Friday, November 30, 2007

Pineapple and Seitan Pizza

Dinner 11/30

Pineapple and Seitan Pizza
(pineapple, hoisin seitan, smoked potato, cippolini onion, button mushrooms)



Trying out something a little different with the pizza tonight -- sort of a sweet and sour grilled pizza ;)

The hoisin sauce, smoked potatoes and pineapple all came together nicely on top of the pizza and the grilling only helped things. The kids surprisingly loved it -- but we made a more traditional one just in case...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Stir-Fry with Seared/Steamed Brussel Sprouts, Jasmine Rice

Dinner 11/29

Stir-Fry
(tofu, shiitake mushroom, carrot, red bell pepper, ginger, garlic, tamari, rooster sauce, scallions)

Jasmine Rice

Seared/Steamed Brussel Sprouts



We broke out the rectangular plates for the stir-fry / brussel sprout combo -- nice to see them again ;)


These were fairly small brussel sprouts, so I didn't cut them in half to do the sear/steam method. Just keep them moving in the wok so they get seared evenly, turn the heat down to low and give them a little sesame oil/tamari and put the wok lid on for 5-7 minutes.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Fettuccine with Mushrooms and Fava Beans in a Rosemary Cream Sauce, Roasted Broccoli

Dinner 11/28

Fettuccine with Mushrooms and Fava Beans in a Rosemary Cream Sauce

Roasted Broccoli



A familiar story line in 2007 usually starts this way... "Liz picked up some mushrooms at the store..." ;)

Some lovely chanterelles, bluefoot and shiitake mushrooms all found their way into this rosemary infused pasta dish.

The sauce starts with sweated shallots and garlic, 1 tsp of chopped rosemary, about 1/2 cup of soy milk and soft tofu combination, brought to a simmer and cooked down by about half. Then the pasta was added until well coated. Top with the pan-fried mushrooms, fava beans and roasted broccoli.

(if you're looking for "Raw Food Wednesday," it'll return as usual, in January)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tomatillo Enchiladas with Alder-Smoked Twice-Fried Tofu

Dinner 11/27

Tomatillo Enchiladas with Alder-Smoked Twice-Fried Tofu



Another favorite from 2007 -- this spicy tomatillo and poblano sauce matches very well with the alder-smoked twice-fried tofu.

The enchiladas themselves aren't that difficult to assemble, it's just a question of getting the assembly line together. Start with shallow-frying the corn tortilla, then dip the shells in the sauce, then add the tofu, onions and fyh. After rolling the enchiladas up and placing them in the baking dish, just sprinkle a bit more onions, cheese and the leftover sauce on top and bake for 20 minutes or so...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Pasta in a Tomato Cream Sauce, Arugula and Spinach Salad with Carrots

Dinner 11/26

Pasta in a Tomato Cream Sauce

Arugula and Spinach Salad with Carrots




After the holiday hoopla, sometimes all you want is a nice simple pasta dish and a salad...

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Hoisin Seitan, Roasted Broccoli, Refried Jasmine Rice

Dinner 11/25

Hoisin Seitan

Roasted Broccoli

Refried Jasmine Rice



I could eat hoisin seitan / tofu / green beans once a week very easily.

It's true.

The seitan was sliced thinly, stir-fried until crisp and hit with a little hoisin sauce which pulls double duty -- it both flavors and softens the seitan. The base is the leftover jasmine rice from last night that wasn't made in to deep-fried rice balls...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Green Curry Tofu with Deep-Fried Rice Balls and Shiitake Mushrooms

Dinner 11/24

Green Curry Tofu with Deep-Fried Rice Balls and Shiitake Mushrooms



It's deja vu all over again...

We're entering 2007's "Greatest Hits" season -- so expect to see many of our favorite dishes from now to the end of the year...

This dish qualifies on many levels. The "trick" with the rice balls is to use freshly cooked rice, molded into a piece about the size of a golf-ball. The deep-frying (385F) should only go for 45-60 seconds, so what you end up with is a slightly crunchy exterior that holds it all together, with the soft rice inside.


