No. 47 - August 2006
Welcome to the Recipes4us.co.uk free monthly newsletter. If you have any suggestions for additions to this , please write to me at @Recipes4us.co.uk .
Happy Cooking !
Florence Sandeman, Editor
What's New This Month
Click the picture to find lots of information about oranges plus lots of recipes
Food in Film
Click the film to see the fourth in the series.
A Cut Above
The fourth in a short series about the different cuts of meat
Click the picture to find out about the various cuts of venison - what they're called, where they're from, how they're cooked. plus recipes for each cut.
What's in Season
Apples, Aubergine, Beetroot, Blackberries, Blackcurrants, Blueberries, Broad Beans, Cabbage, Capsicums (sweet peppers) Cauliflower, Celery, Chillies, Courgettes, Cucumbers, Damsons, Endive, Garlic, Green Beans, Leeks, Lettuce, Melons, Mint, Onions, Pears, Peas, Plums, Potatoes, Raspberries, Redcurrants, Runner Beans, Rocket, Spinach, Tomatoes, Turnips
How does your Kitchen Garden grow
Continue to feed plants such as courgettes, marrows, cucumbers, aubergines, tomatoes and capsicums and keep the soil well watered though not very wet.
Make final small sowings of crops such as loose leaf lettuce, radish and spring onions at the beginning of the month..
Check the ties and staking of taller plants such as beans and tomatoes , loosening or tightening as necessary and continue to keep all plants well watered.
Bend the leaves over the developing curds (heads) to protect from the sun.
Aubergines and Courgettes
Cut fruit as needed once they have reach a good size and colour (between 10-17cm/4-7" depending on the variety) but before the shine disappears from the skin.
Beans, peas and Mangetout
Continue to harvest regularly as and when the pods reach a suitable size.
Don't forget, when harvesting spinach, leaf beet and loose leaved lettuce, only harvest a few outside leaves from each plant, allowing the plants to keep throwing up new leaves
Start harvesting crops such as beetroot, khol rabi and turnips when they have reached golf ball size, pulling every other plant to make room for the remaining plants to grown on.
For detailed growing instructions visit our specialist growing herbs and vegetables section
To have and to hold....at least for a while
No, I'm not talking about marriage but at this bounteous time of year my mind immediately turns to preserving fruit and vegetables whilst they're at their best.
Last year in the August issue I talked about preserves. If you missed that article you can read it here. This year I'm going to talk about another form of preservation, namely drying.
Most of us will immediately think of herbs and indeed, they are prime candidates for this method. However, many fruit and veggies can be successfully dried at home using a conventional oven, be it electric or gas.
Although particularly useful if you grow or pick your own, with the prices of many locally grown seasonal vegetables dropping in stores and supermarkets, one might as well take advantage and buy extra to preserve.
Many of us can now enjoy vegetables which are out of season in the areas where we live throughout the year, but in many cases, the imported produce which ends up on supermarket shelves are less flavoursome than more locally grown produce which is actually in season due to the fact that they are often picked before they are mature so they can be shipped without fear of spoiling before they get to us.
The one which springs to mind is tomatoes. Despite the fact that certainly in the UK, we can now buy tomatoes on the vine all year, in my experience, many of these are inferior in taste.
When you open the packet and get that whiff of tomato, what you're actually smelling is the vine which often bears little relation to the taste of the actual fruit.
There are a few "rules" to adhere to when drying produce at home to ensure good results.
1. Always use produce when it's at its peak.
2. Blanch vegetables before drying. This helps to stop enzyme activity which can cause changes in the flavour and texture during storage.
3. Ensure adequate ventilation and constant temperature during the drying process. This is best achieved by preheating the oven to (60C/140F), then prop the oven door open and adjust the thermostat to maintain a consistent oven temperature of 60C/140F. The door being ajar allows the moist air to escape.
4. Package the produce in air tight containers/bags and store in cool dark conditions (6-12 months).
5. Dry to the optimum degree. Dried vegetables should be hard and brittle. Remove a small amount of the dried food and cool for a few minutes before testing for dryness.
Below is a chart with a few examples of vegetables which can be dried, showing preparation, blanching and drying times plus dryness test.
Blanching Time (mins)
Drying Time (hrs.)
