Thursday, 24 July 2014

South African Tomato Chutney

Making up sauces, pickles and chutneys is one of my favourite things to do when I'm exploring the cuisines of other countries. They're so satisfying and you end up with a nice big jar in the fridge to put on whatever you like. This South African  Tomato Chutney isn't my recipe, it comes out of my favourite cooking magazine, SBS Feast which did a lovely feature on South African Cuisine in it's January 2012 issue, which is still sitting around on my shelf. It was nice to get it out and thumb through it again looking for inspiration for my featured country this month.

It's more of a tomato sauce than a chutney really, beautifully simple and packed with flavour. It's very versatile, we spooned it all over our South Africa dishes and then used up the leftovers dolloped on salads and vegetarian sausages (it was GREAT with the sausages!).

South African Tomato Chutney
Adapted from Feast Magazine, January 2012

1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
4-5 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
1 1/2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup (loosed packed) chopped fresh coriander

1. Heat oil in a pan and add the onions and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes, or until softened, and then add the tomatoes and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
2. Add the tomato paste, sugar and salt and simmer for 5 minutes. Once sauce has thickened, stir in the coriander and remove from the heat. Eat straight away dolloped on anything or put it in a jar and keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Makes 1 large jar.

This month I'm featuring recipes from South Africa.
Check out my other South African recipe posts:

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Panamanian Black Eyed Beans

Hearty bean dishes are perfect for winter evening meals and even though this winter in Sydney has been very mild and sunny, it still has that evening chill which makes me crave slow cooked nourishing foods (and chocolate.....). It's a recipe from Panama month which I didn't get a chance to share with you then because I doubled the amount of work I was doing at the clinic (no time for blogging!), but now I have a moment to bring this one to you.

It's a bit of an unusual recipe, I found I on and adapted it to have at our Panamanian dinner party. It's got an odd mixture of flavours - bay leaves, chilli, cumin, fresh coriander and ..... red wine! Not usually what I put with those spices but my goodness it really worked. Everyone who tried these beans commented on how particularly delicious they are, so I recommend them for your next potluck!

Panamanian Black Eyed Beans

500g dried black eyed bean, soaked for 48 hours
1 onion, halved
2 bay leaves
1 Serrano chilli
5 garlic cloves, crushed
2/3 cup olive oil
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp fresh chopped oregano
1/3 cup chopped fresh coriander (or to taste)
1/2 cup red wine
Salt and pepper, to taste

To Make
1. Soak the beans for 48 hours and then drain and rinse. Place in a large saucepan and cover with water. Add the bay leaves and half of the onion and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the beans are just tender. Drain and set aside
2. Finely chop the other half of the onion and the serrano chilli. Heat the olive oil in your large saucepan and sauté the onion, garlic and chilli until the onion is translucent. Add the coriander, cumin and oregano and cook for 2 more minutes.
3. Add the drained beans, red wine and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer for another 20 minutes. Serve sprinkled with some extra chopped coriander. 

This month I'm featuring recipes from Panama.
Check out my other Panamanian recipe posts:

I've entered this dish in the Vegan Virtual Linky Potluck.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Vegan South African Milk Tart

This month on Gormandize is South African food month. At first I wasn't sure how I would go having a completely vegan South African spread, as I understand it to be a very meat centred cuisine. But, on further delving, I found lots of wonderful dishes which were vegetarian, vegan or could easily be made so. 

My favourite dish from this month was this lovely milk tart. I couldn't have been happier with how it turned out and I couldn't believe how easy it was to make this custard vegan, and it tasted just exactly like the non vegan vanilla custards that I ate growing up. Exactly! What a great start to South African month.

I haven't included a recipe here for the pastry, I've used the basic shortcrust pastry recipe from Terry & Isa's Vegan Pie in the Sky Cookbook. I won't put it here because it's their wonderful intellectual  property, not mine. If you have a good vegan shortcrust pastry recipe, then use that. If not then praise Google and you'll find something!

Do you know any good South African dishes? :)

South African Milk Tart (Vegan)

500ml oat milk
1/2 cup castor sugar
1/8 cup plain flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 batch of vegan shortcrust pastry dough
Cinnamon, for sprinkling

To Make
1. Roll out your shortcrust and line a greased pie dish. Bake in an oven at 180 degree oven for 10 minutes and then remove and set aside to cool.
2. Combine the oat milk, castor sugar, plain flour, cornstarch and vanilla extract in a saucepan and whisk together (while cold). 
3. Place the saucepan on a moderate heat and whisk continuously for 7-8 minutes while it thickens gradually. Test by dipping a knife or spoon in and if it comes out coated then you're done.
4. Pour straight into the pastry base and sprinkle with cinnamon. Allow to cool and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight. 

Makes 1 tart.

