a vegetarian xmas menu & my 24hours of fame in Gourmet Today magazine

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front cover of gourmet today

as promised i want to share my recipes for a vegetarian xmas menu with you. the menu was published last sunday 4 december 2011 in the GOURMET TODAY magazine which comes out once a month with the MALTA TODAY newspaper.

eventhough i am not a vegetarian myself i love vegetarian cooking with seasonal vegetables and loads of spices and herbs… hope you’ll like it!

introduction gourmet today

STARTER:
chestnut soup with fresh rasberries, mushrooms and hazelnuts

ingredients (serves 6)
ca. 1kg chestnuts
1l of vegetable stock
1 pkg of fresh cream
knob of butter
some cinnamon, sugar, salt, pepper
white wine or prosecco
for the topping: 6mushrooms, a small onion, fresh raspberries (or frozen if you can’t get fresh ones) purreed, icing sugar, crushed hazelnuts, hazelnut oil

method:
1. cut in chestnuts on the rounded side and cook them in water for approximately 30 min, squeeze them out of the skin as long as they are warm, then it’s the easiest 😉
2. heat up the stock, add the mashed chestnuts, puree with a blender, add cream, heat it up slightly.
3. finish it with little pieces of cold butter to bind it and season with salt, pepper and a hint of cinnamon. add a splash of white wine or prosecco and puree it a last time so it gets frothy.
4. in the meantime heat up a little pan and fry the mushroom slices and onions. season with a hint of icing sugar so it gets caramelized.. add the crushed hazelnuts.
5. put the soup in bowls, add the topping, a blob of purreed raspberries and finish with just a tiny hint of hazelnut oil on top.

chestnut soup & red lentil curry

MAIN:
red lentil curry with fried masala tofu and basmati rice

ingredients (serves 6)

2 cups of red lentils (washed)
ca. 1,5kg of fresh read & orange veggies(tomatoes, red & yellow peppers, carrots)
fresh ginger
1 big onion
garlic
2 green chilies
spices: cumin, coreander seeds, mustard seeds, curry powder, tumeric, masala powder
tamari sauce/ soy sauce
2 pkg smoked or marinated tofu (e.g. from smart supermarket)
cashew nuts
veggie oil & sesame oil
3 cups of couscous
vegetable stock

method:
1. start with marinating the tofu. cut up in small pieces and add masala powder and tamari/soy sauce. put aside for later.
2. heat up the oils in a big pan. crush cumin and coriander in a mortar. roast them in the pan, also the mustard seeds until fragrant and they start popping. add chopped onions and ginger, roast on medium temperature. add garlic and stir.
3. ddd the veggies and the lentils. roast and add the powder spices. add the chopped chilies. top up with vegetable stock. let it simmer for about 20min. add tamari or soy sauce at the end depending in your taste of saltiness.
4. in the meantime prepare the couscous as described on the package and add olive oil, lemon and salt or a bit of vegetable stock for more flavor.
5. heat up a pan and fry the marinated tofu. add the cashew nuts and roast them together.
chop the fresh coriander.
6. prepare couscous on plates. top up with lentil curry. then the roasted tofu and nuts. finalize with coriander. feady & enjoy 🙂

frozen cinnamon parfait with stewed spiced plums

DESSERT:
frozen cinnamon parfait with stewed spiced plums

ingredients:
(6-7 portions depending on the size if glasses you use)

1/4l sugar sirup (made out of 250g icing sugar cooked to sirup with 1/4l water)
6 egg yolks
400ml cream
cinnamon
rum
1kg plums
cloves, cinnamon, brown sugar, small piece of dried ginger
method:
1. cool sugar sirup after you made it.
2. whip up the cream in the meantime. whisk egg yolks over boiling water until frothy. add the cinnamon and put the bowl in cold water, whisk until cold. add a tiny bit of rum.
3. fold in the whipped cream carefully. now seperate in different small cups or glasses and put them in the freezer (minimum 6h!)
4. for the stewed plums cut plums into quarters, coat them with brown sugar in a small pot and let them caramelize. top up with water, add the spices and let it slowly cook for about 20-30min.
5. take out the parfaits ca. 30min before you need them. warm up the plums and put them on top of the cold parfait. the different temperatures create a cinnamon froth and you’ll have a lovely hot & cold dessert. delicious!

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