The Overly Developed Imagination of the Only Child

bluemushSo, to herald my recent departure from unemployment, pajamas, self loathing and day time television is a recipe 100% guaranteed to warm the cockles of your heart. If hearts have cockles, which I happen to highly doubt. For one thing, this recipe is a slight adaptation from one on the BBC good food website. For those who don’t know me very well BBC good food is to me what cute, captioned pictures of anthropomorphic cats are to most people. The internet equivalent of a sanctuary; a safe, unbreachable, harmonious haven.

RECIPE:

  • 4 portobello mushrooms
  • 4tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, chopped
  • 400g baby spinach
  • frozen puff pastry (block or sheets) defrosted
  • 140g stilton (or other blue cheese) sliced
  • 1 egg, beaten

Preheat your oven to 200’C.

Put the oil in a frying pan and let it heat. Sizzle the mushrooms for a few minutes each side, just until they begin to darken and soften up a little. Put them to the side.

Turn the heat low and using the same frying pan and oil, add the chopped garlic and let it cook for a few seconds. Toasty, golden garlic may be delicious but burnt garlic tastes like the innermost circles of hell. Add the spinach and stir it until it’s wilted to about a millionth of it’s former size. Season the spinach and garlic with salt and pepper and pop it in a sieve to drain. You can use the back of a spoon as a squishing device to speed the process along a little. You want to squeeze out as much liquid as possible or the pastry will be soggy. Which is, as we know, completely unacceptable.

MaryBerryRoll out your pastry (about a £1 thickness) on a lightly floured surface. Using a bowl or plate that is much bigger than the mushrooms as a template cut out 8 circles from the pastry for the tops and bottoms.

On 4 pastry discs, spoon a quarter of the spinach mix, a couple of slices of cheese and add the mushroom (smooth side up) and top with a little more cheese until it kind of looks like a little pixie house (I was an only child, alright? Drop it.) Repeat this for the other 3 mushrooms.

100_1154Brush some beaten egg around the edge of the mushrooms and drape the 4 remaining pastry discs over the top. Use your fingers to press the edges of the pastry together. The bottom disc will be much wider than the top so I like to fold it over in a pretty sort of star pattern. This also seems to seal the pastry better, making the cheese much less likely to leak out of the sides.

100_1165You can also use the left over pastry to make some highly unnecessary but pretty decorations. Glaze the tops with a generous amount of egg and pop them in the oven for around 40mins or until they are very puffed up and golden-brown.

100_1172How sweet are they? Little golden parcels of deliciousness. The blue-cheese tanginess is so good with the meatiness of the mushrooms. They have the added benefit of looking kind of posh as well, so dinner party it up! Impress your in-laws. Or just foil your friends into bringing round copious bottles of wine. It’s a win-win either way!

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Mary Berry Goes Commando

muI love cooking with pastry – it just makes meal times feel that bit more fancy. Even if your pastry was very cheap, very un home-made and, in fact, very much bought from the frozen section of the supermarket. I will admit there’s something almost fur coat and no knickers about shop-bought pastry but who honestly gives a damn? Going commando can be liberating.

The trick with filo pastry is not to let it dry out. If you buy frozen let it defrost beneath a slightly damp tea towel and leave the bulk of it under the tea towel while you work with individual sheets. If it dries out it will pretty much turn to ashes as soon as you touch it, like some kind of melodramatic emo song lyric (vaguely embarrassing and to be avoided).

RECIPE: (serves 4)

  • 500g leeks, thinly sliced
  • 150ml hot vegetable stock
  • 175g button/chestnut mushrooms, chopped
  • 4 large sheets filo pastry
  • olive oil
  • 85g goats cheese
  • 1tsp toasted sesame seeds/poppy seeds

Heat the oven to 200’C/180’C fan and line a baking tray with baking paper. Put the leeks and the stock into a saucepan and cook for about 8 minutes until the leeks are starting to soften, add the mushrooms and cook together for 5-8 mins until most of the stock has evaporated. Squeeze out the rest of the liquid of the liquid with a fork. You don’t want to end up with a soggy strudel. Mary Berry will hunt you down like a stern, mildly threatening, overly lip-sticked grandmother.

imagesLightly brush a sheet of filo pastry with olive oil and then fold it in half so that the un-oiled side is facing upwards. Brush the edges with more oil and then spoon a quarter of the veg along one edge. Crumble a quarter of the goats cheese over the top, fold over the edges and then roll up. Lather, Rinse and Repeat for each strudel.

