Saturday, December 15, 2007

Holiday Party 11

Holiday Party 11 12/15

Two days of cooking, four hours of eating.

The Main Table from the right-side. On the table along the front (l-r): Stuffed Mushrooms, White Bean Cassoulet, Seitan Bourguignon.

The Main Table from the left-side. Tapenade (w/ batard), bottom left.

Mini-Burger Buns with Poppyseeds, just out of the oven

Plate, Burgers, Plate O' Burgers

Close-Up. The hit of the party.

Triple Tofu (Salad) Tower

BBQ Tofu Lollipops

Tofu Curry In Phyllo Cups

Mushroom Duxelle Bouchée

Baked Artichoke Dip

Roasted Russian Banana Fingerling Potatoes

Lentil and Soyrizo Spoons

Roasted Almonds (w/ Five Spice Powder)

Orzo Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette

Raw Pizza


Mini-Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberries

Plate... Cupcakes... Plate O' Cupcakes

Eggnog Cookie

(missing: Thumbprint Jam Cookies, Apple Crumb Cake)

Then after all the food was gone -- we played Rock Band until late into the night...

Friday, December 14, 2007

Vietnamese Seitan Baguette with Savory Broth Dip (from Veganomicon)

Dinner 12/14

Vietnamese Seitan Baguette with Savory Broth Dip
(from Veganomicon)

Bringing back another favorite from 2007 -- Terry's recipe for a vegan "Bahn Mi" sandwich from "Veganomicon" (a perfect gift for the vegan in your life).

The sandwich itself is loaded with seitan, cucumbers, vegenaise, cilantro and red onion on a crusty roll. But it's the broth dip (veg stock, lime juice, ginger, garlic, red pepper flake, five spice powder, etc) really shines here, elevating this dish into all-time favorite status.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Tofu Piccata, Green Beans

Dinner 10/13

Tofu Piccata

Green Beans

Adapted from the Candle Cafe cookbook. The original recipe uses seitan, we use quickly marinated tofu (in tamari), and coat with seasoned all-purpose flour, then pan-fry. The sauce is the real star though -- lemon and caper infused, it's a good change-of-pace dish.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Orange Seitan, Jasmine Rice, Steamed/Seared Bok Choy

Dinner 12/12

Orange Seitan

Refried Jasmine Rice

Steamed/Seared Bok Choy

The recipe for the Orange Seitan is here -- it's our favorite way to use seitan... The orange zest and juice really make the dish "pop" -- citrus is really effective in the winter when you haven't had it in a while.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Pierogies Stuffed with Cabbage and Dill. Wilted Spinach and Button Mushrooms

Dinner 12/10

Pierogies Stuffed with Cabbage and Dill

Wilted Spinach and Button Mushrooms

The spinach and mushrooms were pan-fried in the wok and then deglazed with marsala.

The pierogi recipe is from Liz's family, and I don't even know it -- so don't ask. ;)

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Pasta Puttanesca, Brownie Cheescake Torte

Dinner 12/09

Pasta Puttanesca


Brownie Cheesecake Torte

Tonight, we did have dinner first before we had dessert -- although it was difficult to concentrate knowing that two tortes were waiting for us in the fridge...

Yes, the brownie cheesecake torte from Thanksgiving makes a return appearance, in a smaller 6" cheesecake pan.

Here's the recipe for the regular sized version. This is a preliminary recipe -- to be used more as a reference than as a finished recipe. Please no wagering.

Brownie Cheesecake Torte

Nonstick cooking spray
Parchment Paper


16 oz. soy cream cheese (softened to room temp)
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
6 oz. soft tofu
1 tbs. ener-g egg replacer
2 tbs. flour

3 oz. chocolate, melted

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

(chocolate buttercream frosting)

1. Prepare two 9" cake pans. Add a circle of parchment paper to the bottom and give it a shot of cooking spray.

2. Make your favorite brownie recipe (we like the one from Millennium -- p.196 -- if the link is busted, search for it on, enough to divide it between the two cake pans evenly -- and cook until fully done. Cool, and remove layers from pans. Set aside.

3. Using a stand mixer, combine cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and beat on low until combined. Puree the soft tofu first and then add it to the cream cheese mixture along with the egg replacer and flour. Mix until combined.

4. Divide the mixture evenly into two bowls. Into one bowl, add 3 oz. melted chocolate. Leave the other bowl plain, except add an extra 1/2 tsp. of vanilla extract. Stir each until smooth.

3. Preheat oven to 350F. Wrap heavy foil around the base an 9" springform pan, making sure the foil comes up at least an inch up the sides of pan with no gaps. Add a circle of parchment paper in the bottom of the springform pan and hit with the cooking spray again.

4. Place one of the brownie layers in the bottom of the springform pan. Pour in the chocolate cheesecake batter. Gently add the next brownie layer on top. Add the vanilla cheesecake batter.

5. Place the torte into a roasting pan large enough to hold the springform pan flat (this is important). Pour enough hot water around the springform pan to come up the side of the pan, but not over the top of the foil.

6. Carefully place roasting pan in the oven, and bake for ~60 min., or until the top layer of vanilla cheesecake begins to turn lightly brown and the middle doesn't jiggle as much.

7. Remove the roasting pan from the oven and run a sharp knife around the edge of the torte to release it from the sides. Turn the oven off, and place the roasting pan back in the oven for 30 minutes. This allows it to cool gradually to prevent cracking on top.

