Tag Archives: Tomato

Tomato and Bread Soup Recipe

Who doesn’t love a ripe tomato? Unfortunately those that you buy in a supermarket, with some exceptions, are just NOT nice AT ALL. This recipe should ONLY be made with the ripest of tomatoes. And in this case, not even tinned tomatoes will do.
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Tomato and Bread Soup

Ingredients
Handful of fresh basil
1 head of garlic, cloves separated, peeled
25g Parmesan with rind
3 slices thick day-old or stale country-style bread with crusts, torn into 1-inch pieces
75ml olive oil, plus more for drizzling
salt, freshly ground pepper
1.5kg ripe tomatoes, cut into large pieces
Method
Pluck basil leaves from stems. Place stems and any larger or not-so-beautiful leaves in a large saucepan along with 2 or 3 larger garlic cloves; cover with 3 cups water. Set aside remaining smaller, prettier basil leaves. Cut Parmesan away from rind and add rind to pan; set cheese aside. Bring liquid to a bare simmer over medium heat, then reduce heat so mixture is steaming. Let ingredients steep while you start the soup. This step may seem like a lot of faff.  But is totally worth it.

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Preheat oven to 200°C. Spread out 1 cup bread on a small rimmed baking sheet, drizzle lightly with oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Toast until edges are crisp but centres are still chewy, 8–10 minutes; set croutons aside.
Meanwhile, slice remaining garlic cloves. Heat ⅓ cup oil in a medium pot over medium and cook garlic, stirring occasionally, until evenly golden brown and softened, about 2 minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper. Add tomatoes to pot and cook, stirring energetically with a wooden spoon now and then, until tomato juices are bubbling, 6–8 minutes. Taste and season with more salt and pepper, then add remaining 3 cups bread.

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Stir to coat, then strain basil stock into tomato mixture and bring to a simmer. Cook, whisking occasionally, until bread disintegrates into a porridgelike texture and soup is velvety and thick, 10–12 minutes. (The whisk helps break the bread into smaller pieces; if you like your soup rustic, stick with the spoon. If you want it to be very smooth, use an immersion blender.)
Finely grate reserved Parmesan and whisk half into soup along with reserved basil. Cook, stirring, until soup is thickened and looks shiny, about 2 minutes. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as needed.
Divide soup among bowls and top with reserved croutons, remaining Parmesan, and a drizzle of oil. Divine!

Tomato and Bread Soup

Tomato and Bread Soup

 

Lots of Waffles- my topping recipes

If you are a certain age in Ireland, if you hear the word “waffles” you will break out into the corniest American Accent, singing accolades of a well known brand of potato waffles.

Which probably gets a little tiring for my kids…. but while we had copious amounts of waffle batter made up from a Sunday breakfast, I decided to try out some alternative toppings!

I decided to make savoury and sweet.  And no, it’s not going to be another pancake parade.  Thankfully.

Waffles

250g Plain Flour

1 Teaspoon of Baking powder

20g Caster sugar

1 teaspoon of Salt

475ml Milk

2 Eggs

30ml Vegetable oil

Method

Weigh all the dry ingredients, place in a large mixing bowl. Break the eggs into the milk and beat the mixture.

Add the egg and milk mixture to the dry ingredients. Add the oil and mix all ingredients together until all the large lumps have been broken up. Do not over mix otherwise the waffles will be heavy when cooked.

Chia Seeds and Yogurt Waffles-

In a bid to be healthy, and because Chia Bia are just down the road, this was the first one to try.  With some soft fruit.  So lots of Omega 3 into the diet.  And some anti oxidents which is good news.

 

Waffles with yoghurt and Chia Seeds

Waffles with yoghurt and Chia Seeds

Fresh Mozzarella and Basil

Fresh Mozzarella and Basil

Pizza Waffles

Pizza Waffles

Secondly, with pizza toppings.  A bit kitsch I know but my youngest loves waffles, and pizza, so it’s worth a try.  Good Quality basil to tear on top and mozzarella are essential.  

And last but not least, avocado and poached egg.  As who doesn’t love avocado!  (And I was in the enviably position of having two PERFECTLY RIPE ones!)  This was, without a shadow of a doubt my absolute favourite.  Of course the obligatory salt and pepper are an absolute must.

 

Waffles with Avocado and Fried Egg

Waffles with Avocado and Fried Egg

I have to say it was a great night’s eating! And of course, the youngest insisted on her own choice of toppings….

