Food: Whole roasted cauliflower

I was craving a proper ‘Sunday roast’, a huge deal for a Brit abroad. But I had missed the boat on the Sunday, instead I made this tasty dish on Monday. A perfect cheap and vegan solution for those awkward family gatherings, where everyone else is catered for by a huge roast joint. It’s so easy to make, even Grandad could make it!

To make you’ll need:

  • A whole head of cauliflower
  • 3 tbs gravy granules (I used Bisto- Original (red))
  • 3tbs cornflour
  • 1tsp dried thyme
  • 1tbs dried parsley
  • 1tsp mustard powder (I used Coleman’s)
  • 1tsp garlic powder (Available from Flying Tiger Copenhagen)
  • 1tsp onion powder (Available from Flying Tiger Copenhagen)
  • 1tsp ground black pepper

Simply wash the cauliflower and carve off any stalk and unsightly bits from the main body. Pat down with a towel and pre-heat the oven to a nice 180°C. In a bowl, place all the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Then, start adding water, bit-by-bit,  until a thick, savoury paste has formed. Now, prepare to get messy! Use your hands (cleaned, of course) to cover the whole cauliflower with the paste. This will form a nice herby crust as it roasts in the oven. Make sure the cauli is evenly covered and place in the oven in a baking tray. Roast for roughly 50 minutes, before taking it out and turning the baking tray. Place in for a further 20 minutes. Once this is done, take it out and pierce the centre with a skewer, to check that it has fully cooked. If not, place it back in for a further 10 minutes. Once it has finished, leave to slightly cool before serving.

I’d recommend serving it with a medley of vegetables and a classic British onion gravy,  which I make from using Bisto Original (red), the cooking water from all of the veg and some fried onions. I also served mine with some homemade stuffing, of which I’ll post the recipe soon!

Enjoy!

 

 

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The roasted cauliflower, enrobed in onion gravy.

 

 

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Food: Barbecue Cauli Stack

Aldi recently had cauliflowers at 45p, so I bought quite a few; they’re a great meat alternative, versatile and last for ages! Here’s a recipe I came up with to emulate that meaty bbq taste!

You’ll need:

For the BBQ Cauliflower:

  • 1/2 Head of cauliflower
  • 1tbs tomato pureé
  • Splash liquid smoke
  • 1tbs dark soy sauce
  • 1tsp Chipotle chilli powder
  • 1tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1tbs paprika
  • 1tbs pomegranate molasses
  • 1tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 1tsp dried rosemary
  • Splash garlic infused oil
  • 1tsp onion powder
  • Splash of wate

For the charred sweet potato mash:

  • 3 Sweet potatoes, peeled & chopped
  • Salt n Pepper
  • 1 knob of vegan butter
  • 200ml plant milk (I used Oatly)

To finish:

  • 1 roasted red pepper, chopped
  • 4 lingonberry pickled onions, chopped
  • Handful of fresh coriander, chopped

 

Method:

Okay, so this method is a little unconventional, but bear with me.

Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into thick coins, layer them on a baking tray and drizzle a splash of oil and season with a little salt. Make sure all the pieces of potato are covered and then put into a hot oven (200°C) and bake for twenty minutes. At this point you need to watch them like a hawk because you want them to be burned but not incinerated! Once they’re browned or lightly blackened, remove them from the oven put them in the pan with the milk, vegan butter and a little more salt. If they haven’t fully softened by now they will in the mix. When they’re softened take off the heat mash them together. Depending on the size of your potatoes you may not need all of the milk, just enough to give you a thick but creamy mash. Spoon the mixture into chef’s ring/ decorative tart tin  on your serving plate and allow to cool. If using a tin, like I did you may have to flip it onto another plate.

Now for the bbq cauliflower. Put a pan on the hob on low heat and drizzle with a little oil. I like using a Dutch Oven such as a Le Creuset as it can go from the hob to the oven easily. Add in the tomato pureé and let it fry off. Next, add in the spices, syrups and soy sauce and stir them into the tomato mixture. You should have a smoky, dark paste in the pan. Cut the cauliflower into little pieces and add them into the pan, trying to coat them with the smoky sauce. Let it fry off for a few minutes, then add in a splash of water. Stir and with the lid on, place in the oven on a low heat (140°C) for 30 minutes.

Once the time is up you should have a brown, glistening and surprisingly meaty cauliflower mixture. Place in a bowl and add the pepper, pickled onion and coriander.

Place a Chef’s ring on top of the mash and spoon in the cauliflower mixture. Once filled, press it lightly and slowly take the Chef’s ring off. Finish with some more chopped coriander. Works great served with some fresh green veg, I served mine with some purple sprouting broccoli.

 

Enjoy!

Food: Cauliflower paprikash

Here’s a cheap, satisfying & hearty recipe that is perfect for those cold Winter nights coming in!

