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

Thursday, 27 July 2017

A Meal for ALL YOU COWBOYS OUT THERE

For the 2017 Cowboy Cookalong, organised by the fabulous Mr Greg Swenson of Recipes for Rebels

Welcome to the Real Miss Kitty’s!

(It is rumoured that Marshal Matt Dillon may have frequented somewhere similar in Dodge City but it must have been a poor imitation.)

Appearing tonight:





Miss Kitty




Arizona Zelda 







Johnny Hard (I banned this at first until he showed me it was the name of a track on one of his Woody Guthrie albums.)


Rattlesnake Simon and Calamity Mandy








The Food

Cowboy Caviar
Butter Crust Tex-Mex Tartlets
Chilli Cheese Straws & Salsa Dip
Sweet Chilli Dogs
Sal Mineo's Muffin Pizzas
Corn on the Cob
Spicy Beans
Wagontrail Wedges



The Event (A blow by blow account)



The diners assemble and Rattlesnake Simon brings an uninvited guest.





Food (and drink) is served and the evening commences.


Unfortunately, Miss Kitty gets fed up with being the hostess. ("It's just too exhausting," she is reported as saying.) 



So, Arizona Zelda is forced to take over... 





...which means co-opting Rattlesnake Simon into kitchen duties. 


He does, however, prove to be very capable.


He even adds his own dish of cheese-topped pancakes to the menu.



(Miss Kitty is last seen heading for the bottom of the garden.)




The rest of the food is served on time and goes down well. 





It must be the chilli!





The Recipes


COWBOY CAVIAR served with HOME-BAKED TORTILLA CHIPS

Serves at least 4

For the Cowboy Caviar
1 tin black beans, drained and rinsed
1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
1 green pepper, deseeded and chopped
3 fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
3tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
1tsp chilli powder
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup caster sugar
1tsp salt
1 small tin sweetcorn, drained
2 tbsp oil
For the Tortilla Chips
3 large tortilla wraps
2tbsp oil
2tsp chilli powder

To make the Cowboy Caviar
Take a large bowl and put in the black beans, peppers, tomatoes, onion and coriander.
In a jug or mug, mix together the oil, vinegar, chilli powder, sugar and salt.
Add to the rest of the ingredients.
Allow at least an hour for the flavours to blend.

To make the Tortilla Chips
Preheat oven to Gas 6/ 200°C/ 400°F.
Cut tortilla wraps into triangles with scissors.
Mix the oil and chilli powder in a bowl.
Coat each triangle and place on a baking tray.
Cook in batches in the oven for about 7-8 minutes. (Keep an eye – they can, I tell you from experience, burn easily!)

Transfer to a plate to cool and sprinkle with a little salt.

BUTTER CRUST TEX-MEX TARTLETS

Makes 8 tartlets (I made 9 so that I had a ‘tester’)

For the tartlets
75g butter
salt and pepper
8 slices medium-sliced bread
For the filling
Salsa dip (shop bought or the hot one prepared to go with the cheese straws)
Sour cream
Spring onions
You will also need
Bun tin with 8 holes
Kitchen foil
Rolling pin

Make the bread cases
Remove the crusts from each slice of bread and cut into a square shape. Flatten each piece with a rolling pin.
Melt the butter in a saucepan or in the microwave. Dip each slice into the butter and scrunch into a section of the bun tin.
Press a piece of crumbled foil into each bread case to secure in place. Cook at 190C Gas 5 for about 10 minutes until crisp.
Discard the foil. Allow to cool and leave until ready to serve.

When ready to serve
Chop spring onions.
Place a spoonful of salsa and then a spoonful of sour cream into each bread case.
Top with spring onions.

CHILLI CHEESE STRAWS WITH HOT SALSA DIP

For the Chilli Cheese Straws
1 sheet ready-rolled puff pastry (defrosted if frozen)
40g grated cheese (e.g. cheddar)
1tbsp chilli seasoning
For the Salsa Dip
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
½ red pepper chopped
1tsp chopped chilli flakes
1tbsp red wine vinegar
black pepper
2tbsb mixed fresh herbs

To make the Chilli Cheese Straws
Preheat oven to Gas 7/ 220°C/ 425°F
Spread out the pastry and sprinkle the cheese and chilli flakes over the top.

