Friday, 18 January 2013

Veggie Poutine or "O Canada"

This recipe is a culinary flashback to our summer holiday, a dish we enjoyed in New York having missed the chance to sample the real thing it in its native Canada (probably sacrilege, I realise). Anyhow, an interesting combination that I would probably have never put together. Chips, Cheese and Gravy. Sadly not vegan I'm afraid, a fairly straightforward recipe that uses pretty much the same gravy recipe from the Christmas Nut Roast. (it should also be noted that I have replaced the traditional cheese curds with Halloumi Cheese)

Serves 2.

Ingredients -

175g Halloumi, cut into small cubes
5 Medium potatoes, chopped into chips (roughly 1.5cm thickness)
200g closed cup mushrooms, cut into quarters
Oil, for frying
Salt and Pepper to taste

For the Gravy -

Oil, for frying
2x Small Onions, roughly chopped
2x Garlic Cloves, roughly chopped
1x heaped tbsp plain flour
1x tsp Marmite (or similar yeast extract)
450ml Veg Stock
1x tsp Dark Soy Sauce
1x tsp (Vegan) Worcestershire Sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste

Method - To begin, prepare the potatoes and bring a large pan of lightly salted water to the boil. Add in the potatoes and parboil for around 5 minutes. Whilst cooking, preheat the oven to 180°c. When parboiled, drain the potatoes, place onto a baking tray, drizzle with a little oil and season with rock salt before placing them into the preheated oven. Depending on the thickness of the chips, cooking time will vary. If you are producing similarly sized chips, I would recommend a cooking time of roughly 40-50 minutes, turning the chips occasionally in order to ensure a good, evenly browned chip.

Whilst the chips are cooking you can prepare the mushrooms by cutting into quarters, placing in a small frying pan and adding a little oil and cracked black pepper. Also, prepare the Halloumi cheese by cutting into small cubes and placing into a foiled grill pan. Both the mushrooms and Halloumi will not need to be cooked until the chips are nearly completed. So now you can get on with the preparation of the gravy.

There's no need to finely chop anything for this recipe as you can blend the final mixture for a rich, creamy gravy.

Roughly chop the onions and garlic and fry in a little oil at a medium heat for around 5 minutes until they begin to soften, now gradually sprinkle over the plain flour allowing the onions to brown (you may need to add a little extra oil here if the mixture becomes too dry and begins to burn). It is important to make sure you keep stirring this mixture as the flour can make the onions become very sticky and in turn they will stick to the base of the pan if left for too long.

Now reduce to a low heat and add in the veg stock, Marmite, soy, worcestershire sauce and allow to simmer gently for 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. At this point the gravy can be turned to a very low heat to keep it warm until everything else is cooked.

Next, cook the Halloumi under a high grill heat for around ten minutes, turning regularly in order to cook thoroughly until browned (see above picture). Whilst the Halloumi cooks under the grill, cook the mushrooms in a frying pan over a medium to high heat until cooked. 

Once cooked, place the chips into a bowl covering generously with the mushrooms and Halloumi before transferring the gravy mixture to the blender and blending until smooth. Cover the chips, Halloumi and mushrooms with the gravy and add any extra salt and pepper to taste.

The gravy can always be thinned down with water and seasoned to taste with salt and pepper after completion if you feel that the final outcome is too thick. The gravy can also be refrigerated for a day few days and reheated in a pan or the microwave.

O  Canada.


Monday, 14 January 2013

Normal Service to Resume Shortly

After Christmas and New Year, things have been a little quiet on the cooking front. I did however receive  'Anjum's Indian Vegetarian Feast' by Anjum Anand from my Sister, some great recipes and a whole bunch of stuff that I'll be experimenting with over the coming months. So last night I made my first curry from scratch and was pretty pleased with the outcome. After a few tweaks I should have this recipe up on Rocket Bean.

Paneer and Pea Masala (Naan bread not homemade)

Over the coming weeks I'm also looking to attempt a few things in my new Tagine, a Veggie Burns Supper and some Veggie Poutine.

Watch this space!