Thursday, 23 December 2010

Party Food

Tis the season to party so we have put our heads together and knocked up a whole range of simple  party food ideas. 

Vegan Beetroot, carrot and smoked tofu sausage rolls 
(makes 15 - 18 small rolls) 

For the sausage rolls
1 Batch vegan rough puff (650g block)

225g smoked tofu
2 small beetroot or 1 big
2 small carrots or 1 big
100g toasted seeds (plus extra for top)
3 Tbsp tamari
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp chopped oregano (you can use 1tsp dried if you don't have fresh)
wheat free flour ( approx 3-5 tbsp)

Soy cream for glaze

1) Finely grate the vegetable into a large bowl. 
2) Squish the tofu with your hand into the bowl. Add all the other ingredients except the flour. Squish again till all of it comes together. Add the flour gradually until the mix stops feeling wet and starts to feel a little sticky and will hold together. 
3) Roll out the pastry into a big rectangle and then cut this in half to form two long thin rectangles.
4) Brush one side of each with soy cream and then pack the mix onto it in a long sausage shape. Fold over the side and roll them over so the join is facing down. Slice into pieces (6cm or so- up to you really)
5) Bake in an oven pre-heated to 170c for 25-30 minutes. 

Mini topped Flat breads (makes 18-22)
This recipe is based on the lahmacun recipe so refer to that for details on the dough part of the

For the dough:
2 1/2 tsp fast acting yeast (I packet)
1/2 tsp sugar
250ml water
500g bread flour
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp olive oil

For the topping:
2 buffalo mozzerella (chopped)
300g sun-blushed tomatoes (chopped)
salt pepper
bunch fresh basil 
tsp garlic
80g toasted pinenuts
lebna (see recipe)
1 tsp sumac
3 tbsp chopped parsley
80g chopped walnuts 

1) When your dough is ready separate it into walnut sized ball. Roll them in you palm, then roll out with a rolling pin till quite thin circles. About 5mm. 
2) Transfer onto a floured baking tray.
3) Top with whatever topping you like. Drizzle a little oil on top then transfer into a really hot oven (250c). These should only take 10-15 minutes. 

makes approx 20

300g dry chickpeas soaked in water for at least 24 hours
1/2 onion
1 small potato
3 cloves garlic
1tsp ground coriander
1tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2tbsp flour
1tsp salt
juice from 1/2 a lemon
1/2 bunch corriander

1small tsp baking powder

Once you have soaked the chickpeas for at least 24 hours, drain and blend in a food processor along with all the ingredients except for the baking powder.  remove from food processor and in a mixing bowl add the baking powder and mix well.
Roll into bite sized shapes and deep fry them in hot oil for about 3-4 min

Courgette & Piquillo pepper Rolls marinated in truffle oil
makes approx 24 rolls

3 courgettes
small wedge of twineham grange vegetarian hard cheese (300g)
3-4 piquillo peppers sliced into thin strips
lalden sea salt
truffle oil
oilve oil

using a french style vegetable peeler or mandolin slicer peel courgette into long ribbons until you reach the seed of the courgette.  do not peel any further that this point as the seeded part of the courgette is not suitable for rolling.

lay the courgette ribbons flat onto a tray side by side, lay a strip of piquillo pepper in the middle of each ribbon.
lightly season with salt, pepper and truffle oil (its a good idea to taste your truffle oil before using to gauge how potent it is as some truffle oild can pack quite a punch)
using a fine grater, grate some cheese generously over the ribbons and marinate lightly with olive oil to finish.

Leave to marinate for 4-5 hours, roll and arrange onto your party platter.

Tomato basil and goats cheese frittata

1 tomato
2 cloves garlic
1 small red onion
1/3 bunch fresh basil
salt & pepper
olive oil

5 eggs (whisk eggs and cream together)
100ml cream

you can either use a non stick fry pan or cast iron pan, if using cast iron pan pre-heat oven to 180c

goats cheese to garnish

de seed tomato and dice, finely dice your onion and thinly slice the garlic cloves.
in a small cast iron skillet or non stick fry pan drizzle a generous amount of olive oil if using cast iron skillet or just a little with a non stick pan.

lightly fry garlic, add onion, tomato and eggs, and fry on med heat, with a spatula mix eggs a couple of times,  as the frittata is cooking gently run spatula down the side of the pan so the sides don't stick.

when almost cooked if using cast iron pan place in oven for a further 15 min to finish cooking.
If using a nonstick pan, cover pan with a plate and flip the frittata over, you should now have the uncooked side facing down onto the plate, slide this into the fry pan and cook for a further 5-8 min.

to remove frittata from pan gently run the spatula down the side of the pan to help ease the edges free,  cover pan with a plate and flip the frittata over.

wait until cooled and garnish with some slices of goats cheese. .

