Tag: Onion

Shallot, Mushroom & Butterbean Casserole

Shallot, Mushroom & Butterbean Casserole

This is dish is so simple it is almost ridiculous!  It works well cooked in a domestic kitchen and even better when cooked over charcoal. The original recipe comes from our regular vegetable supplier Boxxfresh.  We have just added the odd tweak to this already excellent recipe.  The first of these was the addition of 4 large mushrooms that had been quartered.  The only other differences were the addition of some mixed Italian herbs and the use of a little smoked paprika instead of black pepper.

This dish works especially well with the long banana shallots peeled and divided into separate bulbs (if they will) or cut lengthways into relatively wide slices.  These go together beautifully with the roughly chopped garlic cloves.  You will need 8 good sized shallots and 3 garlic cloves.  We were cooking on the Big Green Egg set up for a direct cook initially at around 160C.  The pan was put over the heat and the oil warmed in the casserole.  Once the oil was warm the mushrooms were added for a couple of minutes.  They were then joined by the  garlic and shallots and sautéed for 4-5 minutes until they started to take on just a little colour.  They needed an occasional stir to make sure they didn’t stick.  

At this point we added a small oak chunk to the charcoal, just to push the smoky edge of the dish. The platesetter was introduced and the rest of the cook completed indirectly.  The tinned tomatoes and half a tin of water together with the butterbeans, herbs and tomato puree were added, seasoned and stirred through. The casserole was brought to a slow simmer and left to cook for around 45-60 minutes.  And that is it!!

Simply serve with some crusty bread or as we did here some finely chopped Pak Choi dressed with olive oil and a little wine vinegar

Any unused casserole will keep in the fridge for a couple of days – and could probably be frozen but we had not tried that yet.  It is a great dish as it is – but also works wonderfully with fish!  

– so watch this space!!

Shallot, Mushroom and Butterbean Casserole

July 9, 2021
: 4
: 10 min
: 50 min
: 1 hr
: Very Easy

A perfect combination of shallots, tomatoes and Butterbeans !

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Ingredients
  • 4 large mushrooms, quartered.
  • 8 banana shallots
  • 3 garlic cloves.
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tins of tomatoes
  • 0.5 tin of water
  • 2 tins of butterbeans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp of tomato puree
  • Sea salt
  • Some mixed Italian herbs
  • Smoked paprika
Directions
  • Step 1 Set up the BGE for direct cooking at around 160C.
  • Step 2 Quarter the large mushrooms and peel the shallots. Divide into separate bulbs (if they will) or cut lengthways into relatively wide slices.  Roughly chop the garlic cloves.  
  • Step 3 Put the casserole dish in the EGG and warm the oil. Add the mushrooms and sauté for a couple of minutes.  Add the garlic and shallots and sauté for a further 4-5 minutes until they started to take on just a little colour.  Make sure they don’t stick.  
  • Step 4 Add a small wood chunk to the fire and put the the platesetter in place for indirect cooking. Add the tinned tomatoes and half a tin of water together with the butterbeans and tomato puree. Season with the salt and smoked paprika and add the herbs.
  • Step 5 Bring up to a slow simmering, and leave to cook for around 45-60 minutes.  
  • Step 6 Simply serve with some crusty bread or as we did here some finely chopped Pak Choi dressed with olive oil and a little wine vinegar
Radiatori pasta with a creamy mushroom, pea and parmesan sauce

Radiatori pasta with a creamy mushroom, pea and parmesan sauce

We recently cooked pheasant breast in a creamy parmesan sauce (see here) and commented in the last blog that the sauce would work well as a pasta sauce.  So here we are!

The recipe for the sauce is largely the same as when cooked with pheasant breast although we added some finely chopped kale stems simply as we had some in the garden that needed to be used.  This is the sort of recipe which will happily accommodate what you have to hand.  The sauce was made exactly as we had done previously and so we will only cover it briefly here.

The EGG was set up for direct cooking.   The lardon/pancetta pieces were sautéed until they took on some colour then the chopped onion was added and cooked till translucent. Mushrooms followed and they were cooked for another 5 minutes before the garlic was then added and cooked through for another minute or so.

Time to deglaze the pan, adding the wine, then cooking off the alcohol and reducing the volume a little.  200ml of concentrated chicken stock was then added followed by a handful of peas (and on this occasion some finely chopped kale).  This was cooked for 2-3 minutes before taking the pan off the heat.

