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

Friday 26 July 2019

IF YOU COOK IT, THEY WILL COME - A Meal for...Cowboy Day Cook-Along 4

When Greg from Recipes for Rebels announced that there would be a Cowboy Day Cook-Along 4, Kitty and Zelda were full of excitement. 

They started talking in the kitchen about how they could celebrate it this year. 

We have, they said, already been inspired by country music lyrics (in 2016), recreated a saloon in Dodge City (2017) and, last year, told the true story of the Gunfight at the OK Corral

"It would be lovely to invite some of our favourite cowboys around for a meal," said Zelda.
"Why not?" said Kitty. "This is a fantasy world where anything is possible."
So Zelda made a list:
The Ringo Kid (John Wayne, Stagecoach, 1939)
Jett Rink (James Dean, Giant, 1956) 
Arkansas Dave Rudabaugh (Christian Slater, Young Guns II, 1990)
Django (Jamie Foxx, Django Unchained, 2012)

Kitty chose Cat Balloo but was very disappointed when she realised that - sadly - this was no hunky feline cowboy and, in fact, not a cat at all. 

So she went for Tom dressed up instead.

Also invited were: 

Dodge City/ 'Dodgy' Dave
Sioux-Chef Simon

and Kansas Karen.

The Menu
Kitty and Zelda decided on the menu and chose some traditional cowboy fare, some modern recipes and some quirky takes on the Tex Mex theme.

"Did you know," said Kitty, "that 14.8% of the raspberries produced in a year from all over the world, come from Mexico?" 
So, Zelda agreed to incorporate them into the dessert, adding them to the Wagon Wheels.

The Event
On the day, Zelda wondered if the 'Field of Dreams' philosophy was over-optimistic, but Kitty reminded her: 

"If you cook it, they will come."

So, Zelda started chopping and blending and baking and frying.

And, then, before they knew it, The Ringo Kid was there,
Django arrived for a beer and said he could murder a quesadilla,
in came Arkansas Dave Rudabaugh,
followed by Jett Rink.
And when Tom turned up, suitably attired...
...Kitty didn't know what to do with herself.
Simon and Karen relaxed before Zelda co-opted Simon into the cooking duties
and Dave was amused by the good company.
Zelda enjoyed sharing some time with Django before sorting the food.
Then, dinner was enjoyed by all.

The Recipes
Starter: Mini Sausage Frittatas with Barbecue Sauce

2 vegetarian sausages
1 red onion, sliced finely.
4 eggs
160ml single cream
2tsp parmesan-style cheese, finely grated
small amount of oil for cooking
small handful fresh coriander leaves
Wipe some oil around each hole in a muffin tin.

Cut six circles of greaseproof paper to fit the base of each hole.

Cook sausages. Allow to cool slightly, then slice.

Cook onions in the remaining oil over a low heat until soft.

Place sausage and onion slices in each of the holes.

Whisk the eggs. Mix with the cream and cheese, and season.

Pour over the sausages
Cook at 180°C/ 350°F/ Gas 4 for about 25 minutes until the egg has fully set.

Remove from oven. 
Allow to cool for about 5 minutes, then loosen the edges and turn out onto a rack. Make sure you take off the paper bases. 
1tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 large can of chopped tomatoes
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
85g brown sugar
3tbsp malt vinegar
2tbsp Henderson’s sauce (a vegetarian alternative to Worcester sauce)
1tbsp tomato puree

Heat the oil and cook the onion. Then add the garlic and cook for a minute more.

Add the remaining ingredients, allow to bubble for a few minutes, then turn off the heat and let cook gradually until thickened slightly.

When cool, place in a blender and whizz until smooth.

Main Course: Cheese and Bean Quesadillas, Individual Sweet Potato Gratins, Cheese Straws, Hot Chilli Salsa, Sour Cream and Chive Dip, Tex Mex Salad

8 flour tortillas
2 large can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 large can baked beans in tomato sauce
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2tsp ground cumin
1tsp paprika
2tbsp brown sugar
1tbsp tomato puree
2tbsp red wine vinegar
150g cheddar cheese, grated
1 lime, cut into 4

Heat 1tbsp oil and fry the onion. When almost soft, add the spices and cook for a minute more.
Place in a bowl with the tomato puree, sugar, red wine vinegar and 3/4 of the kidney beans (+ half a can of water).
Mash everything together.
Then mix in the rest of the kidney beans and all the baked beans.
Return to the pan and keep warm.
Spread the mixture over half of each of the tortillas and sprinkle the cheese over the other half. 
Fold each in half to make filled parcels.
Warm oil in pan and heat parcels for a few minutes each side until cheese is melting.
Cut in half again and keep warm until all are ready. 
Serve topped with the lime.


1 large potatoes, 3 sweet potatoes (about 1.2kg in total), peeled and chopped into small chunks
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1 small onion, chopped finely.
2tbsp olive oil
150ml crème fraiche
2tbsp milk
200g hard red cheese, grated

Place the potatoes in salted water. Bring to the boil and simmer until tender.
Heat the oil in a separate pan and fry the onion until it starts to soften. Add the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes more.
Drain the potatoes and replace in the pan to mash.
Season and mix with the crème fraiche, milk, onion mixture and 150g of the cheese. 
Place in ramekins or small bowls.
Bake at 160°C/ 320°F/ Gas 4 for about 35 minutes.
Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the top and cook for about 10 more minutes.


1 can sweetcorn
1 can mixed bean salad
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 red pepper
1 red onion, peeled and chopped finely
3tbsp sweet chilli sauce

Mix all together!

1 sheet puff pastry
1 egg yok
2tbsp milk
75g cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
2tsp parmesan-style cheese, grated finely

Unroll the pastry sheet.
Mix the egg yolk and milk and brush a third of it over the pastry, then sprinkle over half the cheddar.
Fold in half and roll out again, covering again with another third of the milk and the rest of the cheddar.
Fold again and roll out once more.
Cut into strips and twist each.
Place on baking trays. Brush with the remaining milk and sprinkle over the parmesan.
Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
Bake at 200°C/ 400°F/ Gas 6 for about 20 minutes, swapping position of trays halfway through.
Allow to cool on a rack.

1 small jar sundried tomatoes in olive oil, drained.
3 red chillis, halved and deseeded
1 clove garlic, peeled
zest and juice of 1 lime
1 can chopped tomatoes
handful coriander leaves

Put all in a blender, season and blitz.

I also thought we might need something to cool us down as well, so included some Sour Cream and Chive Dip.

Dessert: Wagon Wheels with Raspberry Ripple Ice Cream and Fresh Raspberries
Serves 6
12 plain biscuits
24 mini vegetarian marshmallows 
3tbsp raspberry jam
400g dark chocolate
1tbsp vegetable oil

Place 6 of the biscuits on a baking tray and cover with the marshmallows.

Cook at 160°C/ 320°F/ Gas 3 for a couple of minutes until the marshmallows are soft.
Spread the jam over the remaining biscuits.
Sandwich them together with the 'marsmallowed' ones.
Melt the chocolate over a bowl of simmering water. Then stir through the oil.
Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Dip each biscuit sandwich into the chocolate and then place on the tray.
Set in the fridge for at least an hour.
Top with fresh raspberries 
and serve with a dollop of raspberry ripple ice cream.

And, finally, I would like to thank my lovely sister-in-law Angela. You will see why, when you look at the way she promoted her husband's (and my brother's) Marx Festival.