Saturday, September 22, 2012

Baked Eggs Melange - 1980s

This time of year is definitely tomato time.  We, like many households across the nation have lots of organically grown, home seeded tomatoes that we've been given by friends and family, and also ones we've grown ourselves.  The common thing is to put them in salads or make them in to chutney, but this eighties recipe from my favourite Tomato themed cookbook  published in 1987, shows you something a bit unique you can do with your Tomatoes.

File:Bright red tomato and cross section02.jpg

Melange means a blend or a mess, a cacophony, and this is very much the case.  For this recipe I would definitely recommend free-range organic eggs, as they have much more taste to them.  This recipe serves 8, and is originally made with a can of chopped tomatoes.  However it can easily be converted to use fresh ones.

You need:

12 hard-boiled eggs, shelled.
810g can of tomato pieces (or lots and lots of tomatoes).
120g butter
1 onion, chopped
1 capsicum pepper, seeded and chopped.
1 cup chopped celery
2 tablespoons flour
salt and pepper to taste
cayenne pepper to taste
1 cup White Sauce (Schwartz mix is an easy option)
365g can champignons, chopped (mushrooms).
half a cup of breadcrumbs
half a cup of grated cheese
finely chopped parsley

1. Chop the eggs roughly.  Strain tomatoes, reserving the juice.  (If using fresh tomatoes it might be good to chop the tomatoes and scoop out the insides and use the insides for the juice.)

2. Melt half the butter in a pan and gently fry the onion, capsicumand celery until tender.  Add the flour and tomatoes stirring until the mixture thickens.  Add the reserved tomato juice and seasonings, then bring the liquid to the boil.  Stir in the White Sauce, chopped eggs and champignons.

3. Spoon the mixture in to individual serving dishes or an oblong cassorole dish, then top with breadcrumbs and dot with the remaining butter.

4. Bake in an oven pre-heated to 220C for 10 minutes or until brown and bubbling.  Sprinkle with grated cheese and parsley to serve.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Roman Wine-fried Anchovies

I've had a few requests for some ancient recipes, and luckily in my collection I have a reprint of the Roman Cookery of Apicius, translated and adapted for the modern kitchen by John Edwards.  This is a quick and easy one for you fish lovers.

You need:
6oz fresh anchovies
1 raw egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon of olive oil
quarter cup white wine
Quarter cup fish stock

Wash and trim anchovies and brush them with egg.  In the frying pan, heat olive oil with wine and stock added. When pan is very hot, add the anchovies and cook lightly. Serve with sprinkling of pepper.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Loganberry Wine - 1960's (possibly older)

Given Loganberrys are meant to be at their best about this time of year, I thought we'd do a seasonal wine today.

Loganberrys were discovered as a mistake when some raspberrys cross pollinated with a certain type of blackberry.  As a result they're a sort of super-blackberry, which is high in vitamin C and very tasty.  They also make a damn good wine, and if you happen to have 6lb of loganberry's lying around, this recipe that appears in the book '500 Recipes: Home-Made Wines and Drinks' by my favourite recipe lady Marguerite Patten which was published in 1963.

More than likely the recipe is older, but given the popularity of home-made wine and beers seem to come around in cycles I expect it will continue to be a home-brew favourite for years to come.  I am told by Google it is 'Refreshingly tart and fruity. Wonderful with fruit, cheese, nuts and smoked salmon' 

6lb loganberries
1 Gallon boiling water

To each gallon of water:
2.5 lb Sugar 1/4 oz of yeast

1. Put fruit into a container and pour over the water.
2. Mash firmly, pressing well to extract the juice and leave for 4 days to infuse.
3. Strain off liquid and measure.
4. Add sugar and yeast and leave in a warm place (65F to 75F) to ferment.
5. When bubbling ceases, stir well.
6. Leave for a further three days for the sediment to settle.
7. Strain through flannel or very thick muslin into a cask, filling this completely.  If not clear, see the instructions below
8. Cork and leave for 6 months.
9. Pour into bottles, cork and store in a cool dark place to mature for another few months at least.

My wine isn't clear? What should I do?
Marguerite has some instructions about what to do if your wine isn't clear.

"If, after straining, your wine does not look clear check carefully that you are using a fine enough filter.  It may well be that an extra two thicknesses of muslin, etc will immediately make a difference.
If, after fermentation and straining it is not clear, then you must use isinglass or egg white to ensure the wine is perfect to look at.  The white of one egg is sufficient for several gallons.  Whist it until firm, add to the wine in the container and leave for 24 hours.  You should then be satisfied with the result"

"It may well be that the haze or cloudiness in the wine is caused by the sediment which is disturbed by tipping the container when straining the wine.  This is why many people prefer to siphon rather than straining a wine.
There are actual faults in the wine that can cause a haze and this is a little difficult to rectify.  In a dry wine it may be because it is becoming a little vinegary, a condition which will get worse rather than better, so the wine must be used at once."

"In a sweet wine, it could be because the yeast in providing a special growth.  In this case the best solutions is to siphon the wine carefully into a new container, leaving the growth behind".