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Thursday, 31 October 2013

Pickled Beetroot Like Mother Used to Make

This is an old, pickled beetroot recipe, my mother inherited from her mother and I didn't like or appreciate them much when I was a kid, as  I got older I started to realize how good they were for me and how versatile to use in many recipes. This is the recipe as I remember it.

Ingredients - Makes about 1 kg./2 lb. pickle

.10 fl. oz. malt vinegar
.5 fl. oz. water
.4 oz. sugar
.1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
.1 bay leaf
.2 cloves
,4 peppercorns
.4 medium cooked beetroots, sliced


.Put all the ingredients, except the beetroots, into a saucepan and bring to the boil.
,Simmer for 5 minutes.
.Set aside to cool.
Pack the beetroots into hot, sterilised jars, then strain over the vinegar mixture to within 1/2 inch of the tops.
. Seal.
.Because of the high sugar contents of the beetroots, this pickle should be used as soon as possible.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Butternut Squash Oven Roasted with Mediterranean Style Turkey mince

Who else is nuts about butternut squash ?  Healthy golden and delicious baked in the oven till soft and caramelised.

Filled with turkey mince, red wine, sweet pepper, onion, paprika, sage, oregano, garlic, tomato puree, sun dried herb tomato puree, bay leaf, coriander, fresh tomato, sea salt and black pepper, a twist at the end a few chopped slices of beetroot in vinegar which worked well. This was delicious . nourishing and very juicy ! YUM !  This is a recipe from my teens as I would not have eaten it as a child.

Ingredients - Serves 2

. 1 large butternut squash, washed and cut into 2 halves lengthwise, pips and loose fiber scooped out with a        . spoon to make a hollow
. 500 g. of dark meat turkey mince
. 1/2 a sweet pointed red pepper, finely sliced
.  1 finely chopped red onion
. 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
. 1 bay leaf
. 1 tsp cinnamon powder
. 1 tsp cumin powder
. 1 tsp paprika
. 1/2 tsp oregano
. 1 tsp cumin powder
. sea salt and black pepper to taste
. 1 tbs. olive oil for cooking butternut squash in oven
. 1 tbs. olive oil for cooking onions and mince
. 1/4 cup of red wine
. 1 tbs. balsamic vinegar
. 1 tsp. tomato puree
. 1 tsp coriander paste, or 1 tbs. fresh chopped 
. 1 tbs. sun dried herb tomato puree
. optional a little chopped beetroot in vinegar added to final mince dish for a twist in flavour


Preheat oven to 200* C , rub salt and olive oil on open flesh side of squash, place on an oven tray and cook in the oven till soft and caramelised 
While cooking squash, cook mince
Put a large fry pan on a moderate heat and stir fry onions till start to brown, add garlic, sweet pepper, bay leaf and stir fry 1 minute
Add tomato puree and sun dried herb puree and fry for 1 minute
Add mince and stir fry 2 minutes to coat and colour the mince
Add chopped tomato, red wine, paprika, cinnamon, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper to taste
bring mince mix up to high heat while stirring, reduce heat to moderate and cook mince till thoroughly cooked add coriander and stir in for 1 minute. Add chopped beetroot if using, it does blend well with the mince.

Add mince to the hollow in the squash halves and accompany with vegetables of choice.

Aubergines Gratinees like mother Used to make

This recipe, is a delicious, way to serve aubergine, using, cooked ham, spring onions, fresh bread crumbs, chopped fresh parsley, Parmesan cheese and butter. This egg plant dish can be enjoyed with, baked potatoes, pasta or just on their own as a starter. Must admit as a child, it was not until teenage years, that I started to appreciate, this recipe.

Aubergine plant image

Ingredients - Serves 4

. 30 ml./2 tbs olive oil
.2 large aubergines halved lenthways and degorged 
. 225 g. cooked ham, finely chopped
. 30 ml,/ 2 tbs. chopped spring onions
. 50 g. fresh breadcrumbs
. 30 ml /2 tbs. chopped fresh parsley
. 2 eggs beaten 
. sea salt and black pepper to taste
. 50 g. dry breadcrumbs
. 50 g. Parmesan cheese, grated
. 40 g. butter


Heat the oil in a frying pan
Add the aubergine halves and fry for 5 minutes until they are evenly browned 
Arrange in a shallow ovenproof dish, cut side uppermost 
Mix together the ham, spring onions, fresh breadcrumbs, parsley, and eggs
Season well and spread the mixture over the aubergines
Sprinkle over the the dry breadcrumbs and cheese and dot with pieces of butter
Put into the oven peheated to moderate ( 180*C/350*F or Gas mark 4 ) and bake for 25 minutes.

