Sunday, 26 April 2015

Ruby Red Chard Mushroom Nut Wellington

My most favourite of favourites Nut Mushroom Wellington by far has to be from Nadine Abensur from her cookbook The Cranks Bible.  When I was a student I would often make it and slice it in individual pieces and freeze it, so when I had friends over or too tired to make something, I would go to the freezer and bake it in the oven served with steamed veg and gravy.  

It's been a few years now since I've made a nut roast, and I mean one covered in puff pastry aka a Mushroom Nut Wellington, so that had to be addressed.  And with the sun disappearing on us again and it all going nippy again, a vegan nut roast with all the trimming was to be on the menu.  
I was going to put a handful of shredded kale to the mushroom and nuts, but decided to throw in a handful of homegrown red chard, spotted amongst all the weeds in the garden.
A couple of weeks back I made some progress weeding and digging the garden.  We were fortunate to have the nephews over bribed by the appeal of a home-made veggie burger with spicy wedges.  They helped their uncle dismantling the pergola and I did the digging, but the work in the garden came to a halt when both myself and D came down with some kind of bug.  Its not even halfway through the year and I have been poorly twice this year.  Feeling much better now, I am back in the kitchen and back to blogging.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Asparagus and Black Garlic Pastry Loaf

I know all sliced up this vegetable loaf looks like its holding garden peas, but I assure you these green polka spots are sliced asparagus baked in a pastry loaf.  It is based on my Vegetable Pasta Loaf recipe.  I decided to replace the pasta this time with seasonal asparagus.  I also remembered having some black garlic showcased on my blog a couple of months back for Celia's In My Kitchen Series, so decided to include a few sweet, chewy balsamic flavoured black cloves too.  
It turned out pretty okay.  The asparagus still had some crunch, slight saltiness came from the feta cheese and the black garlic, surprised us with each bite.  D likes this kind of food and doesn't understand why I don't make it often, but then he loves the leggy asparagus.
A slice of this Asparagus and Black Garlic Loaf is perfect for today with the weather being quite Mediterranean 25 degrees Celsius in some parts of the U.K, The kind of weather when you would sit out in your garden and dine with some lovely light salads.  I actually do feel like doing that, except for the fact that I have a bunged up nose, I think I may nibble on some black garlic something about it just makes me feel better!   

Monday, 13 April 2015

Mexican Inspired Pasta Salad

I am hoping to go to my secret wild garlic foraging spot this weekend, but this today I share with you an aromatic green flecked pasta dish.  

This is perhaps one of my favourite cold pasta salad dishes.  I've made it at least 6 time in the past two months, not just because I like it, but because I had picked up a bundle of coriander, of course I had to have a reason.
This pasta salad is based on this Jalapeno, Coriander and Avocado recipe,that I made a few years back,  It is enhanced further with sweetcorn and red peppers.  It has now also become a firm favourite of my nephews and nieces too, who often opt for those horrid claggy cheesy tomato pasta from the supermarket outlets.  

I often make a large batch, to last us for 2 -3 days during the working week; and sometimes to share with family and friends. While it sits in the fridge the jalapeno vinaigrette infuses the pasta further.  Just dig your fork in, you will find it flavourful and zingy. 
This pasta salad is essentially flavoured with jalapenos and coriander, however for bite and colour there is red pepper, spring onion (and sometimes red onion) and a little sweetness from the sweetcorn. To elevate this pasta dish further, I like to finish it off with some natural buttery ripe avocado slices, but that doesn't happen that often, as avocados are a bit of a luxury in our home.