Mushroom Bahn Mi

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There is nothing more satisfying than cooking and eating a meal that has been grown, created and cooked by people within a bike ride of where you live. I’ve been so lucky to have so many beautiful ingredients at my fingertips lately, that I’m finding it hard to use anything that isn’t local. Hence, I haven’t really been cooking with meat. I’m not vegetarian, vegan or celiac, but I know many who are and love to be able to cater for everyone. Give this Bahn Mi to a hardcore carnivore and I’m pretty sure they will eat it; and maybe even enjoy it immensely (even if they don’t admit it).
I’ve been buying traditional Bahn Mi rolls at the markets on the weekends here. They are beyond delicious. Traditionally made with a smoky lemongrass laden pork mince sausage, fresh coleslaw, pate, and mayonnaise, on a freshly baked vietnamese baguette. It’s a mix of cultures, bound to tantalise the senses.
Here, I’ve challenged myself to a vegan version. Sorry to the traditionalists. It’s just delicious though.
Aside from the mouth-filling flavour of the mushrooms, the vegan mayo and the mushroom pate are stars on their own. They can be used in many other scenarios and you will have leftovers from this recipe to do just this!
I hope you appreciate this humble looking sandwich as much as I did.

On a side note. It is so hard to take photos of food in this heat, along with flies….near impossible. So, please excuse the haphazard photos!

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Recipe

Serves 2

Ingredients

Vegan Mayonnaise
1 cup raw cashews (soaked in water, in the fridge, overnight, drained and rinsed)
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup water
1 tsp vegetable stock powder
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

Mushroom Pate
20g dried mixed forest mushrooms
3 tbs light olive oil
1/2 red onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic
250g mixed mushrooms (I used button and shitake)
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
1/2 cup dry roasted walnuts
salt and pepper
3 tsp olive oil spread

Pickled Carrot
1 carrot, peeled and julienned
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tsp caster sugar
pinch salt

Lemongrass Mushrooms
1 tbs peanut oil
2 large or 4 smaller portobello or field mushrooms
1 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs dark soy
1 tsp sesame oil
1 birds-eye chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
1 stalk lemongrass, white and first part of green part, finely chopped
1 clove garlic
Thumb size piece of ginger, peeled and grated
pinch of pepper

The rest
1 small baguette, halved vertically into 2 serves, each half cut in half horizontally
1 small cucumber, thinly sliced
handful each of thai basil leaves and coriander
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
1 long red chilli, thinly sliced

Method

For the lemongrass mushrooms, cut the mushrooms into quarters or halves, depending how big they are. Place in a large bowl with the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Leave in the fridge for at least an hour, stirring every so often to marinate, but be careful not to break up the mushrooms.
For the pickled carrot, place all of the ingredients in bowl and stir to combine. Leave in the fridge for at least an hour, stirring every so often.
For the mayonnaise, place all of the ingredients in a small food processor, or a bowl deep enough to use a stick blender. Blend until very smooth. It will take a while, but you want it to be really smooth, no grainy bits. Keep in the fridge until needed.
For the mushroom pate, place the dried forest mushrooms in a bowl with 1/2 cup hot water, leave to soak for at least half an hour. Remove the mushrooms from their soaking liquid. Reserve liquid.
Heat 2 tbs of the olive oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. Cook the onion, garlic and mushrooms, stirring constantly, until cooked, about 5 to 10 mins. Remove from pan and set aside to cool slightly.
Place the drained forest mushrooms, cooked mushroom mixture, parsley, walnuts and remaining olive oil in a small food processor, or a bowl deep enough to use a stick blender. Blend until very smooth. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.
Place into one large dish or 2 small ramekins, smooth the tops and place in the fridge to chill for at least 20mins.
Meanwhile, melt the olive oil spread and add 3 tbs of the reserved mushroom soaking liquid. Pour on top of the mushroom pate and keep in the fridge to set.
Once everything is ready to go, its time to assemble the sandwiches.
To cook the lemongrass mushrooms heat the peanut oil in a pan to high heat. Add the marinated mushrooms, and cook, stirring for about 5 mins, or until cooked and slightly caramelised. Set aside.
To assemble the sandwiches, spread the bottom halves of the baguettes with a good layer of mushroom pate, and the top halves with the vegan mayonnaise.
Top each half with the cooked mushrooms, pickled carrot, sliced cucumber, herbs, spring onions, and chilli. Top with the mayonnaise half of the baguettes.
Eat and enjoy!
Tip: they are also delicious, assembled and toasted in a pan, sandwich press, or bbq.

