Ingredient 3: Tinned Tomatillos

Tinned tomatillos fall into my MoFo category of things I requested in a parcel swap from the US and then took forever to use. I can’t buy fresh tomatillos so I think I must have wanted them to stand in for fresh in a recipe. However, once I’d got them I wasn’t sure how well they’d work and didn’t know how to convert them for fresh.

My MoFo project forced me to get them out of the cupboard and get them used, so when Matthew requested something spicy for tea I decided to make the chickpea and potato enchiladas from Viva Vegan. It was actually very easy to convert the tinned version for this recipe; I just drained the tin and used them straight in the sauce and ignored the instructions for preparing the fresh ones.

These enchiladas were absolutely delicious. The pine nut creme on the top is so rich that it provides a perfect counterpoint to the sharp spicy tomatillo sauce, and the potato and chickpea filling is a comforting backdrop to it all. I think I like them even more than the kale enchiladas from Veganomicon which I’ve made plenty of times.

Have you used tinned tomatillos? What did you use them for? Now that I’ve used them, I’ll definitely be ordering them online and they won’t be in my cupboard for as long this time!

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Stuffed marrow

A friend recently gave me a marrow the length of my arm and the width of my head. I’m not exaggerating here but I deleted a whole bunch of photos accidentally so
I know you won’t believe me. It was bigger than this one.

Lots of people think that marrows don’t have any flavour but it’s not true. They aren’t the same as courgettes, but they have their own vaguely bland but comforting
taste. The first thing I wanted to do was stuffed marrow, because that’s how we used to eat the overgrown monsters from my Grandad’s garden when we were little.

You can hollow out marrows and stuff them properly, and then bake them for ages, but I couldn’t be bothered with al that and cheated. I made the filling separately, then cut the marrow into rings and took out the seeds from each ring. Then I brushed them lightly with seasoned oil and put onto a baking tray, covered them with foil and put them into a medium over for about 20 minutes until they were tender.

For the filling I cooked half a cup of puy lentils in vegetable stock until soft then added in one finely chopped link of vegan chorizo from Viva Vegan. That was it. You could of course
use any reasonably gloopy filling – chilli, bolognese or curry would all work well. I then spooned the filling into the holes of the marrows, put the leftover sauce from the scalloped potatoes on top and added a bit of grated vegan cheese. I put it back in the oven, without the foil, just until the top bubbled a bit and the cheese melted.

This meal was so tasty that I actually made it a second time with some of the leftover marrow. We hardly ever eat the same thing twice in a year, let alone a couple of weeks,
so that was quite an achievement. With the rest of the marrow I cubed it and tossed it in Indian spices and roasted it, and served it with a chickpea curry and rice,
but it looked and sounded so vegan that I didn’t even photograph it.