Somen Nests with Eggplant and Shiitake Mushrooms

Ingredients

2 small eggplants, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
12 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 cup boiling water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3-1/2 oz fresh enoki mushrooms
1 teaspoon dashi granules
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon white miso
1 tablespoon mirin (sweet rice wine)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup Japanese soy sauce
11 oz dried somen noodles

Method

  1. Blanch the sliced eggplant in boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain and transfer to a plate and weigh down for 15 minutes to press out any remaining liquid. Pat dry.
  2. Soak the dried shiitake mushrooms in the boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain and reserve the liquid.
  3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and cook the eggplant slices in batches until golden brown on both sides. Remove.
  4. Add the enoki mushrooms and cook for 10 seconds. Remove.
  5. Stir in the dashi, sugar, miso, mirin, reserved liquid, water, soy sauce and shiitake mushrooms and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Cook the somen noodles in boiling water for 3 minutes or until tender. Drain.
  7. Place nests of the noodles onto plates, top with eggplant slices and the mushrooms, and drizzle with the sauce.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Food Style – Noodles

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Cod Fish and Asparagus in Saffron Sauce

Ingredients

11 oz white asparagus
11 oz green asparagus
salt
1/2teaspoon sugar
1-3/4 lb cod fish fillets
5 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons flour
1-1/2 oz (3 tablespoons) butter
1 cup cream
a few threads of saffron
4-1/2 oz peas
1 teaspoon vegetable broth
1 bunch parsley

Method

  1. Peel the white asparagus, wash the green asparagus and remove the woody ends.
  2. Cook the white asparagus for 20 minutes and the green asparagus for 10 minutes in simmering salted water with sugar until done. Remove from the water, drain and keep warm in the oven at the lowest possible setting. Reserve the asparagus broth.
  3. Rinse the fish fillet, wipe dry and cut into slices 3/4-inch thick. Sprinkle with lemon juice and a little salt. Coat in flour. Fry in butter for 2-3 minutes on each side, remove from the pan and keep warm in the oven.
  4. Add the cream to the pan and stir into the cooking fat. Add 1 cup of asparagus broth, saffron and peas. Reduce the liquid a little. Pour in the vegetable broth, season with salt and stir the finely chopped parsley into the sauce.
  5. Arrange the asparagus on plates, pour the sauce over and put the fish next to it.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Cooking with Asparagus

Chinese Duck Parcels in Rice Paper

Ingredients

1-3/4 lb boneless duck breasts
1 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
5 large cloves garlic
20 peppercorns, lightly crushed
sea salt
15 rice paper rounds
3/4 English (hothouse) cucumber, halved and cut into julienne 1-1/2 inches long by 1/4 inch thick
2 large shallots, halved and thinly sliced lengthwise
1/3 cup Hoisin sauce

Method

  1. To make the filling, in a heavy non-aluminum pan, combine the duck breasts, wine, stock, garlic, peppercorns, and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, cover, adjust the heat to maintain a very gentle simmer, and cook until the duck is tender, about 1-1/2 hours.
  2. By the end of cooking, most of the duck fat will have been rendered and the duck will be simmering in its own fat. Transfer the duck to a platter lined with paper towels and let cool slightly. Remove and discard the skin and cut the duck meat into strips about 1-1/2 inches long by 1/2 inch thick.
  3. Have ready on a work surface a large, shallow bowl filled with water and a damp kitchen towel. Immerse a round of rice paper in the water for about 2 seconds, then remove it and spread it on the towel. It will become pliable within a few seconds.
  4. Place a few strips of duck, a few cucumber juliennes, and a few slices of shallot in a line across the center of the rice paper, leaving a 2-inch border on either side. Drizzle about 1 teaspoon of the Hoisin sauce over the ingredients. Roll the nearest edge up to cover the filling, compacting it gently. Fold in both sides and continue rolling up gently but firmly to the end. Place seam side down on a large platter. Repeat with the remaining ingredients until you have made about 15 rolls. Cover the rolls with the damp towel and set aside until serving time (not more than 2 hours).
  5. Before serving, using a sharp knife, cut each roll in half on the diagonal. Arrange on a serving platter and serve.

Makes 30 room-temperature bites.

