Thursday, 18 April 2013

Vegetarian Haggis Filo Loaf

I'm not discriminate towards different cuisines.  I don't believe there's a bad cuisine.  Yes, there are some I prefer more than others, but it's unfair and just rude to disrespect a particular cuisine.  Including the Scottish one.

Now, Scottish cuisine has a horrible reputation.  Yes, it is not the best, and at first I was hesitant.  The thing is, unlike Italian cuisine for example, you can't find good stuff everywhere.  In Italy, I find that unless you go to the tourist traps, food ranges from good to you've-just-changed-my-world.

Now, Scottish cuisine, from personal experience, ranges from from one extreme to the other, with the mode towards the left side of the scale.

Haggis is uh.  Well, you know what it is right?  If you don't, let me enlighten you - sheep organs cooked in sheep stomach.   Appetizing, eh? 

It's not that bad.  With a little bit of whisky over it, it's decent.  I don't go crazy for it, but it's not as awful as it sounds.  But then I was introduced to vegetarian haggis. It's essentially oats and beans and veggies with the same spices as a normal haggis.  It's fantastic.  This along with beautifully smoked fish and rich puddings, Scottish cuisine proved its place in my heart.  You can argue that it's not proper Scottish cuisine, but goodness, I'll consider variations and improvements to still be Scottish cuisine.  I gotta give them a chance. 

I've looked at a range of recipes, got some ideas, and wrap the vegetarian haggis up with filo.  Try it out, adjust the seasoning and spices if you want, and tell me what you think :)

Serves 4
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 medium carrot, shredded
1 cup button mushrooms, finely chopped 
1 cup red kidney beans, cooked
1 cup green lentils, cooked
1 cup pinhead oatmeal, soaked for an hour
Soy sauce (to taste)
Freshly ground pepper (to taste)
Filo pastry 
Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Sautee the garlic, onions, and all the spices in a pan with some oil until soft, don't let the onions color.
Add the mushrooms and carrots and cook until softened.  Add all the other ingredients (for the oatmeal you can add some of the soaking liquid as well), and check seasoning.  Cook for a couple of more minutes, adding water if dry.

Keep your filo pastry under a damp cloth as you work.  Take one sheet, brush with some olive oil, then lay another one on top. Brush with more olive oil and finally lay the last sheet on top.

Put the filling in the middle and wrap the filling up so it's all closed and you form a loaf.  Brush with some more olive oil on top, and if you wish, an egg wash (1 egg beaten with some water). 

Put on greased and lined baking tray and bake for about 30 minutes or until golden on top. 

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