Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Two of H's favourite things are mushrooms and broccoli. I swear I could make these with dinner every night and never get a complaint. He also loves a mild chili made into enchiladas, not big on the hot but loves the spice. The other night I was feeling especially kindly towards him, so combined a whole bunch of his loves in a single recipe. This is no where near traditional, but sure was tasty! If you like the heat, turn it up.
Mushroom and Broccoli Chili
Serves 4

1 C dried Porcini Mushrooms
¼ C Sundried Tomatoes
2 C Boiling Water

½ C TVP
1 C Boiling Water

1 Onion – finely chopped
1 stalk Celery – finely chopped
2 C Sliced Mushrooms (about 8 medium)
½ C Broccoli Stem – finely chopped

3 cloves Garlic – finely chopped
1 Shallot – finely chopped

½ T Liquid Smoke
2 T Tomato Paste
1 t Cumin
1 t Coriander
¼ t Chili Flakes (or to taste)

1 19oz tin diced Tomatoes
1 19oz tin Black Beans – drained and rinsed
2 ½ C Vegetable Stock

4 C (1 head) Broccoli Florets
1 C frozen Corn Kernels (optional)

In a small bowl combine the porcini mushrooms and sundried tomatoes with the 2 C boiling water. Cover and stand 20 minutes. Once soaked transfer everything to a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth.

In a separate bowl combine the TVP and 1 C boiling water – cover and stand 20 minutes. Drain.

Meantime, in a large pot over medium heat, sauté the onion, celery, mushrooms and broccoli stem for about 10 minutes until soft.

Add in the garlic and shallot and sauté 5 minutes more.

Add the liquid smoke, tomato paste and spices, sauté a further 2 minutes.

Add in the tinned tomatoes, beans, vegetable stock, drained TVP and the blended porcini mix. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and simmer a further 40 minutes.

Add in the broccoli florets (and corn if using) and simmer a further 10 minutes.

Monday, 26 January 2009

A testing favourite.

As you know, if you've read this blog for a wee while, I have been a recipe tester for a couple of books. I don't always post my tester stuff but I am busy testing it!

Most lately it has been the upcoming, and to be titled, Vegan Cookie book by Isa and Terry of the PPK fame, authors of Veganomicon too. This has been super delicious and complete sugar overload. I haven't taken many pictures but I did see a bunch here today to give you an idea of the stuff we've been enjoying and sharing with all and sundry.

The first one I was testing for is this book - Vegan Brunch, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, which is now available for pre-order if you are so inclined. One of my Favourite recipes from the book is the Caramelised Vidalia Onion Quiche which I must have made about 5 times now! We had it for dinner last night with salad and it was as good as ever - I had to take a photo! Now, of course you want the recipe, and of course I can't share - so buy the book!

I've also signed up to test for Terry's first solo book - tentatively titled Vegan Latina, so watch this space for upcoming goodies!

Friday, 23 January 2009

Pro D Day

Today is a Pro D Day at M's School. Means "Professional Development", so basically a Teacher Only Day as they were called when I was growing up. I have a house full of children (M and Big A have a friend over for a playdate too) so this is all you're getting today!

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Simple and Delicious.

The beans are from Yellow Rose Recipes, but they're meant to be with sesame seeds and I was out so I subbed poppy. Still really good!

The broccoli is one of mine - follows - and H said I can make both recipes again any time I like. It has been approved. Hope you like it just as much.

Broccoli with Pinenuts
Serves 4

1 t Oil
3 cloves Garlic – grated
1 T fresh Ginger – grated
2 Shallots – finely chopped
1 t Lemon Zest
¼ C Cilantro – finely chopped
1 head Broccoli – cut into florets and steamed until just tender
½ C toasted Pinenuts

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil then sauté the garlic, ginger, shallots, zest and cilantro for about 2 minutes until aromatic.
Add the broccoli – sauté, tossing well, for about 5 minutes.
Add in the pinenuts and toss to well combine.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Where you come from. and Thank you.

If you use Blogger you may also be signed up for Google Analytics which gives you all the crazy data on how many people visit your site, how long they stay, what they searched to get there, and also where they came from. The vast majority of my visitors come directly here, or through a search engine like Google. Some, and maybe you, come from links on other blogs - either in the side bar, or as a link in a post - and these are what I'm going to blog about today.

Thanks to the following blogs for linking me somehow on their blog, and bringing visitors (I made the cut off more than 1!) to read what I have to say.

