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spicy pickled carrots

very easy way to pickle and preserve a few carrots

I have never pickled anything before but am wild about the concept of preserving.  I also really love the idea of eating the same food and experiencing its character in  many different ways. A friend sent me the link to this recipe on this great site dedicated to preserving: Food in Jars……definitely worth checking out if you want more info and detail on pickling etc.

I took about 45ogms of carrots (1 x bag), peeled and quartered them.  I cut a few into smaller batons as my jar is a strange curvy shape.

Blanch the carrots for about 30 seconds and then drain. The recommendation was 15 seconds — but that just seemed a little bit too short. Pack the carrots tightly into an adequately sized jar.

Make up the pickling brine by putting the liquid and spices into a pan and bringing this to the boil.

Pour the brine over the carrots, scraping around the inside of the jar in order to dislodge any air bubbles .

Recipe for the small batch pickling brine: (how easy is this?)

  • 1 cup filtered water (I used water from my kettle
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • a small handful of ready mixed pickling spice or you could use as per her recipe: (I added a few extra pinches of chilli, bay leaves and cloves)

A palmful (each) of at least a few of the following:

  • crushed bay leaves,peppercorns, hot pepper flakes, allspice berries, coriander seeds, whole cloves

Seal the jar and allow to cool.  Store in the fridge for 2 t0 3 days until ready to eat.

I cant wait to see how these will turn out and if pickling is this easy – I will start playing round with a few other vegetables.

VERDICT: The carrot is very crunchy and the flavours are quite intense.  I find that the cloves are a bit overpowering so will leave these out next time and add only: bay, peppercorns, coriander seeds, a pinch of chilli. I served these to a few friends for supper and they loved them.

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pineapple and banana fritters

pineapple and banana fritters

I’m busy testing a few recipes for a client of mine and one of them is fritters.

This is a very easy recipe and makes up quite a lot, so an option would be to halve the quantities. You can make up a variety of options, sweet or savoury.

recipe: (batter)

  • 2 cups of flour sifted
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • salt and pepper to taste if you are making a savoury fritter, or 1 Tbsp sugar for a sweet fritter
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • cooking oil for frying the fritters

For the main ingredient, add 2 cups of the following:

Corn (canned, frozen or fresh off the cob), banana’s mashed, pineapple cut into small chunks, cooked mashed pumpkin, butternut or sweet potato..any fruit of vegetable.

I used a combo of half chopped pineapple and half mashed banana.  They were not that sweet, so I sprinkled generously with cinnamon castor sugar.

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quick and easy hummus

quick and easy hummous

Empty and drain a can of chickpeas.  Process these in a food processor with:

  • a small handful of coriander leaves
  • a clove or two of garlic (depending on how potent you want it)
  • 2 Tbs tahini
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • juice of half a lemon
  • good pinch of salt and grind of pepper
  • pinch of chilli flakes
  • a good few glugs of olive oil (or water for a healthier option)

Blend until you to get to the consistency that you would like, the more oil / water you add the smoother and softer it will become.

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halva frozen yoghurt

drizzle over some extra honey

I used to make halva ice cream using ready-made vanilla ice cream, thawing this slightly and then mixing in honey and tahini, then re freezing. Totally delicious with  the essence of  halva coming through.

Thought this would work well with yoghurt as a base, but will definitely want to try it with a cream ice cream base.

recipe:

  • 1kg full cream greek yoghurt (used the Woolies organic one)
  • 100ml easy pour honey (makes the mixing in easier) – you could add more if you want it sweeter
  • 4 Tbsp tahini

Mix all of the above in a bowl and churn through an ice cream maker if want to make a frozen dessert.

This thick creamy mixture is so delicious as is, it would work so well just dolloped directly onto:  fruit, caramelised fruit, baked fruit,  muesli or as a cream replacement with a nice almond tart.

Sprinkle on some toasted nuts or stir through chopped pistachios.

halva frozen yoghurt

11

simple salad of red onions, tomatoes, green pepper and feta

salad with tomato, red onion, green pepper and feta

I love red onion and tomato together, just as is, with red wine vinegar. Sweet and crunchy with just a little bit of acidity.

Building on this very basic salad, I added a few slices of a very fresh green pepper and a few crumbles of feta.  Sprinkle over some oregano, Maldon salt and black pepper, and drizzle with red wine vinegar and olive oil.  I also added a spritz of lemon juice.

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