You’ll need:

  •  ½ Head of cauliflower, cut into chunks,
  • 1 tbs Tomato puree
  • 1 Tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 100ml Water
  • 1 Onion, chopped finely
  • 2 Cloves of garlic, chopped finely
  • Splash of flavourless oil
  • 2 Peppers, chopped •
  • 1 Pack of vegan cream ( I used 1 pack of 250ml Oatly cream)
  • Splash of white wine (Vermouth will also work!)
  • 2-3tbs Of paprika
  • 1tsp Mixed spice
  • 1tsp Ground cinnamon
  • Handful of fresh parsley, chopped •
  • Salt & pepper

Serve with:

  •  100g Tagliatelle or rice (per person)

This is a ‘one-pan dish’, I use my Dutch Oven to make this – shove it in the oven, and as it cooks slowly I can get on with my day, then eat it!

To make, start by frying off the onions & garlic until they become soft & translucent. Next, add in the tomato puree and mix it with the onion until it has cooked out. Then, the tin of tomatoes goes in. After you’ve tipped the tomatoes out, add the water to the tin and add it to the pan- this way it gets all the tomatoey goodness. Next, add in your paprika & spices. Cook it out for a couple of minutes. Once this is done, add in the cauliflower, stir and season. Add half of the chopped parsley and with the lid on, add to the oven (pre heated to 140°c). Leave it to do its own thing for at least 40 minutes, 1 hour maybe even an hour and a half. That is the magic of slow cooking!

Once you’re ready to eat, salt a boiling pan of water generously and add in your pasta/rice. Cook until done.

To serve layer the luscious & hearty paprikash on top of the pasta/rice and garnish with the rest of the parsley!

Et voilà!

Food: Vegan Jagerschnitzel

Or the full title in German would be: Jagerschnitzel Veganisch (Blumenkohl schnitzel) mit champignons soße und pommes.

After my recent trip to Berlin with Uni, and the fact that Berlin is a vegan oasis- I’ve used this as inspiration make some some vegan schnitzel. This schnitzel uses cauliflower (or in German, Blumenkohl) in place of pork, which gives it some great bite.

 

To make, you’ll need:

  • 1 or 2 heads of cauliflower, cut lengthways into 4 thick steaks
  • 150g plain flour
  • 150g breadcrumbs
  • 200ml soya milk
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1tsp white pepper
  • 1/2tsp mixed spice
  • One bottle of vegetable oil

 

For the sauce:

  • 75g small chestnut mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 a large onion, chopped finely
  • 100-200ml soya cream
  • Handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1tsp dried thyme
  • 1tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1tbsp garlic oil

 

First start by cutting the heads of cauliflower into steaks. Small heads will only yield two decent sized steaks so I’d recommend getting two. The steaks should be at least 1 and 1/2 cm thick. Prepare your coating area by mixing the breadcrumbs in one tray and then the flour, salt, pepper and mixed spice in the other. Make sure you mix them through and evenly coat the bottom. Pour the milk into a wide bowl and dip the steaks, one at a time, into the milk then the flour mixture. Make sure you get into every nook and cranny – there’s a lot more fiddly surface area to cover on a cauliflower! When each steak is sufficiently covered in the flour mixture, leave on a rack for five minutes while you prepare the first part of the sauce.

Chop the onion and fry over a medium heat in the garlic oil. As they begin to brown add the mushrooms and fry until they begin to soften. Take them off the heat and return to the steaks.

Empty a third of bottle of vegetable oil into a pan wide enough to take the steaks – turn the heat to max and let it heat up while you prepare the next stage. Dip each steak in the milk for a second time and then in the breadcrumbs – remember to thoroughly cover each one, but don’t be tempted to double dip, therein chaos lies!

Test the heat of the oil with a small nugget of leftover cauliflower – when it’s bubbling like crazy and browns quickly, the oil is ready. Turn it down a shade and then lower the first steak into the oil – the browning should only take a minute or two so be ready to take it out. Have a cooling rack ready to take the steaks when they’re done – I used the one from the grill. I put kitchen roll underneath to take the excess oil (there’ll be a fair amount). Repeat the process for the other steaks then put the grill rack, steaks and all, onto a baking tray and bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 140 degrees celsius (fan).

While they’re baking fill your pan with the rest of the oil and return to max heat. When it’s ready deep fry your pommes until golden brown, let them shed their excess oil over kitchen roll then sprinkle liberally with salt  – I used Norður Salt.

Return your mushrooms and onions to the heat and add the soya cream and the mustard. Stir through until everything’s hot and combined. When then steaks are ready they should be golden brown. Poke the thickest part with a knife or skewer – if it goes through easily your steaks are done. Plate up and enjoy with stein of pilsner!