Vegeramalamadingdong! (The Post Katy Perry Post)

We’ve been away. I’m sure someone noticed. Road trip and hiking for me and G.F, holidays for Kid and family, new job for me, etc….

Vegerama1We just haven’t had time to be here.
Oh and somewhere in there I turned 40. Yay!

Vegerama2

Last night we went to Katy Perry. Holy Wow!
I’ve been to loads of gigs in my life but never the full Popstar experience.
There was me and Kid and Kid’s BFF. Show was great. What a good fun night.

Vegerama6

We ate Fish and Chips, icy poles, lollies, chocolate, popcorn and as we were leaving I decided we’d need a late night ice-cream. Because, that’s why.
I asked Kid the best thing about her family holiday?
‘The gelati shop.’ Of course.
We need vegetables.
Along the way on our road trip we were often left with less than inspiring choices for vegetarians so G.F and I would just order chips, vegetables and gravy. ( What’s that? The vegetarian police are knocking at the door? Well we did eat gravy.)

Go. Away.

So I thought I’d recreate something similar. A nostalgia dinner of sorts.
Roast  Vegetables, Greens and Vego Gravy
Ingredients
Vegeram4Roasted
Potatoes, Pumpkin, Carrots, Sweet Potato or whatever.
HOW
Chop and apply a little olive oil and salt. Roast on 180*c until everything is cooked nicely.
Greens –
Broccoli, Beans, Peas or whatever.
HOW
Simmer gently in lightly salted water until just tender. Beans first, then peas, then broccoli. Drain and serve.

Vego Gravy
Ingredients
2 medium carrots
1 large onion
5 cloves garlic
1 cup red wine
100  ml light soy
3 cups veg stock/water
a pinch of thyme or rosemary or sage.

Vegerama5HOW
Slice the vegetables thinly and sauté in a pan until really soft. It’s good to get some colour on them too, for flavour. Make sure they’re really soft and caramelised. Add the red wine and simmer gently until the wine has all but disappeared. Add soy and repeat. Add stock and simmer gently for 3-4 minutes. Puree in a food processor or with a bar mix or vitamiser.
You won’t need to add salt. There is plenty in the soy and on the vegetables already. Pepper or sliced sauté mushrooms will give you that authentic rural bistro feel.
Serve liberally over your vegetables.
Vegerama7We also had vegetarian sausages. Because, that’s why.

What Kid Did
Kid was up until after midnight on a school night so after the beans were picked and the table set I let her roam free. On the couch.
Well done Kid.
Baby, you’re a firework!

The Wash up
Awesome, nutritional, yummy dinner that left us all flopped on the couch Al Bundy style afterwards. Just the effect I was hoping for.
If vegetarian isn’t important to you, use beef or chicken stock. You’ll find my chicken stock recipe in the tags list. Serve liberally over your favourite roast.
Carrots are naturally very sweet once you get them cooking. It is also the carrots that will determine the consistency of your gravy.

Get cooking 🙂

Vegerama3

Broken and Beaten (Eggs part 1).

A week at work in a restaurant can certainly have you feeling a little this way, ask any chef. Not that I’m complaining, it’s just a nifty title – and relevant to today’s post.

Eggs.

High protein, low cost, easy to do something tasty and healthy with.

I am flying by the seat of my pants till pay day this week. I’ve gotta feed me and Kid dinner (and leave some left over for mid week) on the cheap. Meat Free month is still in full swing at my place too. (I went to a friend’s bbq the other day and took an eggplant. They were very understanding.)

I think when you grow up and leave home you should at least be able do something with eggs. I’m going to put together a whole heap of egg recipes over time (use the egg tag) that Kid and I can make together . I will avoid terrible egg puns where possible.
This should also fit the ‘five items’ profile.

Let’s get cracking! (sorry)

We are starting with  a Tortilla. A basic potato omelette with a Spanish background.*

Roast Potato and Green Pea Tortilla 

Ingredients
250gm un-shelled green peas
500gm Kipfler potatoes
8 large free range eggs
2 stalks of spring onions
2 cloves garlic.
tortilla ingredients

HOW

Cut the potatoes in four lengthways, toss them with olive oil and salt and roast them for 40 mins on 180*C. They should be golden and crispy. Leave the oven on.
Kipfler
Crack the eggs into a bowl with the chopped spring onions and some salt and pepper and whisk well.
DSC_0642
Next heat a fry pan (oven proof) on a moderate heat and add a little olive oil. When the oil runs ribbons add the crushed garlic and give it a stir until almost golden. Add the peas and potatoes and lastly the egg mix. Keep the heat moderate and let the omelette cook on the bottom for 3-4 minutes to form a golden outer layer. Next put the pan into the oven on 180*C for 15 mins.
tortillacookingTorta
Remove from the oven and let sit for a good 20 minutes covered with a cloth before you touch it.
Place a large plate upside down over the fry pan. Holding the pan in one hand and your other hand on the plate, invert the whole lot to tip the omelette out onto the plate.
From here you can slice it like a pie and serve.
We had a ‘Little Green Salad’ made by Kid.

