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Wednesday, 12 December 2012
A vegetarian Christmas dinner in Scotland
The stuffing balls were a bit boring but really perked up with some gravy and cranberry sauce. They were a nice nut roast accompaniment, and a pretty addition to the table. Once cooked they didn't look like raw meat like the raw ones below. It is the first recipe I have made where the cranberries are not all sweet.
Coordinating everything was a challenge while trying to get Sylvia to eat some breakfast. At one point I put a saucepan on the hotplate and forgot it while I was talking to Sylvia. I remembered it just as it started to smoke but before it was burning. E went out a second time with Sylvia to give me some peace.
At the last moment I (wisely) decided I didn't have the energy for the filling of fried onion, courgette, and red pepper mixed with stilton. I was very pleased that, despite my changes, the nut roast sliced up very nicely and was very tasty. E was relieved that the stilton did not dominate.
The flat had a beautiful dinner set, gorgeous serving dishes and even a gravy boat. My sister in law loaned us some Christmas linen. I'd bought cranberry sauce in Avoca in Dublin. A bit of tinsel, some crackers, and Sylvia's tealight holder that she made at the school fete all added to the festive feeling.
recipe I used on my last visit to Edinburgh. She was most helpful in getting all the food ready and on the table.
Edinburgh Farmers Market. We took the obligatory family photos, pulled our crackers, put on the silly hats and tucked into the Christmas dinner. Everyone was very appreciative of the meal.
school fete raffle. So his folks brought over Christmas cake and Christmas coffee from the hamper. I found some shortbread in the cupboards, and had bought some mince pies and brandy butter. At the last moment I wished I had some chocolate offerings and broke up a block of raspberry chocolate.
Before we knew it, Anne had to take the train home. Our flat has a lovely window over a wee burn. It was glorious when the sun was shining but the darkness falls so early here (3.30pm). After she left we kept drinking tea and coffee. Then we did the Observer Food Monthly quiz with E being a stern quizmaster. A great afternoon of good food and fun. We now feel well rehearsed for Christmas Day.
Stilton Nut Roast
adapted from Vegetarian: 100 everyday recipes
good slurp of olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 -3 clove garlic, crushed
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
100g chestnuts finely chopped
100g ground almonds
100g finely chopped hazelnuts
1 tsp fresh sage chopped
1 tbsp hemp seeds - crunchy
100g freshly breadcrumbs
135g stilton cheese, crumbled
Grease a line a loaf tin (The recipe said 2lb or 900g) and preheat oven to 180 C (350 F).
Heat olive oil in a large frying pan. Fry up onion, garlic and celery for 5 to 10 minutes until cooked. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
Tip mixture into the prepared loaf tin. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes (I think I did more than this - probably 45 minutes.) Rest for about 5 minutes and turn out onto a serving plate. Serve in slices. It maybe crumble slightly but not too much.
Cranberry and chestnut stuffing balls
Adapted form Sainsburys Supermarket recipe card
2 tbsp butter
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic
100g fresh cranberries
100g vacuum packed chestnuts, roughly chopped
chopped fresh herbs (I used parsley, thyme and sage)
200g fresh breadcrumbs
Melt butter in a large frying pan. Fry onion for 5-10 minutes until cooked but not browned. Add cranberies and chestnuts and fry another 5 minutes. The recipe card wasn't clear but I think it was meant to get the cranberries softened but keeping their shape and not breaking down into a sauce. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl and mix well. Roll into golf ball sized balls. Place on a greased or oiled baking tray. Bake about 15-20 minutes at 180 C. (Again I think I might have baked mine longer and they were fine.)
On the Stereo:
BBC Scotland - country dance music