October outtakes

October outtakes

Here's some behind-the-Guac-scenes action from October, despite it feeling like only a week ago that I was rounding up September! You can follow behind the scenes of my Guac & Roll adventures on Instagram- @avainlondon, and if you use Pinterest anywhere as chronically as I do, you can find Guac over there too- by clicking here

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From barbeques to baking- it wasn't until I put this month's photos together that I realised there were no more grills or pub gardens featuring, but lots of recipe testing and recruiting friends to help eat up the 4 batches of brownies I made to trial for my first Vegan 411 column for HelloGiggles. Apart from the fact that raspberries and vegan brownies do not seem to mix, October also bought with it an amazing homemade apple and sultana crumble from my best friend Liz's family's farm.  

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Keeping with the hunkering down/ vegging out nature of the month- I worked on my pumpkin chili recipe and apparently couldn't get over how ace purple carrots just are. I moved desks down to Naomi's for a change in scenery and developed what some people would call an unhealthy attachment to huge bowls of steamed vegetables and rice for every meal. I'm now banned from uttering the 'r word' (rice) in the flat. BUT IT JUST TASTES SO GOOD.

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Finally, I dropped by Bardens Boudoir for lunch on the last day of October and had a crazy good smashed avocado on toast, topped off with sunflower seeds, rocket and the most delicious mushrooms I've had in forever. When pickling onions left my flat with a slight vinegar tinge, I made like Cher Horowitz and baked up some bread to create something gorgeous to smell instead. Speaking of which, if I ever reach my chana masala capacity, give me a good talking to yeah?

Rainbow rösti

Rainbow rösti 

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These rösti came about in the same way most of my brunch and breakfast recipes come to life: what can I make without having to step outside my front door. Maybe that's how the Full English Breakfast came to be. In any case, these Swiss potato cakes are fuss-free, super easy for a morning recipe and any leftovers work really well for lunch or even dinner as an alternative to a vegetable burger. But breakfast is where they work best. 

We didn't have any spinach- the traditional accompaniment- so I added cavolo nero on the side with these. They're pretty stodgy so are a perfect match for an endless supply of tea and last night's debriefs, the two main requirements for any weekend breakfast.

n.b. As you'll see in the photos I chose to keep the purple and orange carrots separate from the potatoes until the last minute so the entire mixture didn't take on a purple colour. They don't dye things as fast as beetroot, but the potato cakes will look a lot more appetising with flecks of purple as opposed to an overwhelming pink colour!

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Makes enough for four

Ingredients

2 onions, chopped down small

2 garlic cloves

3-4 medium potatoes, peeled

Half a courgette

Handful of carrot tops or parsley, finely chopped

Selection of different coloured carrots, about 200g worth 

Salt, pepper

1 cup plain flour, plus about 1/2 a cup more for shaping

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp paprika (optional, for extra flavour) 

Vegetable oil

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Place the onions and garlic in a large mixing bowl before grating in the potato. Add the courgette and carrot tops or parsley. In two other bowls, grate in the carrots.

Once everything is grated up, add in to the mixing bowl with a good pinch of salt and pepper, and sift in the cup of flour, then add the baking powder and paprika if using. You may want to add more salt if you prefer, as the flour will add a bit of a bitter edge to the mix. Stir well so all the onion and garlic is even distributed and there are no clumps of potato.

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You should now have a consistency like coleslaw. It's tempting to add lots of flour but the mix should be fine with the amount here- anymore and it takes over the flavour of the cakes.  

Gently shape a rösti with floured hands so it is about 5cm across. These are better kept small so they cook quicker, and done one at a time for the frying pan so they don't have to be moved about too much.

Heat a pan with oil and once the oil is sizzling, add in the cakes. I found doing two at a time the easiest way. Once you can no longer see the flour on the up-side of the cake, it's time to turn them over. I like to pop the done-ones in a pre-heated oven so they stay warm while the rest are being made and any slightly-underdone ones get heated properly.

Once they are all cooked through, plate up with some cavolo nero or spinach and plenty of tea.  Oh, and, as with the best of breakfasts, these are brilliant with ketchup or brown sauce, too.

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