Pork sausages (as many as you like, I’m going to have three)
A large knob of butter
1 small onion
2 small red onions or one big one
200g small vine-ripened tomatoes
Since Tuesy is away on a series of globetrotting work trips (follow her progress in the Flickr photos you’ll find in the right-hand column on the main page of this blog), I have to do all the cooking for myself. And with nobody to cook for and impress, I might just slack off and eat a lot of processed food. But I’ll try to keep up with the home cuisine and learn a few new things, sometimes involving meat, which I don’t cook for Tuesy. I’m starting with something easy – hash browns with sausage. Seems simple, but in my recipe book, there are no pictures, so I’m not sure exactly what it’s supposed to look like. It won’t look like the delicious monolith-shaped frozen potato cakes that normally get sold as “hash browns”, unfortunately. So, let’s get started. I’ll write as I go. I’ve begun by putting about 700g of medium-sized potatoes into a pan of cold salted water and started them heating up. I’ll parboil them for about 10 mins, then drain them and chop them into 2cm cubes. I’m using King Edwards. There’s no need to peel them.
Melt the butter in a heavy-based frying pan, and add the onion, chopped into little bits. Fry for a couple of minutes, then add the potatoes and fry it all up together for about 25 minutes, or until it’s nicely browned. Meanwhile, start grilling the sausages until they’re cooked all the way through.
Chop the red onions into rings, brush them with sunflower oil and add them to the grill pan with the sausages. You can also halve the tomatoes and throw them in, too. One that’s all cooked You can serve the contents of the grill pan on top of the has brown potatoes. Very easy, and a reminder that the best kind of junk food is the stuff you make yourself.
It hasn’t really dropped below 10˚C but I might as well recognise that it is already winter– especially if this means we get winter out of the way now and we have spring to look forward to 🙂
Winter means time to open the recipe book for nice warming soups. I looked at my Delia’s Vegetarian Collection book which has some really good and easy to follow recipes. I have to warn you, thought, that some of the recipes in that book are quite high in fat so choose well.
I chose this soup because I love the taste of roasted tomatoes. I am lucky I live just a minute walk from Cardiff Market which has a history of trading since the 1800s! Two kilos of medium-sized ripe tomatoes are only a little over £1 – bargain! Buy from your local market, if you can.
(An aside – this reminds me of the Sundays when my Nanay (mother) used to take me to the palengke. We would walk the Pulilan bridge to go to the market. Our first stop was a vegetable stall where we were suki (favourite customer) so we got our veggies at a special discounted rate. If my Nanay planned to buy meat for that week, she usually asks the veggie vendor to look after me as I hated (still do!) going to the butcher.)
Right on to the recipe. Dan said it’s the best home-made soup he has ever tasted but maybe he is a bit biased 😉
You will need:
700 g medium red tomatoes
20 g/bunch of basil leaves
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 big clove garlic (peeled and chopped)
110 g potato
1 tsp tomato purée
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
For olive croutons:
4 medium slices of ciabatta bread, cubed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp olive tapenade or paste
mortar and pestle
What to do:
Pre-heat the oven to 190˚C (on my fan oven, I had it on 150˚C)
Skin the tomatoes – you do this by pouring boiling water on the tomatoes and leaving it for 1 minute. After that it’s easy to skin the tomatoes.
Half the tomatoes, put them on the roasting tray (cut side uppermost) and then generously season them with salt and pepper. Sprinkle each tomatoes with olive oil, the chopped garlic, and then top each one with basil leaves. Coat the basil leaves with oil first!
Peel and chop the potato into little cubes then put it in a saucepan with some salt, 425 ml boiling water, tomato purée and simmer for 20 minutes. Leave to cool.
Ok the croutons– you can buy ready made croutons but this is so yummy that it’s worth giving it a go. In a bowl, place the bread cubes, olive oil, and olive tapenade/paste. Toss them so that the bread cubes get a good coating. Put the bread cubes in a baking sheet and bake them in the oven for about 8 minutes – make sure you don’t forget to check on them as they burn easily. Leave to cool when done.
When done, remove tomatoes and scrape everything to a food processor (juices and all the crusty bits!) and also add everything in the potato saucepan. Whiz lightly so it’s not so uniformly puréed.
For the basil purée, use the rest of the basil and put them into a mortar. Put about 1/4 tsp of salt and then bash them with the pestle until the leaves collapse and turn into a purée. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil and 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar and stir.
Gently heat the soup in medium heat before serving. Garnish each bowl with croutons and a swirl of basil purée.
I also made parmesan and parsnip bread but I think that will be on the next post! But here’s the yummy preview!