Thursday, 18 May 2017

National vegetarian week: Day 3: Broccoli and cashew, szechuan kidney bean and vegetables

An oriental feel to english vegetables for day 3 of national vegetarian week ,,, this is one step further in being totally vegan - also GF if you use GF soy sauce.

Peanut oil
Spring onion
Cashew nuts
Black bean sauce
Kidney beans
Tomato puree
szechuan pepper
soy sauce
rice wine
sesame oil
sesame seeds

1.  Cook rice - cover with water - to an inch over the rice, bring to the boil, slam on tight fitting lid and turn right down.
2.  Prep all the veg - spring onion chopped, garlic finely chopped and ginger into tiny slivers,  broccoli into small florets and thinly chopped stem, slice mushrooms.  Peel and chop carrots into skinny batons, cut pepper and courgette into similar shapes.
3.  In 2 woks, or similar, start both dishes with spring onion, garlic and ginger in hot oil.
4.  Add mushroom and broccoli to one, and carrot, pepper and courgette to the other - stir fry.
5  To mushrooms and broccoli add a spoonful of black bean sauce and a drop of water, stir fry.
6.  To other veg add a squeeze of tomato puree, crushed szechuan peppers, a splosh of soy sauce and a splosh of rice wine, a tin of drained kidney beans, and half a cup of water.
7.  Keep both on a high heat, tossing about until done - it doesn't take long.
8.  Sprinkle sesame seeds on the szechuan mixture.
9.  Serve, scoff ... we all managed chop sticks!

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

National vegetarian week: Day 2: Quorn linguine

National vegetarian week is not the veg dodger's idea of fun - but we shall plough on regardless.  Well, I did think that if I tried a meat substitute ... so that there was some mince texture about it, it might be a softer blow!  The linguine is GF, for our requirements, but it could obviously be standard linguine, spaghetti of tagliatelle.  The mix of veg is more about what was in the fridge than a particular plan.

Olive oil
Yellow pepper
Butternut squash
Quorn mince
Italian herbs
Tin tomatoes
Linguine (or other long pasta)
Grated cheese

1.  Sautee onion and garlic in olive oil.
2.  Prep and chop all other veg into similar sized pieces and add to the onion mixture, stirring farily frequently.
3.  In 5-10 minutes the veg will have started to soften, so chuck in the quorn mince and a good pinch of italian herbs.
4.  Turn the mixture over, the quorn will start to brown slightly - then add a tin of tomatoes and at least a tin of water ... simmer.
5.  Chuck in some finely chopped fresh oregano (optional)
6.  Cook pasta, grate cheese.
7.  Serve, scoff

Veg dodger wasn't exactly effusive in praise - but finished the lot off for supper - so it can't have been so bad!

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Vegetarian week: Day 1: Mushroom and spring green "cake"

National vegetarian week, and the last day of the veg box!  A challenging combination - but a quick think, and scout in the cupboards and I came up with this "cake".  I thought it was going to be a bit more like yorkshire pudding, but it ended up a little more solid - it was tasty still - and gluten free.

Red onions
Olive oil
Spring greens
Soya milk
GF self raising flour

1.  Sautee the chopped red onion in olive oil, when they are softish add chopped mushrooms and crushed garlic.  Let it all soften down gently for about 10 minutes - add a little water if you think it's looking dry.
2.  Start the batter by whisking together eggs and milk - I used 6 eggs and about a pint of milk, add chopped chives and a small handful of finely grated parmesan.  Mix together the dry ingredients.
3.  Lay shredded spring greens on the mushroom mixture for a few minutes until they start to wilt.
4.  Put and oven dish, with some olive oil in the bottom, in the oven to heat up.
5.  Transfer the veg to the hot oven dish, pour on the batter, mix and put in the oven to bake for about 30 minutes.
6.  Steam the carrots, stick the peas in the pan under the carrots for 4 minutes (ish) ...
7. Serve, scoff

Even the veg dodger enjoyed it - infact they went back for a cold snack later on!

Roast gammon, cheesy leeks

Cheapest Sunday roast out there? Gammon joint I would think ... not only that, it's really tasty.

