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

Monday, 8 May 2017

Fantasy Veggie Dinner Guest - STUART LITTLE



Well, you cook for a couple of Disney Dogs and, before you know it, an animated mouse is knocking at the door demanding dinner. In this case, however, Zelda was happy to oblige.

Stuart began life in a 1954 children's novel by EB White. Incidentally, I would love have a bit of a chinwag with Elwyn Brooks White. I would ask him how he could make such a fuss of saving Wilbur in Charlotte's Web, but place it in the context of a novel where pig farming and its consequences are seen as acceptable. Don't get me wrong; I am glad that Wilbur was saved, but what about all the others on the farm? I am not a militant vegetarian: I don't campaign against meat eating and I cook my veggie dishes to tempt carnivores, not to judge them, but I don't see how Elwyn can have it both ways.


That aside, let's get back to Stuart who is a loveable little character who found further fame again at the end of the 1990s with a series of films, loosely based (but actually improving on) his adventures in print.
We know that mice love cheese, so I think that Stuart would be quite happy with this.

CHEESY LEEK PASTA BAKE

250g/ 8oz fusilli
2 leeks, chopped
1 small onion, chopped finely
100g/ 3½oz cheddar cheese, grated
25ml /1floz milk
25g/ 1oz butter
25g/ 1oz plain flour
100ml/ 3½floz vegetable stock
100ml/ 3½floz double cream (replace with milk for a lighter meal)
100g/ 3½oz breadcrumbs
1tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 200C/ Gas 6
Cook pasta according to packet instructions.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large pan and fry onion and leek until soft.
Add vegetable stock.
In a separate pan, heat butter and add flour to make a roux. 
Gradually add milk (and cream if using). Add to leeks.
Add 50g cheese and mix well until melted.
Drain pasta and add to leeks, stirring well.
Place in oven-proof dish and spread breadcrumbs and rest of cheese over the top.
Cook in oven for about 25 minutes.

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