Wash, trim, cut into 1/4" slices.
Leathery to brittle
Wash. Cut in pieces or strips.
Very dry, brittle
Cook as usual. Cool, peel. Cut into shoestring strips 1/8" thick.
Brittle, dark red
Wash. Trim, cut as for serving. Quarter stalks lengthwise.
Wash. Remove outer leaves, quarter and core. Cut into strips 1/8" thick.
Capsicums (sweet peppers)
Wash, stem. Remove core and seeds. Cut into 1/4 to 1/2" strips or rings.
Tough to brittle
Carrots and Parsnips
Use only crisp, tender vegetables. Wash. Cut off roots and tops; peel. Cut in slices or strips 1/8" thick.
Tough to brittle
Trim stalks. Wash stalks and leaves thoroughly. Slice stalks.
Wash thoroughly. Slice or leave whole if small.
Shrunken, dark red flexible
Wash, remove skin, top and root ends, cut into 6mm/¼ " slices.
Wash thoroughly. Separate sprigs if necessary
Shell and wash.
Hard, green wrinkled
Spinach, Kale, Chard
Trim and wash very thoroughly. Shake or pat dry to remove excess moisture.
Wash, trim, cut into 1/4" slices.
Leathery to brittle
Husk, trim. Wash well. Blanch until milk in corn is set. Cut the kernels from the cob.
(click here for Sun Dried Tomatoes recipe)
Plunge into boiling water to loosen skins. Chill in cold water. Cut into slices 12mm/½" thick
Are editions 1 thru 45 of the newsletters viewable somewhere on-line?
They are....but you'd have to use the search page to find them so for anyone interested here they are below.
Recipe of the Month
Courgette, Cherry Tomato & Goat's Cheese Quiche
Make use of the summer glut of courgettes with this exquisite rustic flan. Keeping the filling ingredients in larger pieces ensures each ingredient's flavour is distinct and can be enjoyed to the full.
200g/7oz Shortcrust Pastry
1 tbsp Olive Oil
2-3 small Courgettes ( zucchini)
Salt & Pepper
120ml/4 fl.oz. Double or Single Cream
A little Milk
125g/5oz Semi firm Goat's Cheese e.g Chevre
8 Cherry Tomatoes
1. Heat the oven to 170C, 325F, Gas mark 3. Roll the pastry out and line an 22cm/8 inch flan dish. Cover this with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans. Bake blind in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 5 minutes.
2. Cut the onion into 6mm/ ¼ inch slices lengthways. Heat the butter and olive oil in a small frying pan until quite hot then fry the onion until golden. Remove the onion from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
3. Cut the courgettes into pieces no smaller than 12mm/½ inch . Reheat the oil and butter until very hot then fry the courgette until well coloured on all sides. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Remove from the pan with the slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
4. Combine the eggs and cream in a measuring jug and whisk thoroughly, adding enough milk to make the mixture up to 300ml/10fl.oz. if necessary. Season to taste with salt, freshly ground black pepper and grated nutmeg.
5. Cut the goats cheese up into 12mm/½-inch pieces and arrange evenly in the pastry case together with the onions, courgettes and cherry tomatoes. The object is to have discernable pieces of filling once the quiche is cooked.
6. Pour the egg mixture gently over the filling, taking care not to dislodge the pieces of vegetables and cheese then bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until set and golden brown. Serve hot or cold.
New and featured Recipes
V = Vegetarian GF = Gluten/wheat Free DF = Dairy Free
Coriander Kiwi Salsa Vegan GF DF
Beetroot and Orange Salad V GF DF
Orange Rice Vegan GF DF
Potato Pancakes With Juniper V GF DF
Peas alla Romana GF DF
Desserts Cakes & Bakes
Oranges with Grand Marnier V GF DF
Barbecued Oranges V GF
Flamed Fruit Salad V GF
Orange Biscuits V DF
Soups & Starters
Oranges with Red Onion Appetiser Vegan GF DF
Oranges with Anchovy GF DF
Salmon Ceviche GF DF
Beetroot and Orange Soup GF DF
Chilled Carrot and Orange Soup Vegan GF DF
Citrus Stuffed Monkfish GF DF
Tarragon-Chicken Salad GF DF
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