Onions

Common globe onion is the best known of this aromatic tribe. Spring onions are any variety of onion that is pulled when just beginning to bulb. Tree onion forms a basal bulb, while the flowers are replaced by a cluster of small bulbils that weigh the stalk to the ground, allowing the bulbils to take root. Potato onion forms a large cluster of plump smallish onions at the base. Shallots (eschallots or scallions) form an above ground bulb that splits to form a cluster of bulbs with a delicate flavour. Chinese onion is an Asian species cultivated for its crisp textured bulbs, which are popularly used raw, pickled or cooked. Nodding onion is a North American perennial with an intense onion flavour. Canada onion forms crisp white bulbs and has deliciously onion-scented foliage. Milder flavoured leeks originate from the Mediterranean. Garlic leek is perennial and develops a large basal bulb, which splits into several cloves. Poor man’s leek grows in the same manner as leeks, but has hollow leaves. The plant divides at the base, forming a perennial clump. Ramps form scallion like onion and garlic tasting bulbs.

"red onions"

red onions

Onions requires a well tilled and weed free soil, good drainage and a sunny position. Plant onions by seed. In areas with a short growing season, grow them to the size of bulbils or sets, in their first season, then plant them out to mature in the second season. Regular weeding is essential and do not over water. Harvest globe onions at any stage. When onions have stopped growing, the tops fall over and wither. Choose a sunny day to pick onions and store in a dry, well ventilated area to prevent fungal rot.

information sourced from The Complete Book of Herbs

Tandy

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Chocolate Beetroot Cake

This month, the Crazy Cooking Challenge is to bake a chocolate cake. I decided to make Betty Bake’s Chocolate Beetroot Cake as I was wondering whether Dave, who does not like beetroot, would notice it in the cake. No-one who had a taste of this cake knew it had beetroot in other than Dave – and he thinks it is great. It has a lovely deep colour and not too overwhelming a chocolate taste. It got a resounding thumbs up from the taste panel.  Betty Bake has a gluten free recipe, but as this is not a concern for me, I used ordinary flour and substituted the sugar!

The one great thing about this challenge is that I get to show case my fellow South African bloggers. Betty Bake was more than happy to let me use her recipe, and I am more than happy to be able to share it with you.

© Chocolate Beetroot Cake

© Chocolate Beetroot Cake

Chocolate Beetroot Cake
 
Ingredients
  • 50g dark chocolate
  • a tiny pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons cream
  • 200g brown sugar – I used fructose
  • 3 eggs
  • 180mls canola oil
  • 1 cup cooked and puréed beetroot *
  • 3 tablespoons cacao
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups flour
Method
  1. preheat the oven to 155° Celsius
  2. combine the chocolate, salt and cream in a bain-marie over a low heat
  3. melt the chocolate and then stir until smooth and put to one side
  4. use a whisk mixer to beat together the sugar, eggs and oil until thickened slightly and the mixture has lightened a little
  5. add the beetroot to the egg mix and mix in
  6. add the chocolate mix and mix in until totally incorporated
  7. sieve together the cacao, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and flour
  8. gradually add to the wet ingredients, beating well
  9. place the mix into a buttered and floured cake tin – I used a springform tin
  10. bake for 40 minutes
  11. leave to cool before turning out of the pan
Cooks Notes
to get one cup of cooked beetroot I took 250g of peeled and julienned beetroot and popped it in the microwave for 4 minutes. I then used my immersion blender to purée it. This was really a no mess, no fuss option.

Tandy

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Spinach Pasta | Spinaci Pasta

I really want to start drinking green juices and so tried to use my juice attachment on my kitchen aid to achieve this with some spinach. Sadly, it does not juice spinach, but I did get a lovely dried out tablespoon or three of spinach. I decided there and then to make a green pasta and I think it really looks pretty. I love making past and so I will experiment with any flavour or type. Do give this spinach pasta a go, as it is really easy. Oh, for those of you who have a juicer, let me know which one you have and whether it does soft vegetables and fruit.

