Monday, 15 January 2018

Veganuary 25th- Burns Night

Image result for vegan burns supper
I confess that in previous 'Dry Januaries' I have conceded defeat on the 25th. After all, Burns Night wouldn't be the same without a wee dram to toast the Baird, would it?
But with Veganuary- now, there's an easier challenge.
As, whilst some hae meat- you don't need to!

Burns Cottage in Alloway

My relationship with Rabbie is a complicated one- going back many years- to 1973 in fact, when I got my first summer job as a tour guide in his birthplace in Alloway.
Although I didn't appreciate him then, in my later years I have come to acknowledge the genius of this working class hero and champion of the Auld Scots language and folklore.
So, every 25th January I serve a traditional meal of haggis, neeps and tatties- and say the Selkirk Grace.

Well, when I say traditional.....

It's 2018, it's Veganuary- and we're having Clapshot Soup with Buckwheat and Dill Scones, Veggie Haggis Kofte with Neep and Tattie Falafel and Chilli Jelly followed by Whisky Shortbread. Ha! But a meal's a meal for a' that...

Clapshot Soup with Haggis Samosas

The Clapshot Soup I have made many times before on this blog- with any leftover roast root veg fried up with a tablespoon of curry paste and blitzed with a litre of strong vegetable stock to make a warming and spicy starter. You can make it a more substantial main the next day by adding some haggis samosas ( made from your leftover haggis ).

The Buckwheat and Dill Scones have a blini-like flavour (whch goes well with smoked salmon for non-veggies or with cream cheese -like AlproSoya)

Buckwheat and Dill Scones
120g plain flour
100g buckwheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp chopped dill
2 tsp mustard
150 ml soy milk approx (or natural yoghurt for non-vegans)
60g veg marge

1. Sift together the flours, salt and baking powder.
2. Rub the marge into the flour and add the chopped dill
3. Mix in the soy milk and mustard gradually with a knife, until you begin to have a soft dough
4. Bring the dough together on a floured board and roll out to about 3 cm thick
5. Cut out with a pastry cutter of your choice
6. Place on a well greased baking tray and bake at 180 degrees for 10-15 minutes until risen and golden.

Now for the main event- Haggis Kofte
Image result for macsweens vegetarian haggis
Vegan haggis
MacSweens do a vegetarian haggis which they say is suitable for vegans too. I often make my own- but it is not vegan as it contains an egg: 
Go with whichever one you want.

Image result for macsweens  haggis kofte
Haggis Kofte
(Photo courtesy of Macsweens)
 You will need:
1 veggie haggis or 300g homemade haggis
1 finely chopped red chilli
100g fresh breadcrumbs
50g onion finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic - crushed and chopped
1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley or coriander
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
salt and pepper and oil

1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and shape into 6 sausages. Set aside in the fridge to firm up.
2. Soak 6 bamboo skewers in water and then thread the patties on to them.
3. Brush with oil and grill- or bake on baking paper at 175 degrees- until brown and sizzling.

Neep and Tattie Falafel
I make falafel with all sorts of veg- butternut squash, pumpkin, carrot- so why not neeps and tatties?

1. Roast 500g of  chopped swede (neeps), 100g cubed potatoes, 2 red onions (quartered) and 3 garlic cloves in a hot oven in a tbsp of veg oil, 1 tbsp coarse grain mustard and some salt and pepper until the veg are soft and caramelized.
Roasted root veg

2. Blitz to a puree 1 tin of chickpeas (drained) with 1 tbsp chopped parsley or coriander, the juice of a lemon and 2 tbsp olive oil.
3. Add the roasted garlic cloves and onion and pulse.
4. Mash the neeps and tatties or pass them through a ricer
5. In a bowl, combine the veg and chickpeas with 1 heaped tbsp flour, 2 tsp baking powder 1 tsp each of powdered cumin, coriander and cinnamon and 1/2 tsp turmeric

Neeps, tatties and spices ready to mix
6. Add plenty of salt and pepper to taste
7. Roll the falafel into balls or spoon onto a baking tray lined with baking paper

Neep Falafel ready for baking
8. Brush with oil and bake at 170 degrees until browned and beginning to crisp.
If they spread (like these have)- allow to cool briefly and then gently reshape.
(I sometimes like to cook these the day before and then give them a short second burst in the oven just before serving to make them even darker and firmer).

Wee sleekit falafel

I serve these with toasted pitta breads, hummus and chilli jelly.

Chilli Jelly
I use mild chillis - but you can up the heat and flavour by using hotter ones or more of them.
You will need 6-7 sterilised jars ( passed through a hot wash in the dishwasher and then placed to dry at 50 degrees in the oven until you need them.)
750g red, yellow and orange peppers
100g chilli peppers
50g fresh root ginger
350ml cider vinegar
1 kg sugar
juice of 1 lime
1 tsp salt
2 sachets vegegel or agar agar

1. Wash, deseed and roughly chop your peppers

Use a selection of peppers
2. Blitz in a food processor along with the root ginger
3. Bring to the boil in a large pan with the vinegar and lime juice
4. Add the sugar and simmer until dissolved

A colourful panful simmering
5. Bring to the boil for 6-7 minutes ( watching it carefully ) in case it boils over
6. Mix the vegegel or agar agar with a little cold water
7. Allow the mixture to cool slightly and then whisk in the gel
8. Pot immediately into the hot jars, seal and label.

Chilli Jelly- perfect with haggis and neeps

Now for pud.

Whisky Shortbread is an easy accompaniment to whatever pud you choose. I usually make it with butter- but it is good made with vegetable margarine too for vegans.

Whisky Shortbread
The best shortbread is made with a ratio of 3:2:1 (eg. 300g flour, 200g butter or vegetable marge, 100g sugar). I like to replace 1 tbsp of the flour with cornflour to lighten it a little.
Just put all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until fine. Add two caps of whisky and pulse until it comes together in a soft dough.
Turn out into a greased baking tin, press evenly to fill the space and bake at 150 degrees for 15 minutes or so until lightly golden. (Keep an eye on it, as you don't want it to overcook).
Once out of the oven, prick with a fork all over and mark into slices.
Sprinkle with vanilla sugar et voilĂ !

Time for that wee dram and a toast!

Some hate meat and girn and weep
Resisting all coercion
So bless the tatties, bless the neeps
And the vegetarian version

Then filled with fruits o' field and vine
And feelin' fairlie frisky
The One who water turned to wine
We'd ask to bless the whisky*

Cheers Rabbie!

*Veggie Selkirk Grace- extra verses by Richard Medrington