Thursday, 13 December 2007
They're Hasty Hasty, very very Hasty
'Nay, but make haste; the better foot before', demanded King John to his knight, in an effort to rally themselves for one final push into France to decide who was the true king of England. And in the end, he dies. Poisoned in fact. Old Shakey knew how to write a thriller.
Of course, a little haste can have its benefits, especially when it comes to food. In this day of 100mph running around trying to make ourselves so busy, we often forget the art of cooking and reach for the convenience foods. And that has its repercussions as we all know. Personally, I just like to slow everything down and have a good old few hours knocking up a storm in the kitchen. There is nothing like it after a hard day's work. But it is always nice to have a few speedy recipes up your sleeve for those times when cooking seems like a chore.
Our great mate friend Freddie at the Great Big Vegetable Challenge is onto Q in his alphabet of the vegetable challenged, and his mum Charlotte simply cannot find a vegetable that starts with that letter. So in a flash of inspiration, she has challenged a few of us to come up with a 'Quick' vegetable dish. So quick, it has to take 10 minutes or less.
This recipe is one of those I always keep handy in my little head of culinary delights for when a vegetable accompaniment for anything is required and time is against me. As long as you have some peppers, garlic and a few store cupboard ingredients, you can have some delicious sticky sweet and sour peppers on your plate by the time it takes to look through the Yellow Pages to find a decent takeaway. So leave the old book where it is, spend a couple of minutes slicing and a further 8 cooking, and before you know it, you will have a beautiful thing on your plate. These are perfect with a piece of fish or chicken, but are an equal delight on a piece of toast for a quick veggie lunch. Make haste...
Sticky Sweet and Sour Peppers
Serves 2 on toast or as an accompaniment
2 peppers, I use red and yellow, sliced into thin slivers
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
A pinch of chilli flakes
Salt and pepper
1 - In a non-stick frying pan, preferably with a lid, heat up the oil until very hot. Lower in the pepper slices and cook for 5 minutes with the lid on, removing now and again to give it a good stir. You are looking to get them broken down and caramelised as soon as possible. Don't worry if any begin to look slightly charred, this will just benefit the flavour.
2 - Once caramelised, remove the lid and quickly stir in the garlic.
3 - Stir in the sugar, vinegar, chilli and a good grinding of black pepper and cook for 1-2 minutes until it starts to look nice and sticky and reduced. Taste for seasoning, it may need a pinch of salt. And that is it.