Wednesday 3 July 2013

Random recipe challenge

I currently have 128 Cook books at home plus several cocktail books and like a lot of people who love to cook I can't resist buying them but do I cook from them all, the answer is No. 

So when I spotted Dominic Franks of @belleaukitchen throwing out a challenge to his Twitter followers to cook a random recipe I decided to give it a go. 
The rules of this months challenge was to count your cook books from left to right, stopping at number 30 then choosing page 30. Cooking what ever recipe was on that page, no cheating! 

Admittedly I prefer to cook a recipe that has a photo to illustrate how the finished dish should look so when page 30 had not one but two recipes and both without pictures I was already out of my comfort zone.

The 30th book on my shelf was "The Great Garlic Cookbook". The first recipe on the page 30 was for real taramasalata. My partner and I are not great fish eaters so didn't see the point in making something that won't be eaten.

The other recipe was for "Sorbet (sherbet) Tomatoes", again not a recipe I would ever choose to make but this is a challenge after all.  




After my initial thought of yuk I thought about another sorbet I had eaten recently and liked very much, cucumber and mint at a restaurant called Fraiche ( you can read my review of Fraiche here ) which was lovely, so not all sorbets are of the desert kind, saying that a Tomato is officially a fruit ! 
This recipe did not require too many ingredients or expensive ones so what the hell, in for a penny in for a pound ! 
The only change I made to this recipe was instead of freezing the tomato juice in an ice cube tray which would take an age ( not a patient cook) I decided to use my Sorbet / ice cream machine. Ten minutes over a couple of hours, no contest ! 
This is how I made Sorbet ( sherbet ) Tomatoes
(Serves 4)
  • 2 large beefsteak tomatoes 
  • Salt
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed 
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • A generous handful of fresh mint leaves
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • 10g / 2tsp of sugar
  • 2 egg whites
To serve 
Sprigs of mint


Halve each tomato horizontally, scoop out and reserve seeds and cores.
Sprinkle the insides of the tomato shells with salt and turn upside down to drain.

Smear the inside of each tomato shell with the crushed garlic and sprinkle with pepper.

Press the tomato seeds and cores through a sieve to extract the juice . 

Make up to 2/3 cup 150 ml 1/4 pint with water.

Combine the mint leaves, tomato juice, lemon juice and sugar in a blender. The mixture should not be too smooth.

Pour mixture into an ice cream / sorbet maker and churn. This only took around 10 minutes due to the small amount of liquid. 

Whip egg whites with a couple of pinches of salt until it forms soft peaks. 

Fold egg whites into semi frozen mixture.

Freeze until firm, stirring occasionally.

Pile the sorbet (sherbet) into each tomato half and garnish with a sprig of mint.

Verdict : very pretty on the plate, the tomato sorbet was nice and subtle against the stronger taste of the tomato itself. Definitely a summer dish, but felt they were a little bit large.
Too much coldness for a starter. Would prefer these a bit smaller as a palate cleanser or refresher. Nice but if I am honest I wouldn't be in a hurry to make again. 

The point of this exercise was to challenge myself, I enjoyed the Idea of  making something I would never have attempted. Looking forward to taking part again next month. 

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  1. what an absolutely brilliant random recipes entry and from a random recipes virgin too!... these look so interesting and you're so right, absolutely not what I would normally make either and totally out of my comfort zone too... but actually they do look very very nice and I can see myself having a go at these and perhaps serving them in little shot glasses as a canape perhaps? Thanks so much for the brilliant entry and i'm glad you enjoyed the experience x

  2. Thank you Dominic for that lovely comment . Now why didn't I think of that ? Served in shot glasses would be fantastic, I just new there was a better way to enjoy a tomato sorbet rather than plonked in a massive beef tomato ! I might just be persuaded to make again myself now ;0)

  3. On a hot day like today I think these would go down a treat. I think I agree about finding an alternative to the plonking in the tomato, though. Very envious of that ice cream machine - I've run out of ice cream.

  4. Yes I think Dominics sugestion of serving the sorbet in a shot glass is a winner. Thanks for your comment , much appreciated ;0)

  5. Wow - there's nothing like being plunged in at the deep end for your first challenge! 10/10 for adventurous-ness.

  6. Thank you so much for your comment Ruth. Yes this recipe really dragged me out of my comfort zone, that said I loved the challenge, so much so I'm looking forward to taking part in future challenges ;0)