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Vegan Christmas Recipe- Truffled Mushroom and Chestnut Wellington

Truffled Mushroom and Chestnut Wellington

This is our Christmas special main this year and has been really popular. The great thing about this is you can make it bigger or small if you need to. We make these big enough to serve 15 at work but this recipe should serve about six. You can make the mix in advance or even roll it out in advance and then cook it on the day. 

We have been serving it with roast root vegetables, port reduction gravy and spiced red cabbage.
(recipe by Sarah Wasserman)
Serves 6-8
For the Wellington:
650g block of vegan puff pastry (if you're not vegan, regular puff works the same)
3 Tbsp chopped rosemary and thyme
5 cloves of garlic
1 white onion diced
1 Tbsp olive oil
5 Flat mushrooms
200g Chestnuts (peeled and pre-cooked)
75g Walnuts
1 Tbsp good quality white truffle oil
50g (approx) breadcrumbs

1) Chop your rosemary and garlic together
2) Quarter the mushroom and place on a baking tray. Sprinkle with half the herb and garlic mix and roast in the oven for about 10 minutes (or until cooked) at 170c.

3) Warm the olive oil in a pan and fry off the onions till translucent. Add the herbs and 
garlic. Cook a further 2 minutes then remove from the heat.
4) Chop the walnuts and chestnuts together and put in a large bowl. Strain any liquid off the mushroom and add to the bowl. Then add the onion and garlic, truffle oil and gradually mix in the breadcrumbs until the mix hold together but still moist.
5) Cut a bit of the pastry then roll the rest on a sheet of parchment paper into a long wide rectangle but not too thin about 6mm thick.
6) Put the mix on top of the pastry in a firm rectangle . Brush around the edges with soy cream (for non-vegans you can use egg wash here - but soy cream actually works just as well). Then fold over the sides and pinch the ends closed.
7) Transfer onto a baking tray. Do this by picking it the parchment paper and rolling gently onto the tray so that the smooth under side is now on top.
Brush with more soy cream and decorate with some stars for a festive touch.  Brush the stars too.
Make snme small holes in the side with a sharp knife. This wil stop the pastry from pulling apart and cracking.
8) Bake at 170c for 30-40 minutes.

Borlotti Bean Soup with Pico de Gallo (vegan)

Borlotti Bean Soup with Pico de Gallo (vegan)

Marcello Navarro, our sous chef, was the first to make this soup at Mildreds and it has proved very popular, not least with the waiters at work, and it is after multiple requests from them (and some customers) that I decided to put this recipe up. The reason I hesitated is its so quick and easy its not really much of a recipe but I guess good things come easy sometimes.

(Recipe by Sarah Wasserman)
For the soup:
2 Cans Borlotti beans (drained and washed)
1/2 large white onion (or 1 small)
5 chopped cloves garlic
1/2 mild red chilli
1 Tsp chopped fresh oregano (thyme or rosemary also make fine substitutes)
1 Tsp powdered vegetable stock
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
salt and pepper

For the pico de gallo:
I large or two small tomatoes
1/2 a white onion (the other half)
1/2 red chilli (again the other half)
1/2 bunch of Fresh coriander
Zest of 1/2 a lime
1 tbsp olive oil

1) Finely dice the onion. Warm the olive oil in a large pan and add the onion. Cook till translucent. 
2) Add the garlic, paprika and rosemary and cook for two minutes. Add two thirds of the beans, the stock and enough water to cover.
3) Bring to a simmer and cook gently for 15-20 minutes. 
4) While the soup simmers, make the pico by taking the taking the seeds and core out of the tomatoes and finely dice. 

Also dice the white onion and chop the chilli. Mix together with zest, olive oil and coriander and season.  
5) Take off the heat and blend with a stick blender (you may have to add more water). Season. Add the rest of the beans. 
6) Serve topped with the pico and maybe some tortilla chips or warm quesadilla's. 

Rough Puff - vegan option

Rough Puff - vegan option
Puff pastry is widely available store bought which is totally fine but its not much extra effort to make it at home. The advantage of homemade is ingredient control: you can make it with nice organic butter and flour or if you're vegan vegan margarine so you don't have to hunt for vegan puff which is quite hard to find. I really think you'll find this much tastier than store bought and when you see how simple it is you'll find its much easier than a trip to the shops. 

You need to make this one day in advance of using it. It also freezes very well. This recipe makes a roughly 650g block.