Pop the strudels on the baking tray, brush the tops with oil and scatter on the seeds. I think toasted sesame taste lovely with the goats cheese but the black of the poppy seeds also look pretty striking. The choice is yours.

Bake for 25 mins until crisp and goldeny-brown.

100_1038These are crunchy and filled with deliciously melt-y cheese. The best thing is that they aren’t too bad for you either. Filo pastry is the healthiest and probably about a billion times better for you than puff pastry, so all in all they aren’t too fatty either! Serve them with some green salad and you have a fabulous lunch… dahlings.

100_1041Gratuitous close-up of melting, gooey innards. Possibly NSFW.

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Cheesus Christ

cheesyI’ve always, to the dismay and confusion of my sweet-toothed mother, been something of a savoury kid. I’m serious. I’ve eaten salt and vinegar crisps until I have lost all feeling in my lips and tongue. Once, when I was a child, I stole a huge jar of gherkins from the fridge and ate the entire lot while sitting on my swing set. Trust me, unorthodox amount of pickles + swings will result in a phenomenal, earth-shattering heartburn, don’t try it at home. Anyway, what I am trying to say is that surprisingly, from the age of around three, I have in fact had the cravings and habits of your average pregnant woman.

And if you like savoury things, well, cheese is pretty much the God of savoury isn’t it? The Just and Wise Ruler of the Salty Kingdom. And we should worship him in all his many incarnations, soft, crumbly, firm, vintage, blue and… scone-y. So say we all.

These scones are ridiculously easy. If you can stir and operate an oven then you should be pretty much okay. They also taste SO GOOD, super light and cheesy and delicious.

RECIPE:

  • 420g self raising flour
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1/2tsp grated black pepper
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 50g butter, chilled
  • big bunch of fresh herbs (I used thyme, but most things will work, basil, oregano, chives etc)
  • 1 spring onion, chopped
  • 50g strong cheddar, grated
  • 250ml milk

Preheat your oven to 220’C/200’C fan and line a baking tray with a sheet of baking paper.

Sift the flour into a large bowl and add the salt, pepper and cayenne and mix it all together. Add the butter and, using your fingers, rub it into the flour mix. You use exactly the same motion as you would if you were a gangster ominously motioning someone to pay up, just the other way round. Carry on gangster-ing up your kitchen until there are no mega lumps of butter left.

Add your grated cheese and tear in your herbs. Thyme is my favourite, but you could use pretty much anything. Herbs with bigger leaves will need to be chopped finely or they look kind of swampy. Add the milk and stir it all together. The mixture will be a little bit on the dry side but if it seems excessively floury add a tiny drop more milk.

Put some flour on a work surface and gently knead the dough together. Don’t over do it, just make sure the mixture is holding together.

Pat the dough flat, it should be about 2cm high and then cut it into approx 5cm rounds. You don’t need a cutter for this, use anything, a small cup, a bowl, a wine glass… or even just roughly with a knife. You should get around 10-12 little discs.

Pop them on the baking tray and into the oven for about 12mins. Give them plenty of space above them in the oven because they should rise nicely.

And there you go (almost) instant cheese gratification. Amen.

100_0796These would be really nice with a hot bowl of soup. Or, as the boyfriend informed me, with some “chive creme fraiche”. Because yes, he is the campest straight man on the planet.

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Burgers, Bad Puns and The Perils of Student Living

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Like all great, epic sagas (and also unfortunately the not-great ones) the quest for the perfect veggie burger has a second installment. A Return of the (Burger) King, if you will, or a Clash of Hob Rings. Terrible puns aside:

desktopExcept not really, I LIED!

Ahem, terrible puns aside, the reason for the speedy ease of this recipe could be that it comes from famous Mockney, Jamie Oliver. A man who favours stop-watch timed cooking, turning meal times into a frantic race against the clock like some kind of feverish kitchen-based version of Countdown, except with an unusually high burn risk. He also favours serving his food on big wooden boards because, y’know, plates are too conventional.

