Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Chickpeas and Peach Curry

Inspired by Jack Monroe.

Many of you know that I have not been buying any cookbooks due to lack of income, and have been borrowing books from my library for the past couple of year.  I am patiently waiting for Jack Monroe doesn't seem to have hit the bookshelves there yet, unless some eager beaver already has his/her mitts on it. I've been told it has a lot of vegetarian recipes, so I am keen to flick through its pages.  But I am a little impatient, as the one recipe I have been hearing a lot about is the Peach and Chickpea Curry and its got me excited of sorts.  

One of my weekly university student budget standby dishes would be a Chickpea Curry with white rice.  I would often bulk up the Chickpea Curry by adding another vegetable, mostly a green veg like broccoli or a leafy green like spinach.  The last time I made a variation of Chickpea Curry was not too long ago, when I was experimenting with wild garlic and made a pot of Wild Garlic Chickpea Curry. Well this recipe is that very same recipe, except for a couple of changes.  In place of butter I have used vegetable oil and instead of adding the wild garlic towards the end, I have tossed in slices of peaches including its juices.  
I was never a fan of sweet and sour or even spicy combination, but over the years my palette has been more welcoming.  I've had curry dishes with hunza apricots, raisins and sultanas, but never peach, saying that though I did make Curried Peach Tartlets a while back, but I wasn't that keen on it.
This however, I thoroughly enjoyed.  I am also pleased in the knowledge that I ate some fruit (albeit from a tin).  I am very good at eating my vegetables, but terrible when it comes to fruit.  Tinned fruit might be the way to go for me, well at least in the autumnal and winter seasons.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Day of rest

I was hoping to do a bit of gardening today, but its been rather nippy and breezy that I did not wish to stay out in the garden too long, I fib, at all in fact and was chased back to the warmth of the indoors.

Its been a rather lazy day, really. But instead of sitting in front of the computer catching up with blog reads (namely because the Internet has been temperamental), I've been sitting watching DVDs, flicking through cookbooks for inspiration and listening to music.  

Food has been a lazy affair too.  
Pan fried gnocchi with sauteed kale topped off with some Gorgonzola cheese. 

Here's hoping tomorrow will be a better day and we can get some work done, like build those wigwams for the the sweet peas to start climbing up. 

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Vegan Mexican Tamale Pies

Since my culinary adventure came to an expected end, I did not completely turn away from the local food scene.  I have a food stall at selected food markets.  I have been keeping a foot in partly to stay focused and partly to earn a little income whilst hunting for full-time employment, but truth is I barely break even, still it keeps me distracted of sorts.  I am trying best to create original and different portable vegetarian and vegan dishes, as well as cakes that no-one else is selling at food markets.   

Well one of the original pies that I have recently introduced has been these individual Mexican Tamale Pies.  There are lots of Mexican Pies about encased in pastry, but not like this one.  I've been describing these as a Mexican version of a Sherpherds Pie - soy mincemeat base with beans and topped off with a creamy cornmeal topping.  And to make them more appealing to the eye, I have topped them off with a dried red chilli.  Unlike my other pastry pies, I do-not advise on eating these cold or even at room temperature, but to take home and re-heat in the oven (or microwave if you so wish). 

Today, these sold out.  They sold out last weekend too! 
One of my customers is from Mexico and she has given it the thumbs up, saying she is neither vegetarian or vegan for that, but these vegan Mexican Tamale Pies mimics the real thing she is used to back home real good.  A good compliment don't you think?! 

If you wish to see the filling, please follow this link where I have made this very same recipe in individual serving dishes 
I am sharing some of these individual Mexican Tamale Pies with Vanesther at Bangers and Mash who is hosting Mexican Month on the Spice Trail - Ariba Ariba!.