I had a fairly successful day of culinary experiments yesterday. I'd been invited to a party where everyone was asked to bring a national dish (I belong to an international community of research students). So, I decided to make my own 'national' dish, Suffolk Rusks and a vegetarian Shepherds' Pie, just in case the rusks were revolting, which they weren't. :)
Traditionally these are eaten with lashings of butter, but they're equally good with a soft goat's cheese.
225g self-raising flour
1 egg, beaten
pinch of salt
goats milk or water
Pre-heat the oven to 230 degrees. Place flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Rub the butter into the flour, until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the beaten egg and enough liquid (milk or water) to produce a smooth dough. Roll out onto a lightly floured surface to a thickness of 1 inch, and cut into 2 1/2 inch rounds (I used a tall glass, in place of a cutter). Place on a greased baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cut in half (width-ways). Reduce the temperature of the oven to 190 degrees. Return the rusks to the baking sheet, cut side up, and cook for a further 10 to 15 mins, or until the rusks are crisp and golden-brown. Cool on a wire rack.
Vegetarian Shepherds' Pie
Rather than finely dice the vegetables, I left them quite large which stopped them turning to an unidentifiable mush!
1 tin of mixed pulses
1 onion, finely sliced
1 clove of garlic
1 large carrot, sliced and chopped
About 5 mushrooms (okay, not strictly anti-candida friendly, but a few won't hurt!)
Couple of large potatoes
1/2 yeast-free stock cube
salt and pepper
Peel and chop the potatoes. Place in a saucepan of water and bring to the boil. Simmer until cooked. Meanwhile, slice the garlic and lightly fry in the oil. Add the onion and carrot and cook until the onions start to soften. Chop about three of the mushrooms into fairly small pieces. Add to the pan and cook for a further couple of minutes. Then slice the remaining mushrooms and add to the pan with the tin of pulses. Cook for a couple of minutes and then add the the stock cube and a good quirt of tomato puree (about a dessertspoon full). Season to taste.
Mash the potatoes, season with salt and pepper to taste. Place the vegetable mixture in a deep dish and top with the mashed potato. Cook in the oven (at about 200 degrees) for about 15 mins, or until the potato starts to brown.