It’s a sad day

Today marks the end of an era, it is a sad day in the Mr and Mrs Allotment10and10a house.

I went to the freezer, and found that we only had one bag of broad beans from last year’s harvest but we must remember to look on the bright side… broad beans will be fresh soon and the freezer will fill again.

I think broad beans are possibly my favourite vegetable, after asparagus, of course.

Any way we boiled up the last of the broad beans with pasta, chucked in some tomatoes and feta and coated in pesto.

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The chicken was pan fried and basted with garlic and herb butter. More on the herbs another time but we have made a herb hanging basket and they are loving it.

This meal was really tasty, easy and fairly quick but what got me most excited was, in a couple of months we will, hopefully, have most of the ingredients on our plot and make this fresh.

 

BBQ Pork Porchetta

With us suffering a mini heatwave in Southern England. It was too hot to cook inside the other night so I lit the BBQ and mowed the lawn.
But what do you do with pork loin steaks that were on offer at the weekend? Italian inspired Porchetta and I thought it was quite tasty but wished I’d added some of the dried chilli from the weekend to the rub.

Porchetta

4 pork steaks

2 tbsp oil

Small handful of fennel seeds

1 tsp black peppercorns 

Pinch of salt

Zest of 1/2 lemon

Dried chilli (optional, to taste)

1 tbsp fresh rosemary 

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In a pestle and mortar, crush the fennel, peppercorns and salt.

Mix all ingredients in a shallow dish.

Cover pork steaks and marinade for 30 minutes.

BBQ.

Easy, and the fat was perfect crackling

Green tomato chutney

So with the blight hitting the tomatoes we had loads of green tomatoes, and what does Mrs Allotment10and10a do with green tomatoes? She makes very tasty chutney!


Green tomato chutney

2.5kg green tomatoes, chopped

500g onions, sliced

300g soft brown sugar

200g dark brown sugar

1L malt vinegar

20g ground pepper

30g salt

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Salt the tomatoes and onions overnight, drain if required.

Put sugar and vinegar in a saucepan and bring to the boil.

Add tomatoes and onions, return to boil.

Simmer for 2 – 3 hours, but use your judgement for the consistency you want.

Sterilise your jars.

Add warm chutney to warm jars and seal and it should create a vacuum and seal like in the shops.

Mrs Allotment10and10a managed to make 6 jars from the recipe with a little left over for plough mans tea tonight.

The advantage of this recipe is that it’s good to go straight away.

Enjoy!

Courgette and Rainbow Chard Enchiladas

Well Thursday night came around and he had loads of courgettes and bunches of rainbow chard so I put on my chef hat and tried to clear the fridge and cupboards.

Courgette and Rainbow Chard Enchiladas

Serves 2 – 3

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Enchilada Sauce
2 tbsp oil

2 tbsp plain flour

1/2 tsp chipotle powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp onion powder

1 bottle passata 

In a saucepan heat the oil over a medium heat

Add the flour and whisk together, should form a paste / roux.

After a couple of minutes and the spices, stir and cook for a few minutes.

Gradually add the passata, continuing to whisk.

Taste and season as you go.

Leave to cool.

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Courgette and Rainbow Chard Enchiladas

1 – 2 onions, sliced

1 medium to large courgette, finely diced

Bunch of rainbow chard, washed and stems and leaves separated, stems chopped into 1-2 cm lengths and leaves shredded

1 pepper (optional), sliced

2 cloves of garlic, minced / finely chopped

1 jalapeño, seeds removed and finely chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

1 pack small tortillas, meant to be corn but I used flour

100 g cheddar cheese, grated

In a large frying pan heat 2 tbsp oil over a medium heat.

Add the onion with some salt and cook until the start to caramelise.

Add the courgette, chard stems, pepper and stir.

When the courgette starts to colour, add the jalapeño, garlic and chard leaves. Stir.

When the chard leaves start to wilt, a bit like spinach, check the seasoning.

Remove from the heat.

Preheat oven 160 fan

In a oven dish which is about the same width as your tortillas (mine was about 15 – 20 cm) put a layer of sauce

Use the tortillas to wrap between 2 – 3 dessert spoonfuls of the vegetable mix, before wrapping add some of the grated cheese and put in the baking dish

Repeat until baking dish is full, my veg mix made enough to fill about 10 tortillas

When baking dish is full cover with the rest of sauce and remaining cheese

Cook in the oven for 20 minutes or until cheese is nicely melted

Leave to stand for 5 minutes before serving or you’ll melt your mouth.

Enjoy!
Again sorry no pictures but this really surprised me how nice it was, will definitely be doing this again when I have more chard.

What do you do with a problem like courgettes?

So like most people we’ve had a few courgettes this year, not as many as last year, but we halved the number of plants.

So on a warm Wednesday afternoon when I got home before Mrs Allotment10and10a I thought I’d make dinner but when I went to the fridge all that greeted me were piles of courgettes. So when the allotment gives you courgettes make courgette and pea creamy pasta.

Now I’ve never written a recipe before and to be honest I didn’t really make a note of the quantities I used but here goes:


Creamy Cheesy Courgette and Pea Pasta

Serves 2 – 3.

1 or 2 largish onions

1 medium to large courgette

Large handful of peas (I had to use frozen ones, I rinsed under the tap in a sieve to defrost)

100 mL (ish) of double cream

2 cloves of garlic

50 – 100 g Fresh Grated Parmesan (or other cheese)

Salt and pepper to taste

Small bunch of fresh basil

(Grilled / pan fried chicken breast sliced – Optional)

Your normal amount of pasta for 2 -3 people.


Put 2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan on a medium heat.

Slice the onion and put in the pan with a little salt, fry over a medium to low heat for 10ish minutes or until they start to caramelise, stirring occasionally.

Put your pasta water on.

Meanwhile dice the courgette, small 0.5 cm dice.

Once the onion is starting to colour add the courgette, you might need to increase the heat slightly, stirring occasionally.

Put the pasta in the (hopefully now) boiling water .

Chop / mince the garlic.

Once the courgette is beginning to colour add the garlic and the defrosted peas, stiring occasionally.

After a couple of minutes add the cream.

Grate the parmesan over the sauce and stir to incorporate. You’ll need to taste as you go to ensure not too salty and cheesy enough.

If adding chicken, ensure it is fully cooked and stir into the sauce.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain. If possible reserve some of the starchy water (only a tiny amount 2 – 4 tablespoons) and add to the sauce and stir.

Chop the basil and add to the sauce.

Serve the sauce over the pasta.

Add pepper as you go but be careful with the salt if using Parmesan.

Enjoy!


Now I didn’t think I or Mrs Allotment10and10a would enjoy this as much as we did but I think I surprised her with my culinary skills so I didn’t take any photos. Sorry.

Now I think this would also work with mint as the herb and replace the cream with some stock and flour.

Or some lemon zest would lift this recipe a little but I didn’t have any unfortunately.