The surprise is that although it is so quick and easy to make, it tastes really delicious.
Thoroughly mix together the yoghurt, mayonnaise and garlic. Cut the avocado pears into equal halves, lengthways, and remove the stones. Put the avocados onto decorative dishes and pour the yoghurt mixture into each one, filling the depression the stone has left. Serve.
Mushroom and Nut en croute with Cranberry Sauce
A really delicious main dish which looks good as it is so colourful. Serve only small portions at a time as it is very filling.
Melt the margarine over a low heat in a frying pan. Add the onion, garlic and pepper, and cook until soft - approximately 5 minutes. Add the carrot and mushrooms, and cook for a further 3 minutes, Stirring. Put the mixture into a large mixing bowl and stir in all the nuts, the breadcrumbs, tomato, egg and parsley. Mix together well. The mixture should be moist, but quite firm - if it is too sloppy, add more breadcrumbs.
Heat the oven to 200oC / 400oF / gas mark 6. On a floured surface, roll out the pastry to a rectangle approximately 12” by 10”. Place half the filling in the middle of the pastry and spread over an area about 4" x 8". Spoon the cranberry sauce evenly over the filling, then put the rest of the mushroom and nut mixture on top. Dampen all around the edge of the pastry with water, then bring the pastry up the sides of the mix and over the top, pressing the edges together to seal. Seal the ends like a parcel, then turn the en croute upside down onto a greased baking tray so that the seal is underneath. With a sharp knife cut shallow diagonals into the pastry, taking care not the cut right through.
Brush the pastry with milk and bake for approximately 40 minutes or until the pastry has risen and is golden brown. Slice carefully before serving.
Place the peppers on a baking tray and roast at 200oC / 400oF / gas mark 6 for 15-20 minutes, then leave to cool. When cool, skin and chop the peppers roughly, then blend them with the stock to make a thin puree.
Heat the butter or margarine, then stir in the flour and gradually stir in the puree with a wooden Spoon. When it is thickened and smooth, simmer gentle for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the cream and serve.
Put the water, vegetable stock and Marmite into a pan and heat to a fast simmer. Add the cornflour to a small amount of cold water, mixing to a thin paste, then add to the pan, stirring until the gravy thickens. If necessary add a little more paste. Turn the heat down and add the pepper and tomato puree. Keep on a low heat until needed. If the gravy thickens, add a little water.
Peel the outer leaves from the sprouts and cut a cross in each stem. Then simply steam the vegetables until they are tender. Sprinkle the pine kernels over them, and top with knobs of butter before Serving.
This dish can be cooked ahead and reheated in the saucepan, just be sure you leave a little more liquid then is desired, so you have some thing to heat the mixture with.
Peel and thinly slice the carrots. Melt the butter and sugar together gently in a saucepan, then add add the remaining ingredients. Bring to the boil, then cook uncovered for about 10 minutes or until the carrots are tender and the liquid has cooked down to a glaze.
Smooth Mashed Potato
Peel the potatoes and cut them into small pieces. Cook the potatoes in plenty of boiling water until they are tender, then drain. Mash the potatoes roughly, then add the butter, milk, and seasoning. Next, whisk well with an electric whisk until the potatoes are light and fluffy.
If you wish, you can pipe this mixture into rosettes, and bake at l8O°C / 35O°F / gas mark 4 for about 15 minutes until they are crisp and brown.
Mix together the fruit and nuts in a large bowl. Add the brandy, and leave to soak for 2 hours. Add all the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. If the mixture is too stiff, add a little more beer - the mixture should be of dropping consistency.
Put the mix into a large greased pudding basin, and cover with a lid or greaseproof paper and cooking foil, tied with string. Steam in a large saucepan of gently boiling water for approximately 5 hours. Check the pan occasionally, and top up with boiling water if necessary. Turn out and serve hot with cream.
To make the pudding in advance, leave to cool and store in a cool dry place until required. Steam for another 2-3 hours to re-heat, or microwave for a few minutes (the dried fruit and sugar content of the pudding means that it will heat very quickly in a microwave, so be careful not to over heat).
Pour the custard into a mixing bowl. Add the chocolate powder and coffee essence. Separate the eggs and beat the yolks into the custard mix. Whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl, then fold it into the custard mix. Spoon the mix into a greased l5cm/7" souffle' dish, and bake on the middle shelf of the oven at 160-1700C/3250F/gas mark 3 for approximately 50 minutes until lightly set.
Sift all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Soften the butter a little, and cut it into cubes. Rub the butter into the flour mixture with your fingers, and when the mixture begins to bind, gather it into a ball. Knead the mixture on a lightly floured surface until it is smooth and pliable.
Press the mix into a greased 2Ocm/8" baking tin, and cut into 2.5 cm / 1" strips, then cut across once to make lO cm / 4" fingers. Prick with a fork for decoration. Chill for 1 hour, then bake on the middle shelf at 1500 C / 3000 F / gas mark 2 for approximately 50 minutes. Cut through the slits to separate the biscuits, then leave to cool.=vegan