Beef and Aubergine Meatballs Like Mother Used to Make

This combination, of eggplant, and minced beef, with a filling of, fresh parsley, fresh breadcrumbs, beaten egg, dried marjoram, and finely chopped onions,in a tasty tomato sauce, makes a nourishing, and delicious, change from conventional, meat ball. One of my favourite childhood recipes.

Meat balls and spaghetti image

Ingredients - Serves 4

.675 g. beef, minced
,2 medium aubergines, peeled, chopped and disgorged 
. 30 ml. 2 tbs chopped fresh parsley
. 50 g. fresh breadcrumbs
. 1 egg lightly beaten
. 2.5 ml. 1/2  tsp  dried marjoram
. 1 small onion, finely chopped
. sea salt and black pepper
. 50 ml. olive oil
. 425 ml. tomato sauce * ( 400 g. tin chopped tomato, or fresh ones, 2 crushed garlic cloves. 1 tsp tomato . . .  puree, 1 tsp paprika, 2 tbs red wine ( optional ) salt and pepper to taste, a 1-2 tbs fresh chopped basil or coriander, can also be added at end of cooking, 1 tbs olive oil.1 tsp sugar.1 bay leaf.


Tomato Sauce *

In a solid pan heat 1 tbs olive oil on a moderate heat and gently fry garlic, till lightly coloured, being careful not to burn as this will make garlic taste bitter.
add tomato puree and stir fry for 1 minute
add tomatoes, paprika,bay leaf, salt and pepper to taste, red wine, bring to the boil
turn to a simmer and cook open until sauce reduces and thickens
re-season as required
add basil/coriander stirring in to wilt
I like to add a tbs of extra virgin olive oil stirred in at the end of cooking ( optional )

Meat Balls

Mix together the beef, aubergines, parsley, bread crumbs, egg, marjoram, onion and salt and pepper to taste.
Shape into small balls.
Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the balls and fry for 5 to 8 minutes or until they are evenly browned.
Pour off most of the fat, ( turkey mince could also be used ) and pour in the tomato sauce. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through.
Could also be cooked in the oven for a crispy topped meat ball, 200* C  till cooked through. 

Serve with Pasta

                                                  Video recipe meatballs

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Farmhouse Fruit Cake Just Like Mother Used To Make

This is possibly one of the, all time popular cakes, full of fruit, made with, sultanas, raisins, chopped glace cherries, orange rind, chopped mixed peel, and orange juice, all mixed into a flour, sugar and butter mix and baked into a wonderful cake. Dad used to love this in his packed lunch to take to work.

Fruit Cake image

Ingredients - Serves 8-10

. 10 oz. self raising flour
.1/4 tsp salt
. 8 oz. butter
. 8 oz. castor sugar
. 1 tbsp finely grated orange rind ( use un-waxed ones or wash peel well)
. 5 eggs 
. 12 oz. sultanas
. 4 oz raisins
. 6 oz. chopped glace cherries
. 2 oz. chopped mixed peel
. 1 tbs fresh orange juice


. Sift the flour and salt together
. Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy, then beat in the orange rind
. Beat in the eggs, then the fruit, orange juice and flour

. Line an 8 inch cake tin with a double thickness of greased greaseproof paper 
. Spoon the batter into the tin 
. Put into the oven preheated to cool ( 150*C/300*F or Gas Mark 2 ) and bake for 2 & 1/2 hours or until a .  knife  inserted into the centre comes out clean.

                            Fruit cake recipe video

Madeira Cake Just like Mother Used to Make

This delicious cake, will leave you wanting more than just one slice, easy to make, with butter, sugar, flour, eggs, lemon rind and topped with candied peel. This cake didn't last long in our house.

Madeira Cake image

Ingredients-  serves 8-10

. 6 oz. butter
. 5 oz. castor sugar
. 1 tbs finely grated lemon rind ( use un-waxed ones or wash skin well )
. 3 large eggs
. 8 oz flour
. 2 tsps baking powder
. candied peel to decorate


. Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy.
. Beat in the lemon rind, then the eggs.
. Sift the flour and baking powder together, then fold them into the butter mixture.

. Line an 7 inch cake tin with a double thickness of greased grease proof paper.
. Spoon the batter into the tin and put into the oven preheated to moderate (180*C / 350*F or Gas Mark 4)
. Bake for 45 minutes.
. Decorate the top of the cake with the candied peel, return to the oven and bake for a further 20 to 30 minutes or until a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.