Monday, December 8, 2008

Celeriac, parsnip and Bramley apple mash

Celeriac is a difficult vegetable to mash. Not because its intricate root system traps soil particles, making it difficult to clean, but because it looks like an Ood off Doctor Who, and who could harm one of those little fellows?

However, this is easy, tasty and really quick. Goes well with sweetcorn, sweet potato and polenta fritters (below).

You will need:

1 medium celeriac
2 parsnips
2 bramley apples

Peel and chop the celeriac and parsnips and add to a pan of boiling, lightly salted water. Once they begin to soften, add the peeled and chopped bramley apple. Simmer a little longer, drain and mash. I prefer to mash them very coarsely and prefer not to use margarine or oil as they celeriac has enough character to carry it off without. So does an Ood.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

sweetcorn, sweet potato and polenta fritters

This one goes well with a salad, or with mashed celeriac.

You will need

*1 tin sweetcorn
*1 small sweet potato
*2 spring onions
*75g polenta
*25g wholewheat flour
*1teaspoon baking powder
*1 tablespoon sage
*1 tablespoon parsley

First, peel and chop the sweet potato and boil in half an inch of water. While it's bubbling away, mix the polenta, flour, baking powder and herbs in a large bowl.

When the sweet potato is soft, mash in its water. Drain the sweetcorn and add to the bowl together with the watery, mashed sweet potato.

Mix well and leave to stand while you heat 1cm of oil in a frying pan. Shape the batter into fritters and fry until golden brown.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

aubergine and spring onion salad

Aubergine soaks up anything, so it's great for marinating. It can also be really really good cold. This one steamrollers the taste buds, so try it with something light like cous cous or a rice salad.

You will need:

*2 medium aubergines
*2 medium spring onions
small bunch of fresh coriander
*3 desert spoons soya sauce
*1 desert spoon vinegar
*2 desert spoons olive oil
*1 tea spoon Demerara sugar
*1 clove crushed garlic

First off is the delicate operation of chopping up the aubergine into long strips about 1/4 inch or about 1/2cm wide. I suggest counting your fingers before and after.
Then marinate the strips. Add them to a mixing bowl in which you've put the soya sauce, vinegar, brown sugar and crushed garlic. Leave this for 20 minutes or so to soak up some juice.
Empty it all into an oven proof dish or baking tray and shove into the oven on 200 centigrade for 15 or 20 minutes until it's done.

Let it cool down, mix with the chopped spring onions chopped coriander and bung it in the fridge.
The coriander can be optional, depending on how near you live to an Asian grocer. Alternatively, if you've bought a small shrubbery's worth, you can prolong its life by blending it in a little olive oil.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

roasted red pepper houmous

This is an easy and really tasty variation on the standard houmous theme. Pita, salads, you name it, this can go with anything (except ice cream and tea and cake and stuff).

You need:
*1 tin of chickpeas
*1 medium red pepper
*1 clove of garlic
*1 tbs tahini
*1 generous squirt of lemon juice
*1 drizzle olive oil
*1 small chilli

Deseed and chop the pepper into strips. Shove it on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Then stuff it in a hot oven or under the grill until it has gone soft.

Making houmous is really easy and totally rewarding. Put all the remaining ingredients into a blender. Add the roasted red pepper and chilli to taste. Give it a damned good whiz. You might need to add a little cold water, but take it very easy and don't overdo it as the pepper will add a lot of moisture to the mix.

Some people like their houmous chunky, but that's pants - blend it to oblivion.

lentil and spinach pate

This is dead good with pita or salads. The lentil/green food combo means it's great food when you're training.

You need:

*150g or 1 cup red lentils
*1 onion
*200g frozen spinach
*50g or half a cup of porridge oats
*300ml water
*1 clove crushed garlic
*3tsp tyme
*3tsp sage
*2tsp cider vinegar
*1 drizzle of olive oil
*2 tbs miso (try marmite if you haven't any)

Easy. Put the lentils, garlic, herbs, vinegar and miso in a bowl. Pour in approximately 300ml of boiling water, sir very well and leave to soak for a while (half an hour should do). While this is going on, skin and roughly chop the onion. Put it on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Put it in the oven or under the grill until soft.

Bung your soaked lentils, herbs and accompanying water in a pan and bring to the boil. Leave to simmer for 10 or 15 minutes until the lentils are tender adding more water when required. Add the frozen spinach and cook for a few minutes more.

Then add the roasted onion and oats. The oats will thicken the mixture and allow it to set. Keep the mixture simmering and add a few at a time until it becomes nice and gloopy.

Let it cool for a bit and put it into a blender. Give it a whiz and smooth it out in a shallow dish and put it in the fridge when it's cool enough. These proportions will also allow you plenty for the freezer.