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

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Fantasy Veggie Dinner Guest - ROGER FEDERER

Roger Federer is the greatest tennis player of all time. 

Each generation has its favourites, but in an age where success depends upon not only skill, but intellect and athleticism, he has won a record 8 Wimbledon titles, 6 Australian Open titles, a French open title and 5 US Open titles. 
Not only that: he is a joy to watch, making the most complicated shots look effortless. 

Zelda would like to serve him this cheesecake. It is baked in the New York style and accompanied by strawberries, thus reminding him of the two major tennis tournaments of the summer, and using the colours of the Swiss flag.


85g butter
175g digestive biscuits
1tbsp granulated sugar
300g golden caster sugar
900g soft cheese (such as Philadelphia)
3tbsp plain flour
1½tsp vanilla extract
1 lemon, zested and juiced
3 large eggs + 1 additional yolk
450ml soured cream

First make the base:
Line a 23cm springform tin, or grease well.
Either blitz or bash the biscuits to make fine crumbs and add the granulated sugar.
Melt the butter in a pan. Stir in the biscuit crumbs so that all are moist.
Press this into the bottom of the tin.
Bake for 10 minutes at 180°C/ 350°F/ Gas 4. Then allow to cool.

Then make the filling:
Place the cream cheese in a large bowl and beat with a spoon until creamy.
Add 250g of the caster sugar, the plain flour, a pinch of salt, the vanilla extract, 2tsp lemon zest and 1½tsp of the juice. Stir well to combine.
Using an electric hand whisk, whisk in the eggs, one at a time.
Then whisk in 200ml of the soured cream until it is smooth, light and airy.
Pour into the tin on top of the biscuit base.
Cook for 10 minutes at 220°C/ 425°F/ Gas 7.
Then reduce the oven temperature to 140°C/ 275°F/ Gas 1 and bake for another 45 minutes.
Turn the oven off, leaving the cheesecake inside for another 2 hours.

To make the topping:
Mix the remaining 150g soured cream with 25g caster sugar and 2tsp of lemon juice.
Spread over the top of the cheesecake.
Cover loosely with foil and place in the fridge for at least 8 hours.
Remove from the tin and the paper, placing on a plate.

To make the strawberry sauce:
Wash and hull 100g of the strawberries. Place in a pan with the remaining 25g caster sugar and 2tbsp of water. Warm gently until the strawberries become soft and pulpy. 
Set aside to cool.
Press through a sieve.
Keep to one side into a bowl.

To serve:
Decorate the top of the cheesecake with about half of the sauce and the remaining strawberries.
Cut and put on plates with the remaining sauce.

Vegetarian Delirium - KATSU SUB

Makes 6

6 submarine rolls
1 block firm tofu
salad items of choice
2tbsp mayonnaise
2tbap Katsu paste
3tbsp soy sauce
50g panko breadcrumbs
4tbsp plain flour
4tbsp cornflour
Sunflower oil for frying

First, prepare the tofu.
Drain and rinse. 
Cut in half and then slice each half into three, lengthways.

Place in layers between absorbent paper and add weights on top to squeeze out the moisture.

Then place in a bowl and sprinkle with 2tbsp of the soy sauce. 
Allow to marinate while you make the breadcrumb coating. 

Mix the cornflour with water to make a thick, sticky liquid. 

Put the breadcrumbs and flour in separate bowls. 
Dip each slice of tofu in the flour, then the cornflour mixture, then the breadcrumbs.
Mix the katsu paste and soy sauce in a saucepan. 

Take 1tsp of this and mix with the mayonnaise. Leave the rest in the pan.
Cut each roll in half. 

Spread the bottom of each with the katsu/ mayonnaise mix.
Then load with the salad of your choice. (I used crispy lettuce, radish, yellow pepper and spring onion.)
Heat the oil and fry the tofu in two batches, turning when needed, for a few minutes until golden. 
Set aside to drain.
Warm the katsu sauce.
Cut each piece of tofu in half.
Drizzle with the sauce.

Saturday, 6 July 2019

Fantasy Veggie Dinner Guest - AGATHA CHRISTIE

Agatha Christie wrote 66 detective novels and is one of the widest-read authors ever. 

She created Miss Marple and the wonderful Hercule Poirot. 

In 1938, she bought Greenway, a beautiful house and grounds in the Devon countryside.

It was the setting for a few of her novels and it, along with the grounds and the boathouse, has been used in some of the recent TV adaptations.

Zelda was privileged to visit recently, with friends Julie and Adrian. 
It seems fitting, therefore, to invite her to dinner.
At Greenway, we enjoyed some delicious apple and cider cake, so I have recreated it here, served with her favourite clotted cream - apparently she used to keep some beside her as she wrote her novels!


100ml medium sweet cider
225g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
1tsp cinnamon
225g caster sugar
225g butter, softened
2 large free range eggs
2 large cooking apples

Prepare the tin. Grease and line or use a liner. Heat oven to 180°C/ Gas 4/ 350°F
Sift the flour, baking powder and cinnamon into a bowl.
In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar with a hand-held electric whisk.
Beat in the eggs one at a time. Then mix in the cider.
Add this to the flour and mix well.
Peel and core the apples. Chop into cubes.
Add to the bowl and stir.
Spoon into the tin and level the top.
Cook for about 1½ hours until an inserted skewer or knife will come out clean.
Allow to cool fully, then remove from the tin.

Thursday, 4 July 2019

Fantasy Veggie Dinner Guest - KENICKIE

Kenickie is Zelda's favourite character in Grease. 

He is a member of the T Birds, the owner of the car, 'Greased Lightning'.

In the 'diner scene' of the 1978 film, he disgusts his girlfriend Rizzo by the way he eats a burger. Maybe it wasn't the right burger. Zelda has an alternative he might like.

4 Brioche burger buns
4 veggie burgers (I used 'Quorn’ ones)
2 large red onions
2tbsp oil
25g butter
2tbsp red wine vinegar
1tbsp sugar
handful of chopped crisp lettuce
mayonnaise or ketchup
4 slices of cheese
handful of chopped coriander

Peel the onions. Slice most and chop the rest.
Heat 1tbsp oil and the butter.
Cook very gently, over a low heat, for about 15 minutes until soft and slightly sticky.
Then add the sugar and red wine vinegar and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.
While the onions are cooking, heat the remaining oil in a separate pan and fry the burgers until brown on each side.
Cut buns in half
Spread bottoms with the condiment of your choice. 
Maybe mayonnaise...
...or ketchup
Prepare the additional fillings...
Assemble the burgers