Oops! The Moroccan meal went even better than expected (a long story involving a very nice bottle of wine from a French ex-colleague) so the recipes will have to wait for another day. It also meant that we wanted comfort food that didn’t take too much thought today. But there was a slight matter of the celeriac looking at me from the veg rack. I had some salmon that needed using up, so there was only one thing for it............fish and chips: but not as we know it!
Celeriac oven chips
Pre-heat the oven to 220 deg C/fan oven 200 Deg C
Cast aside all thoughts of the celeriac looking like something out of Alien (be afraid John Hurt) and wash and peel it. Then cut it into chunky chip sized chunks, put them into a pan of cold water, bring to the boil and par-boil for 2 minutes.
Now drain the chips and put them back in the pan with 1 tbsp of veg oil, a dash of sea-salt and 1 tbsp cumin. Toss the chips in the pan so they end up coated in the seasoning and oil.
Spread the chips out on a baking tray, and then put them into the oven to bake for 30 – 35 minutes.
I served them with some pan-fried salmon and some beetroot and carrot salad, see here
, and very nice it was too!
I’m hoping we’ll get another celeriac in the veg bag soon, as I have quite a few plans for other celeriac recipes (we’re talking curry, gratin and other such yummy dishes).
How can it be Thursday already? A quick dash across campus in the rain took me to the Hearty Squirrels where I picked up our bags for the week. And what a great bag it was:
3 medium potatoes
3 large carrots
3 Jerusalem artichokes
1 enormous celeriac
I have to admit I’ve not cooked artichokes very often and I’ve never cooked celeriac so this week promises to be exciting. I also have slightly off-beat plans for the beetroot.
Tomorrow we’ve got friends coming round: I’m planning a Moroccan style menu so I’ll post some of the recipes tomorrow.
Husband looked at the weather forecast yesterday evening and saw that today was going to be the last sunny and dry day for quite some time. So he took the day off. The good news is that we now have a couple of the veg patches dug over reading for planting later in the Spring. The other news is that the cake tin is empty – again!
This coincided with me checking out the remains of my veg bag and finding that I had the innards of a savoy cabbage plus a large parsnip left. The cabbage is easy – that’s going in a risotto with some smoked fish tomorrow, which meant that the parsnip was going to get pretty lonely unless........
Parsnip and fruit loaf
100g mixed dried fruit
2 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp honey
2 medium eggs
85ml sunflower oil
100g light muscovado sugar
115g self-raising flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarb of soda
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp mixed spice
115g parsnips, grated (I just peeled mine, chopped it into chunks and blitzed it in the minichopper)
Preheat the oven to 180 deg C/160 deg F
Line a 2 lb loaf tin with greaseproof paper
Put the dried fruit in a pan with the orange juice and honey and bring to a boil. Simmer for a couple of minutes until the juice has been absorbed
Put the eggs, oil and sugar into a large bowl and whisk until creamy.
Sift over the flour, baking powder, bicarb of soda, ground ginger and mixed spice
Fold the sifted flour mixture into the mix with the parsnips and the dried fruit mixture.
Spoon into the tin and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool.
You could always ice it – but it’s getting late and I need the cake to cool down, so somehow I reckon we’ll go without!
I pretty much always take a packed lunch to work – I find it’s much tastier and much cheaper than getting a sandwich or something similar when I’m there. But it can be a bit of a hassle organizing a lunch each day so I also like to make things that will do for several days and these little things certainly did the job. They are halfway between an omelette and a quiche and are great for using up those little bits of veg at the bottom of the veg basket.
Quichlettes (makes about 8)
250g cottage cheese
50 ml milk
Whatever else needs using up: mushrooms, peppers, sweet corn, cooked potatoes
Pre-heat the oven to 180 deg C/ fan oven 160 deg C
Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a small frying pan and gently fry the onion and other veg until they are softened.
Meanwhile put the eggs, cottage cheese and milk in a bowl and either beat with a fork or, if you prefer it smoother, blitz with a stick blender. Gently mix in the veg and then spoon the mixture into greased muffin tins. Cook for 30 – 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let them cool before removing them from the tins.
How sad is it to say that I’ve been hoping for a savoy cabbage in my veg bag for a few weeks now? The reason was I wanted to try stuffed cabbage leaves: so I was a very happy bunny when not only did I get a cabbage, but some chestnut mushrooms too – which were perfect for the stuffing. The best bit about this recipe is that you use the big outside leaves that you might otherwise be tempted to throw away. And I’ve still got the inner heart of the cabbage left to use in another recipe.
Stuffed cabbage leaves
8 cabbage leaves (or fewer if they are enormous)
1 onion, finely chopped
4 mushrooms finely chopped
1 stick celery finely chopped
a few dried apricots or dates or sultanas chopped into small chunks
100 g basmati rice (or long grain rice would work ok too)
250 ml veg stock
1 tsp honey
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
First blanch the cabbage leaves by putting them in boiling water for 2 minutes. Then rinse them in cold water (to stop them from carrying on cooking), drain thoroughly and pat dry with kitchen towel.
Heat the oven to 180 deg C/ fan 160 deg C and whilst it’s heating make the stuffing.
Gently fry the onion, mushrooms and celery in some olive oil for about 10 minutes until soft. Then add the basmati rice and cook for another minute. Remove from the heat, transfer everything into a bowl and add the dried fruit.
Now the fun starts. Put a couple of teaspoons full into the middle of a cabbage leaf, now attempt to roll it up, tucking the sides in to stop the filling falling out. Then place the cabbage leaf into a baking dish with the open bit of the cabbage leaf at the bottom. Carry on until you’ve stuffed all the leaves and you have all the parcels snugly in a single layer in the baking dish. Now mix together the stock, honey and balsamic vinegar and pour it carefully over the cabbage parcels. Put foil over the dish and bake for 1 hour, then remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes. We had it with some tomato salad, but next time I’d make a hot tomato sauce instead. Either way – it was very good.
Ladies and Gentlemen – we have veg! And very cultured veg they are too, as they spend yesterday evening in the Royal Scottish Academy whilst their owner tried to understand some of the art.
This week’s bag contained:
2 large carrots
1 large parsnip
1 lovely savoy cabbage
I have some great plans for all of the vegetables.
Today is 1st March, which apparently is the first day of Spring. I celebrated this by sowing some trays of salad leaves that I hope will be ready in about 6 weeks’ time and by putting some potatoes out to chit. The potatoes came from the potato day at Bridgend Allotments
and are sitting in egg boxes on the book case in our spare room. Hopefully they should be able to go into the ground in the middle of April. I chose three different salad varieties and the plan is they will give us some yummy salad potatoes over the summer.
All these thoughts of Spring put me in the mood for some salad and so, surveying the contents of my veg bag, I decided a carrot based salad called for. I pimped it up with some pickled ginger and plenty of poppy seeds:
Carrot and ginger salad with poppy seeds
2 large carrots, grated or chopped in a food processor
1 small onion, very finely diced
2 sticks of celery finely diced (optional)
½ small tin of sweetcorn (optional)
2 heaped tsp poppy seeds
Pickled ginger, or fresh grated fresh ginger
Dressing made from 1 tbsp sunflower oil, 1 tbsp vinegar (I used the vinegar from the pickled ginger) and 1 tsp honey.
Put the dressing ingredients into a jam jar and shake vigorously
Put all the other ingredients into a bowl and mixed thoroughly, pour the dressing over the salad and use a fork to mix everything to incorporate the dressing.