Freeze Your Garlic

Keep good garlic available for winter

Did you know that garlic freezes rather well? I have to thank Kathryn Elliott for bringing this to my attention.

Garlic is a seasonal crop, and local garlic is cheap over summer. It begins to peak in price during late Summer and early Autumn, continuing to rise until late Autumn or Early Winter until it is no longer available. The only option then is to buy overseas garlic of dubious quality.

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Hand Made Pesto | Zeffirino Pesto

Hand made, home made pesto is the most exquisite of creations. Do try it.

I first made it long ago, when I took a cooking class with Bill Grainger of the famous Bills Restaurants in Sydney, and author of many Sydney-style cookbooks. He made pesto by hand in the class. At home, Bill didn’t keep a lot of gadgets in his kitchen and didn’t have a blender!! So at home he always made it by hand. A man after my own heart – Meditation in the kitchen through manual grinding. There is something about pesto that you make yourself, especially if you grow your own basil.

This recipe is enough to make you reach for the basil plant, and bring the mortar and pestle out of the cupboard. You can smell the basil even while reading the recipe…. and taste the pasta.

Are you looking for pasta sauces? Try Pasta with a Cauliflower Sauce, Baked Tomato Pasta Sauce, and Pasta Sauce with Aubergine, Red Peppers and Tomato.

You might also like our Pesto recipes here and here. All of our Pasta Sauce recipes are here. Or you might like to browse our Italian recipes here and here. Alternatively, take some time to check out our easy Mid Summer recipes.

Feel free to browse other recipes from our Retro Recipes series – vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006.

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Italian Tomato Sauce

A very versatile Italian Sauce

This is a gorgeously herby tomato sauce with an Italian swagger. It cooks slowly down then is blended well (using a blender) or coarsely (with an immersion blender), and the sauce can be frozen. It pairs delightfully with cheeses like fontina, can serve as a fresh chutney, used as a spread in layered sandwiches and toasties, and of course serves as a sauce as well.

It was my daughter who first pointed out how good this recipe is. It has been in use in our household since 1998. That is how good it is!

Feel free to browse recipes from our Retro Recipes series. You might also like our Tomato recipes here and here. Or you might like to browse Sauce recipes here and here. Check out our easy Autumn recipes here and here.

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Chilli Jam with Deep and Complex Flavours | A HOT Chilli Paste

A Chilli Jam with extraordinary depth of flavours.

This Chilli Jam is more complex and refined that many others. Slow, slow cooking gives it an enduring and lingering natural sweetness which is enhanced with the addition of jaggery.

Although it is called a jam, it is not a spread. It is closer to a Chilli Paste. It is as hot as you can imagine chillies to be, and spread it on your toast at your peril.

Feel free to browse our Chilli recipes here and here. Or you might like to browse Sweet and Savoury Jam recipes here and here. Check out our easy Autumn recipes here and here.

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Pickled Ginger | King Dong

Who does not know the delights of pickled ginger these days? Ubiquitous with sushi, it is as common today as pickled beetroot. Come to think of it, much more common. In 1999, when I first made this, it was a different matter, and if you wanted pink pickled ginger, you made your own. Enjoy!

You might also like to browse our Ginger recipes here and here. Or you might like our Pickle recipes here and here. Check out our easy Spring recipes here and here.

There is also a information post on Ginger here. and one on Pickled Ginger here.

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Spiced Tomato Puree

Keep this in the freezer for the times you need tomato puree.

A gift of home grown organic tomatoes, a surfeit in fact, had me reaching for my heavy Italian style pans to make some spiced tomato puree.

The beauty of this dish is that it can be sealed into jars and kept in the fridge for a week or two, or frozen in containers or ziplock bags for later use. It is great with pasta or stirred into dishes – curries, vegetable stews, sauces, dressings, dips, soups etc.

It takes about 30 mins to prep and cook – it is great to make on a Sunday morning in that lazy atmosphere that envelops the house on this day. Read with a cuppa coffee while the sauce bubbles away on the stove.

This is a beautifully simply recipe. You might also like to try this one. It is one that I make and freeze in Autumn. See how to preserve tomatoes for Winter. Or explore all of our Tomato recipes here and here.

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Quince Jam, or Quince Jelly

Deeply flavoured with hints of spices.

It is quince season, and friends with Quince trees bring buckets of quinces.  There are spiced quinces, quince pickle and now, quince jam.

