As a non-meat eater I would be chuffed to bits to be presented with these for my Christmas dinner, or for any dinner for that matter! The pastry is gorgeously crisp and flaky against the creamy filling and tender sweet squash. The flavours are spot […]
Before I lived in the States I only ever really thought of tacos as the hard, crunchy shells you buy from the supermarket and fill with chilli and cheese. I was utterly oblivious to the world of deliciousness which ‘proper’ tacos provide, there are so many possibilities. I think even when we travelled in Mexico I missed out by virtue of being a vegetarian.
Mr Colonial Cravings still lets out a wistful sigh upon recalling one particularly good taco al pastor purchased from a food truck in Austin TX (henceforth known as ‘the best taco ever’).
I’ll be the first to admit that these ones aren’t particularly conventional but that doesn’t make them any less tasty, and anyway, why should the meat eaters have all the fun!
serves 3-4 (depending on greed)
1/4 red onion
200g red cabbage
1 medium carrot
small bunch of fresh coriander
1 large ripe avocado
salt and pepper to taste
200g extra firm tofu (pressed for at least 20 mins and patted dry)
2 tbsp cornflour
pinch each of salt, pepper, cumin and cayenne
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp chipotle powder
oil for frying
flour tortillas (if you’re making this for vegans make sure these aren’t made with lard)
Slice the onion, as thinly as you can, and macerate it in the lime juice. Set this aside until later. Grate the carrot and shred the cabbage. Roughly chop the coriander and toss it together with the carrot and cabbage. Add the onion and lime juice. Blend the avocado flesh with the salt and pepper until it is really smooth and creamy and then use this as the dressing for the coleslaw.
Mix together the cornflour and spices in a shallow dish. Slice the tofu into bite sized cubes and toss it in the spiced cornflour blend. Heat a tablespoon or so of oil in a large frying pan and carefully place the dusted tofu into it. Let the tofu sit for a few moments to become crispy and golden before turning it. Keep turning the tofu until it is nice and golden on all sides.
Warm the tortillas, either in a dry pan or just by microwaving them, and then pile them up with the coleslaw and top them with the spicy, crispy tofu.
When you get really good ingredients it’s worth using them in a recipe that really shows off their full potential. That’s how I feel about these beautiful heirloom tomatoes anyway. So often the fruits you find in supermarkets are insipid and disappointing but if you […]
When other women go to New York they head to 5th Avenue to buy designer shoes and handbags. Not me. I head to The Bowery and trawl through the restaurant supply stores. When we went recently Mr Colonial Cravings treated me to a tortilla press (in my world this totally counts as a romantic gift!) I used to see these all the time in our local thrift store when we were living in Maryland but I never thought to buy one because ready-made tortillas were always pretty cheap and pretty good. Something I really regretted when we moved back to the UK.
I realise that I don’t actually need a tortilla press to make my own tortillas but it does make the process a bit more fun! I’ve also been using it to make some delicious flatbreads for summer picnics and barbecues.
Freshly made flat breads really are so much nicer than anything that you’ll buy in a supermarket and they really are so quick and easy to make, with or without a fancy-pants tortilla press.
makes about 8
225g plain flour
75g wholewheat flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp seasalt
2 tbsp mixed fresh herbs, finely chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
30g butter, melted
Sift together the flours and baking powder. Whisk in the salt, crushed garlic and finely chopped herbs. Combine the melted butter, milk and water and then use this to bring the dry ingredients together to form a soft dough. Add it a little at a time, you may not need all of the liquid and you don’t want the dough to be sticky. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and briefly knead it. Divide it into eight equal chunks and then roll them into thin flat discs with a rolling-pin, or if you’re fancy like me then squish them into shape with a tortilla press!
Set a heavy based frying pan over a low heat and dry-fry the flat breads until the outsides are golden. It’s easiest to do this immediately after you’ve shaped them as they do tend to spring back a bit. Serve warm or cooled with your favourite dip, they’re especially good with this channa dal hummus!
I’ve taken the delicious salad that Rach from our little community shared on here last summer as the flavour inspiration for these. I bloomin’ love beetroot and dill, alone or together, they put me in veggie heaven. These little vegetable patties are so delicious, crisp […]
I love most Indian food but I think that my absolute favourite dish is a paneer dosa. I love the crisp, delicate crepe and contrasting soft, fluffy spiced potato filling. I am not, however, any good at making them. The filling isn’t a problem, it’s the dosa crepe. I don’t think that I have the skill and dexterity required to produce such wonderfully thin pancakes.
So I’ve turned to filo pastry to help me get my fix of crisp exterior and fluffy spicy interior. It works well too – like a cross between spanokopita and a dosa!
700g floury potatoes
2 inch piece of ginger
2 fat cloves of garlic
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp garam masala
chili powder and salt and pepper to taste
2-3 huge handfuls of spinach
150g filo sheets
1 tbsp sesame seeds
Dice the potato into small cubes, you can peel them if you like but I don’t bother. Put them in a large pan of boiling water and cook until they are quite tender. Drain and set aside.
Melt the butter in a large frying pan and then pour most of it into a small dish for later. Thinly slice the onion and fry this in the butter that’s left in the pan until it is just starting to brown. Peel and grate the garlic and ginger before adding to the pan and cooking for a minute or two. Sprinkle in the spices and seasonings. Cube the paneer and mix it with everything in the pan, keeping the heat low but allowing it to brown a little.
Combine the cooked potato with everything else and then toss it with the spinach. Add a tablespoon or so of water and let the spinach wilt down before removing from the heat.
Pre-heat your oven to 200°c and lightly grease a baking tray.
Now time to assemble the pie! Beat the egg and set it aside and keep the filo sheets under a damp tea towel. Cover your work top with about a meter of clingfilm. Lay out a couple of sheets of filo, over-laping by at least an inch and brush them with the melted butter. Build up the layers of filo and melted butter, working as quickly as you can because the filo will dry out very quickly.
Spread the filling along the length of the filo at the edge closest to you and brush the far edge with beaten egg. Using the cling film to help you roll the pastry away from you to create a sausage shape. Curl the sausage around itself to form a pin wheel. Again, using the cling film to help you, transfer the pie to the baking tray. Brush it really well with the rest of the beaten egg and sprinkle the top with sesame seeds.
Bake the pie for 35 minutes until it is lovely and golden. Serve hot or cold.