A pretty, creative table setting is...
so inviting for a delightful meal; it is not uncommon for me to use my China dishes for just a regular dinner. I love it! It certainly is a nice change of pace every now and then.
So here are the recipes as promised. Sadly the mousse was not quite smooth. The texture didn't have that airy, silky and light quality to it as I expected, but it definitely tasted great!
Anyway, this recipe is fairly simple to prepare.
Dried Apricot Mousse with Mascarpone Cheese
115g golden caster sugar
200g dried Apricots
1 glass sweet Muscat wine
300ml double cream
200g Mascarpone cheese
55g shelled pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped
Place the sugar and water in a saucepan and dissolve, stirring over a gentle heat. Add the apricots and simmer gently for 25 minutes. Add the wine; simmer, uncovered, for 10 more minutes, until plump and very soft.
Meanwhile, beat 3/4 of the cream until it forms soft peaks. Set aside.
Place the apricots and all their juices in a food processor and process to a puree. Add the Mascarpone cheese and mix in quick bursts. Empty into a bowl and fold the beaten cream into the puree. Keep the rest for serving.
Cover, and put both the bowls in the fridge.
Serve lightly chilled with a swirl of the cream on top and a sprinkling of pistachio nuts.
This recipe sounds trouble in the kitchen but it is surprisingly easy. You'll enjoy using dried tomatoes to almost any salad, especially green salads- for a sweet, deep and chewy flavour. They are also wonderful with pasta, or meats. And we love them especially tucked into cheese sandwiches as well.
The piquant Goat cheese goes well with the saltiness of dried tomatoes. Yummy!
Home-dried Tomatoes Recipe
2,5kg ripe but firm tomatoes
1-2 teaspoons sea salt
Cut the tomatoes in half. Scoop out all the pulp and seeds with a spoon, arranging the tomato cases side by side and cut-side-up as you go. Sprinkle the tomato cases very lightly with sea salt, then place them close together but not touching and cut-side-down on wire racks. Place the racks in a very low oven. Switch on the fan, if you have one*. In a fan oven, the tomatoes should be dry in about six hours. (Otherwise, they will take anything from 8-12 hours. They will shrived to half their size, and are ready when still soft but when most of the moisture has evaporated.
Remove the tomatoes and leave on racks to cool. Use immediately or pack into sterilized glass jars and fill with olive oil.
Tip: If you don't have a fan, insert a skewer to prevent the door from shutting completely. This is most important, as it creates an airflow so that the tomatoes dry rather than cook.
The oven should feel no more than comfortably warm throughout.
The sweet smell of dried tomatoes will just fill your kitchen with heavenly aromas.
I love the earthiness of green salads combined with the dazzling, gem-like beauty of home-dried tomatoes, or sun-dried tomatoes. Dried tomatoes are very versatile and so delicious. xx