Monday 24 February 2020

sweet chilli jam, sweet potato buns, beet burgers

We started with making sweet potato buns. We first cut the sweetpotato skin in a circle. making sure just to cut the skin not the whole potato. We then boiled them, once fully cooked, cooled it and then holding each side of the potato, managed to gently twist of the skin in one move. Much easier than peeling it before cooking.  We then mashed it with the riser, added some salt to taste and self raising flour until it became a manageable dough.
We then turned them into rolls, into the oven for 20 minutes é voilà. Lovely soft rolls.


2½ cups grated beetroot
½ cup porridge oats
3 eggs
1 onion finely chopped and fried
4 tablespoons chopped dill
2 tablespoons chopped thyme
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 teaspoon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
Grate the beets using a grater attachment on a food processor, if you have one
Add all the remaining ingredients to the food processor and set to pulse, scraping the sides occasionally until the mixture comes together
Form into 4 patties. The patty mixture will be very sticky, so wet your hands between forming each patty, to help stop them sticking
To fry the patties
Heat enough oil to cover the bottom of a large frying panover medium heat. When hot, add the patties. Cooking them low and slow is the key for good texture.
Cook about 3 to 5 minutes per side, until they are nicely browned and hold together well. Serve hot on a bun with fried onion rings and your favourite burger toppings (mayonnaise, sweet chilli jam)


Wednesday 19 February 2020

half term: shoba noodles with Fake lo Mein and broccoli soup

Today was a small group as a couple of regular members were ill and on holiday as it was half term
So making egg noodles was perfect entertainment with a small group.

We then made this delicious fake Lo Mein that was out of this world. We sprinkled a few sesame seeds on top when we served the dish, but this is optional.

Although the morning started sunny (but chilly) by the time we went into the allotment to pick the broccoli for the broccoli and coconut milk soup it was dull and dreary.  Great to be back into the house which was warm and cozy.

All in all a very tasty meal with lots of sharing of information.

Tuesday 18 February 2020

Scotch Eggs and warm sweetpotato and avocado salad

Last Christmas, Irina came with a delicious sweet potato and avocado salad. As I had sweet potato and saw (frozen) avocadoes at Iceland, I wanted to try it out. The end result was delicious. Besides topping the salad with just coriander we also did our 3rd pea shoot harvest before planting the peas in the garden.  It they turn out to give us peas all the better if not, at least the roots will slow release nitrogen into our raised beds.

Although on this picture it looks like a lovely spring day, it has been windy, (well stormy Chiara and storm Dennis) wet with the occasional frost.

The early warmth however has made the apricot tree come out in blossom too early. No sign of bees yet so Kanako is giving nature a little hand by using a swan feather to pollinate the tree.

Warm festive sweet potato salad:

4 large sweet potatoes
2 ripe avocados
1/2 pound cherry tomatoes
1-2 lemons
1 lime (optional)
5-6 cloves of garlic
pack of fresh cilantro (coriander)
cumin spice powder
any hot pepper spice powder ( either pimiento or cayenne,or chili, etc)

1. Clean and peel sweet potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes, place on a baking sheet  and put into 225 degrees C oven for approximately 30 minutes or until tender.  Take care not to overcook them, the sweet potato cubes should NOT become brown! Gently turn them over half way through if needed.

2. While sweet potato cubes are baking prepare the rest of the vegetables and the dressing. Peel avocados and cut them into 1/2 inch pieces. Wash the cherry tomatoes and cut them either in halves or in quarters depending on their size.

3. For the dressing squeeze the juice from 1 or 2 lemons plus 1 or 2 limes (optional). Use it all! Add two tablespoons of cumin powder (or more!, it is not hot, it just adds very nice hearty taste) and 1/4 of teaspoon of hot pepper (use less pepper if you do not like spicy foods) Press 5-6 (or more !) peeled garlic cloves through the garlic press, add to the lemon juice. Wash a large bunch of cilantro, chop into small pieces, mix well with the lemon juice, garlic and spices.

