I'm loving Jamie Oliver's 30 Minute Meals at the moment. Even though there is lots of meat in it he also does quite a bit of veggie stuff and his enthusiasm for food and flavours is so infectious. So, fired up to make something tasty and quick, I decided to do a vegan version of a cheese and onion pasty - something I've never had because I've been vegan so long.
Before anybody reads any further, let me confess that this didn't take 30 minutes. I hoped it would take 30 - but it took 50. However as much as I love Jamie's 30 Minute Meals, may I just say that on that series I've never seen Jamie:
a) wash anything up as he goes along
b) wash his hands between jobs
c) make pastry from scratch
d) smash a glass jar off the draining board and onto the floor
e) stand around for a moment looking dejected while boyfriend picks up all the shards
f) refocus and hoover and wash the whole floor and cat dishes that had been on the floor
g) feed the cats.
All of this I managed in 50 minutes, so perhaps you'll forgive me for having pre-made the cashew cheese.
Cheese and onion pasties and rustic chips (for 2 servings with 2 pasties left over for another day)
3/4 cup cashew cheese (I had some leftover in the fridge)
3 large potatoes (or equivalent in weight)
Olive oil to fry
Salt and pepper
For the pastry:
2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup cold water
1 tsp baking powder
A pinch of salt
First 10 minutes:
- Preheat oven to 180c.
- Chop the potatoes into roughly walnut-sized chunks and get them boiling in plenty of hot water
- Dice the onion and start frying it in a little oil.
- Put all the pastry ingredients together in a bowl and mix with a fork. You'll very quickly get your ball of pastry dough.
- Lay out a large piece of cling film onto your work surface (saves faffing around with flour) and roll or press your pastry into two rectangles, each the size of 4 pasties. Cut both pieces into 4 quarters.
- Drain the potatoes and tip them into a large flat-bottomed frying pan, reserving about a cupful of them. Crush the ones in the frying pan slightly with the back of a wooden spoon and knock them about a bit to get some rough bits which will go crispy when fried. Slurp some olive oil over them and put the pan on a medium-low heat.
- Mash the reserved potatoes and add the fried onion and cashew cheese. Mix it all up and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Spoon 1/4 of the mixture onto 4 of your pastry rectangles and cover with the other 4 pieces. Press round the edges with your fingers to seal.
- Place the 4 pasties onto a paper-lined backing sheet and put in the oven. Set timer for 20 minutes.
- Do something else while you wait for your pasties to cook (see d)-g) above). Occasionally toss the potatoes around to give the undersides a chance to crisp up too.
* actually takes 50 minutes