"spinach pasta"

© spinach pasta

Spinach Pasta | Spinaci Pasta
 
Ingredients
  • 200g pasta flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons spinach pulp
  • A pinch of salt
  • pasta flour for dusting
Method
  1. make your pasta dough by kneading together the pasta flour, eggs, spinach pulp and salt
  2. you want a not too dry and not too sticky dough so you may need to add a bit of water while kneading, or more flour as necessary
  3. make sure your surface is well dusted with flour while you are kneading
  4. once you have kneaded the dough for at least 5 minutes, cover it in Clingfilm and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes
  5. use a pasta machine to roll out the dough – I like it to get to number 7 for spaghetti
  6. dust well with flour to separate the strands and leave to dry
  7. if you don’t have a drying rack, use the back of a chair
  8. bring a pot of water to the boil
  9. add a generous amount of salt
  10. add the spaghetti and time 3 minutes from when the water comes back to the boil
  11. drain, reserving some of the pasta water to loosen your pasta sauce
  12. drizzle with olive oil and then toss into the sauce you have made
"spinach pasta all cooked"

© spinach pasta all cooked

I am submitting this recipe to Presto Pasta Nights, which is being hosted this week by ME!

below this post you will see a ‘vote for me’ button – I am a finalist in the Eat In Blog Awards and would appreciate your vote.

Tandy

ps – I am not really ‘here’ – I have taken some time off the internet to spend with Cindy and so will get back to reading blogs tomorrow. 

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Recipe For Quinoa Coated Hake Gougons

I want to thank all the bloggers who took part in this challenge. I was not going to take part, but Paula was going to have her ingredient list ‘orphaned’ so I decided to participate. I love making food with a random set of ingredients and so this challenge is a pleasure for me. Paula challenged me to use the following 7 ingredients:

  • fresh spinach
  • fish – fresh or frozen, freshwater or saltwater
  • berries – fresh or frozen
  • cheese – Gruyere or Emmentaler
  • portabello mushrooms
  • quinoa
  • turnips, parsnips or rutabaga – or any combination of the three

Together with the 7 ingredients, I had devised quite an extensive pantry list of ingredients the participants could use – based on the original challenge I did, and I asked each blogger to add an ingredient. These were as follows:

  • Milk/Cream
  • Eggs
  • Flour (or a flour substitute)
  • Lemons
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Chillies
  • Fresh Herbs
  • Dried Herbs
  • Dried Spices
  • Sugar (or a sugar substitute)
  • Butter/margarine
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Oil – any of your choice
  • Vinegar
  • Pasta / Noodles / Rice
  • Tinned Tomatoes
  • Tinned Chickpeas
  • Chocolate / Cacao
  • Stock

For starters I decided to do a turnip and spinach soup and my side dish was mushrooms with spinach and gruyere. For my main course I chose hake – a soft white fish that is fished for off the coast in False Bay. These come directly from the company that fishes for them. I have never used quinoa before and so the night before, I made up some to go with our meal. This is a low GI grain with an unusual taste and texture – and Dave loves it. We are quite addicted to Chopped and so I used the the program for my inspiration here. I took the quinoa and ground it up to ‘bread’ the fish with. It added a great texture to this soft fish, and I am going to do this again.

"Quinoa Coated Hake Gougons"

Quinoa Coated Hake Gougons

Quinoa Coated Hake Gougons
 
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup flour
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¼ cup quinoa
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 hake fillet, sliced into goujons
  • 15g butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
Method
  1. season the flour
  2. grind the quinoa together with the coriander seeds and the ½ teaspoon salt
  3. pat dry your fish
  4. set up a breading station and place the fish first into the flour, then into the egg and finally into the quinoa
  5. heat the butter and the oil in a large frying pan
  6. cook the fish one minute per side, skin side down first

Click on the links for conversions and notes.

