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Vegetarian Christmas options with Lorraine Fitzmaurice

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Lorraine Fitzmaurice - professional cook and proprietor of Blazing Salads:

Blazing Salads began in 1982 as a wholefood/vegetarian restaurant. The best quality ingredients were used in their whole form, the recipes came out of experimentation and a wide reading of cookbooks and food magazines and a menu that was interesting, tasty and nutritious was created. Word soon spread and it became one of the busiest and popular eating spots in Dublin.

In 2000 we decided that Dublin needed a wholefood/vegetarian take-away, serving high quality, tasty food, full of nutrition to take home or back to the office. Since opening the Deli we see a demand for quality breads, salads and ready made meals. We have now closed the restaurant so that we can meet this demand.
Towards the end of 2004 we opened a certified organic bakery which supplies daily specilised food shops with quality hand rolled sourdough breads was expanded 2 weeks ago with the intention of supplying outside the Dublin area and supplying other baked goods.

Caramelised Red onion tarts with Balsamic, and Goat's cheese

Pre heat oven; Gas 4, 180C

Makes 6


. 2 oz (50g) unsalted butter
. 4 oz (100g) plain flour
. 1 oz (25g) parmesan cheese, finely grated
. ¼ teaspoon of mustard powder
. 1 free range egg, beaten
. 6 mini tart tins; 3½ in (9½ cm) in diameter, ¾ in (2 cm) deep.


. 4 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
. 1 ½ lb(675g ) red onions
. 6 oz (150g ) soft goats cheese log
. 12 sage leaves
. extra virgin olive oil
. butter
. cayenne pepper
. sea salt and fresh ground black pepper

In a large roomy bowl rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the cheese, mustard powder.
2. Add 1-2 dessertspoons of cold water gradually and bring together with your finger tips to make a smooth dough. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Lightly oil the tart tins. Roll out the dough and line the tart tins. Prick with a fork. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until lightly golden. Cool on a wire rack.
4. They can be stored in an airtight container for 1 week.
5. Peel, half and slice the onions very finely.
6. Over a medium heat melt a dessertspoon of butter and sauté the onion for 3 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and 6 of the sage leaves finely chopped. Season with salt. Allow to cook slowly until the vinegar has reduced and the onion is soft. Set aside to cool.
7. This can be made a day or two in advance and then the tarts assembled and baked when needed.
8. Before baking, brush the tart cases with beaten egg and bake in a preheated oven for 5 minutes to seal and crisp the pastry.
9. Fill the cases with the red onion mixture.
10. Slice the goat's cheese log into 6 rounds.
11. Place a round on top of the onion mix.
12. Dip the sage leaves in olive oil and place 1 on each tart.
13. Sprinkle with a little cayenne pepper.
14. Bake for 20 minutes.
15. Serve with a little dressed rocket salad leaves.

Christmas Vegetarian Wellington

. 2oz (60g) brown basmati rice
. pinch saffron, or turmeric
. 1 lemon, zest only
. 1 cinnamon stick, 3in piece
. 1 onion, halved and finely sliced
. 1 lb 5oz ( 600g ) brown cap mushrooms, roughly chopped
. 10 ½ oz (300g)of butternut squash, diced 2 cm cubes
. butter
. sunflower oil
. 1 tbsp fresh parsley finely chopped
. 1 tbsp fresh tarragon, finely chopped
. 2 free range eggs, hard boiled and roughly chopped
. sea salt, and fresh ground black pepper

. 10 ½ oz (300g) ready rolled puff pastry
. 1 free range egg, beaten

Vegetarian Gravy:
. 1 onion, diced
. 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
. 250 ml vegetable stock
. soy sauce to taste
. 2 teaspoons arrow root, corn flour, or kuzu to thicken

1. Wash the rice and place in a pot with a tight lid. Add 150mls of water, pinch of salt, pinch of saffron, zest of the lemon and the cinnamon stick.
2. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, place a tight lid on top and simmer on low for 45 mins.
3. Pre heat the oven to 200C, Gas 6.
4. Place the butternut squash cubes on to a baking tray and toss in a little sunflower oil and a small pinch of salt. Place on the top shelf of a hot oven for 20 mins until roasted. Set aside.
5. Heat sunflower oil in a pan and fry the onions over a medium heat with a small pinch of salt until golden and the ends browned. Set aside.
6. Melt a table spoon of butter in a pan and fry the mushrooms until golden. Set aside.
7. Fluff up the rice and remove the cinnamon stick. Place in a bowl, along with the onion, mushroom, butternut squash, parsley, tarragon, and hard boiled eggs.
8. Season with salt and pepper.
9. Oil a baking tray. Heat the oven to Gas 4, 180 C.
10. Place the pastry on a flat surface. Cut a 8inx12in (20cmx30cm) rectangle from the pastry.
11. Place the filling down the centre of the rectangle and bring the sides of the pastry together and pinch the pastry together to seal.
12. With the remainder of the pastry cut out some shapes of leaves to decorate the pie. Brush the pie with beaten egg and press the leaf shapes on. Brush them with egg. Place on the oiled baking and place in the centre of the oven 30 minutes until golden.

While the pie is baking make the gravy.
Warm some sunflower oil in a pan and saute the onion and thyme leaves in a pan over a medium heat.
2. Allow to soften but not brown.
3. Add the vegetable stock.
4. Blend the arrowroot in a little cold water and add to the pan.
5. Stir the gravy until it thickens.
6. If it is too thick add water until it reaches the thickness preferred.
7. Season with soya sauce and pour into a gravy boat to serve.