In the first few days of my new job I hit the ground running, which is usually the case in any kitchen, trial by fire, hopefully not literally although once it was but that’s another story. With a bunch of hungry volunteers chomping at the bit for some tasty vegan fare I was given the warmest of welcomes.
In fact I received several hugs after my first meal, my favourite response, hugs being on my top ten list of awesome things (you don’t get many of these working in restaurants, no matter how much you like the food you never hug the chef). And so, out come all of my favourite tried and tested recipes and I claimed my territory in the kitchen, which I now refer to as ‘my kitchen’, a moniker I have given it out of great affection as much of as a sense of ownership.
Relaxing into this life, the freckled stars, the bright shining coin of a moon, the midnight bugs chorus and the daily sunset show everything is going swimmingly until . . . disaster! I was cookin’ up a storm in the kitchen with my third dinner - Pie, Mash and Onion Gravy - when the sky turned black, a deep rumbling could be heard and felt and suddenly we were in the middle of a storm. Rain, hail, crazy wind and then . . . the power went out. No cooker, no lights, no appliances. How do you bake a pie on the hob/stove/elements (or whatever your nation calls it!)? Hmmmm, what a quandary. So, I waited a while to see if the power came back on, and I waited . . . and waited. Nothing. By this time I had one hour before 25 very hungry, and no doubt wet and cold, volunteers would descend on me all expecting a hot dinner. What to do? Something quick that goes with pie and mash. What is in the pretty bare cupboards, cannellini beans, er, um, ok, bangers and mash!!
Here is my superquick (Don’t tell them they’re bean) Bangers and mash recipe;
Bangers, colcannon mash and gravy (Makes 20 portions, 40 sausages)
8 cans canelini beans
6 onions, finely chopped
1 can tomato puree
1 tbsp marmite
Dried herbs like thyme or oregano
Salt and pepper
Saute onions till translucent. Squish beans till smooth, mix with tomato puree, marmite, herbs and seasoning. Add wholewheat flour till firm consistency, taste again as it may need more seasoning, the flour makes the flavour more bland. Divide into 8 batches, make 5 sausages from each batch. Place on oiled tray. Fry on medium heat in shallow oil. Place in low oven.
10 large white sweet potatoes, boiled till very soft, drain till dry
2 cabbages, shredded and fried in oil
Salt and pepper
Mash potatoes with soya milk and seasoning. Add cabbage and mix.
1/2 packet gravy powder
1 stock cube
Herbs such as parsley or thyme
½ cup white vinegar
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
6 onions, sliced and fried
Mix 8 cups of water with the gravy powder and bring to a simmer, add the rest of the ingredients and continually stir. You may need to add more water if the gravy is too thick.
* Note: My recipes will always be for 20 people so please adjust as necessary!