Friday, 20 January 2017


Recipe of the week... Root vegetable cobbler!

Time taken: About an hour prepping veg. Then 45 minutes getting it all together. Then half an hour to bake and serve. 2 hours and 15 minutes in total… but it’s so worth it!!

Serves: 4 (or double all the quantities – like I did – if you’re feeding 8 hungry friends)


For your hotpot… A couple of splashes of olive oil, 2 red onions, ½ a butternut squash, 300g swede, 300g carrots, 2 leeks, 300g parsnips, 200g long-life beetroot, 2 celery stalks, 1 teaspoon caraway seeds, 2 cloves garlic, 3 tablespoons tomato purée, 1 stock cube, 400g can chopped tomatoes, 1 tablespoon vegetable gravy granules

For the cobblers… 175g self-raising flour, ½ a teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, 25g butter, 50g grated Parmesan cheese, 1 large egg, 6 tablespoons milk (plus a little extra for glazing).

Good evening readers,

And with this… we reach the end… of another week.

As I write, curled up on the settee with a glass of red, it’s an extremely cold Friday night in January. We’ve had clear skies all day in Sheffield, with a gorgeous pink sunrise this morning and then a sky full of stars this evening. I hope, readers, that you got to look up today and saw a sensational sky.

I hope, too, that you got to stretch your legs and breathe fresh air. That you laughed, even if you don’t remember why. That you achieved something you set out to do. That you ate delicious food, and spent time in great company. Perhaps you helped someone out, or was it that they helped you? Maybe you understood something you didn’t before, remembered something you’d forgotten, realised something that made you stop in your tracks.

I hope, readers, that today might be a day you will remember. And remember not only as at the days of President Trump’s inauguration… but instead as the day that something far more fun occurred! Do you reckon you will? Think hard! What’s been ace about your day today? Or what could still be ace yet?? There’s time left! Do something memorable with it!

Today, readers, I somehow managed to get an evening doctors appointment (these are as rare and unobtainable as the gold dust found in unicorn tears on a full moon). I was tired and heading into work early but then I saw the incredible pink sunrise and was cheered up. And my phone shuffled me a song I didn’t know I had and have DEFS never listened to before – my new favourite song!

Then, when I was leaving work I found one of my boss’s lost Bluetooth headsets just lying on the floor outside. So he’s missing one less now. And I took a taxi driven by a man named Bash and we didn’t crash (though I worried). Then, this evening, I made it to Friday yoga and held some killlller stretches. And now wine!

You know what… to some, maybe that is not a remarkable day. I’m tired. Full of cold. Have a large workload. Had to pay for a taxi just to make it to a weekday doctors appointment, as the doctors don’t open on weekends. And I work every weekday. I ate soggy cucumber as my eccentric fridge had frozen it. And then when it thawed it wasn’t the same, but was already on its way to my work.

Giving zero shits… I thought my day today was great!! Take this attitude, readers. I hope your day was funtastic, too! Hope you’ve had a terrific week this week – with plentiful, memorable fun times. Any bad times – just dance them off. Find a new song that you can play on repeat and groove around to and reeeeeally appreciate every time you hear it. Own that song.

My jam this week, you ask? It’s ‘Be Right Back, Moving House’ by Ghostpoet. Give it a listen.

And a quote that’s really stuck with me through the week: “When your past calls… don’t answer. It has nothing new to say.” I like that sentiment.

AND… my recipe of the week?? Root vegetable cobbler ahhhh! You’re going to love it, readers. You’re going to love it like a restaurant plate of food. Or like a takeaway in your pyjamas. Or like chocolate – aaaany damn time.

Root vegetable cobbler is the recipe I cooked, on Wednesday night, for a bunch of friends I had over for tea. There were eight of us, in total, to feed. And I’d been at work all day, so didn’t have a lot of time to prep before people arrived. LUCKILY… I had a plan in action and that plan was root vegetable cobbler. I shopped for veg on Saturday; I spend two hours chopping veg on Sunday. I read and reread the recipe while commuting in the week.

You’re cooking for 5+ people? Some are on January health kicks (including you)? One has a serious allergy? All expect a lot from you in the kitchen? And every single one needs further evidence – that vegetarian food is real food? THIS RECIPE IS YOUR LLAMA.

If you have the budget to buy all these veg, the time to source them (go to M&S), the will to prep them, and the strength to spend a focused hour in the kitchen on the night before you start drinking… then this recipe is for you, readers. I’m telling you. And it tastes great! Such a colourful dish. Your friends will be really wowed and rave reviews. Many of your 5-a-day. No presentation skill needed. Very filling. Lots of vitamins… just doooo it.

