Root Vegetables in Beer (v)

This is ultimate winter comfort food. Ad it’s also being blogged cos I was moaned at for being too political in my tweets recently what with all the to do over tuition fees etc 😉 so here is a nice comforting recipe to sustain you after being kettled for hours by evil Police officers 🙂

For 4-6 portions you need:
4 carrots, peeled and cut into diagonal wodges
2 parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 large turnip peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 swede oiled and roughly chopped
8 baby onions/shallots, peeled
1 can guiness
2 tbsp each of soya sauce, mushroom ketchup and hendersons relish
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp dried herbs e.g. oregano
2 tbsp soya marge/butter
2 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp olive oil
1 pack vegan beef style chunks
1 tsp marmite

Hea the oil and sauté the vegetables in a pan, covered with a lid, for about 10 mins. Add everything else, aside from the butter and flour, and cook for 15 mins or so till the vegetables are tender. Mix the flour with the butter to make a buerre marnie and mix in to the stew. Allow to thicken and then serve with mashed potatoes. Lovely.

Celeriac and Emmental Soup

I have a cold at the moment. A really bad, horribly stinky rotten streaming cold. And I feel terrible. But at the weekend N found this recipe in a Sarah Brown book on a hunt for something for us to eat that day. We had some left over celeriac and a few jerusalem artichokes so I gave it a whirl today, after advice from a friend recommended nourishing food and steam. I can’t say it tastes wonderful as my taste buds are shot. But it felt wonderfully comforting as I ate it. Warming and nourishing and comforting. Just what the Dr ordered…

(adapted from Sarah Brown’s Complete Vegetarian Cookbook)

For 6-8 portions you need:
700g celeriac (and other veg if you want).
1 litre stock
2 onions, chopped
2 coves garlic, chopped
50g butter
good handful grated emmental per bowlful

Sweat the onions and garlic in the butter then add the celeriac after about 5 mins. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 30 mins then blend. Season and serve in bowls topped with the cheese. Yum.

Baked Apples

Did you know it’s national bramley week this week? No? Well now you do! In honour of this I brought a bag with the intention to do different things with them during the week. Tonight it was the turn of a baked apple. One of my favourite desserts. However because I am dying from the world’s worst cold e-v-e-r I cheated and nuked this in the microwave. I shan’t be doing that again, it was nowhere near as nice as one done in the oven. You have been warned.

For each apple you need:
1 bramley apple
handful dried fruit e.g. sultanas, raisins, cranberries etc
1 tbsp demerara sugar
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp runny honey
1 tbsp almonds, chopped

Score the apple round the centre and then core it. Place in a baking dish and pack the hollow centre with the fruit, nuts, butter, sugar and honey (in that order). Bake in a medium oven for 30-45 mins till the apple is soft and mushy and there is a sauce from the butter, honey and sugar. Serve as is or with some ice cream, cream, mascapone etc.
If you need one NOW then cover with cling film, nuke on high for 2 mins 30 secs and eat. But like I said, it won’t be as nice.

Root Vegetable Hot Pot with Pearl Barley, Herbed Dumplings and Mash

A real winter warmer this one, and dead simple to make too. You can use any combination of root veggies you want to. Today the veg box had left us with celeriac, carrots and jerusalem artichokes. So in they went. The dumplings are nicer with dried herbs (I learnt this today after using fresh…). I also made the mash with vegan marge and soya milk to make the whole meal vegan but you could of course use butter.

Hot Pot
For 4-6 portions you need:
1 large onion, chopped
3 large carrots, diced
1 medium celariac, diced
equiv amount of Jerusalem artichokes to the other veggies, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
750ml stock
2 handfuls (1/2 cup?) pearl barley
2 tsp cornflour slackened with cold water

Saute all the veggies in the oil for about 10 mins to release their juices. Then add the stock and pearl barley. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 40 mins till the barley is cooked. Remove the dumplings and add the cornflour, stir through to thicken, return the dumplings and then serve when ready.

Herbed Dumplings
50g vegetable suet
100g self raising flour
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
salt and pepper
cold water to mix to a dough

Mix everything together into a dough, then divide into 8, roll in to balls and place on the top of the stew. Steam for 40 mins till done.

Mash
Yeah yeah I know you don’t really need a recipe for this but seeing as I’m here…
Dice potatoes and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 20 mins till tender. Drain and mash (I like to use a ricer for creamy smooth mash). Add butter, milk and seasoning, mix well and serve.

Mixed Lentil Stew

If, like me, you’re a veggie who misses the rich, dark taste of mince and doesn’t necessarily want to use a meat substitute to recreate the taste, then this recipe is for you. It’s dark and warming and nourishing and filling and just, well, gorgeous!

