Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Allotmenticity - 31-12-08 - New Years Eve

A very happy and let's hope prosperous New Year to all.
I had to nip down to No87 to get some herbs and the frost was making everything look fantastic.
I can't believe how the garlic will survive and the kale just tastes wonderful. The recipe from Sod It Grow Your Own is really tasty and was a great hit as a starter over Xmas.
I actually managed to get a couple of visits in before the frost and have dug the spud-bed ready for next year. I'm using the pelleted manure again which seemed to have a great effect. The one thing I've noticed is that I omitted the lawn mowings in the last row of Maris Pipers and they've all got scab. Surely it can't be that effective or even necessary, but the difference is amazing.
Ah well, it's onwards to 2009.

All the best to everyone,
and don't forget to check out Aston FM for some more madness!

The Captain

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Allotmenticity - Christmas Greetings.

I hope he's left me something nice!!!

I just had to add the recipe I told Gary James on Aston FM last Friday on Captain Tongo's 6 of The Best

A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.

Looking forward to some great times in 2009!

The Captain.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Allotmenticity - Sod It Grow Your Own Pt 6 - 15-12-08

Kale with Cannellini beans, Chorizo, Garlic & Chilli.

3 tablespoons extra virgin Olive Oil (preferably strong and spicy)
1/4 teaspoon dried Chili Pepper Flakes
1 large Garlic clove – skinned and finely chopped
2 small bunches Curly Kale (about 7 oz) – remove stems from mature leaves and chop finely;
1–15oz can Cannellini beans – drained
100g Chorizo Sausage
1/2 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 large glass Dry White Wine.

Heat a large heavy-bottomed frying pan or wok over high heat. Add the Olive Oil, Chorizo Sausage, Chili Pepper flakes and Garlic and sauté for 2/3 minutes until the oil is flavoured and red from the Chorizo. Add the Kale and sauté for an additional 2 minutes, tossing frequently, until wilted. Add the Dry White Wine, toss again, cover the pan and reduce heat to medium-low. Braise for 8 to 9 minutes until kale is tender. Add the beans, salt and pepper to taste, toss well, raise heat to high and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes until beans are warmed through. Remove from heat and set aside.

To Serve, cut a French stick in half lengthways & into 6" pieces and griddle until browned.
Slurp a glug of Olive Oil on each piece and serve the kale mixture on top for a funky starter, or on its own as an accompaniment. (Leave out the Chorizo for a Vegetarian dish.

(I had this last night and it was delish!!!)

The Captain.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Allotmenticity - Sod It Grow Your Own Pt 5 - 08-12-08

Welcome to the latest wacky world of Captain Tongo and "Sod It Grow Your Own"

Here is the recipe I mentioned in the broadcast. I tried it the other day and it's really tasty.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Chorizo Risotto
(serves 2)

½ Butternut Squash, peeled and chopped into 1cm pieces

1 tablespoon Olive Oil

100g Chorizo (Picante for preference)

1 small Onion, finely chopped

150-175g Risotto Rice( You can get Arborio from Sainsburys, Asda, even the Co-op )

75ml White Wine

600ml hot Vegetable Stock

50g grated Parmesan

Juice of half a Lemon

Freshly grated Black Pepper

Preheat the oven to 200c.

Toss the butternut squash with the olive oil and season. Place on a tray and roast until soft – around 20-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the chorizo in a pan and fry until it releases its oil and starts to cook. Add the onion and cook until it is soft and the chorizo is cooked through. Now add the rice and mix well so it becomes coated in the chorizo oil. turn the heat up, add the white wine and stir while it bubbles away.

Add the vegetable stock a ladle at a time, stirring constantly and adding the next ladle when the rice absorbs the liquid. When you have used most of the stock, test the rice to see if it is cooked – you may need slightly more/less liquid. When it is ready add the roasted butternut squash, parmesan, lemon juice and black pepper. cover and leave to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Fabulous for a winter's supper dish.

Oh and watch out for news of a film crew coming down to No87.

"What a Rock Star does on his day off". Coming soon to the Internet!!!

Just back from some crazy travelling with "The Legend" Bognor - Scotland! Madness!!

The Captain.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Allotmenticity - Sod It Grow Your Own Pt 4 - 01-12-08

Listen in and find out, "How to stop the squirrels nipping your nuts!"
More Aston FM fun with "Sod It Grow Your Own"

Allotmenticity - Stuffed Cabbage, Irka's Galumpkis

My friend The Polish Princess’ Stuffed Cabbage Leaves

(Irka’s Galumpkis)

Ingredients for 4 as a starter:

1 Large Savoy Cabbage.

1lb Minced Beef.

1 cup Rice.

1 Medium Onion finely chopped.

1 clove Garlic finely chopped.

Pinch dried mixed Herbs.

For the sauce:

Can chopped Tomatoes.

1 Small Onion finely chopped.

Pinch dried mixed Herbs.

Core the cabbage and separate the large outer leaves removing the thick stem. You will need 4 leaves. Cook in boiling water for 5 minutes or until soft.

Drain & pat dry with kitchen towel and set aside. Keep some of the cabbage water to add to cooking liquor.

Fry Onion, Garlic and Minced Beef for about 5 minutes until meat is browned, remove from heat and add herbs and rice.

Take Savoy Cabbage leaf and add a generous heaped tablespoon of filling onto the leaf and roll folding in the sides to make a parcel. Don’t roll too tightly as the rice expands as it cooks.

To make the cooking liquor, fry the onion until soft, add the chopped tomatoes, about ½ can of the cabbage water and the mixed herbs. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

In a large saucepan place the cabbage parcels seam side down in layers and cover with the tomato liquor. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 30 minutes. Test to make sure the rice is fully cooked.

Serve in large warmed soup bowls with crusty bread.