Thursday, September 27, 2007

Hay Hay it's Donna Day #15

A last minute assembly tart for this months edition of Hay Hay it's Donna Day hosted by Sarini from Trinigrourmet. We're about to leave for a long weekend in Paris to see some rugby, take in some culture, do a bit of shopping and eat lots of nice food.

I've been using a lot of chickpea flour lately but mainly in savoury dishes but wanted to try a sweet version as well. So along with the half pomegranate at the back of the fridge I thought they would make the great basis for an Arabic/Mediterranean inspired tart. I made a simple dough using chickpea flour (200g), butter (75g), sugar (2 tbsp), ground green cardamom (1 tsp) and a bit of water. The dough does not "come together" as there is no gluten in this flour so I just divided it over 4 buttered mini pastry cases. These were baked 15 minutes at 180°C and in the mean time, I diluted some Membrillo with a bit of water to make it into a softer paste. I spread this on top of the case, then applied a thin layer of ricotta, dusted this with more ground cardamom and finally sprinkled pomegranate seeds on top. All done in 25 minutes.

The tart was beautiful to look at and the taste pleasantly surprised me. I know you can't go far wrong using all good ingredients but still, it turned out better then expected. The nutty crust combined perfectly with the sticky sweet quince paste and the creamy ricotta whereas the pomegranate seeds provided a nice tart and fresh contrast. Definitely worth a repeat performance.

Update: the round up has now been posted....what a fabulous collection of tarts! A lot of inspiration/yummy things there to try out soon

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Waiter! There's something in my... savoury preserve!

When Johanna announced the theme of savoury preserve for this month's WTSIM I just knew I wanted to take part. I didn't really grow up with savoury preserves as it's not very much of a Dutch thing. So apart from shop bought gherkins and onions the only preserve we ate was green tomato chutney. This recipe had come from an English friend of my parents before we were born and somehow it stuck in my mums repertoire. Every year she would grow tomato plants to harvest the unripe green ones (as they're hard/impossible to buy) and make this chutney. Strangely, we only ate it with Nasi Goreng but I always loved it!

Moving to the UK opened a whole new preserving world for me and I still enjoy making and eating lots of different ones. However, this one will always stay my favourite and I've now reached the point of growing my own green tomatoes to be able to make it each year.

PS. the roundup has now been posted and I'm already planning some serious preserving as there's so much stuff I want to try!

Green Tomato Chutney makes 6 400g jars
2.5 kg green tomatoes, sliced
50g onions, chopped
150g yellow raisins
150g black raisins
500g sugar
1 liter wine vinegar
30g salt
15 g peppercorns

Put the tomatoes, onions, salt and peppercorns in a large bowl and leave overnight. The next day, bring the sugar and vinegar to the boil in a large non-reactive pan. Add the raisins and simmer for 5 min before adding the tomato mix. Simmer everything on low heat until the mixture starts to thicken (45 min) and divide the chutney over some well cleaned pots that have been sterilized in the oven for 10 min at 110°C. Cover, leave to cool and store in a dark and cool place.

Monday, September 24, 2007

SHF #35 - The Beautiful fig

A very last minute entry for this month's SHF but when Ivonne announced the theme for Sugar High Friday as "The Beautiful Fig" I just knew I wanted to take part. Lack of time due to too much work and the breaking of our camera have cramped the blogging a lot lately (it's amazing how less nice the blog looks without pictures). But this seemed a worthwhile entry and I even managed to take a crappy mobile phone camera picture!

I was never a big fan of figs, for years, my mother tried to tempt me with fruits from the tree in our garden but something in the texture put me off. Then I moved to the UK and somehow developed a taste for them (still not quite sure where) but there they were hard to find. So moving here has been a fig paradise!

Basel has been swamped the last few weeks with yummy (and beautiful) figs from France and Italy and I've been eating my fair share. In my yoghurt for breakfast, as part of a chicken stew or in a fancy tart, they always taste delicious. But one of my favourite ways (that works very well with figs that are not quite ripe yet) is to just fill a small frying pan with figs, drizzle a bit of honey over them, a few tbsp of water and add some crushed green cardamom seeds. Leave this to simmer for 10-15 min till the figs are nice and soft and the liquid has gone syrupy. Enjoy this with yoghurt, quark or some ice cream.

(The roundup can be found here)