New York Deli Pastrami sandwich

The classic, considered to be New York’s signature sandwich is made with sliced pastrami topped with spicy brown mustard on rye bread. You can add Swiss cheese, mayo and pickles or sauerkraut. I used Squeaky Bean Vegan Pastrami Style Sandwich Slices with Follow Your Heart Smoked Gouda slices with mustard and mayo on rye. I added some lettuce and tomato too – lush!

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Vegan pigs in blankets

These were the best ones I have made so far! I used Linda McCartney’s Vegetarian Red Onion & Rosemary Sausages and Finnebrogue’s Naked without the Oink vegan bacon. Vegan bacon

Soak 12 cocktail sticks in water overnight and thaw the sausages, also overnight, in the fridge. Cut each sausage in half and roll a tiny bit thinner and mold the ends so that they are smooth and round.

Fry the sausages in olive oil until they are browned then cool them. Cut six strips of bacon in half and wrap each half around the cooked sausage. Place on a baking tray and bake at 180°C for 15-20 mins until the bacon is beginning to brown at the edges.

Serve with a roast dinner or as part of a vegan buffet – great party food!

Pigs in blankets

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Oyster mushrooms in a creamy peppered sauce

Day 24. Oyster pepper

This peppery mix contains black, Voatsiperifery, Cubeb, white and Timur berry pepper with allspice. Rather than putting it on oysters (sea bogeys my fella calls them), I cooked oyster mushrooms in a creamy peppered sauce.

Cook a pack of oyster mushrooms, sliced, in the oven at 180°C for 10-15 mins while  frying two shallots gently in a pan with a couple of teaspoons of vegan butter. Add half the sachet of oyster pepper and flambé with generous splosh of cognac. Reduce the sauce then add 30ml of vegan cream and half a teaspoon of mustard. Mix the oyster mushrooms with the sauce and serve sprinkled with chopped fresh parsley with white rice on a warm plate.

Oyster mushrooms

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Faux gras

Day 23. Foie gras mix…

There’s not much more to say than this… vegans can have it all!!

 

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Vegan steak, chips and peas

Day 22: Steakhouse spice blend:

Vegan steak and peppercorn sauce

This blend contains: onion, Voatsiperifery pepper, Cubeb pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic, rosemary, thyme and oregano. Obviously I made a pepper sauce to go on Vivera steaks.

Ingredients

Method

Put the butter in a large, high-sided frying pan, then fry the shallots and peppercorns over a medium heat for 5 mins, until the shallots have softened but not browned. Add the brandy and cook until it has reduced away to almost nothing.

Pour the wine into the pan, turn up the heat and boil rapidly until reduced by half. Add the stock and reduce again, this time by two-thirds, this will take around 5 mins. Stir the cream into the sauce and allow it to thicken slightly. Check the sauce is seasoned to your liking before serving with steak.

Ingredients

• 1 tsp vegan butter
• 1 shallot, finely chopped
• 1 pack steakhouse spice blend
• 1 tbsp brandy
• 50ml red wine
• 100ml good-quality beef stock
• 3 tbsp double cream

1. Fry the shallots in the vegan butter over a medium heat for 5 mins, until the shallots have softened but not browned.
2. Add the steakhouse mix and fry for a further minute then add the brandy and cook until it has reduced away to almost nothing.
3. Add the wine and boil rapidly until reduced by half.
4. Add the stock and reduce by two-thirds, this will take around 5 mins.
5. Stir the cream into the sauce and allow it to thicken slightly.
6. Serve with steak, chips and peas.

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Mushroom risotto with diamond salt and summer truffle

Day 21: Diamond (Himalayan) salt with summer truffle

Risotto with diamond salt

Ingredients
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 2 sticks of celery, thinly sliced
• 2 cloves garlic, crushed
• 300g Arborio rice
• 150ml vermouth or white wine
• 250-300g mixed mushrooms (any kind you like: chestnut, oyster, white, enoki, shimeji) quartered if large, halved if small/button
• 750ml warm stock (make with hot water and bouillon)
• 1 tsp diamond salt and truffle mix
• Freshly ground black pepper
• Vegan parmesan
Directions
1. Fry the onion in olive oil on a low heat, do not brown.
2. Add the celery and continue to fry gently for three mins then add the garlic and cook for a further minute or two.
3. Turn up the heat a little and add the rice. Cook for 3-4 mins, keep stirring and don’t let it brown.
4. Add the vermouth and cook for 2 mins or until the alcohol has cooked off – keep stirring!
5. Turn down the heat, add in the mushrooms and mix.
6. Add 3 ladles of stock and simmer on a medium heat. Keep stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
7. Keep topping up with stock, until the rice has absorbed it all and is cooked (I like it with a bit of bite left). You might need a little extra water.
8. Season with diamond salt and pepper.
9. Served topped with freshly grated vegan parmesan cheese.

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Cajun cauliflower

Day 20. Cajun mix

Cajun cauliflower

This Cajun mix is flavoured with paprika, coriander, mustard, turmeric, fennel, black pepper, cumin, garlic, and cayenne pepper. I tossed some cauliflower florets in rapeseed oil then sprinkled on the Cajun mix and baked them in a hot oven for 25 mins. We had them with sweet potato wedges, sweetcorn and red cabbage and apple slaw.

Cajun cauliflower

 

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Court bouillon, butter bean casserole and tarragon dumplings

Day 19: Court bouillon

Court bouillon is a seasoned broth or stock used for cooking fish, meat or vegetables. It can be made up from white wine, onion, garlic, celery, seasoning and spices and is often used for cooking food that does not need strong flavour added. The Terre Exotique mix includes onions, herbs mustard and pepper as well as allspice, cloves and juniper berries.

I used it to make a leek, celery and butter bean casserole with tarragon dumplings based on this recipe. The allspice and cloves add an extra layer of flavour to the onion and herbs. I would never think of adding cloves but will be throwing a couple into the pan when I make stock for my Christmas Day gravy.

Casserole and dumplings

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Noodle soup with Shichimi Togarashi

Day 18: Shichimi Togarashi

Seven-flavour chilli pepper (also known as nana-iro tōgarashi or simply shichimi) is a common Japanese spice mixture containing seven ingredients: cayenne chilli pepper, poppy seeds, roasted orange peel, sesame seeds, Sansho berry, ginger and nori leaves.

My fella made the most delicious wholewheat noodle soup with tofu, miso, onion, cabbage, edamame, carrot and mushrooms, flavoured with Shichimi Togarashi – definitely very umami!

Noodle soup

 

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Day 17 cancelled

The mix for today had fish extract in it…

Find out unexpected facts and more about fish here viva.org.uk/animals/aquatic-wildlife/fish/

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