Nut roast

Nut roast
To celebrate finishing the olive harvest before Christmas, we normally have a roast meal cooked in the bread oven. As this year (2017) we had Aida a vegetarian working with us, I decided to cook the traditional roast plus a nut roast. This recipe is an adaptation of Felicity Cloake's post in the Guardian
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Ingredients
  1. 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into chunks
  2. 1 medium-sized red cabbage
  3. 150g almonds
  4. 150g walnuts
  5. 40g butter
  6. 1 large onion, finely chopped
  7. 150g mushrooms, finely chopped
  8. 100g Manchego cheese, grated
  9. 100g brown breadcrumbs
  10. 2 tablespoons fresh sage, roughly chopped
  11. 1 large egg, beaten
  12. Extra virgin olive oil
  13. Salt
  14. Pepper
Instructions
  1. Cook the sweet potato in boiling, salted water until soft and mash.
  2. Oil a loaf tin approximately, line with foil and oil again.
  3. Blanch the cabbage leaves in boiling, salted water for 2 minutes. Run under cold water and then dry. Remove the central stalk so that they lie flat.
  4. Heat a frying pan and gently toast the chopped walnuts and almonds until they start to colour and transfer to a plate.
  5. Turn the heat down and add the butter. Fry the chopped onion and fry gently.
  6. Add the mushrooms and fry for another couple of minutes until they are concentrated.
  7. In a bowl, mix the nuts, onion, cheese, breadcrumbs, mushrooms, sweet potato, beaten egg and chopped sage. Season and stir well.
  8. Line the tin with the cabbage leaves, and spoon in the mixture, pressing it down well.
  9. Fold any overhanging cabbage leaves back over the top.
  10. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 45 minutes.
  11. Remove the foil from the top and put the loaf back in the oven for another 10 minutes.
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Roast butternut squash with cous cous and vegetables

 

Roast butternut squash with cous cous and vegetables
Serves 6
In this recipe, the flesh is removed from the roasted butternut squash halves and mixed with fried vegetables and cous cous.
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Ingredients
  1. 3 butternut squash, halved and seeds removed
  2. 1 1/2 cups of cous cous
  3. 3 cups of boiling water
  4. 1 onion, finely chopped
  5. 1 red pepper, finely chopped
  6. 1 green pepper, finely chopped
  7. 6 tablespoons fried tomato
  8. grated cheese
  9. oregano
  10. salt
  11. pepper
  12. chopped parsley
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 180ºC-200ºC.
  2. Sprinkle the squash halves with oregano and season with salt and pepper and roast until soft.
  3. Meanwhile, heat some oil in a frying pan and gently fry the onions until soft.
  4. Add the chopped red and green pepper and continue frying gently.
  5. Boil some water.
  6. Put the cous cous in a bowl. Season with salt and drizzle over some olive oil. Mix well. Pour over the boiling water. Cover with a plate.
  7. When the squash is cooked, remove from the oven and scoop out the flesh into a bowl.
  8. Add the cous cous, fried tomato and fried vegetables.
  9. Mix well and check for seasoning.
  10. Fill the squash halves with the squash mixture.
  11. Sprinkle over the grated cheese.
  12. Put back in the oven and turn up the oven to 220ºC.
  13. Roast for 20-30 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
  14. Sprinkle over the parsley.
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Kumquat and Lemon Marmalade using a pressure cooker

I have never made marmalade before and have always been put off by the seemingly  never-ending, tedious task of chopping, peeling, shredding, juicing, boiling, testing, etc. But when a friend told me about his method of making kumquat and lemon marmalade by soaking the fruit in sugar for a day, I thought I would give it a go. In his recipe, the kumquats are halved, the pips removed, and then combined in a bowl with lemon juice and sugar for 24 hours before boiling as normal.

My challenge, therefore, was to invent a recipe for a pressure cooker which would be even easier and quicker to prepare. A neighbour’s sister makes quince jelly in a pressure cooker by combining equal parts of fruit and sugar and then cooking for 3 minutes at pressure so I decided to experiment with times to see if this method would be possible for marmalade.

The first attempt was a success (although the cooking times needed tweaking) and I was really pleased with the consistency, texture and taste of the first batch. I had literally thrown everything in together (pips, pith and lemon quarters) but decided that for the second attempt I would tie the pips and lemon pith and skins in muslin to keep them separate.

It was clear that three minutes was far too short and I had to bring the cooker back up to pressure several times. So I decided that for the second attempt I would cook the marmalade for 15 minutes at pressure.

INGREDIENTS
500g kumquats
2 large lemons
400g brown sugar or half the weight of the prepared fruit

METHOD
Cut the kumquats in half, remove the pips and save on a muslin square. Cut the loquats into 2mm slices.
Peel the lemon rind with a vegetable peeler. Shred the rind into 2mm strips.
Put an empty bowl on the scales and weigh in the fruit and lemon juice. Add half the amount of sugar and mix well.
Securely tie up the lemon pith and pips in the muslin square and add toe the bowl of fruit.

Leave for 24 hours, stirring every so often. At the end of that time, the sugar will have completely dissolved and there will be quite a bit more syrup.

Transfer the kumquats and the muslin bag to a pressure cooker. Bring up to pressure and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the pressure cooker from the heat and slow release the pressure.

Open the pressure cooker and transfer immediately into clean glass jars using a jam funnel and a measuring jug. Turn all the jars upside down to sterilise the caps for about half an hour and then turn back the right way and leave to cool completely.

Quick and easy pumpkin soup

Quick and easy pumpkin soup
This is a really quick and easy pumpkin soup to prepare in the pressure cooker. The best pumpkin to use is butternut squash as that way you don't need
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Ingredients
  1. 1 butternut squash
  2. 1 potato
  3. 1 litre vegetable stock
  4. 2 spoons of Greek yoghurt
  5. salt
  6. pepper
Instructions
  1. Cook all the ingredients in a pressure cooker for 20 minutes.
  2. Put the pressure cooker under a cold tap and quick release the pressure.
  3. Blend.
  4. Season.
Notes
  1. It s not necessary to peel the butternut squash.
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Onion and potato soup

Onion and potato soup
Serves 6
Until our own onions are ready, we need to buy them in and the other day I bought a sack of massive Spanish onions. Normally, I would use four large onions but with these ones, three were enough.
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Ingredients
  1. 3 extra large onions or 4 large onions, halved, quartered and then sliced
  2. 2 large potatoes, quartered
  3. 1 litre vegetable stock
  4. 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  5. 2 dessertspoons Greek yoghurt
  6. salt and plenty of pepper
  7. extra virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Heat some oil in a pressure cooker and vigorously fry the onions for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Add the potatoes, stock and salt. Put the lid on and bring up to pressure.
  3. Cook for 15 minutes and then quick release the pressure by placing the pressure cooker under the cold tap.
  4. Transfer the potato into a 1-litre measuring jug with some of the onions and stock.
  5. Blend with a stick blender.
  6. Stir in the Greek Yoghurt.
  7. Season with pepper.
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