Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Vegetable Casserole with Chestnuts and Mushrooms & Dumplings

2-3 tablspns. olive/sunflower oil
1 small/medium white onion - peeled and chopped
2-3 carrots - peeled and chopped
1 large white potato - peeled and chopped
a few chestnut mushrooms - chopped
a few chestnuts - chopped (these can be bought ready-prepared)
2 large tomatoes (skinned if wanted) - chopped
large clove of garlic - crushed
couple of bayleaves
and a small aubergine (chopped) - if wanted
approx. 1/2 pt.hot vegetable stock
squeeze of tomato ketchup or tomato puree (which is less sweet)

8 ozs. (225g) self-raising flour
1 or 2 tsps.  dried herb mix (of choice)
1/2 tsp. English mustard powder (optional)
Pinch of salt
6ozs. (175g.) vegetable suet
approx. 1oz. (25g.) grated cheddar cheese or grated parmesan

1. Saute all the vegetables in the oil, adding the tomatoes and mushrooms last - as they take the least time to cook.
Saute the veg. until just beginning to colour.
Season with the herbs, ketchup or puree and salt and pepper - taste.
Add the stock and cook for about 15 minutes. Check to see if the potato and carrots - (and harder vegetables are cooked.) Shake them from time to time, so they don't stick to the base of the pan.

While cooking the veg. you can make the Dumplings:

a.  Mix the dry ingredients together, and add enough milk or water to make a nice soft dough.
b.  Knead the dough lightly into a round, on a floured surface, and either quarter - making the quarters into balls and place on top of the vegetables, or just make one large dumpling placing it in the centre of the veggies.
c. Cover and cook on a medium heat, for about 45 minutes - or longer*
Check to see that both the veg and the dumplings are nicely cooked through.

Serve with rice and/or nice green veg.

*If you are cooking the vegetables and dumplings in advance - the whole dish can then be reheated in a preheated oven (for at least 45 minutes at about 160deg.C) -  -make sure the dumplings are cooked through.

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