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Empanadas, two ways. Ham, Cheese and Egg or Pumpkin, Basil and Ricotta.

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Empanadas….What can I say…probably one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. Especially when bought from a lovely Abuelita on the streets of Buenos Aires, or ordered from the local bar, with a beer, for breakfast at 10am; breakfast of champions!

A recent catch-up with a dear friend, that has been living in Argentina for the last few years, got me reminiscing about the food I tried while I was there. Aside from empanandas; the Asados, Chimichurri, Choripan, and Dulce de Leche, were enough to turn me into a well ’rounded’ foodie. The Argeys certainly know how to relax, and eat well; you wouldn’t expect how well they are able to party after all of this…I guess that’s why you don’t go out until 3am.

The recipes here are far removed from anything typically Argentinian, but since I’ve been on a bit of a budget, I used what I had on hand; leftover christmas ham, and roasted pumpkin being the main culprits. You don’t need to make your own pastry, store bought shortcrust pastry will work perfectly, but, if you have time and you don’t mind a bit of kitchen labour, this pastry recipe is very easy to work with and turns out beautifully. I split the recipe into two bowls and added smoked paprika to one and nutmeg to the other, but, apart from giving the pastry different colours, I couldn’t really taste the spices; so i haven’t included that method here.

Check out my Roasted Pumpkin, Pistachio and Ricotta Dip; perfect for your leftover roasted pumpkin.

Salud!

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Recipe

Makes about 30

Ingredients

Pastry

160g butter, cold, cut into cubes

250g plain flour

250g wholemeal flour

1 tsp salt

180ml water

olive oil, for kneading

1 egg, whisked with a splash of water, for brushing

Ham, Cheese, Egg and Olive Filling

Olive oil

1 small brown onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

50g olives, roughly chopped

100g ham, roughly chopped

100g tasty cheese, grated

2 eggs, hard boiled, peeled, roughly chopped

pepper

handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped

Pumpkin, Basil and Ricotta Filling

1 butternut pumpkin, skin cut off, seeds cut out, cut into large chunks

4 cloves garlic, skin on, whole

olive oil

salt and pepper

white wine vinegar

large handful of fresh basil, finely sliced

1/4 cup sunflower seeds, toasted

125g firm ricotta, crumbled

2 tbs parmesan, finely grated

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Method

For the pastry, in a large bowl, combine the flours, salt and butter. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour, working until mixture resembles sand. Add the water and use a spoon to mix until it starts to come together into a dough. Turn out onto a clean, oiled work surface and knead for 10-15mins. Wrap in plastic wrap and refridgerate for 2 hours.

Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees celcius.

For the pumpkin filling, place the pumpkin and garlic cloves in a roasting tray, drizzle with a little olive oil and white wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Place in the oven and cook for about 45mins or until very tender. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Turn the oven off.

In a medium bowl, combine 300g of the roasted pumpkin and 2 of the garlic cloves, squeezed from their skins. Mash with a fork until smooth. Add the basil, sunflower seeds, ricotta, parmesan, nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine but don’t mix too much, as you still want to have chunks of ricotta throughout.  Store in the fridge until needed.

For the ham filling, in a small frying pan, heat a little olive oil over medium heat. Fry the onion, stirring, for about 8mins, or until soft, add the garlic and fry for a further 2mins. Transfer to a medium bowl and allow to cool for 10mins. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Store in the fridge until needed.

To fold the empanadas. Working with half the dough at a time, on a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll out the pastry to approximately 3mm thickness. Use a round cutter, about 12cm across, to cut circles out. Keep them covered with cling wrap as you go to avoid them drying out.

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Place a heaped tablespoon of mixture into the middle of a circle of dough. With wet fingers, moisten the edges of the circle. Fold the pastry over the mixture to make a half moon shape. Press the edges together to seal. Use a fork to make a pattern on the edge, or use your fingers to fold along the edge for an alternative pattern. Or do whatever pattern you like.

Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Evenly space the empanadas out on the trays and brush with the egg mixture. Bake for about 30-40 mins, or until golden and crisp on the edges.

