Monday, September 6, 2010

Jams And Jars: Slow-Roasted Plum Tomato Sauce

Thanks go to my foodie friend Bonita, she of the fabulous Bon Eats blog, for telling me about this wonderful sauce from Cuizoo. I'd been searching in vain for a tomato sauce recipe that started with fresh Romas as opposed to canned ones -- who knew it would be so difficult? -- and I'm glad I went with this one, even though the making of it was slightly ridiculous. Not the author's fault, but mine, entirely.

You see, I knew full well that the sauce needed five, six hours to cook down. And yet, I let the weekend slip away, while my beautiful Romas sat untouched on the kitchen counter. Suddenly it was 8pm on Sunday and I was at risk of letting some or all of the tomatoes go bad. So I went for it, even though I knew the sauce likely wouldn't go in the oven until 9pm (meaning it'd be finished cooking at, you guessed it, 3am).

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Fudgy Brownies

I've been cooking and baking so much in the last couple of weeks, I haven't had time to keep up with the blog! Can't say what's got me so inspired lately, except maybe the promise of fall. Fresh starts, and all that jazz. That and I want to make the most of the farmers' markets before they're done for the year. Although the only thing in this recipe that I bought at the market was the eggs. Oh well! As much as I love fruity desserts that feature the bounty of the season, nothing beats a brownie. Especially a fudgy brownie, still warm from the oven, with a tall glass of milk.

I used top quality chocolate for these, and I think it's a necessity -- you always hear that a dish is only as good as its ingredients and I wholeheartedly concur. This recipe calls for a mixture of bittersweet and unsweetened chocolate, which intensifies the flavour. If you can splurge on Callebaut or Valhrona, please do.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Orzo Salad with Grilled Broccolini and Sausage

One of my girlfriends recently turned me on to Fine Cooking, a magazine she subscribes to, and in browsing through a recent issue I knew I had to try this dish. I love the combination of sausage and greens, and could only imagine that grilling them along with red onion would make this a satisfying end-of-summer meal. I don't cook with orzo very much but I loved it here, and the olives and capers added a beautiful briny note to the salad.

The recipe calls for pre-cooked chicken sausage, but I used a raw spicy chicken-turkey sausage, that I poached for 10 minutes before grilling to ensure it was cooked through. I finished the dish with some fresh basil -- my three pots' worth are threatening to take over my balcony so I'm using it wherever possible -- and it worked really well with the other flavours. I reheated this salad the next day and it was still good -- I added some halved grape tomatoes to change it up a bit. Super-easy, this dish. Will definitely be making it again, maybe switching up the sausage variety and/or the type of vegetable used.