hubble, bubble ~ VEGETABLE BAKE with no trouble!

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With Witches flying through the night,

The streets are dark, there’s little light,

And goblins knocking on a moonlit door,

Let’s cook up a treat, we have grub galore!

Into the cauldron, boiling, sticky and black,

Entrails and poisons were pulled from her sack,

With a cackle and shriek that spooked the cat,

She mashed the brew and added more fat,

Hubble, bubble, toil  ~  let’s cook without trouble!!

I hope you liked my Halloween ditty!

You’ll be thankful to know that no entails or poisons are included in the wholesome ingredients of my seasonal vegetable bake! Just a few potions to ward off evil spirits and fortify the body against ghastly ghosts and ghouls. It is written, that the pumpkin became synonymous with ‘Halloween’, because many early Christian denominations encouraged abstinence from meat on All Hallows’ Eve. Pumpkins, due to their natural harvest, were readily available and once the flesh was scoped out, they were used as a lantern (known as a jack-o’lantern) and placed on tombs to represent the souls of the dead. Amongst many other scrumptious autumnal (Fall, for my American readers) ingredients, I have added copious amounts of garlic to fend off evil spirits and any passing witches on broomsticks and a good glug of Pernod. Now, I’ve used Pernod, because it’s the closest thing I had to Strega, an Italian liqueur with a taste of fennel. In Italian, Strega, means ‘witch’ and it is sometimes referred to as the drink of witches. So there you have it, a truly authentic dish with ‘witch’ to celebrate this All Hallows’ Eve! So, with my broomstick parked, let’s cook without trouble!

Vegetable Bake (Halloween)

Ingredients:

  • 300g of flesh from a pumpkin
  • 300g of butternut squash cubed
  • 300g of sweet potato cubed
  • 400g of potatoes cubed
  • 2 large leeks, sliced
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 or 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper (to your taste) – I won’t advise because I use too much!!
  • 100g smoked bacon bits
  • 1 cup of vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp of dried oregano
  • A ‘glug’ of Pernod
  • 300ml of double cream
  • Fresh oregano to garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a LARGE heavy pan with lid (oven-proof), fry the onions and leeks.
  2. Add salt and pepper.
  3. Add the first four ingredients and mix to coat wight he oil. Cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and smoked bacon. Add the dried oregano. Fry together for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the Pernod and the vegetable stock. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Add the cream and mix together well.
  7. Put the lid on (make sure it fits well – if not, cover with foil and then seal with the lid).
  8. Place in an oven preheated to 150 degrees centigrade (300 degrees fahrenheit) for 90 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked.
  9. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve!

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