Perfect Nut Roast

sunday roastI hate to sound unpatriotic but British food is notoriously bland, and a roast dinner is more British than the Queen wearing a Geri Halliwell Union Jack minidress. But it’s a classic and my version is neither bland nor boring – a tasty nut roast is how a vegetarian sunday dinner should be. It’s a healthy meat alternative and a great protein source.

You will need: 5oz mixed nuts, 2oz breadcrumbs, 2 small onions, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp in marmite dissolved in 1/4 pint of  boiling water, 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice, 1oz butter.

To make the nut roast, dice your onions and put in a mixing bowl, add the breadcrumbs, then the olive oil. Stir together and then add your dissolved marmite to the bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and stir everything, until your nut roast is a thick texture, like stuffing. sunday roastGrease a loaf tin and then cut a sheet of greaseproof paper slightly larger than the tin. Place the paper in the tin and then scoop the nut roast mixture into the loaf tin. I usually sprinkle some sunflower or pumpkin seeds on top of the nut roast for a nice crunchy topping but it’s up to you. You could also wrap it in shortcrust pastry and cheese for a special occasion.sunday roastBake your nut roast in a preheated 180 degree oven for 30 – 40 minutes. Test with a knife – if it comes out boiling it’s ready.

Serve with crunchy roast potatoes, fresh boiled vegetables, like carrots and broccoli, cauliflower cheese and vegetable gravy if you like. This is a great meal when you have friends or family over. The nut roast has a rich nutty taste and a great texture. This recipe would serve 4 so I usually keep some in the fridge for the next day and microwave it.

Love, Mrs Gardom

 

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Creamy Mushroom and White Wine Pie with Oven Baked Mash

DSCF1584I made pie for the first time a couple of months ago and since then I’ve been experimenting with different veggie fillings – I think this is the best. Oh, and it’s National Pie Week – which is definitely a reason to celebrate! My mum came up to see us for a couple of days so I wanted to make something really lovely for tea, she has cooked for me for my whole childhood after all, so it’s a bit of a trickier recipe but definitely worth a try if you want to impress!

For the Pie

You will need: 125ml dry white wine, 200g white mushrooms, 1 flat mushroom, 10g dried porcini mushrooms, (Soaked in enough water to cover them), 2 garlic cloves,  3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon aromat seasoning, 1 large onion, 500ml vegetable stock, 150g plain flour,  5 tablespoons of water, 150ml single cream, black pepper, 75g margarine/butter (+ some for brushing on the top).

To make the pastry rub the butter and flour in a mixing bowl until it forms a breadcrumby texture, then add the water and mix with a spoon. Press the pastry into a ball, adding more water if you need, cover the ball in cling film and pop in the fridge for half an hour.

DSCF1572Dice your onion and crush the garlic cloves and put in a large frying pan with 3 tablespoons olive oil. Once the onions are brown, add the stock and the white wine to the pan, turn the heat on high until it starts to bubble and then put a lid on and turn the heat to medium. Chop your mushrooms into quarters, and your flat mushroom into chunks. Add to the pan and stir. Add the porcini  mushrooms, along with the liquid they have been soaking in. Now leave to simmer for twenty five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the cream.

Put your oven onto 190 degrees. Take your pastry out of the fridge – chop a third off and keep to one side. Roll out the remaining pastry thinly on a floured surface so it is large enough to line your pie dish. Put the pastry in the dish and blind bake for 10 minutes. In your saucepan, the mushrooms should be soft and the sauce should be nice and thick, season with a little pepper and a teaspoon of aromat, if the sauce is runny still, higher the heat and cook for another five minutes.

Mushroom PieRoll out the remaining third of pastry until it will cover the top of the pie. Pour the mushrooms and the sauce into the pastry, then place the pastry lid on top of the pie. Pinch the edges shut and brush the top of the pie with some melted butter (instead of melting butter in a pan, I place a few little lumps on top and the hot pie filling will melt it for you). Put the pie in the oven and cook for 15 minutes.

For the Mash

You will need: 5 potatoes, 1 tablespoon butter, 1 tablespoon cream.

DSCF1579Peel the potatoes and boil them for 15 minutes then drain in a colander. I also served this with some sliced carrots, but I’m sure you know how to do that! Put the potatoes back in the pan, add the butter and cream, and mash everything together until it is really smooth. Put the mash into a casserole dish and pop in the oven when you put the pie in.

pie and mashThere we go, a lovely, lovely pie, perfect for a family meal or a special occasion (Easter’s coming up folks!). The flavours are really rich and earthy, it’s a great dish if you are entertaining people who aren’t used to veggie food.

Love, Mrs Gardom

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It’s Scouse Day!!! Blind Scouse Recipe

 

DSCF1485So today is International Scouse Day – if you are unaware of the delights of Liverpudlian cuisine, Scouse is a thick chunky stew served with crusty bread and it dates back to 1706, and is traditionally a dish eaten by sailors (according to Wikipedia, anyway). My Grandad makes the best Scouse in the world. That’s just a fact. I remember eating it as a little kid in my Grandparent’s dining room – awesome. Blind Scouse is the term for Scouse without meat (don’t worry though this one doesn’t involve boiled animal bones) – it is Scouse day and we shall eat Scouse! Here’s how…

You will need: 1 large onion, 3 large carrots, 4 large potatoes, 200g lentils/ pearl barley broth mix, 700ml water, 1 vegetable stock cube, salt.

