Posted by: Rachael | April 24, 2012

tomato ketchup

random recipes discovered but not yet tried


you can make different colors of ketchup using just yellow, orange or green tomatoes – simply exchange the cherry and canned tomatoes for the same amount of your chosen colored ones.


  • 1 large red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 bulb fennel, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 stick celery, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 a fresh red chili, deseeded and finely chopped
  • Bunch fresh basil, leaves picked, stalks chopped
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 2 cloves
  • Sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound amazing cherry or plum tomatoes, halved plus 1 pound canned plum tomatoes, chopped or 2 pounds yellow, orange or green tomatoes, chopped
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup soft brown sugar

Place all the vegetables in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan with a big splash of olive oil and the ginger, garlic, chili, basil stalks, coriander seeds and cloves. 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 1 1/2 cups of cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer gently until the sauce reduces by half.

Add the basil leaves, then 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 sterilized funnel into sterilized bottles, then seal tightly and place in a cool dark place or the refrigerator until needed – it should keep for 6 months.

Homemade Sugar Free Ketchup


  • 3 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 4 cloves
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey (sugar free)
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt


Heat oil in a pan and add garlic and shallots to it, and saute. Add honey, diced tomatoes, vinegar, cloves, cinnamon, salt and pepper to the pan and boil. Simmer the mixture for 30 min and blend it in the mixture or mash it, after it has cooled a bit.

Sugar Free Barbecue Sauce


  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato puree
  • 3 tablespoons of cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind puree
  • Water
  • Chili powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Paprika
  • Pepper and salt to taste


Cook the onions with a tablespoon of water in a pan. Wait until the onions turn brownish and start caramelizing. Take care that you do not burn the onions. After caramelizing, mix chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, vinegar and tamarind puree to the pan. Add a pinch of chili powder, cinnamon and paprika to the mixture. Mix salt and pepper and boil it.

Posted by: Rachael | February 24, 2012

corn fritters

Makes about 30

80g polenta
60g plain flour
1t baking powder
Put in a bowl and make a well in the centre.

6 large eggs, beaten
Gradually add and mix to a smooth batter.

200ml creme fraiche
kernels cut from 4 corn cobs
4 spring onions, halved and finely sliced
2 T finely chopped parsley
2-4 red chillies, deseeded and diced
Stir in.

salt and freshly ground black pepper
Add seasoning and stir.

olive oil
Heat in a frying pan over a medium heat.
   Drop in well-spaced spoonfuls of the mixture and flatten to make cakes.
   Cook until bubbles form on surface – about 3 minutes – then flip and cook other side.
   Transfer to a warm oven until all fritters are cooked.

Posted by: Rachael | February 22, 2012

wholemeal waffles with buttermilk


  1. 1
    Whisk together dry ingredients; combine oil and eggs in a measuring cup, add to dry mixture. Pour buttermilk in and whisk till all clumps and lumps are gone. pour 1/2 Cup of batter onto a hot waffle iron (for a 7 inches round), or 1 1/2 cups or ballet on a square iron (8″ by 8″ makes 4″ squares).
  2. 2
    We like to top with crushed frozen strawberries and home made whipped cream (we also use all natural maple syrup and butter!).
Posted by: Rachael | February 10, 2012

Ogorki Kiszone (Polish Pickled Cucumbers)


  • 1kg small pickling cucumbers, washed and dried
  • leaves from 1 stem dill
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 small horseradish root
  • fruit tree leaves eg sour cherry, blackcurrant, grape vine
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 2l water


  1. Wash the cucmbers carefully. Don’t cut off the ends or pierce the skin at all. The skin will remain crisp while the inside softens. Tightly pack the pickling cucumbers in a 4l jar (or 2x2l), add remaining ingredients except salt and water, with fruit leaves going on last.
  2. Boil the water, then add the salt, stirring until it is fully dissolved. When cooled, fill jar to within 1/4 inch from the top, completely covering the cucmbers and herbs. Cap the jar loosely with a sterilized cap and keep in a cool place (55 to 60 degrees). The jars must not be closed too tightly because as fermentation takes place, the accumulated carbon dioxide must be able to escape. Some oozing of brine is unavoidable, so store in a place where seepage won’t be a problem.
  3. Fermentation typically takes five to six weeks. When fermentation is complete, tighten the lids. If lids are tightened too early, the trapped carbon dioxide will make the pickles mushy. If lids are not tightened after fermentation, spoilage can occur.
  4. NOTE: Quick-eating pickles (ready in two to three weeks) can be made by reducing the salt to 1 1/2 tablespoons per quart of water and allowing fermentation to take place at room temperature (70-75 degrees).

SOURCE: Combination of recipes by Marcin Filutowicz, professor of bacteriology at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and one rfom Rose Petal Jam by Beata Zatorska and Simon Target.

Posted by: Rachael | January 25, 2012

useful websites

Posted by: Rachael | December 3, 2011

miso soup

Garlic Miso Soup – serves 6


  • 5 cups water
  • 1/4 cup miso
  • 10 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 block tofu, any kind, sliced into small cubes
  • 3 scallions (green onions), sliced


Heat water and stir in miso, being careful that the water doesn’t boil. It should be just below the boiling point.