Gammon joint
Leftover cider (optional)
Red pepper
Black eyed beans
BBQ sauce
New potatoes
Milk (soya for us)
Grated cheese

1.  Roast the gammon joint - 2 hours for this one - initially covered in foil, which was removed for the last 30 minutes.  I splashed some left over cider in the bottom of the pan to keep it moist - but you can use water.  I would have made a sauce with the pan juices - but we had cheesey sauce, so I didn't bother in the end.
2.  Nothing to do for an hour.
3.  Start the beans - sautee chopped onion, pepper and garlic until soft.
4.  Add drained tinned beans and a tin full of water, add chilli, mustard, BBQ sauce etc to taste and simmer.  After a few minutes add some chopped tomatoes and stir them in.  Don't add salt yet as it could make the skin on the beans tough.
5.  Boil the potatoes, and steam the chopped washed leek over them.
6.  Make the cheese sauce - you could go all bechamelly, but I just boil the milk, add slaked cornflour (cornflour mixed with a little cold liquid) and whisk it in.  Continue to simmer as it thickens, then add grated cheese.
7.  As the elements of the dinner are ready you can transfer them to oven dishes and pop them in under the gammon.
8.  You should really leave the gammon to rest for 20+ minutes  - but it's much less critical than for other joints.
9.  Serve, scoff

The veggie was totally happy with cheesy leeks, beans and potatoes.  The veg dodger had 2 helpings of cheesy leeks ... and ... polished off ALL of the gammon in midnight feastings - thus rendering my hopes for budget busting sandwiches for work completely dashed.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Cajun trout with roasted vegetables

Fish on Friday again - beautifully fresh trout from Paul the fish on Todmorden market - spices etc from The Mediterranean Pantry and veg available from Garry the veg.  I only wish Todmorden would provide some mediterranean style sunshine to go with this summery dinner.

Olive oil
Red onion
Baby plum tomatoes
Mixed herbs
Cajun spice

1.  Chop potatoes into 1" cubes, toss in olive oil and roast for about 50 minutes.
2.  Chop vegetables into even sized pieces, add chopped garlic and mixed herbs, toss in olive oil, and bung into the oven to roast, for about 45 minutes.
3.  Brush the trout with a paste made by mixing a tablespoon of cajun spice with olive oil - fry for a few minutes on each side - skin side first, in a hot pan.
4.  Serve, scoff

Friday, 12 May 2017

Rice, dhal and tomato chokka

Simple, cheap, filling and very tasty.  The tomato chokka is really garlicky and it gives the dinner an enormous boost.

Brown rice
Red lentils
Olive oil
Chilli flakes
Garlic (a lot)
Fennel seeds
Mustard seeds
Cumin seeds
coriander seeds

This dinner is really a minimum effort, maximum return event.  It takes about 5 minutes to gather things, then you just let it cook away for about 40 minutes, checking the water level on the lentils until you make the tarka just before serving.

1.  Start the rice - I do it in a heavy casserole - 1 inch filled over the level of the rice with water - bring to the boil and shove into a medium oven.
2.  For the tomatoes - put then in an oven dish, stab them a bit so that they can burst, add a good pinch of salted, quite a lot of crushed garlic, a pinch of chilli flakes and a slug of olive oil, bake.  Squish and mix together when they come out of the oven.
3.  Dhal - boil lentils in plenty of water - add more when it looks like they're going dry - once - then carry on simmering until they turn into a nice thick gloop.
4.  Now you don't have t do much, except keep an eye on the lentils and give them a stir now and again until you're just about to serve (about 30 minutes).
5.  Tarka - in a small frying pan heat a spoonful of olive oil, add spices and sizzle - then chuck on top of the dhal.
6.  Serve, scoff.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Beef stew

Nick Fielden's family butcher, Todmorden Indoor Market does this fabulous thing ... you hand over £20 and he hands you a Value Pack of various cuts of meat - all are excellent - today the stewing steak came out of the freezer, and was turned into this.    Tomato puree, olive oil, garlic and wholegrain mustard from me at The Mediterranean Pantry.  Veg from Garry outside and another Todmorden market special.

