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Astar's Recipe - Red Pepper And Tomato Relish, Rhubarb cake, Chick'en Chickpea Salad - 27 Feb

Cooking with Astar

Red Pepper And Tomato Relish - (Allyson Gofton's recipe)

Make this when red peppers are in season they are full of flavour and cheaper. 
1.5kg red peppers
4large ripe red tomatoes
4cloves garlic
1tblsp chopped fresh root ginger
1cup sugar
1/2cup white vinegar (cider, white wine or distilled)
1tblsp mustard seeds
2tblsp whole allspice
2tblsp whole peppercorns

1. Grill the red peppers under a high heat, until blackened all over. Transfer to a plastic bag until cool enough to handle. Peel away the charred skin, seed and chop finely.
2. Blanch, peel and chop the tomatoes.
3. Peel and dice the onions, and garlic.
4. In a large saucepan put the peppers, onions, tomato, garlic, ginger and vinegar. Tie the mustard seeds, peppercorns and allspice in a small muslin bag and add to the saucepan. simmer for 15 minutes.
5. Stir in the sugar and cook for a further 15 minutes, until thick. Remove the spice bag.
6. Transfer into hot sterilized jars and seal immediately.

Rhubarb cake

This is the most delicious moist cake and can be served as a pudding or as a cake with coffee.

Note - I have made it with half rhubarb and pineapple.

Shopping list

1 good bunch of fresh rhubarb - say 4 large sticks - cut into 3cm slices

1/2 cup caster sugar
90g butter - softened
2 lightly beaten eggs
1/2 cup self-raising flour + 1 tbsp or more
2 tbsp milk - or you can use yoghurt
Pinch of salt

Cake topping

50 g plain flour
60 g cubed butter
2 tbsp castor sugar


Pre heat oven to 180c
Grease and line a 20cm metal spring form cake dish

Make cake topping first - into a bowl add flour then rub in butter until it resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in sugar and set aside.

Into a bowl, mix together the rhubarb and sugar and set aside.

Beat to cream butter, then add sugar and beat until light and fluffy.

Add eggs 1 at a time.  Add the extra I tbsp of flour between eggs to stop mix curdling.

Add flour with salt and fold into mixture adding up to 2 tbsp milk to form a nice dropping consistency.

Spread evenly into prepared tin, then top with rhubarb/sugar mix, followed by the crumb topping.  

Bake for about 1 and 1/4 hours or until golden or when a skewer is inserted into the middle of cake it comes out clean.

Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

Dust with icing sugar.

Optional extra - stew a few sticks of rhubarb, add a little sweet wine, blend well together, then pour over each cut piece of cake and serve with fresh yoghurt.


MOROCCAN CHICKEN AND CHICKPEA SALAD - (Annabel Langbein's recipe - Eat Fresh (p.98))

To prepare: 15 minutes
To cook: 2-3 minutes
Serves: 4

2 x 300g cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp salt and several grinds pepper
3 tbsp lemon juice
4 cooked chicken breasts, shredded into bite-sized pieces
8 tomatoes, quartered
2-3 roasted red capsicums, thinly sliced
140g baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup Greek yoghurt
Garnish: 4 tsp dukkah

Place chickpeas in a pot with oil, spices, lemon zest and seasoning and over heat for 2-3 minutes until mixture sizzles and smells aromatic. Remove from heat and allow to cool 5-10 minutes.
Mix in lemon juice and place in a large mixing bowl with chicken, tomatoes, capsicums and spinach. Gently toss to combine then divide between 4 serving plates. Dollop over yoghurt and scatter with dukkah.