Posts Tagged‘vegetarian’

Vegetable Tempura

Japanese Week Part 1: Vegetable Tempura

It started as an offer to cook for a week, which of course I took as a challenge, relieving Mrs. Any Given Food of kitchen duties for a few days. We’ve been on a fine roll of home cooking for the past few weeks that have largely been driven by herself that I thought it right not to just sit back and take advantage.

Having tried a few dishes from Japanese Soul Cooking recently, I suggested I’d cook Japanese dishes for a week, not paying any attention to the calendar until it got to Sunday evening gone.

The requirements are simple – the dishes need to be Japanese in nature, I’ve got to be able to source the ingredients locally and I’ve got to produce lunch and dinner until Friday, or at the very least, dinner. Having just required a small pro fryer for the kitchen, I decided that Monday’s dinner should be vegetable tempura.

What Is Vegetable Tempura?

To put the Irish slant on it, if you were to walk into a chipper, it would be like asking for battered vegetables. There’s a slight difference in making the tempura batter to making regular batter in that

  1. You keep the wet (water and eggs) and dry (plain flour) parts of your batter separate until you’re ready to fry
  2. You keep the wet part of your batter extra cold by adding ice cubes to keep the temperature down
Sliced Vegetables

Sliced Vegetables

Parsnip, carrot, red peppers, courgette, mushrooms, onions and potato were all sliced in a variety of lengths, angles and bite-size pieces, dredged through flour, dipped into the tempura batter and fried in batches for 2-3 minutes at a time. The result is a lovely light golden batter with crunchy vegetable slice, served up all the better with some soy sauce for dipping.

Vegetable Tempura
Serves 4
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
For the batter
  1. 450ml cold water
  2. 2 eggs
  3. 250g plain flour
For the vegetables
  1. Selection of your favourite vegetables (recommended 450g), sliced at angles. I opted for carrot, parsnip, baby potato, red pepper, mushroom (just stalk removed), courgette (cut lengthways)
  2. Approx 2L vegetable oil (in pan or fryer)
  3. 2 heaped tablespoons of flour in a separate bowl or plate
Heating your oil
  1. Heat your in a pan or a fryer up to 182 degrees celcius, optimal temperature for tempura cooking. Some fryers may regulate heat by automating the thermostat; if cooking in a deep pan, keep a sugar thermometer handy as you may need to regulate heat manually.
For the vegetables
  1. While your oil is heating, slice and prepare your vegetables. Use kitchen paper to wipe or pad down any extra liquid or moisture from your vegetable selection (you want that batter to stick).
For the batter
  1. Pour cold water into a mixing bowl, add 2 eggs and beat
  2. Add 3-4 ice cubes to keep cool
  3. In a separate bowl place your 250g plain flour
  4. Only when you are ready to start frying, you add water & eggs to your flour, mixing loosely with chopsticks for around 30 seconds or so. You're not looking for a fine batter, instead going for a lumpy style.
Putting it all together
  1. Coat your sliced vegetables in the extra flour, dip into the batter and add to the pan / fryer, leaving for 2-3 minutes max.
  2. Remove vegetables from pan / fryer and place on a rack or kitchen paper to drain off excess oil, and serve.
Notes
  1. You could, just before frying, top up your vegetable oil with a little sesame oil just before frying for that extra flavour.
  2. Also, the more you put in the pan / fryer at one time, the more you will reduce the temperature of your oil. To counter this, just cook them off in small batches, either serving straight away or preserve the heat in an oven.
Adapted from Japanese Soul Cooking
Any Given Food http://anygivenfood.com/

The Verdict

The illusion of something healthy and something dirty all at the one time which could satisfy one’s cravings for a takeaway. By itself, a vegetable tempura dish is lovely, but I’d say it’s a must to add a dipping sauce of some description, even if it’s just a pouring of soy sauce to really bring out the flavours.

Got your own tips or tricks on cooking vegetable tempura? Let me know below or tweet @anygivenfood with your own suggestions.

This is part one of a five part planned blog series on cooking Japanese dishes for the week.

Dining out at foodworks, Kilkenny

Out For Dinner: Foodworks, Kilkenny

Dining out at foodworks, Kilkenny

Myself and Mrs. Any Given Food-to-be like to hit restaurants whenever is possible. While we do the majority of our eating out locally, I rarely write up restaurants or good meals out in Kilkenny, bar taking the usual photographs. Sometimes weeks can go by without heading out for a meal, sometimes we’ll fit a few in a week. In trying to shake the ‘creatures of habit’ notion, as humans are, we’re re-visiting restaurants we haven’t been to in a few months.

