Cheese Rolls (GF, V)

Cheese Rolls (GF, V)

Cheese Rolls

This is a classic grandma dish, which until recently we had thought was made up for us, until I started finding different versions of the recipe on the internet

It is an Indian version of grilled cheese and can be made in many different ways, depending on your family’s palate

It can be fried or baked and made with different types of bread or cheese. My favourite adaptation is gluten free or rye bread with vegan cheese, but my grandma made it with a classic white loaf and cheddar

Mr B loved these as I added some extra chillies in the mixture for him. He ate an entire portion of 6 in one go, which is the equivalent of half a loaf of bread. I wouldn’t advise this, but it proves that the old recipes are the best!

I am still doing research on this, but it looks like the Turkish dish, Sigara Borek, which has a similar filling but is made with phyllo pastry not bread, influenced these. I’d love to hear from anyone who knows different, as I haven’t been able to track down the exact Indian lineage

Ingredients

  • 6 slices gluten free bread
  • 1 cup grated vegan cheese
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tbsp. coriander, chopped
  • 1 tsp. chilli powder
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil to brush or fry if you prefer

Method

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the cheese, onion, coriander and spices
  • Take the bread slices and cut the edges off, roll them flat with a rolling pin, roll as thin as possible
  • Brush the edges with water
  • Place some of the cheese mixture in the middle of the bread, roll and press the edges to seal
  • Brush the rolls with oil and bake
  • Or heat an inch of oil in a deep pan and fry until golden brown
  • Drain and place on kitchen towel
  • Serve hot, chutney optional
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Goan Ambotik – A hot, sour, spicy prawn coconut curry (GF, DF)

Goan Ambotik – A hot, sour, spicy prawn coconut curry (GF, DF)

Prawn Ambotik

Ambot means sour and tik means spicy. This dish is also known for it’s fiery quality, but has a cooling coconut element to it. So the trick to this dish is balance.

“Balance is not something you find, it’s something you create’.

I personally find it easier to create balance in food than in life, but i fully accept that it is a journey and something to work towards, just as with any good cooking technique

This dish comes from the south of India and this recipe is adapted from Maunika Gowardhan.com. It can be made with pomfret, mackerel or sardines. You can make the sauce in a big batch and use it for multiple dishes, or even just eat it as a soup or with rice.

Mr B enjoyed this and noted it as being an addictive and beautiful bouquet of flavours, to which I promptly fainted. When I recovered he said, he had read that comment in one of my food & wine magazines, and was waiting for the right moment, which happened to be now. This day will be marked as the day; Mr B became an official foodie!

Ingredients

  • 10-12 king prawns, deveined, shells off apart from the tails
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 3 tbsp. oil
  • 100g white onion, finely chopped
  • 70g tomatoes, chopped
  • 400ml water
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp. tamarind paste

For the paste

  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 4 cloves
  • 8 dried Kashmiri chilies
  • 150g grated coconut
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • ½ ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 60ml apple cider vinegar
  • 150ml water

Method

  • Add the prawns to a bowl with the turmeric and salt
  • In a frying pan add the cumin and coriander seeds to a dry pan and roast for 5 minutes or until they change colour
  • Add the dried spices to a blender with the dried chillies and cloves
  • Blitz to a fine powder. To this add the coconut, garlic, ginger and vinegar. Blend with the water until a smooth paste is formed
  • In a heavy bottomed pan, heat the oil over a medium flame and cook the onions till translucent
  • Add in the tomatoes and continue to fry for a few minutes till softened
  • Add in the paste you made and cook through for 6-8 minutes
  • Add the water and season to taste along with the sugar
  • Simmer for 2/3 minutes on a low heat and add the prawns, cook for another three minutes with the heat on low
  • Add the tamarind paste and stir
  • Serve hot, with rice of a Tikki

Stuffed Naan Bread

Stuffed Naan Bread

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This recipe is adapted from The Guardian, which does a, ‘how to make the perfect’ series, taking tips from the best chefs and working out the pros and cons.

I adapted this recipe to add in the goat’s cheese and salted honey glaze, as a riff on the Indian Accent blue cheese naan, which was so good we could have eaten it on a loop.

This was my first attempt at a naan, but Mr B, said that it was love at first bite!

A quick shout out to the honey I used in this. An artisanal Brooklyn brand, ‘Bees Knees Salted Honey’ by Bushwick Kitchen, check it out on line or in the shops.

Ingredients

  • 5 tsp. fast action yeast
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 150ml warm water
  • 300g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 5 tsp. sheep yogurt
  • 2 tsp. melted butter to brush
  • 50g soft goats cheese
  • Salted honey

Method

  • Put the yeast, sugar and two tablespoons of warm water in a bowl and stir well. Leave until it begins to froth
  • Put the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine
  • Stir the yogurt into the yeast mixture, then make a well in the middle of the flour and pour it in, plus the melted butter
  • Mix, then gradually stir in the water to make a soft, sticky mixture that is just firm enough to call a dough, but not at all dry
  • Tip out on a lightly floured surface and knead for approximately 5 minutes until smooth and a little less sticky, then put in a lightly oiled bowl and turn coat
  • Cover and leave in a draught free place until doubled in size (90-120 minutes)
  • Tip the dough back out on to a lightly floured surface and knock the air out, then divide into 8 balls
  • Meanwhile heat a dry pan for five minutes and put the oven on low
  • Flatten one of the balls and roll into a flat circle, place the cheese in the middle and fold over, flatten out again
  • Place in the hot pan and when it starts to bubble flip over. When browned on each side take off the pan and brush with salted honey
  • Put in the oven to keep warm and cook through

Vegan Jerky

Vegan Jerky

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Mushrooms are powerful sources of antioxidants and phytochemicals, best harnessed through eating a mix of raw and cooked mushrooms. This is a great version to use as a snack or put on a pizza or salad

I decided to make these after seeing vegan jerky in the supermarket being sold for 12.99. With two Portobello mushrooms from $3, I thought it was worth the saving!

