Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Impress with a vegan Welsh Menu

When I first started cooking proper for friends; like invite them over at home at home for a three course meal and wine, I would always Impress them with an South Asian style meal partly because it was expected of me because I am of South Asian heritage and partly that is what I was comfortable in making.  However, in the last few years South Asian food has become very popular and now every one makes it at home, its no longer deemed to be a meal to impress as in most British homes there is a 'Curry Night' or everyone armed with or without Madhur Jaffrey's cookbook has a good curry recipe that they could knock up in their own kitchen in no time at all. There are a few exceptions to this though, I think Indian cuisine can still impress if you have someone like Reza Mohammad, Vivek Singh, Tony Singh and Cyrus Todiwala, Atul Kocchar to name a few cooking for you and they truly can elevate South Asian cooking to something truly impressive.

So these days, I try to impress friends and willing guinea pigs with a creative menu incorporating ingredients from my place of birth: Wales in the UK.  Here is my experimental three course vegan Welsh Menu for Vegan Mofo prompt today.

Starter
Often I will make a Welsh Dragon Leek and Potato Soup, but recently I have begun serving  Welsh Woman's Vegan Laverbread Caviar with Cashew Cream Cheese and crackers.  
What is laverbread?!  Laverbread: a traditional Welsh delicacy that is often just spread on toast. It also known as 'Seaweed Bread' though it is not a bread at all.  The best way to describe it is seaweed pate.
I think I am being a bit brave serving Laverbread as it is not to everyones taste, but if your up for trying something different and something that you may never have again - then I would encourage you.    To coax you, I will even pretentiously call this 'Mermaids Pearls', but 'Welsh Gentlewoman's Vegan Laverbread Caviar' sounds more cachet.  
For the hearty main, I often make a pastry based dish as it sticks to the ribs.  One reason I make this as making pastry from scratch always impresses people; and the other reason I make it it really does rain in Wales a lot, and when I say rains it literally pours.  And pastry based dishes are always embraced.  

So we have Welsh Laverbread Pudding which contrary to its name is actually a savoury dish - we Brits have sweet and savoury puddings - ever heard of Peas Pudding?
And if this Savoury Pudding does not appeal, then I opt for Laverbread, Mushroom and Puy Lentil Pies.
And finally, for Dessert - Vegan Welshcakes shaped into hearts if you so wish.  I am sharing these vegan Welshcakes with Treat Petite hosted by Cakeyboi. and Jibber Jabber Uk for Love Cake, the theme is Bake Local.
To make the humble Welshcake more decadent I like to serve it with a vegan Coconut Creme Brulee.   
Or if you can't do any more Welsh, then maybe a slice of this Vegan Friendly Giant Jaffa Cake will appeal, it never fails to impress.

15 comments:

  1. What a menu! I've never had laverbread or Welsh cakes...and I've never actually been to Wales, despite being based in Manchester when I'm back in the UK! I really need to rectify this.

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    1. Thank you. North Wales is a marvel, you should def. make time to visit it. As for the Welshcakes, you may need to make them yourself as vegan ones are not readily available, but you never know....more and more places are offering vegan options so by the time you visit Wales - you may get one.

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  2. I would be a very happy bunny if I turned up at your house and all these treats were on the menu! I'd love to try laverbread, and I'd be very attached to the jaffa cake slice!

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    1. Aw thank you Joey. I have to say Laverbread is an acquired taste and I know you would be up for it, but if you didn't like it i'd russle up something else for you for sure.

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  3. Pastry from scratch is always impressive! And your welshcakes look delicious -- I've never tried them but I think my kids would enjoy them. Happy VeganMoFo!

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    1. Thanks so much Kimbelina, please do try and make them for the kids, your kitchen will be filled with one of the most delicious smells.

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  4. This is such a great menu - I would love to try it - I confess I am yet to use your laverbread you sent me - I want to and keep worrying about dishes I want to serve to sylvia and chickening out but am still considering how to use it and hope to incorporate it into a favourite dish

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    1. Oh Thank you, it is an aquired taste menu and for those up for the challenge, i have to admit laverbread is not to everyones taste and I would say to you, don't serve it to little Sylvia - i am sure she will say yuk, it is a very dominant flavour and even adults snug their noses. I have tamed it in cheezy scones, so maybe that is a way to incorporate it to intro to people. Good luck

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    2. Good to hear your thoughts on laverbread - finally used it and put a post up tonight - in a nut roast (you will not be surprised!) It wasn't very strong but I thought the flavour was quite nice but I couldn't imagine eating just by itself - sylvia had a taste of the nut roast and didn't squawk or scream like she does about some food so that is considered a win! Thanks again for sending some through. Wondering about using the rest of it in soup!

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  5. Mermaid pearls! I love that =) I definitely want to try those.
    That coconut crème brulée looks amazing! I would be thoroughly impressed if you had me for dinner =)

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  6. Thanks so much for entering your welshcakes into Treat Petite - they look scrummy!

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  7. I love the sound of your vegan Welsh menu. I've never had laverbread but I'm certainly game enough to try it. The last time I had Welsh cakes was when I bought some fresh from the griddle in the indoor market in Cardiff.

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    1. Thank you. Fresh warm welshcakes are delicious and yes Cardiff Market - its one of my favourite places in Cardiff it hosts so many fantastic indie stalls and eateries

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