One of those restaurants, was foodworks at 7 Parliament Street, Kilkenny. Continue Reading

Homemade Pizza Ingredients

In Photos: Anatomy Of A Homemade Pizza

His and hers homemade pizza

I’ve posted the recipe for my homemade pizza below. The the weeks go on, the more adventurous I tend to get with the ingredients. This one, a ‘his and hers’ pizza comes with goats cheese, onion, green peppers, jalapenos, tomato and basil sauce, beetroot, red cabbage, garlic and chilli. I was also looking for an excuse to test out the Canon 5D MK1 I’ve borrowed while I work on replacing my stolen Canon 6D. You can get the step-by-step pizza base recipe here, but here’s a look at how it all comes together. Continue Reading

Vegetarian BBQ

BBQ Time: 10 Things to Cook for a Vegetarian Barbeque

Vegetarian BBQ

Vegetarian barbeque goodies. Creative Commons photo via Matt Spurr on Flickr.

The sun is out, the back of National Vegetarian Week is broken and, as far as barbeques go, my real experience is all meat or meat related – chicken, ribs, burgers, bacon, pudding, wings, the whole lot. Sure enough, the odd spud goes in there (love BBQ spuds), but beyond that, I’m at a bit of a loss in terms of what to cook for a vegetarian barbeque.

The dilemma is this: I got a present of a brand new barbeque for the birthday last weekend and it’s still sitting in the kitchen, the empty can of gas to go along with it in the back of the car and all the goodies that came with it are still in their original bags. With the best weekend of the year by far now upon us, it’s coming out this evening to get some cooking going. But, what does one cook?

In scouring the web for a few suggestions, here’s 10 things you could cook for a vegetarian barbeque.

10 Vegetarian Barbeque Options

  1. Potatoes Plus (grab the tinfoil)
  2. Courgette & Halloumi Skewers
  3. Grilled Zucchini
  4. Barbecued Portobello Burgers
  5. Carrot & Sesame Burgers
  6. Stuffed Peppers On The Barbie
  7. Grilled Eggplant, Halloumi & Pesto Burgers
  8. Chickpea Burgers
  9. Thai Tofu On Lemongrass Skewers
  10. Grilled Asparagus with Spring Onion-Radish “Butter”

So what do you reckon? For someone who doesn’t barbeque any kind of vegetarian food but is wholly intent on spending the next few days beside the grill, can you suggest anything? Have you any favourite veggie BBQ foods?

Prepping the risotto - peppers, onion, mushroom and a small bottle of JP Chenet chardonnay

Lemon, Mushroom & Red Pepper Risotto

Lemon, Mushroom & Red Pepper Risotto

It’s day four of National Vegetarian Week and after cheese and garlic snacks, homemade pizza, awesome spicy wedges and a kick ass breakfast at Zuni Kilkenny (see below), I was stumped as to what to cook for dinner tonight. Breakfast was a late one, around 10am or so, and a working breakfast at that and as lunch disappeared across projects this afternoon, I pulled into the car park in SuperValu not knowing what to cook this evening, having promised I’d cook something up by seven.

Whatever made me decide to do a risotto dish is beyond me (I’d never even consider ordering it when eating out) but it turned out to be one of the nicest, simplest of dishes I’ve cooked in a while, so much to the point that Mrs. Any Given Food-to-be reckons it’s the best thing I’ve cooked her, ever.

That’s pretty high praise in this house.

Read on for the recipe after the jump…

Continue Reading

Gluten free garlic, chilli and cheese batons, served with some apple & chilli chutney.

Vegetarian Snacks: Gluten Free Garlic, Chilli & Cheese Batons

Gluten free garlic, chilli and cheese batons, served with some apple & chilli chutney.

Gluten free garlic, chilli and cheese batons, served with some apple & chilli chutney.

As part of the veggie challenge for National Vegetarian Week, I’m trying my hand at a few new vegetarian recipes.

First off is a handy snack that would go down well on a tapas night or if sitting in for a movie. Better still if you’ve got yourself a hummus dip, guacamole, or some of Tastefully Yours’ Apple & Chilli Chutney (one of my favourites), then crack those open.

They’re dry (but not overly) , crispy in a biscuit-like way, gluten free, a little cheesy, spicy and sprinkled with garlic and salt for that extra kick. And they’re plated just in time to catch The Hangover on TV to wind down the bank holiday weekend.

The original recipe can be found on the back of a packet of Doves Farm Rice Flour (gluten free flour), but to spice things up, I’ve added some chilli flakes and garlic, while adding some olive oil to the mix as well to keep the mix all together.

Mrs. Any Given Food-to-be reckons they’re “kinda shortbread-y, like a savoury shortbread”.

