Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Chilli, Carrot and Coriander Pâté

The weather has been gloriously warm, in fact quite hot that even those of us who like to be found cooking in the 'kitchen at parties', usually quite content to stand over a bubbling hot pot, are now finding stirring its contents beginning to look less and less appealing when we could be sitting out in the garden, absorbing the sunshine and sipping something cool; biting into something easy, light and yet flavour packed.  

A change from cooking up a homely grub is taking the easy option like eating out in a restaurant or ordering a take-away, but we rarely, and i mean rarely eat out and ordering a take-away even less so, unless its a pizza.  So the next option for us is to have a mezze, an antipasti sort of meal, with lots of light salad like dishes, good bread and dips and spreads that people can help themselves too.  You get my drift, so that is what was on our table a few days back.  
I had picked up some lovely bread from a bakery: Sun-dried Tomatoes and Black Olives; and another made with three seeds.  Instead of making the Carrot Hummus that I made early in the month, I opted to make some spreadable Chilli Specked Carrot Pâté .  It is a little soft at the start, but it does firm up in the fridge. 
PS I must advise not to try Carrot Pâté with tortilla chips as featured here, the  Carrot Pâté is much better with good crusty bread, flat breads or even rice cakes.  Next watch out for my Beetroot Pate; or even my Beetroot Hummus, follow this link to one I 've made in the past!
You can make this Carrot Pâté in you blender, but I made it in my new Optimum 9400 Blender.  I've mentioned before that I do have a blender from a  well known designer brand, and often make dips such as Hummus, but it does not offer the smooth bit- free consistency that I got from the Optimum 9400 Blender.  I did not even have to cook the carrots here.    

Monday, 21 July 2014

Raw Carrot Halwa Mousse Pudding

Well this Raw Carrot Halwa Mousse Pudding has no cream in it, its not even substituted with vegan cream either.  How can this be, some of you may be wondering, well let me share.  I've recently come across a number of ice-cream recipes made without an ice-cream maker, the secret ingredient being frozen bananas.  

I read of this fantastic tip a few good years back in some of my vegan cookbooks, but never attempted to try it because even though you do not require a ice-cream machine, you did require a blender with a good blade and now I have a Optimum 9400 Blender  thanks to Froothie, the culinary experiments can begin.
I was originally just going to make vegan Carrot Mousse, then my thoughts turned to Carrot Ice-cream as I've made a dairy version in the past and it was delicious, but then  when I took a little taster of the mushed carrots and frozen bananas - it just tasted a bit like Carrot Halwa.  

I've featured my mothers Carrot Halwa on my blog before, but never shared her recipe, she still has to give it to me. So today, I offer you a vegan creamy version with nuts and all. Its not intense in orange colour, but does have the sweetness and grainy texture that you get from a traditional semolina halwa, so a little goes a long way.  I know it looks quite retro and won't be to every ones taste, firstly because its raw, but secondly because I know some people are still unsure about vegetables in desserts, cakes and puddings, but its worth trying to know for sure.  It also reminded me a little of Sweet Potato Mousse too. 

Oh I must be honest with you and share this before I go, promise you won't laugh at me, promise... oh go on then, my husband did.  Well for this recipe, I chucked some bananas in the freezer, whole and unpeeled - yes, they had to be peeled and chopped for ease.  Still  no flapping here.  I took them out 30 minutes before making the recipe and the peel came off easy.  Not completely as silly after all, but I do not recommend this namely for speed.  