These are made with an easy marinade and quick dehydration, so very little cooking or effort for such a versatile dish

Mr B likes the smoky umami taste and said he preferred the texture to the meat version

Ingredients

  • 2 Portobello mushrooms, cut into ¾ inch strips

Marinade

  • 3 tbsp. tamari
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. chilli powder
  • 3 drops liquid smoke
  • Black pepper to taste

Method

  • Soak the mushrooms in the marinade for a minimum of 4 hours. I left them to soak and absorb the marinade over night
  • Dehydrate at 115f for 6 hours in a dehydrator or oven until mushrooms are dried but not chewy

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Chilli Chocolate Vegan Samosas

Chilli Chocolate Vegan Samosas

Samosa

I was inspired to create this for a competition where we were asked to use cacao in a creative way. My first thought was to make my grandmothers samosas with a chilli chocolate slant on them. (Mr B’s influence as two of his favourite flavour profiles). I wasn’t sure this would work, but I felt my grandma was urging me on, if only to see me make my first samosa

Well it did work and I’d encourage you to give it a try. It has some wonderfully deep, rich flavours from the garam masala and chilli, with an earthy tone from the cacao and smoked paprika

‘Creativity is the courage to let go of certainty’.

I didn’t want to let go of the certainty of my grandma’s recipe, but this competition pushed me out of my comfort zone and to something new in our relationship. A collaboration of sorts, a recipe created hand in hand, partly from heritage and partly from something new. Growth isn’t just a case of learning something new but about unlearning old limits too

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp. chilli powder (adapt to heat preference)
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 500g vegan mince
  • 20g cacao powder
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp. flour
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • 10 spring roll wrappers

Method

  • Heat the olive oil, add the onion and fry till translucent, add garlic and fry for 30 seconds
  • Add spices for 30 seconds
  • Add vegan mince and stir till equally distributed
  • Cook down for 20 minutes
  • Taste and adjust for seasoning
  • Let cool
  • Mix the water and flour together to use as a glue for the samosa pastry
  • Fold, fill and seal (see picture for instructions)
  • Bake or fry and serve with a coriander dipping sauce

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Mushroom Pate (Raw, Vegan, GF)

Mushroom Pate (Raw, Vegan, GF)

Raw Mushroom Pate

This is a lovely starter/canapé. It has a silky texture and earthy tone from the walnuts and mushrooms so your carnivorous guests will think it is made of liver, whilst your herbivore guests will lap it up for exactly the opposite reason.

It takes 5 minutes preparation and can be used for many different things, including a pasta sauce, an umami topping on a burger or a dip for crackers. I edited the recipe, which I took from Plant Food (Matthew Kenney, Meredith Baird, Scott Winegard), decreasing the amount of mushroom powder used to decrease the saltiness and adding fresh thyme to give a little brightness.

Mr B who is not a fan of liver Pate, loved this, although thought I was trying to trick him into eating traditional Pate until I showed him the process pictures.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups mushrooms (Portobello’s, Oysters, Shitake)
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • ¼ cup mushroom powder
  • 1 tbsp. agave nectar
  • 1 tbsp. tamari
  • 1 tbsp. fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp. agar
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil

Method

  • Blend all ingredients, for around 8 minutes or until the blender is warm. (I wouldn’t usually recommend this, but in this case you need it to get warm to activate the agar)
  • Pour into a lined terrine mold (I used a small bread pan) and refrigerate for 2 hours to set

 

Delicious Japanese Dashi Ramen

Ramen

Delicious Japanese Dashi Ramen

I have spent a lot of time in Japan over the years for work and for pleasure and I marvel at the way Japanese chefs elevate simple pure ingredients. Whether it is Sashimi, Tofu or Dashi, there is always a simple elegance in preparation and presentation, making sure the ingredient is the star of the plate!

Dashi is a baseline broth; the equivalent of chicken stock in Japanese cooking. It is used in its simplest form as a cleansing broth but it is also added to multiple dishes as a base umami flavour

I love it in it’s purest form and love to have it on its own or use it as a base for ramen, adding some combination of noodles and vegetables. This dish takes less than 10 minutes, so after a long day at work, it is a great way to warm up and get some dinner at the same time

Ingredients

  • 5g Kombu
  • ½ cup bonito flakes
  • 2 cups water
  • One head purple broccoli
  • 2 tbsp. Coconut aminos*
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 handful buckwheat soba noodles

*Coconut aminos comes from the sap of the coconut tree, it has very low glycemic levels, 17 amino acids and in plentiful in minerals and vitamins. Use it as a substitute to soya sauce/tamari

Method

  • Bring the cold water to the boil with the kombu, once you have reached a gentle boil, remove from heat and remove the kombu
  • Sprinkle bonito flakes in and let stand for 3 minutes, sieve and place back on the heat
  • Add the coconut aminos and sesame oil
  • Add the soba noodles and simmer for 3 minutes
  • In the mean time, lightly steam the broccoli, chop and add to the soup
  • Serve steaming hot, for a ramen facial

Here is a picture of Me and Mr B in Kyoto, Japan, as it would be amiss to leave him out of the post and he is not a fan of Ramen!

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