Real vegetarian food, served in an imaginary world...

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

A Meal for PETER'S FRIENDS (Happy New Year)


How time flies! Peter's Friends tells the story of a group of university friends who graduated in 1982
enjoying a 10 year reunion for New Year's Eve in 1992.
Now, a whole 25 years later, I would like to invite them all round for another get-together. Actually, the meal would come later, but, as they reacquaint themselves and have a few drinks, they might like these:

SWEET POTATO CRISPS

1 large sweet potato
sunflower oil
salt
fresh coriander leaves, chopped

Peel the sweet potato and slice into discs.
Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the discs in batches.
Drain on kitchen roll. Keep warm until all are cooked.
Sprinkle with salt and chopped coriander.

CRISPY PARSNIP RIBBONS

2 parsnips
2tbsp sunflower oil

Discard the outer skin, then peel the parsnips in strips.
Place in a bowl and coat with the oil.
Spread out on baking trays.
Cook in oven at 160°C/ Gas 4 for about 30 minutes, swapping position of trays at half time. 

SPICY MUFFINS Makes 6 but can easily be multiplied

125g/ 4oz self-raising flour
1tsp curry powder
2 carrots
1 sweet potato
60g/4oz cheddar cheese
45g/ 1½oz butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
90ml/ 3floz milk

Oil a muffin tin or prepare non-stick cups.
Sift the flour and curry powder into a bowl.
Grate the carrot, sweet potato and cheese, and mix thoroughly.
Melt the butter and combine with the milk and the egg. Stir into the other ingredients until you have a lumpy batter.
Spoon into the cups.
Cook at 180°C/ Gas 4 for 25 minutes.
Allow to cool for a couple of minutes, then turn out onto a wire tray.

BRIE AND GRAPE CROSTINI Makes about 12 but can easily be multiplied

2 fresh or freshly baked crusty rolls
100g Brie
6 red grapes
Handful cashew nuts

Cut the rolls into slices.
Toast lightly on both sides.
Place slices of the cheese on top and place back under the grill.
Meanwhile, chop the nuts and halve the grapes.
When the cheese bubbles, crumble the nuts over the top and press a grape half into the top of each.
Serve warm. 

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Vegetarian Delirium - SWEET PEPPER SOUP with CHEESY HEART CROUTONS


Winter warmth for a snowy day 

1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper                 (or 2 orange)
1 onion, chopped small
1 carrot, cubed
2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
1½l vegetable stock

Slice the peppers into large chunks and place on a baking tray. Drizzle with 2tbsp olive oil.
Cook in oven for about 15 minutes until soft.
Heat remaining tbsp olive oil in a large pan. Fry onion for a couple of minutes, then add the onion and carrot and continue to soften for a few more minutes. 
Add the vegetable stock and the potatoes.
When the peppers are ready, chop them and add them to the pan.
Bring everything to the boil and then simmer for about 30 minutes.
Place in a blender.
Whizz until smooth. Return to the pan and reheat when ready to serve.
Meanwhile, make the croutons

HEART SHAPED CROUTONS
2 slices thick white bread
50g cheddar cheese
2tbsp olive oil
(This is much easier if you have a heart-shaped cutter. If not, feel free to make the croutons any shape you wish.)

Grate the cheese and mix with the oil.
Toast the bread on one side, then cut out hearts. 
Coat with the cheese mixture.
Place under the grill until the cheese bubbles.
Add to the soup and serve.

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Vegetarian Delirium - POTCH NEP (for a Victorian Christmas)




This is a dish which reminds me of my own 'Christmas past' when, as an undergraduate, I used to waitress at seasonal tavern evenings at a local Victorian museum. 
It makes a lovely side dish or a simple tea. 



You will need: 
2 medium potatoes
2 carrots
1 sweet potato
1 parsnip    
(or other root veg of choice)

Plus:
1 onion   
handful of fresh mint
salt and pepper
30g butter
2 tbsp milk
1tbsp oil

Peel and chop veg.
Heat two pans of salted water. Add potatoes to one and rest of the vegetables to the other.
Boil for about 15 minutes until soft.
Mash potatoes with 15g of the butter and the milk.
Then mash the other vegetables with the rest of the butter.
Heat the oil and cook the bacon.
Then remove it from the pan. Cut into small pieces.
Chop the onion and cook it in the same pan until gently browned. Then mix with the bacon.
Mix all together.

Chop mint
Mix everything together, season well and place in an ovenproof dish. Score top with a fork.
Cook at Gas 7/ 220°C/ 425°F for 20-30 minutes until crispy on top.
For a more indulgent version or a light meal, sprinkle with 25g grated cheese and place under the grill.
Cook until cheese bubbles and browns slightly.