Saturday, 12 March 2011

good bread -

julia child apparently once asked 'how can a nation be great if its bread tastes like kleenex?' it seems to me that more often than not we settle for eating bread that tastes like 'kleenex' [metaphorically speaking of course since i've never tried kleenex and am not inclined to either]. mediocre bread has become a part of our 'on-the-go' lives. the other day i had a pret sandwich after a long long time and the bread tasted like card board. that's the problem with eating good bread. you get spoilt and then you don't want to eat card-board with a strange soggy texture in the centre and a slightly dry crust.

i try, as much as possible to buy fresh organic bread. we don't have an artisan bakery in our neighbourhood so i try to pick bread up from euphorium in angel when i am around upper street. on saturday after a leisurely brunch at gail's exmouth market i brought home some sour dough. o and i were going to the eight fifty showing for 'the adjustment bureau' and since we usually have popcorn at the cinema the sour dough was just the right thing to have for an early dinner.

i baked thick slices of ricotta after frying it lightly in olive oil and made a quick cherry tomato jam. there was left over butternut squash which i had roasted with a little salt, a sprinkle of sugar and some olive oil. the thickly sliced lightly toasted sour dough was the star of the dinner. 

to make my quick cherry tomato jam you will need:
a five hundred gram punnet of washed cherry/plum tomatoes 
three tablespoons of olive oil
three tablespoons of demerara sugar
three tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
half teaspoon of salt
teaspoon of kirmizi biber * [these are turkish red chili flakes made by rubbing red chilies with olive oil and then roasting them until they are brick red. i love sharp and smoky heat of these].

combine all the ingredients in a shallow roasting tin and place in a two hundred degree oven for twenty to twenty five minutes until the skins of the tomatoes are blistered. once this is done transfer the tomatoes with their juices to a pan and reduce to the consistency of a preserve. this jam has an sharp quick from both the tart tomatoes and chili along. the sugar and vinegar combines to a dark caramel note. it tasted really good with the very mild ricotta and butternut squash! 

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