Feeling brave, readers? Feeling like root vegetables are just what’s been missing from your January health kick?? Here’s how to rustle up one mighty root vegetable cobbler in (I shit you not) just 27 easy steps…

1.     Find something decent on TV and settle in with a hot drink and your largest knife… for some serious veg prep!
2.     Peel your red onions and cut them into wedges.
3.     Peel your butternut squash and dice into bite-sized chunks.
ChefBeHere Top Tip: Unless you’re a total squash head and want to go wild and throw it all in, set half your squash aside to use in another recipe.

4.     Peel your swede and dice into bit-sized chunks.
5.     Peel your carrots and thickly slice.
6.     Trim the ends off your leeks and then thickly slice.
7.     Peel your parsnips and – you guessed it – thickly slice.
8.     Cut your beetroot up into quarters.
9.     Trim the ends off your celery stalks and then, yes, thickly slice.
10.  Peel your cloves of garlic and crush them into smithereens.
ChefBeHere Top Tip: This is the end of the veg prep and if you’ve made it this far you’re probably like… I FUCKING HATE VEGETABLES ARRGGGH. So, I recommend taking a little time away from the veg at this point, to get the fury out of your system. Open a window and dance around a while?

11.  When you’re feeling up to it, heat your oven to 200°C.
12.  Look at your pile of vegetables, look at your pots and pans. You need either a giant pan or a large casserole dish – anything that looks big enough to hold all those veg.
ChefBeHere Top Tip: If, like I did, you’ve doubled your quantities and are now dealing with a real shitload of veg, you’re going to need 2 (maybe even 3) veg vessels. And some luck.
13.  Heat a couple of splashes of oil in your pan/dish monster and add the onions, butternut squash, swede, carrots, leeks, parsnips, beetroot, celery, caraway seeds and garlic.
14.  Fry all this over a high heat, stirring throughout, for 5 minutes. Keep it moving.

15.  Boil the kettle meanwhile and make up your veggie stock, by mixing your stock cube with 300ml boiling water.
16.  Then add the purée, stock and chopped tomatoes to the pan/dish.
17.  Stir in the gravy granules and cook, stirring, until the liquid thickens a little.
18.  Bring it all to the boil, put the lid on the pan/dish, and leave to simmer for half an hour.
ChefBeHere Top Tip: Take some deep breaths now. Notice how you’re breathing and try to slow that down a little. Pour yourself a cold drink and take a few minutes out of the kitchen.
19.  When you feel well enough to return, it’s time to make the cobblers! First, sift the flour into a mixing bowl, and stir in the pepper and the rosemary.
20.  Use your fingertips to rub in the butter, until the mix resembles crumbs.
21.  Stir in the Parmesan. Inhale its cheesy, foot-like aroma!

22.  In a mug, use a fork to beat together the egg and milk.
23.  Next, gradually add your milky mix to the dry ingredients, and use your fingers or a wooden spoon to bring it all together into a soft dough.
24.  Dust a clean kitchen surface with flour, and roll out your dough til it’s 2cm-ish thick.
ChefBeHere Top Tip: Don’t go too thin with your dough! You want to make good chunky cobblers, not flimsy fancy ones. Man cobblers. Sumos! With girth.
25.  Use a glass or a round pastry cutter to stamp out 8 to 9 rounds.
26.  Take the lid off your hotpot and arrange the scones on the top, around the edge of the casserole, and brush the top of each with milk.
27.  Carefully transport into the oven (my tired arms were wobbling!) and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the scones have risen and turned golden. Then serve immediately to your horde of hungry guests, and sit yourself down my dear. The dishes can wait.

Based on a Morrisons recipe found here

And BOOM! Readers, that’s how you make a root vegetable cobbler. The one and only. What do you think?? Is anyone going to give this recipe a go? Because it’s got so much good stuff in it! So many wonderful vitamins to power you on, through January! Really, if you think you can do this, then definitely do it, readers! Do it. Root vegetable cobbler is a taste sensation.

Has anyone tried this before, maybe? Or tried cooking this recipe before? Or – if you’ve read my blog and decided to have a go – how did it work out?? Did it go well? Any thoughts you have at all, readers, on the wonderful root vegetable cobbler – share them here! Let me know your recipe reaction / give feedback / any tips to make this even better… fire away!

And have a cracking weekend, readers. Look up at the sky. Dream big.

Veg safely,


So yummy I only got a pic of the leftovers!

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