Once off the heat we stired in the creme fraiche and the parmesan and kept the pan warm whilst cooking the pasta. When the pasta was almost ready we put the sauce back on a gentle heat and added the pasta to the sauce with a little of the pasta water and completed the last minute of the pasta cooking as we tossed it in the sauce.

We were using Radiatori, a pasta developed in the period between the two World Wars and named as they look a little like a vintage car radiator.  They work really well with this sort of thick creamy sauce which clings beautifully.  Served with more fresh parmesan, this a very opulent pasta dish!

…………… definitely one to return to!!

 

 

Radiatori pasta with a creamy mushroom pea and parmesan sauce

June 18, 2021
: 2
: 10 min
: 20 min
: 30 min
: Easy

A lovely robust pasta with a great rich creamy rustic sauce!

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Ingredients
  • Small onion finely diced
  • 1 large garlic clove finely chopped
  • 150g mushrooms, stalks removed, sliced
  • 100g of lardon/pancetta/bacon
  • 50g of grated Parmesan
  • A handful of peas and a couple of finely chopped kale leaves/stems
  • 50g butter
  • A glug of olive oil
  • Glass of white wine
  • 200ml strong chicken stock (1 stockpot in 200ml water)
  • 4 tbsp creme fraiche
Directions
  • Step 1 Set up the Big Green Egg for direct cooking at around 180C (can also be done on the hob in a kitchen.) Heat the sauté pan and cook the lardon/pancetta pieces until they take on some colour.  Add the chopped onion and cook till translucent.
  • Step 2 Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 5 minutes or so until softening.  Add the chopped garlic and cook for another minute or so then add the wine to the pan to deglaze.  Cook for a few minutes to drive off the alcohol and to reduce the volume a little.  Add the stock and the peas and kale – cook for a further 3 minutes then remove from the heat
  • Step 3 add the creme fraiche and parmesan after putting the pan back on the heat and bringing the temperature up a little when you are ready to stir in the pasta.
  • Step 4 In a separate pan cook the pasta. With one minute of pasta cooking time left, transfer and stir it into the sauce with a little pasta water.  Serve with more parmesan

Nigel Slater’s Roasted Root Vegetables with Feta

Nigel Slater’s Roasted Root Vegetables with Feta

I can’t believe that we haven’t published this recipe before! This dish became one of our staple dishes during the 2020-21 UK lockdown period. It works well cooked in  a conventional oven as you would expect with a dish from Nigel Slater.  It is however so much better when cooked over charcoal on the Big Green Egg! The recipe follows the original Slater recipe quite closely. We do usually add some celeriac to it in place of some of the swede though. The other change we make is in the way we prepare the vegetables. Normally in a dish like this we would attempt to get the pieces of vegetable to be a similar size so they cook in a similar time. Here though we do the opposite, and look for both large and small pieces. This is to broaden the range of textures of the final dish. It is so often the range of textures I miss in a plant based dish, rather than the taste of anything meaty. Our third ‘tweak’ is to cook it at a slightly lower temperature but for slightly longer.  This seems to just give a favourable edge to the caramelisation we get on the vegetables.

The first thing to do is to set up the Big Green Egg for indirect cooking at around or just below 180C. We have also cooked the dish at around 160C without the platesetter in place. Cooking like this gives really good colour on the vegetables. It does, however, require more attention and more regular tossing of the vegetables.

The recipe works best with red onions. These were peeled, cut in half and then into thick segments lengthways. Around 300-400g of swede and a similar about of celeriac was peeled and cut into the size of ‘chunky chips’. These mimic the size of the carrots, some thin and some thicker around 5-8cm long. The parsnips were peeled and cut into similar size pieces. The 4 carrots were also peeled and cut into similar pieces. All the vegetables were tossed in some olive oil and put into a roasting tin. For this we use the large Tefal Ingenio Sauté pan which makes a great roasting tin.  It also has the advantage that you can attach the handle and toss the vegetable when you need to.

We have used both smoked and fresh garlic, and as we are cooking over charcoal we have not found any great advantage of using the smoked garlic that Nigel Slater suggests.  The top of the garlic head was cut off and the head was tucked into the bed of vegetables.   We tucked in sprigs of fresh thyme around the dish and poured a little more oil over the vegetables.  The dish was roasted for 25-30 minutes before tossing the vegetables over and roasting for a further 20-25 minutes.

