Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Fiery Ginger Cordial

I love all ginger drinks imaginable, especially ginger beer. It's almost a space mission to find ginger beer here though, let alone a sugar-free one. I've posted a ginger beer recipe before, but this one is for those with a love of fire!

It's great for making a fiery Dark & Stormy. I'm almost out of Sailor Jerry rum though..

Fiery Ginger Cordial
takes 1 hour 30 minutes
makes approx 400ml

100g fresh ginger
2 cloves
1 juniper berry
1 stick cinnamon
1 heaped tbsp dried ginger
zest of 1 organic lime
125ml/1/2 cup xylitol
juice of 1 lime, about 30ml
1 t citric acid
500ml water

Put dried ginger, juniper, cloves, cinnamon, xylitol, zest in a small pot.
Grate half the fresh ginger over pot, to catch the juices.
Add water. Stir well.
Cook over med-low heat for 20 mins, stirring occasionally.
Turn off heat.
Grate remaining ginger over pot.
Add lime juice. Stir well.
Cover pot.
Leave to infuse for 1 hour.
Stir through citric acid.
Strain into sterilised bottle.
Keep refrigerated.
Lasts up to 1 week.

• Mix with sparkling/soda water to make ginger beer
• Use as a mixer in cocktails

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Oven-Dried Cherry Tomatoes

500g of cherry tomatoes seems like quite a bit, but after 10 or more hours in the oven it won't be. I think I might try starting with 1kg next time. If you look closely at the photo you'll see that over half of the jar is already gone!

Citric acid should be easily obtainable from a large supermarket, if you can't find it there, try a health food or home-brew shop. It will help it keep for longer. It should keep for 4-6 weeks in the fridge.

The time the tomatoes will take to dry out depends on your oven and the tomatoes themselves so the time given is an estimation. Yours may need more or less time.

Oven-Dried Cherry Tomatoes
takes 10 hours +/-

500g cherry tomatoes, washed, halved
20ml/1 tbsp red wine vinegar
100ml + olive oil
1/2 t salt
1 t dried marjoram
1 t dried oregano
1 t dried rosemary
1/4 t citric acid

Preheat an oven to 80°C/175°F.
Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Gently coat tomato halves in salt, 1 tbsp oil & vinegar.
Place tomatoes on tray cut side up.
Bake 5 hours.
Turn tray around.
Bake another 5 hours, or until completely dried, but not burnt!
Mix together 100ml oil, oregano, rosemary, marjoram, citric acid & a little salt and pepper in a small jug.
Place tomatoes in a sterilised jar.
Pour over oil mix.
If need be, add more oil until tomatoes are completely covered.
Store in the fridge.

P.S. I know I was all talk about ration-inspired recipes, but as things sometimes go, the last few didn't work out. Maybe it'll be revisited in the future.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Carrot Fudge

So, I'm back from my trip and am now broke. In the spirit of not having anything, and having developed a love for a TV show hosted by a pair referred to as The Supersizers, I'll be featuring some fantastic (or not ?!) British WWII Ration recipes. Albeit with some modern updates.

This carrot fudge was a typical treat. Carrots were a bountiful substitute for fruits and sweets. Originally it was made with only orange essence or a little squash, so this version is sweeter than the original, and I'm afraid that it only just counts as sweet. Think of how much of a shock the original must've been! I suggest adding a few tablespoons of a liquid sweetener, eg. agave syrup, when you add the orange juice, if you feel that you may be shocked by the lack of sweetness!

Carrot Fudge
makes approx 12 squares

140g carrots, scrubbed, finely grated
100ml orange juice
140ml water
1 tbsp agar flakes

Put carrot & water in a small saucepan.
Cook gently over med-low heat for 10 mins.
Add orange juice.
Cook a further 5 mins.
Turn heat down to low.
Add agar flakes, Stir well.
Cook gently, stirring often, until flakes have dissolved.
Pour into a flat rectangular container, around 500ml size.
Leave to cool for 10 mins.
Place in fridge to set.
When set, Cut into small squares.
Keep in the fridge.