What I'm cooking and eating

Friday, 22 November 2019

Bean burgers

I don't care for fake meat, being perfectly happy to eat the real thing, but bean burgers are a good thing in their own right. And these were so easy and quick to make - and the Swan Whisperer said "Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!"

About 1/2-3/4 cup dried beans, soaked for at least one hour in boiling water and then cooked for 15 minutes in a pressure cooker. Or a 400g tin, drained and rinsed. You can use any sort of beans - kidney, cannelloni, borlotti, pinto, black-eye... I used kidney beans.
1 slice wholemeal bread
Handful walnuts (30g?)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 chilli pepper, seeds removed 
1/2 packet fresh parsley
2 small or 1 large carrots, grated
1 tbs cooking oil

Put everything except the beans and carrots into a food processor and blitz until smooth. Now add the beans and pulse several times, but not too much - you want them to be recognisably beans!

Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the grated carrots and seasoning, then use your hands to mix everything very thoroughly until it begins to come together. Form into patties, and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Sprinkle with flour (I used gram flour) and then fry for several minutes on each side. Or bake....

I served this in a bun with avocado and a portobello mushroom with cheese, garnished with sweet chilli sauce, with coleslaw and home-made tzatziki on the side.
And no, I couldn't eat it all, but the Swan Whisperer ate that which I could not! 

Friday, 4 October 2019

Cabbage Casserole

I was really surprised not to find a version of this elsewhere on the blog, as I've been making it on and off since the 1970s, in both a vegetarian and meat version.  It is cheap and easy, and very definitely a one-pot meal.  I'm not giving exact amounts,  because you can adjust them to suit the number of people you're feeding.

Cabbage - the solid kinds work better than the very leafy kinds (white or red, or that extremely nice pointed one), chopped.
Potatoes, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs plain flour
1-2 tbs wine vinegar
1 tbs brown sugar (demerara is best, but any brown will do).
Salt and pepper.
Then your choice of:
Belly pork, diced OR
Lean pork, diced OR
Chicken pieces, diced OR
Roasted nuts (peanuts or cashew) OR
I expect tofu would work, too, if you like it.

Use either the kind of casserole that will go both on top of the stove and in the oven OR a pressure cooker (Instant Pot is best).  In either case, put the oil in the pan, and if you are using meat or tofu, seal them in the hot oil.  You can also cook a teaspoonful of mustard seeds and/or cumin or caraway seeds in the oil.  Now add the cabbage and stir thoroughly until it is coated, and then stir in the flour, vinegar and sugar.  Season to taste. 

If you are using a pressure cooker, add 1/4 cup water at this stage, and if you're using peanuts or cashew nuts, now is the time to add them and stir in.  Flatten off the dish and place the potatoes, flat side down, on the top.  If this is going in the oven, brush the potatoes with a little oil, and bake in a moderate oven for about 90 minutes.  Otherwise, cook in the pressure cooker for 20 minutes at high pressure.  The oven version gives wonderful roast potatoes on the top, but the quick version is equally delicious.

Friday, 2 August 2019

Grain-stuffed marrow

½ large marrow
1 onion
1 clove garlic
½ punnet mushrooms (about 8)
1 tub or tin chopped tomatoes with chilli
1 packet microwaveable mixed grains (I used Middle Eastern)

Peel and chop the onion; peel and crush the garlic.  Add both of these to a saucepan with a little cooking oil, and allow to cook for a few minutes.  While this is happening, cut your marrow into 4 equal slices, then peel each slice and remove the seeds.  Place the rings thus obtained on a baking dish.

Now chop the mushrooms (you can peel them if you wish, but unless they are beginning to be old, life's too short) and add them to the onion mixture, and allow to cook until they are just rendering their juice.  Stir in the tomatoes and the grains, until the grains are separated and the whole lot is heated through.
  Now pile into the mushroom rings, and bake in a moderately hot oven for about 45 minutes.

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Midweek mushroom pasta

Yet again I failed to take a photograph....  Very quick, very easy, very delicious.

Vegetarian.  Serves 2

100 g (approx) fettucine or tagliatelle (I never know the difference)
200 g mushrooms, broken into pieces (or sliced)
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1/2 packet parsley, finely chopped (I used a mini food processor)
1/2 tub mascarpone
Knob of butter
Salt, pepper, 1 tsp mushroom ketchup
Sprinkle of grated cheese

Put the pasta on to cook according to the instructions on the packet.  Melt the butter in a large frying pan and add the mushrooms.  Cook until they render their liquid, then add the crushed garlic and continue to cook over a low heat for about 5 minutes.  Now add the mascarpone and the cooked, drained pasta, and stir thoroughly until everything is well mixed.  Serve at once, perhaps with a sprinkle of grated cheese (I used Emmenthal, but Parmesan would be nice, too). 