Serve with tomato chutney or caramelised onion on the side. You can find a recipe for caramelised onion here.

Enjoy!

M

Honey Roasted Eggplant and Haloumi Burgers with Roast Capsicum Sauce on Homemade Breadrolls

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I rarely eat bread, and I VERY rarely eat burgers (I’m talking 1 every 3 years), so, if I’m going to do it, it has to be well worth it. And boy, was this one worth it! So fresh and delicious, the roasted eggplant, soft and sweet, teamed with the tangy capsicum sauce, the salty haloumi and the fresh crunchy veggies, what a lovely combination. And the homemade bread just to top it all off!

The day I made these I didn’t even have the idea in my head yet until I started thinking about what to do with my tiny amount of leftover olives and sundried tomatoes (I could’ve just eaten them of course but whats the fun in that!) This led to me making some fresh bread rolls, which then led me to making these greek salad inspired burgers. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

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Recipe

Serves 4

Ingredients

6 lebanese eggplant, tops cut off and cut in half lengthways
1/4 cup honey
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
2 tbs olive oil
Pinch of dried chilli flakes
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 red capsicum, halved, seeds and stem cut out
4 tbsp greek yoghurt
2 tbsp whole egg mayo
1 tsp worsterchire sauce
180g pack haloumi, sliced into triangles, about 1cm thick
A few handfuls of mixed lettuce leaves and baby spinach
1/2 cup mint leaves, roughly torn
2 tomatoes, sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 lebanese cucumber, sliced into ribbons with a peeler
4 Oregano Breadrolls (click for the recipe) or other large bread rolls, halved and lightly toasted

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees celcius and turn on the grill to medium high.
On a lined tray, place the capsicum, skin side up and cook under the grill for about 10-15mins, or until skin has blackened. Transfer to a plate and cover with cling wrap. Turn off the grill. Leave the capsicum to sweat for about 20mins. Remove the skins and process to a smooth paste using a small processor or stick blender. Combine the capsicum puree with the greek yoghurt, mayo and worsterchire sauce, season with a little salt and pepper. Keep in the fridge until needed.
Meanwhile, place the eggplant in a roasting dish with the honey, balsamic, olive oil, chilli flakes and garlic. Toss to combine. Arrange in a single layer, skin side up. Cook in the oven for about 20mins. Flip eggplant and cook for another 5-10 mins or until golden and tender.
In a large frying pan, heat a little olive oil over medium heat. Cook the haloumi, about 5 mins per side, until golden brown.
To make the burgers, on the bottom half of the bun, start with the lettuce and mint, followed by the eggplant, cucumber, tomato, haloumi, red onion and capsicum sauce. Top with other half of the roll and secure with a skewer if necessary.
Serve with any of your favourite sides.
Enjoy!

Kalamata, Sundried Tomato and Oregano Bread

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This is the perfect weather to make bread, I sat the dough out on the verandah to rise and after the designated 45mins, it has risen beautifully to a big puffy ball. Finding a warm, draught free place is essential when making good soft bread. I’ve tried many bread recipes over the last few years and I’ve never found a better method than Dan Lepards’. His kneading method is very different to any I’ve come across before, most methods encourage a lot of kneading and being quite rough with the dough where Dans’ method encourages gentleness and more of an emphasis on resting times. If you want to know more about his bread making and other baking techniques I strongly encourage you to buy his book Short and Sweet, it’s very informative and interesting and everything I’ve made from it has turned out perfect.
This recipe isn’t from his book, it’s a mixture of a few different bread recipes I’ve used before as I just wanted to use up the small amount of olives and sun-dried tomatoes I had left over from an antipasto platter we’d had the day before. This then started my brain ticking and inspired some veggie burgers; Honey Roasted Eggplant and Haloumi with Roast Capsicum Sauce (click for the recipe).
Happy baking!

