Thursday, 9 June 2011

Harvest Stew with Fresh Herb Dumplings

1 cup pear nectar
1 cup. vegetable stock
1 Tbl Dijon mustard
3 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 piece of butternut pumpkin, peeled & cut into chunks
3 small turnips, peeled and quartered
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 zucchini, sliced, or other green veg in season
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 tart apple, cored, peeled & grated
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup. plain  flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup thin yoghurt
2 Tbl butter, melted
1 Tbl chopped spring onions, plus rest of the thyme

Whisk together pear nectar, stock, mustard, 2 tsp thyme, ½ tsp salt and pepper in a large saucepan. Add the squash, turnips, carrots, zucchini, onion, apple and garlic. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered until the veggies are just tender (about 15 minutes).

Meanwhile, combine the flour, baking powder and remaining ½ tsp salt in a large bowl. Combine the buttermilk and butter in another bowl. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until the mixture forms a soft dough. Stir in the herbs.

Drop the dough by tablespoons onto the simmering stew. Simmer the stew, uncovered, for 10 minutes, then cover and cook until the dumplings are firm (about 10 minutes more).

Braised Red Cabbage with Apples

Serves 10-12

1 kg red cabbage

450 g cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped small

450 g onions, chopped small

1 clove garlic, chopped very small

¼ whole nutmeg, freshly grated

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

3 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons vinegar (I  used local apple cider vinegar)

knob of butter

salt and pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 150°C

First discard the tough outer leaves of the cabbage, cut it into quarters and remove the hard stalk. Then shred the rest of the cabbage finely.

Next, in a fairly large casserole, arrange a layer of shredded cabbage seasoned with salt and pepper, then a layer of chopped onions and apples with a sprinkling of garlic, spices and sugar. Continue with these alternate layers until everything is in. Now pour in the wine vinegar, lastly add dots of butter on the top.

Put a tight lid on the casserole and let it cook very slowly in the oven for 2-2½ hours, stirring everything around once or twice during the cooking.

Red cabbage, once cooked, will keep warm without coming to any harm, and it will also re-heat very successfully. And it does freeze well so, all in all, it's a real winner of a recipe.