Recipe: Curry Rice (Vegan Mofo 2018)

Today’s theme for Vegan Mofo is Emoji Inspired. It’s a pretty good opportunity to dust off my recipe for Curry Rice.

with emoji

When I started my adventure in Japanese-style curry I was following this recipe from Just Hungry. What sold me on it was the description: “The best way to describe it is probably to say it’s like a English style stew with curry.” So I thought it would be something like a more filling version of chip shop curry. Which it is. I love it.

Along the way I’ve made plenty of adjustments. To start with I took the meat out. Today we’ve used a seitan but I also like to use cubes of fried tofu. This has the side effect of making the dish quicker to cook.

I also like to muck around with the veg. We eat this curry fairly regularly between autumn and spring, often to use up the last of the root veg in our Riverford Box. I’ve used carrot, squash, sweet potato, swede, turnip… anything really. It’s a really good clean-out-the-fridge meal. I also sometimes use edamame instead of peas, just because Kate likes them better.

curry mix

And finally I do use blocks of Japanese curry, instead of making my own roux. I like S&B because you can find it practically everywhere now (or order from Japan Centre) but I use double the amount. After all this is my Cheating English Lady’s Japanese Curry.

Ingredients

(serves 2)

  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 can of tomatoes, blended
  • One cup of assorted mixed root veggies, diced
  • Two squares of S&B Golden Curry
  • Half a cup of diced beef-style seitan or cubes of deep fried tofu or more veggies
  • Half a cup of peas or edamame
  • Rice to serve

Brown the onion in oil over a medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for a further 30 seconds or so.

Add the tomatoes into the pan. Toss in the root veggies, curry and around 1 1/2 cups of water.

uncooked

Cook until the vegetables are done. This will be around 20-30 minutes depending on what veggies you put in and how done you like them (Kate prefers hers mushy and textureless but I’m doing the cooking so…)

Add the seitan or tofu and the peas or edamame and cook for a further 5 minutes or so until they are heated through.

Serve with rice.

IMG_1071

 

Advertisements

Recipe: hot chocolate dessert

Today is the Late Summer Bank Holiday in England and Wales. The phrase ‘late summer’ might give you visions of evenings on the beach, putting on a fleece as the sun sets and the air starts to cool. However, as any Brit will tell you, bank holidays mean awful weather. That doesn’t stop half the population waiting for hours in traffic though, as they optimistically head to the coast on Friday and disappointedly head home on Monday. I’d rather stay at home with some warm comfort food, like this simple hot chocolate dessert.

dessert

Ingredients:

  • 20g cocoa power
  • 30g caster sugar
  • 200ml oat milk
  • 20g cornflour
  • 20ml water

Method:

Put the cocoa powder, caster sugar, and oat milk in a saucepan, whisk together, and place over a medium heat.

Put the cornflour and water in a small bowl and stir to make a thin paste, known as a ‘slack’.

Pour the slack into the saucepan. The heat will cause the cornflour to thicken the dessert, so whisk it continuously to avoid the bottom layer thickening first.

Once it has thickened to the point that the whisk leaves faint trails, pour the dessert into a bowl to serve.

Recipe: Coronation Chickpeas

Okay so this recipe leans so heavily on the chickpea salad recipe from Vegan For Everybody that it’s practically the same thing. But it’s not. Their curried variation just has some extra curry powder and some raisins. Not enough for me. My variation is a bit more like the cheap coronation chicken sandwich filling of my youth. If you’re feeling fancy pants you can always use dried cranberries rather than raisins. They brighten things up a bit.

Ingredients

2 cups cooked chickpeas

1/2 cup vegan mayo

1/4 cup water

1 tablespoon curry powder

2 teaspoon mango chutney

2 tablespoon raisins or cranberries

Pepper

In a blender combine 3/4 cup of chickpeas with the mayo, water, curry powder and mango chutney. Blend until mostly smooth.

Mostly.

Add in the rest of the chickpeas and pulse two or three times, leaving the chickpeas in fairly large chunks.

Poor mix into a bowl and stir in the dried fruit and a pinch or two of pepper. You are ready to make a sandwich. Or wrap. Enjoy.

Recipe: Vegan Scones

scone
Scones, anyone?

Vegan food is constantly changing and evolving. New products are launched all the time, creative cooks are coming up with new methods, and an entire community is buzzing with fresh new ideas. One product that’s been a huge game changer for us is oat milk. I’m not just saying that because I work in a coffee shop: oat milk is also a fantastic addition to the vegan baker’s arsenal. I first read about the effect of oat milk in baked goods in the America’s Test Kitchen book Vegan For Everybody. They take advantage of the sugars in oat milk to give baked goods a lovely brown colour. These scones use oat milk both in the dough and brushed on top to make them look golden brown and delicious. This is another recipe updated and brought across from our old blog.

