Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Z = Zebras and Zucchini Soup

Well, this is the end of the A to Z Challenge. I hope everyone has enjoyed it.

I couldn’t believe it when I found out some time last year that Zebra meat was now being sold in stzebraores, at least in South Africa. However, I suppose most any animal can be eaten and it seems similar to a horse. I have just discovered that there are several species of zebra, and I thought they were all the same. The stripes are as different as fingerprints, but each of the three species has similar markings. This is a lovely picture taken by the National Geographic photographers. They say that people are not quite sure why they have stripes but believe it might have something to do with camouflage. A predator would have difficulty focusing on one animal because their appearance is visually broken up, especially if they are running. Family units (especially Plains Zebras, the most numerous) tend to stick together although they might join up with a herd, safety in numbers after all. Lets face it, I get dizzy just looking at this photo.

I was going to use this recipe last month and then I woke up and thought it’s a Z for goodness sake, save it. So here it is from Cooking.com. I have never thought of making soup with zucchinis for some reason, this sounds pretty good and I enjoy cold soups in the summer. Vichysoisse being the classic of course.

Herbed Zucchini Soup

Source: © EatingWell MagazineZuchini Soup
4 servings, 1 1/4 cups each

This is one of the few soups that make the cut in summer. Serve it chilled to take the edge off a hot August night.

Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Serve chilled or reheat.
3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 pounds zucchini (about 3 medium), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon or dill or 1 teaspoon dried
3/4 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese (3 ounces)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Tip: Hot liquids can splatter out of a blender when it's turned on. To avoid this, remove the center piece of the lid. Loosely cover the hole with a folded kitchen towel and turn the blender on. Better airflow will keep the contents from spewing all over the kitchen.

Place broth, zucchini and tarragon (or dill) in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the zucchini is tender, 7 to 10 minutes. Puree in a blender (see Tip), in batches if necessary, until smooth. Return the soup to the pan and heat over medium-high, slowly stirring in cheese until it is incorporated. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. Serve hot or chilled.

Have a great day

Monday, April 29, 2013

Y = Yoghurt, Yoghurt with Cucumber and Mint

I have a personal grouse about yoghurt, it is very difficult for me to find plain, unsActiviaweetened yoghurt. I first encountered yoghurt in the Mediterranean where I learned to eat it plain although lots of people in that area added honey, but I don’t like that, plain is good for me. Nowadays, everything possible is added to it and I just don’t enjoy it. I do use a vanilla yoghurt when I want to make yoghurt cheese (i.e. yoghurt drained in cheesecloth for several days), but normally I want plain. I found one I liked, probiotics and all, made by Danone in their Activia line and then our local grocery store stopped carrying it. Now if I want that particular brand I have to go to another grocery chain to get it which is a nuisance to say the least. I suppose it wasn’t selling well enough. My father’s answer to that was “well give me some of the ones that didn’t sell”.  I found a Wikipedia article on yoghurt which said that the Persians believed Abraham’s fecundity and longevity was due to his regular ingestion of yoghurt. It has been described as the food of the gods and has been eaten in India, Russia and the Mediterranean countries for thousands of years. No-one knows how it first came to be made (I believed it was just sour milk for many years) and it can be made with soy milk or sheep’s milk or just about any kind of milk product.

The Indians have certainly been eating yoghurt, which they call Raita, for a very long time and it is absolutely delicious served with curries, especially really hot ones.

Yogurt with Cucumber and Mint
Serving: 6 Yoghurt with Cucumber


  • 600ml plain yogurt
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • Put the yogurt in a bowl. Beat lightly with a fork or whisk until smooth and creamy.
  • Add all the other ingredients and mix. Cover and refrigerate until ready to eat.
Have a great day

Saturday, April 27, 2013

X = Xanadu and Xanthia.

As long as I can remember I have known the opening lines of this piece of poetry, why I knew them I have no idea.
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round:
And here were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.
XanaduXanadu has always been considered somewhat exotic. It turns out the stately pleasure dome was Kubla-Kahn’s summer palace and inspired Samuel Taylor Coleridge to write the poem. The palace was visited by Marco Polo in 1275 but the poem wasn’t written til 1797. Today, only ruins remain, surrounded by a grassy mound that was once the city walls. Since 2002, restoration effort has been undertaken. In June 2012, Xanadu was made a World Heritage Site.

Last year posted a Chinese recipe for this letter, I was expecting to have to again, but found this one instead.

