Monday, 29 April 2013

Pasta Please #4 - The Chilli Round Up

Before I share the entries for this months edition of Pasta Please, I would first like to Thank Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes for graciously permitting me to host Pasta Please. Secondly Thank you to those of your who raised to the challenge and submitted a Pasta recipe with the ingredient chilli, and moreso it had to be a pasta dish that was suitable for vegetarians.

So in no particular order here are 11 fantastic chilli pasta dishes that totally appeal to me and I hope to some of you too.

The Law Students Cookbook created a Spicy Roasted Vegetable Macaroni and Cheese.  Although she seems not so happy with the amount of breadcrumbs on her pasta dish, I think its homely, comforting and rich enhanced a little with some chilli flakes for warmth.
Johanna from Green Gourmet Giraffe created an original pasta dish Farfalle with pumpkin, facon and chilli.  She shared in her blog post that its a recipe that pleases not only the man in her life, but the little one too.  I love all the ingredients. Also although you can't quite see it, Johanna has used colourful farfalle for this dish. 
Katharine from Leeks and Limoni shared a Roasted Pepper and Ricotta Pasta.  The roasted peppers impart a sweet and smoky flavour.
Foodadoodleto shared a Chilli and Vodka Pasta a combination I have been so wanting to try for a long, long time.  She has also thrown some kidney beans to the mix, making it perfect grub for blustery evenings.
Simona from Briciole submitted a lorighittas with spicy hot sauce.  This pasta dish is made with a pasta shape that is totally new to me.  Simona describes it as a wreath shape or an earring.   She made these pasta shapes from scratch - I am really impressed at not just her skills, but her patience too. 
Next up Jen from Little Birdie with Roasted Fennel, Chilli and Peppers with Spaghetti.  Jen has included fresh strips of chilli in this lovely dish, it also includes cubes of feta cheese and a light dressing of zingy lemons.  I don't think I have ever tried the combo of fennel and chilli, so this one is one my to make list. 
A long-term and dear blogger friend Rachel Cotterill shared her  Spaghetti Bolognese - The Veggie Way.  She advises it best to allow the sauce to mature overnight as it enhances the flavour. I love the use of dried chipotle here as it imparts a deep smoky flavour.
The Taste Space submitted a Vegan Pad Thai with Tofu and Kelp Noodles - two distinct ingredients boost the flavour of this Thai inspired pasta dish  - tamarind and aleppo chilli flakes.
Chez Foti submitted a lovely green and purple seasonal pasta dish using Purple Sprouting Broccoli.  This dish would have been omitted from the round up as it is not suitable for vegetarians as it contains anchovies (seafood), but I am permitting it only on this occasion as I know capers make a good substitute for vegetarians whom may wish to make it at home. 
Caroline Makes came up with the famous Angry Pasta - Penne al Arrabiata - one of my absolute favourites.  I like her use of herb basil, as I tend to use parsley.
And finally, Janice at Farmersgirl Kitchen shared a Pasta Salad recipe with Chilli, Fennel and Walnut.  The essential chillii kick in this pasta salad comes from a chilli jam - I love the sound of it.

Once again Thank you to Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes for permitting me to host Pasta Please and to those of you who submitted a Pasta recipe with chilli.  Next month the challenge will be hosted by Simona at Briciole.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Welsh Red Dragon Vegetarian Burgers

Well its been a while since I have blogged and here I am yet again, with another vegan burger creation.  I have to say I am quite proud of this one.  There is nothing quite like this in Wales, United Kingdom, hence one of the reasons I am proud of it, the other is its been so darn popular.  Its simply made with red sweet potatoes, red chilli flakes and jalapenos.  Its been described by some people as a 'firecracker of a burger' as its sets a little fire on your tongue.  I certainly have to agree.
Personally I like to top the Red Dragon Burger further with some more pickled jalapenos because I do like it hot. I also recommend (that is of course if you can get your hands on it) slathering it further with some red hot Welsh mustard.  If you don't like it that hot, you can mellow this Red Dragon Burger with some vegan mayonnaise (see recipe below) or home-made coleslaw
If you love the sound of my Welsh Red Dragon Burger, then you may want to check out some of my other veggie burger delights such as my  Bloody Valentines Beetroot Burger, Parsnip burger enhanced with fenugreek, sharp green apples, Aloo Chaat Masala Burger, Garlic Mushroom Burger as well as those mild mannered ones made with pumpkins and butternut squash.  I've even been inspired to make some Scottish inspired ones such as my Haggis Burger that I featured for St Andrews day and Burns Night and Day Menu.