DSC_0193Recipe

Makes 4 large rolls

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups bread flour (regular plain flour is fine though)
7g sachet dry yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tbs kalamata olives, pitted and quartered
2 tbs sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 cup luke warm water
olive oil
milk

Method

In a large bowl combine the flour, yeast, sugar, salt, and dried oregano. Toss through the olives and sun-dried tomatoes. Add the water and with a wooden spoon, roughly incorporate into a ‘scraggly’ dough. Cover bowl with a damp tea towel and leave for 10 mins.
Lightly oil a clean work surface and hands. Bring the dough together in the bowl and turn out onto the work surface. Gently knead for 1 min. Return to the bowl and cover with tea towel again. Leave for 15 mins. Repeat this process twice more and then leave to rise for 45mins in a warm place. The dough should grow by at least another half.
Turn out onto work surface, oiled again if necessary, and knead briefly. Cut the dough into four even pieces and shape each into a round roll shape. Place on a lined baking tray, cover with the tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 45mins.
Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celcius.
Once the rolls have risen, carefully cut a slit in the top of each roll and brush lightly with milk.
Bake for about 30mins, or until golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Bruschetta with Heirloom Tomato, Basil and Balsamic or Marinated Zucchini, Goats Cheese and Mint.

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We just spent nearly a week in Cairns, I didn’t really want to leave! Life there is so focused on being outdoors, there is a fantastic energy in the city centre, as well as a beautiful relaxed vibe just a few minutes down the road in the smaller, beach side suburbs. We spent days lying in the sun, reading, fishing and putting some final touches on the 4WD.
We have four storage drawers under the bed; one entirely dedicated to spices, as well as a set of shelves on one side, holding all my oils and sauces. A bit ridiculous I know but I’m so inspired by all the beautiful ingredients I’ve been getting that I just have to keep cooking! And considering I had to say goodbye to eighty percent of my cooking equipment and ingredients when we decided to live out of our car, I’m pretty happy with what I’ve still been managing to come up with.
We stopped in beautiful Port Douglas yesterday to meet up with some friends for a picnic. I had been to the farmers’ markets in Cairns the day before and had bought some beautiful produce, including these unbelievably sweet heirloom tomatoes, huge zucchinis and big bunches of fresh herbs.
These bruschettas are so simple, and could easily be jazzed up with some extras like bocconcini or anchovies on the tomato ones and some pine nuts on the zucchini ones. I love the freshness of the quickly marinated vegetables though, i find them so much more delicious than the oily marinated ones you find in delis and from the jar. The key here is good, fresh ingredients, nice bread, well toasted and definitely don’t forget to rub it with the cut garlic clove while it’s still hot; the taste is superb and not to mention the smell!

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Recipe

Serves 6 as a starter

Ingredients
1 long baguette
4 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half

Tomato Bruschetta
A few handfuls of heirloom tomatoes, sliced into bite size pieces
1/2 spanish onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
1/2 cup basil leaves, torn, small leaves reserved for presentation
Drizzle of balsamic vinegar
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Zucchini and Goat’s Cheese Bruschetta
1 large zucchini, thinly sliced
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1 tbs olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 cup goats cheese
1 long red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
1/2 cup mint leaves, torn
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Method
Combine the zucchini, vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper in a bowl or jar and toss well to combine. Leave for at least 30 mins to marinate.
Combine the tomatoes, onion, olives, basil, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper and toss to combine. Leave for about 10 mins.
For he baguette, slice into pieces as big as you would like. Toast under a grill, on a bbq, in a toaster, etc. Once golden brown, rub well with the cut side of the garlic clove, you will be able to smell the aroma of the garlic as long as the bread is still hot.
For the tomato bruschettas, top half of the toasts with the tomato mixture and sprinkle with the reserved basil leaves.
For the zucchini bruschettas, spread the toasts with the goats cheese. Top with the zucchini, layered with the mint leaves. Sprinkle with the chilli and drizzle with lemon when ready to serve.

Silverbeet, Kale and Walnut Tart (dairy free)

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My ultimate dream is to become a travelling foodie. I want to travel all over the world and research ingredients, recipes, traditions and methods. Well, I am going to do that anyway but to be able to make money from it somehow would be perfect. I haven’t figured out the best way to go about this yet but I figure if I keep doing what I’m doing, getting better and expanding my skills, I should one day get there.

Very soon I will be leaving this town with an indefinite plan and no return date.  I can’t wait to experience and learn everything I possibly can about the food from different regions along the way.

We will be travelling through northern Australia first, along the coast, and I’m so excited about the seafood.

I hope to be in Europe by this time next year, and after my experience there last year, it’s all I can think about. The local produce markets and beautiful little cafes in beautiful little alleyways…. aaahhhhh.