This post has been added in to my 2012 posts while I tidy up my blog

Tandy

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Recipe For Mushrooms With Spinach

I want to thank all the bloggers who took part in this challenge. I was not going to take part, but Paula was going to have her ingredient list ‘orphaned’ so I decided to participate. I love making food with a random set of ingredients and so this challenge is a pleasure for me. Paula challenged me to use the following 7 ingredients:

  • fresh spinach
  • fish – fresh or frozen, freshwater or saltwater
  • berries – fresh or frozen
  • cheese – Gruyere or Emmentaler
  • portabello mushrooms
  • quinoa
  • turnips, parsnips or rutabaga – or any combination of the three

Together with the 7 ingredients, I had devised quite an extensive pantry list of ingredients the participants could use – based on the original challenge I did, and I asked each blogger to add an ingredient. These were as follows:

  • Milk/Cream
  • Eggs
  • Flour (or a flour substitute)
  • Lemons
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Chillies
  • Fresh Herbs
  • Dried Herbs
  • Dried Spices
  • Sugar (or a sugar substitute)
  • Butter/margarine
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Oil – any of your choice
  • Vinegar
  • Pasta / Noodles / Rice
  • Tinned Tomatoes
  • Tinned Chickpeas
  • Chocolate / Cacao
  • Stock

For starters I decided to do a turnip and spinach soup. My side dish for the main course was easy to prepare. I chose the biggest portabello mushrooms I could find and I chose a locally manufactured Gruyere cheese. The cheesery is less than 100km’s from us and they make a really nice selection of cheeses. I added the rest of my spinach to these and came up with a really good side dish, which could be served as a starter.

"Mushrooms With Spinach And Gruyere"

Mushrooms With Spinach And Gruyere

Mushrooms With Spinach And Gruyere
 
Ingredients
  • 2 portabello mushrooms, stalks removed
  • 100g baby spinach
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
  • a pinch of nutmeg
  • 30g Gruyere, grated
  • 10g butter
  • olive oil for drizzling
Method
  1. preheat the oven to 180° Celsius
  2. wilt the spinach with the garlic and season
  3. set aside to cool
  4. squeeze out the excess liquid and add the nutmeg
  5. chop finely and mix in the cheese
  6. place the butter into a frying pan and cook the top of the mushroom
  7. drizzle the bottom (ribbed side) with olive oil and season
  8. distribute the spinach mix into each mushroom
  9. bake for 10 minutes

Click on the links for conversions and notes.

This post has been added in to my 2012 posts while I tidy up my blog

Tandy

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Friday’s Food Quiz Number 8

Here is another OLD post of a quiz posted by PinkPolkaDot.

1. What is the difference between mushrooms and truffles?

a mushroom is a fungus that grows above ground where as a truffle grows below ground

"Beef Fillet With A Truffle And Mushroom Sauce"

Beef Fillet With A Truffle And Mushroom Sauce

2. What is a smorgasbord?

a table of mixed foods to be shared, like a mezze platter, but from Scandanavian countries

3. What is traditionally added to risotto Milanese?

saffron

4. Where is beer not considered an alcoholic drink, but legally a staple food?

Germany

5. What is a beignet?

oh my favourite accompianment to hot chocolate at Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans :) I describe them as the doughnut holes and they are scattered with castor sugar

6. Capsaicin, which makes hot peppers “hot”, is best neutralized by which protein?

lactose

7. What is the difference between amaretti and amaretto?

amaretti are biscuits made with almonds, and amaretto is almond liqueur

8. Which Japanese dish is cooked at the table?

Teriyaki

9. Why do bananas sweeten as they ripen?

the starch develops

10. What are blondies?

white brownies

 

"Chocolate Brownies"

Chocolate Brownies

11. What flour is made from finely ground chickpeas?

besan

12. What is arachibutyrophobia?

the fear of touching spiders

13. Which fruit is said to have grown in the hanging gardens of Babylon?

figs

14. Name the Moroccan mixture that has 20 or more ground spices and is used for seasoning soups and stews?

ras el hanout

15. Which resin is related to the pistachio and used for flavouring Turkish delight?

glucose?