After 50-60 minutes, the vegetables should be softening and taking on some colour.  At this point we removed the garlic, tossed the vegetables again and then mixed in the mustard seeds and the fennel seeds.  The EGG was closed again and the vents opened a little to do the final 20 minutes of the roast at a slightly higher temperature.

The garlic that had been removed was squeezed out of its outer skin into a glass bowl and broken up with the back of a spoon.  The feta cheese was crumbled into the bowl and mixed with the garlic ready to dress the final dish just before serving.


Remove the roasted vegetables from the Big Green Egg and gently toss with some of the feta and garlic mix.  Simply plate up and then sprinkle with the remaining feta and garlic and serve.

So why is it better on the EGG than in a conventional oven.  I think it is simply that even with the platesetter in place there is more ‘bottom heat’ in the EGG and so the base of the heavy pan has more opportunity to develop those characteristic ‘bottom of the roasting tin’ flavours

………………. give it a try and see what you think!

 

Variations: don’t feel constrained by the mix and proportion of vegetables used here.  feel free to alter the amounts and try others too

Baked root vegetables with feta cheese

June 4, 2021
: 2
: 15 min
: 1 hr 20 min
: 1 hr 35 min
: Easy

Beautifully caramelised root vegetables offset with the tang of Feta cheese

By:

Ingredients
  • 2 Red Onions
  • 300-600g swede
  • 100-300g celeriac
  • 2 parsnips
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 head of garlic (possibly smoked)
  • 1 tbs fennel seeds
  • 1 tbs mustard seeds
  • 6 bushy sprigs of thyme
  • 6 tbsp of olive oil.
Directions
  • Step 1 Set up the Big Green Egg for indirect cooking at around or just below 180C.  
  • Step 2 Peel the red onions, cut in half and then into thick segments lengthways. Peel the swede and the celeriac – (around 600g in total). Cut into the size of ‘chunky chips’.  Peel the parsnips and cut into similar size pieces and similarly with the 4 carrots. Toss all the vegetables in some olive oil in the roasting tin. Cut the top off the garlic and tuck into the bed of vegetables.   Tuck in the thyme in a similar way. Pour a little oil over the vegetables.  
  • Step 3 Roast in the BGE for 25-30 minutes then toss and roast for a further 20 minutes. It may be worth tossing the veg occasionally in addition
  • Step 4 After 50-60 minutes, the vegetables should be softening and taking on some colour.  Remove the garlic, toss the vegetables again and mix in the mustard seeds and the fennel seeds.  Close theEGG, open the vents a little and roast for final 20 minutes at a slightly higher temperature.
  • Step 5 In this last 20 minute period squeeze the softened garlic out of its outer skin into a glass bowl and break up with the back of a spoon.  Crumble the Feta cheese into the bowl and mixed with the garlic.
  • Step 6 Remove the roasted vegetables and gently toss with some of the feta and garlic mix.  Plate up and sprinkle with the remaining feta and garlic to serve.

Chilli Mole – A superb plant centric version of a classic chilli

Chilli Mole – A superb plant centric version of a classic chilli

This cook is based on a recipe from Boxxfresh, a UK company supplying really great fresh fruit and vegetables. They described Mole (pronounced ‘mo-lay’) as the ‘quintessential chilli sauce native to Mexico’. It apparently literally means ’everyday sauce’!   As such it is ladled over nachos, tacos, enchiladas, burritos or served on rice.  The recipe takes care to mimic what so many of us think of a “Chilli” meaning Chilli con Carne.  But this is a plant based dish or one of the plant-centric dishes we are cooking more and more.  So whilst mimicking this classic meat based dish it uses chopped mushrooms to recreate some of the texture of minced beef and does so very well.  It returns to its origins in South America with tomatoes, black beans, dark chocolate, chillies and cinnamon spices to create what they describe as ‘deep soulful flavours that will have you reaching for seconds!’

We have used Boxxfresh (no links) to supply most of the plant based food we have eaten during the first 12 months of the covid pandemic.  Together with supplying fantastic products they are actively helping and encouraging people to make more of, and more with fruit and vegetables. This recipe started out as one of the many on their site (see here) with just a few little adjustments for cooking it on the Big Green Egg

The Big Green Egg was lit and allowed to heat up to around 180C.  Whilst the temperature settled we blitzed the mushrooms in the food processor, being carful not to process it too far.  The whole thing could be cooked directly in a Dutch Oven but I prefer to use a wide shallow handle free pan to start things off.  The  mushrooms were gently fried off in olive oil in this pan until softened.  These were then set aside.

