Sunday, May 27, 2012

deconstructed brown rice pie

Deconstructed brown rice vegetable "pie"!

2 C brown rice
2 T toasted mix of sesame seeds, sunflower seeds & salt
2 T tahini
1 sweet potato, sliced into thick circles for steaming
1 egg plant, sliced lengthwise into 10ths
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt & pepper
1 punnet button mushrooms, sliced
2 large scallions, finely sliced
1/2 massel imitation "chicken" stock cube
1 bag baby spinach leaves
1 T mirin
1 can tomato soup
1 can tomatoes
1 tsp white vinegar
6 asparagus spears.

Serves 2 starved elephant-men or 4 sensible adults!

Using inspiration from one of my favorite cook books, "let it simmer" by the god-of-cooks Sean Moran, this is my take on his Brown Rice and Vegetable Pie. This is my vegan friendly, oil free version which remains incredibly hearty, perfect for a winter's night and extremely satisfying. 


Cook brown rice using the absorption method (~6 c water: 2 c brown rice) 
While the rice is cooking prepare everything else.
Peel and slice sweet potato into big thick circles, then steam until soft in ~ 2 c water in a wok, reserving sweet potato water.
Mash sweet potatoes in separate bowl and set aside.
For eggplant, arrange eggplant segments in a steamer and cover with minced garlic and a good sprinkling of salt. Steam until soft.
To the reserved sweet potato water (which will have reduced to about 1 cup), add the 1/2 massel stock cube and a sprinkling of the sliced scallions (reserving the most part for the spinach), stir over high heat until the scallions are bright green and then add the mushrooms with a sprinkle of freshly ground pepper. 
Sauté until just cooked and set aside, reserving the sweet potato/mushroom stock water (of which there should now be only about 1/2 C left).
Check on the steaming aubergine which by this stage should almost be ready to turn off the heat.
To the reserved sweet potato/mushroom water, turning the heat up to high, add all the green scallions and sauté before adding the spinach and a splash of mirin, along with a good sprinkle of salt. Steam down spinach (which will only take a few minutes) and set aside.
If there is any liquid left over from the spinach you can throw that out and then re-use the same pan to make the tomato sauce.
Combine the can of tomato soup with a can of regular tomatoes and add 1 tsp white vinegar to balance the sweetness of the canned soup. Season with salt & pepper if necessary.
While this is heating through, for the final element, throw the asparagus spears on top of the steaming eggplant, until just cooked, literally only a minute or so, then you are ready to plate up.

To serve:
Lay a flat spoonful of brown rice on the plate and sprinkle with toasted mix of sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and salt. Drizzle 1 T of tahini over the top of this.
Add 3-4 eggplant segments.
A few spoonfuls of mushrooms.
Some steamed spinach.
2 - 3 spoonfuls of tomato sauce.
A dollop of sweet potato mash.
As the final touch balance 3 bright green asparagus spears atop the stack and sprinkle with another dash of toasted sesame seeds and sunflower seeds.

Serve :)

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