Friday, November 23, 2007

Pot Pie

Dinner 11/23

Pot Pie
(adapted from Candle Cafe)



The humble pot pie is one our favorite meals -- despite having grown up eating so many of the frozen varieties in the 70's ;)

At its core it's simply some diced veggies in a light gravy with a quick crust. We added some alder-smoked tofu and seitan, sweet potatoes, peas, carrots, onion, garlic, zucchini, deglazed with wine and thickened with flour...

Liz decided to have some fun with the dough (olive oil, flour and salt) and made a lattice top which turned out very nicely

Thursday, November 22, 2007

What The Hell Does A Vegan Eat For Thanksgiving Anyway? 2007 Edition

Thanksgiving 2007

Here's the rundown

The main plate: Ravioli (remember that big batch we made a little while ago?), Hickory Smoked Apple Cider, Maple Syrup and Bourbon Glazed Tofu Lollipops (recipe below), Bourbon Cranberries, Braised Brussel Sprouts, Cream Cheese and Chive Biscuits (adapted from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook p.33)





Cream Cheese and Chive Biscuits going into the oven. You keep folding them over and over like puff pastry, cut them into squares and eventually...



...when they come out of the oven, they actually look somewhat like the picture in the book. ;)

We used the Chives in Creamy Sheese plus a little extra fresh chives. The buttermilk was subbed with soy milk + vinegar.



Warm Fingerling Potato and Green Bean Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette. The way the main plate was constructed didn't leave room for potatoes or green beans, so we went with them in the salad. The mustard vinaigrette was a last minute decision, and a good one.



Bread, Pumpkin Pie, Brownie Cheesecake Torte. Every year Liz threatens not to make a Pumpkin Pie, but after one bite, we all manage to convince her to keep the tradition.



Brownie Cheesecake Torte slice. The basic equation: Brownies + Chocolate Cheesecake + Brownies + Vanilla Cheesecake + Chocolate Buttercream Frosting = Win for veganism!

The interesting thing about this one -- you bake the two layers of brownies first -- let cool. Then, in a springform pan, add the first brownie layer followed by the chocolate cheesecake filling, the second brownie layer, finally the vanilla cheesecake layer and bake the whole thing again. The brownie layer is insulated/kept moist by the cheesecake filling on top, but also by virtue of being cooked in a bain marie.




Hickory Smoked Apple Cider, Maple Syrup and Bourbon Glazed Tofu Lollipops:

(no, the title couldn't be any longer if we tried)

1 16oz block of Extra Firm Tofu
Smoker box with hickory chips (optional)
canola oil
1 tbs. tamari


Cut the tofu into eight rectangular cutlets, and using a cookie cutter, cut into 16 circular pieces (Save the tofu scraps and smoke those as well -- then stir-fry for a quick, delicious snack).

Smoke the tofu with hickory wood for 20 minutes. Remove from the smoker and pan-fry in canola oil until golden brown.

Add 1 tbs. tamari cook for one more minute.

Finally add the apple cider/maple syrup/bourbon reduction:

1 cup of apple cider
2 tbs. maple syrup
2 tbs. bourbon
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
1/2" of ginger, cut into 4 slices
1 tsp. black cardamom, ground
1 tsp. mustard seeds, ground
1 tsp. smoked pepper
1 tsp. smoked paprika

Add all ingredients to a sauce pan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer until the liquid is reduced down to 1/4 cup. Strain and pour over the tofu. Bring to a boil again, turning the tofu often to coat for 2-3 minutes until fairly thick.

Remove from the pan, let cool for a minute, and carefully insert a hors d'oeuvre fork in the tofu. Serve hot



Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Roasted Cauliflower with Tamarind Dipping Sauce, BBQ Tofu with Garlic Aioli Dipping Sauce

Dinner 11/21

Roasted Cauliflower with Tamarind Dipping Sauce

BBQ Tofu with Garlic Aioli Dipping Sauce



The day before Thanksgiving is always a busy one on the prep side of things, so dinner was a simple affair -- roasted cauliflower with a quick tamarind/tomato paste/cumin based dipping sauce, and bbq tofu with a garlic/vegenaise dipping sauce.

