As mentioned in the last post, you should have a certain amount of spicy potato mash left over from the stuffed peppers recipe. By an amazing cosmic coincidence I had some sprouts, 1/3 of a sweetheart cabbage, and a few slices of vegetarian bacon lying around as well. Onion and garlic are a given in this household, like the kitchen sink, an eclectic music collection, and the large number of 1950s classic sci-fi novels from the Tangleton British Heart Foundation charity shop lying around….*
*’Waterstones’ For The Skint, And The Collectors of the Obscure.
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Dear Gawd, but we did stuff ourselves with food yesterday evening. The usual family Sunday dinner was amped up a bit in honour of Easter, and there was turkey, roast potatoes, sausages wrapped in bacon, stuffing, gravy, veggies and other such good things, with vegetarian turkey roll, bacon, sausages etc for me. My vegetarian status didn’t protect me however from a half-penny sized burn on the wrist via a lump of hot pig fat that made a last ditch OINK! for freedom. And then 10 minutes gazing blankly out of the window with my arm under the cold tap.
I went home with a big foil pack of vegetarian “meats” as leftovers, and combined with a handful of vegetables in desperate need of using up before they also make a last ditch OINK! for freedom, came up with this casserole……
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I am so, so tired at the moment, nearly dropped off at work. Promised myself I’d come home, brush my teeth, switch on Radio 4 and just sort-of pass out on the nearest horizontal surface…..so of course here I am at 9ish at night, cooking two separate oven-baked dishes plus sorting out some defrosted-then-re-heated spicy lentil bake + salad for tomorrow’s lunch, having also done the washing-up, hung up some laundry and raided Sainsbury’s for Special Offer chickpeas (4 tins for a Paahhhnnnnddd….!).
According to the weather forecast, tonight is when we switch from the humid, temperate autumn we’ve enjoyed so far, with tasteful hints of gold and red on the leaves, and into a true Winter-Is-Bloody-Coming Hang-Onto-Your-Direwolves cold spell. I spent a few minutes leaning out of the window, enjoying the newly-sharp, clean air in contrast to the over-heated kitchen. I’m sure I’ll be cursing the cold weather soon enough, but right now it’s a surprisingly pleasant razorblade to the lungs.
Yoinks ago, I praised the dish Huevos a la Flamenca on this blog. Unfortunately the link I had no longer goes to that recipe, but I’d recommend a quick google for the many other versions out there, it really is a great recipe and pretty flexible if you’ve got any combination of eggs, vegetarian ham/bacon/mince, mushrooms, onion, tomatoes and spices, or spare chilli con carne or spicy tomato pasta sauce knocking around. Warming to this theme, I also made a version of this ratatouille with baked eggs, original recipe here: http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/4239/tunisian-ratatouille-with-eggs.aspx
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This cleared out not only the cider, but some left-over cheese, potato, and spinach as well. Googling “cider” plus “recipes” brings up a veritable mountain of “Sausage & Cider” casserole recipes, and as the local supermarket is very conveniently doing “3 packs for £5.50” on vegetarian sausages, who am I to argue…….?
Vegetarian Sausage & Cider Casserole
As before mentioned, found a recipe for home-made chorizo online. Now this was home-made chorizo containing pork, so therefore I had to work out a way to vegetarianise it.
What could possibly go wrong?
I shall draw a veil over my first attempt, involving tofu. No, seriously, let’s not go there. No, not even for a laugh.
A second attempt using cooked potato and vegetarian ham was more promising, although I overdid the cider vinegar and the apparently fat and luscious garlic bulbs I purchased from the convenience store down the road turned out to be somewhat “vintage” and “mature”.
The third try, armed with garlic bulbs that hadn’t acheived sentience, is actually a bit more like it. I think I need to research some sort of vegetarian “binder” to keep the slices from falling apart, but having fried up a load of slices of Attempt 3, with some scrambled egg and grilled mushrooms, I think I’m starting to get somewhere with this….
Had a go at the http://www.vedgedout.com Not-Beef-Stew recipe by Somer, which was rather fab, to the point that I’ve had to freeze the remainder of it so I don’t keep nicking bits from the tupperware container in the fridge. Additionally, one of my work-colleagues has very kindly given me some old vegetarian cookbooks, as he was having a bit of a clear-out.
These are of 1970s/1980s vintage and are therefore somewhat worthy, and a bit hilarious from the modern point of view, terribly spoilt as we are by the incredible range of foods and cultural influences available in 2013 Britain. Look, The Brown Rice Cookbook!!
(Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for wholegrains, but seriously, an entire cookbook devoted to brown rice…!)
Plus photography so 1970s that you can practically taste the flared trousers and wife-swapping parties….
I think “Cooking without Meat” (publ. 1973! I wasn’t even born in 1973!) is likely to be the more useful of the two; it does a lot of stocks and sauces and side dishes and bits and pieces that could be easily adapted or added to the dishes I do now. Watch this space! “Vegetarian Dinner Parties” (1983) is an interesting Cold War museum piece, but most of the dishes are already vegetarian standards, if not cliches, so I’m keeping it just for amusement value. It’s divided up by chapters on the various vegetarian world cuisines, and I have a nasty feeling that most of the “Eastern European” section concerns countries that unfortunately no longer exist…..!
All this literary criticism has left me little time to do much cooking of my own, so here’s a cheap and easy cliche of my own, especially when the local supermarket is doing two large tins of the main ingredient for a quid….sweetcorn fritters.
Apologies for the hiatus in posting, the glut of recipes over the past few days meant I had more leftovers than I have meals in the day to eat said leftovers. And I draw the line at aubergine bake for breakfast (call me unadventurous if you will). Especially when the local Big Supermarket is doing low-fat vegetarian sausages for a pound a pack. Wholemeal bun, tomato, low-fat mayo and grilled sausage – sausage buttie for breakfast, the healthier way!
Having cleared a little space in the freezer, I decided to clear out some of the odds and ends from the fridge, and what better way than a nice casserole? This is a bit of a rib-sticker; bookmark it for next autumn when the chill starts to set in, your belly will thank you for it….
Vegetable Casserole with Dumplings