Xanthia Cocktail


1 Part Ginxanthia(95)
1 Part Yellow Chartreuse
(A milder version of Green Chartreuse, both being made in Voiron, France. But the herbal mixture that the spirits are based upon, are made and known by three monks only. Mysterious!)
1 Part Cherry Brandy
How to mix this cocktail
Fill a mixing glass with ice cubes. Add all ingredients. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Have a great weekend.


Friday, April 26, 2013

W = Williams and Waldorf Salad


W is for would you believe I forgot it. I suddenly realised I had blogs for the next few days, to the end of April, but W was missing. Horrors.

red squirrelOne of the first things that came to mind was Prince William of England and then I thought of William the Conqueror who was our first William of England. He defeated the British army led by King Harold and Harold himself was killed at the Battle of Hastings which took place in 1066 as every child in England knows. Of course it took a long time for the Normans (William’s bunch) and the Anglo Saxons to assimilate and integrate, through several generations. One of William I’s sons was called William too, he was William II and was known as William Rufus he was apparently shot whilst hunting in the forest by a bloke called Walter Tirel who Cambridges(according to legend), swore he thought he was shooting at a squirrel; not according to Wikipedia though. In those days all squirrels were red. The grey squirrel had not yet invaded England. Later on we had a William of Orange who was married to a British Queen, Mary, and they ruled conjointly although William of Orange was actually Dutch and had invaded England. Today we have Prince William who will be William IV when he ascends to the throne.

This was a salad I used to see all over the place when we first came to Canada. It was always one I enjoyed. According to Google the first Waldorf Salad was created in New York City in 1893, by Oscar Tschirky, the maître d’hôtel of the Waldorf Astoria. I haven’t seen it served anywhere for quite a while, pity, it’s good. Guess the answer to that is I need to make it myself.

Waldorf Salad

From Food Network KitchensWaldorf Salad
6 servings


  • 3/4 cup walnuts halves
  • 3 large apples with a crisp texture, preferably 1 red, 1 green, and 1 yellow
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 stalks celery (with leaves), peeled and sliced on the diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick pieces
  • 1/2 cup prepared mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons finely sliced fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 head Boston or Bibb lettuce, trimmed, washed, and dried


Preheat the oven to 350 degree F. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool and break the nuts up into small pieces. Half, core, and cut the apples into 3/4-inch pieces, leaving the skin intact. In a medium bowl, mix the apples with the lemon juice, celery, and walnuts.
In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, chives, sour cream, parsley, sugar, and lemon zest and season with pepper. Add the mayonnaise mixture to the apple mixture and stir to coat. Refrigerate if not using immediately. When ready to serve, arrange the lettuce leaves on a large platter, or divide them among 6 salad plates. Place the salad on the lettuce and serve.

Have a great day

Thursday, April 25, 2013

V = Via Rail and Veal Piccata

Very sorry to those of you who's blogs I haven't visited in the last couple of days, we have just had floors laid in the apartment, dust everywhere plus we had to move a whole heap of things and then put them back later, we are on our bowling Travel League today, and there just aren't enough hours.

Via Rail is Canada’s independent corporation railway system which offers intercity passage across the country. It’s a big country too. Via carries 4.1 million passVIA_Rail_Train_London_Ontarioengers annually. There is one trip we have always wanted to do, but is a tad rich for our blood, that’s to cross country all the way to Vancouver. You have the opportunity to sit in a viewing car to see the countryside as you go along. Would be particularly worth seeing the Rockies when one got there although there are a lot of wheat fields to be seen, miles and miles of it I understand. There are commuter trains to Toronto every ViaRailNetworkMapday, referred to as Go trains. I have a friend who uses them daily to go to her job in Toronto. They do shorter pleasure trips as well where I believe you can have lunch on the train. One problem to me, all these trips do not give you a return, you have to figure out something else for that. Another possible trip is up to Hudson Bay which is the Polar Bear Express. Nearly did that once but something stopped us at the time.

This is a recipe from Emeril Lagasse who is a famous chef on TV and who owns lots of restaurants in the States. It is his version of a well known recipe.

Veal Piccata

Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2003
4 servings


  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 veal scallops, about 3/4 pound, pounded to a thickness of 1/8-inch
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced, or more to taste, (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoon capers, drained
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves, optional, plus sprigs for garnish


In a shallow bowl or plate combine the flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt and pepper and stir to combine thoroughly. Quickly dredge the veal scallops in the seasoned flour mixture, shaking to remove any excess flour.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter and, working quickly and in batches if necessary, cook the veal until golden brown on both sides, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Deglaze the pan with wine and bring to a boil, scraping to remove any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. When the wine has reduced by half, add the chicken stock, chopped garlic, lemon juice and capers and cook for 5 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened slightly. Whisk in the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, remaining 3 1/2 tablespoons of butter and the chopped parsley. When the butter has melted, return the veal scallops to the pan and cook until heated through and the sauce has thickened, about 1 minute. Garnish with parsley sprigs and serve immediately.

