Sour Corn & Tomato sauce for the winter months

Sorry it has been a long time in between posts but Winter is fast approaching here in Tassie and it is a mad rush on good days to get all those last minute out door projects done before it is just to cold to go outside and on the wet days I have been busily preparing what fresh produce is around ready for those colder months, I practically hibernate in winter so I want to have a good stock of yummies to get me through.

This is what I did with one of the loaves I bought, I made it into a Weed Pest loaf

A friend and myself went on a little road trip up to Oat lands to buy Tassie grown and milled flour the other day, we are so lucky to be able to do this it’s such a privilege. These guys have restored the old wind powered stone flour mill and it is spectacular, I haven’t used the flour yet but it looks and feels good, we tasted the sourdough bread in a bakery there that were made from the mills flour and it tasted so good. I bought a big bag of whole meal wheat flour, a big bag of Spelt whole meal flour and a few loaves of bread the flour should get me through winter.

 

On the way back we stopped at a farmers stall and bought some fresh veggies, I bought fresh corns and tomatoes to process ready for the winter months, they are two thing I cant grow here, I have tried corn a few times but it never matures and no luck growing tomato’s here out side the season isn’t long enough but I have a hot house now so next year I will be producing my own tomato’s yah!
I made tomato sauce with the tomatoes, the recipe is below.

  • I box Ripe Field Tomatoes (Sorry didn’t weigh them, they filled a 18 liter pot)
  • 8 large Onions chopped
  • 3 cups homemade fruit vinegar
  • 2 cups Red Wine
  • 2 cups Raw Sugar
  • 15 rehydrated dried chillies, I used 3 different types I dried from last season
  • 6 Bay leaves
  • 10 cloves
  • 1 tablespoon Hot Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Salt & 1 Pepper
  • olive oil extra

Cook whole Tomatoes for 30 minute let cool, squish with hand and put through sieve to remove seeds and skins put aside

Fry onions with 1 teaspoon of the sugar in olive oil until tender and caramelized add wine, chillies, cloves, salt, pepper, paprika, vinegar, and tomatoes simmer until 1/3 reduced then blend, put back on heat and add sugar boil hard for 20 minutes while bottles are sterilizing in oven and bottle hot.

I love corn but unfortunately it isn’t very nutritious but I know how to fix this little problem and it adds a new dimension to plain old corn. I use a process called nixtamalisation this is a process use in many ancient culture whose staple food was corn, if they weren’t using this process they could not have survived on a diet dominated by corn, the process is as simple as cooking the whole corn cobs in wood ash, this opens up all the nutrient to our bodies it is so simple but so effective.

Doesn’t look nice but it smells great!

Nixtamalized corn kernels

 

I sieve the wood ash (1/2 cup to 10 cobs) so there are no large chunks in it and them simmer the corn cobs for about 3 to 4 hours, strain and rinse. I then cut the kernel from the cob make sure you get as much a possible  a little trick I use to get all the kernel is once I have cut the kernels off I run my knife at an angle up and down the cob and all the succulent bits that get left behind pop out.

After I have all the kernels (from 10 cobs) I add one tea spoon of good sea salt, 1 cup water and squish it all up in my hand until it looks a bit like creamed corn you could munch with a food processor if you want it more creamy but with this lot I left it a bit more corse, now I let the corn sit in a crock or large glass jar for 4 or 5 days to naturally ferment and sour, at this point I have frozen mine so I can grab a jar in winter and put it in soups and breads.

Kernels fermenting in crock

Fermented corn ready to freeze

I got this idea from  Sandor Katz book Wild Fermentation, in his book he talks about the Cherokee sour corn drink called Gv-No-He-Nv this is left to ferment for weeks and then enjoyed I tried this and it was just to sour for me but it made a gorgeous corn soup so this is where I got the idea to do what I did above.
When I take it out of the freezer I will let it sit for a few days before I use it so it can activate again.

Well that is were I am up to at the moment I hope all is going well what ever season you are in. 🙂

CORRECTION- this is not Nixtamalized corn I have bin informed, technically that term only applies to “dried” grains but I’m leaving info there because apart from it being  interesting n correct apart from that ok, Thanks 🙂

Advertisements

Power Packed Roast Garlic Pesto

Well who needs multi vitamin pills when you can have this, my special power packed pesto, it is a bit time consuming and a bit tedious to make but once made it is always at hand and easy to prepare for those days you just don’t have the time or energy to cook a full meal. I keep a big jar of this in my fridge and dip in as I like, it keeps for months no problem.

My friend grew beautiful organic purple garlic this season and I told him I would make him my special pesto coz there was no way he was going to get around to eating it all before it went soft and would start to shoot and it is my way of showing how much I appreciate his help every know and then in my garden. I knew he would love my special pesto and it would be great for those busy days when he gets home from working all day and cant be stuffed cooking up a big health meal and this is much healthier and cheaper than buying take away food.

Gorgeous roast home grow organic purple garlic

So above you can see the gorgeous roast garlic, this is probable the hardest tedious part of the process you have to nip the top of every clove in the head so they don’t explode and so the top just caramelizes a bit, once you have done this you roast in a hot oven for about 35 minutes, this will of cause depend on your oven you don’t want it over cooked because it will be mushy and hard to remove from the skin, it will still be ok just harder to do, so once cooked and cooled carefully remove skins and put into a bowl put aside, now wash and dry the herbs and weeds you are going to use, it is important to remove as much water as possible so it doesn’t make the oil go rancid! Ideally if you don’t have a lettuce spinner (my favorite kitchen appliance) pick and wash herbs in the morning lay on a towel and make this later once they have dried rite off or do greens the day before.

In this recipe I’ve used 2 cups Parsley, 1/3 cup Chives, 1 cup Sow Thistle (Sonchus sp,) 1 cup Fat Hen (Chenpodium album) and 3 heaped tbsp. dried Nettles (Utica dioica), and I used 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. white pepper, 1/2 tsp. black pepper and about 1 1/2 cups of extra virgin olive oil.

The amounts of each green are dependent on what flavors you like, as long as there is enough oil so the pesto sticks together!
Roughly chop herbs and weeds, now for the fun bit, put the roast garlic, herbs and weeds into a food processor turn on and gradually add the extra virgin olive oil until it is all combined nicely, just before it is finished season with salt and peppers to taste and that’s it months of easy healthy meals just add to pasta, couscous, quinoa, or rice, a good idea is if you have a busy life style at the beginning of the week cook up a big pot of one of these and keep in fridge so it is just there ready to be heated up with the pesto and what ever else you like. Or just put a dollop on some steamed or boiled veggies takes 3 minutes, you could even have it on toast or as a dip, I have made fantastic pesto garlic bread with this as well, the uses of this are only limited by your imagination! The problem is not eating it all at once, with something so special you want to make it last or you just need to make a big heap at once!……. If you aren’t growing your own organic garlic it can be expensive! I made about 600 grams out of the garlics in the picture above!

 

Just bottle and put in the fridge it last for months!

You want be sorry if you give this a go, I hope you enjoy as much as I do!