RECIPE: (serves 4)

  • big bunch fresh coriander
  • 1 x 400g tin mixed beans, drained
  • 200g frozen broad beans (defrosted for 5mins)
  • 1/2tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2tsp cumin
  • 1/2tsp coriander
  • zest 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • olive oil
  • feta
  • cherry tomatoes
  • lettuce
  • jalapenos
  • gherkins
  • 4 wholemeal burger baps

Put the coriander, mixed beans, broad beans, spices, lemon zest and flour in a food processor and pulse together until combined. I made the mistake of putting the broad beans into the processor whilst still frozen. This gave a fairly accurate sounding reconstruction of the horrifying sound of several machine guns going off at once. Interesting to note for any war-enthusiasts, or you could record it and use it as a sound effect during your next game of Risk. Just an idea.

Scrape the mix out and, on a floured surface, form it into four patties.

Pop the buns in the oven (disclaimer: not an anti birth control slur), lay out some sides and heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan over a high heat.

Add the patties and cook for a couple of minutes on each side, turning when they are nice and golden and that… is pretty much it.

bloggt 003These are very yummy! The beans make them really satisfying and for just a couple of minutes of work they are definitely not disappointing. They are also a ridiculously cheap dinner and therefore student friendly. If students actually cooked… which most often they don’t. I actually had a flatmate once who tried to cook a frozen meat burger in a toaster. Undergraduates really do inhabit a special world of unreality.

Anyway these are very tasty, very fast and very easy. Happy cud-chewing people 🙂

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Golden Balls

freedpmThe name of these eggs is not, in fact, my own desperate cry in favour of Scotland’s Independence but just what I have decided to call this recipe for vegetarian Scotch eggs. As meat is such an integral element of Scotch eggs I thought that calling them Scotch was a bit of a lie. Like a wolf in sheeps clothing. Or an American acting the part of a famous Scottish person. For example.

I absolutely love picnics. They are little more than an excuse to eat delicious food in the favourable guise of being active and healthy and outdoors-y. I always hated missing out on Scotch eggs. They aren’t particularly good for you (the traditional version) but they look so yummy. Savoury spicy-ness and eggs, all in a little portable, finger-friendly package.

So I give you freedom eggs! Free from horrendous, nasty, stereotypically Scottish, death-inducing ingredients. And also free from meat (but not free from David Cameron nor free from questionable acting – just a little disclaimer)

RECIPE: (makes 6 eggs)

  • 7/8 large eggs
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 250g grated carrots
  • 2 heaped tbsp curry paste
  • 200g breadcrumbs
  • 85g roasted cashews, chopped

Put 6 of the eggs in a pan of cold water and bring it to the boil. Let them boil for 5mins exactly and then take them off the heat and cool them in cold water. Shell them carefully. No one wants bits of shell in their egg. Major picnic faux-pas.

While they are cooling heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the onions for 5mins, add the grated carrots and cook for a further 10mins, until soft. Add the curry paste and the breadcrumbs and leave the mixture to cool a little. Then beat the egg and mix it in. If the mixture seems a little dry beat another egg and add it in a little at a time until the mix becomes a paste.

Heat your oven to 170’C/150’C fan.

Now for the messy bit! Divide the mixture into 6. Flatten a part of the mixture in your hands and then put the egg on top and slowly wrap the mixture round. Use wet hands if the mixture seems to prefer sticking to your fingers instead of the egg. Scotch fingers are a slightly more controversial version of this recipe and not one I intend to go into at this point in time. The mixture should bind around the egg pretty well. Do this for each of the eggs and then roll them in the chopped cashews.

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Pop them in the oven for about 15-20mins until the coating has crisped up and then serve them with some mango chutney and a crunchy salad. Or just put them in a tupperware and pretend you are going on a hike somewhere.

100_0719These are totally delicious, spicy and crunchy. Vegetarians (or just heart-attack avoiders) rejoice!

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Mariachi Madness and the Majestic Cactus

mexicanaAs members of the human race we are constantly searching for new distractions. Art can take you places. Music can lift your soul. A good book can be liberating, capable of opening up a whole new world of possibilities – whether it be a world of magic and the epic struggle between good and evil or merely a world of gratuitous S&M as portrayed in the undisputed masterpiece Fifty Shades of Grey. In a similar manner some foods just transcend their own foody limitations. They have a story to tell, a new world to show us. This soup is one. Imagine, ladies and gentlemen, the edible equivalent to a one night stand with a Mexican millionaire; the setting sun pouring in through the windows (through which you can see the silhouette of a mighty cactus), the smoky taste of tequila on his mustachioed lips. This soup is hot, spicy, luxurious and undoubtedly over much sooner than one would like.

