Marinated roast capsicum recipe

Marinated roast capsicum recipe

Marinated roast capsicum recipe

One good thing about this ‘little CV-19 problem’ is that I’m actually doing a lot of things I ‘haven’t had time for’.  And now I’m wondering what on earth stopped me before?  I think travel time is definitely a culprit!  When you’re not going anywhere you really save a lot of time in the day.

So when I had my weekly date with the shopping trolley and came across a pile of relatively cheap capsicums I decided it was high time I made some marinated roast capsicum.

This recipe is one I grew up with.  I can remember peeling the skins off capsicums when I was a kid, burning my fingers on the still-hot flesh.  There was something kinda fun about pulling the bubbling skin off – and yes, I do realise how wrong that sounds…  

It’s a simple recipe that results in a satisfying accompaniment for many meals.  This past weekend for our Easter Sunday dinner I served it with chorizo roast chicken (a riff on this recipe where I put the sliced chorizo under the skin on top of the breast instead of sprinkled on top), homemade hummus and roasted tomatoes, roast potatoes, green beans sautéed in butter and garlic and garnished with fresh dill, and homemade sourdough to mop up all those delicious chicken-y, tomato-y, capsicum-y juices.  

I also ate it for elevensies this morning, as you can see in the photos, on buckwheat toast with leftover hummus.  Yum.

Like I said before, it is a perfect accompaniment to lots of meals, and a REAL Greek woman has a pantry/fridge full of these kinds of dishes ready to pull out at a moment’s notice when unexpected guests arrive.  I have so many lovely memories of family meals made up of bits and pieces – leftover spanakopita and dolmades, bowls of tzatziki and taramosalata with bread for dipping, cold meats, chunks of feta, fresh salads and of course, patates (aka hot chips).

Marinated roast capsicum recipe

9 medium capsicums (this is a great way to use up the not so nice green capsicums)
3 cloves garlic, sliced
olive oil
white vinegar
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 200°C.

Wash capsicums and dry.  Slice capsicums in half lengthways, cut out the stem and remove the seeds.

In a lightly oiled (I like to use baking paper) baking dish or tray, lay the capsicum skin side up and generously drizzle with olive oil, using your fingers or a pastry brush to make sure all the skin is well covered.

Roast in oven until skin is blackened and blistered, as shown.

Allow to cool and then peel as much skin off as possible without wasting any flesh, and discard.  Some people like to put the hot capsicum in paper bags to sweat, however I don’t think this step makes a huge difference to removing the skins, and I’m not really worried if there’s a bit of skin left on the capsicum.

Tear up the flesh into similar sized strips of about 1.5″ x 3″.

In a medium sized jar, add a tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of vinegar, a few capsicum pieces, a couple of garlic slices, a small sprinkle of salt and pepper.  Repeat this same process until all the capsicum and garlic is used up.  The idea is that the capsicum will be nicely incorporated with the garlic, oil and vinegar by the end.

If, at the end, you find that you have a lot of capsicum not covered with oil and vinegar just continue to add oil and vinegar in even quantities until it is covered.  It can be eaten immediately, but flavours will continue to develop over the next few days and it will taste much better once the garlic has time to infuse the capsicum and liquid.

Cover with a lid and store in the fridge.

Quince & Blood Orange Slice Recipe

Quince & Blood Orange Slice Recipe

Quince hold happy memories for me.  Whenever I see their fuzz-covered, bulgy yellow skins in the fruit section of the grocery store my mind immediately skips back in time.  

…Dad, home for lunch, sitting at the kitchen table…

…the brown tinge of the yellow-skinned quince sliced up in front of him…

…the purse of his lips and squint of his eyes as he savours its tartness… 

…the crispness of the fruit as I take a bite…

…the sensation as its raw flesh wicks the moisture from my mouth…

Quince & Blood Orange Slice - Wife-made

But there is no denying it, they are an odd fruit.  Strange to behold and definitely an acquired taste when eaten fresh!  But in my humble opinion, they are the Cinderella of fruit – cook them and they turn into one of the most magnificent and decadent dishes you will have the privilege of tasting!  Smooth and dense and sweet – a perfect dessert fruit.

