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

Friday, 27 July 2018

A Meal For Cowboy Day Cook-Along 3 (The Hat Trick) - DINNER AT THE OK CORRAL

On the grand occasion of the 3rd Cowboy Day Cook-Along, organised by the very wonderful Mr Greg Swenson of Recipes for Rebels, Zelda would like to take the opportunity to put the record straight about one of the most notorious events in the Wild West:
The Accepted History:
Legend has it that, in 1881, the wild west town of Tombstone, Arizona, became the scene of a famous shoot-out, featuring a gang of outlaws and a group of lawmen led by Wyatt Earp and including Doc Holliday.
The Truth:
Actually, what really happened was far more tasty. In fact, it was a case of feasting, not fighting; undertaken with forks, not firearms. 
It happened on the night that Zelda and Dastardly Dave rode into town
with a few friends, including Stick-em-up Simon.
The Earp Brothers and Doc had been roaming the streets, looking for a meal...
...and they all arrived together at The Ginger Cat Saloon, adjacent to Old Kindersley's holding pen for horses and, sadly, far less famous.


Miss Kitty was meant to be running the kitchen that night.


But, once again, she had other things on her mind, such as socialising...






...and drinking.



And when The Deputy arrived,


Miss Kitty was not at all pleased,
making it her mission to torment him from just out of reach on the top of the fence,


and leaving Zelda and Stick-em-up Simon to do the cooking.






Although this was the menu that Miss Kitty had planned, she wasn't happy at the additional 's' in the dessert.












While Zelda tried to placate Miss Kitty,





Stick-em-up Simon tucked in with the prep.





He took offence when Zelda criticised his knife skills,


although order was soon restored 
and they agreed on a joint policy of making sure everyone cleared their plates and helped with the washing up.





Dastardly Dave and The Deputy made friends 

while Wyatt and Doc went for a stroll to work up an appetite.

Then, dinner was served to all. Dastardly Dave and Stick-em-up Simon seemed particularly mellow afterwards.   
Unfortunately, after all the bonhomie, there was a small disagreement over the pilfering of a piece of fruit by a certain tubercular dentist, which did end in a shoot-out the next day, although Doc Holliday's confession, 'I've your huckleberry,' has been misquoted ever since:  
Oh well, sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. 

The Recipes:

BLACK BEAN AND SWEET POTATO EMPANADAS
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
1tbsp olive oil
1tsp ground coriander
1 tin black beans, drained and rinsed
1tbsp chilli jam
60g/ 2oz butter, chilled and cut into chunks
375g/ 13oz plain flour + extra for rolling, etc.
240ml/ 8floz milk
1 egg yolk, beaten with a splash of water
salt and pepper

First, make the pastry
Put butter, flour, pinch of salt and paprika in a food processor and whizz until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Pour in the milk and whizz again until the mixture clumps together. Add a bit more flour if necessary.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Shape into a rough ball and wrap in cling film. Chill for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the filling
Toss the sweet potato chunks in a mixture of the oil and the ground coriander, then spread them over the base of a baking tray (or two).
Roast them at 200°C/ 390°F/ Gas 6 for about 30 minutes until tender.
Place in a bowl with the black beans and chilli jam. 
Season and stir all together.

Then
Take the pastry from the fridge and roll out to about the thickness of a pound coin.
Cut out circles of about 6 – 7cm diameter, using a bowl as a guide.
Put a spoonful of the filling onto one half of each.
Fold over to enclose the filling and press the edges down with a fork.
Put in lined baking trays and brush with the egg mix.
Bake for 20-25 minutes.  

PEPPER PASTE
1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped finely
½ red pepper, deseeded and chopped
handful of fresh coriander, mainly leaves,chopped
2bsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
salt and black pepper
1tsp ground cumin


Place everything in a blender.






Blitz.





CHEESY ‘MEAT’BALLS
150g Quorn mince
2 onions, finely chopped
2tbsp mixed herbs
75g fresh breadcrumbs
1 egg beaten with a fork
3tbsp olive oil 
150ml vegetable stock
1tbsp Bisto instant gravy powder
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 red pepper, deseeded and diced
1 tin chopped tomatoes
3 tbsp brown sugar
2tbsp tomato ketchup
4tbsp red wine vinegar
1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped finely
1tsp dried oregano
1 tin kidney beans, drained and rinsed

