Hassleback al Forno

In Britain we have a tradition of having a roast dinner on a Sunday. This consists of roast vegetables, meat, some gravy and potatoes in some form. Many families still do this but it does tend to use up every pot in the house which has put me off making it just for the two of us. These roasted vegetables with puy lentils cooked in red wine do a nice job of recreating that Sunday lunch feeling without all the extra washing up. Once again this recipe was in Jamie Oliver’s ‘Veg’.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 large parsnips
  • 1/2 butternut squash
  • 1 onion
  • 4 carrots
  • 4 potatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 15g thyme
  • olive oil
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 100ml red wine
  • 2 400g tins green lentils
  • 100g spinach
  • 4 tbsp yoghurt

Method

1.) Heat the oven to 200 degrees C. Peel the parsnips, squash, onion, carrots and potatoes.

2.) Slice around all the veg but don’t go through the middle at 1/2 cm intervals.

3.) Peel and finely chop the garlic and add to a large bowl with 6 tbsp oil, vinegar and salt and pepper. Strip off and add the thyme leaves.

4.) Add the veg to the bowl and coat with all the ingredients.

5.) Pour everything into a roasting tin and roast for one hour.

6.) Once the veg are done, take them out the tin and set aside. Put the tray over the hob and pour in the wine and let it reduce. Then add the tins of lentils with the liquid and the spinach. Stir until the sauce is thick and the spinach has wilted then season.

7.) Serve some lentils with some roasted veg and a dollop of yoghurt.

Burns Night Stew

Here is another option for Burns night that doesn’t involve any vegetarian haggis like this: https://wordpress.com/post/catamongthepilchards.com/141 or this: https://wordpress.com/post/catamongthepilchards.com/204. The stew is served with dumplings which are cooked balls of butter and flour, an old British favourite and very comforting. It’s great to get so many veggies in whilst feeling indulgent. The recipe is from Jamie Oliver’s ‘Veg’.

Ingredients

  • 300g celeriac
  • 300g swede
  • 3 carrots
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 jar mini pickled onions
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 75g pearl barley
  • 330ml porter
  • 2 tsp blackcurrant jam
  • 1.5 litres veg stock
  • 300g self raising flour
  • 50g butter
  • 200g red cabbage
  • 1 apple
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp mustard

Method

1.) Grind 5 cloves into a powder. Peel the celeriac, swede and carrots and chop into chunks. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

2.) Fry in a casserole pan with a tbsp oil and the bay leaves. Add some salt and pepper, the cloves, the allspice and the drained pickled onions. Cook for 15 minutes and make up the stock.

3.) Add the porter and the pearl barley to the pan with the jam and leave to simmer.

4.) Make the dumplings by chopping up the butter and rubbing it into the flour. Add 100ml of water to make a dough then form 12 balls with the dough. Pop the balls into the stew and drizzle over a bit of oil.

5.) Cover the pan with the lid and cook in the oven for 45 minutes.

6.) Make a slaw to go with the stew by shredding the cabbage, chopping the apple into batons and tossing with the vinegar and mustard.

7.) Take the lid off the pan and continue to cook for another 15 minutes.

Cherry & Rose Cupcakes

Rose might not be a flavour to everyone’s taste but I think the people that like it really love it. I definitely fall into that camp and actually rose was a very traditional flavour in the UK until it was usurped by vanilla. If you love the rose flavour too I highly recommend Zymurgorium Turkish Delight gin liqueur. Despite the name, it’s made in my hometown Manchester as symbolised by the bee on the label – the worker bee is the symbol of Manchester and can be seen all over the city. This recipe I found in Lola’s cookbook was actually for cherry blossom cupcakes but I thought that if rose pairs well with raspberry it can also pair well with cherry and I was happy with the result.

Makes 9 larger cakes or 12 smaller

Ingredients

  • 100g self raising flour
  • 70g plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • salt
  • 95g butter + 125g butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • Morello cherry jam
  • 2 tbsp almonds
  • 500g icing sugar
  • rose water

Method

1.) Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C

2.) Melt the 95g butter in a bowl in the microwave for 20 seconds.

3.) Sift the flours, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl.

4.) In a stand mixer (or by hand with a wooden spoon), beat the vanilla, butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one by one and beat afterwards.

5.) Add the flours to the mixture, 1/4 tsp vanilla extract and 1/2 tsp rose water and beat until fully mixed.

6.) Heat up 90g morello cherry jam in the microwave for 20 seconds to make it a bit runnier. Stir the jam through the batter but leave swirls.

7.) Put the cupcake cases in the cupcake tin. Divide the batter between the cupcake cases.

8.) Sprinkle the cakes with the almonds and bake for 20 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.

9.) Whilst the cupcakes are baking, make up the icing.

10.) Melt 125g butter in the microwave for 20 seconds to soften. Add to the bowl of the stand mixer, beat with 1 tsp vanilla extract and 3/4 tsp rose water.

