Saturday, 19 April 2014

Vegan Mexican Tamale Pies

Since my culinary adventure came to an expected end, I did not completely turn away from the local food scene.  I have been keeping a foot in namely to earn a little income whilst hunting for full-time employment.  I am trying my best to create original and different portable vegetarian and vegan dishes that no-one else is selling at food markets, particularly where I am.  But its not easy as there is a lot of fierce competition from other traders (not necessarily vegetarian), some people try to be outright intimidating giving the 'evil eyes' if any of their customers take an interest and stop by your stall.  Its all very clicky too.  Its going to take me a while to feel I have a place there,  but I am persevering as I do now have some loyal customers of all diets! 

Well one of the original pies that I have recently introduced has been these individual Mexican Tamale Pies.  There are lots of Mexican Pies about encased in pastry, but not like this one.  I've been describing these as a Mexican version of a Sherpherds Pie - soy mincemeat base with a cornmeal topping.  And to make them more appealing to the eye, I have topped them off with a dried red chilli.  Unlike my other pastry pies, I do-not advise on eating these cold or even at room temperature, but to take home and re-heat in the oven (or microwave if you so wish). 

Today, these sold out.  They sold out last weekend too! 
One of my customers is from Mexico and she has given it the thumbs up, saying she is neither vegetarian or vegan for that, but these vegan Mexican Tamale Pies mimics the real thing she is used to back home real good.  A good compliment don't you think?! 

If you wish to see the filling, please follow this link where I have made this very same recipe in individual serving dishes 
I am sharing some of these individual Mexican Tamale Pies with Vanesther at Bangers and Mash who is hosting Mexican Month on the Spice Trail - Ariba Ariba!.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Garden Dug

Early in the month I showed you my new growing space - click here if you missed that post.
Well let me show you some good progress 
I dug this front part up a couple of weeks back and out of nowhere raspberry stalks have sprung up.  Too many in fact, that I am trying to control them, as I want a vegetable patch, not a raspberry garden.
Here is the garden from the top end.  I started the weeding and digging, and D finished it off just a few hours back.  He's going to have a sore back tomorrow, its been a long while since he dug the ground.  Like me, he is very excited to be growing fruit and vegetables again, but for him - its the greenhouse - he wants home-grown tomatoes.  I think he will get some, but not in the quantities he's grown in the past (see here) - slowly slowly we will get there once again.   

You can see the greenhouse at the front.  Lots of seeds are sprouting, including tomatoes!
Below we have some sweet peas that are crying to come out of the seedling box.  We will be building wigwams tomorrow for them to climb up on. 
Oh something I did not show you in the previous growing space post, is our pergola, makes me feel oh la la.  I love it - but D has other ideas.  Because the strong gusts of wind early this year, the pergola has been given a good battering.  Its not straight, so he is thinking perhaps removing it next year. 
I hope not, as I am loving it and the climbing roses and clematis that is climbing all over it. are just going to look gorgeous when they bloom  
And finally, somewhere for me to hang my recycled lanterns - I brought these withe me when we moved from Glasgow. 

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Wild Garlic, Mushroom and Brie Quesadillas

Some of you already know of my home-made Garlic Mushroom and Parsley Pies, but another dish that makes the most of garlic and mushrooms are these Garlic, Mushroom Quesadillas.  This is such an easy peasy recipe knock up when the hunger pangs rumble.

I've used Brie cheese here, like cheddar cheese it tends to be in my fridge, but feel free to use whatever you like - a strong blue cheese would work well, as would oozy mozzarella.
Well early in the week, there was not much in the house to eat in the way of fresh vegetables, except for some mushrooms starting to look a little tired and an open packet of tortilla wraps that were beginning to go hard as I had not wrapped the packet properly.  So this is what  I made to eat as a light snack.  Except it not a light snack when you eat a whole one!
If you don't have any wild garlic, that's okay as the crushed garlic cloves in it would give you enough garlic hit.   I've used wild garlic here for two reasons.  One, I had some in the fridge and secondly for the green colour.  You must admit the colour of sauteed 'sluggish' mushrooms is not always the most attractive to the eye.