Christmas Day Buffet

We had a lovely buffet yesterday, this is what we had and it was enjoyed by all ...........

chickpea and chestnut bake squares

falafels

houmous

tomato crisps

couscous salad with cherry tomatoes, herbs, oil and lemon

bulgar wheat salad

olive dip

homemade bread ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_kmSalsNgM )

veg - cucumber, cherry tomatoes, peppers

grapes

tortillas

vegi deli ready to eat sausages chopped into cocktail size pieces

scotch chestnuts (veggie sausage scotch egg style with a chestnut filling)

brocoli and carrot puff pastry rolls

'sausage' rolls

'sausage' and cranberry rolls

stuffing balls (apricot and almond ones and cranberry festive ones)

carrot and raisin salad

fruity coleslaw

rice salad with mandarins, pecons and sunflower seeds

rice salad with spices, chestnuts and red onion

potato salad

pasta salad with red pepper, green pepper, tomatoes and olives

salsa

followed by

chocolate gateau (I used this recipe, using cider vinegar instead of white and apple sauce instead of oil with a slight reduction of sugar as the applesauce was sweetened and it was so so moist and everyone loved it! http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=6698.0 )I topped with whipped cream and tinned black cherries and a slight grating of chocolate! Yum Yum

ice cream layered dessert (coconut, peanut butter and banana layer, pineapple, mango and banana layer and blackberry and banana layer with a grated chocolate topping)

Unfortunately the guests arrived, as it was been put out and I didn't get a chance to take a picture!

Chickpea and chestnut bake

This is a recipe I made up today and it was delicious. Leftovers tasted good cold too!

1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 large long shallots (or use small onions)
1 clove garlic
dash chilli powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp tumeric
50g vacuum packed chestnuts
Juice of 1/2 lemon
200g/7oz canned chickpeas (1/2 can)
2 slices granary bread

Please note this recipe can be easily doubled and if you can only find chestnuts in 100g packs you might prefer to, than to have 1/2 a pack leftover and 1/2 can of chickpeas. I haven't seasoned the recipe, but feel free to add salt and pepper if you think you will need it. It has plenty of flavour from the spices and of course you could add more of these if you want.

Chop shallots and garlic finely. Fry shallots and garlic in olive oil unil soft. Add spices, lemon juice and chestnuts and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat. In a bowl crush chickpeas with a fork and crumble the bread into the mixture like breadcrumbs and then add the fried onion mixture. Or use a foodproccessor. Press into a loaf pan and bake until firm 20-30 mins at 190.

I served with mash, loads of veg and gravy, yum!

I have also made it as a savoury birthday cake with the double recipe!

 and

chestnut and chickpea balls

Submitted to

Update on foraging

I have given up foraging until the spring. The ground is so saturated, a walk is no longer enjoyable and there is less food about anyway. Since starting to foraging in July this is what I found and what I did with it.

Cherries - ate them raw
Dewberries and blackberries - ate these both raw and cooked with apple as a crumble
Cloudberries - ate these raw
Rosehips - made syrup and have this as a hot drink
Elderberries - made syrup which I drunk as a hot drink and used over ice cream and I also used in crumbles
Damson small bitter - made syrup which I then used in sweet dishes, very tart on its own
Damson plums - ate raw
Apples - cooked in crumbles
Gelder rose - cooked with other fruit in puddings

Sloes - although I found lots of these, I didn't pick any this year.
Sweet chestnuts - I only found one tree that was accessable for picking only to rummage amongst the windfalls, so didn't bother.

Hope you managed to find time to forage enjoy eating and cooking your finds.