8. Remove from the oven again and let cool for at least another 60 min. on a wire rack.

9. Cover with a paper towel across the top of springform ring without touching the torte and then cover with plastic wrap to seal. Chill overnight. The paper towel absorbs any excess condensation.

9. Remove the plastic wrap/paper towel from the springform pan and remove the torte.

10. Frost with your favorite chocolate buttercream recipe -- i.e. Isa's recipe from VCTOTW. Best the next day, perhaps even better on the second day.

Slightly over-baking is preferred to under-baking, given the structural requirements of the torte.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

Dessert 12/08

Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting
(from VCTOTW)

Some nights, you just skip dinner and go straight for dessert.

(OK, we did have dinner later -- a stir-fry, but you've seen that many times before...)

Friday, December 07, 2007

French Onion Soup, Roasted Tofu Stuffed with Garlic, Roasted Beet Salad

Dinner 12/07

French Onion Soup

Roasted Tofu Stuffed with Garlic

Roasted Beet Salad

It's cold and miserable weather these days, and it gets dark at 4:45pm -- and it's only December.

I love my stove.

French Onion Soup
(adapted from CI)

3 tablespoons soy margarine
6 large yellow onions (about 4 pounds), halved and cut pole to pole into 1/4-inch-thick slices
sea salt
2 cups water, plus extra for deglazing
1/2 cup dry sherry
6 cups veg broth
6 sprigs fresh thyme, tied with kitchen twine
1 bay leaf
Ground black pepper

1 small baguette, cut into 1/2-inch slices
4 ounces shredded soy cheese (about 3/4 cup)


Preheat oven to 400F, with rack in lower-middle position. Spray the inside of a large dutch oven with nonstick spray, and add soy margarine, onions and 1 tsp salt. Cook for an hour, covered, and then remove and stir, scraping the pot. Put it back in the oven with the lid off just a bit and cook for another 90-105 minutes, scraping at the hour mark, until the onions are brown and very soft.

Remove the pot, put it on the stove top, over medium-high heat, and keep cooking for about 15-20 minutes, or until all the onions brown and the liquid evaporates. Keep cooking for another 6-8 minutes until you have a dark crust on the bottom, and then add 1/4 cup water and deglaze. Repeat this deglazing/evaporating process two or three times, and then stir in the sherry and let it cook until it evaporates again.

Add the broth, two cups of water, thyme, bay leaf, and 1/2 tsp salt and deglaze again. Bring to a simmer over high heat, and then reduce the heat back down and let it simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Toss the herbs and season with salt and pepper.

To make the croutons, bake the baguette slices on a cookie sheet in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes, until dry and golden.

Service: Fill broiler-safe crocks with soup, top with baguette slices, sprinkle with soy cheese, and broil for about 3-5 minutes until the soy cheese is melted bubbly, and then let it cool for another 5.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Tofu Marsala with Chanterelle Mushrooms, Poached Fig Salad

Dinner 12/06

Tofu Marsala with Chanterelle Mushrooms

Wilted Kale

Poached Fig Salad

For the salad, the dried figs were poached in a Riesling mixture -- injecting a nice jolt of flavor.

update: The recipe for tofu marsala has been making the rounds over on the PPK (thanks Tami and katiejayne)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Seitan Stew, Parsnip Puree, Roasted Cipollini Onions, Bistro Salad

Dinner 12/05

Seitan Stew

Parsnip Puree

Roasted Cipollini Onions

Bistro Salad with Radishes

Liz watched an episode of Tyler's Ultimate and decide to take a crack at a bistro-style meal.

Lots of adapting going on here -- (subbing agave for honey, using veg stock, seitan, soft tofu for cream... etc)

It turned out very well -- the only thing I'd "fix" is the amount of liquid to vegetable puree for the stew -- it had a great flavor, but the ratio was just skewed a little too far towards the vegetables.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Eggplant Parmesan, Haricot Verts

Dinner 12/04

Eggplant Parmesan

Haricot Verts

I like these plates...

Bringing back the classics... the eggplant slices are salted for 30 minutes and rinsed off then dried with a paper towel. Next comes the standard three bowl method -- rolled in seasoned flour (salt, pepper, smoked paprika), then into a cornstarch slurry (equal amounts of cornstarch and water), and finally into the bread crumbs (seasoned with salt and pepper plus a little nutritional yeast).

Served over pasta with a quick tomato sauce (onion, garlic, tomato, sugar, salt and pepper).

Monday, December 03, 2007

Seitan Stew in Red Wine Sauce with Green Beans

Dinner 12/03

Seitan Stew in Red Wine Sauce

Green Beans

Tonight's stew is sort of a quick version of the Seitan Bourguignon -- fried seitan, carrots, onion, garlic, herbes de provence braised in a combo of wine/veg stock, thickened with cornstarch. the big advantage over the bourguignon is that this only takes about 20 minutes from start to finish.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Flagolet Bean Soup, Walnut and Grape Salad

Dinner 12/02

Flagolet Bean Soup
(carrot, onion, celery, flagolet beans, veg stock, salt/pepper, parsley)

Walnut and Grape Salad

Yes, it's December... A hearty bean soup offset with a (toasted) walnut and grape salad.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Stir-Fry with Shiitake Mushrooms and Jasmine Rice

Dinner 12/01

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

Jasmine Rice

Either I've been making stir-fries for too long, or that almost looks like a face with the rice making a beard.

yeah, I need two-week nap...