What Kid Did
Kid made ‘A Little Green Salad’ for us to have with the Tortilla.
Shaved cucumber and carrots – I had Kid shave strips of cucumber and carrot with a peeler for the salad, it’s more fun and safer than kids using knives.
Always make sure that any sharp objects being used are facing away from the user.
Tomatoes we tried to cut with a cheapo egg slicer I bought on what I thought was a genius whim.
Spencersalad2
Instead I cut the tomatoes and vowed to go buy a good quality egg slicer for this.
Kid tells me she uses one to cut strawberries at her other home. Tops.
Mint was picked and washed, iceberg lettuce washed and broken up with little hands
and then kid made a dressing with a little mayo, lemon juice and a bit of water.
Then everything was  tossed  in a bowl and served  up.
Kid had a particularly fun time with the shaving of the cucumber.
We shelled the peas together. Use frozen peas for the same result without the fun. I’ve always got frozen peas in my freezer just in case.
Spencersalad
When I was a kid I would sit at the bench across from my mum and shell the peas. It felt good to be involved plus I loved to eat them raw when mum wasn’t watching. We had a golden cocker spaniel named Mandy that would chase any peas that fell on to the floor and eat them.
Kid also cracked the eggs into a bowl and beat them well with a fork. (Broken and beaten!) When I had the hot pan ready with the vegetables she poured the egg mixture into the pan.
I’m going to by one of those bench top electric fry pans. I think this will be a great way to introduce Kid to actually cooking some food. I can put it somewhere that we can both reach it and really cook something together. Fried rice maybe? Or pikelets?
Tortilladinner
The Wash Up.
It was a simple, tasty dinner that I will make again one day when I’m pushed for time and $$. The salad was a great accompaniment, so light and fresh against the potatoes and eggs.
Kid was way more eager to come and help out now that I’ve made more space for her to work.

I used Kipfler potatoes, a small waxy potato with a long irregular shape and sweet nutty flavour. Originally from Austria.
Use what you will but a good sweet and waxy spud will give you a nicer finish.
Ask the fruiterer if you’re unsure.
Almost anything could go in a tortilla like this. Traditionally potato is featured, but left over roast vegetables or meat could be used here.
Seafood works nicely too.
It makes a good lunch or late night snack the next day as well.
Totally vegetarian as well.

*On 2 consecutive breakfast menus I had  a hot smoked salmon ‘tortilla’ and then a pork’n’beans w/ guac and soft tortillas. This was my explanation to staff and customers –
Tortilla in Spanish cuisine refers to a simple pan omelette, normally served at room temp in tapa’s bars.
In Mexican cuisine the word Tortilla refers to flat bread normally made from wheat or corn.
Both come from the same origin ‘torta’ which means cake.

Until neggst time (bahaha).

X

Potato Soup (yep, potato soup.)

potatosoup
Here’s another for the ‘Five Items’ file. Potato soup is about the most basic of soups you could come across. But it doesn’t haven’t to be bland or boring or even too creamy or rich. Even with just 5 ingredients you can put together a winner. Potato soup can be a hearty, tasty meal in a bowl and is very easy to pimp out with some extra goodies (see below).

Ingredients – 1.5kg dutch cream potatoes , 2 small or 1 med to large brown onion, 6 cloves of garlic (use as much or little as you prefer), 500ml of vegetable stock (I’ve used a salt reduced tetra pack), 100ml cream.

HOW– Wash the spuds if necessary. Peel them using a knife. Put the skins aside for now. Slice them about 1cm across. Peel and slice the onions and garlic. In a heavy based sauce pan heat a little oil or butter and sweat the onions and garlic with a little salt until soft and translucent. Add your potatoes. Now you need to keep sweating the vegetables over a low to moderate heat until the potatoes are just starting to soften. Add stock and simmer gently until the spuds are cooked through. Turn it off, add the cream and process with whatever means you have available. Taste it. It will probably need some seasoning, depends on you.

Skins – Just leave this out if you can’t be bothered or watch kids eyes light up when they realise there is pretty much chips going with this soup. Pat the skins dry on some paper towel. Toss in a bowl with a little olive oil and salt. Bake them on a tray with parchment on 180*. It takes probably half an hour and you’ll need to check them and turn them at least once. When they start looking golden and crispy, remove from the oven , drain on paper towel and serve with the soup. Yum.

What Kid Did – Not much to do for her here apart from wash the spuds. She used a clean green scourer and cold water. Kid watched me make the soup and enjoyed the hell out of the whole meal. Chips included.

Pimp your soup – 
Add washed and chopped leeks or fennel at the onion stage.

Sprinkle crumbled fetta, chopped nuts , toasted pumpkin seeds or chilli flakes on top as you serve.

Keep it vegetarian or add some bacon, ham or chicken for extra flavour and protein.

Leave out cream and butter for a vegan option.

DSC_0197

Spinach leaves folded in just before the processing stage gives you a vibrant green colour and all those nutrients.

Add fresh herbs – basil, parsley, dill or mint are all good extras. Add them at the end before processing or chop and sprinkle on top.

A runny poached egg dropped in the soup with some dukkah on top really adds a touch of style.

Which Potato is that?

It may or may not surprise you to know that there are hundreds of different varieties of potato in the world. For this soup I have used Dutch Creams. Partly because they are readily available to me from my local fruiterer and  make good soup but also because they are my favourite potato. Yes, I have a favourite potato. Do you have a favourite potato? Potatoes differ in texture – starchy or waxy, in taste – some are sweet and nutty others are creamy and savoury. This affects the way they cook and the style of cooking they are most suited too. You should ask the fruiterer about the potatoes you are buying. Here is a link to some more info on potatoes.http://www.moraitis.com.au/our-produce/potatoes.html

Enjoy the soup!

 

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We All Eat And It Would Be A Sad Waste Of Opportunity To Eat Badly~~ Anna Thomas

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