This is my catch up post as I've been lazy! Over the last two weeks I have made a tomato curry, took my first (self-taught) lesson in sugar craft, made more soup (roasted tomato and pepper with tarragon) and made up a claire original butternut squash tart. So here goes...
Tomato Curry - it turned out ok but definitely needed more sauce to it...
I made the curry on a Friday night & I will add the recipe when I can lay my hands on it. It was tasty just a bit too dry.
Cake Art - this is something I hope to play with more over the coming months. I'd really like to be a able to bake and decorate some really nice cakes. Anyway this was my first attempt at icing sugar paste and making flowers...
And the final product... (they did taste good!)
Next on my list of accomplishments is another soup (sorry if I'm getting boring here, but it's that time of year). This time it was Slow-roasted tomato and red pepper soup - it was really tasty & we have 2 servings in the freezer...
4 Red Peppers, halved lengthways & deseeded
3 tbspn extra virgin olive oil
1kg vine tomatoes
2 garlic bulbs - halved horizontally
1 medium red onion, chopped
400ml vegetable stock, hot
1 tbspn sundried tomato paste
1 tbspn chopped fresh tarragon
Serving suggestion - toasted baguette with a slightly melted topping of Crottin de Chavignol AOC (Goats Cheese)
Preheat oven to 200 °c
Put peppers in a roasting tin & drizzle with 1 tbspn oil
Put tomatoes and garlic in another roasting tin, drizzle 1 tbspn oil & season
Put peppers on top shelf of oven with tomatoes & garlic underneath - roast for 30 minutes
Transfer the peppers to a plastic bag, seal & leave for a few minutes to allow the skins to peel off
Heat remaining oil in a large pan, add onion and gently fry for 5 minutes
Squeeze in the roasted garlic and add the tomatoes
Discard the pepper skins & add the flesh to the pan
Add the stock, sundried tomato paste and tarragon - bring to the boil & then reduce the heat
We served with crusty bread & butter.
The tarragon added a creamy sort of taste - it really was very nice. Possibly one of my favourite tomato soups.
Lastly we have my original Butternut Squash Tart... based on Simon Rimmers Feta & Spinach Free-form pie in Septembers Delicious Magazine. I made it to use up the left over butternut squash from the soup the other day.
1/2 packet of filo pastry
3 tbspn melted butter
1 butternut squash
1 sprig rosemary, finely chopped
1 tbspn olive oil
5 shallots, cut into quarters
3 tbsn balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
Preheat the oven to 180 °c
Cut the butternut squash into about 8 large chunks (spooning out the seeds)
Place the pieces of squash on a baking tray, drizzle with the oil & sprinkle over the rosemary + a pinch of salt
Roast the squash for 45 minutes then take it out & leave it to cool down
Once cool, scoop of the flesh & cut into smaller sized chunks
Mix the butternut squash with 2/3 feta cheese, season with pepper
Meanwhile 1tbspn melt the butter in a small saucepan & add the shallots
Once the shallots are glossy and starting to warm through add the sugar
Leave for 2 minutes but keep an eye on them and mix them about
Throw in 2 tbspn of balsamic & keep the shallot pieces moving until the balsamic has thickened to a glossy coating
Put the shallot pieces in with the main mixture & add the last tbspn of balsamic vinegar. Put to one side.
Heat up 2 tbspn butter
Using a loose bottom cake tin - firstly brush the tin with melted butter, then add a layer of filo pastry brushing on butter in between each layer
Add the butternut squash mixture & crumble the remaining feta over the top.
Lift the overhanging pastry on top of the tart & scrunch it up
Cook for 20-25 minutes