If you haven't been to any, then why not go now! and if you have a blog and haven't linked me, why not do that too, and it may be you I'm thanking next time!


eat,drink and be vegan - the wonderful Dreena Burton's blog. I won a competition over there a little while ago.

vegbitch - a super colourful blog, with stuff in Swedish if you need it!

just the food - Joni's blog. I really want her Cozy Inside book, but I'm waiting until the new Burger one hits the stores in the off chance they'll be doing a promo on both!

joanna vaught - Joanna's (of Yellow Rose Recipes fame) new blog. I also have links from her old one (yellow rose recipes) but that one isn't in use any more.

vegan about town - who, if you remember, requested Carrot (and Pistachio) Muffins back when I asked for suggestions.

a bears fare - who is currently composting! how wonderfully environmentally friendly.

vegan homemade - who has HUGE posts. Not like my little ones.

vegan on stage - loads of pictures in Syn's posts. I like reading this blog.

huggerfood - who also was gently let down by the vitamix people! Maybe next time??

living botanical - not a food blog, but she has some really neat cosmetic and beauty stuff. Take a look, you might find something you like.

vegan awesomeness - a super chatty blogger, who links all over the place and is fun to read.

Thanks.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Pizza for dinner.

Nothing too fancy. I have some pizza crusts in the freezer for days when I want quick and easy. M's school sells them as fundraising, (amongst other things) and if you buy them plain they are accidentally vegan. You can then just add on what you like and create your own gourmet, or not so gourmet as the mood strikes, pizza for dinner.
I had some leftover pasta sauce, so that went on, along with some caramelised onions, some roasted fennel and black olives. I topped it off with a rocket salad as I saw that as I was blog browsing yesterday (sorry if it was your blog but I can't remember where I saw it) and thought it would go well - it did!

Yum.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

A Playdate.

This was after school Friday, but our Saturdays are super busy with dance class after dance class so I didn't get to blog about it until now.

M and Big A were allowed to invite a friend each and they both chose to invite a boy this time - funnily enough M invited Boy A and Big A invited Boy A. There are not enough letters in the alphabet - all M's friends seem to be M's and A's at the moment!

They decided they wanted to bake cookies, and let the boys decide what type. We ended up with a mix of Gingerbread and Chocolate Chip cookies – they couldn’t decide which to make so we sort of made both and everyone was happy.
And everyone one was happy! (Even R who didn't smile for the photo!)They ate them up and took some home to share.

Ginger Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 12

3 T Soymilk
¼ t Apple Cider Vinegar
½ T ground Flaxseed
3 T Margarine
½ C Sugar
½ t Vanilla Extract
¾ C Flour
½ t Baking Powder
¼ t Baking Soda
¼ t Salt
½ t ground Ginger
¼ t Cinnamon
¾ C Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 250F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
In a small bowl combine the soymilk, vinegar and flaxseeds. Allow to thicken.
In a large bowl cream the margarine and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla and mix well.
Add the soymilk mix and combine well.
Sift in the flour – cinnamon, add the chocolate chips and stir to combine.
Scoop in heaping tablespoons onto the prepared tray, a good 5 cm apart as they spread, and bake for 12 – 14 minutes.
Cool on the tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Have you noticed....

That it is staying lighter later in the day.

I know the shortest day was a while ago but I'm only just noticing it. Maybe because today was the first fine day for a while. I was looking outside as I was starting to prepare dinner at about 5 and noticed it was still light out!

While I'll try to not get too excited, and will probably be hit by another snow dump next week for saying this - Winter is on the way out!

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Its been a while since I posted one for you,

so have a muffin recipe today!

I'm still churning them out, just not always sharing.

I posted the picture of this one on my sidebar a while back, but never actually posted the recipe.

I thought that as it is an Australian themed muffin, and as Australia Day is coming up at the end of the month (January 26th) I'd share the recipe now. So if anyone would like to bring Vegan Muffins to their Australia Day Party - here we have the Lamington Muffin!
Lamingtons are a traditional Australasian treat. Both New Zealand and Australia claim them as their own, but I call dibs on these muffins! Usually made from sponge cake these are heavier and healthier than the originals while still capturing the essence of the treat.

Lamington Muffins
Makes 12

½ C Soft Tofu
½ C Soy Yogurt
½ C plain Soy Milk
¼ C unsweetened Applesauce
1 t Vanilla Extract

2 C Plain Flour
¼ C Cornstarch
½ C toasted Coconut
1 C Sugar
2 t Baking Soda
1 T Baking Powder
1 t Salt

1 recipe Chocolate and Coconut Coating - below


Preheat oven to 350F and prepare your muffin tins.