4. In a large serving dish assemble the salad: put all sweet potatoes at the bottom, then add 1/2 of tomatoes and avocados, generously cover with the dressing, add the rest of the tomatoes and avocados on top. Enjoy!

We also made some (gluten free) scotch eggs. We found a novel idea on how to take the shell of the eggs easily.  Boil water first, then add the eggs and boil for 10 minutes. Have a bowl ready with ice cold water and put the eggs in this to quickly cool down.
 in a container we added the egg, shook it vigorously and the egg shell came off almost by itself.

For the 'meat' we used green lentil paste, onion, grated carrots and beetroot, garlic and smoked paprika.  We made the scotch egg as normal. 

 Dip the hardboiled egg in (rice) flour, then shape the 'meat' around it, then dip in egg followed by dipping into breadcrumbs.

As the oven was on, we put them on a tray in the oven, but you could also have deep fried them.

They were lovely we some bread & butter pickle.

Wednesday 12 February 2020

Japanese inspired meal

Last week Irina spoke about another fermented food that she liked very much but only the Japanese friends seem to know. Natto.  They tried to explain what it smelled and tasted like, and to be honest they did not sell it well. Apparently it smelled and had an acquired taste.  Sounded interesting though and we all wanted to try it so Erika very kindly brought some for us to use today.

We made a egg fried rice with Natto, cabbage, carrot, garlic topped with pea shoots and some soya sauce. We all loved it.

To start our meal we had this beetroot, feta and radish soup we sprinkled some sesame seeds on top and made it look very much in keeping with the rest of the meal.

As a dessert we made some Kanten, an agar dessert with tangerines and pineapple.

Today we also sowed, tomatoes in tea bags. This is an experiment as I saw it on FB. The seeds were from tomatoes we had eaten last autumn, so not sure how they will come up. Will write an update once I have more news

Thursday 6 February 2020

Sweet potato, pumpkin and kefir soup, with cabbage parcels

Last week, Julie gave me a bottle of Kefir to give to my friend. It turned out that she had left for holiday so what better to do then use it ourselves.
I found this spiced pumpkin-sweetp otato soup with Kefir it was a creamy velvety soup, which we had with a lazy dough bread roll.  We used the dough that we made on Monday, so Thank you to the monday group for making this lovely dough.

Then Carmen came with a page out of Velvet magazine op page 38 the Allotment diary .Stuffed Savoy Cabbage Leaves.

Large savoy cabbage
3 carrots Shred
300g mushrooms - chop very finely
1 leek- chop very finely
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 cloves of crushed garlic
50g toasted hazelnuts
50g fetta cheese

Carefully pull the 12 outermost leaves off the cabbage and set to one side. Remove the core from the remaining cabbage and finely shred (we have decided to also shred the first full dark green leaves as they were a little tough.

Heat 1tbsp oil in a pan over a medium heat  and add the shredded cabbage, carrots, mushrooms and leek. Sprinkle a good pinch of salt and pepper and cook for approx 5 minutes until starting to soften
Add the cumin seeds and garlic. Cook for a further 10 minutes stirring occasionally until the moisture of the mushrooms has cooked off and the veg is just starting to turn golden.

Put a large saucepan of water on the boil and pre-heat oven to 180 degrees. Take the cabbage leaves you removed earlier and shave some of the thick stem in the middle of each leave. Once the water is boiling, plunge the leaves in for 1-2minutes and then drain. (if your leaves are dark green, boil a little more as they could otherwise be tough)  

Chop you toasted nuts and crumble the feta- taste and add extra seasoning if necessary.

To assemble, lay your cabbage leaves out flat on a work surface and spoon the filling mixture evenly between the 12 leaves. Fold both sides in then fold over the bottom and top to make a little parcel. Place in an oven proof dish, fold side down. drizzle with oil and bake for 10 minutes. Serve warm for diner or cold for lunch the next day  (Velvet, recipe by Katie Moore of Allotment) January 2020
We went out into the allotment to pick Yacon, Oca,Carrots, Corn Salad, rocket, edible flowers like corn flowers, yellow and orange calendula, viola, rosemary flower and daisies for a lovely fresh salad
Stuffed Savoy Cabbage leaves