Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Winter Vegetable Cobbler

This vegetarian main dish is just the thing for a cold, rainy, cloudy, crappy end-of-winter day. It's basically a vegetable casserole topped with cheesy biscuits/scones. It comes from the same cookbook (Classic Vegetarian Recipes) as the Crisp-Fried Vegetables I posted a while back, so it's got the same metric/imperial measurement system. I made ours in our Dutch oven since it could handle stovetop and oven, plus this makes a pretty ample amount, though it says it serves 4.

(Ok, yeah, you could/should brown it a little more, but we were HUNGRY!)

1 Tbl. olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
8 small onions, halved [I think they might mean pearl onions, but I did 3 or 4 very small ones from our CSA.]
2 celery stalks, sliced
250 g/ 9 oz swede, chopped [That'd be a rutabaga. I just picked a medium one.]
2 carrots, sliced
1/2 small cauliflower, broken into florets
250 g/ 9 oz. mushrooms, sliced
400 g/14 oz. can chopped tomatoes
60 g/ 2 oz. / 1/4 c. red lentils [I used green 'cuz it's what I had.]
2 Tbl. cornflour (cornstarch)
3-4 Tbl. water
300 ml / 1/2 pint / 1 1/4 c. vegetable stock [I used chicken broth.]
2 tsp. Tabasco sauce
2 tsp. chopped fresh oregano or parsley
sprigs of oregano, to garnish

Cobbler Topping:
250 g / 9 oz. / 2 c. self-raising flour**
60 g / 2 oz. / 1/4 c. butter
125 g / 4 1/2 oz. / 1 c. grated Cheddar
2 tsp. chopped fresh oregano or parsley
1 egg, beaten
150 ml / 1/4 pint / 2/3 c. skim milk

1. Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the garlic and onions for 5 minutes. Add the celery, swede [rutabaga], carrots and cauliflower and fry for 2-3 minutes.

2. Remove the pan from the heat and add the mushrooms, tomatoes and lentils. Mix the cornstarch with the water and add to the pan with the stock, Tabasco sauce and oregano or parsley. Bring to the boil, stirring, until thickened. Transfer to an ovenproof dish, cover and bake in a preheated oven, 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutes.

3. To make the topping, sift the flour and a pinch of salt into a bowl. Rub in the butter***, then stir in most of the cheese and the herbs. Beat the egg and milk and add enough to the dry ingredients to make a dough [Leave a tiny bit for the egg wash]. Knead and roll out to 1 cm/1/2 inch thick. Cut into 5 cm / 2 inch rounds. Remove the dish from the oven and increase the temperature to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6. Arrange the rounds around the edge of the dish, brush with the [leftover] egg and milk and sprinkle with the cheese. Cook for 10-12 minutes. Garnish and serve.

** I looked that up, and according to About.com, you can make self-raising flour by adding 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to each cup of all-purpose flour.

*** Like in the Orange Butter Scone recipe: Basically you stick your hands in the floury stuff and rub the small pieces of butter into it until it gets kind of crumbly... the texture will be sort of like Bisquick? This takes a while, and you could possibly get a similar effect by just using a pastry cutter, but it wouldn't be as well-distributed.

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