Then it was back to the salt mines prep...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Lentil and Seitan Stew over Fusilli

Dinner 11/20

Lentil and Seitan Stew over Fusilli



Our pressure cooker is one of the best investments we've ever made (right after the smoker box and vacuum-sealer). As many beans as we eat during the year, the pressure cooker is not only a time saver -- all those who have cooked beans the traditional way for hours on end, and they still have a texture like rocks, raise their hands -- but it also helps take the pain from making our weekly batch of veg stock.

This one is as simple as A (pressure-cooked French lentils) + B (fried cubed seitan) + C (stir-fried carrots, onions, garlic) + D (pasta) = nom nom nom.

The best part is that it takes all of 20 minute from start to finish...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Grilled Fig Salad, Pizza Bread, Farro and Kale Soup

Dinner 11/18

Grilled Fig Salad
(with Feta Sheese)

Pizza Bread

Farro and Wilted Kale Soup



Since we bought a couple of wheels of sheese we're trying to find some way of using it -- and this seemed like a good pairing -- the key is to not use too much, using it more as an accent.

The Pizza Bread are ciabatta cut into circles, brushed with olive oil, and grilled, then topped with tomato sauce and mild cheddar sheese.

The salad also features a grilled item (figs) and sheese (feta) with a balsamic vinaigrette.

The soup was a chance to finally use some of the farro we bought at the West Side Market a long time ago -- good stuff on a cold night, very barley-like with the addition of some wilted dinosaur kale

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Krumkake

Breakfast 11/17

Krumkake
(banana, peanut butter and chocolate)



We scored a vintage Krumkake iron on eBay last week. After cleaning it off (it looked like it had never been used) we made breakfast crepes (using the batter from VwaV) on the stove. The filling was banana, peanut butter and chocolate -- Elvis would have approved -- the kids also gave it two thumbs up.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Pizza (FYH vs. Sheese)

Dinner 11/16

Pizza
(two tone FYH Monterey Jack/Cheddar, tomato sauce, onion, garlic, mushroom)



Pizza
(using Sheese Mozzarella, tomato sauce, onion, garlic, mushroom, olives)



We finally got our hands on some Sheese* and did a test vs. Follow Your Heart. The general consensus was, in this application, the FYH melted better, but the flavor edge went to the Sheese. We would have done FYH cheddar vs. Sheese cheddar but we had already eaten all of it. ;)

So, if your scoring at home (and by the way, good for you), FYH wins in "melt-ability," Sheese wins in taste, and texture was a bit a of draw -- Sheese was a little waxier (which I didn't mind), where the FYH was a little rubbery...

* We also have the mild cheddar, smoked cheddar, feta, and gouda.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Mushrooms en Papillote, Grilled Brussel Sprouts

Dinner 11/15

Mushrooms en Papillote
(shiitake, oyster and button mushrooms, shallots, garlic, soy margarine, salt, pepper)

Grilled Brussel Sprouts



Oh, if you could have only smelled the aroma when the mushrooms were opened...

We tried something a little different -- grilling the brussel sprouts -- seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper and grilled for about 25 minutes, turning often. Totally yanked from Michael Chiarello...

Here's a group shot as the mushrooms have just come out of the oven (puffy!) with the brussel sprouts on the grill...




Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Pizza and Caesar Salad Soup, Apple and Spinach Salad with Grapes, Pomegranate Tart

Raw Food Wednesday 11/14

Pizza and Caesar Salad Soup

Apple and Spinach Salad with Grapes
(apple, red bell pepper, grapes, spinach)

Dessert

Pomegranate Tart
(from RAWvolution)



So... about that soup... ;)

There's no recipe written down yet -- it's still in workshop mode, but it's close...

The Pizza side was tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, jalapeƱo, oregano, fennel, fennel seeds, olive oil, nama shoyu, a wee bit of apple cider vinegar and water all pureed together.

The Caesar Salad side was romaine lettuce, spinach, soaked almonds, lemon juice, sea salt, pepper, agave and water, all pureed together.

The trickiest part was getting them in the soup bowls at the same time, and at the right consistency, so they don't run together.

