Thursday, 2 August 2012

Recipe roadtest: Spiced tomato relish

Despite being a relatively regular Masterchef viewer I must admit that it irks me that almost everyone’s food dream revolves around opening their own restaurants.  Look, it’s admirable that they have these goals, but can we please leave the restaurant game to suitably qualified professionals?

I do, however, appreciate the obvious love and zeal that the contestants have for food and cooking (which to some extent I share).  Some of the feats they undertake in the kitchen successfully frequently make me think, if they can do it, and they’re regular Joes, so can I!

Until recently, our home only paid host to Masterchef when on TV.  I did not own any of their cookbooks (because if I could choose anyone’s cook book, why would I choose one of theirs?).  That was until recently, when I became the owner of one their cookbooks only by virtue of the fact it was in the $5 throw out bin at my local supermarket.

Marion Grasby is probably better known for not winning Masterchef, defecting television networks to appear on The Celebrity Apprentice and not winning that either and finally returning to Ten as a Masterchef All Star.  

Her cook book, simply titled ‘Marion' has been produced with a keen eye and attention to detail.  It looks simply gorgeous with its matte pages, beautiful photography, heart warming stories, interesting styling and simple illustrations.  From my recollections of her from TV the book seems very ‘Marion’. 

As I expressed some entries ago, M and I are on a mission to find the perfect pie.   I also strongly believe that gourmet pies, of the Parker Pie variety, should not, ever, be eater in a thrifty throw away manner.  Good pies are a delight, and should be treated with a little respect.  That means: be gone preservative and sugar laden tomato-tasting gloop.

Gourmet pie eating has shaken the very foundation of which I think about pies.  No longer do I reach for the ketchup as soon as a piping hot pie is taken from the oven.  No, instead I opt for a nice relish or chutney.

This is where Marion came to my rescue.

In her cook book, on page 203, in the section Things in Jars, there is a beautiful recipe for a spiced tomato relish.  What could be more delectable than a jarful of summer tomatoes, subtly laced with chilli and yellow mustard seeds?  Just take note: if you want it to be thick, chunky and textual you really don't want to cook it down to much.  

What could be a more yummy accompaniment to pies I ask you?  Yes, I thought as much, you don't know.

The great thing about relishes is once you have made several jars they'll keep for several weeks, and their uses are only limited by your imagination.  We've served ours with pies, in small bowls as accompaniments on cheese platters, for amazing I-didn't-buy-these-at-the-cafe sandwiches for lunch, you could even whack on a cute label to include in a look-what-I-made-for-you hamper.

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