I think it is fair to say at the end of last month’s meeting there weren’t many whoops of joy as the theme of Vegetable was drawn. For clarity this meant that dishes for the October meeting had to not just involve but star vegetables. Major food groups such as meat, fish and chocolate were of course allowed too but only as bit part players. Not so hard for the savouries but there was a collective low groan from almost everyone that drew a dessert, other than Matt of course who groans if he draws anything other than a dessert!
I like vegetables, as a rule. Five a day isn’t much of a stretch for me, infact it’s usually out of the way by the end of lunch. I love a good salad in the summer, I go giddy for watercress at any time and revel in the mass application of onions at most meal times. Veg is great. It has fibre and vitamins and generally quite low calories for the associated bulk- don’t quote avocados at me diet freaks, it’s not a vegetable. Veg is generally cheap and generally good for you, hooray for vegetables.
I had in mind for cookery club a nice seasonal bake of aubergines with a tomato sauce and a cheeky bit of parmesan, a plan scuppered by a stunning lack of aubergines in Sainsbury’s two days in a row which left me wandering the fresh veg scratching my head. Not because there was no inspiration, rather too much! As I searched the racks for some ideas my eyes caught some leeks and my brain instantly told me it had to have creamed leeks for tea that night- a simple often guilty pleasure I indulge in when the weather turns and I can’t be bothered to cook very much. So I got three leeks for my dinner. Then realised I should just do some leeks for my club entry and that, dear reader was that. Let’s have a look what everyone else came up with.
A mixed mushroom goulash from Tom with peppers and plenty of paprika, a great winter dinner for certain
Colcannon, and just remembering it raised a hearty foodie chuckle from my sofa as I type. Creamy mash with cabbage and bacon. Does life get better than mashed spuds with bacon? Exactly. Good job Amanda.
A rather marvellous take on a tart tartin- small, sweet onions caramelised in sugar and balsamic vinegar with the traditional puff pastry lid/base served with a truly devilish Roquefort sauce. This is the kind of food that could have me dead of congestive heart failure before I’m 40. Fan. Bloody. Tastic. And points for originality. Fearless leader Sheena provided this one.
My offering- butter fried leaks and chestnut mushrooms in a pretty heavy cheese sauce with plenty of nutmeg, topped with more cheese and bread chunks then baked. I love this, and make it often and yes, it is absolutely worth the calories. Well received by my fellow foodies.
Iced chocolate cakes made with frozen mashed potato as per instruction from Saint Delia. Matt provided these, and was not desperately impressed with them himself but everyone tucked in heartily. You certainly couldn’t tell there were potatoes in them and they were most palatable with a stickier consistency than your average cupcake. I finished mine, obviously. It was a cake.
Immaculate little chocolate and beetroot muffins from Dave with distraction tactic icing carrots. Mixed reaction on these- the beetroot haters among us found the beet taste too overwhelming and did not enjoy. Beetophiles such as myself could taste only a light and moist cakey goodness. And what a result for his first ever bake, God bless you Dave!
Another picture perfect offering from Stuart who frankly shames my presentation skills further into the ground with every meeting. This beautiful beast is a sweet potato cheesecake, digestive base topped off with pecans. Again some mixed reviews and debate as to the cinnamon levels being too high. I thought it was great and the spice helped to cut through the richness of the cheesy sweet potato filling but I’m a big fan of cinnamon. And slightly too rich stuff. This was amazing.
A striking icecream from Ian of spinach, pistachio nut, honey and avocado. Whilst the spinach gave the colour the avocado was the main flavour here. Very refreshing and crisp, I really enjoyed my first scoop then moved on to cake. Oddly on going back to finish it seemed to have lost all sweetness, no doubt in comparison to all the much sweeter offerings. No doubt one of the slightly healthier options on offer and really different. I liked it very much, and no-one hated it. Good job.
Let me tell you, it takes a very special group of people to turn a vegetable cookery night into a comfort calorific dinner with cake AND ice-cream. Very special indeed.