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:

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Whiskey Soaked Fig & Apricot Banana Bread

I love it when I forget about my bananas and stumble upon them a week later deliciously brown and bursting with extra banana-y flavour. It means one thing - banana bread. It's great because it really is compulsory, otherwise the bananas will go to waste, so I have no choice but to bake a loaf. Banana bread is also wonderful for experimenting with. This time I had a bottle of whiskey that was taking up space in my booze cupboard but only had a couple of tablespoons left in it, so I decided I had better use that up too (to make more space for other things!). 

If you're a banana bread lover, make sure you check out my super special Chai Banana Bread.

Whiskey Soaked Fig & Apricot Banana Bread

1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup chopped dried figs
3 tbsp whiskey (you can also use brandy or rum)
1 banana, mashed well (should make about 1/2 cup, a bit more or a bit less is fine)
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup canola oil (to make a healthier loaf you can substitute 1/3 cup apple sauce and 1 tbsp canola oil)
2/3 cup soy milk
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 1/4 cups wholemeal flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1/4 cup almonds, halved

To Make
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (if your oven is fan forced then reduce to 170).
2. Place the chopped apricots and figs in a bowl with the whiskey and let soak for about 20 minutes.
3. Combine the banana, sugar, oil, soy milk and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
4. Sift in the flour, baking powder and bicarb into the batter and mix well. You'll have lots of little wholemeal husks left in your strainer after sifting, but you can just throw those in too.
5. Stir in the soaked fruit and the almonds. If there is any whiskey left in the bottom of the bowl just throw that in too. 
6. Line a 22cm/9inch long loaf tin and line with greaseproof baking paper. Pour in the batter and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Makes 1 loaf.

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

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Apple & Caramel Sago Pots

Sago is a favourite 'go to' dessert for me, it's so easy to make and so easy to create new flavour combinations. A sago parfait is always fun to make and impressive to serve, and I've posted a couple on this blog before - remember my Apple & Rhubarb Sago Parfait or my very unusual Cambodian Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Sago Parfait (Borbo Skor La-Pov). Today's recipe comes with an autumnal twists - caramel and apple. I've used the sweet grated apple in the sago itself and it's sweetness means I can cut down on the amount of sugar I add (win!). Your choice of apple will determine how sweet the end result is. If you use lovely sweet Pink Ladies or Galas then you may not need to add any sugar to the sago at all, if you use less sweet apples like Granny Smiths or Delicious then adjust the sugar to taste. There is still plenty of sugar in the caramel sauce, so you don't need to worry about it not satisfying your sweet tooth. If you can buy a pre made vegan caramel sauce then you can substitute that to save time, but I've used my home made Vegan Dulce de Leche which is absolutely incredible! The crunch from the chopped toasted almonds sprinkled on top is the proverbial icing on the cake!

Apple & Caramel Sago Pots

1 can coconut milk
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup sago (tapioca pearls)
2 medium apples, peeled and grated
2 tbsp sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 pinch salt
1 batch Vegan Dulce de Leche
1/2 cup chopped toasted or dry roasted almonds

To Make:
1. Set the dulce de leche on to cook according to this recipe.
2. Heat the coconut milk, water and sugar in a saucepan until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a gentle simmer and add the cinnamon stick, sago, salt and grated apples. Stir while bringing to a simmer. Simmer, covered over a low heat for 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove the cinnamon stick.
3. In 5 individual dessert bowls, ramekins or glasses, spoon enough sago to just cover the bottom. Then divide the dulce de leche evenly amongst the 6 individual glasses, leaving about 6 or so tablespoons to drizzle on top.
4. Cover by dividing the remaining sago evenly amongst the glasses. Drizzle the top of each with the remaining dulce de leche and sprinkle with chopped toasted or dry roasted almonds. Eat warm in winter and autumn or chill in the fridge for a spring or summer dessert.

Makes approximately 6 individual desserts (this may vary depending on the size of your serving bowls/glasses, if you have large ones then it may only make 4).

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