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Carrot Ketchup

I've made some vegetable burgers recently, and wanted to try out something different in place of relish or supermarket bought red ketchup or the brown sauce varieties. I had loads of carrots in my vegetable basket and decided to take inspiration from my recent Carrot and Coriander Hummus and thought what if I went a step further and pureed the carrots to a sauce, the result awesome.  
The Raw Carrot Ketchup was sweet from the carrots, but it also delivered a light twang from the tamarind, and a little bit of warmth from the dried chilli flakes.  The coriander is of course,  optional.  I love the flavour, so tend to throw it in lots of savoury dishes, but feel free to omit this if you so wish.   I also loved how smooth the carrot ketchup was, considering it was made from raw carrots, there were no bits at all.  Pour and scrape into a squeezy bottle and squirt over oven baked chips, sweet potatoes wedges, vegetable burgers and much more.   Yes you read right, I did use raw carrots for the recipe.  If your carrots are organic, you do not even have to peel them, just give them a good scrub.  For ease I used tamarind concentrate, but you can if you so wish use **tamarind pulp or those dried pressed tamarind cakes which of course will need to be soaked and pressed of its juices, then omit or reduce the water in the recipe below.

You can try to make this ketchup in you blender, but I must tell you that I chose to try out my new Optimum 9400 Blender from Froothie.  I do have a blender from a  well known designer brand, and often make spreads and dips such as Hummus, but it does not offer the same creamy smooth bit- free that I got from the Optimum 9400 Blender. The other thing I noted immediately is that majority of the blenders that I have used in my life would take a good 10 - 15 minutes in reaching the point of creamy smoothness, as well as a lot of stopping and scraping down of the blitzed vegetables from the sides.  Using the Optimum 9400 Blender  reduced this massively.  The ketchup was made literally within a minute and I hardly had to scrape the vegetables off the side.  It was such a breeze to use. 

This carrot ketchup is a delicious change from tomato ketchup or even brown sauce!  Next watch out for my Beetroot Ketchup!

Friday, 18 July 2014

Yellow Mangetout, Broad Beans and Garden Peas Tart

There is still a week to go to share your vegan and vegetarian Eat Your Greens recipes. I have already received some made with seasonal vegetables and herbs, like chives and basil and I can't wait to share them with you all.  

Well talking of EatYourGreens, here is a Broad Bean and Garden Peas Quiche with some yellow mangetout.  All these came from my garden plot.  If I had chickens, the free range eggs would have come from my garden too, but that plan is maybe a year away.  

Anyway, I got carried away trying to make the garden vegetables look like an arty farty picture, that I forgot to put the shredded cheese on top, hence the reason it is looking so pale.  I only realised this omission when I took it out of the oven.  No worries, I chucked the grated cheese on top and bunged it back in the oven for a few minutes for it to melt. 
Also its not the best Tart I've ever made, in fact its mediocre.  It tasted alright, but how it looked was a bit disappointing.  For the sharp eyed amongst you, you may have already noted it, but for those of you who need prompting, well if you look closely, first at the above image - in trying to remove it from the tin, I managed to snap the bottom right, and secondly, if you look at the image below - the real reason for this is that there was a crack in the pastry which caused some of the filling to leak out.   Hey, these things happen even to the most experiences of cooks and this time it was my turn! 

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Vegan Individual Upside Down Pineapple Cakes

Pretty Pineapple please, with cherry on top!

As much as I loved this cake (and making use of my neglected individual pineapple cake tin moulds), I think these sweet dense caramelised pineapple delights may be more suited for Autumnal and Wintry evenings, as they are more Steamed Pudding -  the kind of cake that screams for cream, albeit vegan cream.  
Still this did not stop me making it again, twice in one week and outside the weather was blazing. Best thing is, it can easily be reheated in the microwave for a couple of bursts. And no, before you ask, Did I eat them all?! Of course not, I am the sharing kind. 
I am sharing this with Jacqueline for this months edition of Bookmarked Recipes #35 The original recipe makes one big Upside Down Pineapple Cake, but I decided to make individual ones. Bookmarked from The Vegan Society find the original recipe here. 

Previously on A2K - A Seasonal Veg Table recipes with Pineapples.
Indonesian Pineapple Rice - June 2011
Pineapple, Ginger and Tofu Curry - July 2011