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 ;)
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.
- 2-3kg potatoes, peeled cut into chunks
- 2-3 tablespoons polenta/cornmeal or semolina
- jars of goose fat, dripping, or gallons of peanut oil
- 1 head of garlic, cloves separated and peeled
- handful rosemary leaves
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!)
side main veg vegan
- 1 onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- little bit of ginger
- 1 tsp mixed dried herbs
- 4 oz veggie stock
- 8 oz mixed nuts, half chopped and half ground
- 4 oz flour or bread crumbs
- salt, pepper
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
Serve with veg gravy
Sweet and Spicy Mash
side staple veg vegan
Mashed Sweet Potatoes with spices and red onions
One of my staples ... easy and tasty!
- sweet potatoes
- red onions
- garam masala
- salt & pepper
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!)
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!