RECIPE: (serves 2)

Soup

  • 250g cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1tbsp tomato paste
  • 1tbsp sugar
  • 1tsp smoked paprika
  • 1tsp cayenne pepper
  • a sprinkling of dried chillies
  • 250ml hot vegetable stock
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Salsa and Croutons

  • 2tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • handful fresh coriander
  • handful fresh mint
  • a couple of pickled jalapenos
  • squirt of lime juice
  • 2 slices bread, diced
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated

Preheat your oven to 200’C. Put the cherry tomatoes on a baking tray, drizzle them with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Put them in the oven for about 15/20 minutes or until they are splitting and blistering.

Cue a gratuitous and utterly unnecessary close-up of some tomatoes. Your welcome.

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Put them in a food processor with the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, sugar, spices and stock and blend them together until they are smooth and a colour Duluxe would probably term something ridiculous like Terracotta Daydreams. Trust me on the sugar, in really brings out the taste of the tomatoes and the smokiness of the paprika. Pour this into a saucepan and add the rice, letting it cook at a gentle (but tremulously passionate) simmer.

Meanwhile, make the salsa by putting the coriander, mint, jalapenos, lime juice and olive oil in the blender. Pulse until smooth-ish. I call this colour Intense Swamp.

When the rice has absorbed the soup and is cooked but still slightly al dente (this means not rice crispies but not porridge either, a happy medium) make the croutons. Heat some olive oil in a small frying pan and add the bread. Season with salt and pepper and turn until they are golden-brown and crunchy. Take them off the heat and then add the grated cheese, allowing it to melt all over them in a sensuous manner.

Pour the soup into bowls and swirl over the salsa and top with the croutons. This soup is genuinely the dogs bollocks. The spicy, acidic salsa cuts through the smoky, sweetness of the soup. Intense flavour bomb. It would also really, really work with tortillas instead of croutons. Put some tortillas topped with the grated cheese under the grill. When the cheese is melted and bubbling put them on the soup and your ready to go…

100_0652Arriba!

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The Trials and Tribulations of Man-Flu

curried sp soup

So the boyfriend woke up this morning sniffly and complaining and brutally aware of his own tenuous mortality. I really should have seen it coming this last week. All the symptoms were there: scrumpled tissues apparently self-generating in random places about his person, walking around the house in dressing-gown and slippers looking confused and hard-done by and generally acting like an old man who’s forgotten where he’s put his trousers. I should have known. Man Flu has descended.

Once again there is only one answer: Soup. On a day like today a knife and a fork is evidently out of the question. In fact, even the most basic forms of cutlery and crockery are ill-advisable in the face of chronic man flu. I intend to give this to him in a mug alone and then leave him in bed gently groaning to himself.

This recipe is a tribute to the many lunch-dates me and my friend used to have in Scotland in a little coffee place that did the best soup and sandwich combos in the world. It seems rather fitting on a day like today where the temperature would be better suited to Aberdeen than Australia. But not to worry – this soup is as thick and comfortable as a woolly jumper and a cuddle.

RECIPE: (serves 2)

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato (about 400g), roughly diced
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • 1tbsp curry powder
  • 1tsp turmeric
  • 1tsp ground coriander
  • squirt of lemon juice
  • olive oil
  • 500ml hot vegetable stock
  • fresh coriander (optional)

Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the onions, garlic and chilli and sweat on a medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the spices and mix until it smells totally luscious and the onions are nice and soft.

Add the sweet potato and stir until it is coated in all of that yumminess and then add the vegetable stock. Bring to the boil and leave it to bubble away for about 10 minutes, or until the sweet potato has gone all smooshy. Add a squirt of lemon juice and take off the heat.

Pour it carefully into a food processor and mush it all up, put it back in the saucepan and add pepper to taste. This makes a fabulously thick soup. If you like your soup a little thinner and more catwalk-model-y OR if your boyfriend is so ill that even vigorous swallowing is beyond him then you can add a teensy bit more water (and provide him with a straw).

