The Sloe Trilogy II: How to make sloe wine, vodka, jam

 Autumn, Fermentation, Foraging, Forest Garden, Permaculture, Seasons, Winter  Comments Off on The Sloe Trilogy II: How to make sloe wine, vodka, jam
Sep 222011
 

This is the second part of the Sloe Trilogy where you use the same batch of sloes to make wine, vodka and fridge jam. In the first part I showed you how to make the wine, here are the instructions for the vodka.
Sloes in a glass
When you have strained the sloes off the wine ‘must‘ you can use them to flavour vodka. I suggest vodka for this because, unlike with gin, you don’t get that big juniper hit which may not be so nice in your breakfast jam.

If you’re coming into this without having made the wine, just use freshly picked sloes. You’ll need to squish them and this is easier to do if you freeze and thaw them first.

You’ll need a large container to make this in that you can sterilise and seal. A demijohn is great for it or a big kilner jar or similar. Pretty bottles that you can seal are a great way of presenting your finished vodka and make great presents. Continue reading »

Sep 202011
 

I like making the most of a harvest. Especially when the harvest is as hard won as picking sloes. So I wanted to work out a way of getting multiple products from the same batch of produce. I don’t mean dividing the produce and making three different things, I mean using the product sequentially for different products. I was astonished at how well it worked.

Sloes in a glass

First I used the sloes to make wine. Then I used them to flavour vodka. Finally I made a fridge jam. So I had 6 bottles of wine, 1 litre of vodka and half a dozen jars of jam from 1.5kg of sloes.

 

The process is really very simple with some modest bits and bobs you should have around the kitchen.

 

So in this first post, I’ll tell you how to make the wine. In a second post in a few days I’ll show you how to make the vodka and then the jam.

 

Fancy a go? Read on to find out more… Continue reading »

Sep 142011
 

Kimchi in jar

Kimchi Recipe

Kimchi is a traditional Korean spicy vegetable pickle. The veg starts off being brined and then it’s rinsed and allowed to ferment in a paste of onion, garlic, ginger and chillies.

It’s normally made with shredded chinese style cabbage as the base with other vegetables included. Basically, you can make it with anything, even fruit. Interestingly, the cabbages and the chillies were not indigenous to Korea and are relatively modern imports in the history of kimchi making.

The kimchi can be widely used in soups, stews, dumplings and even grilled cheese sandwiches and mashed potato.

I made enough for a 1 litre kilner jar as I was experimenting. The beauty of this method and recipe is that you can make as little or as much as you like. So it’s a great way of using up excess vegetables that you can’t use immediately they are harvested.

Interested to have a go and taste this fragrant food? Read on… Continue reading »

Sep 112011
 

Cinnamon Orange Brioche SliceThe smell of this bread when making, baking and eating is heady. It’s redolent of warm summer evenings in Morocco with spicy orange & sweet cinnamon. You’ll be hard pushed to leave it once it’s out of the oven for the crumb to mature. I think it must be mildly addictive.

I came by the recipe by a lucky accident. I ‘met’ Carla Tomasi on twitter and we started talking food & bread. Lucky for me because Carla is a former chef, restauranter and all round generous good egg. Even luckier for me because Carla is based over 2000km from me in Rome and we would never have had the chance to swap recipes if not for Twitter.

Carla’s brioche recipe is legendary amongst her friends and rightly so. She tells me that it originally came to her from a Swede living in Spain. So it’s truly an international recipe and Carla is keen for it to be more widely baked. So she kindly agreed to me posting it here.

The bread is lovely just sliced and by itself, butter is an additional bonus and it’s wonderful lightly toasted. Most brioche doughs have huge amounts of butter in them, this recipe has only a small amount for less fat worries.

Would you like to smell and taste this beautiful brioche? Read on…

Continue reading »

Aug 292011
 

Blackberry Apple Chilli Chutney

This produces a chutney that has a rich, intense and complex flavour: blackberry plus. And the colour is a deep vermilion that is striking on the plate.

I first used it as a condiment with a cheese platter and the sweet-sour-chilli flavours complemented the cheese and sourdough bread spectacularly.

I next used it to deglaze a frying pan after flash frying some sirloin steak. I then added a little creme fraiche, seasoning and the meat juices to make a rich fruity sauce for the steak.

