Roasted Tomato Soup

roasted tomato soup

It’s cold and all I want to eat are warm things. Luckily, I’ve found out how easy it is to make this tomato soup.

Next time you have the oven on for whatever reason, put some tomatoes in a dish, season with salt and pepper, maybe a pinch of chilli flakes, throw in a peeled clove on garlic, add a little oil so they don’t stick to the dish and roast for around 45 minutes, until the tomatoes are bursting.

roasted tomatoes

Put everything in a pan and liquidise them with a hand blender (or put everything in your blender and liquidise). If you’ve got some herbs add them before blending – tomato and basil are always good, but mint, parsley or thyme would work too. If needed, add a little water – although I didn’t need to.

You might want to hold one of the tomatoes back and chop it up to add after everything has been liquidised for a little texture in your soup.

That’s it, your soup is ready! Heat it up to eat whenever you like.

(Also, pat yourself on the back for efficiently using the oven to make not 1 but 2 dishes)

Chocolate dipped candied orange peel

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Ingredients:
Peel of 3 oranges
350g sugar
120ml water
Chocolate for dipping into

Method:

1. Cut the peel into strips
2. Put the peel in a pan with water, bring to the boil and drain the water out. Repeat this twice more and the last time save the water.
3. Put the saved water in a large pan with the sugar. Bring to simmer and let it simmer for 10 minutes or just under.
4. Add the orange peel to the syrup and leave on a constant simmer for 45minutes – 1hour until it’s translucent.
5. Take the peel out with a slatted spoon and leave to dry for 4-5 hours on a drying rack or grease proof paper.

The candied peel is now done and could be used in home made mincemeat, or other sweets but I think it’s best dipped in chocolate.

Melt dark chocolate (I used Cadbury’s bourneville) and dip 2/3 of the candied peel in. Leave to dry once again and your peels are ready to eat and enjoy (or make a nice gift).

This would probably be nice with lemon or lime peel too.

Home made fruity mincemeat

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This year I was inspired to make my own mincemeat for Christmas. I made it a couple of weeks before using it, although I think you could probably make it and use it on the same day.

Here’s the recipe for one jar of mincemeat:

1 chopped apple
a handful of sultanas (or other currants)
juice of 1 lemon
orange zest
chopped up candied orange peel
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 a teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 a teaspoon mixed spice
1/2 a teaspoon nutmeg
a pinch of chilli powder
a healthy shot of sherry

And here’s the very simple method:

Mix everything together and put in a (sterilised) jar until needed.

Really easy hummus

hummus

This is a recipe I got from my aunt and is so easy I wanted to share it. (you need a blender for this to be easy, otherwise it’s actually not easy at all.)

So, here’s the ingredients you need:
– a tin of chickpeas with half of the water they come in
– a large clove of garlic
– the juice of half a lemon
– salt & pepper
– a tablespoon of your preferred herb (parsley is probably best, but I didn’t have any so I used mint)
– a teaspoon of ground cumin
– a pinch of dried chilli (optional)

Put the ingredients together and blend. If your mix is a bit stodgy, add a little water or olive oil to loosen it up.

Once you are happy with the consistency, serve. (it’s as easy as that)

Enjoy!

Home made pesto

basil plant

A couple of years ago a friend told me that home made pesto was really easy to make, although it took me until today to finally give it a try…she was right!

You need to have a liquidiser or a hand blender (I used a hand blender). Throw in:
– a big handful of basil
– a small garlic clove (I used a big one, and it was a overpowering)
– the juice of half a lemon
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– salt & pepper

Blend until smooth.

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Ta-da! (or should I say hey-pesto?) Your pesto is ready for you to use as you wish…
…you could cook a piece of fish with a pesto herb crust
…you could use it to make a toasted cheese and tomato sandwich a little posh
…you could serve it with pasta

I served mine with courgette ribbon pasta, a dash of cream and chopped up a little both fresh and sun dried tomatoes.

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Fenek Moqli – Fried Rabbit

fried rabbit

OK, it’s been a long time since I’ve blogged. I have no excuse really, so  rather than go on about it, I’ll go straight to the food.

I tried making fried rabbit when we lived in England but it was always a little dry. Now we’ve moved to Malta I’ve made it a few times and somehow its just better – maybe the Mediterranean sun agrees with the little rabbits.

While this is a recipe for fried rabbit, it’s actually stewed and then fried. I think the secret is lots of garlic and seasoning. One rabbit probably serves 3 people, depending on the size of the rabbit.

Ingredients
1 rabbit – jointed (ask your butcher to do this)
8 garlic cloves
1 bottle of red wine (or enough to cover the rabbit in a pan)
a handful of fresh parsley
salt & pepper

Method

If you have time, marinate the rabbit in the red wine, with the peeled garlic cloves, parsley and plenty and salt & pepper.

Find a large frying pan which you have a lid for. Seal the rabbit – leaving the liver and kidneys to the side – by frying for a couple of minutes on each side and then pour over the wine (with garlics, parsley, s&p) into the pan, bring to the boil and simmer covered for 45 minutes or so.

Once the rabbit is cooked (check a leg to see if it’s cooked by the bone), get out a large frying pan and pour in a generous glug of olive oil. Fry the liver, kidneys (which you put to side earlier) and cooked rabbit for 2-3 minutes on each side, until crispy on the outside.

At the same time, make a gravy by adding a teaspoon of cornflour to the remaining marinade – or do it the traditional way making a roux.

Serve this the traditional way with a large bowl of chips, although I prefer it with a few slices of fresh Maltese bread.

Maltese bread

Gluten free, lactose free, extremely chocolatey brownies

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What to make for tea time with friends who between them need to steer clear of gluten and lactose? Brownies are easy to make without needing any milk or butter, so by using dark chocolate and gluten free flour I had my solution.

Here’s what I did:

Ingredients
100g dark chocolate
225g sugar
120g gluten free (I used soya)
2 eggs
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
Orange zest (optional)
Extra chocolate (25-50g optional)
Pinch of salt

Method

– preheat the oven to 170 degrees
– grease your baking tin and dust with cocoa powder
– melt the 100g chocolate in a bowl (you could do a Bain Marie or on a low power setting in the microwave)
– add the sugar and eggs and mix well
– then add the bicarbonate of soda, vanilla extract and pinch of salt and mix again
– mix in the flour
– add the orange zest and extra chocolate if using (I added extra chocolate chips). If you’d like you could include nuts too at this point.
– pour into the tray and cook in the middle of the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the brownie comes away from the sides but ideally still a little gooey in the middle

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