Stir in the remaining ingredients and allow to heat. Stir well, and serve. Makes 6 servings of vegetarian miso soup with garlic.

Miso Soup

A traditional miso soup in Japan is  usually a thin broth made from fish stock, with only a scant garnish of wakame seaweed, small cubes of tofu and sliced spring onions.  This recipe is more hearty.  The vegetables are cooked on a low heat to create a sweet stock which is then seasoned with miso.  It can be adapted for many different combinations of vegetables.

1½ litres water
1 onion, sliced
Several slices of fresh ginger
400g pumpkin, chopped into bite-size chunks
¼ cup dried wakame seaweed, soaked for 15 minutes in 2 cups water
¼ cauliflower, cut in to pieces
3 Tbsp miso (approx.)
1 spring onion, sliced.

1)Bring the water to boil in a  large saucepan.  Add the sliced onion and ginger.  Turn down to a moderate heat and cook for several minutes.

2) Add the pumpkin chunks and return the soup to a gentle simmer.  Cook for 10 minutes.
3) Drain the wakame, and add to the soup with the cauliflower. 

4) Bring it to a boil once more and simmer until the cauliflower is cooked.
Keep the soup on a low heat.  Put about 2 Tbsp miso in a small bowl and add some of the liquid from the soup.  Mix the miso until it is a thin paste then add to the soup.  TASTE the soup.  Ideally you want a very slight salty taste to the soup, but not too strong — the dominant flavour should be the sweetness from the vegetables.  Add more miso if necessary then simmer a minute or so longer. 
5) Serve in individual bowls.  Garnish with sliced spring onions.

Miso Soup Recipe

Miso Choice: This time around I used an organic white miso, but I’d encourage you to experiment with a range of misos.

3 ounces dried soba noodles
2 – 4 tablespoons miso paste (to taste)
2 – 3 ounces firm tofu (2 handfuls), chopped into 1/3-inch cubes
a handful of watercress or spinach, well washed and stems trimmed
2 green onions, tops removed thinly sliced
a small handful of cilantro
a pinch of red pepper flakes

Cook the soba noodles in salted water, drain, run cold water over the noodles to stop them from cooking, shake off any excess water and set aside.

In a medium sauce pan bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and remove from heat. Pour a bit of the hot water into a small bowl and whisk in the miso paste – so it thins out a bit (this step is to avoid clumping). Stir this back into the pot. Taste, and then add more (the same way) a bit at a time until it is to your liking. Also, some miso pastes are less-salty than others, so you may need to add a bit of salt here. Add the tofu, remove from the heat, and let it sit for just a minute or so.

Split the noodles between two (or three) bowls, and pour the miso broth and tofu over them. Add some watercress, green onions, cilantro, and red pepper flakes to each bowl and enjoy.

Serves 2 – 3.

OR use miso paste AND dashi (Jap stock – easiest method is to soak an 8x2inch piece of seaweed in 4C water for 20 min, heat and just before it comes to the boil, remove the seaweed, which can be sliced and eaten in another dish)

Posted by: Rachael | December 3, 2011

green bean salad

500g green beans
2 large sprigs rosemary
   Cook together

1/3 cucmber, sliced
Feta cheese, crumbled
nuts, chopped
   Add and mix

Posted by: Rachael | January 4, 2011

Turkish Kofta

It’s just over a year since we were in Turkey enjoying thick yoghurt, mint in everything and wonderful street food. High time we replicated the experience, only this time the yoghurt is homemade and the mint comes from the garden. Almost as good as the real thing!

  • 500g mince (should be lamb, but we use beef as that’s what we can get organically at an affordable price)
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed fresh Italian parsley
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • 1 t ground coriander
  • 1/2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1 T tomato paste
  • 35g (1/2 cup) fresh breadcrumbs (or bran)
  • 1 egg, lightly whisked
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients together and form into meatballs or sausages

Fry or BBQ

Optional: dip in flour before cooking

(serves 8)

Posted by: Rachael | December 20, 2010

star biscuits

A quick trip over to the neighbour to pass on a bag of hand-me-down clothing resulted in tasting delicious fruit mince pies and admiring lovely-looking biscuits. The recipe had to come home.

125 g butter
1/2 C castor sugar
   Cream until light and fluffy

1/2 t vanilla

1 1/4 C flour
1/2 t baking powder
2T custard powder
   Sift in
   Roll out dough to 5mm thick
   Bake at 150ºC, 20-25 minutes

Posted by: Rachael | July 29, 2010

from Poland

Tucked in the apges of my recipe book is some graph paper from Poland with a recipe written in English, but I remember the old man who told it to me in a mixture of Polish and German.


800g pumpkin, cooked
3T olive oil
2T flour
1/2 C cream

Quantities are all “to taste” – do smaku, if I recall correctly, but it’s been twenty years now

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