I wanted to produce something with blackberries that wasn’t in the usual jam or jelly area and that could be used happily as a savoury accompaniment. I found some blackberry chutney recipes but none had the complexity of flavour I was looking for. So I made up my own recipe.

If you are really lucky you can forage and grow most of the ingredients, so it could truly be your chutney.

Like to have a go and treat your taste buds? Read on… Continue reading »

Aug 142011
 

Muesli BarWhen my son was a third of the size he is now, I wanted to be able to feed him a healthy snack bar. Most of the commercially available ones were stuffed full of sugar and/or additives. So I decided to invent my own.

My son is 16 now and much bigger and the recipe has gone through a few improvements. It’s naturally sweet, warmly spicy, and it’s got crunch & give.

It is filling. Ideal for a quick morning get-away, an afternoon snack or evening treat, it’s packed full of healthy ingredients. And you can add chocolate too…

The ingredients are infinitely variable depending on what you prefer, or have in the storecupboard. And even better, it’s a very quick and simple recipe to put together. And the cup of tea is included…

Fancy a go? Read on… Continue reading »

Jul 052011
 

Boregi plated with saladThese courgette & feta boregi are so moreish. The stuffing is really fresh tasting, with the surprising crunch of the sunflower seeds. The pastry is crisp and deliciously rich. It’s a great way of using the courgette glut from this time of the year. It’s also liked by people who profess not to like courgettes!

They are perfect dinner party food and also do well for buffets and quick lunches. You can eat them hot, warm or at room temperature.

What’s even better is that the boregi keep well in the fridge and they freeze well too.

They are a very versatile food indeed.

I’ve adapted this recipe from the middle eastern cuisine guru Arto der Haroutunian’s book Vegetarian Dishes from the Middle East. His filling is just courgette, feta & mint which is just lovely. I wanted to add some crunchy texture and a slightly more complex flavour.

The recipe below makes about 40, depending on how thin you roll your pastry, so it’s well worth the short while they take to make and bake.

Interested in making these? Read on… Continue reading »

Jun 222011
 

I had a request for a recipe this morning from Craig at WeGrowOurOwn and Alys Fowler for the recipe for my breakfast bread. It’s a really tasty, simple and quick oatmeal soda bread.

Oatmeal Soda Bread

The principle of soda bread is that the raising agent is bicarbonate of soda (hence the ‘soda’ in the name) which is alkali which reacts with the lactic acid in yoghurt to produce carbon dioxide gas to lift the loaf.

As a result, the key technique with making soda bread is to get the dough together quickly, shape it and pop it in the oven. It can also be cooked in a dutch oven over a fire. So soda bread is the original ‘no knead’ bread.

Fancy having a go? Read on… Continue reading »

Jun 212011
 

Rotolo on the plateThis pasta is a bit of a show stopper. It looks just great on the plate and there are loads of variations you could make to the filling.

I’d often looked at the recipe in Jamie’s Italy and decided that it was a bit too much of a faff to do.  Then I saw the Rotolo that Maureen at Orgasmic Chef had created. I really liked the result she achieved and so determined to have a go myself. Of course, I wanted to do something a bit different to the recipe in the book with spinach and roasted squash.

I thought hard about colours and took the Italian Flag’s tricolor of green, white and red as my inspiration.

For the green I used our abundant (and free) nettles instead of the pasta.

For the white I used ricotta that I made.

And for the red I used tasty cherry tomatoes.

The nettle filling gives a unique ‘meaty-veggy’ taste with a great slight spicy edge. The tomatoes give a nice squish and flavour with slight acid balanced by the creamy cheese. The lemon-thyme butter was a lovely fresh tasting complement to the pasta.

Want to know how to make this? Read on… Continue reading »

May 162011
 

Sourdough breakfast bread

This is a wonderfully moist, tasty and nutritious start for your day full of fruit, nuts & spices. It’s also a great mid-afternoon snack for when your energy levels are dipping.

First thing to say is that the original idea was not mine. This recipe is a sourdough adaptation of Ed & Marieke’s yeasted muesli bread which you can find on their beautiful blog. Their recipe is lovely and will be useful to you if you are in more of a hurry to produce the breads. Obviously, there’s differences in the taste.

Fancy finding out how to make it?
Read on… Continue reading »

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