Freezing Fog

It hasn’t got above zero here for a few days and a thick layer of freezing fog has engulfed us all of that time. 

If you ever want to freak yourself out, try going for a solitary walk along a lonely country road in icy mist. 

Wah!

 

Baked Apricots

Baked dried apricots, I should clarify.  Being too chilly to grow round here and not being a fruit that travels well, it’s nigh on impossible to find a good apricot in Scotland at the height of summer, let alone in the depths of winter.  The dried ones are very nice indeed but just recently I’ve discovered a way to make them beautifully moist and gently spiced.

Baked Apricots with Ginger

Dried apricots

Crystalised ginger

Brown sugar

Water

  • Add the apricots to a ovenproof dish big enough for them to lie one or two apricots deep.  Scatter a little chopped crystalised ginger over the top.  How much?   Depends how gingery you want it.  I made about 25 apricots and used 2 marble sized chunks of crystalised ginger.  That was enough for a slight zing.
  • Pour water over the apricots and ginger until they are just covered.  Leave to soak while the oven heats up to 170oC. 
  • Cover the baking dish with foil and bake the apricots for an hour or until almost all the water is absorbed and there is just a little sticky liquid at the bottom of the dish.
  • Eat warm or cold on their own or with ice-cream.  I used mine to bake an apricot and ginger upside down cake.  Shall post recipe later in the week. 🙂

This Week’s Lunch

The secret to these beans is not to rush cooking the onions.  You want them to be perfectly caramelised and slightly crisp. 

Curried Butterbeans with Spinach – Adapted from The LA Times.

1 onion, chopped finely

2 tblspn olive oil

1/2 tspn turmeric

1/2 tspn powdered cumin

1/2 tspn powdered coriander

1/4 tspn chilli powder

1/4 tspn salt

400g tin of butterbeans (drained) 

2 handfuls of spinach, shredded

Handful of coriander, chopped

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

  • Heat the oil over a med-high heat.  Add the onion and cook for 10 mins or so until the onions are dark golden and slightly crispy.
  • Add the spices and salt to the onions and cook for another minutes before adding the beans.  Stir gently but well until the beans are evenly coated in the spices.
  • Stir in the lemon juice, spinach and coriander.  Put a lid on the pan and remove from the heat.  The spinach will partially wilt in the heat.
  • Best served at room temperature.