It takes a while for the steak to cook to soft rich yumminess, so settle yourself in for a couple of hours of chilling doing what every you do best - and then you can serve up this to a grateful table.  The vegetarian had halloumi (available from The Crumbly cheese) fried at the last minute.

Olive oil
Stewing steak
Beef stock
Veg stock
Tomato puree
Grainy mustard

1.  Sautee onion and celery in olive oil for a few minutes, then add the steak and some crushed garlic.
2.  Add the steak, turning the pieces over until each side is a bit browned, then pour in beef stock and simmer.
3.  Cut the potatoes into chunks, toss in olive oil and put in a roasting tin.
4.  Prep the veg and then cook in a little olive oil in a wide frying pan.  Start with the leeks, when they are a bit soft add the carrots and a pint or so of veg stock, simmer.
5.  Add tomato puree to the stew, stir it around a bit - add more stock, water or red wine if its looking too dry.
6.  Add cabbage to the veg mix.
7.  This will probably have taken about 15 minutes - so, turn the heat off the veg and make a cup of tea.
8.  15 minutes later put the potatoes in a medium hot oven to roast - for about an hour and 15 minutes.
9.  Now is the time you get to read that book, do the crossword, put your feet up and watch the soaps .. or whatever (check on the stew now and again to check it hasn't gone dry).
10.  one hour later - pop the veg in the oven to warm up - stir a big spoonful of grainy mustard into the stew - and toss the potatoes around a bit.  15 minutes to dinner ...
11. Serve, scoff ... 2 of us ate enough for 4, but that's another story

Saturday, 6 May 2017

The best cheese on toast snack thing ever

When you fancy something ..... hmmmm .... tasty ....

Nice bread
Red onion

1.  Toast the bread.
2.  Finely chop onion, celery and apple.
3.  Chop, or grate, cheese - mix into the fruit and veg.
4.  Chop nuts and add those too.
5.  Squish onto toast, place back under the grill for long enough for the cheese to melt a bit.
6. Scoff

Friday, 5 May 2017

Stuffed mushrooms

The veg dodger was out, so a meat free meal was an easy plan.  Some lovely flat mushrooms, and some left over brie and soft blue cheese...  served with hash browns (well, you have to sometimes) and steamed broccoli.

Field mushrooms
Olive oil
Mixed herbs
Cheese (brie and soft blue in this case)

1.  Sautee the finely chopped onion and celery in olive oil, add garlic and a sprinkle of herbs.
2.  Brush mushrooms with olive oil, and bake for a few minutes, stalk side down.
3.  Add finely chopped courgette to the onion mixture and continue cooking until the veg is cooked.
4.  Turn the mushrooms over, put back in the oven.
5.  Take the veg pan off the heat and allow to cool slightly, mix in diced cheese.
6.  Top the mushrooms with the veggie cheese mixture and return to the oven briefly.
7.  Serve, scoff

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Cowboy chow: pork'n'beans

Some fantastic pork steaks in Nick Fielding's Value pack, from Todmorden Market Hall - a tin of beans and a few tweaks ... lovely spicy beans, wedges and cabbage.  Our household has a number of dietary requirements, including vegetarian and veg dodging - so if we are all around it's easier to cook the meat separately - if I were cooking this for all meat eaters I would have been tempted to make a pork and bean stew.

Olive oil
Tin of baked beans
Tin of tomatoes
chilli flakes
fennel seeds
BBQ sauce
pork steaks

1.  Chop potatoes into wedges, toss in olive oil and roast for 45 minutes or so.
2.  Sautee chopped onion and garlic, add chilli flakes and fennel seeds.
3.  When the onion is soft add chopped mushrooms, baked beans, a tin of tomatoes, and a splash of water, simmer.  Add a squirt of BBQ sauce for extra tang.
4.  Shred and steam cabbage.
5.  Rub a little olive oil onto the pork steaks and pan fry for a couple of minutes each side.
6.  Serve, scoff - watch veg dodger have seconds of beans ... unafraid of the hidden mushrooms.  Vegetarian had a fired egg.