No. 37 - September 2005
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Happy Cooking !
Florence Sandeman, Editor
Did you know ?
In 1947, Marilyn Monroe was crowned the first Queen of the Artichokes!
What's New This Month
Cooking by Country
Click the picture to find out about Korean cuisine, culinary history, present day cooking and customs plus lots of recipe
Cooking Tip of the Month
To melt Chocolate in a microwave
Coarsely chop then place in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave, uncovered for 1-1/2 minutes to 3 minutes, stirring every 20 seconds
What's in Season
Aubergine, Beetroot, Blackberries, Cabbage, Capsicum, Courgettes, Chillies, Cauliflower, Celery, Cucumber, Figs, Garlic, Grapes, Green Beans, Leeks, Lettuce, Melons, Mint, Morello Cherries, Onions, Pears, Peppers, Plums, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Runner Beans, Perpetual Spinach, Tomatoes, Turnips, Vegetable Marrow, Walnuts
How does your Kitchen Garden grow
Well, there's not that much to say for September as most of the hard prep work has been done and you should now be harvesting the fruit (and veg) of your labours.
One exception will be Brussels Sprouts. The main thing about these is to make sure the plants are anchored firmly by bringing up the surrounding soil and firming. You should keep an eye on this right up until you harvest them which could be as late as December.
Remember to keep tomatoes, peppers and aubergines fed every week and water all plants regularly until fruiting finishes.
To aid the ripening of cordon tomatoes, remove some of the leaves or branches which may be shielding the tomatoes from the sun.
Oh, and you might as well clear the plot of spent vegetation as you go. Not only saves a mammoth job in the future but also helps protect against disease.
For detailed growing instructions visit our specialist growing herbs and vegetables section
To freeze or not to freeze
Last month I wrote an article about making jams pickles and preserves. But if that didn't appeal to you, what else to do with all the fine produce this time of year brings forth? I don’t know about you, but much as I love courgettes (for example) I don’t relish the thought of eating them twice a day, 7 days a week in order to get through the glut in the garden.
As most of us have freezers nowadays, that’s got to be the most obvious choice.
Opposite is a short list of some of the most common "glut" vegetables and how to freeze them "as is" but there are many other ways to freeze veggies.
How many recipes can you think of which call for frying onions until soft and transparent? That process takes between 5 and 10 minutes - time you could save by doing a whole load then freezing it in portion sizes. Or why not add tomatoes and use as a base for pasta sauces and stews.
Talking of pasta sauces, these open up a veritable Pandora’s Box when it comes to freezing. All sorts of vegetables can be used and they are a great way to get kids (or even adults) to eat vegetables without them even knowing it! Vegetables such as carrots, courgettes, aubergines, celery, onions, tomatoes, capsicums, mushrooms can be grated or chopped and added to minced meat which not only makes it go further, but adds extra vitamins and flavours. And if you have an abundance of fresh herbs even better.
With the nights closing in and winter approaching, homemade soups are a warming prospect. As many of these end up being pureed, so what if the pre-cooked vegetables are very soft.
There are so many possibilities, I don’t have room to do them all justice here, but with a little imagination the options are (almost) endless. So next time you’re shopping for fresh vegetables to make a pasta sauce, casserole or stew, if they are a good price, buy/cook 4 times as much as you need and freeze the rest.
One last point - don't forget to label the containers - once prepared and frozen, it's often difficult to recognise exactly what's in the container.
Cut into slices, sprinkle with salt and allow to stand 30 minutes. Drain off the excess liquid, dry on kitchen paper then fry gently in butter until just just tender. Cool and pack into plastic containers, placing a sheet of clingfilm or freezer paper between the layers.
Cook whole young beetroot until tender then slice, cool and transfer to plastic containers placing a sheet of Clingfilm or freezer paper between the layers.
Wash, halve, remove the seeds and cut slices. Place on a tray in a single layer. Freeze for 30 minutes then pack in freezer bags, removing as much air as possible.
Slice into 2.5cm/1 inch pieces without peeling. Sauté gently in a little melted butter until just tender. Cool, pack into plastic containers, placing a sheet of Clingfilm or freezer paper between the layers.
Wash and remove the stalks. Blanch in small boiling water for 1 minute then immediately plunge into iced water for 1 minute. Drain very well then place on tray in a single layer and freeze for 30 minutes. Transfer to freezer bags, removing as much air as possible.
Clean well and remove all silk. Cut off top of cob then blanch in boiling water for 5-7 minutes, depending on size. Chill in iced water 5 minutes, drain on kitchen paper then wrap each cob in Clingfilm. Transfer to freezer bags removing as much air as possible.
(1) Dip into boiling water 1 minute. Remove and peel. Place on a tray and freeze for 30 minutes. Transfer to plastic bags removing as much air as possible.
(2) Cut away the stem scar. Place the whole tomatoes in a single layer on a tray and freeze for 1 hour. Tomatoes do not need to be blanched before freezing. Transfer to freezer bags or containers.
Whether you're looking for everyday, exotic or unusual food and drink, visit
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New and featured Recipes
V = Vegetarian GF = Gluten/wheat Free DF = Dairy Free
Chilli Soy Sauce Vegan DF
Kimchi (3 recipes) V DF
Baked Beetroot V GF
Sweet Pickled Beetroot Vegan GF DF
Tomato and Basil Salsa V GF DF
Basil Vinaigrette V GF DF
Broccoli in White Wine Sauce Vegan GF DF
Desserts Cakes & Bakes
Soups & Starters
Fish Soup with Tofu GF DF
Rice and Prawn Soup GF DF
Beetroot and Orange Soup GF DF
Oregano Braised Lamb GF DF
Pork Bulgogi DF
Vegetable Tagine Vegan GF DF
Polenta Stuffed Peppers Vegan GF DF
Stewed Crab DF
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