11.) Warm up 75g Morello cherry jam for 20 seconds in the microwave and add to the butter.

12.) Sift in half of the icing sugar and beat until fully combined. Sift in the rest of the icing sugar and beat again until fully combined.

13.) Set up an icing bag with a nozzle and add the icing sugar. Chill in the fridge until the cupcakes have cooled.

14.) Once the cupcakes have cooled, ice the cupcakes by starting on the outside of the cupcake, following the outside then spiralling inward to a point.

Sausage Rolls

These little babies are the last part of my Apprentice ‘party’ as you can’t have a party in Britain without these things. I used Richmond’s vegetarian sausages which are the closest I’ve found to the real deal. Rough puff pastry as used in this recipe gives you a lovely flaky pastry, you can see the layers on the photo above, but is pretty fool proof compared to normal puff pastry. I got the pastry recipe from Paul Hollywood’s ‘How to Bake’ then just wrapped it round the sausages. Serve with some ketchup or even better – Piccalilli which is a British spin on Indian chutneys.

Makes about 32 rolls

Ingredients

  • 8 vegetarian sausages
  • 225g plain flour (and more for dusting)
  • 200g butter
  • 150ml cold water
  • 1 egg

Method

1.) Chop up the butter into small cubes and add to a big bowl with the flour.

2.) Rub the butter into the flour. You want a few chunks of butter. (You could do this bit in a food processor but don’t tell Paul Hollywood!)

3.) Add the water and form a ball with your hands.

4.) Dust a surface with flour and roll out the dough to a large rectangle, about 1cm thick. (I can never get this into a perfect rectangle but to be honest – it doesn’t really matter).

5.) Fold over the two sides into three, like folding up a letter.

6.) Wrap in clingfilm and put in the fridge for 20 minutes.

7.) Roll out the pastry again into a rectangle and again fold into thirds, cover with cling film and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

8.) Repeat this twice.

9.) Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Roll out the pastry again. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper.

10.) Place sausages along the width of the pastry and roll up until the pastry meets. Cut across with a knife. Repeat until all the pastry is used up.

11.) Cut the spaces between the sausages then cut each sausage into 4 pieces.

12.) Line them all up on the baking tray with a little space in between.

13.) Separate the egg and whisk up the egg yolk with a fork.

14.) Wash the knife and put slices across the rolls with a sharp knife. Not enough to go through the pastry.

15.) Brush the rolls with some egg.

16.) Bake the rolls for 30 minutes until golden brown.

Curry Sweetcorn Soup

This tasty soup is another recipe from ‘Gordon Ramsey’s Ultimate Cookery Course’ – I’m really smashing it this week but it’s another winner. Gordon uses a tin of creamed corn which I was assuming was some sort of old British staple like corned beef but the supermarket didn’t have it so I just used a normal tin of sweetcorn and added a bit of coconut cream (conveniently left over from when I made Urap Urap). I would serve this with a naan.

Serve 4

Ingredients

  • oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 large potato
  • 1 litre stock
  • 3 x 200g tins sweetcorn
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes/powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Method

1.) In a casserole pan, lightly toast the coriander and cumin seeds until fragrant. Move to a mortar and give them a mash with the pestle.

2.) Peel and dice the ginger and garlic, add them to the mortar and add the turmeric, salt and chilli. Mash everything together.

3.) Peel and finely chop the onion.

4.) Add some oil to the casserole dish and heat up. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes.

5.) Peel and chop the potato into chunks and open the tins of sweetcorn.

6.) Add the curry paste to the casserole dish and cook for another 2 minutes. Add some more oil if dry.

7.) Make up the stock.

8.) Add the potato and stir around in the casserole dish. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat then add the tins of sweetcorn, Simmer for about 15 minutes until the potato is cooked through.

9.) Add the coconut cream and stir to break it up. Blitz to a thick soup with an immersion blender.

Yorkshire puddings

Yorkshire puddings are one of my favourite things in the world and because I don’t often eat roast dinners every Sunday (or any Sunday apart from at Christmas really) like many of my country people I don’t eat them nearly often enough. There’s a bit of controversy over when you can eat them with some pedantic people (like my in laws) not serving them unless it’s alongside a joint of roast beef (or in toad in the hole). I say just ignore this nonsense and serve them as often as possible. This is Jamie Oliver’s recipe – I didn’t want to go wrong on Christmas Day!

Makes 12

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp coconut fat
  • 2 large eggs
  • 100g plain flour
  • 100ml milk

Method

1.) Preheat the oven to 225 degrees C

2.) Add a 1/2 tsp coconut fat to each muffin hole in a muffin tin

3.) Put the muffin tin in the oven for 10 minutes

4.) In the meantime, in a measuring jug, whisk up the eggs, flour and milk until there’s no lumps.

5.) Carefully pour the mixture in the hot oil. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes until golden brown.