As the food processor had already been used we also blitzed the onions and then cooked in the same pan as we had the mushrooms.  After a minute or so the chopped garlic was added. We have also come to add the red pepper (which we use instead of the chilli in the original recipe) at this stage.  This was softened with the onions. (We have also done them separately and added them back in when the mushrooms were added back – but this is just easier).

The onions were cooked until translucent at which point the spice mix was then stirred through and cooked for another minute or so.

The platesetter was put in place to move the BGE to indirect cooking.  A small chunk of oak was added to the charcoal to add to the smoky flavours developed in the second part of the cook.

The onion, garlic, pepper and spice mix was transferred to a Dutch oven together with the 2 tins of beans.  This was then put into the EGG and allowed to warm through.  Once warmed, the tomato puree, tinned tomatoes, tamari, vinegar and wine were all added to the pot and gently mixed together.  The whole dish was brought to a very gentle simmer without the lid to cook off the alcohol and allow the liquids to reduce a little.
Finally, the mushrooms, (the sautéed peppers if you choose to cook them separately), chocolate and maple syrup were added and stirred through the dish.  As you will see from the picture we had slightly misjudged the volume of the ingredients.  The pan was very full to say the least.  Normally we would have cooked this for around 90 minutes or so at around 150-160C.  Because the pan was so full we cooked at around 110C instead.  This proved to be a great decision!

At 110C we ended up with a very slow cook taking around 5hrs.  During this time the volume reduced, though only a little, and the colour deepened.  More importantly the taste took on a really complex richness, more than we have had before.  It will be ‘low and slow’ for this dish from now on!

Served with a baked potato, rice, nachos or tortilla chips – you really can’t go wrong!!

…………. do give it a go!!

 

Chilli sin Carne - a plant-centric version of a classic

April 9, 2021
: 6
: 40 min
: 4 hr
: Easy

A superb plant centric version of a classic chilli con carne!

By:

Ingredients
  • 250g of mushrooms
  • 2 red onions or 3 shallots
  • 4-5 garlic cloves
  • 1 Red pepper (could substitute with 1/2 or 1 whole chilli)
  • 2 tins of black beans of kidney beans or pinto beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 2 x 400g tinned tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp
  • 1 tbsp balsamic or red wine vinegar
  • 1 large glass red wine
  • 10g of dark chocolate
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
Directions
  • Step 1 This can be cooked inside on the hob and oven – or on the BGE – or a combination of both. When the weather isn’t great we sometimes do the first part in the kitchen on the hob
  • Step 2 Light the Big Green Egg and allow it to heat up to around 180C.  
  • Step 3 Blitz the mushrooms in the food processor Leave them coarse)
  • Step 4 Sauté the mushrooms in olive oil until coloured and softened, either directly in a dutch oven or in a handless pan (if working on the BGE).  Set aside.
  • Step 5 Blitz the onions and cook in the same pan as the mushrooms. After a minute or so add the chopped garlic after a couple of minutes more add the red pepper and softened with the onions. When the onions are translucent add the spice mix and stir through for another minute or so.  
  • Step 6 Add the platesetter to the BGE and add some smoking wood to the charcoal
  • Step 7 Transfer the onion, garlic, pepper and spice mix to a Dutch oven (if not already using the Dutch oven)together with the 2 tins of beans.  Place on the EGG and allow to warm through.  Then add the tomato puree, tinned tomatoes, tamari, vinegar and wine to the pot and stir through. Bring to a very gentle simmer without the lid to cook off the alcohol and allow the liquids to reduce a little.
  • Step 8 Finally, add the mushrooms, chocolate and maple syrup and stir through the dish.  Cook at around 110C for at least 3hrs (or at 180C for 90m
  • Step 9 Serve with a baked potato, rice, nachos or tortilla chips

Grilled Peppers with chickpeas, tomatoes black olives and hot spicy yoghurt

Grilled Peppers with chickpeas, tomatoes black olives and hot spicy yoghurt

We have been playing around with a few meat free dishes, such as our slow roasted caramelised fennel dish and our roasted cauliflower with truffle oil and toasted flax seeds.  But although we like vegetarian food our experience is limited.  Finding the book “Charred” by Genevieve Taylor seemed like a great opportunity (more…)