Quince season is upon us again, and as it turns out, so is blood orange season.  And it should come as no surprise that fruits of the same season are perfectly matched – although, pleasantly surprised I was. {Duh!}

Blood oranges are another fruit whose outward appearance belies the deliciousness of its insides.  At a distance you could be forgiven for thinking the grocer is trying to sell mouldy oranges if you’ve never seen one before.  But in truth, their skins are God’s sneaky hint at what you will find inside – an amazingly deep and rich {as opposed to tangy} orange flavour and gorgeous blood red juices.

I grabbed a couple of quince and some blood oranges the other day, with no intention to cook them together.  But then, when I was tossing up how to cook the quince my eyes happened across the oranges in the fruit bowl and an idea sprouted.  And I’m glad it did, because I am pretty pleased with the results.

Quince & Blood Orange Slice - Wife-made

I adapted this recipe from an Eleanor Ozich recipe that has become one of my go-to’s.  The original recipe is in the recipe book ‘My Family Table’ and there are a few recipes in there that I like to play around with, depending on what I have in my pantry and fridge at the time.

At the time of making this quince and blood orange version I happened to have a tub of this ice-cream in my freezer. 

Quince & Blood Orange Slice - Wife-made
Quince & Blood Orange Slice - Wife-made

It’s not a regular, because I’d be buying it every three days, if I’m honest.  It’s pretty yummy {no mean feat for a sugar free/dairy free ice-cream!}, and its caramelly flavour happened to be a lovely complement to the slice.  I also served it with some chopped {fresh – because I was being lazy} hazelnuts, but when I make it again I’ll toast them.

Quince & Blood Orange Slice - Wife-made

Quince & Blood Orange Slice Recipe

Ingredients

Quince:

  • 3 quince, peeled, cored and quartered (reserve the peel and cores)
  • 2 cinnamon quills
  • 2 star anise
  •  1 cup sugar
  • 2 pieces of blood orange rind, pith removed

Base:

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 2 tbspns maple syrup
  • 1 egg

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup blood orange juice
  • 1/4 cup rice flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • quince slices, as prepared below

To serve:

  • Toasted and chopped hazelnuts
  • Dollop cream or ice-cream
  • Reserved quince syrup

Method

Prepare the quince:

Preheat oven to 150°C. 

In an over-proof medium sized saucepan place the sugar, cinnamon, star anise, sugar, and rind with 1L of water.  Bring to the boil and cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes to thicken the syrup slightly.  

Next, add the quince (including the peel and cores) and cover with lid.  Place in oven to cook for approximately 2 hours, or until the quince is soft and pink in colour.

Remove from oven and set aside to cool.  Strain quince, discarding the peel and cores and reserving the liquid.  Slice the quince into 1.5cm wedges.  Set to one side.

Simmer the reserved liquid until reduced and thickened to use as a sauce for serving.

Prepare the slice:

Preheat oven to 180°C.  Line slice tin (approx. 18cm x 27cm) with baking paper.

In a medium sized bowl, mix the base ingredients until combined.  Press into the tin and prick with a fork several times.

Bake for approximately 15 mins, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.  If the base has puffed up, as soon as you remove it from the oven, just squash it back down again gently with your hand or a flat utensil like an egg flip.

Reduce oven temperature to 160°C. 

In a small bowl, whisk together the liquid ingredients until well combined.  In the same medium sized mixing bowl from above, place the rice flour and gradually add the liquid ingredients which whisking, to prevent lumps.

Layer the quince wedges neatly over the top of the cooled base until the base is completely covered.  Gently pour the topping mixture over the top of the quince and tap the tin gently on the bench to remove any air bubbles.

Bake in oven for approximately 30 mins, or until set.  It should set similar to a custard.  Remove from the oven and leave to cool before slicing.

Serve at room temperature with a drizzle of the quince sauce and a spoon of dollop cream or icecream.  Enjoy!

Greek Chicken Soup | My family recipe

Greek Chicken Soup | My family recipe

It’s been raining here for about two weeks.  It’s been cold and dreary and wet, and very much ‘stay inside and watch movies and read books and eat comfort food’ weather, even though we’ve all had to keep on keeping on with the regular school life schedule.  But it’s made me want to eat Greek Chicken Soup because it’s warm and delicious and so easy to make {which, let’s be honest, is pretty high on my list these days}.