For 6-8 generous portions you need:
1 tbsp oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
300g mixed lentils: I use red, green, puy and brown.
1.5 litres of dark stock (vecon is a good one to use)
2 tbsp tom puree
2 tbsp shoyu/soya sauce
1 tsp marmite

Begin by sauteeing the onion and garlic gently. After about 5 mins add the lentils and fry for a further few mins. Then add the stock and everything else and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for an hour or so. You want the red lentils to be completely mushed into the sauce, thickening it. If you want you can also add diced swede, carrot, parsnips, celariac etc to this. But it’s equally nice without. It’s lovely served with steamed veggies and mash or you can use it as a base for shepherds pie.

Vegetable and Bean Cheesy Gratin

OK OK so it’s another variation on an old favourite but it tastes goooooooood!

For 4-6 servings you need
Leftover cooked veggies (we’ve got cabbage, broccoli and carrots)
1 tin pulses – black eyed beans here tonight
1 quantity thin cheese sauce (30g butter, 30g flour, 500ml soya milk, 1 cup grated cheddar)
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
3 tbsp grated parmesan

Layer the veggies and beans in a gratin dish. Make up the sauce and pour over. Top with breadcrumbs and parmesan and then bake in a hot oven for 25 mins till bubbling, crispy and browned on top. Scoff with leftover roast potatoes and cold quorn roast. I love leftovers!

Roasted beetroot, parsnip, carrot and orange salad with onions and honey

I don’t particularly like beetroots. Or parsnips for that matter. A while back N found a lovely recipe for a roasted beetroot and orange dish but we can’t find it again 😦 This our recollection of it.

For 2 servings plus a cold lunch the next day you need:
4 beetroots, cut into wedges
2 parsnips, cut into fat fingers
2 large carrots, ditto parsnips
2 red onions, cut into wedges
1/2 cup (125ml) orange juice
1 tbs honey (use agarve nectar for vegan version)
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
3 tbs olive oil
salt
pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl to mix, then turn into a baking dish. Cover with foil and place in a moderate oven for 30 mins. After 30 mins check them and remove the foil. Continue to cook for another 15 mins till the sauce has reduced to a sticky glaze and the veggies are tender.

It’s nice served with quinoa or another grain and some feta or goats cheese. For a vegan version use smoked tofu instead.

Apple Crumble

I had a craving for apple crumble and custard over the weekend. Normally crumble isn’t something I make that often as we’re not a big crumble family. But I really fancied it and it turned out really well, if a little souffled in the oven as the apples continued to cook down! Proper winter warming fare 🙂

For 8 generous servings you need:
900g peeled and chopped cooking apples
100g vanilla sugar
225g plain flour
175g butter
175g demerara sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Begin by cooking the apples in a pan over a gentle heat. This will take about 15 mins. You want them mostly pulpy with still with some lumps. Meanwhile blitz the butter and flour in a food processor till it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and cinnamon to it. Pour into a baking dish and top with the crumble mixture. Bake at 180 degrees for about 30 mins. Serve with custard. Ours came from a tin. I don’t do making custard and anyway for comfort food like this you need ambrosia!

Vegetable Tagine and Couscous

The plan was to blog one recipe a day during 2010, so why am I doing two today? Well mainly cos I’d forgotten I hadn’t already blogged the carrot and jeresulam artichoke soup recipe previously and partly cos I created this tagine today and didn’t want to forget the ingredients…

So, for 4-6 servings you need:
A mix of vegetables (I used 2 carrots; 1/2 bulb fennel, 1 large parsnip, 2 leeks, 1 onion, half a head celery).
1 tin chopped toms
3 tsp harrisa
1 tbsp moroccan spice mix (or cumin and corriander with some oregano if you can’t find any)
1 tin drained chickpeas

Roughly chop the veggies. Saute the onion and leek in some olive oil for few mins till tender. Then add everything else and cover. Sautee for a further 5 mins or so. Then add everything else along with about 200ml water.

Simmer for 20 mins until very tender. Check consistency of sauce. If it’s too thin add some tom puree. If it’s too thick add some more water.

Serve with couscous and some chopped corriander/mint/parsley. You can add some dried apricots to the stew too if you want but N doesn’t like that much and I was planning to serve this with the winter fruit compote for pud so didn’t want to overdo the dried fruit!

Carrot and Jerusalem Artichoke Soup

This was our starter for Christmas Day and I have defrosted the leftovers for lunch today as I can’t be bothered with cooking and need the space in the freezer!

It’s a Delia recipe but in case it disappears…

You need:
1 lb (450 g) carrots
1 lb 8 oz (700 g) Jerusalem artichokes (weight before peeling)
3 oz (75 g) butter
1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1.5 litres (2½ pints) hot vegetable stock made with Marigold Swiss vegetable bouillon powder
salt and freshly milled black pepper

Roughly chop the veggies and put in a pan with the butter (or use oil if you want a vegan soup. Sautee for about 10 mins and then add the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 mins till the veggies are tender. Blitz, check the seasoning and serve. It’s nice topped with parsley and some toasted seeds/nuts and chilli oil.