Dying Tomatoes can still have a purpose…

Dinner time, just like everyday! Extra tired and uninspired I made my way to the kitchen. We hadn’t had pasta in a while but wondering what I could serve it with. I usually keep back up sauces in jars but thought my family deserved something fresher and more natural.

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Luck of the draw has it that at the back of the fridge was a bag with vine ripened tomatoes, I got all excited and then noticed the poor things had seen better days! After a thorough analysis I concluded that they still hadn’t reached that “rotten stage” but were more on the “too soft stage of life”, so there is still hope!

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Out came my food processor, I ran outside and pulled a big bunch of basil and a nice helping of thyme and oregano and ran back in surrounded with these lovely aromatic herbs!

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I placed the mushy tomatoes and herbs into the food processor and let them become a bigger mush!

I chopped a small onion and a couple of garlic cloves and sautéed them with a drizzle of olive oil till it was nice and tender and then I added my mush to it. Added some salt and pepper to taste, a nice squeeze of Sriracha Chili sauce and my lovely freshly made homemade “Fiery Tomato Sauce” was on its way!

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The lovely aroma coming from the pan is hard to describe, but just take my word, it was to die for…….:-)

I let it all simmer for a bit and when nearly all the liquid from the tomatoes had evaporated I added a little bit of cream and presto!

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By then I had cooked some bow ties al dente, dished the pasta out and topped it with a healthy helping of my “fiery tomato sauce”.

So there you go, even dying tomatoes can be repurposed in a flash!

Leftover Ham – The Becoming

Barely got over yesterdays Part I thanksgiving dinner which consisted of Brown Sugar and Pineapple Glazed ham, baked sweet potatoes,  Potatoes Au Gratin garlic and herb bread, spiced green bean casserole and Tres Leches for dessert.

Part II is now in the works with Roasted Turkey, Bacon Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Madeira Cranberry sauce and Chorizo stuffing.


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In the meantime, I have some ham on the bone left over from yesterday so decided to do something with it whilst waiting for the Turkey to cook.

For this I used:

  • Leftover ham on the bone, cut off the excess ham
  • Diced the excess ham to add to soup at the end (I used just under 2 cups)
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large potato peeled and diced ( I had used them all for mashed potatoes so I used new potatoes and did not peel them)
  • Can of sweet corn (drained)
  • Can of garbanzo beans (chick peas) (drained), I usually use butter beans or kidney beans but apparently I forgot to stock up on them as all I found in my pantry was the Garbanzo Beans.
  • fresh herbs (bay leaf and thyme in this one), salt and pepper to taste (make sure you taste it as the ham stock is pretty salty on its own)

How to

Place ham in a casserole and cover it up half way with water and let it boil away for about 45 minutes. Discard the bone and set the ham stock aside.

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Drizzle a bit of olive oil into a stock pot and cook the onions and potatoes and garlic until the onions become translucent (about 3 mins).

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Add the ham stock, garbanzo beans and sweet corn, your choice of herbs, pepper and salt if needed.

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Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and cook until the potatoes are soft and tender (time depends on how small you chop your potatoes so I suggest just testing them as you go along).

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Last but not least, add the chopped ham so that it warms up and serve.

Its the perfect leftover dish for a lovely cold crisp evening served with a crisp glass of chardonnay, now I just hope that this cold front down here stays for a few days so we can get to enjoy the soup without breaking out a sweat :-)!

Its just another Manic Monday…….and its time for dinner :-)

Yes I know, Monday’s are horrible, you get up after the weekend is over needing more rest than you did when Friday came around…..

But the fact is that life still goes on, we get up in the morning, get ready for work, make breakfast, do packed lunches, take kids to school, drive to work in icky traffic, work all day and then back to the kids and time to cook dinner!

As tired as I am, I still find a lot of joy and relaxation whilst making dinner. Its my alone time in the kitchen and the results of what comes out makes everyone happy! What is there not to like about that right?

Tonight I made one of my hubby’s favorite proteins paired with one of my favorite veggies.

Poached salmon with herbs, butter and garlic served on a bed of mashed cauliflower.

FOR THE SALMON…

  • Get a pan and fill half way with water and place in oven AT 385 DEG F
  • Place your salmon on some aluminum foil, enough foil to make it into a tight package.
  • Season salmon to taste, I seasoned it with salt, pepper, freshly crushed garlic, butter, lemon juice and thyme
  • Seal package tightly and place in pan with water
  • Cook for 20 minutes, then open package to vent and cook for an extra 10 minutes.

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FOR THE CAULIFLOWER…

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  • Boil cauliflower in water seasoned with salt and garlic powder
  • Once its soft, drain water and place in food processor
  • Add a tsp of butter, handful of cilantro or parsley, clove of garlic, salt and pepper and  blend away till nicely mushed!

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And voila, in 30 minutes you have a delicious nutritional meal, make the family happy and have plenty of time to tackle the evening chores!!!!!

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Did someone say Ratatouille?

Dinner time is just around the corner, dessert is ready, Leek and Goat’s Cheese tart is done and steaks are waiting for the right time to go on the grill.

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So all we need is a nice hearty veggie dish that we can eat tonight as well as during the week. Ratatouille it is! And yes totally inspired by the Disney movie :-).

Wonderful layers of Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Tomatoes, Eggplant, Onions, olive oil salt, pepper and fresh thyme are all cooking in harmony to make one great, delicious and simple French dish! Ohhh La La…..

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Bon appétit!