Gluten Free Garlic, Chilli & Cheese Batons
Yields 20
Gluten free biscuit-like batons with cheese, garlic and chilli. Easy to prep, easy to serve.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 75g Rice Flour
  2. 50g Grated Cheese
  3. 25g Butter
  4. 2tbsp Olive Oil
  5. 1 egg
  6. 1tbsp Paprika
  7. 1tsp ground garlic
  8. 1tsp chilli flakes
  9. Salt & pepper to season
Instructions
  1. Preheat over to 180c / 160c (fan) / gas 4
  2. In a bowl mix the flour, paprika, chilli flakes, garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper
  3. Add 25g butter and mix until breadcrumb-like
  4. Add 50g grated cheese and mix
  5. Beat egg and add, along with 2 tbsp olive oil, mixing the lot into one pastry ball.
  6. Leave sit for ten minutes
  7. Roll out the pastry mix on a floured surface until 4/5mm thick, then cut to strips approx 5mm - 10mm wide.
  8. Place on an oiled baking tray or a baking stone and cook for 15-18 minutes. Remove half way through, sprinkle some additional salt to taste (if required)
Notes
  1. Keep some extra flour handy for flouring prep area. For my own, I cooked them on an oven stone, it adds a nice crispy texture. Allow to cool before serving.
Adapted from Doves Farm
Adapted from Doves Farm
Any Given Food http://anygivenfood.com/
Weekend Chef #3

The Weekend Chef #3

Weekend Chef #3

IT’S NOT EVERY weekend that I haul myself out of bed before 9am to go running in the cold, but that’s how this morning started which means at this stage I’m raring to go in the kitchen. I’m thinking some kind of piri-piri chicken dish myself but if you’re stuck for ideas on what to cook in the kitchen this weekend, here’s ten recipes garnered from food bloggers and papers this past week including some easy mains, sides and desserts.

Happy cooking!

Adventures Of A Newly Veg

Adventures of a Newly Veg: Part 1

Adventures Of A Newly Veg

Friend and often collaborator, Richie Cody has decided to turn vegetarian for 2013, largely driven by a bet from his siblings that he couldn’t last it as a vegetarian for a year. Not one to usually blog about food, I’ve asked Richie to share his thoughts via Any Given Food month to month as he makes the transition to eating vegetarian for 12 months. Here’s the first installment…

So. It’s come to this. I am now a vegetarian. It happened on new years eve, my sisters, long given up chocolate, sugar, spice and all things nice, were looking for something else to give up for the health of it. So meat got the chop. Vegetarian for at least a year they said, and then they bet me that I couldn’t do it! I’m not one to resist a challenge, and well, that was that.

I’ve held off telling people about it, because, quite frankly, I didn’t know if I’d be able last this long. I do love my meat. Burgers after a night out, the occasional beef, or pork curry from a Chinese, pepperoni pizzas, all gone now. Service stations have become subtle traps, with the hot food counter sitting unobtrusively in the corner. I very nearly walked out of one today the proud owner of a full tank of petrol and a chicken fillet roll.

I needn’t have been so worried, I’ve stayed the course. Apart from the occasional temptation (I’m looking at you, Topaz on the Waterford Road) the last few weeks have been a delicious breeze. What I really didn’t expect, is how much I have been eating. I’m constantly hungry. Portion sizes have grown. I’m constantly snacking on the good stuff, apples and the like. Hummus goes with everything. Cheese sandwiches are so much more interesting now, and the long neglected spice shelf in the cupboard is finally being explored, the dust and free floating spice cleared off the jars and the desiccated flavours examined and mixed with all kinds of mad stuff. Oh, so that’s what an eggplant looks like!

Thus far, meals are still mostly simple fare, with stir fries, vegetable curries, rice and vegi-pizzas keeping me alive. Todays lasagne was the best I’ve ever had. Now that the ball is rolling, I’ve been looking up recipes, trying new things, and I have to say, nut roasts look tasty. Wish me luck!

If you want to know what Richie gets up to in real life, take a look at his latest short titled All Made Up, released in December 2012.

Sunday Brunch #9

Sunday Brunch #9

Sunday Brunch #9

LIE IN achieved, dogs walked and Radiohead filling the sounds of the kitchen on a frosty Sunday morning in Kilkenny, here’s ten articles plucked from the world of food news from home and overseas this past week. Wherever you are, I hope your feet are somewhat warmer than mine are at the moment. Anyone got any nice foodie plans for their Sunday?

Got news of your own to share during the week? Drop an email to news@anygivenfood.com with your stories and pics or contact me here.

Sunday Brunch #4

Sunday Brunch #4

On the day of the first All Ireland senior hurling final replay since 1959, which also featured Kilkenny, here’s ten food articles plucked from the world of food news that you may have missed this past week in the fourth of a series I’m fondly calling ‘Sunday Brunch’. The dogs have been walked and fed, the breakfast had and there’s a relative clear run of the day before the throw in at 3:30pm when everyone in Kilkenny and Galway downs tools until after 5pm. If you’re in either county, you best get to reading before then!