This month I'm featuring recipes from South Africa.
Check out my other South African recipe posts:

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Vegan Oat & Cardamom Pancakes

I love having guests for breakfast, there is something so special about sitting down to the first meal of the day with a table full of people. We had a much bigger group for breakfast than usual recently so I took the opportunity to experiment with some new pancakes. It's great to have an excuse to cook something new and exciting for breakfast, and these pancakes were absolutely delicious! Serve with whatever toppings you like :)

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp caster sugar
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 cup oat milk
1 cup soda water
7 tbsp non dairy margarine (such as nuttelex)
1/2 cup quick cooking oats

To Make
1. Combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and cardamom in a bowl. Make a well in the middle and add the soy milk and soda water. Stir with a whisk until batter is a smooth consistency (it doesn't matter if it's not completely smooth, as long as all the ingredients are combined). Stir through the oats.
2. Heat a large frypan over a medium heat and add 1 tbsp margarine.
3. Add about 1 ladleful of the batter to the pan at a time, you will need to cook them in a few batches. Flip the pancakes after about 2-3 minutes, or when bubbles appear all around the edge of the pancake and the bottom looks golden brown.
4. Add an extra tbsp of margarine to the pan as needed as you cook the batches. Eat straight away with any toppings you like - we had ours with stewed fruit and lingonberry jam. 

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Quinoa Soba Noodle Salad with Bok Choy & Sesame

This autumn/winter I planted some bok choy for the first time, it grew quickly and beautifully into big gorgeous green leafy bunches of bok choy. However, I actually wasn't that sure what to do with it - because I've never been a big fan of it. I find it's a bit of a fine line between delicious crunchy fresh bok choy and slimy pieces of goo that get all stuck up in your teeth. It occurred to me that since I prefer it only super lightly cooked - maybe I shouldn't be cooking it at all? Turns out it makes a beautiful, crisp and fresh addition to an Asian salad. So - ingredient one: a big beautiful bunch of bok choy picked fresh from my garden.

Now - enter my next batch of ingredients. I have to say, I get plenty of emails from PR companies trying to get me to push products - as do most bloggers. I virtually never even bother to answer any of them, because I'm very picky. But the other day I got one from Spiral Foods, which was much more up my alley. They sent me a box of lovely foods to cook with:

It was quite an exciting piece of mail! I've got quite a few dishes floating around in my brain to make with all these lovely things, but the first thing I had to go for was the lovely packed of Quinoa Soba noodles. I've never had them before so I couldn't wait to try them out in combination with my beautiful home grown bok choy. The dressing is simple for 2 reasons - firstly because of the lovely flavour of the noodles, and secondly because the star of the dressing is the Spiral Plum Vinegar. Yum!

Quinoa Soba Noodle Salad with Bok Choy & Sesame

1 packet quinoa soba noodles
1 large lebanese cucumber
1 bunch of bok choy
1-2 tbsp pickled ginger sliced, sliced (to taste, it depends how much you like pickled ginger)
4 tbsp plum vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp white sesame seeds
1 1/2 tsp black sesame seeds

To Make
1. Cook the quinoa soba according to the directions on the packet, then drain and rinse with cold water.
2. While the noodles are cooking, slice the cucumber into strips and finely chop up the bunch of bok choy.
3. Combine the cold rinsed noodles in a big bowl with the cucumber, bok choy and pickled ginger. 
4. Combine the plum vinegar, sesame oil and soy sauce in a jar and shake to combine. Toss the salad with the dressing and sprinkle generously with black and white sesame seeds.

Serves 4.

These products were sent to me by Spiral Foods.

I've submitted this recipe to the Vegan Virtual Linky Potluck - click here to see the other entries.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Bollos de Mazorca

Another beautiful corn recipe for Panama month - corn is certainly the flavour of the month here! This recipe is so absurdly simple, and really celebrates the gorgeous sweet taste of fresh corn. You'll need to make sure you buy your corn with the husk on, if your greengrocer has them de-husked and pre packaged then you can just ask them if they have any with the husks on, they usually have a box out the back.

This dish is usually made using dried corn in Panama, I've used fresh. It's obviously a bit juicier than dried corn, so I've used a couple of tablespoons of polenta to soak up the liquid. It doesn't affect the taste, just absorbs the corn juice while it cooks and makes it a lovely firm consistency.

Bollos de Mazorca

6 ears of fresh corn, with husks on
2 heaped tbsp polenta
Pinch of sugar
1/4 tsp salt

To Make
1. Remove the husks from the ears of corn. Discard the corn silks (or feed them to your guinea pigs, who love them!) and place the husks in a bowl of hot water to soften.
2. Cut the kernels off the cobs of corn and purée in a food processor. Strain through a sieve to get as much liquid out of the puréed corn as you can (save the lovely liquid and use it to flavour a corn soup or chowder).
3. Place the strained corn purée, polenta, sugar and salt in a bowl and mix well. Remove the husks from the water and fill each one with 2 tablespoons of corn. Roll them up and tie the ends together with twine and place in a steamer. Keep going until you've used up all the corn purée.
4. Steam, covered, for 40 minutes. Serve hot, if you like you can add a dab of vegan butter or margarine just before eating.

