Tag Archives: roasting

Tony Chachere is my Hero

Around 2001, on a trip home, I discovered something which was to have a major impact on my cooking, and to a degree, improve my quality of life.  Enter Tony Chachere’s:Apologies for the rubbish picture – maybe the BlackBerry phone camera wasn’t the way to go with that one, huh?

I’m a spicy food fan – my mom used to slip hot peppers into our salads growing up.  My dad has fond memories of growing up with something called schoog (which I found is both a hot chili paste and a sweet drink – there are some Hebrew words that I’ve never quite come to terms with – imagine asking for one and getting the other.  Um, no.)

My husband is not.  But as we’ve been together for nearly a decade now (where does the time go – oh yeah.  There), he’s learning to love it.

Enter Tony’s – salty and spicy.  Perfection in a shaker as far as I’m concerned.  And the uses!!!

  • mix it with Parmesan cheese over pasta – yum
  • use it to season a pot of black bean, sweet potato and pepper stew – yum
  • shake some on top of chicken or veg when roasting
  • soups, stews, roasted meats and veg (great on potatoes) you want it spicy and a bit salty (I do love my salt), add Tony’s

Tony’s Roasted Courgette/Zucchini sticks

Ingredients:

  • Two large or four medium courgettes – cut into batons
  • spoon full of oil of you choice
  • generous shaking(s) of Tony’s to taste
  1. Put courgette into a zip loc bag
  2. Add oil, then Tony’s to bag
  3. Zip closed
  4. Shake, shake, shake
  5. Pour into roasting dish
  6. Pop in an oven (doesn’t really need to pre-heat) and turn it to about 400F/200C and roast to your liking (I like mine a bit dark, so left it in there fore about 45 minutes)Things I would do differently
  • Make more – so good.  Can’t wait to restock on my Tony’s in January!
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Pumpkin patch kids

I know Halloween has long since gone, but it’s just my absolute favourite, and as I can’t do Thanksgiving here per se, I do try to pretend Halloween lasts a little longer than one night.

One of the main ingredients for a proper Halloween, in my opinion anyway, aside from ghosts, spiders, etc, are pumpkins!

I sort of went all out with them this year – we had these three, and two more:

 

 

 

The stickers are courtesy of the Monkey-moo – Hello Kitty goes well with ghosts, right?!

We also did this:

Twice.  Once with just salt and a bit of oil, the second with a bit of oil, cinnamon, ginger and agave nectar (which I recently found and wanted to try).  I’ve never roasted my own pumpkin seeds, but will definitely be doing it again and again (will be trying butternut squash seeds next).  So easy, apart from the cleaning part, and they do take a while to dry, so I sort of oven-dried them first (low oven) before tossing the seeds, oil and seasoning in a zip lock bag and tossing it around.  Then I plonked them onto a lined baking tray.  I will definitely use greaseproof paper instead of the foil next time (I did one and one).  The sweet ones came off much better with the greaseproof paper than the foil!

For the insides of the pumpkins (the smaller ones – the bigger ones just got gutted and binned) – we have this:

Or rather, this is what’s left over.  I didn’t really grow up with pumpkin (my folks are not American – and this is not a food from either of their childhoods!), so didn’t really know what to do with it, but I just treated it like a general winter squash, and the love is certainly growing.  Roasting 6 pumpkin halves at once in the oven was also a good idea – bish bash bosh, as my husband would say (and lots of other people!).

I’ve seen plenty of recipes floating around for what to do with the rest of it, and I’ll let you know if I get around to trying one!  (Time’s been a bit tight of late)

I’ve also managed to snag this:

A present from my brother and SIL.  Very kind of them to fly it over for me!  I’m almost afraid to open the tin as I don’t know how long it will be before I can get another tin, and I expect it would cost me about GBP 7 to get one here (I love how you have to pay for the tin’s flight over when you’ve buying some foreign products…).  I’ve seen far too many good things to do with it as well.  Again, once I am brave enough, I will let you know.

I think I need to teach my daughter about Thanksgiving this year…  Let the pumpkins live on!

Grape expectations

The brilliant Stacey at Stacey Snacks did it again for me with sausages and grapes (http://www.staceysnacksonline.com/2011/10/salsiccia-alluva-sausages-w-roasted.html).  I love the idea of roasting grapes, and the thought of grapes and sausages together just sounded perfect – so I gave it a go with some minor alterations.  Stacey served her sausages over a cauliflower purée, I just didn’t want to do that many dishes, so I added it to the dish, along with some other things – so here it goes:

Roasted Sausages with grapes and mixed veg

Serves 2

  • 4 sausages of choice
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • two handfuls of grapes
  • 1 small bulb of fennel, cut into chunks
  • two handfuls of cherry tomatoes
  • one large red onion, cut into large dice
  • one tbsp oil (I used rice bran oil)
  • one tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • dash of worcester sauce
  • salt and pepper

Method:

Toss vegetables together in a large zip lock bag, and add seasonings. Toss to mix.

Put mixed veg in a prepared roasting tin (I usually just put a wee bit of oil and some sea salt in the bottom of mine to keep things from sticking and add flavour).

Top with sausages.

Bake at 180C / about 350F for 40 minutes or so (depending on how browned you like your sausages / veg)

Eat!

Am I the only person out there who still thinks of snausages when you say sausages – it was dog food, I think???