Do you know the thing about traditional Greek food?

It’s deceivingly simple.  You won’t need ten different spices to cook good Greek food.  You might need two. Or maybe three, at the most.  {Here’s proof!}  It’s uncomplicated food that, despite it’s minimalism, holds a thoroughly satisfying flavour palette.  Such it is with Greek Chicken Soup.

Wife-made's Greek Chicken Soup

If you asked a Greek {I am one, remember!} why their simple approach to food tasted so good they’d probably say something like, ‘It’s Greek.  Of course it tastes good!’, as if that was enough of an explanation.  Or, they’d look at you, clicking their tongue, and pitying you for not being Greek.

Wife-made's Greek Chicken Soup
Wife-made's Greek Chicken Soup

In my opinion, the Greeks understand food {or understood, since these recipes are thousands of years old!}.  Their recipes, as you’ll see in this Greek Chicken Soup recipe, hold a simple sophistication, or put simply, they just know what flavours belong together, and nothing more needs to be said.  

In this case, they knew that chicken would be perfectly complemented by the tart lemon {a commonly used partnership in many a kitchen today!}.  Don’t ask me how they knew nutmeg was the spice to add, but they were right.  The smell of it as I grate it onto the chicken makes my mouth water!  But it’s the avgolemono {egg and lemon} that’s the hero here.  It adds a creaminess to the dish to create a comforting and filling meal that pleases both the tongue and the tummy.

Wife-made's Greek Chicken Soup

Not feeling well?  Put down the Windex and slurp up a bowl of this delicious Greek Chicken Soup! 

Greek Chicken Soup recipe

Basic recipe ingredients

  • 1.5kg whole uncooked chicken
  • 1L chicken stock
  • 1 cup rice
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • extra lemon juice, for serving

Method

Sprinkle chicken generously with nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Place chicken in a large saucepan, add the chicken stock and top up with just enough water to cover.  Boil for 1 hour.

Remove the chicken, allowing the juices to drain into the saucepan.  Set to one side.  Add the rice and cook until tender.  Approximately ten minutes.  Remove the broth from the heat.

In a medium-sized bowl beat the eggs and the lemon juice until light and frothy.  Using a jug or a soup ladle, {very slowly} pour the hot broth in a thin stream into the egg mixture, mixing with a whisk continuously.  It is VERY IMPORTANT that you add the hot broth VERY SLOWLY and mix CONTINUOUSLY, or you will end up with bits of unappealing stringy egg through the soup, instead of the delicious, creamy consistency of avgolemono.  Repeat until you have several cups worth of avgolemono in the bowl and then slowly add the avgolemono in the bowl into the saucepan of soup, once again mixing continuously.

Optional ingredients

  • 1 or 2 carrots diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 sticks of celery or half a fennel bulb, diced
  • 1 bay leaf

Since having kids, I like to add veges to as many dishes as possible.  For this recipe I will gently fry off the above ingredients in a couple tablespoons of oil in the saucepan as the step before those listed in the method above.  Simply add the chicken stock, chicken and water to the saucepan afterwards and continue on with the instructions above. 

To finish

Growing up, my Mum would place the chicken in a baking dish and brown it under the grill.  We would then break off bits of chicken to add to our individual bowls according to our hunger.  Another option is to remove and discard the skin and tear up the chicken meat, returning it to the soup.

Serve immediately, with the extra lemon juice on the table to be added according to individual taste {I like mine lemony!} and a loaf of crusty bread, to be broken off and dipped into the soup.

Sidenote

I thought I’d link to one of the cookbooks my mother used to use at different times – The Food of Greece.  Although she was taught to cook a lot of Greek dishes by my father’s mother, my Yia-Yia, she also used a couple of cookbooks.  This was one of her {and now my} favourites.  It is quite hard to come by, and as a result pricey, but worth it if you are looking for a good traditional Greek cook book.  

The Food of Greece - Vilma Liacouras Chantiles
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Spicy nut mix recipe | Make it and eat it!

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Marshmallow Recipe {You can thank me later}

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Wife-made Strudel Quilt Pattern

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