Makes 18-20 bollos.

This month I'm featuring recipes from Panama.
Check out my other Panamanian recipe posts:

I've submitted this recipe to the Vegan Virtual Linky Potluck - click here to see the other entries.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Sweet Corn Cake (Vegan) with Lemon Glaze

This one isn't really an Panamanian recipe, but it was inspired by Panama month. Actually it was inspired by this Sweet Corn Ring recipe, but this recipe is a savoury recipe whereas I wanted to make an actual cake. Corn is so sweet that it really makes a natural choice for desserts, even though most people wouldn't think of it. Adding lots of lovely puréed sweet corn means you don't need nearly as much sugar, and the end result is perfectly balanced in sweetness. And don't worry, it doesn't feel like eating vegetables for dessert - it feels like eating cake! Cake with delicious tangy lemony glaze.

Sweet Corn Cake with Lemon Glaze

1 cups corn kernels (either fresh or tinned, drained & rinsed)
2 cups soy, almond or oat milk
2/3 cup canola or rice bran oil
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups wholemeal flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarb soda
1 cup soft icing mixture
2-4 tbsp fresh lemon juice

To Make
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
2. Purée the corn kernels and place in a bowl. Stir in the soy milk, oil and sugar.
3. Add the flour, baking powder and bicarb soda.
4. Pour the batter into a greased ring shaped baking tin. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.
5. Turn out onto a cooling rack and cool completely before glazing. While it's cooling, you can make the glaze by putting the icing mixture into a small bowl and gradually adding lemon juice until you have it just think enough to drizzle, but still quite thick (if it's too thin it'll just run right off the cake and pool on the plate).
6. Once the cake is completely cool, drizzle all over with the glaze.

This month I'm featuring recipes from Panama.
Check out my other Panamanian recipe posts:

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Panamanian Empanadas (Vegan Style)

This month is Panama month on Gormandize! Panamanian cuisine is fun - lots of corn and lots of empanadas. I can't pass up an opportunity to make empanadas, they're so cute and so very yummy. When we had Argentina month I also made a couple of batches of empanadas - Sweetcorn Empanadas and Pumpkin and Jalapeño Empanadas. When we had Brazil month I also made Olive & Hearts of Palm Empadinhas, which are similar but in little cute pie form - they were spectacular!

Panamanian empanadas can be filled with many things, but they're most often filled with beef. I've made these with a substitute, nutmeat which is what I use to make my bolognaise. The filling is really rich and delicious.

Making empanadas in the past, I've struggled with the fact that none of the recipes in my cookbooks or on the internet for empanadas tell me to poke holes in the top of the empanadas to let the steam out while they cooked. So I didn't when I first tried making them. The result was that they puffed up a lot and many of them burst open while they were cooking. So I poked holes in my later attempts and they worked much better - none of them burst open and they didn't puff up so much. If anybody knows the secret to not poking holes in them and still getting them to work then please let me know!

Panamanian Empanadas

1 batch empanada dough (I just used this recipe from Global Table Adventure, but I used 1 1/2 cups white flour and 1/2 cup wholemeal flour)
Soy milk, for brushing

1 x 400g can of nutmeat
1 tbsp oil
1 small onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/4 tsp chilli flakes
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 cup water
salt and pepper to taste

To Make
1. Make the empanada dough and put it in the fridge while you make the filling. You'll also want to preheat your oven to 180 degrees C.
2. Finely chop the can of nutmeat (you could also pulse a couple of times in the food processor until it has the consistency of mince meat). 
3. Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the diced onion. Sauté until the onion is softened and translucent and then add the garlic and chilli flakes. Cook for a further 30 seconds.
4. Add the minced nutmeat, tomato paste and water. Simmer until the liquid has reduced down. Season to taste and set aside to cool.
5. Roll the dough out on a floured bench top quite thin. Use a cutter or a bowl with a diameter of 12-13cm to cut out circles in the dough.
6. Place about a dessert spoon of the filling in the centre of the circle. Dampen the edges with water and press them together. You can just use a fork to press the edges together or you can try the traditional repulgue edging - there is a video on Global Table Adventure.
7. Continue with remaining dough and filling - you will have some filling left over (you can use these in some store bought puff pastry to made little triangles or money bags).
8. Arrange on a tray and use a fork to poke some holes in the top. Brush with milk and bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

Makes about 12 medium sized empanadas (and a little leftover filling).

This month I'm featuring recipes from Panama.
Check out my other Panamanian recipe posts: