Thursday, June 30, 2011
I have 2 fondue pots and one is a collectible and we don’t use either of them. I am a total cheese person but the rest of the family prefer it in either sandwiches or pizzas, I can have it with Indian food if I have to. We used one of the potss for chocolate once but no one cared much for the hugely tedious, bite sized collection of strawberries, orange segments (they are awesome with chocolate!), sponge cake (homemade), shortcrust pastry pops and bananas (I love bananas and consider them perfectly acceptable for service!). So that’s the deal with my kitchen and fondue, I have however found an ingenious application for the fondue forks. I once saw our recently eloped nanny do this with tomatoes and I thought it was a brilliant idea... she would stick a nice, big, juicy tomato on one of the forks and roast the hell out of it on an open fire and she did this fast, so it wouldn’t puncture all over and ooze on the flame. Then she would crush the tomato, burnt and all; dribble some mustard oil on it, salt and red chilli powder, the coarse one that has seeds!
I started doing the same thing, except I switched the mustard oil with olive and the chilli powder for freshly ground pepper powder. I use this relish everywhere, on sandwiches, in burgers, on pizza and even as a topping for crackers. I recently found a recipe of Mediterranean lamb burgers that a version of this relish with aubergines... supreme idea! Seriously, this is soooo fresh, so full of flavour and yet so decadent and rich.
2 large, firm, ripe tomatoes
2 small, firm, aurbergines
2-3 tbsp olive oil
4-5 pods of garlic, crushed/pulped (ever since Anthony Bourdain trashed the garlic press, I don’t make a mention of it!)
1 tsp mustard powder
Fresh ground pepper
Sea or regular salt
Juice of 1 lemon
Stick the veggies firmly on fondue forks and roast on an open fire, rotating once the area starts getting burnt-ish. Do this over low heat, so the veggies cook through, it takes time but it’s worth it. And it’s fun too, its urban bbqing ...quite honestly cooking on an electric bbq is as bad as roasting on a stove fire... I still do marshmallows like that. So anyway, take some time, roast these out, place on a glass or metal plate and let them cool slightly. Now use a fork to mush them up a bit and season with the rest of the ingredients. Serve with crackers and cheese, on or in sandwiches, make a Mediterranean hot dog with this ...the options are endless.
If you like relished extra potent and tangy then don’t use the mustard powder, replace with balsamic vinegar. You can do the same thing with Tabasco or any other hot sauce, drop the mustard and use this instead. You can also use a teaspoon of sugar to bring out all the other flavours. Enjoy!