The "dots" are cashew cheese pieces cut with a small cookie cutter with a drop of the pizza and caesar salad soup and then floated on top.

As for the bigger question: Why? ;)

I was watching an episode of "Dinner: Impossible" the other night (the one with Neil Patrick Harris in it) and they made a version of this soup (albeit cooked). The little voice in my head said "hey, we can make this... only as a raw version!" This type of internal dialog happens often, but thankfully, I don't answer back out loud like Homer Simpson.
Homer: Awww, $20!? I wanted a peanut.
Brain: $20 can buy many peanuts.
Homer: Explain how!
Brain: Money can be exchanged for goods and services.
Homer: Woohoo!



Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Jambalaya, Gumbo

Dinner 11/13

Jambalaya
(basmati rice, tofu, soyrizo, veg stock, parsley, tamari, cayenne, smoked paprika, pepper)

Gumbo
(onion, garlic, celery, carrot, flour, veg stock, kale, spinach, red kidney beans, red bell pepper, tamari, file powder)



Another dish pulled from the archives -- I need to sit down and work out a recipe, as I just do it in my head these days -- at the core, it's a pilaf -- one cup of rice and 1 1/2 cups of veg stock with the seasonings/tofu/soyrizo, brought to a boil and then down to low for 15 minutes.

The gumbo is a similar kind of thing, as long as you keep tasting as you go, you'll get a sense of what it needs -- this one is based on gumbo z'herbes (whatever dark leafy greens you have on hand) with the addition of kidney beans.

The only drawback to these dishes is that it usually depletes whatever veg stock we have on hand -- so we have to make another batch ASAP. We have some aseptic boxes of veg stock in case of emergency -- but surprisingly it's the kids who can always tell when it's been used... ;)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Tofu Marsala, Tomato Potato Soup

Dinner 11/12

Tofu Marsala

Tomato Potato Soup



The tofu marsala is a family favorite that we like to make 4 or 5 times a year (the recipe is here), served over a little fusilli pasta.

The soup is an easy one to make and stays warm for a good long time...

Tomato Potato Soup

4 cups of water
3-4 medium sized yukon gold potatoes, roughly chopped
1 roughly chopped onion
10 cloves of garlic, left whole
1 tbs. salt
1/2 tbs. of herbes de provence

1 tbs. olive oil
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
salt/pepper to taste

Add the potato, onion, garlic, salt and herbes de provence to the water and bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are cooked through (about 10-15 minutes).

Meanwhile, in a small saute pan, add the olive oil over medium heat and add the tomatoes and a pinch of salt/pepper -- cook the tomatoes down until they're released their water and have started to thicken -- about 4-5 minutes.

In a blender combine the potato mixture with the tomato mixture and puree (you may need to do this in two batches) -- check for salt and serve hot...


Sunday, November 11, 2007

Tapas: Asparagus Strata, Sherry Glazed Seitan and Mushrooms, Patatas Bravas, Rosemary Crackers with Green and Kalamata Olives, Shish Kabob

Tapas 11/11

Asparagus Strata

Sherry Glazed Seitan and Mushrooms


Rosemary Crackers with Green and Kalamata Olives

Patatas Bravas
(smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, red bell pepper, red wine vinegar, cumin, red onion)

Shish Kabob
(mushroom, tofu, red bell pepper, red onion with a olive oil, tamari, pepper marinade)



It's tapas night, a veritable little plate parade. ;)

The strata is a bit like the Three Onion Strata from a few nights back. The seitan and mushrooms are simply pan-fried with a little olive oil and garlic and then glazed with a bit of sherry at the end.

The kids had fun cutting the rosemary crackers out from the dough with our pasta trimmer and putting together their shish kabobs -- and remember it's never too early to discuss the finer points of kitchen safety when dealing with sharp pointy sticks... just sayin' be careful. ;)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Stir-Fry with Shiitake Mushrooms, Jasmine Rice (and Buddha's Scones)

Dinner 11/10

Stir-Fry
(tofu, carrot, red bell pepper, shiitake mushrooms, garlic, ginger, pepper, tamari)

Jasmine Rice



Yeah, more stir-fry. I know. We'll try to do better.

