Monday, 16 July 2012

Starting with Pie

With over thirty years experience I used to be able to knock up supper without a thought. Then I moved in with a vegetarian. It's true, Dave would be happy if I served up Bombay Potato every day, but I wouldn't. So I'm trying to teach myself how to cook without meat and fish in a way that satisfies my craving for the textures I've rarely found in flesh free fare. The kind of texture chicken stock gives to risotto, or non-lean minced beef gives to chilli, or that comes from frying very thin slices of streaky bacon in a smoking hot pan. I don't hold out much hope but I reckon I'll give it ten years.

Last Thursday we had Jim, Dave's musical partner, down from Glasgow for the night. He's not a vegetarian and I wanted to make something that didn't smack of 'ism': there's nothing more off putting than being served a movement by a strange cook. So I adapted Nigella Lawson's Supper Onion Pie (from How to be a Domestic Goddess) to suit my current passion for goat's cheese.

Onion and Goat's Cheese Tart
Take four large onions

And four sprigs of thyme
Cut the onions into chunks, and in a 23cm, or thereabouts, heavy bottomed shallow pan that can go in the oven  cook them with a tablespoon of olive oil and 25 grams of unsalted butter until very soft and lightly coloured. Add the de-stalked thyme leaves and season with salt and pepper.  Crumble in 100g of goat's cheese. 
Make the scone pastry by sifting 250g of plain flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder and 1 teaspoon of salt into a large bowl. Crumble in 100g of goat's cheese. In a jug mix 100ml milk, 40g melted butter, a large egg and a teaspoon of English mustard. Pour this onto the flour mixture and stir together until you get a sticky dough. Turn it out onto a floured surface then just press it out until it's the right size to fit your pan.
Transfer the dough to the pan and cover the onion and cheese mix tucking it in around the sides. Put it in the oven at gas 5 and cook for 20 minutes.

Leave it to settle for five minutes before turning it out onto a flat plate. 
I served it with potato salad and tiny tomatoes dressed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. And it was a mighty success. As was:

I've given you my cheesecake recipe before but I can't find it to provide a link, so if anyone wants it let me know and I'll give it again. 


phyllis nobles said...

These photographs are stunning, Eryl. Delicious enough to eat. I love goat cheese & onions - too - but have never put them together. Abd here I sit starving but it's too hot to eat. Thanks for the appetizer xx

savannah said...

mr matrix is going to be a very happy camper, sugar! but, i'm also very glad he eats seafood! thanks for the recipes. super nana & i are most grateful. xooxoxo

p.s. yes please, to the cheesecake recipe!

angryparsnip said...

That looks so good ! Must try !
I love goat cheese and onions.

Daughter is a vegan in her home but a vegetarian in the world. It is so much easier.
She is writing a book, e-book ? some sort of book on Vegan cooking. She is adapting recipes I am one of her taste testers. My Sunday dinner was vegan Japanese Bento Box.
I can be vegetarian and give up meat but I can't give up fish !

cheers, parsnip

Pat said...

I enjoy vegetarian food but balk at the prep.
I would really enjoy eating all of that. Does the onion tart have a sweetish taste as in caramelised onions?
Yum yum.

Kim Ayres said...

When I first met Maggie I didn't really understand vegetarians - from my experience they just seemed to be poeple who lived off baked potatoes and weren't that bothered about food.

Maggie was different - she was a vegetarian who loved food and was very creative. The range of textures and tastes she creates means very often meat would be completely irrelevant.

Have a chat with her some time - I'm sure she could point to you some wonderful veggy cook books :)

Eryl said...

India ~ too hot to eat? I have never experienced that!

Savannah ~ cheesecake recipe coming up!

Parsnip ~ taste tester : a dream occupation? Let me know when she publishes her book sounds like I need a copy soonest.

Pat ~ there was a slight hint of sweetness to them. The prep is another aspect of vegetarian cooking that can be problematic. When I don't have hours to chop and grate we get through a lot of eggs.