Welsh Red Dragon  Burgers
Makes 6 - 8 large burgers
100g whole Quinoa
175ml water

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and grated
I medium onion, grated
200g chickpea flour, plus extra for coating
2 teaspoons hot curry powder
1 teaspoon freshly minced coriander (optional)
1 teaspoon garam masala
Red chilli flakes to taste
50g pickled jalapenos from a jar, minced
Salt to taste
Vegetable oil to shallow fry
Rinse the Quinoa in a sieve with cold water. Boil in 175ml water for 10 minutes covered with a lid. Remove the saucepan from the heat and leave on the side to cool down.
In a large bowl, add the grated onion and grated sweet potatoes, stir in the flour, coriander if using, salt and spices.
When the Quinoa has cooled down add to the bowl. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Leave the mixture to firm up for a while. When ready to eat, divide mixture into 6 - 8 burger shapes. Coat in a little dry chickpea flour and fry in a hot frying pan with oil and press them gently whilst cooking. Cook for about 4 minutes on each side until golden and crisp.

For the vegan Mayonnaise
80ml cold soya milk
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
Salt to taste
110g vegetable oil
Put the milk, vinegar and salt into a blender and blend to combine.
Then remove the lid, and slowly drizzle the oil in the machine while it is still blending.
Continue this until all the oil is in and the mixture begins to thicken. 
Stop and check this now and again, it will come together. 

Friday, 12 April 2013

Vegan Chocolate Chilli Cheesecake

Some of you may know that I am hosting Pasta Please encouraging fellow bloggers to submit a veggie pasta dish that includes the red hot ingredient Chilli.  Well I don't have my Chilli pasta submission to share yet, but what I do have is a Vegan Chocolate Chilli Cheesecake that I made last week. 

I don't completely know why it has taken me so long to make a vegan cheesecake, well if you push me, I think the reason may be the ingredients: one of which is sometimes silken tofu and I haven't cooked much with tofu in sweet dishes.  Well I have to say I was really impressed, as it was a doddle to make and one I look forward to making again.
Please don't assume this is knock your socks off kinda Chilli Cheesecake, the chilli is really subtle, yet warming.  A couple of my nephew and nieces who have been helping me out at work for a few hours (for pocket money of course) got to try a slice of which only a couple were left over.  They really loved it and were none the wiser it was a vegan cheesecake.  And the other slice, was shared by myself and my truly.
The only thing I would do differently is make it in a 8 inch round tin, rather than the 10 inch that I used here.  This would have made the chocolate tofu topping much dense.
I will post the recipe in the next few days or so.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Wanted: Summer and Sunshine

My husband does the daily menu blackboards at the cafeteria.  He's not the most creative, but I have to say, he does a fantastic job as far as I am concerned and a lot of the times he adds humour to them, well I am always amused by them and some of the customers are. 

Here is one of his most recent  works.

Do I need to write any more? What do you think?

Monday, 1 April 2013

April Hosting of Pasta Please: #4 Chilli edition

I was really disappointed to learn that a popular monthly food blogging event known as Presto Pasta Nights had come to an end, however when I learned that Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes was re-igniting this event under a new banner 'Pasta Please', I knew I wanted too not only support it, but be part of it.   So here I am, announcing that I will be hosting Pasta Please #4 April's edition.
For those of you who read my blog on a regular basis, will know that I am a chilli fanatic.  My blog documents loads of chilli specked recipes many with the addition of pasta, some of these were in the past submitted to Presto Pasta Nights such as Garlic Chilli Spiked Cauliflower PastaHome-made Chilli Gnocchi with CabbageCauliflower, Capers and Chilli Pasta, and Chilli Spiced Brussels Sprouts Pasta.  So it will not be a surprise to some of you that the theme for this month is chilli, a red hot spice that is available in many forms from flakes to paste.

Please join in with your mild, warming, tongue tingling, red hot or fiery chilli pasta creations. I really am looking forward to hosting and seeing what delightful pasta dishes you come up with, but if you feel a little stuck and need a little inspiration to get you motivated, then please check out some of these past Chilli Pasta dishes on my blog.  To participate, see details at the bottom of this post.    Also as my blog is 100% vegetarian it is very important that entries this month are suitable for vegetarians, otherwise they will not be included in the final write-up.

Garlic Chilli Spiked Cauliflower Fusilli Pasta
Chilli Gnocchi on a bed of braised cabbage

Cauliflower, Capers and Chilli Pasta with Black Olives

Spiced Penne Pasta with Brussels Sprouts
To participate: Simply post a vegetarian or vegan pasta dish that contains the red hot ingredient chilli by the end of the 28th of the month.

Please link to the current host (this page) and Jacqueline at Tinned Tomatoes.
Please use the 'Pasta Please' logo in your post.
If you use twitter, please tweet your post to @A2KShaheen and @tinnedtoms with #PastaPlease and we will re-tweet it.
Selected entries  will be pinned to the Pasta Please Pinterest board.

Here are the rules:
Follow the current theme (this month it is chilli) when creating your pasta recipe.
All entries for this edition must be suitable for vegetarians.  Others hosts will accept all pasta dishes, unless of course they specify only vegetarian/vegan diet.
Only one entry per blog.
Recipes must be added to the linky below by the 28th of each month.