Jun 28

Cookbook 110: Vegie Food: from vegies on the side to the main event

My sister kindly gave me this book recently, she found it at a second-hand shop going cheaply and she thought I’d like the recipes in it.  She wasn’t wrong, Vegie Food: from vegies on the side to the main event, is full of great recipes.  It’s also out of print so probably generally hard to find.  It’s from the Murdoch Books publishing house, and is in a compact (and heavy) form, containing around 380 recipes.  Lots of great vegetarian and vegan recipes in this book.

I decided as I was making 3 dishes, that I’d try and have a simliar taste and feel to them all, so that they wouldn’t clash.  Though the fritters really didn’t go with anything else, they were too tasty looking for me to pass by.  I’d recommend this book, and give it a 4 out of 5.

Spinach and leek fritters

Ingredients:

  • 40g butter
  • 40g pine nuts
  • 1 leek, white part only, thinly sliced
  • 100g baby English spinach, chopped
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon cream
  • 75g grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Method:

  1. Melt half the butter in a heavy-based frying pan over low-medium heat and cook the pine nuts and leek for 3 minutes, or until the pine nuts are golden.  Add the spinach and cook for 1 minute.  Remove the mixture from the pan and allow to cool slightly.  Wipe out the pan with paper towel.
  2. Whisk the eggs, yolk and cream together in a large bowl.  Add the cheese and parsley and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Stir in the spinach mixture.
  3. Melt half of the remaining butter and half of the oil in the frying pan.  Place four 5 – 7 cm egg rings in the pan, and pour 1/4 cup of the spinach mixture into each.  Cook over a low heat for 2 – 3 minutes, or until the base is set.  Gently flip and cook the other side for 2 – 3 minutes, or until firm.  Transfer to a plate and slide out of the egg rings.  Repeat with the remaining butter, oil and spinach mixture.  Serve immediately.

Notes on this recipe:

  • A quarter of a cup into standard sized egg rings is a bit too much.  You want to fill the egg ring, but not over flow it.
  • These are so tasty, we devoured them and then wanted more.

Vegetable Dumplings

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 3 spring onions
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger,
  • 3 tablespoons chopped garlic chives
  • 420g choy sum, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
  • 3 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
  • 45g water chestnuts, drained and chopped
  • 25 gow gee wrappers

Dipping sauce:

  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 small red chilli, finely chopped

Method:

  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat and cook the spring onions, garlic, ginger, and chives for 1 – 2 minutes, or until soft.  Increase the heat to high, add the choy sum and cook for 4 – 5 minutes, or until wilted.  Stir in the chilli sauce, coriander and water chestnuts.  Allow to cool.  If the mixture is too wet, squeeze dry.
  2. Lay a wrapper on the work surface.  Place a heaped teaspoon of the filling in the centre.  Moisten the edge of the wrapper with water and pinch to seal, forming a ball.  Trim.  Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling.
  3. Half fill a wok with water and bring to the boil.  Line a bamboo steamer with baking paper. Steam the dumplings, seam side up, for 5 – 6 minutes.
  4. To make the dipping sauce, combine all the ingredients.  Serve with the dumplings.

Notes on this recipe:

  • Instructions on folding dumpings here and here and here
  • These were good, and as we didn’t quite have enough choi sum, I added some finely chopped carrot and celery.  I’d like to try these again with perhaps some corn or mushrooms.
  • I think I might get into home made dumplings.

Phad Thai

Ingredients:

  • 400g flat rice-stick noodles
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 small red capsicum, cut into thin strips
  • 100g fried tofu, cut into 5mm wide strips
  • 6 spring onions, tinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 25g chopped coriander leaves
  • 60ml soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon soft brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sambal oelek
  • 90g bean shoots
  • 40g chopped roasted unsalted peanuts

Method:

  1. Cook the noodles in a saucepan of boiling water for 5 – 10 minutes, or until tender. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat a wok over high heat and add enough peanut oil to coat the bottom and side.  When smoking, add the egg and swirl to form a thin omelette.  Cook for 30 seconds, or until just set.  Roll up, remove and thinly slice.
  3. Heat the remaining oil in the wok.  Cook the onion, garlic and capsicum over high heat for 2 – 3 minutes, or until the onion have softened.  Add the noodles, tossing well.  Stir in the omelette, tofu, spring onion and half the coriander.
  4. Pour in the combined soy sauce, lime juice, sugar, and sambal oelek, then toss the coat the noodles.  Sprinkle the bean shoots over the top and garnish with the peanuts and the remaining coriander.  Serve immediately.

Notes on this recipe:

  • If the rice stick noodles you buy have a shorter cooking time, then follow that cooking time or you’ll end up with a pile of glug – tasty glug, but glug nonetheless.
  • I have no idea how people stir things through noodles and actually end up with things in noodles and not underneath or on top of them.
  • This was tasty, will consider trying again.
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