Thursday, 8 December 2011

Murmuring Raspberries...

It was cold, winter fuel needed, so pulses were on the menu! I remember back in the day, soaking pulses and spending hours cooking them and am grateful that you can now buy them in tins! Sadly, in the supermarket there were no tins of aduzki beans, so I had to buy dried beans and get back to basics by cooking my own!

Sarah Brown's Vegetarian cookbook was a must for any veggie in the 80s and I cooked up a staple for tonight's main, Red Dragon Pie; it's red, there are no dragons in it and it is a bake, not a pie, but who am I to argue with the 80s vegetarian guru? 

Red Dragon pie: Ingredients
2 x 410g tins of aduki beans, drained (or 200g dried beans, soaked and cooked according to packet)
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
250g carrots, diced
½ pint tomato passata
¼ pint stock (I use 1 large teaspoon of vecon which has a fabulous flavour)
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped (or a generous teaspoon of mixed dried herbs)
1-2 tbsps soy sauce
black pepper
450g potatoes, sliced thickly
25g butter
olive oil
                Preheat the oven to 200°C
                Fry the onion and carrot in a little olive oil until softening, add the garlic and fry for a further minute
                Add the beans, tomato passata, stock, herbs, soy sauce and freshly ground pepper to taste, bring to the boil then simmer for 5 minutes with the lid on before removing the lid and reducing the liquid to a thick delicious sauce. Pop into a pie dish (mine is 23cm)
                Parboil the potato slices for 5 mins, refresh under the cold tap and then arrange on top of the filling
                Dot with butter and a drizzle of olive oil
                Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are nicely browned

Steve made one of those vegetable soups that is made up of the dregs of the veg in the house with lashings of gorgeous stock and for pud I made a Nigella staple, Damp Lemon & Almond Cake from The Domestic Goddess

The sponge is created with almonds and a small amount of flour, so it is perfect for a wheat-free version, I used 50g of rice flour instead of the plain flour.

Nigella's recipes pop up regularly during our evenings and we love the anecdotes and stories behind the food she cooks. My favourite line from this recipe is when Nigella writes about how to assemble this cake, icing sugar etc and she writes...'I can't stop myself murmuring 'raspberries' to you, either.' We know what you mean, I served it up with mascarpone and raspberries and we murmured 'raspberries' too!

Happy December 
Alli x 

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