croque monsieur tartlets

i didn’t take pictures in time to capture the full dozen little croque monsieur-inspired tartlets i made for dinner today, but here. look at the two that are left.

marvel. MAAARVEEEL.

i was with my kids in sainsburys today and saw that they now stock quorn’s vegan ham slices. so naturally, i bought all five packets that were left, so they’d stock more in response to increased demand.

eldest wanted ham sandwiches for dinner. i said no, as i’d already planned a sort of cajun dirty rice thing, but then thought of croque monsieurs and said yes. then we passed a roll of puff pastry in the fridge…

so i decided to do a big croque monsieur-style tart. but when we got home, the puff pastry roll didn’t quiiite fit my largest baking tray. then i noticed my sad, neglected muffin tin…

anyways, read on!

croque monsieur tartlets
ingredients
1 roll puff pastry, cut into 12 squares
dijon mustard
6 slices vegan ham, diced
1 to 2 tomatoes, diced
grated vegan cheese
1/2 an onion, chopped
around 1 cup bechamel sauce

method
okay so first off: caramelise the onions in the margarine when you’re making your bechamel sauce. you really need some caramelised onions in this dish.

either line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake cases, or grease with margarine or something. shove the puff pastry dough squares into each hole, then bake at 180C while you chop all the things. check the pastry every 5 minutes and if the middle is puffing up poke them with a fork.

when the middle’s looking a bit less soggy but not fully cooked, take the tray out of the oven, smear the bottom of each tartlet with a little dijon mustard, and fill with about 1 Tbsp each of diced ham, tomatoes, and cheese. put back in the oven and bake until the pastry’s golden.

finally, take out of the oven and spoon a thick layer of bechamel sauce over the top of each tartlet. put under a medium-hot grill until bubbly. great for picnics!

fad food: tofu scramble

does anyone else ever get into a rut, where all they want to eat is the last thing they ate? that is basically my life.

lately i’ve been making the fam breakfast burritos, because come on. while they’ve ranged from basic to fancy, they all have one common denominator: scrambled tofu. my obsession has been reignited (even as my eldest has decided he hates burritos).

so i’m going to share my basic, bare-bones scrambled tofu recipe, as i’ve just eaten it for my second meal of the day.

scrambled tofu
ingredients (for one gluttonous portion)
1/4 packet of tofu, drained
small pinches of the following: salt, onion powder, garlic powder, turmeric
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
vegetable oil and/or margarine for frying

***optional extras***
a few dashes of the following: vegan worcester sauce, tabasco
1 chopped vegan sausage or hot dog
2 Tbsp grated vegan cheese

method
heat the oil/margarine in a skillet over medium heat (if your pan gets really hot put it on low-medium). put the block of tofu in the pan whole, then break up into bits with a wooden spatula or spoon. (this is key – it’s hard to get a nice scrambled texture with evenly-cut tofu.)

once the block is broken up to your satisfaction, put in the spices and stir to evenly coat the tofu. now’s the time to add your sauces and sausages too.

fry until most of the water has left the tofu, then turn off the hob. add the nutritional yeast and grated cheese if using, and stir through. serve immediately in a tortilla or bap, or on hot buttered toast.

tofeta or not tofeta (hint: yes)

so i was on facebook, as i often am, trawling through the ‘what fat vegans eat’ group, as i often do. (go join this group now. it will make you hungry.)

anyways i saw this beautiful picture, accompanied by a loose recipe, and became hungry. i am basically on a cheese kick but hate complicated bullshit recipes involving cultures and rejuvelac and bullshit, so this recipe appealed to me straightaway because:

1. i already had all the ingredients to hand.
2. the most complicated thing i had to do was slice tofu.

yesss.

so here we go, a more formal recipe:

tofeta
ingredients
half a block of tofu, cut into 1cm cubes
1 large garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp mint
1 tsp salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
2 to 3 Tbsp lemon juice
enough olive oil to cover

method
really? just chuck it all into an airtight container, shake it around, and leave it in the fridge for a few hours until you want to use it. occasionally take it out, shake it a bit, and look longingly at it.

i kept it marinating for about a day and made greek salad with it.

image

LOOK AT IT.

i made almond chèvre! look at it!

image

LOOK AT IT.

it wasn’t even that hard to do! the only fancy ingredient is almonds or almond meal, but considering that most nut-based vegan cheeses cost at least £5 and sometimes closer to £10, splashing less than £5 on a 500g bag of almond meal that will make around three giant hunks of homemade cheese is nothing.

my favourite thing about this recipe is that it doesn’t require rejuvelac, which just seems like a pain in the arse to make. (i did add nooch though, because nooch is required in all things.)

just scroll up and look at it again. come on. that is fucking gorgeous.