The Gourmet Edit
This month, let’s talk vegetables – how to store them, what’s in season and how to use them in a delicious stew.
There’s nothing worse than stocking up on fresh fruit and vegetables, only to have them rot within a few days. Prolong the life of your produce by storing them correctly.
Leafy vegetables are best when eaten within a few days. Keep them in a plastic bag, in the fridge, to prevent wilting and don’t allow moisture in the bag as the leaves and stems will decay.
Keep your potatoes in a cool, dark and dry place and they will keep for a few weeks. If you’ve washed your potatoes, store them in the fridge, not in a plastic bag.
Carrots should be dry before popping them in the fridge and kept in a plastic bag. They can last several weeks.
Onions will last several weeks if stored in a cool, dry place, in an open container and not a plastic bag.
Beef and vegetable Stew with dumplings
- 500g beef, diced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 4 carrots, washed and chopped
- 4 potatoes, washed and chopped
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tbs tomato paste
- 1 can Guinness
- 3 ½ cups beef stock
- 2 ½ cups plain flour
- 3 ½ tsp baking powder
- 10 tbs cold butter
- Handful cheddar cheese
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ½ cup milk
Pre-heat oven to 180°C. In a large saucepan or stockpot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Brown the meat and then add the onion, garlic, celery and carrots. Cook and stir until the vegetables are soft.
Add the thyme and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the bay leaves, stock, tomato paste, and Guinness; bring to a boil, then pour into a large oven-proof dish, cover and put in the oven for two hours.
To make the dumplings, stir together flour, baking powder, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Rub in the butter using your fingertips, then stir in the cheese. Slowly add the milk, stirring until you get a wet dough. Spoon out portions of the dough about the size of an egg and roll them into a ball using your hands.
Take the stew out of the oven and pop the dumplings in one at a time, pushing them under the juices, put the lid back on and cook for another 30 minutes.
So many people screw their faces up at the mention of brussel sprouts – plagued by memories of being forced to eat boiled and bland vegetables before they leave the dinner table.
Well let me tell you a little secret, brussel sprouts are back and when cooked correctly are delicious – yep that’s right. All you need to do is chop the hard ends off, cut the sprouts in half and sautee in a medium-hot frying pan with butter or olive oil, salt and pepper, until caramelised on the outside, this will take a few minutes. A delicious alternative is using garlic butter, it adds an incredible flavour!
Miso is a paste made from soy beans and was first made in China. It is a versatile ingredient, most predominantly used as the base of savoury dishes including miso soup, or turned into a savoury dressing. But chefs are now introducing the miso flavour into sweet dishes, think miso caramels, ice creams and dessert dressings.
The ideal accessory for your takeaway coffee is a perfectly-manicured nail. I am milking the autumn/winter trend of delicious beetroot, wine and plum hues for as long as I can, all look scrumptious wrapped around a steamy cup of my favourite coffee blend.
CHILLI, TOMATO AND BASIL MUFFINS
- 1 tomato, finely chopped
- 1 tomato, sliced finely (for decoration)
- 1 large chilli, finely chopped
- 3 cups self-raising flour
- 60g garlic butter
- Handful fresh basil, roughly chopped
- 60g vintage cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
Preheat the oven to 180º, line a 12-hole cupcake pan, or six-hole muffin pan.
Sift flour into a large bowl and on a low-speed, mix in the butter, basil, chilli and cheese. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together and then combine with the dry mix. On a medium speed, mix until well combined.
Spoon mixture into the prepared tin, place a thin slice of tomato on each, sprinkle with salt and bake for 15-20 minutes.