This cool winter has been wonderful for working in the garden. It has been a good time to attend to those tougher tasks long-delayed through the warmer months. On those rare days when the wind and rain has been simply too bitter we have retreated indoors to the warmth and comfort that good cooking provides. The following are great favourites of ours and as the best recipes invariably are, they are wonderfully simple.
David Glenn’s English Marmalade Recipe
Use a large stainless steel saucepan which can hold 5 or 6 oranges on one layer.
Put washed oranges, scrubbed if waxed, in the pan and cover with water.
Bring to boil and then simmer until the oranges are soft but not falling apart.
Turn off heat and let cool.
As soon as the oranges are cool enough to handle cut them in half and scrape out all the flesh, pips and pith leaving the rind which should be very thin at this point.
Put everything except the rind back into the cooking water and simmer until the water turns a soft gold colour.
Strain the liquid through a double layer of muslin. Don’t be tempted to squeeze the last drop out as it will make the marmalade cloudy.
Cut the rind into very thin slices about 1cm long, the thinner the better.
Rinse out the pan.
Measure the liquid and add equal parts by volume of sugar and put back in pan.
Add the orange rind.
Boil until setting point is reached.
Let marmalade cool a little then pour into sterilised jars and seal immediately.
Snow Pea and Chinese Sausage Stir Fry
200-400gm snow peas
2 Air dried Chinese sausages cut into fine slices about 2 mm thick. (Chinese sausage is available from larger supermarkets or Asian food shop)
Good pinch of Salt
Good pinch of castor sugar
One or two tablespoons of peanut or canola or sunflower oil
1 tablespoon of Chinese cooking wine (Shaoxing wine) Sweet sherry will do if needs must.
10 slices of peeled ginger.
Tablespoon of water
Put snow peas in a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Leave for a minute or two and refresh in cold water.
Heat the oil in a seasoned wok over a high flame. Swirl oil around.
Add ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add sausage and cook for another 30 seconds.
Add snow peas, the water, salt, sugar and Shaoxing rice wine and stir fry until the snow peas are hot.
Lamb and Quince Stew
I kg barbecue lamb chops
3 tablespoons of ghee or a mixture of olive oil and a little butter
8 small onions or 8 shallots (2 large onions quartered will do)
4 cloves of garlic chopped
1 large quince or 2 small ones
I teaspoon of ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons tomato puree
Bunch fresh parsley chopped
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon of Quince jelly, (crab apple or red currant jelly will do) or honey or sugar
Seal the barbecue chops a few at a time in a tablespoon of hot ghee in fry pan then put them flat into a cast iron pot.
Brown the small onions or shallots or quartered whole onions in the fry pan with a little more ghee. Then put on top of chops
Cook chopped garlic until it turns light brown and add to the lamb.
Add enough water to cover the chops and onions.
Add tomato paste, the quince jelly or substitute
Add chopped parsley and stir in.
Put lid on the pot and put in the oven at 150 C.
Cook until lamb is soft.
Peel quinces and cut into 1cm wide segments and fry in the ghee until softened.
Put the quinces in the pot on top of the lamb and cook for another 10 minutes.
Serve with steamed rice or rice pilaf