Choice Morsels of Food ~ Tidbits ~ Cooked and Tasted by Veronica Clark ~ For: Tassels Twigs and Tastebuds

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Summer Berry Trifle!

Hi Foodie Friends!!
I am back on line !!!
Time to post all the recipes that friends and family have been asking for...
Best place to start is with pudding, of course, how else?
I found this recipe in an old cookbook that I took out the library many years ago... called, Pudding and Desserts, but have no idea who wrote the book! The photocopy of the recipe is almost indecipherable...
Berries are of course, the epitome of summer lusciousness and festive celebration, so it inevitably ends up on my Christmas menu.
It is so easy to prepare and takes no time at all, ideal,not only for the stressed Christmas cook but also for any summer table...So give it a go and let me know what you think!

Summer Berry Trifle
You need a 3,25 litre bowl and to move the shelves of the fridge to allow space to fit it in!!
2 x 225 g  (1 1/2 cups)jars of red current jelly
170 ml (2/3 cup) fresh orange juice
600ml (2 1/2 cups) cream
250 g mascarpone
30 g (1/4 cup) icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
250 g thin sponge finger biscuits (savoiardi)
1 1/2 cups Marsala or Old Brown Sherry if you prefer
400g raspberries
250 g strawberries
400 g blueberries
(I normally just add up the weight given above and usually use more strawberries and make up the rest of the weight in a variety of fresh berries that are available at the time)
(Hull and slice only those that you are adding to the layers of the pudding ~ I keep the ones for the top of the pudding whole)
 For a friend's Christmas function we topped it with fresh Cherries sprinkled with fresh pomegranate rubies!
1.Melt the redcurrant jelly in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in the orange juice and set aside until the mixture reaches room temperature.
2.Put the cream, mascarpone,icing sugar,vanilla essence and cinnamon in a mixing bowl and  beat with an electric beater until soft peaks form,
3.Dip each biscuit in the Marsala and line the base of your serving bowl with the biscuits.
4.Sprinkle over a third of the combined berries over the biscuits and drizzle with half the remaining Marsala and a third of the cooled redcurrant jelly sauce.
5. Spoon over half the cream mixture over the sauce.
6. Repeat the layering, starting with the biscuits, berries, Marsala, jelly and cream.
7.I arrange the remaining berries in a mound on the top (hence the fridge calamity, but you can always pop them on later if your fridge is too full!!!)
8.Glace the top of the berries with a bit of the reserves redcurrant jelly sauce, heat it gently if it is too cold.
9. The trifle can be made the day before, covered and refrigerated and the mound of berries added before serving if need be!
Bon Appetite!
Please leave your comments in the comment box below!


Thursday, 13 December 2012

Salad Days ~ Tomatoes with Anchovies and Basil

Hi Food lovers!!
How are you all?
On a hot summers day like today, relaxing by the pool is such a blessing...

A cold beer and I felt like a tomato salad!

I extracted this recipe from the owner of an Italian restaurant. The price I had to pay was quite a number of strawberry daiquiris, before he would part with it!!! I gladly suffered the consequences and am happy to share it with you... If you feel you have to have a strawberry daiquiri to repay me, feel free before you continue...
Now, before we start... you have to go buy the tomatoes!
Please dear ones, those pink anaemic affairs are not tomatoes, leave them on the shelf and look for luscious red and ripe ones or better still, pick them of the bush that you have planted!
Please, for the love of your taste buds, do not store them in the fridge!!!
A cool place will do. If they are ripe, put them in a bowl they look luscious in the kitchen...
Tomatoes with Anchovies and Basil
Ripe Tomatoes
 1 teaspoon White Sugar
8 Anchovies in Olive Oil finely chopped
Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
Fresh Basil
Black Olives
Freshly Ground Black Pepper (optional)

Place a teaspoon of sugar in a pestle and mortar, add about 50 ml of the oil from the anchovy jar, the balsamic vinegar and the chopped anchovies. Pound until well blended. 

I used cocktail tomatoes here but prefer Bella Tomatoes. I simply cut them in half, but if you are using large tomatoes, slice them as thickly as you prefer.

Lounging in the windowsill, patiently waiting to be planted is the basil and bloody sorrel! Oi! Tomorrow, I promise!!!
Drizzle the dressing over the cut tomatoes
Garnish with fresh basil.

I had some baguette leftover, which I brushed with some smoked olive oil and popped into the toaster (it was much to hot to fire up the oven, and add to the heat in the kitchen!)
If you have not  yet discovered the pleasure of Aphrodisiac Shack Smoked Olive Oil, you are missing out!!
If you can not find it, drop me a line and I will point you in the right direction

We stood in our bathers around the counter with a beer and tucked in, before the olives even landed in the bowl!!

The best way....

Dipping the toasted baguette into the dressing, adding a tomato and popping an olive in the mouth....

Caught out!!! Hand in the bowl...

Bon Appetite

Pleasurable sighs may be left in the comment box below...

Monday, 3 December 2012

Spaghetti with paprika bacon,tomato and avo!

Hello Foodie Friends!
Do you have any teens to feed or worse still students!!! You know, ...those things that eat like there is no tomorrow, and they usually come with a variety of hangers onners, when your fridge stock is at its lowest!!
I can not tell you how many times a tin of good ol chopped tomatoes have saved my bacon!!!
So, this is one of those hit and run numbers as I like to call them! When you approach the kitchen and have no clue what's going to end up on the table in less than half an hour to be consumed by said gang of starving students.
I love cooking this for week night meal because that means that lunch is sorted for the next day (that is when there are only two for supper)
I have a student who dances four to five hours a day and a carb laden lunch is a preference, and besides, it tastes better the next day when the flavours have infused the pasta!
Spaghetti with a smoky tomato, bacon and avocado!
1 packet of Spaghetti
1 Onion Chopped
Olive Oil
1 Packet of Rindless back bacon
1 Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
1 heaped teaspoon of paprika
a pinch (or two) of sugar
I like to get the onions in the pan with a glug of olive oil to sauté slowly while I boil the water for the pasta.
Give the onions a light sprinkle with paprika and a tiny bit of sugar and keep the heat low.
Remove onions and add bacon, chopped or diced, as you like it.
Fry for a few minutes, then re-add the onions and the tin of chopped tomatoes, salt, pepper and the rest of the paprika and if need be a bit more sugar to taste.

Simmer gently over low heat while you prepare the pasta according to the instructions (on the packet boys!!!)

Peel and chop avocado

Drain pasta and return to pot. Drizzle with a little olive oil and work it through the pasta.
Add the bacon and tomato sauce and the avocado and mix together.
Check seasoning...

Serve with a crusty baguette and Parmigiana (unless you are a student on a tight budget, then you won't miss it, or the money has been spent on beer!!) 

This is also such an easy dish for students to prepare in their digs, not to mention that lunch is sorted as well. So, this is for you guys at Stellies for next year!!! Remember to invite me ova to taste!!
By the way, if you are a seasoned cook or pro chef and have not read the intro to my blog, the main reason for blogging my recipes was to parent by remote control, and teach my offspring to cook, instead of answering twenty phone calls at dinner time, or some ungodly hour of the night, when students decide that its dinner time!!!
So pardon if some of the instructions sound a bit mundane!!! And no, while they lived at home they gave the kitchen a wide berth hence me rattling on here!!!

Bon Appetite