Tandy

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Presto Pasta Nights 250

Next week Friday I will be hosting the round up of Presto Pasta Nights, for the fourth time. Thanks go to Ruth who has prompted us all to take part in a pasta making session and share our results. Dave and I were eating pasta at least twice a week, but the owner of the gym where Dave works out has put him on a no potatoes and no pasta diet! This is a challenge for us – I am a potato addict to start with, and now two of our dinners are restricted. We have decided that we will follow this during the week – Monday to Friday nights and so one meal over the weekend will be a pasta meal. I am going to have to get very creative in the kitchen with vegetables! I have a recipe waiting to share with you next week – hope you have some great ones to share as well :)

"ppn250"

ppn250

Please send me an email: lavenderandlimeblog (AT) gmail (DOT) com with your submission – just a link to the post will do, and cc it to: ruth (at) 4everykitchen (dot) com by Thursday February 9.

Tandy

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Chives

Four culinary species of chives are widely grown for their foliage; fragrant garlic chives from central Asia, with red striped petals; onion chives, with umbels of pink flowers; garlic or Chinese chives with white flowers and delicious, garlic scented strap like foliage chives, with mauve flowers and both a green and variegated leaf form.

Chives requires a well tilled and weed free soil, good drainage and a sunny position. Raise chives and their relatives by seed. Regular weeding is essential, particularly in the earlier stages of growth. Do not over water. Use the foliage fresh.

Depending on the variety, chives have a mild onion or garlic flavour that goes well with sauces, stews, mashed vegetables, fish, poultry and egg dishes, cream cheeses and salad dressings. The delicate flavour is easily destroyed by heat, so add chives during the last few minutes of cooking time, or scatter them on a finished dish to garnish.

Snip chives with scissors rather than chop them with a knife. They are essential in the French fines herbes together with chervil, parsley and tarragon. Snip chives finely and freeze them in ice cube trays to preserve. The flowers make a pretty garnish.

information sourced from The Complete Book of Herbs

Tandy

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Best Local Food Blog – Eat In Awards

I have been nominated, together with 9 other amazing bloggers, for this award and I would so appreciate your vote.

"Best Local Food Blog"

Best Local Food Blog

No matter where I end up, to be counted as one of the top 10 is an honour. And the people who stand alongside me are all great bloggers (and great friends)!

With thanks and blog love

Tandy

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Recipe Book Challenge

If you are like me, you have a great collection of recipe books that you have never cooked from! I can tell you that the last three Jamie Oliver books in my collection have not been experimented with. So, this month’s challenge is to randomly pick a recipe from a recipe book you have not used and cook / bake it. The challenge falls over the entire month, so feel free to enter as many recipes as you would like to the linky party – which will be open from today until the 29th.

You must link back to this blog post if you are taking part, as well as include the following code in your post: (between the [ and ] and if you use wordpress, insert using the HTML page and not the visual page)

Code n.1 blogger, typepad, and all sites that accept the <script> tag

[<!– start InLinkz script –>

<script type=”text/javascript”>
document.write(‘<script type=”text/javascript” src=http://www.inlinkz.com/cs.php?id=122210&’ + new Date().getTime() + ‘”></script>’);</script>
<!– end InLinkz script –>]

Code n.2 If you are on a wordpress.com blog or any system that does not permit script tags

[<!– start InLinkz script –>

<a href=”http://www.inlinkz.com/wpview.php?id=122210″><img style=”border:0px” src=”http://www.inlinkz.com/wpImg.php?id=122210″></a>
<!– end InLinkz script –>]

Have a super fun time with this challenge – and there may just be a surprise of a prize!

READY STEADY COOK ROUND UP:

Click on the links below to see who did what with their 7 ingredients:

Angeliqueca

Bam’s Kitchen

Caryn 

Jessica

Hila

Nicola

Paula 

Tandy

Veena

For more food blog challenges, see The Food Blog Diary.

Tandy

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