Friday, 27 July 2012

Vegan party food

So, a couple of friends were celebrating their Civil Partnership, and I volunteered to help out with the catering.  Another chap had also volunteered, and he got all the meaty options.  So I was tasked with 2 veggie mains, and a couple of salads.  There was also the possibility that there were some vegan, some lactose intolerant and some gluten sensitive guests - so I decided on making my contribution completely vegan and gluten free.

Vegan moussaka - first I cooked up 1.5kgs of lentils... this is a lot of lentils!  I really only needed 1kg.  Then I parboiled 7.5 kg peeled potatoes... that's a lot of potatoes!  I really only needed about 5kg.  Anyway - the recipe - sautee chopped onions and garlic - infact 2 lots simultaneously, for the 2 bottom layers.  Heat 3 litres of soya milk with bay leaves and an onion.  To the onions and garlic add i) chopped celery, drained lentils, mint, cumin, a bit of chili and seasoning, squirts of lemon juice ii) mediterranean herbs, chopped peppers, aubergines, courgettes and tins of tomatoes.  Cook the bottom layers for about 20-30 minutes.  Make a bechamel type sauce with olive oil and gluten free flour, and the drained soya milk, grate in a little nutmeg.  Chop potatoes into slices.  Layer up - starting with about 3cms lentil mixture, 2 cms vegetable mixture, bechamel sauce and potato slices - drizzle with olive oil - bake for about 45 minutes.

Potato salad - boiled 5kg new potatoes - when cooked drain and stir in olive oil, chives and parsley and seasoning while still warm.

Potato, mushroom and chickpea spicy casserole - sautee onions and garlic in olive oil, with chopped celery and carrot, with a spice mix (chili, cumin, black pepper, cayenne, oregano) - add chopped potatoes (4kg), loads of mushrooms and vegetable stock and tins of chopped tomatoes - simmer for an hour.  Add drained tins of chickpeas, check seasoning.  Simmer a bit longer.

Also made tomato, red onion, radish salad with baslamic dressing

Other people's guests were the victims, and I did not hear any complaints.  There was shed loads of delicious food, including lots and lots of pork products (pastrami, roast pork, pulled pork, hams, sausages....) but even so, amazingly 2 enormous pots of moussaka, nearly 8 litres of casserole and 4 very large salads were pretty much demolished.  Whoever made the cakes also did a fantastic job.

And congratulations to the happy couple - it was a great night - with some fantastic entertainment - Samba dancing and some singing as well as the scoffing.

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