Monday, 28 October 2013

Halloween Student Supper

This easy, cheap, seasonal, tasty, vegetarian three course supper is sure to impress anyone that you care to share it with :) 

We have... ~ Beetroot 'Bat Wing' Soup ~ 'Petrifying' Pumpkin Risotto with roasted, sated pumpkin seeds ~ 'Pickled Brains', also known as White Chocolate covered walnuts in Lemon and Raspberry Jelly ~

Beetroot Soup

Soup is so easy to make, this beetroot one is also particularly tasty! I chopped up one small onion, four big fat cloves of garlic and left them to sweat over a tablespoon of sunflower oil. Meanwhile I chopped eight pre-cooked beetroots and added them to the pan once the onions were soft. 

Stirring occasionally, after 10 minutes I added 500ml of vegetable stock and left it again, over a low heat, for another 10 minutes.

I left the pan on a back burner until it was lukewarm (preparing to cook the risotto in the meantime.)
When it was cool enough I blended it until smooth and added 1 dessert spoon of sugar, to sweeten up the earthy flavour of beetroot. 

Before serving, reheat the soup on the hob and warm up pitta bread in the toaster - then cut with scissors into spooky shapes! You could even add a creme fraiche cresent moon if you like :)
Pumpkin Risotto with roasted, salted Pumkin Seeds

Risotto is a great meal for a cold night, this one uses up the seeds and guts of your Halloween pumpkin too! Super thrifty!

Start off by cutting a lid in your pumpkin - remember to leave a v-shaped notch, so that it's easy to lift off and close again. Pull out the seeds, separating them from the flesh. Once it's bare, get a big metal spoon and scrape into the walls of the pumpkin to get as much of it's guts out as you can.

(How to make Roasted Salted Pumpkin Seeds:
1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius

2. Wash and pat-dry the seeds
3. In a bowl, or lunchbox, cover them with a generous glug of oil and a generous pinch of salt
4.Spread the seeds evenly across a baking tray
5.Keep them in the oven until they start to turn a crispy brown colour (about 30 minutes)
6.Leave on the side to cool.)

The seeds separated from the pumpkin flesh

In a big saucepan I put a large onion and four big fat garlic cloves to sweat, with oil and a generous knob of butter. When these were soft I added one mug full of risotto rice (paella rice is just as good, if you can find it at a good price) and four mugs full of pumpkin flesh. To get as much of the buttery garlic flavour into the pumpkin, I put a lid over the pan and let it sweat over a low-medium heat for a good five minutes.

To cook the rice, some liquid is needed. Here I boiled a full kettle and made up a litre of vegetable stock. By adding the stock to the pan one large spoonful at a time, and stirring constantly for the next half an hour, this slowly releases the starch in the rice and gives the risotto it's creamy texture. At this point you can turn up the heat to a medium-high level. Not going to lie, this is labour intensive! I now have 'Risotto-maker's-wrist', but you can always get whoever is in the house to help out in return for some dinner! 

It isn't obvious when the risotto is ready, the way to tell is by chewing on one grain of rice; if it is crunchy, you'll need more stock and more stirring, but if it is soft, then you are ready to plate up!

This is a very orange and brown meal, so to add some fresh colour, you can either boil up some frozen peas to add to the dish, or add a tasty decoration of parsley.

Finally top it off with a sprinkling of roasted seeds, for great added texture and a salty kick!

White Chocolate covered Walnuts in Lemon and Raspberry Jelly
To make these 'Pickled Brains' I used this vegetarian jelly, which you can find in all good health food shops, for £1.09 per packet. To make it I boiled a kettle and added half a litre to the jelly powder, in a glass measuring jug. It needs a quick mix, then can be added to any container you like.

Over a pan of lightly boiling water, I stirred white chocolate buttons in a glass dish (this is called a bain-maire if you want to show off ;) ). When the chocolate was melted to a silky smooth texture, I dipped walnuts in until they were covered, and let them cool on a plate.

When the jelly was set, I used a small knife to cut a slit into the jelly - make sure it's near the edge of the glass so that you can see the 'brains' clearly - and gently pushed the walnuts in.

Ta Da! My housemates suggested that using empty jam jars or novelty test tubes would be much better than wine glasses, if you can find some!

I hope that you like this menu, if you have any comments please leave them below :) Happy Halloween! 

1 comment:

  1. Mmmmmm - SCARILY good! I had to chuckle over the inventive preserved brains, brilliant.