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Garnish with some fresh coriander for that restaurant-y, impress your friends-y look. I promise you it is so yummy and creamy and satisfying that it can cure almost any ailment. Obviously apart from man flu, which is widely accepted to be terminal.

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Breakfast has Risen!

hot x buns

I must confess that I am a Hot-Cross-Bun-Baking virgin. I have always lacked both the patience (and the virtue) to give credit to anything that will take 3 whole attempts to rise. Anyway, I was amazed to discover that Hot Cross Buns are actually pretty damn easy and oh-so-utterly scrumptious at the same time, especially toasted and dripping (virtuously ofcourse) in butter.

I was also shocked and appalled to realise how few of you actually like Hot Cross Buns! I reckon this is for the most part because shop bought ones both look and taste as though you have taken a slice of Hovis in your hand, squished it into a ball and added some raisins. About as appetising as chewing on someone’s abandoned sofa that’s been left out in the rain to gather mildew. Don’t. Even. Bother.

This recipe is a mash-up of both Paul Hollywood’s and Nigella’s. I had the pretty bright idea that, as their mixed DNA would undoubtedly make epic babies, um… surely their Hot Cross Bun recipes would do the same…?

RECIPE:

  • 300ml milk
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 6 cloves
  • 50g butter
  • 500g strong bread flour
  • 1tsp salt
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 1tbsp vegetable oil (or other flavourless)
  • 7g sachet fast-action yeast
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 75g raisins
  • 50g dried cranberries
  • zest 1 orange
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped finely
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 75g plain flour (for the cross)
  • 2tbsp apricot jam (for the glaze)

Bring the milk gently to the boil with the cardamom pods and the cloves. The smell of this ALONE should be enough to leave your whole house feeling religious. Add the butter and leave it to cool to hand temperature. In a bowl, mix the flour, salt, sugar and yeast and make a well in the center. Pour into this the melted butter and milk and recreate all those happy school science memories involving volcanoes. Add the egg and mix together well with a wooden spoon. Then you’re going to need to get your hands dirty and squish it all together until you have a soft, sticky dough.

Tip it onto a floured worktop and give it a good knead for about five minutes, always keeping in mind the helpful phrase about the devil and idle hands. After that put it in an lightly oiled bowl and cover (but don’t wrap) with oiled clingfilm. Leave to rise for 1 hour. Time to get prayin’ while your dough gets a risin’.

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I wish I had taken a ‘before’ shot because this is definitely the bigger, meaner older brother to what I initially put in the bowl. I swear this guy is a mutant in comparison.

While it’s still in the bowl tip in the cranberries, raisins, apples, zest and cinammon and squidge it all about so the fruit is evenly distributed. Put the cling film over again and leave it to rise for another hour.

Separate the dough into about 15 pieces and roll them each into a ball. Pop them on a baking tray (or 2) lined with baking paper with enough room between them for them to grow and leave them (I know, I know) covered with clingfilm or a clean tea towel for another hour. Remember, patience is a virtue!

Now comes the fun bit! Heat the oven to 200’C. Mix the plain flour with water about a tbsp at a time until you get a thick batter. Pour it into a little zip-lock bag (or piping bag if you have one) cut a little snip out of one corner and use this to squeeze crosses onto your little beauties.

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Put them in the oven for about 15-20 mins until they are golden-brown and irresistible looking.

Heat the apricot jam in a saucepan until it’s lovely and melt-y and then brush it all over your buns and leave them to cool.

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Look at them! They’re practically glowing! It’s like what you keep telling your pregnant friends except in this case it’s actually true! Tell me that these aren’t completely delicious. Guaranteed to make a convert of even the most hardened Hot Cross Bun hater.

Happy Easter everybody! Cook like… Bunnies?

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I think the term you are searching for is “Rustic”…

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When you know how to make Soda Bread you literally have no excuse to not have the smell of fresh bread permanently sexing up your kitchen. It’s the easiest, quickest, messiest thing to make and therefore appeals to my entire skill set – terminal laziness, short attention span, and permanent sticky-fingerdom. No excuses. Get baking. This recipe is courtesy of Paul Hollywood, the blue-eyed Adonis of the baking world.

Recipe:

  • 250g Plain White Flour
  • 250g Wholemeal Flour
  • 1tsp Bicarbinate of Soda
  • 1tsp Salt
  • 1tsp Soft Brown Sugar (optional)
  • 420ml Buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 200’C.

