Vegetarian “Sausage” Rolls

“I’ve got an increasing number of friends that are either vegetarian or vegan. so I decided I’d better perfect a vegetarian “Sausage” roll.  As I plan to open a cafe in the future I thought it would be a good addition to the menu.  I’ve found that other veggie rolls I’ve had have been a bit bland and lacking in texture so I’ve added pumpkin seeds and a few other ingredients to give them a culinary kick.  The filling contains no animal products so vegans can make them simply by substituting vegan pastry for the puff pastry I’ve used.  I’ve also used the filling as a veggie burger patty by rolling in bread crumbs and shallow frying.  Enjoy!”

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 150g mushrooms, diced
  • 2 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 zucchini, grated
  • 75g sun-dried tomatoes
  • 60g olives
  • 100g bread crumbs
  • 400g can of chick peas, drained and lightly smashed
  • 400g sweet potato, roasted or grated
  • 100g pumpkin seeds
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 sheets of puff pastry or vegan pastry
  •  Egg-wash or almond milk to brush on pastry
  • Poppy seeds
Method
  1. Place the whole unpeeled sweet potato on a tray and bake at 180 degrees C for 40 minutes or until it is soft all the way through.  Let it cool then blitz in a food processor until smooth. (You can also just grate the sweet potato and add to the mixture, but I prefer the baked version)
  2.  Fry the diced onion, garlic, mushroom and fennel seeds until onion is translucent.  Set aside to cool.
  3. In a food processor, blitz the sun-dried tomatoes and olives.
  4. Combine the grated carrot, zucchini, bread crumbs, smashed chick peas and pumpkin seeds.  Add in the tomatoes and olives, the garlic and onion mixture and the pureed sweet potato. Stir the mixture well to combine.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, then refrigerate for at least an hour.
  5. Lay out 4 sheets of puff pastry or vegan pastry and distribute a log of the cooled filling down the middle of each.
  6. Wrap the pastry around the filling and place seam side down on a baking tray.
  7. Brush with egg-wash or almond milk and sprinkle with poppy seeds.
  8. Bake at 180 degrees C for 30-45 minutes or until the pastry has cooked and browned.
  9. Let the rolls cool slightly before slicing into segments and serve with a sauce or chutney.

 

 

 

 

Caramel Sweet Potato Cake

“This is one of the most popular cakes I’ve made in ages.  The recipe I adapted seemed too weird not to try it, but the combination of soft sweet potato and white chocolate makes for an amazing texture.  I also love the rustic drizzle of the warm ganache flavoured with apricot jam.  Very Moorish! Enjoy”

(Photo by Gary Donald Corbett)

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 400g peeled sweet potato
  • 300g white chocolate
  • 230g butter
  • 300g dark brown sugar
  • 100g golden syrup or molasses
  • 3 eggs
  • 100g Greek yoghurt
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 375g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
For the ganache
  • 100g cream
  • 150g white chocolate
  • 70g apricot jam
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  2. Peel the sweet potato and cut into 2cm cubes.  Place in a steamer for 15 minutes or until the sweet potato is soft.  Remove from steamer and allow to cool.
  3. Melt the butter and white chocolate over a low heat, stirring regularly until combined.  Allow to cool.
  4. In a mixer beat the eggs, sugar and golden syrup until combined.
  5. Add the yoghurt and vanilla and beat until combined.
  6. Mash the sweet potato or process in a food processor until no lumps remain.
  7. Add sweet potato to wet ingredients and beat until combined.
  8. Add the flour and baking powder to wet ingredients and stir through until combined.
  9. Grease and line a 25-30cm springform pan.  Pour in cake batter and bake for 40-50 minutes.  I found I needed to cover the cake with aluminium foil for the last 15 minutes to prevent burning the top.
  10. Remove cake from oven and allow to cool slightly before removing from the cake tin.
For the ganache
  1. Bring the cream to a light simmer and add the jam.  Stir or whisk until the jam has dissolved into the cream.  Add the white chocolate and stir until smooth.  You may need to put the pan back on a low heat if the cream has cooled down too much.
  2. Allow the ganache to cool slightly.  While the ganache is still runny our slowly over the cake.  I applied a thin layer first and allowed it to cool on the cake before drizzling the rest over.
  3. Serve with whipped cream or Greek yoghurt

 

 

 

 

Roast Potato Salad

“From the first time I tasted potato salad I didn’t like it!  Probably because it was that homogenous gloop that you buy from the supermarket that was just a big stodgy mess without much flavour or texture.  But since I’ve started catering I’ve found that I have to make a potato salad every now and them.  This is where this recipe springs from.  Instead of boiling the potatoes I roast them along with sweet potato and add lots of fresh ingredients to the mix that add to the flavour and nuts to give it a nice crunch.  I haven’t bothered with definite weights in this recipe so you can mix and match to your own tastes.  Enjoy!”

Ingredients

  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Peanut oil
  • Eggs
  • Bacon
  • Cashew nuts
  • Spring onions
  • Fresh coriander
  • Sour cream
  • Lemon zest
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Peel the potato and sweet potato and cut into 1cm cubes.  Coat with a small amount of peanut oil and place on some baking paper on an oven tray.  Sprinkle with some salt.
  2. Bake in a 200 degree c oven for 45-60 minutes turning at least once until the potatoes are cooked through and start to turn golden brown.
  3. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
  4. Hard boil some eggs and set aside to cool.  Cut into quarters.
  5. Finely slice the spring onion and set aside.
  6. Finely slice the fresh coriander and set aside.
  7. Cut some bacon into strips and fry until cooked.  Remove from the pan to cool.
  8. For the non-health-conscious out there, pour some sour cream into the warm bacon pan (off the heat) and stir to pick up the salty flavour of the bacon.  Add salt and pepper to taste and a small amount of lemon zest.
  9. … or warm the sour cream in a clean pan and season with salt, pepper and lemon zest. (warming the cream makes it thinner and easier to season and stir through the dish.)
  10. Place the potato and sweet potato in a bowl and dress with the sour cream mixture.
  11. Add the spring onions, eggs, bacon and cashew nuts.
  12. Finally, stir through the fresh coriander.
  13. I find this dish is best served at room temperature but is great fried up for breakfast the following day if there’s any left!