Finally made the time to POST!!! I’m feeling real chuffed about it
This recipe is basically Nigella’s however I adapted it slightly. I love her cooking style; its simple and has you drooling just watching her.
I have a few more recipes from her collection that I will copy and let you know how it goes.
It’s a chilli sauce that can be used for anything really, chips, eggs, steak etc etc. I was thinking of making a pasta dish with it sometime this week.
4 x red peppers
2 x red chillies (I added 3 coz we extra like that)
1 x garlic clove
Zest of 1 lime and 1 tablespoon of the lime juice
80 grams fresh coriander
2 – 3 teaspoons of salt
The recipe calls for groundnut oil (125 ml) or any flavourless oil (vegetable, sunflower…) but I used olive oil because it’s all I had
Nigella’s recipe says to use 290 grams of roasted peppers from a jar which I could not find so I used fresh peppers and roasted them in the oven (150 degrees approx.) with olive oil, salt and pepper. As soon as the skin became wrinkly I removed them from the oven. Once the peppers are cooled down, remove the skins – this is pretty easy.
Once done add the peppers and all the other ingredients to a blender or bowl if you using a hand blender and blitz. I used a blender and while blitzing I added the oil slowly until the texture was almost salsa like but not as chunky. You can decide how you would like it.
The sauce is REALLY good; you can store it in the fridge for up to 1 week. Also a lovely gift idea.
With the evenings being soooo cold I thought this would be a good time to try out this tomatoe and red pepper soup. It’s really soooo cold at night I even went to bed with my coat on! I started this soup on Sunday afternoon as I need good light while using my phone to take half decent pictures. We were then invited to a braai so had to put the cooking on hold, hence the end result pic looking a bit blegh as it was dark…
As with my last post; there are 3 elements to this soup – basil pesto, the soup, croutons. (I am trying to impress you guys 🙂 ) We’ll start with the pesto:
250 grams basil leaves – I used 4 packs from Checkers which is not 250 grams but ah well it worked
2 garlic cloves
4 tablespoons pine nuts – I used cashew nuts – Woolies let me down, well actually poor planning did. Pine nuts are also very expensive about R 90.00 a small pack. The cashew nuts worked very nicely also.
5 tablespoons Parmesan cheese – also quite pricey but really makes a big difference and I still have a lot of the cheese left.
120 ml Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
1 x chilli (optional)
These ingredients are a bit expensive but its really worth it as you get about 3 – 4 jars of pesto from this recipe. You would normally buy the ready made pesto for about R 50.00 for a good ish brand. I wont hate if you bought the ready made pesto, its really no biggie. (but still, homemade is life)
Method for the Basil Pesto:
In a food processor add the basil, garlic, nuts, cheese, salt, pepper, chilli and blitz. While the food processor is running add the olive oil until it forms a paste – pesto – like consistency.
Once done decant into a jar and store in the fridge. You can use the pesto as a side with literally everything, its sooooo gooood!
We will now move on to the soup. I suppose to save time you can first put the veggies in the oven and then make the pesto.
Ingredients for the soup:
Approx 6 large tomatoes
3 red peppers
4 garlic cloves
Salt and Pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
600 ml vegetable stock
1 teaspoon sugar
30 grams butter
3 tablespoons flour
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Cream – optional
Method for the soup:
Preheat the oven to 180°. Cut the tomatoes and peppers roughly and place in a roasting dish along with the garlic, salt and pepper. Drizzle generously with olive oil and roast for about 40 mins. Once done allow to cool and remove the skins of the tomatoes and peppers – it comes off quite easily.
Dice the onion and saute in a large pot with a little olive oil until the onions are soft, add the cayenne pepper and paprika until fragrant – about 30 seconds. You will then add the tomatoes, red peppers and garlic from the roasting dish along with the vegetable stock and sugar.
Melt the butter in the microwave and once melted add the flour and mix until a paste forms. Stir the paste into the soup – this will give your soup a nice texture. Once all is done use a stick blender or transfer to a blender to iron out all the big bits.
Once done, place on heat again and once the soup boils add the lemon juice and remove from heat. At this point I added fresh cream simply to add a touch of richness but its really not needed as the basil pesto does that anyway. Season with salt and pepper the way you like it.
Lastly; the croutons – all you need is canola oil, a baguette or any bread really, salt and pepper.
Cut / tear the bread into pieces – crouton size pieces.
Heat the oil, use one piece of bread to check if the oil is hot enough. The bread should sizzle once it touches the oil. Fry the bread pieces until crispy and once done place on a paper towel to drain excess oil – season with salt and pepper
To serve; dish soup into a bowl, add a dollop of pesto in the middle and scatter with croutons. Dinner is served 😀