Recipes, home grown goodness, BBQing and food stuff



  • Starting to get a decent amount of fruit/veg off patch of dirt and been making a few things (beetroot relish, rhubarb chutney, plum jam) however am not happy with the amount of sugar the recipes say to add.
    I mean I have a kg of fruit and almost the same amount of sugar is called for in a jam recipe I found, what do others use to substitute sugar? (in whole or in part)
    Also made a batch of cider, which is ready in a bout a week, but looking at how I can utilize my fruit into that as well if anyone has ideas there.
    Any recipes would be greatly appreciated.



  • Can you use stevia?



  • no idea!
     
    I guess part of the thing with sugar is that it sets after being dissolved and put in jars?
     
    I've only done a few batches of this and that, so have used the sugar option as I experiment, but want a different option as I look at doing more because of the sheer quantity the recipes want you to use.



  • jam pretty much is sugar mate, the problem is that if you make it instead of buying it, you can't help but realise it. same goes for mayonnaise and oil, pate and butter etc.
     
    if you're concerned about stuff setting you can just add some gelatine.



  • You need to use sugar for best result. remeber, you're not drinking the stuff and you only use spareingly on toast etc so it doesn't matter too much



  • yeah I guess, just seems an awful lot to use...I guess home made with just fruit and sugar is better than buying at a shop with other additives and preservatives?
     
    BTW your garlic looks excellent!



  • I made a batch of mull for mulled wine this festive season and yeah I hear you on the sugar front.  1kg of sugar for 1.5 litres of water.  not as bad as it sounds in that you only use 150ml for a bottle of wine - so around 20 teaspoons.  Hence, if you have a glass, then you have around 4 teaspoons of sugar.
     
    Hmmm, ok it's bad.  When did society become so sugar obsessed.



  • Yeah, pretty chuffed wtih the harvest and True-loves plaiting of it.
     
    I was hoping this thread would lead to decent relishes as we have looking at about million tomatoes this year.
     
    Also have planted 50 perennial chilli plants (Rocoto) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capsicum_pubescens I have never had a chilli with so much flavour.  Pack a real punch too. They are a year from maturing as we grew them from seeds which has been quite a process but every seed germinated, to our surprise.  I cannot wait to make relishes and pickles with these bad boys.



  • I will try and revisit this thread soon Hooroo. On a break at Tolaga bay at present. Have a good recipe for a BBQ sauce (tomato based) using smoked chillis. Smoking and part drying your tomatoes and then freezing the result is awesome for stews and such during winter. Adds a good punch of flavor



  • Brilliant!  Thanks, Crucial.  I have another 4 or 5 annual ( The 50 planted are Perennial Manzano and last up to 15 years apparently) so I will still have plenty of chili this year to do that recipe



  • I made a batch of mull for mulled wine this festive season and yeah I hear you on the sugar front. 1kg of sugar for 1.5 litres of water. not as bad as it sounds in that you only use 150ml for a bottle of wine - so around 20 teaspoons. Hence, if you have a glass, then you have around 4 teaspoons of sugar.
    Hmmm, ok it's bad. When did society become so sugar obsessed.
    Gareth Morgans latest crusade is over sugar , by the time he jumps on a bandwagon it's usually peaked or no one but him gives a shit about it anyway.



  • Yeah, pretty chuffed wtih the harvest and True-loves plaiting of it.
     
    I was hoping this thread would lead to decent relishes as we have looking at about million tomatoes this year.
     
    Also have planted 50 perennial chilli plants (Rocoto) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capsicum_pubescens I have never had a chilli with so much flavour.  Pack a real punch too. They are a year from maturing as we grew them from seeds which has been quite a process but every seed germinated, to our surprise.  I cannot wait to make relishes and pickles with these bad boys.

    Yeah I'd like to get in on some chilli sauces and the like, they easy to grow? I got some capsicum growing at the moment, so chillis should be easy too?
     
    but yeah I was hoping we might get some good recipes too as my trees and stuff mature and starts providing me natures goodness.



