27 October 2010

Tempeh and Root "Crumble"; Also, A Cornucopasetic TV Show Review: River Cottage [Anything].

[Ok, I realize it's not a particularly appetizing photo, but it tasted wonderful.]

That's my new favorite tempeh preparation for Lalibela's tempeh. The tempeh is marinated and cooked in the manner described in Heidi Swenson's TLT Sandwich recipe. And then it's a matter of roasting a bunch of mushrooms in the oven until they brown and look yummy. I also roasted some cherry tomatoes I bought from Mary Ellen at Green Spark Farm with garlic and olive oil. All that combines really well.

The root crumble was an idea from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's current show River Cottage Everyday. I wasn't really keen to try it after seeing it on the show, but our CSA had given us a big surplus of rutabaga, celeriac and potatoes so we gave a vegan version of it a go and it was quite good. This is an excellent vegan replacement for a dairy rich gratin.

Hugh's Root Crumble, Vegan Version
Adapted from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, River Cottage Every Day (Episode 3, October 7, 2010)
  • Equivalent amounts of rutabaga, potatoes, parsnips and celeriac, peeled and cut into a bite-sized cubes. You want to pay some attention to cooking time when cutting them, obviously. So make your rutabaga bites a bit smaller than your potato bites, for example. You should have enough to file a large roasting pan.
  • 1 – 2 yellow onions, sliced.
Those are the veggies; go ahead and put them in the roasting pan. Now make a sauce for them by whisking together the following:
  • 3 Tbs. of Dijon mustard;
  • 1 – 2 Tbs. of honey;
  • 4 Tbs. of some kind of vegetable oil; and
  • plenty of salt and pepper.
Pour the sauce over the roots and mix them up. Cover the roasting pan with foil and put them in an oven at 375 for 45 minutes or so. The roots will give up their moisture and everything will steam in the pan under the foil.

Now make a rosemary cashew cream from:
  • 1 Cu. water;
  • 1 Cu. raw, unsalted cashews;
  • 1 – 2 Tbs. of chopped fresh rosemary;
  • some lemon juice; and
  • some salt.
Whiz these ingredients in a food processor. You'll have to do some experimentation here to achieve the consistency of a thick cream and get a pleasant creamy flavor. Note that it takes a long time in the processor to fully break down the cashews so they become creamy. Don't be tempted to add more cashews in order to thicken it until you have really given the initial amount hell.

Take the roots out of the oven and remove the foil. Then put them back in for twenty minutes or so. The water in the bottom of the pan will boil off in the oven and the roots should be tender by the end of this, but be watchful and don't let them dry out.

Now make a crumble topping from some whole wheat bread crumbs and any combination of nuts you think would work: hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, pecans would all be good. Chop the nuts with a knife rather then in a food processor. Mix some olive oil into the topping, enough so the bread crumbs will brown rather than burn. Season the topping also.

When the veggies are ready to come out again, drizzle the cream over the top, then add the crumble topping and put the whole thing back in the oven until the top browns.

You can take the leftovers from this and mash them up and add an egg and some herbs and make little cakes to fry up.

TV Show Review: Anything By Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

I see Hugh's Meat book has been getting some mention on the local blogs and that's great. Are you watching his TV shows too? Maybe everyone is already into these shows, but I'll mention them anyway because if you haven't seen them you really ought to.

After getting the boot from the River Cafe in London, Hugh made a TV show called A Cook on the Wild Side. That was in 1995, but watching it now, the show only seems in dated in rare moments (that are ridiculously funny).

In Wildside, Hugh drove around in a beat up old Land Cruiser (the "Gastrowagon") that was converted into a sort of roving kitchen and foraged and gleaned food from London to Glasgow. In the second season, he swapped the Gastrowagon for a canal barge (the "Bain-Marie").

Some years later he followed up the show by trying his hand at a bit of semi-homesteading. That effort led to a series of River Cottage TV shows that have been produced regularly since the late 90s. At this point he seems almost a bit overblown, with his "River Cottage" idea having turned into what appears to be a big company with branding, cantinas, classes, multiple sites and a torrent of handbooks and cookbooks. None of that has affected my enjoyment of the shows, however.

Watching these shows is a bit tricky; they aren't exactly on Netflix if you know what I mean. I'll leave you to your own devices, but I'm sure you'll easily find them.


S. said...

I didn't think Hugh could do anything Vegan. I'm going to pass this recipe along to the Mrs.' brother. Thank you for educating me :)

Brad said...

To be sure, the original recipe calls for cream and butter. The episode is funny though because he gets a group of firemen to go without meat for a week. They still do dairy, however.