuna Lasagne Recipe For Tuna Lasagne

Tuna Lasagne

Tuna Lasagne

Ingredients:

  • 400g tin of cream of tomato soup
  • butter
  • 2 170g tins of tuna, drained
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
  • 250g tub of smooth plain cottage cheese
  • 4 sheets ready to use lasagne sheets
  • 20g cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 roma tomatoes, sliced

Method:

  • preheat the oven to 180° Celsius
  • butter your lasagne dish
  • heat the soup and add the tuna
  • break the tuna apart and add the dill and seasoning
  • mix in the cottage cheese and remove from the heat
  • ladle in two spoons of the mix into your dish
  • layer 2 sheets of the lasagne
  • ladle in two spoons of the mix into your dish
  • layer 2 sheets of the lasagne
  • top with the balance of the sauce
  • sprinkle the cheese over the top
  • layer the tomatoes and season
  • cook as per the box instructions for the lasagne
http://tandysinclair.com/tuna-lasagne/
 Recipe For Tuna Lasagne

I am submitting this recipe to Presto Pasta Nights, which is being hosted this week by Ruth from Recipes From 4every Kitchen

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Lovely Blog Award

I am glowing! My friends Camilla, Shazzie and AD have given me this Lovely Blog Award:

 Lovely Blog Award Camilla, I am so blessed to know you. You are truly an inspiring person who has overcome much adversity in your life to become an amazing mother, and a beautiful friend. Shazzie, thank you for being a part of my blogland, and AD, you too! I am thrilled to have so many new friends icon smile Lovely Blog Award

The conditions of receiving this award are:

  • Thank the person who gave you the award
  • Reveal 7 random facts about yourself
  • Choose 5 other people who you believe deserve the award and pass it on

7 things about me

  1. I am not afraid of snakes – this is a good thing, as they often visit my garden
  2. I believe in using essential oils for everything, including cooking
  3. I have a dream of owning my own deli and have already named it
  4. I would love to have someone bring me breakfast and lunch every day
  5. When alone I love to eat soft boiled eggs on toast with cheese and chutney
  6. My weirdest food combination is cheese and peanut butter
  7. I have to have something sweet every day
My five:
I could do more …

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Onion and Apple Relish

I have a conundrum – I want to participate in something, but in order for me to do that, I have to ‘like’ something I don’t! I suppose every day we are faced with these types of moral choices. Do you pretend to be friends with someone so that you can stay in the correct inner circle? I remember at high school being part of the ‘in’ group and not wanting to be off school for a day as then I would be the one gossiped about. Do you ‘play nice’ with customers who are rude to you so that you can stay in business. Well, I know for a fact that some rules cannot be broken and in business professionalism is key! I won’t ‘play’ after hours for an order. Life, since the beginning of time has been about choices. No matter what, I try to make decisions I can live with! I was once told a very important lesson “only take pride in your successes if you are willing to take responsibility for your failures”. So, with that in mind, this blog post is not about any recurrent blend. It is about using apples – wonder what choice Eve should have made?

c2a9 onion and apple relish Onion and Apple Relish

© onion and apple relish

ONION AND APPLE RELISH

ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, sliced

1 tablespoon Pink’s Rosemary Jelly

method:

heat the olive oil in a frying pan

sauté the onion until soft, without colouring

add the jelly and heat through

Printable Version

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