Monday, October 24, 2005

Figs In Syrup

Dried figs are a comfort food for me. Drying concentrates the sugars into a jelly like centre sprinkled with crunchy seeds - nature's own soft centered candy. But sometimes these dry out a little too much and get a little too hard for chewing comfort. Here's what you can do with them:

Take
-1/4 cup water
-1/4 cup Bacardi Gold Rum
-1 orange, zested and juiced
-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-1 tablespoon brown sugar
-1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
-1 cup dried whole figs

Now combine
water, rum, orange juice, orange zest, cinnamon, brown sugar, and vanilla in a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Add the figs and cook until reconstituted, about 10 minutes.


The original recipe seemed a little bland for my tastes, so I substitued the water with a mix of equal parts water and Bacardi Gold Rum. This is good served warm with a dollop of ice cream or spooned over a slice of spice cake ( we tried it both ways). It also stores well, so make a batch in advance and warm up before serving.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Tofu Sausage and Vegetables in Coconut Gravy

I had half a block of tofu, a nearly empty jar of Thai red curry paste and half a can of coconut milk in the refrigerator - crying out to be used. Since I had some of these in the freezer I decided to throw them in as well and overdo the basil and rustle up a very basil-y tofu and sausage curry in a creamy coconut gravy. In retrospect I should have added some ginger and garlic paste for some additional zing, but I shall leave it for another day. And on that other day, when I do get around to making this again, I might add some curry powder too.

Ingredients:
Tofu – 1 cup
Chicken sausage -1
Frozen vegetables – 2 cups
Onion -1 small
Plum Tomato – 1 medium
Thai Red curry Paste – 3 tbsps
Coconut Milk – 1 cup
Dry Basil – 2 tsps
Olive Oil – 1 tbsp
Salt - To Taste
Cilantro and Jalapeno Peppers– for garnish


Method:
1. Quarter the onion and separate the layers. Cut the tofu and tomatoes into largish chunks.
2. Defrost the frozen vegetables. I used a mix of broccoli, mushrooms, red peppers and green beans.
3. Microwave the sausage for 30 seconds and remove the casing. Chop the sausage into think roundels.

4. In a wok heat olive oil and add onions. Once they are slightly cooked add the tofu cubes and brown them. Then add the sausage and sautee some more.
5. Mix in the Thai Red Curry Paste and the dry basil.
6. Sautee for 5 more minutes and add the coconut milk and 1 cup water. Season according to taste and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
7. Finally add tomatoes and sliced jalapeno peppers and cook for a further 5 minutes on low heat.
8. Remove from heat and garnish with cilantro. Serve over rice noodles or plain white rice.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

A quick salad

Very quick.

Green Tomatoes
Basil
Mozarella Cheese
Vinniagrette dressing
Olive oil

proportionately mixed. Toss and serve! :)