Mix together both flours, the bicarbinate, salt and sugar.

Add the buttermilk and mix to form a sticky dough. Bite the bullet here, there is literally no way to do this other than getting your hands in and squidging it about. It is the stickiest thing in the universe. Put some flour on the worktop BEFORE you get stuck in because you won’t be able to touch anything afterwards. You’ll be a dough-y King Midas. More mess, less bling.

On a floured worktop roll and fold the dough together, but don’t knead it! If you want buns separate the dough into 4, otherwise just roll it into 1 big ball.

Score each ball with a big, deep cross and dust with flour.

Put it on a baking tray lined with tin foil and bake for 30 mins.burger 005

They aren’t the prettiest things in the world, and they definitely wont be winning Miss Bread Australia 2014 anytime soon. I think the polite term is “Rustic” or “Definitely Homemade” But they taste SO good and are epic torn into soup or with heaps of cheese and pickle. You’re welcome.

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Nuclear Carrot Warfare

 

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So this recipe is officially dedicated to this guy:

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Beware! This, the first in the epic quest to find the ultimate veggie burger, is absolute carrot-mania. Not for the carrot-phobic nor even for the carrot-mildly-apprehensive among you. These burgers are for the carrot fanatics. The carrot die-hards. The Uncle Montys. And yet, surprisingly, straight people can still eat them.

 RECIPE:

  • 2tbsp Olive Oil
  • 4 Spring Onions, Chopped
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
  • 1 tsp Grated Fresh Ginger
  • 8 Medium Carrots, Grated
  • 1tsp Turmeric
  • 1tsp Coriander Ground
  • Handful Fresh Coriander
  • 1/2tsp Crushed Chillies
  • 2 Egg Whites
  • 2tsps Peanut Butter
  • Juice 1/2 Lime
  • 1/4 Cup Breadcrumbs

Ok, beware, this recipe is a little messy. Box-grating 8 carrots is, for me, the vegetarian equivalent to nuclear warfare. I guess it didn’t help that when I put some bread in the food processor to make the breadcrumbs I forgot to put the top back on… but that is just a guaranteed me-ism. When I am in the kitchen, I WILL make a mess. On the plus side, in my book, anything with peanut butter in it instantly has the potential for greatness…

Heat 1tbsp of oil in a frying pan and fry the spring onions, garlic and ginger over a low heat for 2 mins. Add the carrots and the spices and season, turn up the heat and stir for 5 mins. Transfer to a bowl and let it cool for a few minutes. This step is essential, unless you want scrambled egg whites spunking up your otherwise delicious burger.

Whisk the egg whites with the peanut butter (if this step involves some minor finger licking, don’t be ashamed – embrace it!) and lime and fold into the carrot mixture, add the breadcrumbs. Shape into 5-6 burgers and pop in the fridge overnight.

The next day preheat the oven to 180’C. Heat the remaining oil in a pan and fry the burgers until they are browned on each side.

Transfer to a baking dish and cook in the oven for 10-15mins.

As I mentioned before, this shit is ORANGE. Carrot-lovers unite. The original recipe said that this should make 4 burgers: this is a lie. Either the chef was tripping and wanted a burger that would make him feel like a little, tiny pixie or he just had a real hunger that day. The burgers were humongous. If I was making it again, I would probably go for six, because the smaller they are the better they cook and hold together. But still, they were yummy! They had a really nice heat to them from the spice and they were super moist but still crispy on the outside. I served them on Soda Bread Buns (recipe to follow), with mango chutney, cheese and some salad-y bits.

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It’s a total beast!

VERDICT: This is definitely not the world’s perfect veggie burger. It’s really yummy, but in all honesty… it just feels too healthy! You don’t get that satisfying, disgusting, slightly guilty feeling that a true self-respecting burger should provide. The texture is a little too crumbly, and all in all it’s just SO carrot-y… It’s just too stereotypically vegetarian for me, a healthy, orange mush. Sorry Monty.

VERDICT (OF THE CARNIVOROUS BOYFRIEND): Mmmm (I think he finds anything that requires dislocation of the jaw to eat enjoyable) bloody good on the whole but could be firmer, needs a bit more seasoning. We can do better!

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