Author Archives: deanforestfood

Chilled Cucumber and Coriander Soup

One 500g carton of plain yoghurt
One 200g tub carton greek yoghurt
Half cucumber, peeled
1 tsp chopped fresh green chilli (or to taste)
1cm ginger root, peeled and chopped
2 handfuls of coriander leaves
Half clove garlic (or leave out if preferred)
1 heaped tsp seasalt
1 rounded tsp caster sugar

Chop cucumber and toss with the salt and sugar in a bowl. leave for about 30 mins.
Meanwhile get everything else ready:
chop the chilli
chop the ginger
chop the coriander leaves (keep a little back for a garnish)
open the yoghurts
put your feet up for a bit…

Rinse the cucumber well i a sieve, drain on kitchen towel.
Place everything in a liquidiser and blend until smooth. Taste and check seasoning.
Pour into bowls and garnish with a little more coriander.
If you can wait….it might all be even better if you chill for a couple of hours in the fridge.

INDIAN MINT CHUTNEY

A wonderful, cooling complement to curries and dhals!

A tub organic yoghourt
1/2 tsp round coriander
2 tbs bruised, finely chopped mint
1 tbs bruised, finely chopped coriander leaf (optional)
1 tsp honey
1 tsp vinegar (balsamic is best)

Mix the ingredients and chill before serving: easy and delicious

Kimchi

water
salt
brassica leaves,any edible sort
root vegetables: swede, parsnip, radish, turnip, kohlrabi, carrot: whatever is available
garlic, chillies

Kimchi is pretty easy. Chop all the vegetables quite small, and put in either a large jar or big bowl, and cover with salted water: not too much but so that it tastes salty, and better not to use tap water. Then you need to cover the vegetables so that they’re all under water and put a weight on top. Leave for up to 2 weeks, topping up and taking off froth as needed. The food is fermenting slowly and will tend to go a little darker. (if in doubt taste it to see if they taste ready). When it’s done, chop and add garlic and chillies – you can add them at the start for more spicy taste – then bottle into sterilised jars and they’ll keep for up to a year.

Potato and Carrot Curry

1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
6 cardamom pods
½ tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cinnamon
700g potatoes, peeled and quartered
200g carrots, peeled and quartered
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 tbs black mustard seeds
1 onion, sliced thin
5cm piece ginger, peeled, grated
1 green chilli, seeds removed, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
5 or 6 curry leaves
1 tin of good chopped tomatoes
125ml coconut milk
Toast the coriander and cumin in a pan until they start popping
Transfer to a pestle and mortar and grind them up with the cardamom until they smell wonderful. You can throw away the cardamom skins when the seeds are released
Heat the oil in a pan and add the onions, fry until soft then add all the spices, ginger and mustard seeds and stir to gently cook them. Now add the chilli, curry leaves, garlic, carrots and potatoes and mix the while lot together until the potatoes are turning yellow with the turmeric.
When everything is smelling wonderful, add the tinned tomatoes and coconut milk and leave it to putter away on a low heat with the lid on for a good hour.
Check on it after this to make sure the potatoes are cooked, then when you are ready to eat, re-heat with the lid off for another 30 minutes.
You could do all this in the oven too if you were so inclined.

Winter vegetable casserole

2 onions, each cut into 6 wedges
3 carrots, cut into chunks
all or any of: celery, parsnips, celeriac, squash, sweet potatoes, swede
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 leeks, about 300 g (10½ oz) in total, thickly sliced
1 litre (1¾ pints) hot vegetable stock, preferably home-made

150 g (5½ oz) pearl barley

2 tsp dried sage
salt and pepper
3 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or coriander to garnish

Preheat the oven to 180ºC. (The casserole can be simmered gently on the hob for 45–50 minutes, instead of cooking in the oven. Stir occasionally.)
Put the onions, carrots, celeriac, parsnips, celery and squash, sweet potato or swede in a large flameproof casserole. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil.
Add the garlic, leeks, pearl barley, sage and seasoning. Stir to mix the vegetables together. Cover and transfer to the oven to cook for about 1 hour or until the vegetables are just soft, and the barley is tender.
Sprinkle with the parsley and serve. Thick slices of farmhouse bread are an excellent accompaniment.

FABULOUS FALAFELS

250g dries peas
150g sesame: as flour or paste
200g chestnut flour
enough chick pea flour to get a stiff mix
garlic
salt, chilli and pepper to taste
.
This makes about 48 20g falafels

Soak the peas for at least one night: they’re more nutritious if you leave them to sprout.  Boil the peas and blend them in a little liquid, adding the garlic and spices. then add the other ingredients and mix well. You want a stiff mixture, so add more or less chick pea flour to get it the right consistency. Roll into 2 cm balls using any flour to dry them and you can either bake them in a little coconut oil, or better, fry them – I use 2 cm of oil in a milk sized pan instead of a deep fryer. Can be eaten hot, cold or frozen.

Serve with pickles, salads, coleslaw, hot squash casserole, but be warned, they are more moreish and very filling!.

HOT SQUASH CASSEROLE

FOR 6-8 PEOPLE

1 squash 2 large sweet potatoes
6 carrots 2 ramiro or other peppers
2 onions head of garlic
4″ piece of ginger pepper, paprika, chilli
cider vinegar to taste spoon of honey

Incredibly simple! Sweat the onions, pepper, garlic and ginger gently in a generous amount of oil and add all the vegetables, cooking on a lowish heat for about 10 minutes add the vinegar and honey and a little water, cover and stick in a moderate oven for 25 minutes or so.

Delicious with anything but I eat my falafels and coleslaw with it.

Carrot & chickpea salad

Dressing:
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1/3 cup / 80 ml extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

10 ounces carrots, shredded on a box grater or sliced whisper thin on a mandolin

2 cups cooked chickpeas (or one 15- ounce can, drained and rinsed)

2/3 cup / 100 g dried pluots, plums, or dates cut into chickpea-sized pieces

1/3 cup / 30 g fresh mint, torn

For serving: lots of toasted almond slices, dried or fresh rose petals – all optional (but great additions!)

To make the dressing, first toast the cumin seeds in a dry skillet until fragrant and lightly browned, a minute or two. Let cool, and grind to a powder with a mortar and pestle.

In a bowl or jar, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, honey, ground cumin, salt, and cayenne pepper. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the carrots, chickpeas, dried pluots, mint, and almonds, and rose petals (if you’re including those as well.) Gently toss until everything is evenly coated. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. (You can toss this salad, minus the almonds, hours in advance. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.)

Serves 6.

Refried Beans – Frijoles refritos. Serves 4.

1 tin of beans – red kidney or black-eye beans are best but you can just rinse the red sauce off baked beans
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 smallish onion
Chop half the onion into thick slices and chop the other half finely as a garnish.
Heat the oil in a heavy frying pan and fry the thick onion slices in it until they are brown.
Discard the onion, keeping the oil hot.
Add the rinsed beans, mashing them with a potato masher or a fork while they fry.
Keep stirring them so they don’t burn – if they do add a little more oil.
They are done when they are the consistency of thick porridge, and you can then use them with tortillas or bread and salad to fill burritos. If you add some tomato sauce they can be mixed with pasta (perhaps with grated cheese or a few sliced mushrooms).

Savoury courgette ‘cake’ – like potato cakes

Grate a large courgette and an equal quantity of potato. Squeeze out some of the water.
Gently fry a large chopped onion till soft, add the courgette and potato and fried for about 10 mins until cooked.
Then add several beaten eggs and cook until lightly brown on both sides.
It is lovely for breakfast with baked beans or you can add garlic and possibly chick peas for a simple supper.