Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Cabbages and Kings

First: Purple carrots. They're orange on the inside, but purple on the outside. 

Apparently orange is a mutation from an original carrot-hue, so these are perfectly natural and normal rather than the result of some sort of terrifying aubergine/carrot hybrid.

They taste just like orange ones. They would also be very good as Hallowe'en snacks.

Second: Cabbage parcels.

I made stuffed vine leaves once, ages ago, for a Greek party. They tasted amazing, but took forever and a faff to make. These are much easier for very similar results.

One nice big cabbage
One onion, chopped
About a cup of couscous
Vegetable stock 
Halloumi, cut into 1cm chunks
Tin of tomatoes

Boil the kettle.

Peel off the outer leaves of your cabbage and cut a v into the bottom to remove the thick white bit. Put them in a pan with some of the boiling water until they soften, about ten minutes. 

Put the couscous into a large bow and stir a heaped teaspoon of stock powder (about half a cube?) through. Add the rest of the hot water and cover for at least five minutes, until it's soft.

Pop the halloumi and onion in to a frying pan and sizzle until the onion's soft and the halloumi starts to brown.

Add the tomatoes to a saucepan and add half the onion. Leave to simmer 'til you want it (with any other tomato sauce ingredients you like: sugar, carrots, Worcestershire sauce, cinnamon?)

Stir the rest of the halloumi and onion into the couscous.

Lay a cabbage leaf down on the worktop and put tablespoonful (depending on the size of your cabbage, of course) just above where you cut the bottom. Roll up into a parcel, tucking the sides in as you go.

Place the cabbage parcels join-down into a casserole dish and keep going 'til you run out of leaves and couscous.

Pour the tomato sauce over the top and pop in the oven for ten minutes or so, just to make sure it's all hot through.

Obviously, this recipe is endlessly adaptable - change the couscous for another grain, add more veg to the filling, use meat instead of halloumi, add raisins for a more Moroccan flavour?

(There are no kings in this post. Apologies to anyone who feels cheated.)

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