Half way through January, aka Veganuary, and it’s going well. I still don’t know how to pronounce veganuary, but that’s a minor issue. A advert on television last night pronounced vaginal in a way that was wholly new to me and because of that caught my attention. Clever marketing or something else? For me vagina and vaginal are pronounced with a strong i so vaginal whereas the ad was more vadge-in-al. Bizarre.
Pronunciation aside, vaginal has little if anything to do with Veganuary. My twitter followers who are legion (not) will know I have been tweeting both pictures of some of my meals and my failures with split pea rissoles. While the flavour had me wanting more, the falling apartness was something of a failing. More frittata than rissole. that thought was a bit of a breakthrough. That and advice from Sabina via twitter. I know Sabina from our MyT days, which in blogosphere terms means we go back generations. She thought the mix was not fine enough. I intended to have a break and come back to the fray in a week or so. But a lone beetroot in the fridge got me thinking. So tonight I tried again, with a radical change in the recipe.
I am an undisciplined cook. I rarely follow recipes to the letter, often because I don’t have the right ingredients. I am cavalier with measurements and impatient with fiddliness. I am fascinated when Octavia cooks. She, a scientist, follows recipes to the letter. It’s an education for me in order. But chez Isobel and Cat out came the food processor, possibly the best birthday present I have ever received, in went beetroot (cooked and peeled), cooked split peas, turmeric, fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped white onion, garlic chilli flakes, tahini, soy sauce. Whizzed together and the resulting mixture, a glorious pink, moulded into fritters. I cooked two of them, dry fried and sharing the pan with mushrooms (sorry Steve). Two more are now in the fridge waiting to be cooked.
Served with the remains of a green salad that included gherkins, shaved white mooli, black olives and coriander as well as raw spinach leaves, I adorned the table with a range of condiments. I never got around to the lemon ketchup. It was good. Very very good. I enjoyed my beetroot and split pea frittatas, the bastard daughters of my failed rissoles, enormously. I used sweet chilli sauce and eggless mayonnaise as an accompaniment but I reckon a whole host of chutneys could be deployed.
I had one cold boiled new and very small potato. Next time I might have chips, and instead of salad leafy greens, grilled tomatoes. The only problem is that as I am not a faithful follower of recipes it’s likely all future versions will be variants. I’m sure they’ll all be tasty, just not replicable.