Posts Tagged With: chilli

Butternut Squash and Peanut Butter Gratin (Vegan)

Butternut Squash and Peanut Butter Gratin

Butternut Squash and Peanut Butter Gratin

A vegan gratin to die for. Quite a dramatic statement, but not far off the mark I can assure you. Peanuts offer some much more than just a satay sauce.  With vegan food like this, you’d never miss cheese or cream in your cooking, its just so rich and YUM.

Peanut butter, in moderation, is a wonder ingredient and adds so much flavour and richness to all that it graces. A hearty bake is perfect peanut territory and a pinch of smoked paprika, chilli and garlic and you’re well on your way to a very special oven dish of happiness.

It’s been a gorgeous day in Wales, a little chilly, but the sun has shone brightly.  We’ve been walking all day on the Llyn Peninsula, a spectacular area just south of the Beach House.  After a long day rambling around the hills, cliffs and stone age forts, we were ready for some hearty bites.  We also needed some energy (those hills are steep you know!) so reaching for the jar of peanut butter sprang to mind.

Peanuts are used all over the world in cooking and my favourite use of them has to be a Thai Papaya Salad (with roasted peanuts sprinkled on), however, many others also spring to mind.

I saw Hugh Fearnley doing something like this a while ago and felt it worth a try, I have veganised the dish though. Hugh used sweet potatoes and double cream.  I’m not a huge fan of adding lashings of cream to dishes, its a little heavy going and I find it best reserved for strawberries.

I love adding paprika to dishes and we came back from Spain heavy laden with many different varieties. Smoked paprika is so powerful and works well with the chilli and peanut here, it also turns the sauce a funky pink colour.

THE MIGHTY PEA(NUT)

It took me a while to figure this out, but a peanut is not actually a nut, it’s a pea or legume or even herb to some. Makes perfect sense really.  Although strangely, and nature can be strange, peanuts have most of the properties a nut has.

Peanut butter is one of those things that just cannot be replicated, when a spoonful is added to dishes it tends to transform and can dominate proceedings. It is packed full of energy and perfect when we are out on the hills having a wee ramble. Have you ever tried making your own Peanut Butter? Its very easy and normally much more cost efficient. Grab some organic nuts and a blender and you’re off.

On a ramble yesterday, up the Rivals - Llyn Peninsula, Wales

On a ramble yesterday, up the Rivals – Llyn Peninsula, Wales

Some peanut butter you can buy have sugar and other things added, we would steer away from these, the dish will be better with 100% peanut goodness and no added bits.

We didn’t have crunchy peanut butter, so you will see a few sunflower seeds making an appearance on our version.  Just to crunch things up a little.

You can substitute lime for lemon here, that sounds like a tasty change.

The Bits

The Bits

THE BITS

1 medium butternut squash, 1 courgette, 1 parsnip, 1 red onion (all sliced in 1/2 cm slices), 3 tbs crunchy peanut butter, 1 lemon (juice and zest), 3 cups almond milk (or milk of your choice), 1 teas smoked paprika, 4 cloves garlic (crushed), 1 chilli (finely sliced) or 1 teas chilli flakes), sea salt (to taste), 2 teas cooking oil (sunflower ideal)

Getting layered up

Getting layered up

DO IT

Chop up your veggies and gather a heavy oven dish (approx 8inch by 10inch).

Pre-heat your oven to 180oC

In a blender or using a whisk, combing the peanut butter, paprika, milk, garlic and lemon into a thick, double cream-like consistency.  The thicker, the richer, you decide!?

Oil your over dish using your mitts/ hands and begin the layering.  It goes like this:

Butternut-parsnip-courgette-add half your mix-courgette-onion-butternut-pour over the rest of your sauce.  Add a few more spoonfuls of peanut butter on top and smooth them over the squash.

Try and keep the layers neat and well-packed.  It looks and slices better.

Cover the dish and pop in the oven for 20 minutes, then take foil off and cook for a further 30 minutes or until its looking nice and crispy golden.

Butternut Squash and Peanut Butter Gratin (Vegan)

Butternut Squash and Peanut Butter Gratin (Vegan)

SERVE

Sprinkle a little more paprika over the gratin and allow to rest and cool for 5 minutes.  Then serve up with some steamed vegetables or a full flavoured salad.

WE LOVE IT!

Creamy and rich with the lovely sweetness of peanuts and the veggies.  This is full of mouthfuls to savour and bags of YUM!  We suggest a full day walking over stone age forts prior to dinner.

FOODIE FACT

Peanuts are said to originate in Central America, but are now grown and enjoyed all over the world, thanks mainly to the Spanish conquistadors (I wonder what the world’s diet would have been like without those Spanish mercenary types setting sail in search of El Dorado and all?)

Peanuts are famously rich in energy and high in protein and vitamin B.  They are also an excellent source of antioxidants (which are increased in the nut when boiled).  So a handful of peanuts a day, keeps oxidisation away!  Good to know.

Categories: Dinner, gluten-free, Recipes, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Chilli & Onion Marmalade (Beach House Basics)

Buster smells cooking

I have always loved this gooey, sweet stuff.  I remember years ago, I made my first batch and was pleasantly surprised at how quick and easy it was.   This is the case with so many recipes, you just need to give them a go.  For this reason, we have created the Beach House Basics page (see at the top of the page).

The Beach House Basics will be a page dedicated to simple, cheap and normally quick recipes that we cook regularly.  With just a little time and effort, we can make so many more homemade goodies, to our own taste and not rely on mass produced, factory made fare.

The Beach House Basics page will not include the ‘Foodies Fact’ and ‘Boozie Bit’ section.  It will be straight to the point, that is, great recipes.

We would love you to get involved with the Beach House Kitchen, letting us know your favourite, most simple and rewarding recipes. We’ll pop them on the ‘Basics’ page with a nice link you.

This recipe reflects my taste, hence a little chill and coriander.  The basic recipe, without spices, is great on its own and I normally omit the sugar, the onions being sweet enough.  Onion Marmalade is a great staple relish to have hanging around, always there to add a delicious tangy sweetness to your plate.

Sweaty Onions

The Bits

6 white onions, glug of olive oil, 1 teas chilli flakes, 1 teas coriander seeds, 1 teas black mustard seeds, 1 bay leaf, 2 tbs balsamic vinegar, 1 tbs brown sugar (depending on your sweet tooth), s + p to taste.

Do It

Slice onions finely, heat a large heavy bottomed saucepan on medium heat, add olive oil, add onions, and all other ingredients (except the vinegar), gently cook (don’t brown) stirring regularly for roughly 45 minutes.  The onions will gradually brown and go sticky.  Add the vinegar halfway through cooking, taste to check for balance of sweetness with sharpness.  Add more balsamic or sugar if you like.  The flavours will mellow when cooled.  At end, take out bay leaf.

When cooled, put in a nice jam jar or tupperware, ready to be lathered on biscuits or crackers, preferably with a nice lump of potent cheddar.

If you are not planning on using the onion marmalade immediately, wash a Kilner jar or a couple of jam jars, rinse thoroughly, then dry in a warm oven. Stand them upside down on a clean tea towel.

For jam jars, fill them, then cover the marmalade with a disc of waxed paper while still hot, then seal with a dampened disc of clear plastic, secure with an elastic band and screw back on the top.  Label and store in a cool, dark place for up to 2 months, then use as required.

Categories: Budget, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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