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.