Have a great day.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

U = Uluru and Uc Vit

Uluru, mistakenly called Ayers Rock by a large number of westerners, has always fascinated me. It seems to be a place located almost in the middle of nowhere, lying 335 km south west of Alice Springs; it is sacred to the local AboriUluruginal people, the Anangu. Wikipedia describes it as an island mountain and have reams of statistics and information. It is one of the two major features of Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park and is a World Heritage Site. Visitors have been climbing this rock for a while, much to the dismay of the Aboriginals and apparently there have been some abuses like a striptease on the top of the rock. The Aṉangu also request that visitors do not photograph certain sections of Uluru, for reasons related to traditional Tjukurpa beliefs. These areas are the sites of gender-linked rituals, and are forbidden ground for Aṉangu of the opposite sex to those participating in tUluru_Panoramahe rituals in question. The photographic ban is intended to prevent Aṉangu from inadvertently violating this taboo by encountering photographs of the forbidden sites in the outside world. It really annoys me to see abuses of such traditions and it is to be hoped that the Aboriginals will eventually get back ownership of the area and be able to stop people from climbing Uluru.

This is a recipe I found on Food.com. I am a sucker for duck and it is the first thing I choose at any restaurant that serves it. I am not 100% sure that this picture is the actual recipe, it is labelled as Uc Vit, but the title has other Vietnamese words with it. I don’t agree with Celticevergreen about the duck, it should definitely be cooked rare or medium rare.

Uc Vit (Sautéed Duck With Garlic and Oyster Sauce)

By Celticevergreen

Recipe from my grandmother's recipe box from some restaurant in uc-vit-sot-dauSaigon, Vietnam. The recipe says that the duck should be cooked rare or medium rare. Medium to medium well would be better

Servings 4

4 duck breasts
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons oyster sauce
10 green swiss chard leaves
4 1/2 cups steamed rice

  • Rub the duck breasts with salt and pepper and leave for 30 minute
  • Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the duck until it is slightly crispy.
  • Slice the duck into thick strips.
  • The same pan, add a little more oil and the duck slices while sautéing the garlic, sugar, oyster sauce and pepper.
  • Add the green mustard leaves and lightly toss them for 10 sec or until they are well-coated with the sauce. Remove the leaves and set aside.
  • To serve, arrange the green mustard leaves on the plate and place the duck breast strips on top. Then pour the remaining sautéed sauce over. Serve with the steamed rice on the side.
Have a great day.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

T = Thyroid and Tongue

The thyroid is one of the largest endocrine glands and is situated in the neck/throat area. The thyroid gland controls how quickly the body uses energy, makes proteins and controls how sensitive the body is to other hormones. There’s a lot more to it than that of course, but if you wish to know more, follow the link. Because of thyroidwhere it is situated in the body, it is essential that when you are having any kind of X-ray that the area is covered by a lead apron of some kind, many problems have been caused by not properly protecting the gland from X-ray. It can also, I recently discovered, affect the way you react to certain foods. I didn’t realise this and had ‘gone off’ a number of foods which I normally loved, I had even ‘gone off’ wine which is incredible! I went for one of my usual 3 monthly diabetic check up several months back and my doctor noticed my thyroid levels were down so she prescribed synthroid. Things improved slightly, but next check up she added dessicated thyroid to the mix. Now that caused some reactions in my mind. I had visions of funeral directors creeping around at night harvesting the thyroid glands from their customers. Turns out its actually pig thyroid, what a relief. Now I like the foods I used to enjoy.

When I was younger, and living at home, my mother often prepared a cold pressed Tongue which we loved. It is a lot of work and I don’t suppose anyone really bothers any more. One has the impression that in many countries the majority are not interested in preparing food any more and tend to buy ready made foods. Such a shame.  I think Jellied Ox tongue is a wonderful meat and so very tender but I haven’t had it in years. I don’t even know if one could buy an ox tongue here. By the way, its not really the tongue of an ox but a beef tongue. I have no idea why we call it Ox Tongue in England. It talks about ordering a pressed tongue from the butcher, its nice to know you can still get that in the UK, however, I have certainly never seen it in our part of Canada, nor in the Carolinas. As for independent butchers, don't see many of those here either.

Tongue, Cold Pressed

This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Christmas.