SBS’s Feast magazine is my favourite food magazine and in their recent issue was a recipe for a kale and walnut tart, taken from the streets of France, where beautiful people support their local businesses and support each other by buying local and cooking seasonally. I loved how simple but beautiful this tart sounded but i also wanted to make something reasonably healthy so I made a few adjustments and it was still absolutely delicious.

The fresh and simple salad to go with it is so perfect. I love the contrast of the creamy, earthy pie filling, the crunchy crust and the fresh juicy tomatoes. The spanish onion adds just the right amount of kick too.

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Recipe

Ingredients

Crust

270g wholemeal flour

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup water

1 tsp salt

Filling

125g silverbeet leaves, finely chopped

125g kale leaves, finely chopped

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups oat milk

1/4 cup coconut cream

70g toasted walnuts, chopped, plus extra to serve

Salad

A few handfuls of heirloom cherry tomatoes

A handful of pitted kalamata olives

Half a spanish onion, thinly sliced

A handful of small basil leaves

Drizzle of good quality olive oil and balsamic viegar

Salt and Pepper

Method

Pre-heat oven to 280 degrees celcius. Grease a 24cm round tart dish.

In a bowl combine the flour, salt and olive oil. Add the water and store to combine. Bring together with your hands and turn out onto clean surface. Knead for about 4 mins or until smooth.

Roll out the dough to 3mm thickness and line the dish with it. Place in the freezer for half an hour.

Meanwhile, to make the filling, combine the silver beet, kale, and walnuts in a bowl. In another bowl beat the eggs with the milk, cream, and some salt and pepper. Add to the silver beet mixture and stir until combined.

Prick the base of the tart crust with a fork and bake for about 20mins or until just dry and lightly golden.

Remove front the oven and pour in the filling. Return to the oven and bake for about 50mins, or until set. Remove front the oven and let it sit for at least 10mins before serving. Or it can be served at room temperature. To serve, scatter with extra walnuts.

To make the salad, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir well.

Enjoy!

Winter Rainbow Salad with Hazelnut Dressing and Goat’s Cheese Sourdough Croutons

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The winter solstice was only a couple of weeks ago and already I’ve noticed the days getting longer, it’s amazing how quickly it happens. Apart from the chilly wind we’ve had lately the days have been beautiful and sunny and the colour of the ocean has been amazing, not to mention the show the whales an dolphins have been putting on. I guess what I’m trying to say (or convince myself of) is that winter ain’t too bad here. However, I am sill very much looking forward to the warmer days coming up soon when I travel North!

 

Another great thing about winter are these beautiful rainbow coloured veggies that I picked up from the markets on the weekend. Rainbow chard is so delicious, the colourful stems have a slight beetroot flavour that I love.
The sweetness of the strawberries together with the nutty dressing and the creamy crunchy croutons is like a winter wonderland in your mouth! Originally I was going to put the goats cheese in the salad but then I thought I’d do it like this so that the meal is also vegan and gluten free friendly.

 

Set up a table in the sun, open a nice bottle of red and share this colourful lunch with some friends this weekend!

Oh, and watch out, all this green goodness can lead to some dodgy smiles!

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Bbq Beef, Slaw and Pickle Rolls with Cruchy Onion Rings

DSC_0247DSC_0244DSC_0294I don’t have much to say about this other than it’s probably one of the most delicious things I’ve ever put in my mouth. It was Sunday, and I had a craving for something juicy and textural, full of flavour and possible to eat with one hand. My other hand seemed to be constantly occupied with something equally as delicious, but also cold and refreshing 😉

 

The slow cooked beef is the star here, and probably the easiest part. If you don’t want to eat it in a sandwich, it would be just as good on a plate with the coleslaw and some sweet potato chips.

 

These rolls are great for big groups as it allows the meat to go a long way between a lot of people, whilst still delivering maximum satisfaction. Trust me, your guests will be so impressed by this meat. To make your evening even easier, just put out all the ingredients on a table and allow your friends to assemble their own, I certainly did!

 

Oh, and make extra onion rings, they’ll disappear as fast as you can cook them.

