Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Worldwide BBQ

In summer 2009-10 the Webber and I attempted a BBQ world tour, cooking a meat dish and an accompaniment from each county. Here's a recap before the 2010-11 season begins.

Africa and the Middle East


The Americas
South Carolina


Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Pumpkin Soup

We're moving away from thick soups this time of year, but we did enjoy this is a vibrant tasting version of pumpkin soup several times over winter.

Hot Carrot and Pumpkin Soup
Serves 4
Adapted from Gordon Ramsay

2 tbsp olive oil 2 red onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
270 g carrots (3 medium), peeled
1.1 kg  butternut pumpkin, peeled and deseeded
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 birds eye chillies
1.5 litres water
150 g small pasta shapes
Freshly grated parmesan, to serve

Sweat the onion and garlic in the oil over a medium heat for 5-7 minutes until soft. Chop the carrots and pumpkin into 1.5cm dice and add to the pan. Finely slice the chilli and add. Season and cook for another 5 minutes until the vegetables start to soften.

Add the water, stir and bring to the boil. Simmer for 25-30 minutes until the carrots and squash are soft and beginning to break down. Remove from the heat and puree the mixture.

Add the pasta shells. Stir well and return to the boil. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until the pasta is cooked. Check the seasoning and sprinkle with parmesan and serve.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Golden Temptations

How am I supposed to resist lovely miniature golden lemons hanging, unwanted, over somebody's back fence? These seven fit snugly in a 500 ml preserving jar, perfect for a batch of preserved lemons.

Preserved lemons
Adapted from flavours of Morocco and

7 small, thin-skinned lemons
7 tbsp sea salt
Freshly squeezed lemon juice

Wash and dry lemons to remove any surface dust or dirt. Cut one end of each lemon, about 5mm from the base, so they sit flat. Place 1 lemon at a time, cut-side down, on a chopping board and cut lengthways into quarters without cutting all the way through to the base. Repeat with remaining lemons. Fill each lemon with as much salt as possible. Salt extracts juice from the lemon, softening the rind. Push lemons into jar. Sprinkle over remaining salt.

Place the lemons, in a single layer, in a zip lock bag or a covered bowl. Seal and place in fridge for 3-4 days to soften the skins.

Wash and dry a 500 ml glass jar with a plastic or plastic-lined lid (a metal lid could corrode). Transfer the lemons to the jar. Pour over enough lemon juice to completely cover lemons. Seal, label and date. Place in a cool place, away from direct sunlight, for at least 4 weeks.