For the puff:
300g Bread flour
250g Butter or Vegan Margarine (very cold or frozen)
1 small tsp. sea salt
Ice cold water
Squeeze of lemon (optional)

1) Put the flour and salt in a bowl. Grate the fat into the bowl using the largest of the grating options on the grater. 

2) Add the squeeze of lemon. Then using a big metal spoon stir and add enough water in to bring it together but not make it soggy.
3) With you're hands form into a rough ball and place on a floured surface. (Remember hands are pastry's natural enemy- they are warm and make your pastry chewy. Don't handle it any more than you need to.)

4) Roll into a big rectangle about 1.5cm thick.

5) Fold the two sides into the centre as in the picture below.

6) Rest in the fridge for a few minutes. Take it out and place it back on a floured surface long ways. Roll it out again and repeat the process and then repeat again and again and one more time for good luck (3-4 times in total). 

 7) Fold it again and cover with cling film. Rest in the fridge over night.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Chunky Puy Lentil Dahl (Vegan)

Chunky Puy Lentil Dahl (Vegan)
This is a mildly curried soup which is really closer to a stew. Its just the thing on a cold winter day. As a main course you could serve with some basmati rice. 

(recipe by Sarah Wasserman)
Serves four as a main or six to eight as a starter.  

3 tbsp olive oil
1 small red onion (diced)
1 mild green chilli (red would be fine too)
4 garlic cloves
1 inch of peeled fresh ginger
1 tsp mild curry powder (madras preferably)
1 tsp coriander seeds 
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp ground tumeric
2 small or 1 large carrot (diced)
3 sticks celery (diced)
1 leek (diced)
1 potato (cubed)
300g dried puy lentils (washed)
1 can of chopped tomatoes
pinch of sugar
salt and pepper
chopped fresh coriander

To make the soup:
1) In a large pan warm some olive oil. Add the diced red onion and saute gently.
2) Chop together the garlic, chilli and ginger. Add to the onion.
3) Toast the seeds and grind. Add these and the rest of the spices to the pan and saute for a couple of minutes.
4) Add the carrots and celery. Then add the puy lentils and cook for a couple of minutes before adding the the tomatoes, pinch of sugar, potato and leek. Then add in enough water to bring it to a desired thickness. I used about 500ml because I wanted it quite thick but if you want more of a soup add more. 
5) Simmer for 20-30 minutes until the lentils are cooked. Before serving add the chopped coriander.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Okra in Tamarind and Tomato sauce

Okra in Tamarind and Tomato sauce

This is a nice simple side dish. I use frozen baby okra which come in 500g bags. If you're using fresh then choose the smaller ones. Trim the top but don't cut them off all together (I'll add some pictures of this soon).

Tamarind paste is a thick, black and very sour. If you're not used to using it it can be a bit alarming when you add it as it will make the sauce a not very attractive brown colour but its tangy and delicious so don't let this put you off.

You could make this a main course by serving with some cous cous and/or flat bread and maybe some yogurt on top. 

(Recipe by Sarah Wasserman)
For the okra:
1 large white onion (finely diced)
2 Tbsp olive oil
6 cloves garlic (roughly chopped)
1 can chopped tomatoes
100 ml water
1 Tbsp Tamarind paste
1 Tbsp tomato puree
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 bag frozen baby okra or 500g okra
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Handful very roughly chopped coriander

1) Saute the onions in olive oil till transparent and slightly golden on a low heat for about 10 minutes.
2) Add the garlic and cook for two minutes more.
3) Add the tomatoes, tamarind, puree, sugar, water and seasoning. Simmer for 10 minutes.
4) Add the Okra and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
5) Take off the heat and add a handful of coriander and serve.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Vine leaves stuffed with Persian jeweled rice

Vine leaves stuffed with Persian Jeweled rice 
This recipe makes a lot of vine leaves and is perfect for a party. Persian jeweled rice is a pilaf made with lots of jewel coloured ingredients like rose petals and pistachios. Some of these ingrediant are hard to find. I found the dried rose petals in a Greek shop on Seven Sisters but have seen them in other shops specialising in middle eastern food. I got the sour cherries in Waitrose but if you cant find them dried cranberries would make a fine substitute. If you cant get either just add more dates.