See all of our Quince recipes here and here, and Jam recipes here and here. Find inspiration in our Autumn dishes here and here. Continue reading “Quince Jam, or Quince Jelly”

Quince Aachar | Quince Pickle

A hot, sour, oily, bitter Indian pickle, Punjabi in style.

Aachar is a spicy Indian pickle. It varies from place to place, from home to home. If you check  your local Indian grocery you can see a multitude made from almost everything that you can imagine. You will have heard, no doubt, of mango pickle or lime pickle — these are very popular. But take any ingredient of the plant variety and I guarantee that there is a pickle made from it.

Quince (our hard sometimes gritty, always sourish fruit) is not well known in India, as far as I can judge. The Indian Quince is quite a different fruit altogether.

Recently given a wealth of quinces, jam was made, and two batches of quince pickle. It is hot, sour, oily, bitter — that lovely combination of Ayurvedic tastes — and is sort of Punjabi in style.

You might also like to try Pickled Cumquats, Pickled Cumquats, or Ginger-Garlic Paste. Some others to try are Pickled Lemon Slices, Semi Dried Tomatoes with Pomegranate , Tomato and Chilli Jam, or Zucchini Pickles in Oil. See all of our Quince recipes here and here, and Pickle recipes here and here. Browse all of our Indian recipes here and here. Find inspiration in our Autumn dishes here and here.

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Spiced Quinces

Spiced Quinces from Chef Christine Manfield

Autumn of course is a time of change. It takes me a while to get into the swing of Autumn but beautiful foods like pomegranates and quinces help. I get a few buckets of quinces from a friend’s farm each year. Not a great lover of quince tarts, pies, etc, I generally bake them all and use the beautiful results for jams, fresh chutneys, syrups, sauces and to feed my freezer (so that I can continue to have jams, chutneys, syrups, sauces throughout the year). This is how I bake them.

You might also like Quince Jam – Jelly, or Quince Pickle. There are more quince recipes here and  here. Chris Manfield’s recipes are here. Be inspired by our easy Autumn recipes here and here.

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Tomato and Chilli Jam

A spicy sauce for all kinds of uses.

Welcome to the world of chillies. Where would I be without them? Indeed, lost in the culinary wilderness. A Tomato and Chilli Jam (jam in the loosest sense, more like a thick sauce) is another way to enjoy their wonderful heat, but with a touch of sweetness.

The jam is a great addition to any dish – tonight, for example, a pasta sauce of blended rocket, peas, grilled eggplant with a generous dollop of the Tomato Chilli Jam makes a wonderful, very late, Australia Day supper.

A wonderful accompaniment to dishes, served like a chutney. With dosa or other flatbread. With a stirfried vegetable or tofu dish, stirred into a soup that wants a little more spice, smeared over pizza or farinata.  Spread very thinly on toast and topped with bocconcini, fresh greens and herbs. Over plain rice. In a salad dressing. Drizzled over steamed or baked vegetables.

The possibilities are endless. Continue reading “Tomato and Chilli Jam”

How to Make Italian Tomato Paste

Every Autumn the wonderful juicy autumnal tomatoes are used to make tomato paste, which is then frozen in small bits, ready to bring out and pop into any dish that needs it. It lasts all winter.

Ii is usually stored in individual small containers, but it could be frozen in an icecube tray and then put the cubes into ziplock bags. The cubes will be ready for you to pop straight into the pan when required.

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Crabapple and Pomegranate Jelly with Rosebuds

Red jelly from green crab apples.

I have access to a lovely tree of green crabapples and in late Autumn, with its final lot of green fruits clinging doggedly to the tree, many more lie below nestled in the autumn leaves. It took me back to more rustic times, to days of jam making in my Grandmother’s kitchen, to stirring jam in large preserving pans with huge wooden sticks.

You might be interested in our Jam recipes here and here, and Apple recipes here and here. Be inspired by our Autumn recipes here and here.

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How to Oven Dry Capsicums

Such intense flavours

It is so helpful in the kitchen to have bibs and bobs that you can munch on while cooking (or watching TV, or changing the baby, or reading that novel). And lots of bibs and bobs that you can add to the dishes that you are cooking to add more flavour, texture, colour and bulk.

This is one of those recipes. It produces not only great snacks, but also a treasure trove for adding to soups, vegetable stews, curries and other dishes.

You might be looking for Capsicum recipes here and here. Or find some inspiration from our Summer recipes here and here.

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