These recipes promise an array of sparkling flavors and a subtle smoky to prepare you for a raucous night of seasonal bustle.
Roasting mushroom cakes with chipotle salad
I can’t think of another better sandwich to eat at this time of year. If you’re cooking for a larger crowd, toss mushrooms in oil and roast in oven at 220°C (200°C)/425°F/gas 7 until crisp but still plump.
to equip 20 minutes
cook 10 minutes
6 portobello mushroomsAnd the Or 500g of smaller mushrooms
6 tablespoons of oil
6 pieces of breadcut in half
6 tablespoons mayonnaise
250gm white cabbagefinely shredded,
1 fennel onionMeticulously trimmed and ripped
4 green onionscut into thin slices
10 grams of chivesfinely chopped
100 gm sour creamor yogurt
2 tablespoons chipotle sauceor more as desired
Place a skillet, cast iron skillet, or heavy skillet over medium heat. Drizzle four tablespoons of oil on both sides of the mushrooms (if you are using small mushrooms, add the oil directly to the pan). Add the mushrooms to the pan top side down and cook for three minutes, until charred but still very juicy. Flip and cook for another three minutes on the other side, then flip again and cook for a final minute or so, sprinkling with salt. The mushroom is ready when the knife meets a little resistance. The juices will start to collect in the mushroom caps, so try to keep this golden liquid as it will increase the overall juices.
Put all the ingredients for cabbage in a bowl, season and mix well; Add more chipotle sauce or sour cream as you wish.
When the mushrooms reach the tip of the knife, remove them from the pan. Brush the cut sides of the buns with a little bit of the remaining oil and fry in batches in the hot part until golden. Flip the other side and crisp for a minute or so.
Spread mayonnaise on the bottom half of each bread. Add mushrooms and dress with any cooking juices. Spoon the cabbage into the mushroom caps, put each bread with its lid and serve. You will need wipes.
Spinach soup with nutmeg
This vibrant, earthy soup has such a pure flavor, and it’s warming but not too heavy.
to equip 15 minutes
cook 20 minutes
serve 6 (makes 1½ liters)
1 onionPeeled and coarsely chopped
2 fennel onionsThe woody stems and the first thick outer layer are removed, then roughly chopped
800g baby spinach
1 liter boiling wateror stock (water keeps flavors purer)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
⅓-¾ Whole nutmegto taste
150 ml double creamto serve
Put the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add onion and fennel and cook, stirring constantly, for 12-16 minutes, until soft; If it starts to stick before it becomes soft, add 200ml of water and let it simmer.
Add 200g spinach at a time, stirring to wilt before adding more. If it takes too long, add more water to help everything work. Repeat until all the spinach has been added.
Invert contents of pan to blender and add remaining water or broth and grated nutmeg, then salt in large quantities and blend until very smooth and bright green (blender in batches, if necessary). Pour the soup back into the pan and add the vinegar and more nutmeg or salt to taste. Serve in warm bowls topped with a swirl of cream.
Cheddar and Thyme Cakes
This is a cross between American biscuits and delicious rock cake. They go very well with the above spinach soup, and are also great on their own. I prefer using whole wheat flour for softness and depth, although the white makes the cheese stand out more – follow your heart on this one.
to equip 10 minutes
knead 10 minutes
Cold 30 minutes
cook 20 minutes
170g cold unsalted buttercubed
330g self-raising flourplus more rolling
10 grams of salt
10 g thyme stickspicking leaves
150 grams vegan cheddar (Smoked works well in these), coarsely grated
420g kefir, sour cream or natural yogurt
1 tablespoon vinegar
Combine the flour, salt, and butter in a stand mixer, then beat until the mixture resembles sand (if you’re doing this by hand, rub the butter into the flour mixture with your fingertips as quickly as you can). Stir the flour mixture into a large bowl, stir in the cheese, then add the thyme, kefir and vinegar and mix until they turn into a paste.
Place on a well floured work surface and gently roll to about 25cm x 20cm, about 3-4cm thick, using more flour as needed.
Place greaseproof paper on two baking trays. Cut the dough into 12 equal pieces and place them well on the trays. If you have space in the freezer, empty the trays into them for 30 minutes, to firm up; Otherwise, chill them in the refrigerator at the same time.
Preheat oven to 240°C (220°C fan) / 475°F / Gas 9, then bake the cookies for 10 minutes. Rotate the trays 180 degrees, place the tray that was on the lower rack on the upper rack this time, and vice versa, and bake for another eight to 12 minutes (depending on your oven), until golden. Remove it and leave it to cool on the rack. It’s good to go when you can handle it.