The time of year is now upon us for hearty soups, delicious fruity crumbles, stews and dumplings and many other warming meals that might not make our backsides any smaller but are so very comforting.
I have been watching the new Jamie Oliver programme about what you can do with your leftovers and whilst I cannot do the majority of them being vegan and the rest of the household vegetarian I did try out his Cauliflower and Broccoli Cheese. This is vegetarian and even if I wasn't vegan I wouldn't eat this as I simply cannot abide anything with a milk based sauce.
I have done a few warming meals lately as opposed to all the salad we have consumed over the summer with it being too hot for anything else.
Courgette and broccoli is a family favourite and it was served with homemade bread made by Miss J.
This is a simple recipe which is on a previous posting but basically you chop and onion and garlic and gently fry them until golden. Add about three three largish courgettes that have been chopped roughly and fry until almost soft. Transfer to a saucepan and add a litre of vegetable stock and a chopped broccoli head. Bring to the boil and simmer until broccoli is tender. Whizz up in a blender adding pepper to taste and serve with bread of your choice.
Yesterday I made a fabulous vegetarian cottage pie. I pad the Quorn mince out with a lot of vegetables. Firstly I chopped two onions and two cloves of garlic and gently fried them until golden. I then added two courgettes finely chopped and fried them along with an aubergine. I must mention here that I whizz all the veggies in my processor so they are very finely chopped! Then I added a few mushrooms and two leeks and gently fried them all together until tender. In a separate pan I friend the Quorn mince with a spot of olive oil until slightly browned and then transferred it to an oven proof dish and added the vegetables and mixed it all together. I mixed up two packets of cottage pie mix with 600ml cold water and poured it all over. As I was making this I had the potatoes boiling so the next job is to mash your potatoes and be very generous with your butter/margarine so it is a nice soft consistency and add a little ground nutmeg to taste. Then cover the mince with the mash and place in the oven until golden and crispy around the edges. This fed six people last night with enough left over for two people for lunch today.
I made a gorgeous plum crumble for pudding but forgot to take a photo so will give you that recipe as soon as I have made another one.
During the week I had tried out Jamie's cauliflower and broccoli cheese and it went down a treat. Gently fry two cloves of garlic in 50g of unsalted butter.When the butter has melted add 50g of plain flour making a paste and gradually add 500ml of milk whisking as you go until it is nice and smooth and add around 40g of grated cheddar. In the meantime, whilst this is going on boil 1kg of fresh or frozen, I used frozen, cauliflower and 500g broccoli until cooked. When cooked spoon the broccoli out and add it to the sauce for a few minutes. Transfer this to a blender and whizz up until all the broccoli is blended in. You may need to add a splash of milk to loosed up the sauce.
Arrange the cauliflower in an ovenproof dish and pour the sauce over. Add another 40g grated cheddar over the mixture.
Blitz two thick slices of ciabatta or stale bread in a processor along with two sprigs thyme and 25g flaked almonds. Add in a glug of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper and scatter over the cauliflower cheese. Bake in the oven until golden and cooked through.
The recipe is slightly adapted from Jamie Oliver's recipe.
Apart from cooking up a storm yesterday I spent the rest of my time sitting in the back garden soaking up what will probably be the last of the sunshine.
Merlin as you can see dear readers decided to have a little snooze in my tub of mint which looks like it's on it's last legs.
Now I must dash as I have potatoes that need roasting and people are starting to get peckish. My youngest is almost home from a Geography Field trip to Weston-Super-Mare where she was to carry out a survey of local people to ascertain the local amenities but after arriving at 11:30 am and then on lunch at 1pm and in Superdrug with friends buying Little Mix make up and back on the coach at 2:30pm I cannot see what research they managed but anyhow ...
Until next time when I hope to bring you the plum crumble recipe and perhaps my lovely veggie curry one as well ... I'll leave you with this ...