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Recipe

Ingredients

Serves 8-10

Beef

!.5kg piece beef blade

4 cloves garlic, crushed

2 long red chillies, finely chopped

3 tablespoons brown sugar

2 cups tomato sauce

4 tablespoons worcestershire sauce

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

2 teaspoons toasted cumin seeds, crushed

2 tablespoons tobasco sauce

Onion Rings

8 brown onions

milk

rice flour

corn flour

canola oil

To Serve

2 long baguettes or 8 to 10 bread rolls

300g maasdem, jarlseberg or cheddar cheese

A simple coleslaw

Pickles

Spicy green tomato chutney, or your favourite tomato chutney

Method

Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees celcius. (You could also do this in a slow cooker).

Combine garlic, chilli, sugar, sauces, vinegar, spices, salt and pepper and about a cup of water in a heavy based baking dish. Add the beef and turn to coat. Cover with a lid or foil and bake for about 4-5 hours, or until falling apart.

When ready, shred the meat with a fork and some tongs and toss through the sauce.

Meanwhile, make the onion rings. Peel onions and slice into rings about 1cm wide. Place in milk and allow to soak for a couple of hours. Combine rice flour and corn flour in a a bowl.

Heat oil in saucepan until hot enough for a cube of bread to turn golden in 30secs.

In batches, coat onion rings in flour mixture and carefully place in the oil. Fry until golden, drain on paper towel. Sprinkle with salt.

To serve, fill rolls with beef, coleslaw, cheese, pickles, chutney and/or whatever you would like to add. Serve with the onion rings on the side or even wedge them into your roll if you like. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

Vegetarian Sausage Rolls with Homemade Tomato Sauce

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This year is flying by so fast it’s scary, so much has happened and is happening at the moment, any time I get to spend sitting around, eating ad drinking with my friends is so treasured. I don’t want to spend all my time in the kitchen either, when friends drop around, so it’s good to have snacks like these vego sausage rolls in the freezer for times like these.

Finding time to do a blog post lately has been difficult as well, so whenever I find a few spare hours free I quickly take stock of what I have in the cupboard and see if I can rustle something up. It was lucky that I had all the ingredients at home to make these delicious morsels, especially as the filling can also be used as a vegetarian alternative in my Spiced Lamb Filo Cigars with Sumac and Preserved Lemon Yoghurt that I posted a few months ago and had a few of my vegetarian friends comment that they wished they could eat them. To do this, make the ‘mince’ mixture from this recipe, without the spices, and use in place of the lamb mince, simple!

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To be honest, I think my favourite part of this recipe is actually the tomato sauce, I’ve been eating the leftover sauce on everything. It’s sweet and tart and so moreish. And so easy to make, with every ingredient roasted together in one tray and then simply blended. Add extra chilli for an awesome spicy breakfast sauce.

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Makes 32

Ingredients

40g walnuts, roasted

400g french lentils, cooked

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 brown onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, crushed

500g mushrooms, chopped

4 tablespoons smoked paprika

4 tablespoons ground cumin

4 sheets puff pastry, thawed

1 egg, beaten

Black and white sesame seeds

Sauce

5 tomatoes, quarted

2 small red capsicums, sliced

1 red onion, quarted

6 cloves garlic, peeled

1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

1/2 tsp chilli flakes

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

Method

Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

To make the sauce, place all the ingredients in a small roasting pan so that the are close together and will steam rather than dry roast. Roast for about 45mins, stirring occasionally, until all vegetables are very soft. Remove from oven to cool slightly and then puree with a stick blender or in a food processor. Place in the fridge until needed.

Meanwhile, to make sausage rolls, heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Cook onion until soft, add garlic and mushrooms and sauté until mushrooms are cooked. Add the spices and fry, stirring, for about 30 secs. Remove from heat.

In a food processor, combine the cooled mushroom mixture, the walnuts and the lentils with some salt and pepper and process, scraping down the sides as you go, until mixture is well combined. Don’t over process though, as you still want a bit of texture.

Spread out the 4 pastry sheets on a clean and dry work surface. Cut each sheet in half horizontally. Divide the mixture between the 8 halves, along the bottom edge. Arrange into a sausage shape and roll up into a log, sealing with a brush of egg.

Cut each log into 4 and arrange on baking trays, 5cm apart. Brush with egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Cook in oven for about 20-30mins, swapping trays halfway to ensure even colouring.

Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving with the tomato sauce. If freezing, allow to fully cool before putting them in a sealed container in the freezer. They can be cooked from frozen whenever you feel the need!