  • Very easy to grow and your environment (Northland) would be perfect for them. If you are passing by my neck of the woods on the way back to Whangarei let me know and I will give you one of these perrenial Chilis that grow into a bush for pretty much year round chilis.



  • Isn't pectin the main setting agent in jam? Or does that not really do anything?



  • pectin is a standard jam setting agent, the amount in there naturally varies quite a bit by fruit though.



  • I will try and revisit this thread soon Hooroo. On a break at Tolaga bay at present. Have a good recipe for a BBQ sauce (tomato based) using smoked chillis. Smoking and part drying your tomatoes and then freezing the result is awesome for stews and such during winter. Adds a good punch of flavor

    true, i haven't tried smoking them, that's on the list. oven semi-dried tomatoes with a few herbs are pretty sweet.



  • yeah there was a few pages about the pectins and acids and it says sugar plays an important part of helping the pectins gel.



  • Now you pricks have me thinking about food.
     
    I cooked dinner tonight (I'm on hols, Mrs TA back at work). Salad in a sort of greek style, but instead of fetta, use fried Haloumi Cheese (get it just brown on each side in a little bit of butter).
     
    Its the shit, and would work well with the semi-dried tomatoes and/or some lightly fried pine nuts.



  • Now you pricks have me thinking about food.
     
    I cooked dinner tonight (I'm on hols, Mrs TA back at work). Salad in a sort of greek style, but instead of fetta, use fried Haloumi Cheese (get it just brown on each side in a little bit of butter).
     
    Its the shit, and would work well with the semi-dried tomatoes and/or some lightly fried pine nuts.

    fuckin oath mate, get some pomegranate in there too, macadamias or pine nuts, figs avo and bacon - some salads you can make friends with.



  • Haloumi is great on kebabs on the the BBQ



  • OK as no one has actually posted a recipe I will kick it off with an easy as tomato sauce for the glut of fresh toms in the garden
     
    Tomato Sauce
     
    500 gm  tomatoes
    1 medium onion, finely diced
    2 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and pressed or finely minced
    4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) honey
    1/4 cup balsamic
    1 tablespoon lime juice
    1 teaspoon dried thyme
    2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
    1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1. Peel and core toms chop into ½ cm cubes
    2. Mix everything together in a pot and simmer for one hour with the lid off so it will reduce and thicken. Stir regularalrly to prevent sticking.
    3. Force it through a strainer. Put it back on simmer, lid off, until it is thick. Taste it and adjust any seasonings to your taste. Bottle once cool. Keep refrigerated.
       
      Throw in whatever else takes your fancy. I often use smoked paprika or any sort of ras el hanout, harrissa that I have spare. Chuck in your favourite herb.  Smoked chilli's will add nice heat. I grow and smoke my own but Moreno brand chipotles in the international section of all the major supermarkets are good.


  • Out of curiosity, why dried thyme? (I only ask as I have alot of it growing round the place)



  • how much does that make DM?
     
    Sounds great!



  • Hooroo
     
    Variety of reasons - most people don't have a lot of thyme growing.  You'd need 8 tsps. of fresh.  Its a pain in the arse picking 8 tsps. of fresh time coz you def don't want the stalks.  You tend to add fresh thyme at the end of a dish because too much cooking will destroy the flavonoids. But if you've got fresh thyme and want to use it then do just add it towards the end of the process.  Its definitely a superior flavour as with all things fresh.
     
    OK another easy as recipe for adding instant heat to a sauce or as a rub.
     
