Bangers andMash

This, to use an old cliché, is real comfort food, but elevated to a degree of sophistication by the vegetables. The
sausages are, in the opinion of most carnivores I have tried them on, superior to meat varieties.

Sausages
This makes 12 sausages, which is ample for 4 people. They also freeze pretty well. The chestnuts are available vacuum-
packed from most supermarkets.
Ingredients:
250g chestnuts
125g tofu
1 onion
1½ tsp fresh sage
1 tsp fresh rosemary
75g grated mature cheese, such as Gouda,  Cheddar or Red Leicester
1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp chipotle powder
1 egg, beaten
100g breadcrumbs
4 tbsp olive oil, for frying

Method:
1. Blitz the chestnuts in a food processor and pulse to get a coarse breadcrumb texture.
2. Mash the tofu with a fork.
3. Add the chestnuts and tofu to a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients (except the oil), and mix well. Form into
12 sausages. Place in the fridge until needed.
4. To cook, heat the olive oil in a large frying-pan over a medium heat. Add the sausages and fry for about 5 minutes,
turning occasionally until deep brown all over.

Mashed Potato
Serves 4
Ingredients:
500g floury potatoes
50g butter
100ml milk
pinch black pepper

Method:
1. Boil the potatoes in salted water until cooked. Drain in a colander, and allow as much steam as possible to
evaporate so the potatoes dry out.
2. Transfer to a bowl and mash (I like to use a potato ricer for this.)
3. Add the butter, then the milk until the potato is soft and fluffy.
4. Adjust the seasoning.

Rich Gravy
This uses the classic method of caramelizing vegetables, adding marmite and soy sauce for flavour and colouring, and balsamic vinegar for character and acidity. Again, this will freeze successfully.
Ingredients:
Makes 500ml, enough for 2 to 3.
1 onion
1 carrot
1 celery stick
1 tbsp olive oil
1 bay leaf
1 sprig of fresh thyme
1/2 tbsp soft brown sugar
1 tbsp plain flour
1 tsp Marmite
1/2 tbsp tomato purée
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
500ml vegetable stock , preferably homemade

Method:
1. Chop the onion, carrot and celery. Add to a large pan over a medium heat with a splash of olive oil and the herbs.
2. Fry in the olive oil for around 15 minutes, or until turning golden.
3. Add the sugar and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes until sticky and caramelized.
4. Add the flour, then add the Marmite, tomato purée and vinegar. Pour in the stock, then bring to the boil.
5. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, then pass through a sieve into another pan. Press with a spoon to
squeeze out all the liquid.

Creamed Spinach
Serves 2
Ingredients:
500g fresh spinach
50ml double cream
nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Method:
1. Wilt the spinach in a large pan, with just a splash of water.
2. Refresh in cold water and drain.
3. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible into a saucepan.
4. Boil the retained liquid until it has reduced to a couple of tablespoons.
5. Meanwhile chop the spinach roughly.
6. Add the spinach to the reduced liquid, season with salt pepper and nutmeg (just a quick grate), and add the cream.
7. Simmer until the spinach has warmed through.

Spicy Red Cabbage
One of my favourite salads is red cabbage salad. However, there is plenty left over, and in the past I tried various methods to use up the surplus. My attempts were usually based on the French method of cooking very slowly for 3 hours, and were not entirely successful. Then I had an idea, why not cook it similar to Gujerati Cabbage and Carrot!
Serves 2
Ingredients:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small red onion
1 small garlic clove
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 red cabbage
1/2 tbsp palm sugar (use soft brown sugar if you cannot get this)
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Method:
1. Slice the onion and garlic very thinly. Shred the cabbage very thinly.
2. heat the oil in a wok and cook gently for 5 minutes until soft.
3. Add the garlic and cumin and cook for 1 minute.
4. Add the cabbage and cook for 15 minutes, stirring often.
5. Add the sugar and vinegar. Season generously with black pepper and cook for a further 2 minutes.
 

© DAVEggie

French Biryani Stir-fry!

This is sort of a cross between a paella and a biryani (biryella?) with French overtones. The secret is how you cook the rice. I like to use a mixture of basmati and risotto rice with truffle. I also like to use a mixture of tomatoes, Roma for sweetness and cherry for acidity. The rice takes a little time and care. The vegetables are stir fried quickly at the last minute.

I like to serve on a large warmed platter with the rice and vegetables mixed together, for people to help themselves, though this is a bit 80’s retro.

First the rice
Serves 2
Ingredients:
15g butter
150g basmati rice
50g risotto rice with truffle
25g onion
1 small clove of garlic
1/2 small bay-leaf
6 black pepper corns
1 sprig fresh thyme
50ml dry white wine
225ml vegetable stock
2 parsley stalks
small saucepan with a tight-fitting lid

Method:
1. Wash the basmati rice in several changes of water. Allow to soak for 30 minutes, and allow to drain in a sieve for 15 minutes.
2. Chop the onion finely, and crush the garlic.
3. Melt the butter in the saucepan and sauté the onion until soft but not browned. Add the garlic and cook for a further 60 seconds.
4. Add the bay-leaf, thyme, pepper corns and rice and cook for a few minutes stirring constantly until the grains turn opaque.
5. Add the wine and boil rapidly for a 30 seconds. Season with salt.
6. Meanwhile heat the stock until boiling, and add to the rice.
7. Cover the rice with aluminum foil, and fit the lid. Turn the heat down to the lowest possible, and cook for 15 minutes. (I like to use a preheated small
frying pan as a defuser.)
8. Turn of the heat and allow to stand covered for 5 minutes.
9. Remove the lid, and fork gently to release the steam.

Vegetables
Ingredients:
2tbsp olive oil
2 large spring onions
1 mild chilli
100g sugar-snaps (string as necessary)
50g frozen peas, defrosted
200g tomatoes, Roma and cherry mixed
200g tinned red kidney beans
2tbsp chopped parsley
2tbsp lemon juice

Method:
1. Chop the spring onions and chilli finely. Chop the tomatoes coarsely.
2. Heat a wok until smoking. Then add the oil and swirl round.
3. Add the spring onions and chilli and stir fry for 1 minute.
4. Add the sugar snaps and peas and stir fry for 1 minute more.
5. Turn the heat down to medium and add the tomatoes. Allow to bubble for 2 minutes.
6. Add the beans and allow to heat through.
7. Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste
7. Add the lemon juice.

To serve:
Tip the rice and vegetable mixed vegetables onto a pre-warmed serving plate, and sprinkle with parsley.

© DAVEggie