Thursday, 25 September 2014

Crispy Artichoke Heart Gem Salad with Stewed Peach, Sweet Potato Crisps & Maple Dressing

Crispy Artichoke Heart Gem Salad with Stewed Peach, Sweet Potato Crisps & Maple Dressing

Preparation Time – 10 minutes
Cooking Time – 10-15 minutes
Feeds - 4-6

Ingredients –
4 Ripe Peaches – Cut into quarters, stones removed
1 Tablespoon of Brown Sugar
Juice of half a Lemon
200ml of Water
12 Artichoke Hearts in Oil
1 Small Sweet Potato – Finely sliced with a mandolin
Glug of Olive Oil
3 Gem Lettuces - End chopped off and washed
Small handful of Parsley – Roughly chopped

Dressing -
Juice of half a Lemon
1 Large glug of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Slightly larger glug of Maple Syrup
Pinch of Salt Flakes
Sprinkle of freshly ground Black Pepper

Instructions –
Start by adding the peaches to a pan along with the brown sugar, lemon juice and half a cup of water, cooking over a medium to high heat for 8-10 minutes until the peaches are soft. Drain and set to one side to cool.
Place the artichoke hearts top side down in a frying pan with a small glug of the oil from the jar they come in. Fry them until golden turning to cook the sides evenly.
Place the sweet potato slices on sheets on parchment paper with a small drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of salt, then roast on 190 degrees Celsius for 10-12 minutes or until crisp.
For the dressing combine all the ingredients in a jar and shake, have a taste and adjust seasoning if you need to.
Once everything’s good to go mix together on a large serving dish and drizzle over dressing, sprinkle over parsley and add a little extra seasoning.

Crunchy Baked Beetroot with Oregano & Thyme Cream

 Crunchy Baked Beetroot with Oregano & Thyme Cream


Preparation Time – 5-10 minutes
Cooking Time – 50-60 minutes
Feeds – 4-6

Ingredients –
8 fresh Large Beetroot (with leaves still attached - set aside Around 8-10 leaves) 300ml Single Cream
1 Tablespoon of Oregano – Roughly chopped
1 Tablespoon of Thyme - Roughly chopped
Generous amount of seasoning
1 Cup of roughly chopped stale Sourdough Breadcrumbs
100g Vegetarian Parmesan Cheese – Finely grated
Rind of 1 Lemon – Finely grated

Instructions –
Add the beetroot to a pan of salted boiling water and cook for 15-20 minutes. Once they begin to soften, drain and set them to one side allowing to cool a little. Whilst the beetroot is cooking, combine the garlic, oregano and thyme with the cream and cook for 10 minutes on a medium heat, allowing the flavours to infuse and cream to reduce. In a pan of boiling salted water blanche the beetroot leaves then roughly tear ready to add to your dish.

Once the beetroot is cool enough to handle, peel the skin and slice into bite sized pieces before placing them snugly in an oven proof dish. Add the beetroot leaves and cooked cream before covering with the breadcrumbs, veggie Parmesan and lemon. Bake on 180 degrees Celsius for around 20-25 minutes or until golden. Season and serve.

Super Sized Fake Chicken Chilli Taco

Having come to terms with mock meat and impressed by it's willingness to take on any flavour that you throw at it, I've now decided to openly embrace it...and here's another example.

Combine a good variation of chillies, herbs, spices and whatever else you may have hanging about in the back of your cupboard to create a flavoursome, hearty, fake chicken chilli.

Super Sized Fake Chicken Chilli Taco

Cooking/Preparation Time - 1.30-2hrs
Feeds - 6/8

Ingredients -
1 x White onion - Diced
3 x Cloves of garlic - Crushed and roughly chopped
2 x Carrots - Diced
2 x Celery Sticks - Diced
2 x Tins of kidney beans
1 x Medium sized red chilli
350g (ish) of Fake chicken pieces
1/2 x Pint of red wine
2 x Tsp of cumin powder
2 x Tsp of cumin seeds - Muddled and lightly toasted in a frying pan
2 x Tsp of fennel seeds - Muddled and lightly toasted in a frying pan
2 x Tsp of dried oregano
1 x Tin of tomatoes
1/2 x Pint of vegetable stock
Generous glug (or 2) of red wine
Salt & pepper
2 x Tsp of chilli flakes
1 x Handful of fresh coriander - Thoroughly washed and finely chopped
Rapeseed oil – Big glug
Gem lettuce – Roughly teared

Lemon – Cut into quarters
Flour Tortilla – White or wholemeal flour variety
Crème fraîche - 200g (sour cream works well but I find Crème fraîche has a fuller, richer flavour which works well with lots of chilli sauce.

Cooking Instructions –

Start by muddling your spices, combing both the fennel seeds and cumin seeds. Once smooth add these to a pan and dry roast on a medium heat for around a minute until you can really start to smell the spices. Add a glug of rapeseed oil along with the dried cumin, oregano, chopped onion, carrot, celery,  garlic and fake chicken giving it all a thorough stir before seasoning with salt and pepper. Cook on a medium heat unit the onion turns translucent ensuring that the garlic doesn't brown or burn. Be aware that the garlic cooks a lot quicker than the rest of the veg so it's wise to keep stirring it all. Once the veg and fake chicken has been cooking for at least 5/8 minutes add in the tinned tomatoes, vegetable stock, kidney beans and a good glug of red wine and let cook on a medium heat on the hob for at least 30 minutes.  Again, be sure to give it the occasional stir making sure nothing is sticking to bottom. After 30 minutes have a try and adjust the seasoning accordingly with more black  pepper, salt or chilli depending on how you like it. If you've over spiced it adding a teaspoon of sugar can help as can any type of yogurt or cream.
This recipe ensures you have a really herb heavy, hearty, spicy and super flavoursome chilli. The longer you cook it for the more tasty and rich it becomes.
Just before serving mix through a generous amount of finely chopped coriander and garnish with some crisp gem lettuce leaves, a dollop of Crème fraîche, extra coriander, fresh slices of red chilli and lemon quarters.
I like this served on a flour tortilla but it would work equally well in crisp tortillas, with rice or as part of a salad.