Kim ~ I would love to have a chat with Maggie about it. We're eating far too much cheese at the moment.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Looks as though you are doing fine to me Eryl. My son is veggie and if he comes to a dinner party I always have to cook something separate for him. So far my most successful was roasted Mediterranean vegetables in herby olive oil, served with cous-cous.

Cloudia said...

welcome to my world! But I do prepare wicked little meat things for myself when alone. . . or eat such outside. . .

Warm Aloha to you from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

> < } } ( ° >

Elizabeth said...

My heavens, you are a domestic goddess.
Yes, animal fat does add a certain je ne sais quoi to EVERYTHING
but your efforts are stunningly enticing.

Avo said...

Looks tasty!
I don't think you did ever post a recipe to your nylon cheesecake on this blog...

I live with a vegetarian too... Trying adding roughly chopped cashews somewhere where they can absorb sauce or juices, the resulting texture and taste is remarkable, for instance in tomates farcies (stuffed baked tomatoes) with chopped zucchini, onions (whatever veggies you have at hand) and a bit of egg. : D

Eryl said...

Weaver ~ I love you! I'd forgotten about cous cous for some reason, yet I love it, I'll get some tomorrow. It will solve a lot of problems.

Cloudia ~ hello! I had sausages for lunch today, in the supermarket cafe. They were delicious.

Elizabeth ~ I was sorely tempted to buy a slab of lard today to add, secretly, to vegetable soup.

Alesa ~ I will remedy that.

Cashew nuts are a brilliant idea, I'll try that, thanks. I don't think I've ever tried to stuff a tomato, so much still to learn.

rochambeau said...

Hi Eryl,
Good for you for experiementing and trying new things. You honor Dave this way and it's a good challenge.
Recently I had something I want to tell you about.
Mushroom ravioli served over pureed peas, over was garlic sautéed with more mushroom!! YUM

Your goat cheese tart AND your cheese cake looks like so delicious, seriously!!

About your book. Great things take time!!


nick said...

"There's nothing more off putting than being served a movement by a strange cook" - I like it. I hope you manage to create some really tasty vegetarian dishes....

Kass said...

You need your own cooking show. My mouth is watering.

Eryl said...

Nick ~ I made the most wonderful little spinach pasties the other day. Recipe coming up shortly.

Kass ~ a cooking show would be fun. Though I'd probably have to spend longer in hair and make-up than the kitchen.

Jane said...

Thank you for your tart recipe - I made it for some friends at the weekend and it went down very well!! Yum!!

Eryl said...

Jane ~ glad to hear it!

rochambeau said...

Dear Eryl,
Forgot to say the other day that your dish inspires me and I'm going to try it! Did your guest enjoy your tart?
Yes, it WAS a perfectly sneaky ism dish!!

How are you today? Hi to Dave and hope his guitar playing is going well.

The World According To Me said...

You could write and photograph a cook book - I'd buy it.
Goats cheese and cheese cake, 2 of my favourite things in life!

alphawoman said...

can I come over for dinner? I am not a vegetarian either!!

Eryl said...

Worldy ~ I remember your cheese love, are you going to have a cheese wedding cake?

Alphawoman ~ any time!

Anonymous said...

I've made this - the goat cheese is a much better idea as it cuts through the stodgy ness of the scone dough.
gorgonzola would be going too far? Never.

Not even sneaking chicken stock- man that's tough.

The World According To Me said...

I did suggest a cheese wedding cake! But it fell on death ears. Instead it will be cupcakes, but hey we all love cupcakes. Hopefully they'll look pretty and everyone will tuck in.

Hospitable Scots Bachelor said...

Onion Tart! One of my favourites. If I give you my address?........

Kim Ayres said...

Are you coming back to your blog anytime soon?

Anonymous said...

Hey lovely! May I schnuggel on yer pie?