To make up for the lack of foodgasm, here's a bonus picture of the killer scones made with Buddha's Hand (citron) that Liz made this morning (I don't have the recipe).




Friday, November 09, 2007

BBQ Tofu, Baked Potato with Chives, Seared/Steamed Brussel Sprouts

Dinner 11/09

BBQ Tofu

Baked Potato with Chives

Seared/Steamed Brussel Sprouts



BBQ Tofu*? Check.

Baked Potato? Check.

Brussel Sprouts? When it's the only green veg left in the fridge, I guess we gotta go with... Check.

* We haven't made that BBQ recipe since June? Damn.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Carbonnades a la Flamande

Dinner 11/08

Carbonnades a la Flamande
(a.k.a. Seitan and Onions Braised in Beer over Fusilli Pasta)



It's that time of year when we break out the stews, and this adaptation of a Julia Child recipe* is always a favorite. The original calls for six cups of sliced onions, but we usually keep it around four cups along with two packages of seitan cut into cubes. After you cook the onions off with a little salt and olive oil in a dutch oven, remove and do the same to the seitan. Add the onions back in along with some herbes de provence and pepper to taste. Then it's two cups of your favorite Belgian-style vegan beer, and a cup of veg stock. Place in a 375 oven for an hour.

But the interesting thing about this preparation is the finishing touch. Strain out the seitan and onions, leaving just the braising liquid. Then thicken it using a slurry of 1 tbs. of wine vinegar and 2 tbs. cornstarch. It gives the dish a really nice, albeit unusual, finish.

* I can see it now: "Tofu and Julia" -- veganizing all of the recipes from "Mastering The Art of French Cooking Vol. 1." ;)

Maybe I can get Joaquin "Yay Veganism!" Phoenix to play me in the movie version (although I look nothing like him)...


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Raw Food Wednesday: Pizza, Salade de pamplemousse et d’avocat

Raw Food Wednesday 11/07

Raw Pizza
(cashew cheese, spicy walnut topping, red onion, tomato)

Salade de pamplemousse et d’avocat
(grapefruit and avocado salad)



We made the pizza crusts on Tuesday, saving some time and effort for today -- having only to make the salad before dinner.

People ask us about the long prep times for raw food, and my answer is that the actual prep time isn't any different than cooked foods, it's just done in a different time frame -- 10 minutes the day before, 20 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes before serving...

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Polenta with Balsamic Tofu and Roasted Broccoli, Chickpea Soup with Collard Greens

Dinner 11/06

Polenta with Balsamic Tofu and Roasted Broccoli

Chickpea Soup with Collard Greens
(recipe below)




The tofu was twice-fried along with some red onion. At the end just toss in the already roasted broccoli (olive oil, salt/pepper roasted at 450F for 15 minutes) and hit it all with a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar to glaze. It all matched very well with the creamy polenta.




Chickpea Soup with Collard Greens

1 tbs, olive oil
1 onion, minced
1 leek, sliced thinly
1 carrot, small dice
1 stalk of celery, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
salt/pepper to taste
1 tsp. herbes de provence

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

15oz. can of chickpeas, drained
4 cups of veg stock
1 tbs. of tamari

6 leaves of collard greens, ribs removed, cut into 1/4" strips.


In a soup pot over medium heat, sweat the onions, leeks, garlic, carrot, celery with salt and pepper for 5-7 minutes in the olive oil. Add the herbes de provence and cook for another minute.

Add the chopped tomatoes, and cook for another 4-5 minutes.

Add the drained chickpeas, veg stock, tamari and bring to a boil, then simmer for 45 minutes.

In a separate pan, wilt the collard greens with a little olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, then add to the soup during the last 15 minutes of cooking.

Check seasoning, serve hot... even better the next day.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Croutes Aux Champignons, Broccoli in Cheese Sauce

Dinner 11/05

Croutes Aux Champignons

Broccoli in Cheese Sauce
(recipe below)





We pulled one out from the archives tonight -- a Victorian-era recipe from 1845. The reason was that Liz made bread with the machine today, so we had two end pieces from the bread that work perfectly for this dish. They were hollowed out and fried on top and bottom in soy margarine.