To make the ‘meat’balls
Heat 1tbsp of the oil and fry one onion until soft. Add 50ml of the stock and stir.
Then add the mince, the rest of the stock and the Bisto. Stir well until all the stock has been absorbed.
Tip this into a blender and whizz until mainly smooth but slightly chunky.
Pour into a bowl and add add the breadcrumbs, mixed herbs, eggs and lots of seasoning.
Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7.
Making sure your hands are well-floured, roll the mince mixture into golf-ball-size balls.
Spread the balls out in a tray lined with greaseproof paper.
Roast for 10 minutes, then turn and cook for 10 minutes more.
(You can do this stage in advance and keep until needed. If so, re-heat – for quickness in a microwave – when needed)
To make the sauce
Heat the remaining 2tbsp of oil and fry the second onion for a few minutes, then add the garlic and chilli.
Stir in the tomatoes, sugar, ketchup, vinegar and kidney beans.
Bring to the boil and simmer for at least 10 minutes.
When ready to serve
(Make sure the sauce and ‘meat’balls are hot)
Drop meatballs into the sauce and simmer, stirring occasionally.
Place all in a bowl. 

Sprinkle with the cheese and put under the grill.


SPICY FRIED POTATOES
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1tsp crushed chillies
1tsp ground cumin
2tsp paprika
2tbsp red wine vinegar
675g/1½lb small potatoes, cut to be even size.
3 - 5tbsp olive oil
1 red or yellow pepper, deseeded and diced (or half of each as used here)

Bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil. Cook potatoes for about 15 minutes until almost tender, then drain.
Heat 3tbsp of the oil and cook the onion and pepper for about 5 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute more.
Sprinkle in the spices and mix well. Add extra oil if needed. 
Cook the potatoes with the rest until they are golden.


SLICED MEXICAN OMELETTE WITH TOMATO SAUCE

6 free range eggs
2tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped + extra for serving
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped finely
1 can chopped tomatoes
40g cheese, grated
3tbsp olive oil
zest and juice of 1 lime
salt and pepper

To make the omelette
Break the eggs into a bowl and beat lightly.
Mix in the herbs, chopped chilli and cheese, and season.
Heat 1tbsp of the oil. Pour in the mixture and cook gently until bottom firm. 
Turn onto a plate and return to the pan for 3-4 minutes more.
When all cooked, put back on a plate and allow to cool.
To make the sauce
Heat the other 2bsp of oil
Fry the onion until almost soft, then add the garlic and cook for a minute more.
Add the tomatoes and lime juice and zest.
Bring to the boil and then simmer for about 15 minutes.
Pass through a sieve to make a smooth sauce.
Then
Cut the omelette into slices. Place in a bowl and pour over the sauce.
Serve the coated strips in a bowl with some additional coriander.


SWEETCORN CAKES
150g/ 5oz self-raising flour
3 free-range eggs
100g/ 3½ ounces tinned sweetcorn, drained
150ml/ 1/3 pint skimmed milk
olive oil for frying
salt and black pepper

Place the flour, eggs and milk into a bowl and mix well.
Add the sweetcorn, season well and stir.

Heat the oil in a pan and place spoonfuls of the sweetcorn mixture into the pan. Fry the fritters for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden-brown. 

Remove from the pan and keep warm. Repeat with the remaining batter.

                                           serve with the  SALSA
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

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


TEX MEX BUTTERNUT SQUASH 


1 tin of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 butternut squash, peeled, with ends cut off and deseeded
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, deseeded and chopped
200g cheese, grated
large handful of coriander, roughly chopped

For the Taco Seasoning
1tbsp chilli powder
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp chilli flakes
¼ tsp oregano
½ tsp paprika
1tsp ground cumin
½ tsp salt

(N.B. Our original plan was to 'spiralise' the butternut squash but, it was a bit soft, so we grated it instead, meaning that we didn't have the 'noodles' we had planned, although it made little difference to the taste of the finished dish.)

Grate the butternut squash and mix with the chopped tomatoes, peppers and a little red wine vinegar, and season.
Add the kidney beans and the taco seasoning and stir well.
Place in a heat-proof dish and cover with the cheese.
Bake at  220C/200C fan/gas 7 for about 20 minutes until it is bubbling hot and the cheese has just started to brown.
Then scatter the coriander leaves over the top. 


KITTY’S CHILLI CHOCOLATE MOUSSE
200g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
45g butter
3 eggs, separated
45g caster sugar
2tsp mild chilli powder
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
Stir the eggs yolks into the mixture, one at a time and add the chilli powder.
Whisk the egg whites until they start to stiffen. Add the caster sugar and whisk again until you get soft peaks.
Stir a spoonful of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the rest, keeping as much air in as possible.

Spoon into bowls or glasses and chill for at least 2 hours.

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