 

Waffles with Nutella & Ice Cream

Waffles with Nutella & Ice Cream- Styled by Jords Pim

 

You had me at – Pizza

I’m getting far too enthusiastic planning our Demonstration next week of Pizza and dough.  Dough is the basis of all breads, and pizza dough is one of the most versatile.  Toppings are always varied, but the favourite in our house is roasted duck, sliced, then added to the base with passata. Then topped with brie and mozzerella.  We had a similar one in Fat Freddy’s in Galway years back, and it’s stuck.

Pizza night

Pizza night

However it starts off very simply…

Pizza dough proving away nicely

Dough proving away nicely

I simply use a white yeast dough with a little olive oil added. *disclaimer* I make this in my kenwood.  Nigel makes it by hand. It doesn’t really make a difference which method is used.  The most important thing is to leave the dough to rest.

The pizza dough resting

The pizza dough resting

Pizza History

The word “pizza” was first documented in 997AD in Gaeta, Italy.  So it’s been around a while.  In fact ingredients added to dough, although maybe not just as a topping have been around longer than that.  The Ancient Greeks had a flat bread called plakous which was flavoured with toppings like herbs, onion, and garlic.  It wasn’t until the 16th Century in Naples that the tomato/ dough combination became popular. In 1889, a pizza was made in honour of Queen Margerhita of Savoy.  Made from tomatoes, mozzarella and basil, to represent the colours of the Italian Flag.  Even still, this dish was seen as “poor” food.

Purists, especially in Italy, consider the Margerhita and the Marinara (fish) types to be the only two acceptable varieties.  Mind you- the “Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana”(“True Neapolitan Pizza Association”), which was founded in 1984, has very specific rules that must be followed for an authentic Neapolitan pizza. These include that the pizza must be baked in a wood-fired, domed oven; that the base must be hand-kneaded and must not be rolled with a pin or prepared by any mechanical means (i pizzaioli— the pizza makers— make the pizza by rolling it with their fingers) and that the pizza must not exceed 35 centimetres in diameter or be more than one-third of a centimetre thick at the centre. The association also selects pizzerias all around the world to produce and spread the verace pizza napoletana philosophy and method.  So now!

Dough is often seen these days as the “bad” food.  Bread is not trendy, or apparently healthy.  I always proclaim the “everything in moderation”.   And when eating pizzas I tend to stick to thin bases rather than the double/ triple/ stuffed crusts.  Every once in a while this meal will not kill you! And I guarantee with so much washing up, it’s only really a meal for a weekend night.  Still, make them, don’t buy them- except in an emergency!

Homemade versus Delivery Pizza:

There is a time commitment, but the simplicity of the ingredients make it a far healthier option.

Let a margerhita with fresh basil transport you, airport hassle free, to Naples.

You can also put as many toppings on as you want without extra charges!

No soggy bottoms or luke warm pizzas to contend with.

You can eat it for breakfast!

Getting it onto the table is not dependent on the weather!

Sloppy Joe

Sloppy Joe

Contact me for information about Pizza and Dough Demos.

 

 

Italian- Malaysian- Traditional- A true Fusion meal!

I recently had some friends and family for dinner, and have been itching to re-make the Beef Rendang we made in Ballymaloe.  I had made some gorgeous white sourdough at the weekend, and was planning to start with some Bruschetta.

Miscellaneous Brushetta

Miscellaneous Brushetta

One of the unexpected guests was Italian- so I was kind of glad they had been hoovered up before he arrived!

Cheese- Tete du moine and parmigiana

Cheese- Tete du moine and parmigiana

I made three varieties, Tete de Moine, with raisins and honey,

Prosciutto and Parmigiana

and Tomato, Mozzarella and basil.

Beef Rendang Prep

Beef Rendang Prep

Then the Beef with Rice and green salad, as it got a bit frantic, there are no pics of the finished beef, but after slow cooking in the coconut milk for 3 hours, it was ambrosial.

And then another Italian course- a limoncello ice cream to clean the palate,

Limoncello Ice Cream, excited to use our own limoncello

Limoncello Ice Cream, excited to use our own limoncello

Limoncello Ice cream- a little runny!

Limoncello Ice cream- a little runny!

and to finish a traditional raspberry trifle with a twist!

There turned out to be more guests then I anticipated, but it was great fun, and everybody did get fed! As always there was lots of dessert.

Fresh Raspberry Trifle

Fresh Raspberry Trifle