Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Courgette & Sweetcorn Fritters

My 83 yr old neighbour Alan, went on holiday last week and told me to pick courgettes from his garden, there are tons, so what to do with them, this recipe was the result.

100 g chickpea flour
1 tbsp olive oil
3 courgettes grated
140 g sweetcorn
1 garlic clove crushed
Handful of mint
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
Salt and pepper

Serves 2 (made 6 fritters)

Sieve the chickpea flour into a bowl, add the olive oil and enough water, so when you whisk it, it resembles an egg like consistency.   Leave to rest for at least 30 mins.

Spread the courgettes on a tray lined with kitchen roll, cover with another layer of kitchen roll, then put a chopping board on the top and weight it down (I used the mixing bowl with the chickpea mix in) for one hour.

Scrape the courgettes into the bowl, being careful not to add any of the paper, add the mint, garlic, sweetcorn, plenty salt and pepper and mix thoroughly.

Heat the rapeseed oil in a large frying pan, drop large spoonfuls of the mixture into the pan and allow to cook, so the underneath begins to set.   Flatten each one with a fish slice, also using it to make sure the fritters keep a round even shape.   I made mine quite thin, to ensure they were cooked in the middle, but brown and crisp on the outside.   Flip and cook until browned on the other side.   At this stage I put them on a baking tray and kept them warm in the oven, whilst I cooked another batch.

I served the fritters with stir fried spring greens and peas, with some chilli sauce and I was well chuffed how they turned out

Whilst washing up, I was thinking of all the variations, using different vegetables, like finely chopped broccoli, sweet potato, peas instead of sweetcorn, different herbs,  I just happened to have mint growing in the garden.   You could flavour the fritters with Indian, Mexican or Thai spices, the possibilities are immense, they would be great served hot or cold in a sandwich.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Hendersons Salad Table Restaurant Hanover Street Edinburgh 25th July 2016

Hendersons Salad Table Restaurant is underneath their shop and deli, with a small seating area, approached via steps from pavement level and first impressions were excellent.

We wanted breakfast, before our train home and there were a number of vegan options, on the menu, so I chose tomatoes, mushrooms and fried potatoes, with thick slices of granary toast and their bottomless coffee refills, served until 11.30 am.

The breakfast was made to order and really delicious and I polished it off, with a second mug of coffee.

Their salad table looked fantastic, with big bowls of salads, dressings, breads and cakes and a lunch visit will be in order, on my next trip to Edinburgh.

We had a look in the shop upstairs, on the way out and apart from being so full, I was very nearly tempted, with the vegan doughnuts, cupcakes and carrot cake on display.

Hendersons should be on everyone's to visit list, when in Edinburgh, it will definitely remain on mine.

The Caffeine Drip Melville Place Edinburgh 24th July 2016

The Caffeine Drip is a cool South African cafe and bakery, with plenty of vegan options, an obvious choice for breakfast, with a hangover, after rocking the night away, at a Status Quo concert the evening before.

I have never seen chickpea scramble on a menu and along with spinach, avocado and a huge mug of Americano coffee, it soon revived me.

There are sandwich and cake options and apart from being fit to burst, the flapjacks on the counter would have been very tempting.

The Caffeine Drip was very busy and we were lucky to get a table, people were coming in and leaving, as there was no room.   Highly recommended and next time, it will have to be the vegan French toast.

Yeni Meze Bar Hanover Street Edinburgh 23rd July 2016

Yeni Meze Bar is on busy Hanover Street and was an easy choice, with its clearly labelled menu, with so many vegan options.   It is a popular venue, judging by the number of customers inside and you relax, as soon as you walk through the door.

Our waiter Dimitris, was really friendly and helpful, explaining they had a special lunch menu at £9.95 per person for three dishes.

It was so easy to order wine, as the list was labelled with a selection of vegan wines, so I chose a delicious Picpoul de Pinet, one of my favourite white wines.

I chose five dishes, so I had plenty of choice and Steven chose one for himself, though he was more than happy to eat my vegan choices, being Imam Biyaldi, fattoush salad, falafels, houmous with pitta breads and patates.   The flavours and freshness of the food really shone through, I could not pick a favourite, so delicious was each one.

We finished our meal with a medium Turkish coffee and vegan Turkish Delight, again clearly labelled on the menu.

The whole meal was faultless, from beginning to end, the service, the food, the wine and Dimitris did a great job, always with a smile.   Whoever is responsible, for paying such attention to detail about dietary requirements, deserves a medal, it is wonderful to see such clearly labelled menus.   Would I go back to Yeni, too right I would.

Leo's Beanery Howe Street Edinburgh 23rd July 2016

Leo's Beanery was a breakfast recommendation, by Scottish chef Tom Kitchin, in the Sunday Times, so I emailed them to ask about vegan options.   I had a fabulous reply from Marie, assuring me their breads were suitable and a number of options could be made vegan friendly, you cannot say fairer than that.

On a warm Saturday morning, we paid Leo's a visit, I really loved its frontage of duck egg blue, with seating outside on the small terrace, approached down some steps from pavement level.

Leo's is warm and welcoming inside and we bagged the last free table, as it was very busy. I mentioned to the waitress who brought menus, about my correspondence with Marie, who had briefed Manager Josie, who suggested a number of options, one being almond milk porridge with apple and cinnamon compote.   I was in Scotland, it would be rude not to sample its national dish and I was so glad I did, it was hearty and filling and with a large coffee, just the ticket for a morning of sightseeing.

As we went to pay, Josie came out of the kitchen, holding a tin containing a vegan fruit and nut loaf, so I had to have a takeaway slice, which came in very handy about two hours later, during a coffee rest stop.   The cake was delicious, moist, crumbly and energising.

I would definitely return to Leo's Beanery, when I come back to the beautiful city of Edinburgh and its all down to Tom Kitchin, so thank you Tom for your recommendation.