Sunday 31 October 2010

Would all saints please report to the kitchen

The feast of All Saints has lots and lots of traditional food associated with it already. You do not need me to help with the menu. So, today, I thought I would just make a post about what happened in our house. I am at home in Bedford. And, for Gemma, we made a Japanese Feast. The great thing about this was it is a serious team effort. Four people in the kitchen, working together for at least three hours. I think this will make a suitable post for All Saints because, well, it is a feast about people working together, in this life and the next, for the greater good. In this case, a party meal together! How very, well....theological. :)

The menu:

Miso Soup (just simple and warming)
Pumpkin Korroke (these are a nod to the season of Halloween - and they are really yummy)
Vegetarian Sushi (we made a variety - sushi refers to the rice, not, as is commonly thought, to raw fish - this is a strictly vegetarian household)
Vegetable Tempura (heaven on earth), with dipping sauce - naturally!

And also, it needs to be mentioned, that we made lots of different sauces - the best one being Katsu - recipe to follow!)

Bertie cat watched on, thinking, this is Halloween, where is mine? I do not like vegetarian sushi!

So, a community of saints with excellent communication skills and a plan of action was called for in the kitchen and in the preparation. Gemma and Keith headed to Sainsbury's whilst I was at Church. I cleaned the house up while they went to see Keith's folks. We all reported for duty, together with housemate Emma, by about 2pm. The music went on, the jobs were alloted, and everyone got on with chopping and dancing round the room. Gemma said that the sushi rice recipe in Yo Sushi! said the rice needed to be listened to. So we had to turn the music down for a bit, while Gemma put her ear to the pan. Seriously. It came out perfect, so she must have heard something. Perhaps the Japanese for 'we are cooked, we are cooked!' I was sub-chef to Keith on the Pumpkin Korroke, so I will share the recipe for that and the sauce that goes with it. Please note though, we used Butternut Squash and a Sweet Potato instead of Pumpkin.

You need:

300g Pumpkin, (ahem, Butternut squash and a little Sweet Potato) peeled and de-seeded
1 Onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp Vegetable oil
1 tbsp Butter
1 tbsp fresh Parsley, finely chopped
1/2 tsp Salt
grated Nutmeg
2 Eggs lightly beaten with 2 tbsp of water
100g Breadcrumbs
100g Flour
Vegetable oil for frying

For Katsu Sauce

6 tbsp HP Original Sauce
3 tbsp Tomato Ketchup
1 tsp runny Honey

Chop the pumpkin into small chunks and steam for 10 - 12 minutes, until soft enough to mash. Meanwhile slowly fry the onion in a little oil. Then, mash the pumpkin in the big bowl, with the butter and season with salt. Add the onion and the chopped parsley. Using your hands, form the mixture into small balls. Roll each ball into the flour, dip into the beaten egg and water and cover in bread crumbs. Fry the balls in small batches for 3 - 5 minutes, until golden brown.

Katsu Sauce is ace. Just mix HP Sauce with Tomato Sauce in a 2:1 proportion and add some honey. Trust me. It is great with these little treats, and it is great with other things too. You'll soon find out about that.

The teamwork involved in making our feast is not necessary for just making Pumpkin Korroke. But, what is essential is that you eat them with friends (your own personal collection of earthly saints). Great party snack too!

Just by way of a goodbye, happy Halloween! Here is a little picture of the pumpkin I carved for my nieces and nephews who had a little seasonal party during half term last week.

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