Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Chipotle Jackfruit Gluten Free Pasties

I bought some Jusrol gluten free pastry, which also happens to be vegan and is clearly labelled as such, so I decided to make pasties.

400 g can jackfruit
1 onion finely chopped
4 chestnut mushrooms finely chopped
1 garlic clove crushed
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 tsp chipotle paste
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp chilli powder
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
Salt and pepper
1 packet of Jusrol gluten free puff pastry
Almond milk

Serves 4

Heat the oven to 180º.   Prepare the jackfruit by removing any seeds and their pods and chop off the hard triangular shaped bit at the end of each piece.   Saute the onion, mushrooms, garlic and jackfruit for 15 mins, on a low heat,

Add the chilli power and paprika, a good grind of salt and pepper and cook for 2-3 mins, to release the aromas from the spices, without burning them.

Add the chipotle paste, I used Santa Maria, which I absolutely love and the tomato puree and cook slowly for another 2-3 mins to cook the tomato puree.  

At this stage shred the jackfruit with two forks, to separate into thin pieces and add a little water, so the mixture is not too dry and cook for a further 5 mins, adding more water, if required.

The finished mixture looks like pulled pork and can be used in a variety of dishes, in enchiladas, mixed with pasta or rice, or a burger bun with slaw, mayo and chilli sauce.

Divide the pastry into two and fill half of each piece with the mixture, to within ¾" of the edge, then dampen the pastry with water and fold over to enclose the jackfruit.   Press firmly round the edge, being careful not to split the pastry, then press with a fork, to ensure it is sealed and to make a decorative border.   Make a couple of slashes in the top, to allow steam and pressure to escape.

Brush the pasties with almond milk and bake until golden brown and the filling is just bubbling through the slashes in the top, approximately 30-35 mins.   Do not overcook, as the gluten free pastry goes chewy and hard.

I served the pasties with red pepper coconut sauce, baked potatoes and cabbage, which was a perfect combination.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Mitton Hall Mitton Whalley 22nd July 2017

Mitton Hall is part of the James Places Group with several venues in the Ribble Valley and is a beautiful and imposing building, perfect for weddings and functions.   We were meeting up with friends for lunch, so it was a good midway point, especially as there is plenty of parking.

I found out, whilst reading a TripAdvisor review, that Mitton Hall had introduced vegan menus, so emailed to request copies.

I was gutted the menus were heavily soya based and with the Wellington containing lentils, my allergies were a right pain on this occasion.   However chef suggested a Moroccan spiced chickpea and pepper Wellington, with spiced tomato and saffron sauce and coriander relish instead.

There are several vegan wines on the list which I recognised, as I have done such a lot of research as to vegan wines, but sure if I dug deeper on Mitton Halls' wine list, there would be loads more.   These are a few of them, but what a shame they are not clearly labelled.

Adobe Cabernet Sauvignon
Novas Cabernet Sauvignon
Tabali Viognier
Sanviglio Pinot Grigio

I kicked off with blood orange and fennel salad with a tapioca crisp, a lovely light, refreshing dish, which looked really attractive.   The fennel was prepared like a ceviche dish, so marinated in citrus juices to soften it, as fennel can be very crunchy, I shall be stealing this idea.

My main course was equally well presented and really delicious and the coriander relish was fabulous, but there were no potatoes or vegetables, as on Steven's vegetarian version, only salad.

I mentioned the lack of potatoes on my main course to the Manager, who said she would pass my comments on to the kitchen.   I wished I had said something earlier, as on checking the vegan menu, on returning home, the dish should have had new season potatoes and spring greens.   This is something Mitton Hall need to keep an eye on, if the menu says what is included in a dish, it should be on the plate when served to the customer.

I was impressed with the vegan menu overall and the Manager said their chefs were happy to amend dishes or offer alternatives, to suit people with allergies like me.   I would definitely return, it is a fantastic venue, with gorgeous grounds and a terrace to the rear overlooking the River Ribble.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Eighth Day Co-operative Oxford Road Manchester 19th July 2017

Eighth Day Co-Operative was established in the 1970's by a group of friends, looking to change the way goods were traded and the rest, as they say, is history.   The iconic Eighth Day is located near Manchester University and incorporates a cosy café downstairs and a shop upstairs.

There are plenty vegan options on offer and if had been any later, I would have stopped for lunch, but I was clock watching.

I had coffee and cake, prior to a hospital appointment and was sorely tempted by all the cakes on display, made by Black Cat Bakery, with flapjacks by Tyler and Hall.

I love the cakes were all clearly labelled with allergens, so it was an easy choice to pick a soya free sticky ginger cake, with a decaf coffee.

The cake was delicious with a light dusting of icing sugar, a good smack of ginger and true to its name was sticky, a perfect snack.

I can spend a fortune in the shop and on this occasion I did, as I pushed one of the quaint mini shopping trolleys, which are perfectly sized to fit behind the counter, when you want to check out.

They stock everything including supplements, hair and beauty products, teas and coffees, dried and tinned good, oils, vinegars, nut butters and a good selection of chilled products and lots more.   A bonus is their competitive pricing, the bottle of organic olive oil I bought was £4 cheaper than my usual oil and the organic odourless coconut oil was way cheaper than any others I have seen.   I do not live near Eighth Day, but if I did I would be there every week, as others must do, as a constant stream of customers flowed in and out the front door.   What a wonderful place.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Enzo Fountain Street Manchester - 19th July 2017

Enzo is a pizza and coffee shop, focusing on quality pizza, coffee and cakes.   Their pizza dough, pasta and sauces are made fresh each day and they clearly label vegan options on the menu, with vegan melty cheese available   They hosted a vegan night on the 12th July, which sadly I could not attend, but apparently it was popular, so they are looking to host more, hope I can make it next time.

I love Enzo's kerb appeal, bright and colourful frontage, with loads of outdoor seating, perfect in the lovely sunny weather we have been having and inside is modern, warm and welcoming.

When I visited they had a meal deal on, with a 12" pizza and either a Peroni or Coke for £10, which is excellent value for money.

We both chose pizza,  a Capra Oscar for me and Veggie Feast for Steven,  both with vegan cheese and although Steven is not vegan, he is ditching dairy and loves trying new vegan cheeses.   Chef John came over to double check my order and when I asked which vegan cheese they used, he very kindly brought the packet over to show me and I was happy to see it was soya free too.

We ordered some olives to nibble on first (anyone reading this blog will know how in love I am with my namesake) and they were delicious.

Our pizzas arrived and we knew immediately we had made good choices, the pizzas looked and smelled awesome.   We are both pizza fanatics and the bases were thin and crispy, with just the right amount of tomato sauce and perfect toppings.

Capra Oscar

Capra Oscar

Veggie Feast

I rarely eat a whole pizza, but in this instance I demolished the lot, there was nothing left on either of our plates.

Enzo is proud of their coffee and although I am avoiding caffeine, I caved in for a Long Black (a double espresso topped with hot water) and although I will probably have a sleepless night, all I can say is, it will be worth it.

There was a vegan Marathon slice at the checkout and I know Enzo are looking at adding a vegan dessert to their menu, as well as labelling their vegan wines and drinks.   I love their attitude of catering for their vegan customers, they could teach other places a thing or two.

We were impressed by the fabulous food, in a relaxing casual atmosphere and must mention John, Gary and Taia who looked after us, a happy team means happy customers and we certainly left happy. Here's to our next visit.