How to make vegetable stock

Gavin WrenBasic Ingredients, Food Techniques, Recipes, The World of Food, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

How to make vegetable stock
Vegetables boiled in water. Yep, that’s all it is, easy peasy. Making your own vegetable stock at home is one of the fundamental kitchen processes that you just have to do now and again. It’s so easy, it doesn’t use up much time and it’s basically impossible to overcook. And if you have left over vegetables, peering over the edge of the compost, it’s a super efficient use of them before they go. Now, although there are some traditional staples used to make vegetable stock, such as carrots and onions, you can actually use whatever you want. Just remember that the vegetables you use will have an effect on the flavour, colour and clarity of your final broth. So beetroot and potato will give you a red, cloudy stock, whereas onion and carrot gives you a relatively clear stock. However, the basic principle remains the same, whatever you use, you…

Super Smokey Veggie Chilli

Gavin WrenMain Dishes, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

Smokey Vegetarian Tofu Chilli
Good morning campers! I hope you’re having a lovely Sunday morning. It’s a clear, crisp, late winter morning here, with daffodils dancing in the breeze outside my window, so why am I sitting at a computer posting recipes for you all… good question! The reason is because today’s recipe is an utterly delicious vegetarian chilli with a smokey twist, giving it an extra dimension of flavour, and I’ve just got to share it with you. This hot, warming dish has proven to be a repeat hit at home on these cold nights, by doubling up the recipe to make a big pot-full it’s kept us stocked in flavour-filled, easy midweek dinners on a few occasions. And it’s no co-incidence that the last blog post was a beginners guide to home smoking, showing you how it’s easy to start smoking food at home, starting with vegetables or tofu. And here’s…

Smoking Tofu: A beginners guide to smoking

Gavin WrenBasic Ingredients, Food Techniques, Recipes, The World of Food, Vegan, Vegetarian

Hot smoked tofu BBQ on Weber Go Anywhere
So, first take a pack of King-size Rizlas. Ooops, wrong kind of smoking! Ignore that. Let’s start again. Underage Smokers When I was growing up, smoked food meant a couple of things to me. Firstly, it meant smoked salmon, those luscious pink slithers of rich flavour, associations of good times and parties; Christmas, family birthdays and the like. Also kippers, those stinky, smoked breakfast fish that my Dad ate and I also grew to love. As a young lad on a family camping holiday in Suffolk, we once stopped at a small smokery, where I saw a cupboard full of herrings hung out, being smoked into kippers. We bought some, and had them for breakfast the next day, I still remember the overpowering charred wood flavour of these just-smoked fish. But seeing that cupboard of fish pegged up like laundry taught me exactly what this smoking process was, how it…

Chorizo, spinach and egg two-pot one-pot.

Gavin WrenMain Dishes, Recipes

Chorizo, spinach and egg one-pot two-pot
The title of this one really got me. I spent ages labouring over a name, unsure what genre it falls into despite the Shakshuka style and the Spanish influence. I was very close to just calling it a one-pot, but I can’t hide the fact that I actually used two pots to make it. However, spiritually, this dish absolutely feels like a one-pot, as it’s a hearty, strong flavoured, low maintenance recipe that’s eaten straight from the oven dish. So, I’ve piggy-backed that name and called it a two-pot one-pot, I hope that one day, you can find space in your heart to forgive me for that. Fight the system! But all this shilly-shallying caused me to sit back and think about the genre of one-pots, and I started wondering why things stop there? Why not two-pot recipes? Or three-pots? Because in the same way that a one-pot implies simplicity,…

Goat’s cheese and raspberry tarts

Gavin WrenBaking, Main Dishes, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains, Vegetarian

Goat's cheese and raspberry tart cooked
Just a few days ago I was telling you how great making a simple rough puff pastry is, using spelt flour, and how it’s one of the most simple and rewarding things you can do. And the real treat comes when you cook it, as you can watch the pastry puff it’s cheeks and take on the rich, warm, golden tones that pastry develops in the oven. And it’s extremely versatile. Once you have the base pastry mixed, you can do all sorts of things with it, sweet or savoury, individual tarts or large sharing ones. Also, don’t miss out on the opportunity to get creative and try something of your own with the spare pieces (see the box at the bottom of the page). This tart makes a beautiful summer or autumn recipe, something that’s simple to make yet both visually stunning and amazingly tasty. It’s also a great…

Spelt rough puff pastry

Gavin WrenBaking, Basic Ingredients, Food Techniques, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains, Vegetarian

Spelt rough puff pastry ready for oven
Can I tell you a bit of a secret? This recipe got me really excited. Yep, a recipe for plain spelt rough puff pastry and I was over-the-moon excited. It’s not even a recipe that you’d eat on it’s own, it’s just a gateway to other kitchen delights, but for some reason, basic ingredients and techniques get me really excited. A bit like the oven dried tomatoes that were the subject of my first published recipe on this site. In that instance I turned a load of regular tomatoes into rich, sweet, nuggets of concentrated flavour by doing something pretty damn simple. And here’s that excitement again, but with baking there is something slightly magical about the metamorphosis that occurs. It seems so transformational, to take a few simple, pale ingredients like flour, water and butter, combine them, add heat, and the end result is a rich, flaky, crispy morsel…