Sunday, June 17, 2007

Something different

What can you substitute when you haven't the ingredients ? When making pancakes, try using flours other than plain white. Try all wholewheat, or two thirds buckwheat with one third wholewheat. Or make them with gram (known also as chickpea or Besan) flour, or use cornmeal (polenta) or even rice flour. And for something completely different...
Potato and Onion Processor Pancakes: makes about 20
8 oz (225g) onion, cut into chunks
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 lb (450g) potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
4 oz (110g) wholewheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
salt and pepper
2 eggs
4 oz (100ml) milk
Put the garlic and onions in the processor and begin to blitz them adding the potatoes as you go. Aim for finely chopped but not pureed. Depending upon the size of the bowl this may need to be done in batches.
Sift the flour, baking powder and seasonings into a large bowl, then add the potato mixture. Beat the eggs with the milk and stir together just enough to combine.
In a large frying pan heat a little oil, just enough to coat the bottom. When hot drop the mixture in by tablespoonfuls, keeping each pancake well apart as they will spread. After 2 - 4 minutes the underside should be brown, so flip them over and cook until brown on that side. Remove, drain on kitchen paper and keep warm while you cook the rest of them.
Good served with large fried field mushrooms and a tomato sauce. Wonderful with apple sauce or maple syrup. Why not make it a breakfast dish with a mushroom on top and a fried or poached egg on top of that.

Instead of making a guacamole try this alternative:
Herby Dip:
1/2 pint (300ml) creme fraiche or fromage frais
1/4 pint ( 150ml) each yogurt and single cream
2 large handfuls of fresh mixed herbs: parsley, mint, chives, dill, coriander etc.
2 tblsp lemon juice
Chop the herbs finely and mix together with the other ingredients except the lemon juice, then beat this in at the end, a few drops at a time to prevent curdling. Chill to use as a dip. But it can be gently warmed to be used as a dressing over fish, chickpea fritters, chicken Kievs etc.

a variation of coleslaw:
Celery and Courgette Slaw with Cheese.
celery sticks, courgettes, apples, Red Leicester cheese, mustard, mayo, honey and horseradish sauce.
Slice the celery, courgette, apple into very thin strips (matchstick size). Grate the cheese and mix all together. Blend some mustard, mayo honey and horseradish sauce to taste and thin down slightly if necessary with either lemon juice or water. Pour over the prepared ingredients, toss and serve.

try this version of a vegetarian sausage:
Glamorgan Sausages
1 lb (5oog) wholewheat breadcrumbs
1 small onion, finely chopped
6 oz (175g) finely chopped nuts (almonds, brazil, hazle nuts etc)
8 oz (225g) Cheddar cheese, grated
2 tsp dried sage, or 1 tblsp very finely chopped fresh sage
1 handful of chopped parsley,
2 large eggs, beaten
seasoning to taste
Mix everything together thoroughly (if too wet add more breadcrumbs, if too dry add more egg or a little water). Form into sausage shapes and place on a non-stick baking sheet (or one covered with baking parchment) and bake for 20 minutes at 170C, 325F, gas 3 until just firm. Do not overbake or they will dry out and be less appealing.
Note: make your own alternative flavours by using different cheeses and different herbs.