Easter Sunday, 2012
Aline's Last Supper
A last roast dinner to celebrate Aline taking up her new (and indeed her first graduate) job in Brunei.

I take responsibility for the roast potatoes, but the rest of the recipes below I've transcribed from Aline's emails.
And added the occasional sarcastic note ;)

The Roasts
Nut Roast
John Dory en Papillote with Vanilla Vodka
Crunchy Roast Potatoes
Not So Crunchy Roast Parsnips
Roast in a lot of (peanut) oil in a bread tin due to lack of space - they were tasty but greasy. And not much crunchy.
Sweet and Spicy Mash
Matchstick carrots with thyme and honey
Cut up your carrots, boil them, then dress with thyme, honey and olive oil (or butter - if you aren't intolerant).
Boiled New potatoes with mint
Boil your new potatoes, drain, season with salt and torn mint leaves and more olive oil.
Steamed broccoli
Vegetarian Gravy

Crunchy Roast Potatoes
side staple veg vegan
By popular request I agreed to make the roast potatoes with a cornmeal (polenta) coating, though personally I still think plain old seasoned wheat flour (preferably with a bit of English mustard powder thrown in) is better. Cornmeal is a bit too grainy.

Serves 6-8

Peel the potatoes, cut them into decent-sized evenly-sized chunks about the size of a squash ball, rinse them and put them in a large pot of cold water. Bring the pot to the boil and simmer the potatoes for 5 minutes until they are softened but not disintegrating. add peeled, quartered parsnips after 2 minutes if you are using them too. Drain, then return the potatoes to the pot, scatter with the cornmeal then shake the pan around with the lid on to roughen the potatoes surface. It turns out it is possible to shake too hard and smush some of your potatoes to pulp :)

Generously lubricate a large oven tray with fat to a depth of at least a half inch. You need a tasty fat with a high melting point, dripping is traditional, goose or duck fat luxury indulgences, peanut or sunflower oil are good vegetarian alternatives. You can also use olive oil, but I find it adds a distinctive taste and doesn't really crisp the potatoes so well, though you do get excellently flavoured meltingly soft potatoes from long slow roasting with plenty of garlic.

Heat the tray in your hottest oven until the fat is almost smoking, then carefully add the potatoes, baste with the fat and roast in a very hot oven until they are golden and crispy. About 45 minutes to 1 hour. Baste the potatoes occasionally and give the tray a turn.
Add peeled garlic cloves and a scattering of rosemary about half way through. If you like.
Once ready try and keep them gently cooking in the oven until required - they don't like to be kept warming, and are best eaten as soon as possible.
The turned out very nicely despite the oven going out 2 or 3 times during cooking, though as I say I find cornmeal a bit gravelly for my taste.
I did have to throw away a layer of mixed mashed potato and cornmeal from my over-enthusiastic pan shaking.

Vegetarian Gravy
sauce veg vegan
For lazy chefs just use delicious Free & Easy gluten free vegetable gravy sauce mix (mixed with vegetable water and spiced up with Karl's home-made vegetable stock!)
All the consistency of real gravy with none of the taste! - Ed

Nut Roast
side main veg vegan
Serves 4

Fry onion and garlic
Add carrots, celery, some ginger, and the herbs and sauté for a while.
Mix with veggie stock, nuts and flour and/or breadcrumbs.
Season with salt and pepper.

Bake for 1hour at gas mark 6? (same as the potatoes!). If you use lots of veg as I did, the roast may come out a little soggy... in which case slice it carefully and grill the individual slices until crispy but not burnt :).

Serve with veg gravy....
As suggested it was a bit soggy, but still quite tasty really. Some sogginess may have been due to the oven going out once or twice, or to the fact that the mixture spent a long time sitting in a bowl before being used.

Sweet and Spicy Mash
side staple veg vegan
Mashed Sweet Potatoes with spices and red onions
One of my staples ... easy and tasty!

Boil sweet potatoes and parsnips, then mash until smooth (or get a friend to do it ... it's hard work to get the stringy parsnips to make a smooth paste!) testify sister!, add some garam masala, as well as salt and pepper to taste.
Mix with fried red onions (I used a mixture of finely chopped and half-rings).

If you are cooking a whole roast dinner, it works well to prepare the mash ahead of time and keep it hot (in covered up roasting dish) in the bottom of the oven!
And it is pretty tasty - the combination of sweet potato and red onion is rather satisfying.
Personally I think I'd cut up all the onion quite small though, unless you keep the rings for a decorative topping.