The mushrooms are cooked for 10-15 minutes in 2 tbs. of soy margarine along with a 1/4 tsp. of ground mace and a pinch of cayenne. Add a "dessert spoon" full of flour (about 1/2 tbs.) until lightly browned. Then, add 1 cup of veg broth. Scrape the pan, getting as much of the fond off the bottom of the pan as possible. Cook for a few minutes until the sauce thickens. Add salt and lemon juice to taste. Spoon the mushrooms over the toast and serve.



Broccoli in Cheese Sauce
(makes 2)

It's basically the recipe from our son's Mac 'n Cheese minus the "mac" -- this is not a low-fat dish, nor is it something you'd want to eat everyday, plus there's way too much cheese sauce in this picture -- having said all that, mmmmmmmmm. ;)

1 tbs. soy margarine
1 tbs. flour
1/2 cup of rice milk
1 tbs. nutritional yeast
salt/ pepper (to taste)
1/2 cup of Follow Your Heart cheddar

1 small head of broccoli cut into florets
1 tsp. soy maragrine

Melt the soy maragrine and add the flour, whisking until it's one shade darker than it started (about 2-3 minutes). Whisk in the soy milk and cook until thickened.
Then add the nutritional yeast, salt and pepper and stir. Add the FYH and cook over low heat until soy cheese melts.

Blanch the broccoli for two minutes, shock with cold water, dry it off and place in a buttered au gratin dish. Pour the cheese sauce over the top and bake at 350F for 20 minutes.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Green Curry Tofu with Deep-Fried Rice Balls and Shiitake Mushrooms, Grilled Eggplant, Braised Brussel Sprouts, Stir-Fried Carrots

Dinner 11/04

Green Curry Tofu with Deep-Fried Rice Balls and Shiitake Mushrooms

Grilled Eggplant

Braised Brussel Sprouts

Stir-Fried Carrots




Why yes, the mushrooms on the rice do look like little mustaches!

We broke out the smoker box again -- this time smoking the tofu with black oolong tea for 20 minutes. Then the tofu cut into squares and stir-fried in the wok with a little tamari at the end. We've found that the rice balls work better if they're made from fresh rice. Also, they really don't need more than about a minute in the hot oil to be crispy on the outside while remaining soft on the inside. The green curry sauce is simply coconut milk with enough green curry paste added to make your eyes water... ;)

The eggplant were split in half and grilled with a combo of sesame oil and szechuan pepper. The brussel sprouts and carrots were stir-fried in canola oil first and then braised in a combo of tamari/water/anise seed.


Saturday, November 03, 2007

Pumpkin Seed Tofu, Apricot and Pine Nut Mole, Hominy Soup

Dinner 11/03

Pumpkin Seed Tofu
(recipe below)

Apricot and Pine Nut Mole
(adapted from Rick Bayless)

Hominy Soup



Can you tell we've been DVR-ing Season Five of "Mexico: One Plate At A Time"? ;)

The mole was so good.

Thankfully we only made a half-batch, which normally would have made something like six cups of mole. Although I suppose we could have frozen the rest for later...

I couldn't find a copy of the recipe online Jamie found it -- it's a smooth, balanced sauce of ancho chiles, tomatillo, apricot, pine nuts, garlic, bread, cinnamon, sesame seeds, mexican chocolate, veg stock -- sweet/heat/salt with a little umami thrown in.

It'll take a good 1 1/2 hours from mise en place to completion, but if you've got the time and the ingredients, it's worth your time and effort

Pumpkin Seed Tofu
(makes 8 pieces)

1 block of extra-firm tofu, cut into 8 rectangular cutlets
1 tbs. tamari
black pepper

1/2 cup flour
1 tbs. ancho chile powder
1 tsp. salt

1 tbs. cornstarch
1/4 cup water

1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 tbs. cumin seeds

1 tbs. canola oil

The pumpkin-seed tofu uses your standard three station method -- tamari/pepper marinated tofu cutlets rolled in ancho chile seasoned flour, dipped in a cornstarch slurry and finally pressed firmly into the crushed pumpkin and cumin seeds -- use a mortar and pestle to control the size better.

