Vine and Dine – Curried coconut beggar’s purses

We had a break fromVine and Dine for holidays but even so I couldn’t believe how quickly this one snuck up on us. This was our second recipe from Candle Cafe for this series of challenges. I always love wrapping food up in filo pastry because even though it’s pretty easy to do it makes the food seem fancy.

The book didn’t give me any clues about what to serve the purses with, so I decided on simple kale which I flavoured with a bit of curry to keep in with the theme. That probably would have been enough but of course Matthew wanted an extra carb so I sauteed a few cubed potatoes alongside it.

I hate it when recipes just call for a sheet of pastry because they come in all sorts of shapes, and mine were clearly smaller than the ones used in the book. No problems, I just used two together instead of folding one in half. Everything else was very straightforward.

The picture shows one purse but we actually ate 2 each!

The filling was a lovely hint of curry and spice which wasn’t too overpowering and not too coconutty either. The filo was crisp against the rich filling and the seitan gave it a lot of body. I really liked it and it was yet another good example of these challenges making me try recipes I probably wouldn’t have tried otherwise. I’m dying to see how Tami got on with it as she doesn’t like coconut so it was very brave of her to even try it.

The wine was far less successful than the food! Here’s Matthew’s take. (I told him to get off the fence and tell us what he really thought of the wine……).

With the filo parcels we chose a Portugese red from the Douro, port country, a Quinta da Esteveira 2008, which set us back £8.49 from Vinceremos. This wine is organic and made biodynamically – itself a cause of some controversy among vegans. Past years seem to have been quite successful. The web site says it is sturdy, slightly spicy, and tasting of figs and raisins, or alternatively ‘lush berry fruit with hints of liquorice and a wonderful long smoky finish’. You could have fooled us. This was quite simply the worst bottle of wine we’ve shared this year. Any flavour there might have been was drowned under a sea of tannins, despite our decanting and giving it plenty of time to open up. It was the definition of badly made wine. Monty Python could have done a sketch about this wine: ‘This bottle has one word on it, and that word is ‘beware!’ Pity, because I stand by the thinking, which is that the length of a good Douro red would have worked with the beefy seitan, and the herbiness of some of them, the sort of sage and rosemary, with slightly sweet berry fruits would have complemented the coconut and been sharp enough to cut through the buttery filo pastry. We nearly opened one of our old favorites, a VDP Cite de Carcassonne Méditation a bargain £9.50 from Vintage Roots, which would have worked as planned“.

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