Vegetable recipes and procedures

Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts

350g (12oz) Fresh Chestnuts 
700g (1½lb) Brussels Sprouts, trimmed 
25g (1oz) Butter 
Salt and Pepper

Pre-heat oven to 200°C; 400°F: Gas 6. 
Trim the stems of the sprouts and deeply score with a cross. 
Using the point of a sharp knife, make a small cut on the flat side of each chestnut. 
Bake their skins for 20 minutes. 
Allow to cool slighlty, then peel removing both the outer and inner shells. 
Place the Brussels sprouts in boiling water and cook for 8-10 minutes, until just tender (or longer if preferred). 
Drain. 
Return to the saucepan, with the chestnuts and butter, over a high heat, toss until the butter is melted, season to taste. 
Serve immediately. 
An ideal accompaniment to Christmas dinner.

Mushroom and Nut Wellington

680g (1lb 8oz) Onions 
565g (1lb 4oz) Puff Pastry 
450g (16oz) Chestnut Mushrooms 
340g (12oz) Cashew broken pieces 
340g (12oz) Ground Almonds 
170g (6oz) Fresh Breadcrumbs, white or wholemeal 
55ml (2fl oz) Sunflower Oil 
4 Garlic Cloves 
4 tbsp Sherry 
2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce 
2 tbsp Fresh Tarragon 
1 Egg, beaten for glazing 
Salt and Pepper to taste

Roll out the pastry into two rectangles, 23x30.5cm each, cover and place in the fridge. 
Chop the onions. 
Sauté in the oil in a large frying pan with half the crushed garlic for at least 20 minutes or until deep golden. 
Remove onions from the pan and reserve. 
In the same pan then add the whole mushrooms to with the remaining crushed garlic and half the tarragon and cook on a fairly high heat. 
Halfway through cooking, add the sherry. 
Continue until the mushrooms are cooked through. 
Season with salt and pepper. 
Set aside, reserving all the mushroom juices. 
In a food processor or blender, blend the cashews with the reserved juices to a smooth purée, add a little water or sherry if the mixture is too dry. 
Blend or process the onions and mushrooms until smooth. 
Mix all the blended ingredients together in a bowl, adding the breadcrumbs, ground almonds and the remaining tarragon. 
The mixture should hold its shape when formed with the hands. 
Pre-heat oven to 220°C: 425°F: Gas 7. 
Remove the pastry from the fridge. 
Divide the mixture in two and place half on a sheet of pastry, into rectangular shape about 28cm long, 7cm wide and about 5cm high. 
Using the point of a sharp knife, make diagonal cuts at a 45-degree angle, starting from the left hand corner of the pastry towards the purée mixture. 
Repeat on the other side, this time starting at the top right hand corner and cutting down towards the centre. 
The strips should now be about 2cm apart. 
Fold in the end pieces first. 
Then draw a strip over from the left, then one from the right, crossing them over (you can tug lightly at the strips if you need to) so the mix is snugly wrapped up. 
Repeat for the second wellington. 
Glaze generously with beaten egg. 
Place upon a floured baking tray. 
Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 45 minutes until golden. 
Allow to cool for a few minutes before placing on a serving dish.

Baked Onions with Nut Stuffing

4 large Onions (each weighing 225-275g (8-10 oz)) 
225 g (8 oz) Tomatoes 
150 g (5 oz) Long grain rice 
110 g (4 oz) Cheddar cheese 
50 g (2 oz) Hazelnuts 
50 g (2 oz) Pistachio Nuts 
1 tsp Turmeric 
1 tsp Fresh Basil 
¼ tsp Dried Oregano

Pre-heat oven to 200°C: 400°F: Gas 6 
Boil the onions in their skins for 45 minutes or until very tender, drain and leave to cool. 
Cook the rice until tender, drain well. 
Place the hazelnuts on a sheet of foil and cook under the grill until lightly brown, turning often. 
Finely chop with the hazelnuts and pistachio nuts. 
Mix the roughly chopped tomatoes with the rice, grated cheese, nuts, herbs and turmeric. 
Slice off the tip and root of each onion, leaving on the outer skin. 
Cut through to the centre of each onion from tip to root along one side. 
Ease the onions open. 
Place a portion of the stuffing in each onion, pressing it well into the centre. 
Place in a roasting tray, cover and bake for about 40 minutes. 
Serve hot.