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Egg curry

The last time I made egg curry, until tonight, was in September 1989 - that evening, we had some very bad news which was so shocking and unexpected that it made me feel sick, so I didn't fancy egg curry for many months and then forgot about it! But it is a useful addition to the repertoire. The sauce is vegan, and can be used on almost anything, doesn't have to be eggs - chicken or fish, if you eat those (although I think I have a nicer fish curry recipe), big chunks of vegetables (cauliflower, etc)1, even tofu or quorn if you eat those.  Sorry there are no photos - it got eaten!

2 tbs oil (I used Tesco stir-fry)
1 large tbs curry powder
1 cube frozen ginger and garlic (or a bit of ginger root and a couple of cloves of garlic)
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 apple, cored and chopped
1 plantain (or banana), peeled and sliced
1 chilli pepper, chopped (remove seeds)
1 tin chopped tomatoes (I used tomatoes with chilli, which worked beautifully)
1/2 tin water
 Salt, pepper, soya sauce, mushroom ketchup, chilli sherry, etc.
2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled

Put the oil, ginger/garlic and curry powder (either a proprietary blend or mix your own) into a saucepan and cook on a gentle heat for several minutes.  Add the onion, chilli, plantain and apple, and cook, stirring all the time, for a couple more minutes.  Add the tomatoes, water, and seasoning, bring to the boil, and simmer for 15 minutes while you cook some rice.  I then like to blend the sauce with a stick blender to thicken it up - you don't want it totally smooth, just nice  and thick.  Put cooked rice on the plate, add a hard-boiled egg (or 2!) and pour the sauce over.  Top with a bit of chutney, if liked.

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Very quick lentil curry

Serves 2-4

1/2 punnet mushrooms
1/2 courgette
Any other vegetables you may have that using - spinach is great, and can just be folded in at the end.,
1 tin tomatoes with onion and garlic (or plain, and add the onion and garlic separately)
1/2 cup red lentils
1/2 cup basmati rice
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock (from a cube is fine)
2 tbs sultanas or currants (or a mixture)
Curry powder and other spices as liked (I used asafoetida, to make up for the lack of onion and garlic)
1 tbs cooking oil

Cook the spices in the oil over a low heat until fragrant.  Add the vegetables, stir to coat, and let cook for a minute or two.  Or not, if you can't be bothered!  Add the rest of the ingredients, cover and simmer for 18 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Serve at once, perhaps with chutney.

Friday, 3 May 2019

Vegetarian Lasagne

Please note that the not-bolognese sauce was adapted from a Rose Elliott recipe in Not just a load of old lentils.

6-8 lasagne sheets, as needed
Grated parmesan cheese (or vegan substitute), to taste

A little cooking oil
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 punnet mushrooms 
1 small tub (I think 50g) walnuts
2 slices bread
1 packet passata
Salt, pepper, mixed herbs, mushroom ketchup

300 ml milk (or vegan substitute)
About 20g butter or cooking oil
1 heaped tsp plain flour
Salt, pepper, mustard powder
Grated Emmenthal, Cheddar, or vegan substitute to taste

Peel and chop the onion; peel and crush the garlic.  Put into a saucepan with the oil and allow to cook for a few minutes while you chop the mushrooms.  Add these, and continue cooking.  Meanwhile blitz the bread and walnuts in a food processor.  When the mushrooms are more-or-less cooked, turn off the heat, add the bread/walnut crumbs, the passata and seasonings to the mix and stir well.  Leave to soak for a bit while you make the bechamel sauce.  I added a spoonful of sunflower seeds to this, just because they were sitting there, looking at me!

For the Bechamel sauce, put the milk, flour and seasonings into a jug and whisk very thoroughly while the butter melts in another saucepan (or the oil heats up); pour this on to the melted fat, and continue to cook, stirring all the time, until it thickens and the mixture boils.  Turn off the heat and add the Emmenthal cheese.  Stir well.

To assemble: Make layers of not-Bolognese, lasagne sheets and Bechamel in a lasagne dish, finishing with Bechamel sauce, and top the lot with grated Parmesan or similar. 

Place on a baking tray in the centre of an oven which you have heated to 200° C (180° fan), Mark 6, and allow to cook for about 30 minutes.