1 lb (675g) floury potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 knobs of butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
3 celery sticks, finely chopped
3 carrots, finely chopped
7oz (200g) chestnut mushrooms, roughly chopped
Handful of fresh thyme sprigs, leaves picked
Splash of dark soy sauce
400g can aduki beans, drained and rinsed
Salt & freshly ground dark pepper
5fl oz (150ml) hot vegetable stock
Preheat the oven to 200C, 400F, Gas 6. To make the mash topping, boil the potatoes in a pan of salted water for 15-20 minutes until soft. Drain, then mash. Add a knob of butter, and mash again. Set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan over a low heat. Add the onion, bay leaf, and a pinch of salt and sweat for about 5 minutes until the onion is soft. Now add the celery and carrots, and continue to sweat gently for a further 5 minutes.
Pulse the mushrooms in a food processor until broken down – you want them shredded, but not mushy. Add these to the pan, along with the thyme leaves and soy sauce, and cook for a further 5-10 minutes until the mushrooms begin to release their juice.
Add the aduki beans, and season well with salt and black pepper. Pour over the stock, bring to the boil, reduce the heat slightly, and simmer gently for 5 minutes.
Tip into an ovenproof dish, and top with the reserved mashed potato. Dot with butter, and bake in the oven crisp and golden. Serve hot.
PEA AND MINT RISOTTO
2pts/1000ml light vegetable stock
1tbsp olive oil
Knob of butter
1 onion, finely chopped
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
12oz (350g) risotto rice, such as Arborio
1 large glass of dry white wine
5 oz (150g) frozen, or fresh peas (if using frozen, cover with boiling water for 3 minutes, then drain)
1 oz (50g) Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Handful of fresh mint leaves
Handful of fresh basil leaves
First, pour the stock into a large pan, and heat to a gentle simmer.
Heat the oil and butter in a large non-stick- frying pan over a low heat.
Add the onion and a pinch of salt. Sweat for about 5 minutes until soft and translucent, then stir through the rice, making sure that the grains are completely coated. Increase the heat to medium – high, pour in the wine, and let it simmer for a couple of minutes until the alcohol has evaporated.
Reduce the heat slightly, and add the simmering stock a ladleful or two at a time, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon; when each addition of stock has been absorbed, add some more.
Continue like this for about 20 minutes until the rice is cooked; it should still have a bite to it. Use more or less stock required – every risotto is different.
Stir through the peas, parmesan, mint and basil. Season well with salt and black pepper, and serve hot.
CREAMED CELERIAC WITH ROSEMARY
3lb (1.3kg) celeriac, peeled and cut into chunks
2 oz (75g) salted butter, plus extra to serve
8tbsp double cream
1/2tsp grated nutmeg 1 tbsp fresh chopped rosemary
1/2tsp salt, plus a pinch
Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to the boil and cook the celeriac for 20 min until tender. Drain, then add the butter and cream to the pan and mash well create a textured mixture.
Stir in the grated nutmeg and half of the rosemary with 1/2tsp salt and mix thoroughly. Transfer to serving dish and garnish with the remaining rosemary. Dot with butter for a luxurious finish.