In a food processor (or blender) blend the tofu, yogurt, applesauce, soymilk and vanilla until smooth and creamy.

In a large bowl whisk together the remaining ingredients. Add the liquid ingredients and mix until just combined.

Spoon mix into muffin tins and bake for 20 - 25 minutes until tests done.

Allow to cool briefly (2 - 3 minutes or so) and remove from tins.

While muffins are still warm, but cool enough to handle, coat with the chocolate topping.
Invert each muffin into the bowl so that the top only is covered. Allow to stay in the coating for 1 – 2 minutes, not so long that is gets soft and risks falling off, but long enough that the coating seeps in a little.

After coating in chocolate dip into the coconut, again just the top of the muffin.

Place on cooling rack to completely cool.


Chocolate and Coconut Coating
1 ½ T Cocoa Powder
¼ C Boiling Water
1 ½ T Oil
¼ t Vanilla Extract
1 ½ C Icing Sugar

1 – 1 ½ C Coconut *

Mix all the topping ingredients in order stated (except coconut) together in a small, deep bowl. Place coconut in a separate small deep bowl.

* as a variation try toasting this coconut too. Non traditional for Lamingtons, but this is non traditional anyway!

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

I don't have a photo.

I set out tonight to make something to blog about, being creative and all, and while dinner tasted divine it didn't hold together as well as I wanted so its back to the drawing board a little before I share that idea with the world.

But, something which did work well came out of it all.

I decided half way through cooking that a gravy was in order and then found I didn't have most of the ingredients for my usual gravy.

What to do?

Make up a new gravy recipe of course.

It was really good, so I'm going to share the recipe even though there is no photo - do you really need a photo of gravy?

Marmite Gravy
Makes 1 ½ C

3 T Margarine
3 cloves Garlic – grated
1 ½ t Marmite
½ t Thyme
4 T Flour
1 ⅓ C Soymilk
⅓ C Vegetable Stock
½ T Soy Sauce

In a medium pan over medium heat, melt the margarine and the sauté the garlic, marmite and thyme until marmite melted, roughly 2 minutes.
Add the flour and stir to make a roux.
Add in the soymilk ⅓ C at a time, stirring well after each addition to thicken. Once all the soymilk is added, add in the stock.
Add in the soy sauce and stir well.
If too thick for your liking add extra water as required.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Do you want to see my.....

Christmas Dinner?

I know I'm nearly a month late but better is late than never right?

and, I've seen all yours so this is a case of "I'll show you mine if you show me yours" in reverse.

So here it is -
We have a Tofu Wellington - vegan puff pastry encasing thin slices of tofu layered with a Walnut and Mushroom Pate, on a combination of spiced Caramelised Pecans and breadcrumbs - served with Roasted Fennel and Brussel Sprouts, (which made a fantastic mix actually)mixed Maple Roasted Root Vegetables and plain old broccoli and peas. I also made a gravy which you can't see, and the cute little creature in the background is one of Santa's Reindeer that M made at school and insisted we use as a centrepiece!
I'll be a little bit quicker with it next year!

Monday, 12 January 2009

Meal in a bowl.

This soup really is just that. A good stick to your ribs, winter time, snowy or rainy outside, comfort food meal in a bowl.

You have protein (lentils), a good carbohydrate (barley) and veggies (tomato, potato, onion, celery, carrot) all together in a scrumptious soup. I added quite a bit of the extra water as I wanted it to be a soup, but leaven it thick for a more stew like meal.

If you have leftovers it will thicken up alot (the barley and lentils will suck up the liquid) so you'll need to add extra water as you reheat. Its fantastic the next day too!
Tomato, Barley and Lentil Soup
Serves 4

1 Onion – finely chopped
1 stalk Celery – finely chopped
½ C finely chopped Carrot (½ large)
2 cloves Garlic – finely chopped
½ t Paprika
½ t ground Fennel Seeds
1 t Cumin
⅓ C Barley
5 C Vegetable Stock
1 C finely chopped Potato
⅓ C Brown Lentils
1 14oz Tin Diced Tomatoes
1 – 2 C Water (as required)
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large soup pot over medium heat, sauté the onion, celery and carrot for 10 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and sauté two minutes more.
Add in the spices, sauté for a minute prior to adding the barley and stock.
Turn the heat up and bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.
At this point add in the potato, lentils and tinned tomatoes and simmer, uncovered, for a further 40 – 45 minutes until everything is tender.
You may need to add additional water if getting too thick – depending on how thick you want the soup to be.
Taste, and adjust seasonings prior to serving
.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

How not interesting.