    1 red  capsicum
    50 grams dried ancho chillis (I just use a handful and adjust to taste later)
    50 grams dried chipotle chillis
    4 cloves garlic
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    1 teaspoon ground coriander
    1 teaspoon ground caraway seed
    1 teaspoon seasalt
    1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
     
    Boil some water - cut the stems off chillis and remove seeds if you're a wuss. Rehydrate the dried chillis in water for about 30 mins until soft. Cut into 1/4 cm cubes
     
    Roast the capsicum on the bbq or over gas flame or in oven until really black. Place in plastic bag and leave for 10 mins. Then peel skin remove stem and seeds and cut into  1 cm cubes
    toast the spices in a pan until fragrant and then grind in a pestle to a powder. Grind garlic and salt to paste 
    Blitz everything in processor. Add more oil if too dry for your liking. Adjust seasoning to taste
     
    Use according to how hot it is to your personal taste. As a rub of to give a kick to a sauce. It'll make a couple of cups.  Keep in fridge.
     
    TR - It'll make about 250 mls of tom sce



  • Hooroo
     
    Variety of reasons - most people don't have a lot of thyme growing.  You'd need 8 tsps. of fresh.  Its a pain in the arse picking 8 tsps. of fresh time coz you def don't want the stalks.  You tend to add fresh thyme at the end of a dish because too much cooking will destroy the flavonoids. But if you've got fresh thyme and want to use it then do just add it towards the end of the process.  Its definitely a superior flavour as with all things fresh.
     
    OK another easy as recipe for adding instant heat to a sauce or as a rub.
     
    1 red  capsicum
    50 grams dried ancho chillis (I just use a handful and adjust to taste later)
    50 grams dried chipotle chillis
    4 cloves garlic
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    1 teaspoon ground coriander
    1 teaspoon ground caraway seed
    1 teaspoon seasalt
    1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
     
    Boil some water - cut the stems off chillis and remove seeds if you're a wuss. Rehydrate the dried chillis in water for about 30 mins until soft. Cut into 1/4 cm cubes
     
    Roast the capsicum on the bbq or over gas flame or in oven until really black. Place in plastic bag and leave for 10 mins. Then peel skin remove stem and seeds and cut into  1 cm cubes
    toast the spices in a pan until fragrant and then grind in a pestle to a powder. Grind garlic and salt to paste 
    Blitz everything in processor. Add more oil if too dry for your liking. Adjust seasoning to taste
     
    Use according to how hot it is to your personal taste. As a rub of to give a kick to a sauce.
     
    TR - It'll make about 250 mls

    Just Yum!!!
     
    I'm going to make that. We only have fresh chillis at the moment but I guess I can also roast them over the bbq too.
     
    That rub will be on my next bbq's chicken



  • drying chillis, tomatoes etc, how do you guys do it?
     
    I tried and failed miserably a few years back.



  • For my chillis, I just put them on a rack inside and the dried out enough that I could store them in a jar. Lasted nearly 11 months before I got through them.
     
    Chillis are amazing. When I first met true-love, she could barely tolerate a capsicum....  Now she asks for more heat. Nearly every time I under do it worried it will be too much. They other day, she out tolerated me with a spicy we number.
     
    Amazing how the tolerance builds if you do it slowly. Then it becomes an addiction! and we all love an addiction!



  • Thin chillis will dry on a window sill, but with toms and chillis I use an oven 
     
    I slice the toms and season  Chillis cut in half - roast overnight in a low oven (80 degrees C) with door slightly open.  You want to dry them not cook them.
     
    Same Hooroo with the smokinmg of the chillis. I have a cold smoker so its easy but you need to smoke over a low heat as low as you can manage



  • What cold smoker do you have and do you recommend it? I don't have a cold smoker or a hot one now we sold the bach



  • I got UFO cold smoker at Taste Akl http://ufo.abcforbusiness.co.nz/
    I fucking love chilli - anything spicy
    I'm sure I have bored you all with this story before, but I have friends who travel (a lot) and they had a crusade to come back with a chilli sauce that was too hot for me.
    Every year they'd bring something back from Jamaica or the States or wherever and I would take a spoon full and invariably say it's nice but it's not that hot.
    Until they brought this bad boy back
     
    I should have read the label. If I had I would have seen that this (was then) the hottest non-industrial chilli sauce in the world at 1.5 million scoville's
     
    Put that into context - the hottest jalapeno is 8,000 scovilles, a habanero is 350,000 and pepper spray is 2 mill.
     
