Mexicale Pie cooked in the oven. It is a meal I make regularly and don't stress over. Unlike Saturday night's dinner of fancy festive bangers and mash.
Sylvia was narky with waiting for dinner. I didn't have any onions for the gravy. My sausages were threatening to burn under the grill. It was too hot to turn on the oven to bake the side dish. Then Paula dropped over with a Christmas card and the news that the cool change was upon us. I was just a bit stressed. Probably just as well she didn't stay too long.
I had found a recipe for cheese sausages in Sam Stern's Eat Vegetarian. A bit of gruyere cheese and a handful of cranberries gave these snags a festive feel. My plans to bake pecan crusted sweet potato with sour cream morphed into a mashed sweet potato. Much nicer in that heat! I ended up using the leftover leeks and unused sour cream in a sauce. I microwaved some broccolini for a bit of green. It all worked rather well. Especially those sausages. They were fantastic.
strawberry ice cream and chocolate sauce for dessert. A few days later E said something about how the mashed pumpkin was much nicer than usual. When I told him it was sweet potato, he exclaimed that this was why he liked it so much.
Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
This time last year: Edible Gift Ideas for Christmas
This time two years ago: Royal Botantic Garden Edinburgh
This time three years ago: Apricot, Berry and Bran Muffins
This time four years ago: Nutroast for dinosaurs
Gruyere and cranberry veggie sausages
Adapted from Sam Stern's Eat Vegetarian
175g gruyere cheese, grated
170g fresh white breadcrumbs
1 leek, finely chopped white part
1 shallot or small onion, finely chopped
handful of dried cranberries, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp parsley, chopped (I forgot)
grated rind and juice of half a lemon (I forgot)
3 tbsp milk
1 1/2 tsp mustard
seasoning, as required
1/2 tsp seeded mustard
70g fresh breadcrumbs
melted butter or oil spray for grilling
Mix all ingredients, except those needed to crumb the sausages. Shape into 8 fat little sausages. To crumb, lightly whisk egg and seeded mustard in a shallow bowl and place breadcrumbs in another. Dip each sausage in egg mixture and then roll in breadcrumbs. (They seemed a bit fragile while raw but held together wonderfully once cooked.) Spray with oil and place under the grill (broiler). Cook for about 10 minutes, turning regularly until evenly cooked and golden brown.
Smoky maple sweet potato mash
Inspired by Helen
500g sweet potato, peeled and diced
1/2 cup leek greens, finely chopped
1 tbsp butter or margarine
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
freshly ground black pepper
Steam sweet potato and leeks for about 20 minutes. Mash with remaining ingredients. Give a vigourous stir with a spoon and check seasoning.
Red pepper and leek sauce
olive oil plus butter
greens from a leek, finely chopped
1 shallow, finely chopped
1/2 x 400g jar of roasted red peppers, drained and finely chopped
freshly ground black pepper
1 generous spoonful of light sour cream
water, to thin sauce
Cook leek greens and red peppers gently in olive oil and butter for about 20-30 minutes, until wilted and smelling good. Add seasoning and sour cream. Heat sour cream, stirring frequently. Check seasoning and add water if you need to thin the sauce.
On the stereo:
A dark noel: the very best of excelsis projekt: various artists