Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Bolognese sauce

 We've just got a juicer - or rather the other half has. It's supposed to aid weight loss as you are meant to chew up all sorts of vegetable matter in it to make juice.

It's certainly high-powered and cleverly designed. It has twin blades and seems to be able to chew up anything into a gritty sort of juice. Unfortunately some of the fresh vegetables you can juice leave a rather bitter taste. That may well aid weight loss as it's a real appetite killer.

So it occurred to me I could use it to make a proper Bolognese sauce to go with my pasta. That is a sauce that  feels like it's been made with tomatoes.

If you remember the story of my pasta sauce, I started by trying to make it like Bolognese. I chopped a range of vegetables - mainly red cabbage and leek - as finely as possible, sometimes adding Golden Delicious apple or banana for a sweet and sour effect.

To do this you have to fry the vegetables before the fish or separately from the mince.

So I've ended up with a delicious pasta sauce containing a variety of vegetable, fruit and fish together with soy sauce. It is delicious but some complain it's a little salty. And it's not Bolognese as the vegetables and fruit are stir fried and not pulped.

So for my first effort with the juicer I didn't use a base oil. I juiced red cabbage, leek, shallot and white cabbage and banana, put it in the pan and added soy sauce and tuna. It was disgusting and there was too much of it. The juicing of vegetables leaves a very bitter and unpalatable taste.

I tried again and this time I fried some sardines first and added the soy sauce first. Then I added the vegetable juice. That tasted a lot better and looked like Bolognese sauce also.

It's still nothing like a substitute sauce yet and I could not serve it to guests and pretend it was Bolognese. Next time I will try apple instead of banana.

That's if there is a next time as this really is not as tasty as what I was doing before with stir fry.


Monday, January 12, 2015


 Somebody introduced a bottle of Sake into the house as a Christmas present - that's what's often called Japanese rice-wine.

It's never appeared on any lists so I thought I would check out the ingredients. It's fermented rice - so basically rice except that a special yeast is used for fermentation.

There's nothing wrong with rice - no salicylate in it, nothing green, red or orange. What could possibly go wrong?

Here was a chance to widen my range of alcoholic beverages, I thought. Currently it's just whisky, gin and vodka that's "allowed" and of the three I only drink whisky as it's the only one with any kind of taste. I'm never sure about it because it does pick up chemicals when it's stored in wooden barrels - hickory barrels in the case of Bourbon I believe.

So I tried a small glass of sake. Wikipedia advises that it is not really a wine and is a little stronger. Tastewise, it's like a dry sherry. Terrific, I thought. We could keep a bottle of Sake in the sherry cupboard (if we had a sherry cupboard, that is). The taste is not massively appetising - it's no substitute for red wine or a good Chardonnay. That's so far as I can  remember as I have - with a few exceptions - only ever sniffed any wine for the last eight years.

That was yesterday. Today I'm not so sure. It seemed to have quite a kick. Maybe get some in for next Christmas.