Source: Hors Doeuvre

Trout with Hazelnut Shallot Sauce

Ingredients

1/2 cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal (maize flour)
1/2 cup whole wheat (wholemeal) bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 cup low-fat butternulk
4 rainbow or brook trout fillets, about 4 oz each
1 tablespoon hazelnut (filbert) oil
2 small shallots, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts (filberts)
1/4 cup vegetable broth
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 lemon, cut into 4 wedges
4 fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley sprigs

Method

  1. Preheat an oven to 400°F (200°C). Coat a shallow glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large shallow dish, combine the cornmeal, bread crumb- chopped parsley, lemon zest, pepper and half of the garlic.
  3. Pour the buttermilk into another shallow dish. Add the trout and turn to coat both sides. Remove the fish from the buttermilk and place in the cornmeal mixture. Turn to coat both sides, pressing the mixture into the fish.
  4. Place the fish in the prepared dish and bake, uncovered, until it just separates when pressed with a fork, about 20 minutes.
  5. To make the sauce, in a medium nonstick frying pan over medium heat. heat the oil. Add the shallots and the remaining garlic and saute for 2 minutes.
  6. Add the hazelnuts and saute for 2 minutes more.
  7. Add the broth and lemon juice and simmer for 5 minutes.
  8. To serve, divide among 4 individual plates. Top each with an equal amount of the sauce, a lemon wedge and a parsley sprig.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Cooking for Healthy Living

Vegan “Beef” Wellington

Ingredients

2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 leek, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cracked black pepper
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of allspice
pinch of paprika
pinch of ground nutmeg
1 tbsp dried sage
2 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup dried apricots
1 cup peeled and cooked chestnuts
1 cup cider, from a 2 cup bottle
1 cup vegetable stock
1 tbsp miso paste
2-1/4 cups vital wheat gluten
3 tbsp chickpea (gram) flour

Spice Rub

1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp dried sage
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried tarragon

Seasoning and Pastry

remaining 1 cup cider
1 orange
2 cups vegetable stock
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
1 bay leaf
handful of fresh thyme and rosemary sprigs
1 tbsp miso paste
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
4 tbsp Cranberry and orange sauce
320 g block ready-made vegan puff pastry

Glaze

3 tbsp maple syrup
3 tbsp non-dairy milk
4 tbsp vegetable oil

Gravy

2 tbsp cornstarch
4 tbsp water

Cranberry and Orange Sauce

3 cups fresh cranberries
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 small cinnamon stick
1 Braeburn apple, grated
1 cups caster (superfine) sugar
1 cup fresh orange juice

Method

  1. To make the Cranberry and Orange Sauce, sterilize the jars, place them in a large saucepan filled with cold water, place over a medium heat and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 3 minutes then turn off the heat. Carefully remove the jars from the water when you’re ready to fill them.
  2. Heat all the ingredients in a heavy-based saucepan over a low heat with the lid on. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring often. Makes about 13 oz sauce.
  3. Remove the jars from the hot water, spoon the sauce into the hot jars and seal. The sauce will keep for 4 weeks in the fridge.
  4. To make the “meat” dough, heat the oil a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the onion, leek, garlic, seasoning, spices and herbs for 2–3 minutes.
  5. Put the cranberries, apricots and chestnuts into a blender and blitz until they’re all a similar size. Add these to the frying pan and sauté for 3–4 minutes until everything has softened.
  6. Pour in the cider, stock and miso paste. Stir together and allow the mixture to simmer for 2 minutes before turning the heat off.
  7. Combine the dry ingredients. Once the wet mixture has cooled slightly, mix with the dry ingredients. It should form a nice dough. If your mix is wet add a little more chickpea flour. Tip the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead for 10 minutes. Leave to rest.
  8. Preheat your oven to 340°F.
  9. Combine the rub spices in a bowl.
  10. Shape the dough into a sausage 4” in diameter. Sprinkle the rub onto your work surface. Roll the dough in the rub.
  11. Roll the dough in a piece of muslin (cheesecloth), twist the ends tightly, then tie each end with cook’s string to secure it.
  12. Place the wrapped dough into a deep baking tray together with the rest of the roasting ingredients and bake for 2 hours on the bottom shelf, turning over half way through to ensure it cooks evenly.
  13. Once baked, lift the roast out of the tray, reserving the roasting liquid, leave to cool slightly, then remove the muslin. At this point you can either chill it in the fridge for up to 3 days or continue. If you are not cooking now, make the gravy and keep in the fridge, then reheat.
  14. An hour before you want to serve, roll out your pastry into a tea towel-sized rectangle around 1/8-inch thick. Cut strips a third of the width of the pastry on each side, so you can cross them to make a lattice.
  15. Spread the cranberry and orange sauce over the roast, lift it into the centre of the pastry, wrap it up, then transfer to a baking sheet lined with non-stick baking paper.
  16. Combine the glaze ingredients in a bowl, then brush over the top of the pastry. Bake for 15–20 minutes, or until golden.
  17. While the wellington is cooking, strain the roasting liquid from the baking tray through a sieve into a saucepan, pressing to squeeze out all the lovely juices. Place over a low heat and simmer for 10 minutes until you have a thick gravy.
  18. Mix the cornstarch with the water and add it to the gravy whilst whisking until it thickens to your desired consistency.
  19. Remove the wellington from the oven, carve and serve with the gravy.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Vegan Christmas