A Guest Blog with a School Dinner Special
Here we have a special guest post from Matt who can be found playing and recording music under the name Quiet Loner. Here's a short film about his upcoming album release. You can spot the Cake Protest March that I made for the live recording event around the 1 minute mark.
This dish started out as a text conversation earlier this week.
Matt : I've got leeks, broccoli and potatoes, what should I make for my tea?
Me : Dunno, how about some sort of creamy veg pie, maybe with a hotpot potato type topping?
However, what was to be created was far more exciting. Here's a clue....
Have you guessed what it is yet? Over to you Matt.
This was a school dinner favourite so I thought I'd have a go at recreating it. Unfortunately I never measure stuff out when I'm improvising in the Kitchen so these are guesstimates at quantity.
1 onion - finely diced
1 large clove of garlic chopped
1 leek sliced
Handful of button mushrooms - if small just half them otherwise slice
About a third of a bag of fake chicken ( I used Realeat Chicken Style Pieces)
Juice of 1 lemon
Dijon mustard - a good dollop
Salt and pepper
1 cup of veg stock
2-3 cups of unsweetened soya milk
Fry the onion and leek on a low heat for about 10 minutes to soften. It should go all translucent and golden. Increase the heat slightly and add the garlic, mushrooms and chicken and fry for a further 5-10 minutes.
Add the herbs - guess your own quantity - but tarragon has a very strong flavour so I would ensure the blend is about 1 part tarragon to 2 parts parsley. add the lemon juice. Stir, the lemon should get all soaked up by the fake meat and evaporate fairly quickly.
Add the veg stock in 2 goes. Get a good boil going and keep stirring and the stock will soon reduce/ disappear as it's absorbed by the chicken. I added some dijon mustard, a good dollop. Finally add the soya milk and stir. Hard to say how much soya milk. Just add it in small quantities and stir. The food should not be swimming in sauce but the sauce should be thick and coat the food.
Turn the heat right down now until you get a gentle simmer and cook for about 5 minutes. You don't need to thicken this. The slow cooking of the onions should ensure they thicken it. Season to taste. Stick a lid on it and leave it to sit off the heat for about 5-10 minutes before serving. Even better, give it an hour or so and then re-heat. Food like this is always better if left to cool slightly.
So, here's the finished result. Matt will be back again next week helping as an advisor on the Vegan MoFo Week of Mash!