Recently I have been getting all up in the grills of the recipe books that have been glaring at me from my bookshelves for quite a while now. I have a new resolution to try at least one new recipe every week.One of the issues I face with this is that I believe in cooking from my pantry, rather than shopping for recipes. You, perhaps, too have suffered this pantry-related-expensiveness-and-ridiculousness. The solution is simple, co-crusader...
Ah, if only all equations ended so excitingly, eh? Sciency subjects clearly need more colourful explosions around them. Also: I am aware that the "that" part of the explosion equation is enjambed/ on two lines. We'll all just have to live with it.
Anyway, one of the areas of culinary investigation I've been getting all Sherlock Holmesy about has been sauces. Sauces seem like such an arbitrary aspect of a meal, and it seems a whole heap easier to just buy a bottle of tomato sauce at the shops. But, as I've discovered, even just making one every now and then (and it's not a lot of effort, no really!) and keeping it in the fridge to throw on the side of a steak or some sausages is totally worth the (significantly little) extra effort. It adds something delicious and refreshing to a meal, something that heinz can't compete with.
Here's a recipe for tomato jam that I adapted from Jude Blereau's Wholefood. It's a savoury jam, that was SUPER easy and tasty as anything. So far I've had it with: chicken sausages and pumpkin mash as well as on the side of a poached egg and chickpea fritter (the recipe for this fritter will also feature below because it's VEGAN friendly- rejoice!). And if you're getting all huffity about the fact that tomato jam is clearly a condiment AND NOT a sauce, and therefore this blog is poorly named and categorised, well calm the hell down Sheldon. Maybe reading cooking blogs is just not your thing. Or maybe you should try this tomato jam and see if you even care about the naming of this entry anymore, hey, hey? How about that little chestnut?
Here's a picture of the egg and fritter and jam and also some mushrooms:
It was delicious.
Tomato Jam (amazing with meat and vegies, or in a roll with meat, or in a burger... the flavour is pretty hard to explain apart from: delicious. Do it, seriously, try something new.)
5 large tomatoes (quite ripe) chopped into smallish pieces
1 tbsp ground ginger
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 bay leaf
1 tsp cumin (I like using black cumin seeds- for the flavour, and texture... these things are the bomb, REALLY- and just chucking them in as they are, then adding a little powdered/normal cumin for taste)
4 tbsp brown sugar or golden syrup
1/2 tsp chilli powder (optional, but seriously recommended)
salt and pepper to taste
Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a saucepan over a gentle heat. Add ginger, cinnamon and garlic, cook for -2 minutes.
Add vinegar and cook until reduced by half.
Add the tomatoes, sugar (or syrup), cumin, chilli (if using) and bay leaf. Cover with a lid and cook over a gentle heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally and checking it hasn't run dry (if it does stir a little water through and lower the heat.)
Remove lid and continue to cook over a gentle heat until thick. Season to taste. there should be a slight sweetness about it, don't try to kill this off with too much salt, it'll turn into a salty blearrrgggghness.
According to Blereau you can keep it in the fridge for up to 4 weeks. Mine lasted 2 days.
For 3-4 large fritters (as pictured)
1 can of chickpeas (400g)
2 spring onions, sliced up
salt and pepper to taste
4 tbsp plain flour
1 egg or egg replacer
about 1/4 cup of vegie stock
olive oil for frying
Please note that these fritters were designed to go WITH other strong flavours (a base) if you want them to be more flavoursome (eating them on their own, or with not many other flavours) I suggest adding:
1/2 cup cooked pumpkin, mooshed up
and or: 1 tsp dried tarragon
1/2 a smal red onion, finely sliced
Take half of the chickpeas, put them in a mixing bowl and smossh them with a masher or a fork until they're almost a paste.
Then add the rest of the chickpeas and everything else, combine, but gently, so as not to smoosh the in-tact chickpeas.
Add more stock or flour as necessary, you're looking for a fairly thick, but still slightly liquid kind of consistency.
Fry in some oil (be careful when turning over, they can be a little temperamental, use a wide spatula), use about 1/3 of mixture for a large fritter.
Happy saucing it up! Let me know if you discover any sauces/condiments that I should try. I am so all over this little chestnut of a sauce/condiment obsession. BRING IT.