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…

Ironic Thai fried rice with Tofu & (or) Prawns

Gavin WrenFish & Shellfish, Main Dishes, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

Thai fried rice with tofu beans pak choi lime and chilli
Occasionally, I spend some time online reading other food blogs (although I try not to, as it’s an endless task). Quite often, as I work my way through the first few sentences or even paragraphs of a post, I find the introduction is some kind of whimsical, limp wrested observation which has little or no relevance to the subject in hand; food. It reminds me of listening to dreary, insipid sermons at church*, where awful analogies were dragged out, such as comparing God to a carrier bag, because carrier bags are very useful in our day to day life, they hold our food and keep everything together. You could feel that every last thread of energy that could be summoned had been twisted and squeezed into the creation and delivery of that sermon, yet it was merely killing time, it wasn’t contributing to the enhancement of anyones faith. Yet, we…

Sun (oven) dried tomatoes

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

Semi sun oven dried tomatoes
I love making things that take a long time. Although, let me qualify that – I’m less keen on fiddly or awkward processes, as they send my blood pressure due North. What I like is the gradual process of change and development that occurs over long periods. Because long, slow cooking processes normally mean that you’re allowing rich, strong flavours to develop. I’m also a big fan of basic ingredients, the things that we buy off the shelf, but which can be made at home. However we normally get them from the supermarket because funnily enough, they take a long time to make! Sun dried tomatoes fall squarely into that category. If my North London location was blessed with a Mediterranean climate then I would try making these in the traditional way, by leaving them out in the scorching sun to dry for a few days. You just need to…