Make the pastry into a ball and knead the cheese and chilli through.
Roll back out on a lightly-floured surface.
Cut into strips.
Twist each strip and place on a baking tray, flattening the ends to stop them unravelling.
Cook for about 10-12 minutes.


To make the (very hot) Salsa Dip


Put all ingredients in a blender and whizz until chopped but still chunky.



SWEET CHILLI DOGS

Serves 4
4 hot dog rolls
4 vegetarian sausages, defrosted if frozen (As you will see from the pictures, we actually used 8 which was ‘overload’ if I am honest)
3 red onions
4tbsp sweet chilli sauce
2tbsp olive oil
Dash of red wine

Heat 1tbsp of oil in a pan and fry sausages until browned on a medium heat.
Remove sausages, add another tbsp oil and turn heat down very low.
Cook onions slowly, stirring every couple of minutes, until they are soft. (Don’t rush this part – the longer they take, the softer and sweeter they will be.)
After at least 10 minutes, stir in the sweet chilli sauce and cook for about a minute more. Then replace the sausages and keep all of it warm until ready to serve.
Add a dash of red wine to moisten and caramelise.
 
Slice rolls down the middle, take a sausage and place inside, then cover with a quarter of the onions.

Repeat with the other 3 rolls. 



SAL MINEO’S PIZZA SNACKS

Found within the pages of the fantastic Recipes for Rebels book, I included a version of this and it turned out to be the highlight of the evening and a recipe which I will definitely make again.
Muffins, we thought?  Well, hell yeah, we will use them again. 

4 English muffins
2tbsp tomato puree
50g cheddar cheese, grated
50 g mozzarella, drained, rinsed and chopped into small chunks.
2tbsp olive oil
1tsp salt
1tsp caster sugar
1 tsp oregano

Cut the muffins in half.
Mix the oil, salt, sugar, tomato puree and oregano.
Spread this mixture over the muffin halves.
Cover with the cheeses.
Cook at Gas 6 200°C 400°F for about 10 minutes.


SPICY BEANS

1 red onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
2tbsp paprika
2tsp mild chilli
1tsp cumin
1tsp coriander
tin chopped tomatoes
410g tin kidney beans, drained and rinsed
410g tin baked beans
2tbsp oil
salt and black pepper

Fry the onions until they soften. Then add the garlic and cook for another minute until it turns golden.
Add the spices and stir well until everything is coated.
Pour in the tomatoes and all the beans. Mix well.

Season to taste and then simmer for at least 20 minutes on a very low heat to allow the flavours to develop. (If it appears to be going dry, mix 2tbsp tomato ketchup with 4tbsp hot water and add to the pan.)


WAGONTRAIL WEDGES
 
4 large potatoes, washed and cut into wedges
2tbsp oil
2tbsp runny honey
2tbsp tomato ketchup
1tsp brown sugar
1tbsp chilli powder
1tsp garlic powder
Mix the honey, ketchup, sugar, chilli and garlic together well in a bowl.
Add the potato wedges and stir until all are well-coated.
Place on baking trays in single layers.

Bake in for about 45 minutes in a 400F/ 200c/ Gas 6 oven, turning half-way through.




And finally, Miss Kitty says: "Thank you for coming! Now let me get on with my new bird-catching plan."

Friday, 21 July 2017

Vegetarian Delirium - RUSTIC BASIL OIL

It has been my mission this year to waste less. I have been preserving, freezing and using up ingredients.

My basil plant has been getting a bit out of control, so I pulled off all the large leaves and made some basil oil.

To make a refined oil for drizzling over salads, blanch the basil first and blend with the oil until smooth. 
However, I quite liked the idea of keeping it chunky and rustic, ready to add to pasta dishes.


Wash the leaves and then chop.
Place in a mug.
Add olive oil to just cover.
Stir well.
This can be frozen until needed. You can do this in an ice cube tray but I used small freezer bags.