I've seen other bloggers write posts about the hilarious search queries that led people to their blogs.

I was curious to see what led people to me, and see if any of them were funny enough to share.

Um, no actually. Nothing funny, or a little risque, or even a tinsy bit unusual.

Of all the search queries that led people to me the most common were varies on the theme of Christmas-xmas-vegan-muffins-cake-fruit mince. I guess everyone out there wanted Vegan Christmas Cake Fruit Mince Muffins this holiday season.

Here's the link back to that post in case you missed it the first time around!

Oh, and I am still making muffins. I just haven't taken photo's or blogged about them for a while. Thought you'd appreciate looking at pictures of something else for a change.

I won something!!!

Not a Vita Mix blender however, but still very exciting! (I'm still waiting to hear from them!)

I entered a competition to win a bunch of Salba Products at Dreena Burton's Eat, Drink and Be Vegan website / blog and as the first winner didn't contact her in time she redrew and I WON!!!!

Can't wait.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Tracy's Hubby's Biscuits.

I bought a copy of this book by Tracy at A Veg*n for Dinner and made my first thing from it last night. I don't make other people's stuff all that often as I like to make my own things up, but sometimes its good to support a fellow blogger - especially those who have self published stuff. Go to this link if you too would like to support Tracy and buy her cookbook.
(Tracy - time for a kickback now for the plug!)
I liked the biscuits, but found them very sweet, it was more like eating a sweet scone with my soup than a biscuit, but to be fair, Tracy does say in the recipe that her husband likes them sweet! Light and delicate, as well as quick and easy to make, I'll make these again for sure, just with a lot less sugar next time!

Yay Tracy.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Phyllo Pastry

I bought a box of Phyllo the other day, and have not quite used it up yet. I will tonight. I made these lovely parcels with them - H really enjoyed them alongside a bowl of soup for dinner last night.
Broccoli Phyllo Parcels
Makes 12 – Serves 4 as a starter

½ Onion – finely chopped
2 C Cooked Broccoli – very finely chopped (stalks and florets) – about ½ a large head
1 T Orange Zest
⅓ C Vegan Cream Cheese
½ t Nutmeg
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 Sheets Phyllo Pastry
Oil for the pastry

In a small pan over med-high heat, sauté the onion for about 5 minutes until lightly browned.
Transfer to a medium sized mixing bowl and allow to cool for about 5 minutes.
Add in the broccoli, orange zest, cream cheese and nutmeg. Taste for seasoning and add as desired.
Mix well to combine then chill for about ½ hour.
Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease a 13 X 9” baking dish.
Prepare your phyllo sheets one at a time, keeping the remaining sheets covered with a very slightly dampened teatowel so they don’t dry out.
Score each sheet into thirds, lengthwise, and brush each strip with a little oil.
Place a generous heaping tablespoon of the filling mix in the corner of each strip then proceed to fold the strip up into a triangular shape.
Brush the top of each triangle with a little more oil and place in the baking dish. Continue until all the phyllo and filling is used up.
Bake for 25 – 30 minutes until lightly golden and crispy.



.
Now for something to do with leftover phyllo! Excuse the picture quality!I also saw a use for phyllo somewhere (I'd like to give credit but can't as I can't remember) a while ago and have been wanting to try it - as a topping for a savoury casserole, or on top of fruit as a dessert. I made the casserole topping the other day (as pictured above and below) and am going to use the rest as a fruit topping tonight (I'm thinking rhubarb and berries as I have these in the freezer).

All I did was cut my sheet of phyllo into thirds (width wise), oil it (as you do - I think I'll use melted marg. for the dessert though, and maybe a dusting of icing sugar when its done) and scrunch it up. You put it on top of your cooked casserole (mine was a Sweet and Sour Lentil dish I made up) them bake for about 10 minutes until browned. Cute eh. and easy, and impressive looking which is nice as it looks good without much effort.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Dear Vitamix People

I see from reading all sorts of other blogs that you have given a bunch of these away over the last little while for people to use and rave about.
.
May I put my hand up and say "Yes Please"? Thank you.
.
My teeth hurt after my dentist visit yesterday and I would dearly love to have one so soups would be super smooth and smoothies would be super fast and wonderful. Rest assured that at the moment it would get loads of use and loads of blogging time.
.
Thanks in anticipation, and I'd love you forever.
.
What do you think my chances are?