Ingredients

(for about 12 medium sized scones)

450g plain flour
4 teaspoons of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
100g margarine (we use Vitalite)
200ml oat milk + a few tablespoons more for brushing the tops
50g sugar

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C and line a tray with baking parchment.

Mix the plain flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

Break up the margarine into teaspoon sized amounts and place in the bowl. Rub into the flour until you get a loose, crumb-like consistency.

crumblike
Crumb-like

Mix in the sugar and 200ml of milk, stirring together until it forms a dough.

Tip the dough onto your work surface and pat down until a couple of inches thick. Use a circular cutter (or the top of a glass) to cut out the scones. Keep going until you have used up all of your remaining dough.

cutting out
Cutting out

Pop the scones on the baking tray and brush over the remaining oat milk.

Cook for 20 minutes, until golden on top.

 

 

Recipe: Oregano and Lemon Chicken wraps with Linda McCartney Pulled Chicken

I was thinking up ways to turn a bag of Linda McCartney Pulled Chicken into lunch other than making tacos. I decided that this time I’d go a little Mediterranean and use seasoning inspired by Greek food. Although we used wraps this time this would also make a great stuffing for pita breads or even those folded flatbread thingies. Add in the salad of your choice — here we’ve gone for rocket — and you’ve got yourself lunch. This recipe makes enough filling for two.

Ingredients

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 clove of garlic crushed

2 teaspoon dried oregano

Half a bag of Linda McCartney Pulled Chicken

A pinch of salt

Juice of half a lemon

A wrap and some salad, to serve

Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the garlic when hot. When the aroma of the garlic is released, after about 30 seconds or so, add the chicken and a pinch of salt.

Cook for four minutes, stirring every now and then to prevent sticking.

Add the lemon juice and a tablespoon of water to help plump up the chicken. Cook for a further three minutes.

Wrap it all up.

Six steps to roast potato perfection

The first cookbook I ever owned was called, simply, Potato. I’m content for a meal to consist solely of potatoes, and will react with confusion when Clare asks “But what are we having with the potatoes?”. As a potato fundamentalist I’m keen to see people get the fundamentals right, so here are my six steps to roast potato perfection.

roast-potatoes

1. Choose the right potatoes

Potatoes range from waxy (good for boiling, as they don’t fall apart) to floury (good for baking, as they produce a fluffy texture). Roasting requires potatoes that are sufficiently waxy to survive parboiling, but not to the detriment of the final texture. Any potato sold as an ‘all rounder’ will do; Maris Piper is a widely available variety.

2. Choose the right oil

Potatoes can be roasted in any oil with a sufficiently high smoke point. I use a blend of about ten parts vegetable (rapeseed) oil to one part olive oil. Strongly-flavoured oils will affect the taste of the potatoes, so you might like to try a few different blends and see which you prefer.

Pour a thin layer of oil (no more than five millimetres deep) into a pan large enough to fit the potatoes in a single layer, and heat in an oven at 180°C while you prepare the potatoes.

3. Parboil the potatoes

Parboiling the potatoes softens the outer layer, letting you roughen it to produce crispier roast potatoes.

Peel the potatoes and cut them into evenly-sized pieces. I prefer relatively small pieces around four centimetres across; if you prefer larger pieces you will need to increase the roasting times in steps 5 and 6 to ensure the potatoes are cooked through. Put the potatoes in a pan, add enough water to cover them, and add a couple of teaspoons of salt. (The salt prevents water moving into the potatoes through osmosis, which would cause the outer layer to break apart.) Bring the water to the boil and then boil for five minutes.

parboiling.jpg

4. Roughen the surfaces

Tip the potatoes into a colander and leave them for five minutes to dry. Shake them in the colander to roughen their surfaces. This increases the surface area of the potatoes, giving a crispier result.

roughened.jpg

5. Start off roasting in the oil

Take the pan of oil out of the oven and put it on a hob to keep it hot. Using a spoon, transfer the potatoes to the oil; they shouldn’t splutter if they were left to dry in the colander for long enough. Spoon some of the oil over the exposed tops of the potatoes, and then return the pan to the oven for thirty minutes.

in-pan.jpg

6. Finish on a tray

After thirty minutes, the potatoes should be starting to brown, particularly on the bottoms that have been submerged in the oil. Depending on the variety of the potatoes and the size of the pieces, they may need more or less time; judge them by their colour. Take the pan out of the oven, transfer the potatoes to a baking tray using a slotted spoon, and return them to the oven for fifteen minutes. This allows the excess oil to drain off and cooks the surfaces evenly.

on-tray.jpg

Once the potatoes have browned to your taste, remove them from the oven and serve.

roast-potatoes