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.


Joanna said...

David this is a great recipe - here, where we're really trying to do the seasonal thing, it'll have to wait until early summer, and then it will be just the thing with Chairman Mao's red braised pork which I've done a couple of times recently ..

Great, as you say, for 100mph living

Thanks for sharing

David Hall said...

Hi Joanna

You know I'm Mr Seasonal, and I wouldn't have done this for any other reason than GBVC. Its one of my fave speedy dishes.

That pork sounds delicious by the way. Hope life is good.


Ed Bruske said...

Oh, yes, David, The Slow Cook definitely approves. Not just this particular recipe (something I wish I'd thought of), because we particularly like the sweet and sour treatment, and that would seem to suit bell peppers woderfully. But the writeup sucked us right in. I'm embarrased to say I haven't visited your blog before, even though you've been a regular over with Charlotte and Freddie. So I'm going to create a permanent link for you right now at The Slow Cook.

(I've grown into a real food nag, so I wasn't going to mention the seasonality thing. But Joanna said it for me.)

David Hall said...

Hi Ed

I'm glad the Slow Cook approves. Yes, I've had my hand slapped off both you and Joanna now, but hopefully now that you are going to pop over a bit more, you will see that I pride myself on seasonal cooking. It is what I'm all about! I was excused from Charlotte to do anything and this one sprang to mind as ideal. Not that I'm defending myself or anything :o)


Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

No need to defend yourself David...wink..wink...What would I eat for fresh fruit and vegetables in the winter if I had to eat seasonal and buy Canadian???The answer is I would likey starve...

Anonymous said...

oh yes! I make this as well. The leftovers make a great fritatta :)

Figs, Bay, Wine said...

Just wonderful - a sophisticated version of the peppers and onions all my Italian American friends serve over here. I love the kick of the pepper flakes!

Anonymous said...

David - I think they look absolutely mouth is watering.

Another thing to try at the weekend...!

Terry at Blue Kitchen said...

David--This sounds like a lively, healthy side that would complement many dishes. Much of my cooking is exactly this kind of thing, something I can prepare in about the time it would take the pizza guy to show up. And the time spent cooking helps me unwind from my day.

Wendy said...

This really appeals to me. So much so, I may try it out tonight!
I mostly eat seasonally too but peppers are a staple in my house. Love them!

Cynthia said...

Ummm, never had sweet and sour peppers before. Thanks for the intro, David.

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