What I'm cooking and eating

Monday, 25 March 2013

Neither Kedgeree nor Kitchari

I had been toying with the idea of a vegetarian kedgeree - I adore kedgeree, but it's expensive and I don't make it often.  Anyway, a bit of research brought me to this recipe, only me being me, I wanted vegetables in and with it, plus we had loads of veg in the bottom of the fridge that wanted using!  Serves 4.  This recipe is vegan and gluten-free.

½ cup mung beans
1 tbsp cooking oil (I used sesame oil)
1 chunk frozen grated ginger (or grate your own!)
1 tsp turmeric
 ½ each asafoetida, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, as liked
1 leek, chopped
1 large courgette, chopped
3 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
½ cup basmati or other long-grain rice
500 ml boiling water
1 vegetable "stock pot" (or use 500 ml vegetable stock)
Salt and pepper to taste
Mango chutney to serve

Soak the beans for several hours.   Fry the spices and ginger in the oil for a minute or two, then add the vegetables.  Stir, and allow to cook for a minute or two.  Add the soaked beans and rice, and then stir again.  Finally, add the stock and adjust the seasoning.  Bring back to the boil, then reduce the heat to very low and simmer, covered, for about 20-25 minutes until the water is mostly absorbed.  Serve with chutney.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Leeks and ham au gratin

This is an old favourite.  It is traditionally made with chicory (endives) rather than leeks, but for St David's Day, which it is, one wants something in which leeks are a central feature, rather than an "also-ran". 

4 small or 2 large leeks, trimmed. If large, cut in half widthways.
4 slices ham - the nice kind, without added water
250 ml milk
1 heaped tsp plain flour
A very little salt (only a pinch - the ham will add a great deal)
Black pepper
Dry mustard powder
Knob of butter
c 75g grated cheese (cheddar, emmenthal, Parmesan, one of those bought mixes....)

Boil, or (preferably) steam the leeks until tender. When cool enough to handle, wrap each leek or 1/2 leek in a slice of ham.  Place side-by-side in an oven-proof dish.

Meanwhile, whisk the flour, milk and seasoning together and melt the butter in a saucepan.  Pour the milk mixture on to this and bring to the boil, stirring all the time.  Stir in half the grated cheese, then pour this over the ham and leeks.  Top with the rest of the grated cheese.  Bake in a moderate oven for 30-45 minutes.

This is traditionally served with mashed potato.