You say To-ma-to, I say To-maa-to

 

Day two into our bank holiday weekend, after a fun day full of adventures (Borough market and Europe’s oldest operating theatre) we knuckled down to do what weekends are all about. Food prep. Today we decided to prepare a massive batch of Tomato sauce, freeze most of it and use the rest for pizza (tonight) and pasta tomorrow.

 

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Ingredients

This recipe makes 8-10 portions, we plan to double it next time.

  • 4 cans of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 8-10 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1-2 medium carrot, cut into large chunks
  • 1 medium onion, split in half
  • 1 large stem fresh basil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

Method

  1. Move oven rack to lower position and preheat oven to 150°C.
  2. Place tomatoes in a large bowl and remove the ends, gently squish tomatoes until pieces no larger than 1/2-inch remain.
  3. Heat olive oil and butter over medium heat in a Le Creuset (we used 3.5 quartz pot) until butter is melted.
  4. Add garlic and stir, for about 2 minutes i.e. before it gets brown.
  5. Add chilli flakes and oregano and stir for about 1 minute.
  6. Add tomatoes, carrot, onion, and basil stem, and stir to combine. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over high heat.
  7. Cover Le Creuset with lid slightly ajar and transfer to oven.
  8. Stir every hour, until reduced by about half and darkened to a deep red.
    This takes 4-5 hours (reduce oven temperature if the sauce is bubbling too rapidly or the browned bits begin to turn too dark).
  9. Remove pot from oven and use tongs to discard onion halves, carrots, and basil stems. I would transfer these bits to a sieve so that all possible juices can be put back into the pot.
  10. Blow torch plum tomatoes and remove skin. Then remove the insides so only the flesh remains. Cut these up and add to the pot.
  11. Also add the chopped up basil leaves and fish sauce.
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It is all about the ingredients (one day we can afford Waitrose, till then Tesco will have to do)
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Simple yet effective
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Fun with Fajitas

Another weekend, another cooking opportunity. We decided to have a lazy morning after spending our Friday evening having tasty Thai food at Kin. I’m not convinced the wonton soup was Thai but it was tasty and the portion sizes were generous. We strayed from our usual granola, fruit and yoghurt breakfast and branched out into rye bread with honey because my cousin provided us with some British honey from her bee keeping duties (I love a freebie) and the rye bread was half price in Tesco’s. Anyway, we decided to make some fajitas as these are so easy and freeze really well. We rounded the day off by watching the men’s 10m Olympic diving final, so all in all a very lazy day.

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Fajita time

Ingredients (makes 8 fajitas)

  • 6 pork steaks
  • tomatoes (4-5 salad ones, we ended up using 6 which was slightly too much)
  • 2 peppers
  • 2 onions
  • rice (1 cup) +  cumin seeds, (optional to make it into burritos)
  • 1 courgette
  • 1 can refried beans (small, however we can only find large ones in the shops)
  • 1 can red kidney beans (large)
  • 2-3 avocados
  • wraps (pack of 8)
  • spice mix:
    • 2 tablespoons oil
    • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
    • 1-1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt
    • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
    • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1/2 chilli or some chilli powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
    • 2 garlic cloves
    • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

Method

  1. Make spice mix in a big pyrex bowl
  2. Cut pork into strips and mix with spice mix, store in fridge for a few hours (preferably overnight)
  3. Slice up all vegetables and put into separate bowls
  4. Mash up avocado with a fork
  5. Put beans into bowls but only do enough for the meal you are about to eat
  6. Using a pan, cook up onions and then peppers.
  7. At the same time, using a skillet, cook up peppers then pork (tip: cook everything in 2 batches)
  8. When first batch of pork about to finish, heat beans in microwave for 4 minutes on medium
  9. Put wraps on plate and then fill them up
  10. Put into a George Foreman to crisp up the wrap (alternatively you can heat in oven, if so then you need to put it in when putting in the second batch of pork)
  11. To freeze fajitas we use foil and cling film for ultimate freshness
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Fajita time
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Fajita time
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Fajita time
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Squish the fajita (alternatively don’t overfill or find giant fajita wraps)