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Dinner.

So, a lot to see in this one. I have recipes for all the parts of the dinner but think it would be far too much to post them all here now, if you have a craving for a particular component either leave a note with your email in the comments, or email me and I will send the recipe to you. Some are inspired by recipes in that old pile of Bon Apetit magazine again.

We have -
In the centre of the plate - Squash and Cranberry Bake, a simple and tasty way to use up a butternut squash you may have lying around. I'm sure it would work on other squash too.

Around the outsides - Metaxa Risotto Cakes topped with Sundried Tomato and Red Pepper Spread or Simple Guacamole.

I made the Risotto cakes with Metaxa as we have been using up the dregs of a bottle H was given from his work a few years ago. I've used it instead of whisky in Haggis, instead of brandy in Christmas Fruit Mince, instead of dark Rum in some other things, and well, you get the picture. Its gone now, and I must say was really good in this!

On the side - Rocket and Cherry Tomato Salad with Orange Mustard Dressing.

It all made for a very elegant and tasty dinner.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Apple, Potato and Onion Bake

Another recipe adapted from a butter filled original from those old issues of Bon Apetit I mentioned the other day. I changed it quite considerably from the original and this is what I ended up with -
Apple, Potato and Onion Bake
Serves 4 as side

1 T Olive Oil
2 Onions – halved and thinly sliced
1 t dried Thyme
½ t Salt
¼ C Water
¼ C Soy Milk
¼ C Soft Tofu
2 T Apple Juice
2 t Agave
1 t Salt
1 t Apple Cider Vinegar
3 C Potatoes – peeled and sliced in ½ cm rounds
2 C Granny Smith Apples – peeled, cored, halved and cut in ½ cm slices (about 2)
½ C Panko

Preheat oven to 400F and lightly grease an 11 X 7” baking dish.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil then sauté the onions, thyme and salt for 10 minutes, covered and stirring occasionally. After 10 minutes uncover the pan, turn the heat to medium – high and sauté for a further 7 minutes stirring pretty constantly to avoid sticking. The onions will be lightly browned and very soft.

In your food processor blend together the water, soymilk, tofu, juice, agave, second lot of salt and vinegar. Add this mix to the pan with the onions and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and allow to stand for about 5 minutes.

Add in the potatoes and apples, toss to well combine, place all in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the panko evenly over the top, cover the baking dish with tinfoil and bake for 55 minutes, until potatoes are just tender. Uncover dish and bake a further 20 minutes until lightly browned.
Remove from oven and stand 15 minutes prior to serving.



This was really good. Comforting, a little bit sweet but not overly so, and really nice to have on a cold winters evening. Its been snowing again! We're all hoping our usual rain comes back soon and washes it all away - getting anywhere is a chore and the girls are now back at school so we do have to go places!

Monday, 5 January 2009

Zucchini Torte

I was given a bunch of old (like from the mid nineties) Bon Appetit magazines just before Christmas and I went through them and cut out a bunch of recipes I thoughtI would like to try and veganise. This is one of them. I'm not sure which issue it came from but this one is based loosely (very very loosely) on that one as the original was loaded with eggs and cheese. Made for a really nice and elegant dinner actually served alongside an orangey Broccoli and Rocket Salad ...

Zucchini and Rice Torte

Serves 4 as main, or 8 as a side / appetizer

2 cloves Garlic – grated
1 Shallot – finely chopped
3 medium Zucchini – grated (about 3 C)
½ C raw Cashews
½ C firm Silken Tofu
2 T Soy Milk
½ t Nutmeg
1 t dried Oregano
2 T Nutritional Yeast
½ t Salt
¼ t Black Pepper
1 C white Basmati Rice – cooked (about 3 cups cooked rice)

Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease an 11 X 7” baking dish.

In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the garlic and shallot for about 2 minutes, until aromatic. Add in the grated zucchini and sauté a further 10 minutes until soft, reduced in volume and most of the moisture is cooked out.

Meanwhile, in your food processor, pulse the cashews to a fine meal. Add in the tofu, soy milk, nutmeg, oregano, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper and blend until smooth and well combined. Stop and scrape down the sides as required. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Add the cooked zucchini and the cooked rice to the cashew mix in the mixing bowl and stir well until well mixed. Spoon mix into the prepared baking dish, then bake, uncovered for 40 minutes, until the sides are lightly browned.