    The label said to add it 1 drop at a time.
     
    I had a teaspoon.  They won.
     
    the effect was instantaneous. My eyes and nose ran, all moisture disappeared from my mouth, I started coughing and my guts cramped. My lips and tongue were off the scale in terms of pain.  I settled down after about 5 minutes - until the next day.......
     
    I still use it to add instant heat to a dish but maybe 3 teaspoons in a whole pot of food. Da Bomb defeated me.
     
    there are videos on You Tube of guys trying it, but I can't post them as it is too painful a reminder 🙂



  • If there's a lesson in that, it's that in the battle of man vs Mother Nature, Mother Nature always wins...



  • Mad fucking Scientists always win.
     
    Mmmmm... Guatemalan Insanity Pepper...



  • Mad fucking Scientists always win.
     
    Mmmmm... Guatemalan Insanity Pepper...

    Ha, I remember that episode with Johnny Cash as the voice of the talking dog. Brilliantly twisted.



  • Ha, I remember that episode with Johnny Cash as the voice of the talking dog. Brilliantly twisted.

    That's probably one of my favourite episodes , Cash was a coyote wasn't he?



  • Crucial!  (or anyone) Any fabulous Plum Sauce recipes? I am going to harvest the tree tonight



  • yeah I'd be keen on a plum sauce recipe, although my lone tree is looking fairly sparse (only in it's 2nd season of fruiting so I am pretty stoked with it) it is a Billington Plum.
     
    With your dried tomatoes, how do you store them?



  • Me?  I never store dried tomatoes. Dried chillies I just store in a jar



  • Crucial!  (or anyone) Any fabulous Plum Sauce recipes? I am going to harvest the tree tonight

    I'll get out my notebook tonight and post up.
     
    If your plums are ripe and full of natural sugars, I also have a recipe I use for tamirillos which makes a kind of fruit based chilli jam. I use my smoked jalapenos in it and it is damn tasty with meats and cheeses.
     
    As for keeping your tomatoes, I tend to only partly dry them (in a low oven) to concentrate the flavours then bag them and freeze them. Just get them out when you need them for pasta etc. I'm not big on strong sundried tomato flavour in salads and stuff but doing it this way works well for cooked dishes during the rest of the year.
     
    I now have my new toy of a vacuum sealer so will be able to store them better as well.
     
    The smoked chillis, I finish them off in the oven them keep them in a jar with a couple of those silica sachets you get among packaging. Helps keep them dry.



  • I tried some of my cherry tomato's I dried yesterday on home made pizza, they were pretty good, could probably add some chilli powder or something to them for a bit more punch.



  • Smoked Chilli Tomato Sauce
    Makes about 1 litre
    1.5kg tomatoes (skinned)
    450g finely chopped onion
    400ml malt vinegar
    200g soft brown sugar
    3 tbsp salt
    Smoked chillis (you need to judge this based on what they are like. Late season ones that have developed more heat/seed will be much hotter. Try 2. You can always boost later.)
    2 tbsps ground allspice
    4 ground cloves 1tbsp worcestershire sauce
    Slowly cook off onions with a little oil to develop a bit of colour then add a cup or so of tomatoes and cook down. You are looking to slightly caramelise this as a base.
    Add everything else and simmer for around 2 hours, lid on to start, but then remove lid so that sauce reduces to around a litre.
    Whiz it all up with a blender and check for consistency/ flavour. You can reduce further to concentrate flavour if needed or if you like it as is even add about a tbsp of arrowroot (mixed with same quantity of soy sauce) as a thickener.


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