Although you can order a pressed tongue from the butcher at Christmas it is usually much nicer home-made – and it's not really much trouble. Once cooked and pressed, it's wonderful served in slices with pickles and salads, or put into sandwiches with some sharp mustard.
Serves 10-12
1 pickled ox tongue, weighing approximately 4-4½ lb (1.75-2 kg) (available from independent butchers)
1 large onion, quartered Jellied Tongue
2 leeks, split and washed
1 clove garlic, peeled
a few parsley stalks
1 bay leaf
6 whole black peppercorns
2 level teaspoons powdered gelatine
2 tablespoons port
You will also need a 5-6 inch (13-15 cm) deep cake tin or soufflé dish.

First the tongue needs to be well scrubbed with a stiff brush, then covered with cold water and left to soak for half a day or so. After that discard the water, place the tongue in a deep pan and cover with 6-7 pints (3.5-4 litres) of fresh cold water. Bring this up to the boil, then skim off all the surface scum before adding the prepared vegetables, garlic, herbs and peppercorns. Simmer very gently for about 3½ hours.
The tongue will be ready when the skin is 'blistered' and the T-shaped bone at the root comes away easily when pulled. Remove the tongue from the pan and douse it with cold water to cool, then strip away all the skin. Neaten the tongue by trimming away the ragged and gristly bits at the root and underneath, then curl it round to fit into the tin or dish.

Boil the liquor briskly to reduce it and concentrate the flavour. Now sprinkle the gelatine into a little cold water in a cup and melt it over simmering water until absolutely clear. Now strain off 10 fl oz (275 ml) of the cooking liquor, strain the gelatine into it and lastly add the port.

Pour the mixture over the tongue. Place a saucer on top, weight it down heavily and leave for several hours (or overnight) until cold and set.

Serve the tongue with some chopped jelly as a garnish.

Have a great day

Monday, April 22, 2013

S = Sleep Test, Secretarial College and Shrimp Creole

Last night I slept away from home, went for a test to see if I have sleep apnea. By the time you read this I may still not be back home. Not really looking forward to it. Just realised it fits with the letter of the day.

When I was 16 I was sent to a secretarial college to learn shorthand Pitman'sand typing, it was considered something which would be a fail safe for me for the rest of my life, and in many ways I suppose that was true, if all else failed I could always get a job as a secretary. Many people probably don’t even know what shorthand is any more. I was never very enthusiastic about the whole business and played hookey as often as I could frequently going to the movies in the afternoon. However, typewriterI did end up with 120 wpm in shorthand and around 70 typing. When you consider the kind of typewriters we were using in those days, I reckon that wasn't bad. The keys were always covered over in the college so we couldn't cheat by looking at the letters. I also did bookkeeping whilst I was there. In those days you were expected to be able to go to any job, there were no such things as legal secretaries or medical secretaries, you learnt on the job. When you went for interviews they gave you generalised dictation, not job specific. Once you got the job you had to learn the words pretty quickly.

As many of you know we usually bring shrimp home when we vacation in North Carolina this is a dish we both enjoy and have made many times.

Shrimp Creole

1/2 cup chopped onionShrimp Creole
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup celery
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tsp peanut oil
flour for thickening
ground black pepper
2 cup fresh tomatoes or canned tomatoes drained
1 6oz can tomato paste
1 Bay leaf
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp chili powder (or Tabasco sauce) and/or fresh chillis
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup sherry
1 lb shrimp cleaned and deveined
cooked white rice, basmati for preference

1. Sauté onions, peppers, celery and garlic in hot oil until tender. Make a roux with a little flour. Add tomatoes, paste, sherry and seasoning. Simmer 45 minutes. Add shrimp and simmer for 10 mins. Just before service add Worcester sauce. Serve over rice and sprinkle with Parmesan.

Servings: 4

Have a great day

Saturday, April 20, 2013

R = Roses and Roast Beets.

I love roses, most people do, although if Matt gives me flowers I don’t want roses because they don’t last as long as other flowers such as Carnations. Where I used to live in England we had a wonderful rose garden and not only that I decorated the living room, which looked out onto the garden, with rose patterned materials and it was known as the Rose Room. Then, when I had lots to pick, I could make lots of arrangements whilst they lasted. For you viewing pleasure, here are three slightly unusual roses.
How they achieved the last picture I have no idea, is it real, is it photoshopped, I don’t know, but they are rather lovely.

I love beetroot, or beets as they are always called round here, and I thought this seemed like a good way of preparing them. I have no idea what Persian feta is, but I assume regular Greek feta can be substituted.

