Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Sunday Feast: with Roast Potatoes, Nut Roast and Bread Sauce

You’d be forgiven for thinking that all I eat these days is roasts, seeing as this is the second post on the subject in the space of three. What can I say, I’m a big fan of tradition and this is one of the best. On this occasion I decided to tart up the more basic roast that I am accustomed to making, mainly because I wanted to impress some new friends.

To do this I bought one massive chicken that virtually filled the whole oven, and as well as serving my customary honey roast parsnips, carrots and sweet potatoes and greens, I attempted proper roast potatoes, for the first time ever I might add, bread sauce, pigs in blankets and my super-duper tasty nut roast.

This week I took the plunge and bought my first ever food magazine. I really can’t resist a Christmas theme, and the December issue of Good Food certainly delivered. It was from here I found the Roast Potato recipe, which was surprisingly simple, and delivered on flavour and colour, with a deliciously fluffy interior incased in a golden crispy shell.

-For the Roast Potatoes-
Adapted from the Good Food Magazine
Serves 8
2.5kg roasting potatoes, peeled, and larger potatoes halved or quartered
1 tbsp plain flour
150ml (approx) vegetable oil
2 tbsp sunflower oil
  1. Tip the potatoes into a large pan of cold salted water and bring to the boil. Boil for 6 minutes exactly, then drain in a colander and allow to steam dry for a few minutes. Toss in the colander to biff up the sides.
  2. Transfer to a large bowl, sprinkle over the flour and toss to combine. Pour over around half the vegetable oil and toss to coat.
  3. When ready, preheat the oven to 200C. Pour the remaining vegetable oil and the sunflower oil into a baking tray, and put into the oven to heat the oil for around 15 minutes.
  4. Carefully add the potatoes and roast for 25 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven, increase the oven to 220C, turn over the potatoes and return to the oven for a further 40 minutes until gold and crisp.
You may think its more suited to your Christmas Day turkey but the home made bread sauce made a welcome accompaniment to our chicken. This hugely simple recipe is from the most recent episode of Saturday Kitchen and can be found HERE (as can the recipe I followed for the Roast Chicken).

My nut roast has been a firm favourite since I discovered it, I think in an old copy of Waitrose magazine, a few years back. It’s the only nut roast I’ve ever made or even tried, and its far from the bland dry nut roast that is the stuff of veggie legends. This nut roast is sweet and nutty and cheesy and moist and basically YUM. I serve it as an alternative stuffing, but would be happy to have it in place of meat any day.

-For the Nut Roast-
Serves 6-8
1 chopped onion
2 carrots, grated
1 clove garlic, crushed
large handful mushrooms, chopped
175g cooked brown rice
115g brown bread crumbs
55g finely chopped almonds
55g finely chopped brazil nuts
115g grated cheddar
2 eggs, beaten
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  1. Fry the onion, carrot and garlic in a knob of butter for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until soft.
  2. Remove from the heat and stir in the rice, bread, nuts, cheese, eggs and herbs and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Bake in a greased tin or Pyrex dish at 180C for one hour.
The whole thing may have taken four hours to make, and I didn’t half need those glasses of wine come serving time, but the excellent company, yummy noises and a Scrabble themed Thank You made it all worth while. 

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