Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Asian Plum Sauce and Zuchinni Fritters

 We managed to save some of the plums from the cockatoos, but they were quickly ripening in the summer heat. 

Asian Plum Sauce to the rescue

 A small revelation.  I am a very poor labeller of my preserves.  I put them on the shelf to finish cooling then forget about them. Chutney can look like jam and this sauce was looking a little close to raspberry. Part of the put off in labelling is fiddling with sticky labels in the printer. These I just printed with our new laser printer on plain copying paper and stuck on with PVA glue. Of course I did forget to date them, but at least I know what's inside.  I think they will disappear pretty fast anyway so the missing date shouldn't be a problem. This was so quick and easy and gives many more possibilities to insert pictures and use different shapes. They'd look prettier with some fabric on top, but I think these few jars are for my eyes only.

 The only downside to the recipe is that there wasn't more. Sieving out the skins does remove a fair bit of bulk.
Asian Plum Sauce
2kg mixed red skinned plums quartered and pitted
200g brown sugar
1 whole star anise
1 tspn cinnamon
2 green chillis finely chopped
200 ml rice wine vinegar
200ml plain white vinegar
100ml XiaoXing Chinese Rice Wine
50g finely grated ginger
4 garlic cloves finely chopped
2 red onions (small) finely chopped
1 white onion (small) finely chopped
8 tbspns light soy sauce and a few good dashes of ketchap manis

Forget to read the recipe, and put it all in a pot and leave overnight in the fridge as this sauce making is taking too long.
Realise in the morning that the sugar shouldn't go in until after the fruit has softened. March on ahead with simmering until it is all soft. Lots of simmering - 2hrs or so until very soft - taste and add what you like - more salt, sweet, spice etc...
Sieve out skins pushing with wooden spoon - discard remaining contents of sieve (this felt wrong).  Return to pot and simmer some more - maybe another 2 hrs.  Place a saucer in the freezer.   

To test if it's ready put a teaspoon of sauce on the cold plate - if the sauce stays apart when you run your finger through the middle it's set, if not simmer some more.

When ready place into hot sterilised jars.

If I had my time again I would consider blending the sauce after the hard spices are removed so as to extract maximum goodness and bulk from the skins.

A wonderful morish plum sauce with the spices, ginger and garlic all playing a part. Plum sauce has always been a personal favourite, my mum regularly made it when I was growing up, and it was my sauce of choice as a kid.

 These are the outcome of seeds I collected from a neighbours regular looking yellow squash last year- they're making the most beautiful Squachinnis.

Zuchinni Round de Nice - a mutato with 3 fruit merged into one.

Like the rest of Victorian's with vegie patches, we are now getting oodles of zuchinnis.  It seems that once they start, there is no end in sight.  We did manage to give away a bag full last week but a whole new lot are awaiting harvest. I'm taunting the kids with threats of zuchinni for dinner each night, and following through on many occasions.
This recipe was a hit, which was lucky as I doubled it and have frozen many leftovers which we've been eating for lunch. Recipe was adapted from here

Zuchinni Fritters
4 small/medium zuchinnis (home grown) grated
4 cups self raising flour
6 eggs (free range from neighbour)
3 garlic cloves chopped finely (home grown)
1 tin of drained corn (fresh would be better but ours is just pollinating)
2 red onions diced finely (home grown)
small bunch of chives chopped (home grown)
1 cup grated cheese
2 cups milk
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together, will seem quite sloppy. Fry in olive oil - dollop spoonfuls on bbq, wait until cooked through when turning, cook on medium heat until golden brown.  The BBQ was great for dealing with such a large quantity.

 Not the classiest of food pics.  I only thought of taking a picture after I went back for seconds, so my sauce is all smudgy (it's really thicker than it looks in the picture too). Zuchinni fritters with grilled eggplant (a pretty purple and white Fairy variety) and Asian plum sauce.

We knocked over this bottle in a week.

Delicious ways to eat zuchinni
Grilled plain
Grilled with Dukkah
Grilled with a balsamic vinegar and pine nut glaze
Grated with pasta - 2 versions (fry until just soft)
one with lemon zest, juice, garlic and chilli and another with  
olive oil, garlic, onions, anchovies, chilli
Diceded finely in fried Rice
Chopped in a putanesca sauce.
Vegie Lasagna
 I can also recommend the classic zuchinni slice

I don't reallly like stuffed zuchinnis, they are a bit to mushy for my tastes, but if anyone has a recipe to convert me please forward  it on. In fact please link any special zuchinni recipes you may have.
Zuchinni growing technique - in November dig grass and a big hole in the ground. Plant mulberry (grown from a cutting bought on Ebay) and surround with newspaper covered with 5 bags of horse manure. Plant zuchinni seeds in pockets of soil  around mulberry - about 3 seeds in each pocket - seeds took about a week to come up - some were fortuitously stolen by cockatoos. Almost all seeds germinated.


 After - a very happy mulberry and thriving zuchinnis. A great way of establishing a fruit tree as you remember to feed and water it in it's early stages.
 After - rudolph is coverd in deep zuchinni shade.
And the extra patch of squash I had to create because I can't be ruthless with unnecessary seedlings.  Well none have gone to waste yet.


  1. Love your list of suggestions for zucchinis. I have a couple of fav things to do with them...there are three recipes on this tag

    A zucchini and tomatoe thing in the oven, a grilled zucchini thing and my fav, my version zucchini fritters with whipped feta.

    Going to use your plum sauce recipe too.

  2. Mmmm.... plum sause and zucchini fritters both recipes sound delish and as i too have a pile of zucchini in the crisper of the fridge i think i will try the fritters first.

  3. Love the recipes and some great ideas with the zucchini's there!

  4. Zucchini fritters sounds delicious.

  5. Oh, how wonderful! I loved plums growing up in TX but I can't find good ones here in CO--they don't grow here and the imported ones are terrible.

    Fortunately we can grow zucchini, even in our limited space!

    Your post is making me look forward to spring! :-)


In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.
Margaret Atwood

“She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbour:
"Winter is dead.”
― A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young