Sunday, 26 February 2017

Welsh Laverbread Cakes and a Piece of Toast

If your a regular reader of my Welsh Vegetarian food blog, you will have seen laverbread featured many times, but for those of you who are not familiar with this Welsh delicacy, in a nutshell Laverbread or bara lawr  as it is known in some parts of Wales is simply cooked seaweed that has been pureed.  It has a pate like consistency, so perfect for spreading on toast.  Welsh Laverbread not to everyone's taste, but I recommend you trying it at least once if your ever in Wales, but saying that its not easy to get hold of, even for those of us who live in the Welsh valleys of Wales.

Many independent high street shops like traditional green grocers and fishmongers no longer exist.  These were places where you can you could pick up fresh sea vegetables like samphire and laverbread are closing down in towns or have closed down due to economic downturn as people snub the High Street and flock to shopping malls stuck in some industrial estate, The places to get fresh laverbread these days in South Wales and South West are cities that have thriving indoor markets.  Cities like Cardiff and  Swansea (and perhaps large market towns like Abergavenny) where I have always been able to purchase fresh laverbread. 
I consider myself a progressive cook with fusion having in the past created vegetarian Welsh Laverbread Burgers aka Glorified Laverbread Cakes, and last year Vegan Welsh Woman's Laverbread Caviar, but today I decided to keep it pure, simple and traditional.
I made these little Welsh Laverbread Cakes this morning.  The recipe is so simple. Stir the fresh laverbread with rolled porridge oats, if you find the mixture too soft, just add some more oats to it. Put in the fridge to firm up, when ready to eat.  Shallow fray in a little oil or butter until crisp and a golden crust has appeared.  Serve immediately.

I am sharing some of the Welsh Laverbread Cakes with Eat Your Greens challenge hosted this month by The VegHog - You still have a day to share your #EatYourGreens recipe with the VegHog.

Not quite an authentic vegetarian Welsh Breakfast .. but a vegetarian breakfast nonetheless. 
This fresh laverbread was also enjoyed unadulterated slathered on this piece of crisp toast.   
Welsh Laverbread Cakes
Makes 4 - 5

Friday, 24 February 2017

Creamy Chestnut Mushroom Blue Cheese Dill Lasagne

A generous portion of Creamy Chestnut Mushroom Blue Cheese Lasagne.

Lasagne is not the easiest to photograph, its a flat dish for a start.
So the best way to sell it to you is with its flavours, but that is a little hard when one of the main ingredients is mushrooms and I am not big on mushrooms, but here goes.... This Creamy Chestnut Mushroom is smothered in Blue Cheese and fresh dill herb.  
I actually made this Creamy Chestnut Mushroom Blue Cheese Lasagne early on in the year, when we had load of cheese left over from the Christmas and New Year - this Creamy Chestnut Mushroom Lasagne was made around the same time as the vegan Pickled Mushroom Strogonoff with Watercress.  Though it can be, this lasagne is not vegan, its made with blue cheese, milk and butter and a garnishing of fresh dill.
I have to confess I don't often make Lasagnes at home that often.  It its one of those dinners that is Ds makes, like weekend breakfast or brunch and coffee made in the cafetiere.    But I did this time as it was my decision to pick up the chestnut mushrooms in a bid to use up the excess cheese. I am sharing this recipe with Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary for No Waste Food Challenge.  

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Ghost Chili Arrabbiata - From the Angry to the Angriest Pasta

Not the most exciting bowl of Arrabbiata pasta, but its simplicity is deceptive. This Arrabbiata Pasta has half a ghost chilli aka naga jolokia.  

The first time I had Arrabiata was at an authentic Italian restaurant in Scotland.  Arrabiata means 'angry' in Italian.  I chose it because I like my spices.  It was seething hot, even I found it spicy and my tolerance of chilli is high, but I also loved the sensation of the flavour combination in my mouth.  

I remember the waiters watching me.  I thought it was perhaps we were the only people there that day as it was quite empty in the restaurant for a lunch hour, but afterwards wondered if they knew the Arrabiata was ridiculously hot and watched me, either to see if I'd complain or not finish it. Of course, I did neither.  The bowl was returned to them empty.  
I make Arrabbiata all the time (like vegan Puttanesca and Aglio, Olio e Peperonicino) as its one of my go to quick evening meals when we come in from work.  I never thought about blogging about Arrabiata as its cheap and super easy to make  - only four ingredients for the sauce: oil, garlic, chili and tomatoes.  But the addition of half ghost chili (which I get from an awesome specialist Spice Emporium in Cardiff ) made me change my mind as it was a little bit different. 

As I tuck into this simple red bowl of pasta, the Ghost Chilli Arrabiata version always reminds me of that first time, but this time its not just an Angry Sicilian its furiously angry, in fact bloody angry - but I like it very much.  
I also love Dr Burnoriioums Extraordinary Psycho Chocolate Chilli.  This  is serious chocolate for serious chilliheads, it really is.  My absolute favourite hands down is the Psycho Chocolate Chili Salted Caramel with Naga Jolokiaar.  Oh my Goodness the naga jolokia chili  (ghost chili) smacks you.   Yes Hallowed be thy pain, its beautifully balanced and supremely hot and that is how I feel about this Ghost Chili Arrabbiata too.  I totally recommend it if your a chili head like me.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Simple Roasted Beetroot and Carrot Salad

This Simple Roasted Beetroot and Carrot Salad was made last weekend when neither of us wanted to leave the warmth of our home.

I made do with what we already had indoors: some carrots, beetroot new potatoes and red onion.
As the beetroot and carrots roasted together, the beetroot infused some of its colour into the carrots almost making it look like almost like rainbow carrots.  the red onions became soft and silky and the small potatoes, golden and crisp.
I finished  this Simple Roasted Beetroot and Carrot Salad off with a little drizzle of balsamic vinegar and with a gentle crumbling of soft snow feta crumbs, inspired by the snow flakes falling from the sky outside that day.
I describe this as a Simple Roasted Beetroot Carrot Salad as it is hardly a recipe and mostly done by eye-balling ingredients and and to taste.  Feel free to serve it alongside some greens, in our case it was peppery rocket. 

I am sharing this Carrot and Beetroot Salad to Soups, Salads and Sammies hosted by Kahakai Kitchen as it can be eaten with a spoon like a chunky soup too; and The Flexitarian for MeatFree Recipe of the Week;  and with Confessions of a Mother Runner and Whisk and Two Wands for Meatless Monday.