Remove from the oven and stand 15 minutes prior to serving.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Berry Pie

We had this beauty for dessert on Christmas Day. R had been asking for ages for me to make a Berry Pie after she saw one (on TV no doubt) somewhere, so I did. I changed it up a little with the dried fruits, and with using both Blueberries and cranberries, and I cheated by not making the pie crust! It made a lovely end to a great meal.


Blueberry and Cranberry Pie
Makes One 9” Pie

1 Double Pie Crust *
¼ C dried Blueberries
2 T dried Cranberries
¼ C Boiling Water
4 C Fresh or Frozen Blueberries
1 C Fresh or Frozen Cranberries
¾ C Sugar
1 t Vanilla Extract
1 T Tapioca Flour
⅛ t Agar Powder
¼ C dried Blueberries
2 T dried Cranberries

Preheat oven to 350F and bake your bottom pie crust for 10 – 12 minutes until firm and lightly browned. Keep remaining crust in the fridge until required. Keep oven on and heat to 375F as you’ll need it later.


Combine the first measures of dried fruit and the boiling water in a small bowl, cover and soak for 15 minutes. Drain, reserving both fruit and liquid.

In a large pot combine the fresh or frozen fruit, sugar and vanilla. Heat over medium/low heat, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes until the sugar is melted and fruit is softened. Turn heat to high and bring mix to a boil. Add in reconstituted dried fruit. Cook mix at a low boil for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until reduced to ⅓ of the original volume and thick and syrupy.

Combine the soaking water, tapioca flour and agar powder in a small bowl and mix to form a slurry. Add along with the remaining dried fruit to the hot berry mix and stir to well combine. Cook a further 2 minutes, stirring constantly, then remove from heat.

Pour mix into prepared pie shell and top with remaining pastry – either rolled to a single sheet and sealed with a little water, (remember to cut slits for the air escaping) or cut into lattice strips and arranged over the top of the fruit. Brush top with a little soymilk for a glaze if desired.

Bake for 30 – 35 minutes until golden. Serve hot or cold. The pie can be made in advance and reheated in a moderate oven (300F) for 20 minutes or so.

* Make it yourself or use premade/store bought – either way you need enough dough for a full bottom crust and a top crust, you choose if you’d like a full top crust or lattice.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Risotto.

I wanted to make a tooth friendly dish for dinner (yes, the saga is ongoing) but then spoiled it by adding in nuts. Oh, well. It still tasted good, but I just had to be super careful eating it. It ended up being nice and creamy, and if I had thought I would have left the whole nuts out and just added them to H's portion when I served it. Next time.
Tomato and Pinenut Risotto
Serves 4

⅓ C Sun Dried Tomatoes
⅔ C Boiling Water
3 T untoasted Pinenuts
1 T Water
½ Onion – finely chopped
2 cloves Garlic – finely chopped
1 Shallot – finely chopped
1 stalk Celery – finely chopped
1 C Aborio (Risotto) Rice
2 ½ - 2 ¾ C Vegetable Stock
1 ½ C Tomato Sauce (homemade or store bought)
⅓ C toasted Pinenuts

In a small bowl combine the sun dried tomatoes and boiling water. Cover and stand for 15 minutes. Drain, reserving the liquid, then finely chop the tomatoes. Add the soaking liquid to the vegetable stock. Hold both until required.

In a food processor, or spice grinder, grind the untoasted pinenuts to a fine meal. In a small bow mix with the tablespoon of water until a smooth paste is formed. Hold until required.

In a large pot sauté the onion, garlic, shallot and celery for 10 minutes until soft but not browned. Add the rice and chopped sundried tomatoes and sauté a few minutes more.

In ¼ C increments add the vegetable stock/soaking water and tomato sauce to the rice, waiting until the liquid is absorbed prior to adding the next ¼ C. Start with the vegetable stock/soaking water and proceed in a 2:1 ratio with the sauce. That is add two ¼ C measures of the stock/soaking water mix absorbing between each addition, then add one ¼ C of the sauce, then back to two additions of the stock mix. Continue until all liquid is absorbed.

With the last addition of stock add in the pinenut paste and stir this in to well combine.
Remove 2 T of the toasted pinenuts to use as garnish and add the remaining nuts to the risotto. Stir in, then turn off heat, cover and stand for 10 minutes.

Serve garnished with ½ T of pinenuts sprinkled on top of each bowl.
Perfect winter time eating when it's snowing outside, and yes, it is snowing again!