I often find myself stood in front of the fridge, eyeing up the contents and then making something from the produce I have available to me. Here’s a few things I’ve made recently :-
1 large red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 kg tomatoes, roughly chopped
Glug of Olive Oil
1 Celery Stick, roughly chopped
Thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
4 Cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (more if you like it spicy – I used 2)
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper (I used white and black pepper)
200 ml cider vinegar
100g soft brown sugar
Place all the vegetables (except the tomatoes) in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan with a big splash of olive oil and the ginger, garlic, chilli, and coriander seeds . Season with the pepper and a good pinch of salt.
Cook gently over a low heat for 10 to 15 minutes until softened, stirring every so often. Add all the tomatoes and 350ml of cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer gently until the sauce reduces by half.
Whiz the sauce in a food processor or with a hand blender and push it through a sieve twice, to make it smooth and shiny.
Put the sauce into a clean pan and add the vinegar and the sugar. Place the sauce on the heat and simmer until it reduces and thickens to the consistency of tomato ketchup. At this point, correct the seasoning to taste.
Spoon the ketchup through a sterilised funnel into sterilised bottles, then seal tightly and place in a cool dark place or the fridge until needed – it should keep for six months.
Recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver, ketchup recipe.
Roasted Veg Tray Bake
This is a great way of using up vegetables, served hot it’s a great side dish for many dishes. It reheats well too and I confess to eating it cold as a side dish to. The great thing about this dish is that every single time it is different as I base it on the contents of my fridge and change the spices and herbs used too.
Typically this dish would always contain :
Waxy small potatoes, cut into half
Onions – red or white – cut into wedges
Peppers – cut into large wedges
Carrots – sliced – approximately 2cms long
Tomatoes – quartered – if you want a more saucy tray bake
Selection f dried herbs and spices
Additional ingredients – depending on what’s in the fridge
Butternut Squash – cut into chunks, skin on
Brocolli – florettes
Courgette – sliced into rings
Baby aubergine – sliced or halved depending on size
Leeks – chopped into chunks
Any other vegetables you can find
Heat oven to 180F
Cut all of the hard vegetables into roughly the same size and place into a large deep roasting pan, add the tomatoes and onion wedges.
Sprinkle the vegetables liberally with a selection of spices eg chilli, smoked paprika, black pepper, mixed dried herbs or even shop bought spice blends which are ready prepared.
Generously drizzle the tray with olive oil – probably 3 or 4 tablespoons.
Cover the tray with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes at 180F until the hard vegetables are virtually cooked (you should be able to run a sharp knife through the vegetables without any resistance)
Turn the oven up to 200F.
Add the soft vegetables and mix them with the hard vegetables and ensure they are moist with oil.
Place tray back in over for 30 minutes until the vegetables are cooked and browned and crispy in parts (I usually turn the vegetables half way through).
This works well with all types of potatoes and/or carrots and other hard vegetables. In this example I used purple blue potatoes from Lootah Premium Foods.
Salt & Pepper & Spices to season
Olive Oil – in a spray container
Preheat over to 200F
Thinly and evenly slice the potatoes – I used a mandolin
Place the sliced vegetables on a shallow baking tray/sheet
Sprinkle with spices and salt & pepper – I just used salt & pepper
Coat with a fine spray of oil
Bake in a hot oven for approx ten minutes until crisp
Serve immediately (then make some more !!)
Spicy Roasted Tomatoes
Tomatoes – halved or quartered depending on size
Onions – sliced into thick slices (I used a banana shallot)
Chilli – sliced and deseeded and finely chopped
Pre-heat the oven to about 150F
Place all of the ingredients in an aluminium container or small baking tin and coat liberally with olive oil.
Place foil over the container and bake at a low heat for approximately 60 -80 minutes until the tomatoes are nice and soft.
Turn up the heat of the oven to 180F and roast the tomatoes for approx 20 minutes until they are a little browned