Monday, 14 September 2009

A Day in the Kitchen

Yesterday I woke up and thought, I fancy cooking today.
So a day in the kitchen for me.
I had lots of tomatoes to use from our veg patch, what can you make with lots of tomatoes!!!

Well Pasta Sauce & Soup came to mind but the freezer is full to bursting so that was a no go, Chutney... But I prefer green tomatoes for chutney and mine were bright red & yellow.
So I had a quick sqizz on the Internet and found a recipe for homemade Ketchup on the River Cottage website, thinking about it now I'm sure I have seen Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall make this on TV.

So I set off on my Ketchup journey,
- 3kg ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 4 onions, sliced (I used the Red variety)
- 1 large red pepper, seeds and white membrane removed, chopped (I used a sweet red pepper)
- 100g soft brown sugar
- 200ml cider vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon dry mustard
- a piece of cinnamon stick
- 1 ½ teaspoons whole allspice - (I didn't have this so decided to a dried Chili flakes)
- 1 ½ teaspoons whole cloves
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground mace - ( I didn't have this either so just left it out)
- 1 ½ teaspoons celery seeds
- 1 ½ teaspoons black peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf - 1 garlic clove, peeled and bruised
- paprika to taste (optional)
- salt

The process is quite simple
Combine the tomatoes, onions and red pepper in a large, heavy pan over a medium heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until very soft.
Push through a coarse-meshed sieve (I pushed it through 3 times to get the most out of the pulp) and return to the pot with the sugar, vinegar and mustard.
Tie the cinnamon, allspice, cloves, mace, celery seeds, black peppercorns, bay leaf and garlic in a square of muslin and drop it into the stew.
Bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce to a slow simmer.
Cook, allowing it to bubble gently, stirring often and carefully, for 20-40 minutes.
(I actually let mine simmer for about 2 hours to get the required consistency, I must have had really juicy tomatoes) The time taken will depend on how juicy your tomatoes are but in any case continue to cook until it is thick and pulpy.
Taste a couple of times while it is cooking and remove the spice bag if the flavour becomes too strong.
Season to taste with salt and paprika, if using, then leave to cool.
Pour the ketchup through a funnel into suitable bottles and seal.
Stored in the fridge, this ketchup will keep for a month. If you bottle it in sterilised jars while still warn, it should keep for a year.
Recipe Source River

I bottled up 4 tall thin bottles, as you can see in the photos ready to store for the winter.
I am really pleased with the result, It does have a bit of a Kick to it where I added the Chili but I like that, It makes different not the norm.

So Ketchup making over, Gav requested an Apple & Blackberry Lattice that he had seen being made on Something for the Weekend.
These were really easy to make, I did cheat with the puff pastry!! but I think you have to when it comes to Puff as it is really tricky to make.

Gav had his for pudding with Ice cream and I saved mine (not sure what came over me) for breakfast this morning, made my Monday morning much better!!

I have become a bit addicted to Crochet so my blogging has been a bit neglected the past few days, but I think I have the hang of it and I am 5 squares out on my blanket. Thank heavens for online video tutorials is all I can say.
So have a lovely week, and don't forget it's national Cupcake week this week.

Teresa from TCake has a fab Cupcake Giveaway planned so hop over and take a look.

Love Sophie xxxx


The Consummate Hostess said...

Sounds great. I have never thought of making ketchup, how fun! Those pastries look especially wonderful.

Caroline B said...

Very jealous - all my tomatoes got blight from that rain in the summer & died. Ketchup looks delicious!
Well done on achieving crochet - once you know how, it's very satisfying because it's so quick.

Magpie Magic said...

Your ketchup sounds lovely. Hmmm. Have to check my allotment for tomatoes... Problem is I love tomato salad... or tomatoes with mozzarella... or tomato sauce....

Well done with the crochet. I use video tutorials a lot for both knitting and crochet. It's so much easier if you 'see' it done rather than trying to follow written instructions.

Michela said...

You've really to be a good cooker Sophie!

Rose Charles said...

Hi Sophie,

You really do have lots of red tomatoes! A few of mine have turned since I brought them in and put them on the window sill... But I still have a lot of green ones! (one of us will be making chutney lol). I would love to give that ketchup a go! I saw Hugh do it on the tv :-) Maybe if next years tomatoes are better!

The lattice looks yum! What a great breakfast :-) Although I think I would have eaten it straight away!

I hope you are enjoying the crochet :-) feel free to nag me if you are stuck with anything and I will try and help!

Rose XXX

Florence and Mary said...

Tomatoes are one of my most hated foods so they don't appeal but the apple & blackberry latice... now thats the one for me!!

Victoria xx

Mummy Boo Bear said...

Yum! I have made the tomato sauce base, by Jamie Oliver. Its mainly for kids. But was really handy for things like pizza and pasta dishes!

Those lattices look lovely. And I always cheat when it come to pastry. Even the professional cooks always say to. As it can take years to train to make great pastry! Why make it harder for yourself I always say!

Look forward to seeing your crochet creations.


Floss said...

What a great idea - I have made ratatouille and soup from our tomatoes - everything is turning into soup at the moment, as Ben has had a lot of painful visits to the dentist's recently!

Kelly said...

Ketchup looks great as do all your creations!
I have to say I'm envious of your breakfast this morning!!!!
Looks so yummy!

Lots of love

Kelly xxx

Rose said...

Howdy, just stumbled across your blog. Those lattice look so delicious!! And your so lucky to have so many lovely looking tomatos from your garden :)


Margie said...

Hi Sophie, great ketchup and lattice buns. Your tomatoes look super, I really love the taste but always wonder what to do with the glut during harvest time. Hugs,Margie.

Magpie Magic said...

Just made my ketchup using your recipe... my tomatoes (yellow ones) were just as runny as yours.

Smells lovely though.... Brilliant idea, thanks for sharing.

Lisa said...

I love your blog.Thanks for popping in and saying Hi on mine. I love the ketchup, it looks do the pastries...