(Recipe by Sarah Wasserman)
Makes about 40 Vine leaves

For the Vine leaves:
1 pack of vine leaves - (usually sold in vacuum packs in brine. Follow the instruction on the pack but generally you need to wash them then boil water for 5 minutes then drain and rinse again)
50g sour cherries
50g dates 
100g pistachios
1 red onion (finely chopped)
4 Tbsp dried rose petals
1Tsp cinnamon
1Tsp ground cumin
1/2 Tsp sumac
400g long grain rice (washed)
1/2 bunch Flat Parsley (chopped)
Juice of half a lemon

To Serve:
2 Tbsp chopped Flat parsley
Seeds of 2 Pomegranates

To make the Vine Leaves:
1) Saute the onion in olive oil till transparent.
2) Roughly chop the cherries, dates, pistachios and flat parsley.
3) Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Crunch up the rose petals in your hands as you add them.

4) Spread out the vine leaves and cut out any hard stems from the bottom. Add one tablespoon or so of mix and fold the sides over and roll. Pack them tightly into a ovenproof dish as you go along (I use a Pyrex dish which is 35x25 cm and they always fit perfectly. It quite handy to be able to see through too). I'm not going to pretend this isn't a bit tedious. The best thing to do is rope in a few people or just have the radio on while you do it. I did all 40 in 20 minutes so its not all that bad.


5) Cover in water, a splash or three of olive oil, juice of half a lemon and then parchment paper. Then get a smaller ovenproof dish and put it on top to keep them from swimming about.

6) Bake for one hour at 180c adding water ever so often if its all evaporated. When you take them out just check if the rice is cooked, if not add  more water and return to the oven. The cooking time does vary a little depending on the rice.

6) Serve scattered with chopped parsley, pomegranate seeds and juice. Serve with something to dip them in, a bit of yogurt will do or, even better, some smokey babaganoush. I know in Britain a lot of us are used to having vine leaves freezing bold from the fridge but I think they are at their best when still slightly warm having been made that day or at least at room temperature as the rice does harden in the fridge. If you make them in advance, take them out of the fridge in advance and splash a bit more warm water over them to take the chill off.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

May ALL be well, happy and peaceful ...

To ALL my dear readers,

Whatever has been absorbing my time and energy in the past few years (blogging etc) is now coming to an end. In completing it, I am clearing the space for something new to begin. It will be the celebration for the end of the old and the coming of the new. I am joyful and content with this blog and appreciate all of you.

I may or may not have the time (extremely tight schedule) to create new recipes, as I like to deeply and completely immerse in the new things that I am going to do in the next few months or more.

THANK YOU for visiting ...

May ALL be well, happy and peaceful. 
Embrace simplicity ... enjoy here and now in order to discover the beauty of the present moment and simple thing.

A simple bowl of Curry Mock Abalone with Rice Vermicelli yet it can be quickly and easily transform to be served as a presentable party food. By adding some garnish or simple special ingredient like mock floss or crispy cereal with curry leaves or what you can think of, it will be a unique dish. 

P.S: Fresh veggies have vibrational frequencies which are not found in processed or canned food or meat that is beneficial to our body.  

Preparation:      5 mins, Cooking time:   5 mins
Ingredients (serves 2)
°         150g rice vermicelli, blanched in hot water and drained well
°         1 can vegetarian mock abalone, drained
°         1-2 tablespoons curry powder
°         3-5 tablespoons water
°         6 slices of carrot, shredded
°         1 tablespoon olive oil
°         salt to taste (optional)
°         some fresh Chinese celery (optional), for garnish

1.       Mix the curry powder and chilli powder with 3 tablespoons of water to form curry paste and set aside.
2.      Heat oil in a non-stick wok. Stir in curry paste and fry over medium heat until fragrant. 
3.       Throw in vegetarian mock abalone and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes and off the heat.
4.      Add in rice vermicelli, carrot shreds and mix well. Sprinkle some water for easier tossing, if needed.  Season to taste with salt if necessary.
5.       Dish up, garnish with Chinese celery and serve immediately.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Green Apple with Honey Citron Tea

The ancient sages looked to nature to show them how to live a life of happiness. Oneness with nature and living in harmony with its ways are keys to inner peace. Living in the Urban, we are very far away from Nature and we feel unhappy.  We keep on trying to fill that gap or lack because of the unhappiness and that is never enough no matter what we try to fill it with. So, it is always good to visit the nature often to connect back to it.

Fruits and Veggies signify the nature in a way and therefore consume more of them, as they have vibrational frequencies which is not found in processed or canned food or meat, that is beneficial to our body.  

If you find that green apple is too sour or bland, just add some Korean Honey Citron Tea Paste (for making tea) to spice it up, just like this recipe. This creation is the result of not thinking and the idea just pop up from nowhere.   Hope you like it and find your connection to the creativity in you.

Preparation:      5 mins
Ingredients (serves 1)
°         1 green apple, diced
°         1 tablespoon Korea Honey Citron Tea Paste or to taste

1.       Mix all the ingredients well and serves chilled.