I bought a jar of cashew butter the other day, something I hadn’t had for ages. I’d liked it before but not been overwhelmed, which is weird considering I always used to pick every single cashew out of the mixed nuts my mum used to buy at Christmas… she buys them on their own now :-)
But I saw some at a farm shop the other day, thought it was worth another go – and was proved right; I’ve since been using it in just about everything.
One of the ways I used to love the nuts was with Dairylea triangles, which might sound like a weird combination but I reckon nuts and cheese together is the way forward, as is nuts and nutritional yeast.
I used them both, with some of this, also bought at the farm shop, today:
Crispy cashew polenta fingers:
100g fine polenta
400ml vegetable stock
2tbsp nutritional yeast
2tbsp cashew butter
2tbsp ground flax seed
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Pinch of dried mixed herbs
Meausure the flax, garlic, herbs and nutritional yeast into a bowl so you can add them quickly in a minute.
Bring the stock (I used 1.5tsp bouillon vegetable stock powder in 400ml cold water) to the boil, then add the polenta in a steady stream. Turn the heat down a bit and cook the polenta for a couple of minutes until nice and thick. Keep whisking all the time to get rid of any lumps and watch it – when the packet says “bubbles explosively”, it ain’t exaggerating; it’s like Vesuvius :-)
When it gets arm-achingly thick (and I ain’t exaggerating either) take pan off the heat and add the flax mixture and the cashew butter and whisk till well mixed - I had lumps in the polenta so I used my hand blender to get it really smooth – then dollop into a greased roasting pan. Set aside to cool and set, then slice into fingers:
Then either saute, or spray with olive oil and cook under a 180C-ish grill, till browned and crisp on both sides. I tried both ways and the saute-ing is crisper… but then, I was starving as I waited for the grilled ones and too impatient to leave them any longer :-)
Whichever way, they were delicious, they reminded me of potato croquettes (old school!) with their creamy soft insides and crunchy, crispy coating – only with much more flavour and much healthier than mashed potato covered in breadcrumbs!
I had mine with vegetables and some more of the red pepper pesto, which is even better than I remembered. Seriously, make the pesto, it’s amazing.
It was perfect comfort food for the end of a day in which autumn not only arrived, after a lovely roasting hot weekend, but after which I’m going back to work :-(
On a more positive note though, my tumble dryer has mended itself. Last Sunday, it took me a while to cotton on to the fact that my sheets were spinning around happily but not getting any drier – because there was no heat coming out. I meant to ring Phillips and ask whether they still make the model (doubtful as it’s older than I am) and whether they had any advice, forgot and put the sheets in again today without much hope.
Weirdly though, it worked perfectly! The rest clearly did it good :-)
Hope everyone’s had a great weekend.