Sunday, January 4, 2009

Inspired to Cook.

Have been bitten by the cooking bug, Scquilters (online quilting group) has a bit of a free for all on open subjects at this time of the year and one of the members, Bev, started a thread on favourite recipes, there are some beauties out there.

Starting off with Fresh Tomato Sauce.

Tomatoes chunked and ready for the oven
Out of the oven and ready to be blended
Blended and strained, some to be frozen, some used over pasta for lunch. Made about 5 cups of sauce from 1kg tomatoes. The recipe is at the end of the post

Helen Evans lemon cake is delicious, if I was making it to take somewhere I would seive the lemon juice as the top of this cake has tiny little bits of lemon pulp over it, looks a bit fuzzy.
The recipe is at the end of the post.

Cathy, from Cowbells Patchwork gave us a brownies however, instead of 1 1/2 cups nuts I used 1 1/2 cups Hazelnut meal. Worked out quite well,.......yes you miss that nice contrast of texture between the fudgy cake and the crispy nuts, and this version is uniform, but all things considered it is a yummy slice. we tried it while still warm. Recipe follows.


Fresh Tomato Sauce.

I have been refining this recipe for years, it is now very similar to Stephanie Alexanders in her book 'the cooks companion'. I guess every chef has his/her fresh tomato sauce recipe and therefor every waiter/kitchen hand has their version as well. If you have her book then check her recipe out for added variations. The support team usually puts fresh chillies in their sauce for a bit of bite, lovely.


1kg ripe tomatoes, cored and chunked - remove some of the seeds as you go.
1 large onion, halved and sliced
2 large (4) cloves garlic, sliced
1 carrot (optional) chunked
2 - 3 tablespoons olive oil
Cracked black pepper and Salt

Put the tomatoes, onion, garlic and carrot into a roasting pan, drizzle olive oil over and turn the vegetables until coated with the oil.

Crack pepper over and sprinkle with salt.

Cover baking dish tightly with foil and roast at 180 deg for 1 hour, turn oven off and allow tomatoes to cool in oven for 30 mins.

Transfer cooked tomato mix to a blender and liquefy, sieve through conical strainer to remove any pesky seeds or tough bits of skin, press down firmly to remove all the juice.

Sauce freezes well and is great as a pasta sauce with the addition of a bit of grilled proscuitto or bacon and some chopped fresh herbs, my fave is basil.

Moist Lemon Cake
from Helen Evans

125grms butter, softened
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
1 Cup castor sugar
2 eggs
1 Cup self raising flour
½ Cup plain flour
½ Cup milk

Topping Ingredients:

½ Cup lemon juice
¼ Cup caster sugar

Pre-heat oven to moderate. Grease and line a deep 20cm round pan.
Beat the butter, rind and sugar in a small bowl to cream stage.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until combined.
Stir in the sifted flours in two batches with the milk
Spread the mixture into the pan and bake in moderate oven for 45mins approx.

Topping Method:

Combine the lemon juice and sugar in a jug, stir until the sugar is dissolved. Pour over the hot cake, allow cake to stand for 15mins before turning out onto a rack to cool.

Cathy's Chocolate Brownies:-

Ingredients and Method:
Melt 150grms butter (not margarine) then add 250grms dark chocolate bits and stir to melt. Remove from heat.
In separate dish, whisk 4 eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add 1/2 cup sour cream and whisk some more.
In yet another bowl (just love washing up!), combine 1 cup plain flour and 1 1/2 cups some sort of chopped nuts, pecans, macadamias, whatever.
Add 1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar to the butter choc mix and stir well.
Add choc mix and egg mix to the flour and nuts. Whisk till combined.
Bake in moderate oven 30 mins in slice pan lined with baking paper.

My Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies
Follow Cathy's recipe but substitute 1 1/2 cups of Hazelnut meal for the 1 1/2 cups of chopped nuts.
No pic of the brownies, they got whisked off to the Support Team.

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