Soak your pearl barley mix in hot wtaer for as long as possible (most people say overnight but I’m never that organised, an hour or two will be fine). Chop up your carrots, onion and potato and pop in a large pan. Add your water and then put your stock cube in the pan and crush it with a spoon. Then add you barley mix. Have a good stir, pop a lid on the pan and leave for an hour. DSCF1472Give another good stir, add a bit of salt and pepper, and a splash more water and leave for half an hour. Season to taste (I think it should be really salty) and serve with crusty bread and loads of butter.  2014-02-28 18.38.49This is the ultimate homely, wholesome, tasty tea. A proper English classic. I love my city, and the fact it has it’s own dish is awesome. If you’re a Liverpool local or have never heard of the stuff, give it a try!

Love, Mrs Gardom

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Homemade Vegetable Pie

2014-02-24 19.32.45I love pie, pie is awesome. Everybody loves pie. Unfortunately veggies don’t get much of a choice in the pie department so I have decided to create one – so you may also enjoy the joys of vegetable pie. It’s got a lovely rich taste,  crunchy pastry and would make a fab Sunday roast alternative or as a really tasty tea.

You will need: 6oz plain flour, 3oz butter, 3 tablespoons water, 2 large potatoes, 8oz mushrooms, 2 carrots, 1 onion, 1 garlic cloves, 250ml vegetable stock, 4oz spinach, 2 tablespoons thick double cream, tablespoon coriander, pinch salt and pepper, splash red wine.

First of all make some pastry, crumble your butter and flour together until it forms breadcrumbs, then add a couple of tablespoons of warm water and form the pastry into a ball. Cover it in clingfilm and pop in the fridge for half an hour. Cut two thirds of the pastry – roll it out and place in the pie dish. Bake it on 180 degrees for 10 minutes.2014-02-24 16.59.31Peel the potatoes and carrots and cut them into small pieces. Fill a pan of water and boil the potatoes and carrots for 10 minutes. Dice the onion and garlic and fry in a tablespoon of butter. Chop the mushrooms into quarters and add to the onions. Add the stock to the pan after the mushrooms are brown, add a splash of red wine (3 or 4 capfuls) and 2 tablespoons of thick cream. Turn onto a low heat and simmer for twenty minutes. 2014-02-24 19.35.00Add more stock to the pan if it is looking dry. Add the spinach to the pan and stir everything together. Once the spinach has wilted take the pan off the heat. Fill the pastry base with the filling. Roll out the last third of patsry into a circle and place on top of the pie, pinching the edges. Don’t worry about holes, just patch them up with a bit more pastry. 2014-02-24 19.33.55Because you have cooked the filling and the base already, it doesn’t take too long to cook. About ten minutes on 180 degrees is fine. Serve with some crunchy homemade chips (check out my recipe for beer battered halloumi and chunky chips for my chip recipe) and a bit of salad. Or you could always go for it and add roast potatoes, yorkshires and veg. 2014-02-24 19.30.42This is a lovely family meal, my cousin came round for tea and enjoyed it with us, and she’s not even a veggie! It really is a proper english classic, with a nice vegetarian twist, and the wine and mushrooms give it a lovely rich flavour.

Love, Mrs Gardom

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Beer Battered Halloumi and Chunky Chips

20140126_193610I haven’t eaten meat in 10 years but Sam was a proper carnivore until we moved in together. Most of the time my veggie cuisine is perfectly acceptable but sometimes there are a few things he misses – like fish and chips, the ultimate British classic. So here is my veggie version, lovely beer batter, gorgeous halloumi, and big chunky chips covered in salt and vinegar, awesome.

You will need: 3 large potatoes, 250g halloumi, 160g self raising flour, 200ml lager (I used Carling), mixed herbs, 1 pinch tumeric, vegetable oil, salt and vingear, salad, mango chutney and mayo to serve.

20140126_182853First of all chop your potatoes into big chunky chips, leave the skins on. Boil them in a pan of water for 15 minutes. Heat your oven to maximum and cover a baking tray with oil. Put the baking tray in the oven to warm up. Drain the potatoes, carefully take the baking tray out of the oven and put the chips on it, with a pinch of mixed herbs. Pop in the oven.20140126_185420Now put your flour, lager and tumeric into the mixer with the whisk attachment and whisk everything together until there are little bubbles. 20140126_184515Chop the halloumi into big chunky slices. Fill a large frying pan with about 1cm oil and heat it up. Make sure you have a splash guard to hand as this can be a bit dangerous. Dip the chunks of halloumi in the batter and make sure they are completely covered. 20140126_191305 When the oil is hot, place as many of the battered halloumi pieces into the oil in the frying pan. After about 3 minutes, flip the halloumi pieces. 2014-02-13 08.29.26When both sides of the halloumi pieces are golden brown take them out, put them on a baking tray and put them on the bottom shelf of the oven to keep warm. Turn the oven down, take the chips out and toss them, add a bit more oil if they are getting dry. Cook the next batch of halloumi pieces. Drain all the halloumi pieces on kitchen paper to get rid of the excess oil.20140126_193506Plate up your halloumi pieces and chips with some salad. Serve with mango chutney and mayonnaise. If you are feeling proper northern, fry any extra batter in the leftover oil to make fish bits.2014-02-13 08.25.38

This is an amazing meal, it really isn’t very healthy but it is lovely home cooked British food. And make sure you serve with a nice shandy – bliss.2014-02-13 08.27.50

Love, Mrs Gardom

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