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Archive for the ‘Mushrooms’ Category

So I have to admit, I made a variation on this several times during lent as it is super easy and quick if, say, your family is having fish and chips and you have to concoct something for yourself at speed. It may not be the most inspired vegan meal, but man is it good, especially if you use a good quality paprika that makes it extra smoky and fiery (definitely something I was craving on the occasion I was cooking chorizo quiche for the fam).

veggie/vegan chilli

Serves 4 – for a tart filling which serves 2, see below

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped/minced
  • 500g tin beans in water (any variety or mixed)
  • 500g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 handfuls chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 250 ml  apple juice
  • 160 ml (about a third of the tomato tin) red wine
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp hot smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp vegetable bouillon/1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 tbsp cous cous (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1tsp white wine vinegar
  • pepper and salt to taste
Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry off the onions and garlic until translucent. Add the beans WITH THEIR WATER, tinned tomatoes, wine mushrooms and apple juice. Bring to the boil and add the spices, stock cube and purée. Allow to simmer with the lid off for 15 minutes. Depending on how thick the sauce is looking, or what you are serving it with (I was serving it with soft tortillas so I didn’t want it to be too runny, but if you were serving it with rice or a baked potato, you’d want a bit more sauce) add the cous cous to thicken. Simmer for a further 15 minutes, lid on. Right at the end, stir in the sugar and vinegar. Taste and then season. Serve with nachos, tortillas, baked potato or rice and a crispy green salad.

 variation for tart filling

serves 2

I halved the ingredients  and omitted the tinned tomatoes, couscous, sugar and mushrooms adding an extra squirt of tomato purée and a squirt of tomato ketchup cooking quickly (probably only 10-15mins simmering) until it makes a drier sauce. I then put the mixture into pre-blind baked pastry cases (Jus-roll short crust pastry cooked at 200C for 15 minutes) and baked for 10-15 mins with a dollop of vegan “cheese” (more of a cheesey dip, the consistency of hummus)  on top from this recipe. I particularly like this fake cheese recipe because it doesn’t use soya milk and I find I don’t like the strong soy-taste in fake cheeses using soya milk.

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Whilst tidying my room, my camera resurfaced, and with it photos of a meal I had completely forgotten about! This is it, the dumpling recipe is the first blog post from the amazing Hollow Legs food blog. I admire blogger Lizzie and reference Hollow Legs a good deal, partly because I am completely incompetent when it comes to Chinese food, but mainly because it is an awesome blog.

I love how the dumplings are all crispy on the bottom and soft and doughy on top. The broth recipe was vaguely based on “Three Shredded and Five Ingredients Soup” from an old regional Chinese cooking book my Dad has. I changed it to suit what I had lying around and to incorporate the leftover pork mince from the dumplings. Before anyone says anything I realise dim sum should be eaten independently and not with soup, but I get a bit edgy when there are no vegetables in a meal and I am after all an ignorant Brit (that, and I love soup…)

potsticker dumplings, makes 15-18

for the dough

  • 100g plain flour
  • 50ml water

for the filling

  • 200g minced pork
  • 2 finely chopped spring onions
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp corn flour
  • pinch of white pepper

Combine the flour and water to make a soft dough, and leave for 30 mins to stand. Mix the filling ingredients and allow them to stand for 30 mins too (while you wait you can get on with the soup…see the next recipe)

Once you’ve waited, knead the dough for a couple of minutes and then roll into a sausage which you can chop into the number of pieces you want. Then make the dough into little balls with your hands, then use a rolling pin to make them into circles and fill with just over a teaspoon of filling. Fold the dough in half over the filling and pinch the tops, folding pleats into them and making sure they sit flat. Put them onto a floured plate until you’ve done all of them.

Thats the fiddly bit, as for cooking them they are super quick, so if you’re making the soup I’d make sure that was simmering away to itself first. If that’s all done or you’re just having these then here’s how to cook them: Get a non stick frying pan and heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in it. Place all the dumplings in, making sure they sit flat. Then fill the pan about a third of the way up with water and put a lid on it. Steam them for 7-10 minutes and then take the lid of and allow all the excess water to evaporate and the bottoms to crisp up. Serve with Chinese black vinegar with matchsticks of ginger in to dip them in.

chinese broccoli and pork broth

serves 4 generously

  • 200-300g minced pork (or whatever you have leftover from the dumplings)
  • 2cm grated ginger root
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 50g mixed dried mushrooms, soaked for 30mins in boiling water and drained
  • 2 leeks
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • the egg yolk leftover from the dumplings
  • 1.5 litres chicken stock
Fry the garlic and ginger in vegetable oil for 2 minutes. Add the leeks and cook gently until softened and then add the shrimp paste and pork, and cook until the meat is browned. Add the stock, then slice the mushrooms and add them too. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, stir in the whisked egg yolk and then add the broccoli. Season to taste and serve once the broccoli has cooked, but isn’t too soft (about 10 minutes). Serve in bowls with the dumplings on the side.

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Ok ok, I know I promised more cake but see this as a kind of savoury interlude, closer to my vegetable shaped heart. There’ll be carrot cake next time I promise… but in the meantime, aren’t portobello mushrooms and halloumi just amazing? Their textures are perfect for a veggie feast and only the most committed carnivores will notice the lack of meat. I used beetroot for the relish because we had some beautiful “candy stripe” beetroot to use up, it almost seemed a shame to chop it up, but chop it up I did and it tasted gooood as did the smokiness of the paprika which compliments the salty squeaky deliciousness that is halloumi very well indeed. Not only is this recipe tasty, but it also gives me the opportunity to tell an excellent cheese-related joke. Doubly brilliant.

What did the cheese say when it looked in the mirror? Halloooo me!

Serves 4

  • 4 portobello mushrooms
  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 cooked beetroot, finely chopped (boil a fresh one whole and skin once cooled slightly, or use a pre-cooked one from a vacuum pack.)
  • 250ml red wine (or half the amount of vinegar)
  • ½ tbsp ketchup
  • ½ tsp sweet paprika
  • splash of water
  • About half of a 250g pack of halloumi
  • salt to taste

Preheat the grill and wipe the mushrooms with a damp kitchen towel. Put the mushrooms under, gill side up for about 10 minutes, or until the juice starts to come out of the gills. Meanwhile fry the chopped shallots and garlic in the oil until softened, add half of both the tomato and beetroot, fry for 2 minutes and then add the wine. Cook on a high heat, adding a splash of water if it looks a bit dry. Take off the heat and puree what’s in the pan, return the mixture to the pan adding the rest of the tomato and beetroot , the ketchup and paprika. Salt to taste, but be careful not to oversalt as the halloumi will do most of it  for you. Spoon the mixture into the mushroom caps and top with sliced halloumi. Return to the grill until the cheese is browned.

Serve hot as you would a burger, with salad and potato wedges or as a starter.

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