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

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