Sophie and Mango have got into the pleasing habit of trying out vegan recipes together on a Wednesday evening. This is not exactly a recipe blog, but a catalogue of trial and error, showing our successful and less than successful cooking adventures.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Potato & Tomato Thing and Crumble

An improvised meal that turned into a four course feast.

Sophie came round for dinner before we went to watch Age of Stupid at Lewes Rd Community Garden. I prefer the straight documentary style of film, but I can see why they were trying to make a more entertaining type of climate change film with a bit of heartstring tugging thrown in. There was a lot of interesting stuff there, especially the Nigeria sections and the bizarre story of the oil industry geologist from New Orleans who stayed behind during the hurricane to rescue people in his boat. I like Spanner Films as they also made the McLibel film and they helped me out with some footage I needed a couple of years ago. They're definitely coming from a grassroots perspective. However, the 'what to do about it' message from the film seemed to be 'put pressure on the government', which is a fruitless endeavour in my experience, because the government are a bunch of gangsters.

Anyway, back to the food. I had a load of the same almost over-ripe tomatoes from the shop I work in that Sophie used in her pasta. So I made

Potato & Tomato Thing

Lots of very ripe tomatoes
Fresh rosemary
Three large potatoes

I sauteed the onions, garlic and rosemary, then roughly chopped the tomatoes and continued to sauter / simmer until they fell apart, then transfered to a large deep baking dish. I made a white sauce from tahini, miso and water and poured that over the top. Then I sliced up the potatoes, dipped them in oil and laid them out on the top. I baked it for about 45 minutes at 180C. A simple, improvised recipe, turned out rather nice.

Sophie turned up with some salad stuff and a corn cob that was desperate to be used up. The way the timing worked out, we ate each bit separately so ended up with 4 courses: salad, corn cob, potato thing and...

Blackberry and Apple Crumble

My friend Antonia spent several days in the summer filling up my freezer with blackberries picked from our local area. When another friend gave me a bag of cooking apples from his garden, it was time for crumble.

Half a carrier bag of frozen blackberries
Three large cooking apples
Handful of dried apricots
Handful of dried dates
Good pinch mixed spice

Equal parts wheat and rye flour
Rolled oats
Sunflower seeds

I put the blackberries on a gentle simmer to defrost without having to add water, then sliced up the apples and chucked them in with the dried fruit, chopped, for a bit of extra sweetness, and the mixed spice. I left the lid on until sufficient water had come out into the pot to prevent it from sticking, then left the lid off to reduce.

I didn't really know how to make crumble, so I guessed. I used a fork to rub the oil into the flour, then mixed in some oats and seeds, and finally molasses diluted with water. It looked like it might be crumble, but maybe a bit too crumbly. I baked the whole lot at 180C for about 25 mins or so. The topping was still a little tending to fall apart when it came out, but the taste and texture were good, if you don't mind crunching the occasional blackberry seed. The crumble consolidated a lot the next day, becoming more like what I imagined.

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