Roasted beetroot salad with olive oil, lemon and Persian feta

Huey’s Kitchen
Serves 4

IngredientsRoast Beetroot salad

  • 6 medium beetroot, scrubbed
  • olive oil
  • juice of 1-2 lemons
  • sea salt & freshly ground pepper
  • Persian feta, crumbled
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley


  • Preheat oven to 180°C fan forced (200°C normal).
  • Roast the beetroot until tender and, when cool enough to handle, peel and cut into wedges.
  • While the beetroot is still warmish, toss with oil, lemon juice and seasonings to taste.
  • To serve, arrange the beetroot on one plate (or individual plates), scatter a generous amount of feta on top and sprinkle with parsley.
Have a great weekend.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Q = Quinoa and Cold Quinoa Salad.


The first thing I learn from Wikipedia is that Quinoa is a species of goosefoot which doesn’t mean much to me. Apparently it is a grain like crop which is grown primarily for its edible seeds. These seeds Quinoahave only recently started appearing everywhere with lots of recipes for their use, it is  not a true cereal crop but is closely related to beets, spinach and tumbleweeds. Who knew? This food has been around for 4,000 years in the western areas of South America, and we are only just hearing about it? News spreads slowly. The Incas regarded it as a holy crop and considered it staple of their diets. The current spelling was developed by the Spanish from the name kinwa which is actually how it is pronounced. There are many new things appearing in our stores, recently we learned that Chia seeds (sold for Chia Pets) are also very good for us. Why waste it on pets?

This is one of my favourite recipes for Quinoa

Cold Quinoa Salad with Chicken and Feta

Servings: 4

Author: The Nourished Kitchen
Source: WebMDcold_quinoa_salad_with_chicken_and_feta

2 cups cooked quinoa, chilled
1 small head radicchio, chopped
1 cup cooked chicken, cut in bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup cubed feta cheese
1 small red onion, chopped fine
2 Tbs pine nuts
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Olive oil and vinegar dressing, to serve

1. Toss cooked quinoa, chopped radicchio, cooked chicken, cubed feta cheese, chopped red onion, pine nuts and parsley together until all ingredients are well distributed.

2. Dress the salad with olive oil and red wine vinegar

Have a great day


Thursday, April 18, 2013

P = Pépin and Pipérade

Jacques Pépin is one of my favourite chefs. He used, coincidentally, Jacques Pepinto be a great friend of Julia Child who is mentioned below. I finally found the DVDs of his cookery tips and hints in which he expounds on such things as sharpening knives properly and making an omelette or dealing with onions. It’s full of useful information. I have one of his cookbooks too and we use several of the recipes regularly. He started working with his parents in their restaurant near Lyon, La Pelican. He later went to Paris training under Lucian Diat at the Plaza Athénée. He then was personal chef to three French heads of state. Eventually he came to the States where he became even more well known and eventually graduated into a television chef par excellence.

This a classic sauce from the Basque region of Spain. The Bayonne ham may be replaced with Prosciutto if you cannot obtain it and the piment d’Espelette, a unique pepper all of its own, can be found online or through gourmet groceries, but can also be replaced with cayenne or Paprika. You can use this sauce over almost anything, Julia Child even suggests using it over an omelette.

Source: Chow

  • 6 medium tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced Bayonne ham, cut into 1/2-inch squares
  • 2 medium yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium dried bay leaf
  • 2 medium red, yellow, or orange bell peppers, cleaned and sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch strips
  • 2 medium green bell peppers, cleaned and sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch strips
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons piment d’Espelette
  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Prepare an ice water bath by filling a medium bowl halfway with ice and water. Using the tip of a knife, remove the stem and cut a shallow X-shape into the bottom of each tomato. Place the tomatoes in the boiling water and blanch until the skin just starts to pucker and loosen, about 10 seconds. Drain and immediately immerse the tomatoes in the ice water bath. Using a small knife, peel the loosened skin and cut each tomato in half. With a small spoon, scrape out any seeds, then core and coarsely chop the remaining flesh. Set aside.
  2. Place a large Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot with a tightfitting lid over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of the oil. When the oil shimmers, add the ham and cook, stirring occasionally, until it’s golden brown, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the ham to a plate and set aside.
  3. Return the pan to heat, add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil, and, once heated, add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring rarely, until soft and beginning to color, about 8 minutes. Stir in the herbs and pepper slices and season well with salt. Cover and cook, stirring rarely, until the peppers are slightly softened, about 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in the diced tomatoes, browned ham, and piment d’Espelette and season well with salt. Cook uncovered until the mixture melds and the juices have slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and serve
Have a great day