an aside

as an aside:

to explain one or two things without cluttering up each post..


Tomato Concasse

Seasoned flour mix

Panch Phoran

Why you should sweat off your onions first.

Because onions take longer to cook and contain a fair amount of sulfur, you need to compensate for it, otherwise you’ll find that whatever you’ve cooked will not only have a slight bitter taste but will also have undercooked onion in it.
So to do this you need to ‘sweat’ the onions first oil or butter, over a low heat to get their natural sugars to release slowly.
Generally you should cook them until they are soft and transparent before adding garlic or anything else, this should take about 5 minutes.
Once they start to brown then they are beginning to caramelize and that isn’t what you want to happen, unless the dish calls for it.

So now you know why..

Tomato concasse

With a paring knife, score the tomatoes with an X at the opposite end to where the stem was.
Immerse tomatoes in boiling water for 10 seconds or until they start to blister.
Plunge them into iced water immediately until cold. (optional)
Peel off the skin and cut in half then remove the seeds and core
Dice the flesh to the required size ready for further use.

Seasoned flour mix

Fill a jar half full of flour.
Then add equal amounts of:

ground polenta.
Milk powder.
Ground semolina.
to top up it up.

add a good teaspoon of turmeric, garlic powder, salt, ground white pepper and paprika to season, put the lid on and roll it about to mix everything together.
Use on meat, especially chicken, root vegetables and potatoes.

Mushroom Duxelle

Sweat off finely chopped onions in butter, add garlic, thyme, (or any other herb)  and finely chopped mushrooms, cook out until mushrooms are soft then add fresh breadcrumbs and cook it out for a bit more..


With bacon

Roasting pan
For practically everything I do in the oven I use a Hard Anodised Aluminium MERMAID roasting pan, I can’t recommend it highly enough for this kind of fast cooking, it heats up well and is definitely an investment, you can use it on the hob too if you like, mines over 10 years old and still going strong.)
Once it has seasoned itself it will be the best non stick pan you’ll ever use..
It makes life so much easier in my opinion.

Panch Phoran

My own blend is equal quantites of:

Black mustard seed
Yellow mustard seed
Cumin seed
Caraway seed
Coriander seed
Dried Fenugrek
Nigella seed
Fennel seed

I have a little pot ready made up for when I need it.


19 thoughts on “an aside”

what did you have for dinner last night?

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