Rich Sage and Onion Stuffing

900g (2lb) Fresh Breadcrumbs 
235ml (8fl oz) Boiling Water 
225g (8oz) Onions 
1 Medium Eating Apple 
3 tbsp Fresh Sage Leaves or 1 tbsp Dried Sage 
2˝ tbsp Sunflower Oil 
2 Eggs, beaten 
1 tsp Grated Lemon Rind 
˝ Lemon, juice 
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 180°C: 350°F: Gas 4 
Place the sage leaves in the boiling water. 
Steep for at least 15 minutes, then strain. 
Discard the sage, reserving the water. 
Peel, core, and finely dice the apple very finely chop the onion 
Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the onions and sauté over medium heat, stirring frequently, until lightly browned. 
In a mixing bowl, combine the onions with the breadcrumbs and the remaining ingredients. 
Add enough of the sage stock to evenly moisten the mixture. 
Transfer to an oiled, shallow casserole dish 
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the outside is golden brown and crusty. 

Parsnip and Apple Soup

1200ml (2 pints) Vegetable Stock 
450g (1lb) Parsnips 
450g (1lb) Apples 
150ml (¼ pint) Cream 
1 medium Onion 
1 large Clove Garlic 
2 tsp Curry Powder 
1 tsp Ground Cumin 
1 tsp Ground Coriander 
1 tbsp Butter 
½ tsp Cardamom 
Salt and Black Pepper 
Chives or Parsley

Thinly slice the parsnips, apples and onions. 
Cook gently not allowing them to colour. 
Add the curry powder, spices and crushed garlic, cook for 2 minutes, stirring well. 
Pour in the stock slowly, stirring well. 
Cover and simmer gently for about 30 minutes or until the parsnips are soft. 
Season to taste. 
Liquidise or sieve, if it is too thick, dilute with a little stock or water. 
Add the cream and reheat, but do not boil. 
Serve garnished with chopped chives or parsley.

Stilton, Lentil and Mushroom Loaf

225g (8oz) Lentils
225g (8oz) Onion, chopped
225g (8oz) Potato, cooked and mashed
225g (8oz) Stilton Cheese
175g (6oz) Mushrooms
150g (5oz) Spinach
50g (2oz) Breadcrumbs
2 Cloves Garlic
2 tbsp Wheat Germ
2 tbsp Sunflower Oil
1 tbsp Fresh Parsley, chopped
1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
½ tsp Dried Thyme
½ tsp Dried Basil
Salt and Black Pepper
Pinch Nutmeg
Parsley, to garnish

Rinse the lentils and place in a heavy saucepan with 1 litre (1¾ pints) water.
Bring to a boil, and simmer, covered, until the lentils are tender, about 45 minutes.
Drain and reserve.
Preheat oven to 180°C: 350°F: Gas 4
Heat half of the oil in a large frying pan, add the garlic and chopped mushrooms and sauté over medium heat, stirring, for a few minutes.
Stir in the spinach, lentils, Worcestershire sauce, and wheat germ.
Season with pepper and freshly grated nutmeg.
Cook, stirring, until the mixture is heated through, then add the Stilton cheese.
Lightly oil a loaf tin.
Pour in around two thirds of the lentil mixture.
Press the mixture up the sides of the tin to create a crust about ½ inch thick.
Reserve the remaining lentil mixture to use as the topping.
Heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan, add the chopped onion and sauté until golden brown.
Add the mashed potato, breadcrumbs, herbs and season to taste.
Sauté, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
Transfer to the centre of the loaf tin.
Cover the top with the reserved lentil mixture.
Bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is crusty.
Allow to stand for 10 to 15 minutes before turning out.
Cut into slices and garnish with parsley and serve.

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