The cutlets were pan-fried over medium heat in canola oil in a cast-iron skillet until golden brown and then placed on a sheet pan and put into a 350F oven for 20 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to rest for 5 minutes before cutting into long triangles.

update: Brian asks, "Can you clarify why you bake the tofu after it is fried?"

The tofu isn't finished cooking internally just by pan-frying -- when the outside is golden brown and perfectly cooked, the inside is not yet finished -- if you cooked the tofu to the point where the inside was perfect, the crust would be black ;)

The baking takes care of the inside, as well as firming up the overall crust, without hurting it...


Friday, November 02, 2007

Three Onion Strata, Steamed Artichoke, Tomato Potato Soup

Dinner 11/02

Three Onion Strata

Steamed Artichoke

Tomato Potato Soup



We tried out something a little different -- and it's a bit of a work in progress but, here's a preliminary recipe...

Three Onion Strata

1 tbs. olive oil
1 cup cippolini onions, sliced thinly
1 cup yellow onion, sliced thinly
1/2 cup shallots, sliced thinly
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes

5 oz. arugula (or spinach)

2 cups cooked fusilli pasta
2 oz. soft tofu (about 1/2 block), pureed
1/4 cup pine nuts

1 tbs. soy margarine
1 tbs. flour
3/4 cup soy/rice milk

2 tbs. nutritional yeast
salt/pepper to taste
parsley for garnish

In cast-iron pan on medium-low heat saute the onions until lightly browned 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic, cook for one minute. Add the sun-dried tomato, salt/pepper to taste, and cook for one more minute. Remove onion mixture to a large mixing bowl.

Add the arugula to the cast-iron pan, add salt/pepper to taste and cook until wilted, 2-3 minutes. Add to the onion mixture.

Add the soy margarine and flour together and whisk to make a roux, cook for 1-2 minutes until the roux darkens one shade. Add the soy milk and 1 tbs. nutritional yeast and whisk until thickened. Add to the onion mixture along with the pureed tofu, cooked pasta and pine nuts. Stir to combine. Check the seasoning and adjust if needed.

Turn off the heat and wipe the cast-iron pan out with a paper towel. Add the bread crumbs to the bottom of the pan.

Add the onion mixture to the cast-iron pan, and press firmly. Sprinkle 1 tbs. of the remaining nutritional yeast on top. Place the cast-iron pan in a 350F oven for 50-60 minutes, until the top is crusty and golden brown.

Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes. Invert the pan onto a cutting board and cut into wedges. Garnish with the minced parsley.


Thursday, November 01, 2007

Pretzel Tofu with Mustard Sauce, "Drunken" Cabbage, Pierogi

Dinner 11/01

Pretzel Tofu

Mustard Sauce
(from Veganomicon)

"Drunken" Cabbage

Pierogi



We bought a package of pretzels (in little bags) for Halloween -- surprisingly we didn't get teepee'd because of this -- but there were a few leftover bags. So, pretzel coated tofu it was... and what matches well with pretzels? Mustard. So, it was an excellent opportunity to try the mustard sauce from Veganomicon* (Hi Isa -- we received the book!).

We did a three station method -- tamari-marinated tofu cutlets were rolled in seasoned flour, then dipped in a cornstarch slurry, finally coated with crushed pretzels and caraway seeds. The tofu cutlets were then fried in the big cast-iron pan until golden brown on both sides. The tofu was then put on a sheet pan and baked for 20 minutes at 350F. After they came out of the oven, they need to rest for 5 minutes or so before you try to cut them into long triangles -- they tend to tear.

They were placed on a bed of "drunken" cabbage (cabbage braised in beer with mustard and caraway) done in a ring mold.

The pierogi (cabbage filling) were from the batch we made late last year and vacuum sealed. I've said it before, but it bears repeating -- it's worth the cost of an extra freezer if you get a vacuum-sealer. When the opportunity presents itself -- in this case it was a giant cabbage for $1 -- you can bank these beauties for nights when you don't feel like cooking, or for an impromptu party.


* Two words: Buy it!