Wednesday, December 07, 2011

London's Canary Wharf and Cheese 'n Onion slices

When in London I went to Canary Wharf; one reason was, because I was interested how the former West India Docks, once a very busy port, have been transformed in the last decades (the port was closed in 1980) by heavy development work. Well, the other reason was that I needed to get the DLR (Dockland Light Railway) from Canary Wharf station to get to the Royal Observatory. But still ...

Today, Canary Wharf is not only linked to the London tube, but also the National Rail, London City Airport, and river services but on top became a huge business district and lately also a new housing area.
Huge high-rise building dominate the area. But there are also some more quiet zones, like the Jubilee Park. The park actually sits on top of Canary Wharf underground station:

You can also enjoy some art in front of the station:

With all the offices and new apartment buildings there of course followed shopping malls (there is an underground one down at the tube station) and restaurants. Among them Jamie's Italian that mushroom up everywhere nowadays:

In summer it must be quite beautiful near the river

Walking through the underground mall I stopped at WHS and bought the BBC Good Food Christmas Vegetarian special edition of it's Good Food magazine. And I decided to try out the cheese & onion slices featured in the magazine but also available online.

I used, however, purple potatoes:

The recipe asked to roughly mash the potatoes, which I did, but wasn't such a great idea. Next time I will do this for about a third of the potatoes and leave the other ones in cubes, since the pie collapsed a bit during baking. But still the mash looked beautiful in purple :)

Served with  a lambs lettuce salad and a tomato jus it was really delicious. You have to up the spices a bit. I generously added herb salt, freshly ground black pepper and a good dose of cayenne. I also skipped the egg and brushed the phyllo dough with oat cream, worked beautifully :)
But otherwise a stuck to the recipe; it was my first home-made cheese 'n onion pie after all.

I'm thinking about how I could veganise this .... any ideas?


  1. purple potatoes! Never seen them before! looks good! :)

  2. I grew purple potatoes in my first year, they looked great but disappointed on flavour. Anyway, this looks rather good - I knwo there are some vegan cheeses on the market, so perhaps that's the way to go forward. You can also get puff pastry that is suitable for veggies and vegans.

  3. @Kavi: thanks :) it makes the simple cheese & onion pie a bit more special, I think :)

    @Shaheen: the variety was called 'Blue Swede' and was actually quite tasty, but not more or less than ordinary white/yellow potatoes :)
    The pastry was already vegan, but the cheese ... I'm not really fond of these fake cheeses you can buy and besides I think none of them melt properly. the main function of the cheese (apart from its taste) is to melt und glue the potatoes together. Fake cheeses do not really melt. I thought of tofu but it can't act as glue either :(

  4. Your right about vegan cheese not melting, but my reason for staying away from them has been the taste. Hope you find an alternative substitute.

    I'll keep an eye out the 'Blue Swede' potatoes.

  5. @Shaheen: you are absolutely right, the taste is still far from promising. Maybe one day I'll try my hand on a self-made cashew nut cheese or the like :)