Monday, March 31, 2008

Tofu Paprika, Servietten Knudel

Dinner 3/31

Tofu Paprika

Servietten Knudel
(Napkin Dumpling)

The Servietten Knudel is rolled in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and then steamed for 20 minutes, finally cut, and placed in the sauce.

Both recipes adapted heavily from Wolfgang Puck, subbing tofu cutlets, veg stock, soft tofu or soy milk for the cream and soy sour cream for the creme fraiche. I ended up pureeing the sauce for a less rustic look on the plate, using the dumpling as the base for the tofu stack. The dumplings just sub soy milk and a little soft tofu as a binder for the bread.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Roulade of Wild Seitan, Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

Dinner 3/30

Roulade of Wild Seitan
(recipe below)

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

Another week, another Tony Bourdain recipe... this time, a vegan version of "Roulade of Wild Pheasant" p.189 (picture p.188).

Now, if we had replaced the mushroom with a tofu mousse, this would be a SeiTemFu -- the vegan version of Turducken... ;)

I won't lie, this one is a little more complicated than usual.

Roulade of Wild Seitan


Seitan (recipe/method)
1 cup of port
2 leeks thinly sliced

Mushroom Mousse

4oz. of button mushrooms, trimmed
1 tbs. olive oil
salt and pepper

1 tbs. tamari
1/4 cup soy cream (or soft tofu)
1 tbs. port

Braised Tempeh

1 block of tempeh, cut into 4 long strips (see picture below)
1 tbs. tamari
canola oil


2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 leeks, thinly sliced
1 tbs. flour
1/4 cup of port
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 bouquet garni (parsley, thyme, bay leaf)
1 tbs. soy margarine

Marinate the seitan overnight in the port and leeks (we used a California port style Zin made by Coturri that's unfiltered and unfined and fills the flavor profile / alcohol level as well as intense color of port very easily. Or just use port).

Remove the seitan from the marinade (save the marinade!), and pat the seitan dry and season with salt and pepper. In a wok, lightly pan-fry until golden brown. Careful -- because of the residual sugars in the port, it can possibly make the seitan scorch easily, so keep a close eye on it. Just sayin' ;)

For the mushroom mousse -- in the original it's a veal mousse -- saute the button mushrooms in the olive oil and margarine, season with salt/pepper and cook until nice and juicy. Splash the tamari in at the end of cooking and let cook another 30 seconds. Reserve about 12 pieces of mushroom for garnish. Place the rest of the mushrooms in the Vita-Mix (or blender), and puree the hell out of them, slowly adding the cream (or soft tofu) and the port. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed. The consistency should be like light peanut butter.

Slather the mousse on the seitan with a offset spatula, covering the whole surface.

Next up, subbing the foie gras -- we went with a braised tempeh. You'll only need one strip from the tempeh, so you can either cook them all and eat the rest as a snack, or just take off one piece and save the rest.

Place in a saute pan and fill halfway up the side of the tempeh with water and add 1 tbs. of tamari. Bring to a boil, cover partially with a lid and cook, turning occasionally until the water evaporates.

Remove the tempeh strips carefully from the pan and saute in the wok with canola oil until golden brown on all sides. Splash a little extra tamari in at the end if your feeling it...

Add the tempeh on top of the seitan and mushroom mix.

Carefully roll the seitan around the tempeh (like a sushi roll) and secure with twine (or in our case, the hot pink silicone loops).

Place on a sheet pan and cook for 20-25 minutes at 375F. Remove from oven and let rest for five minutes. Gently remove the loops and cut into 3/4" slices.

For the sauce -- in a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over med-high heat, add the soy margarine. Add the shallots and leeks and cook until they are caramelized and brown. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup of port plus the reserved marinade. Reduce by half over high heat. Then add the veg stock and the bouquet garni. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 1 hour. Remove from heat and strain into a small saucepan. Add the reserved mushrooms slices (or truffles as in the original) and cook for two minutes. Whisk in 1 tbs. of soy margarine (monte au beurre).

For plating, add three pieces of the roulade to the plate and drizzle the sauce around the slices. Add the mushroom garnish and serve.

There is no subliminal message hidden in this picture.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Cauliflower, Zucchini and Kalamata Olives over Cappellini Pasta

Dinner 3/29

Cauliflower, Zucchini and Olives over Cappellini Pasta

A lightly sauteed mix of cauliflower, zucchini, kalamata olives and red pepper flakes tossed with cappellini pasta, nutritional yeast, parsley and soy margarine. Served on a bed of red leaf lettuce.

It's almost springlike...

Friday, March 28, 2008

Red Curry Tofu with Deep-Fried Rice Balls, Tempura

Dinner 3/28

Red Curry Tofu with Deep-Fried Rice Balls


We haven't made this in a while -- this time around we smoked the tofu with oolong tea (about 20 minutes) and then pan-fried it in the wok as usual. We had a some collard greens left over from RFW, so they were quickly wilted along with a little pepper and tamari and went between the tofu square and the rice ball as well as a bit on top as a garnish.

As we already had the oil going for the rice balls we decided to make a little tempura with purple asparagus and zuchini. We made our own ponzu again -- trying out a new tamari as the base.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Teese Soy Cheese Pizza

Dinner 3/27

Teese Soy Cheese Pizza

Our shipment of Teese Soy Cheese arrived -- and it, in a word, rocks.

We made two pizzas (smoked tofu and portobello mushrooms), which turned out great -- the Teese melted extremely well -- maybe a little too well as evidenced by this picture of it oozing off the side.

So, a word to the wise, don't overload the pizza with the Teese and wait -- let it cool off for at least five minutes before attempting to eat. We cut into the second pizza too early, and the Teese came sheeting off the edge. Here's a slice after it cools off...

Eaten raw, the flavor was comparable to FYH, with a bit more saltiness and not as "rubbery" of a texture.

Now that we've tried all three: FYH vs. Sheese vs. Teese Mozzarella -- As much as we like (and have used) FYH and Sheese, I have to give the nod to Teese for the overall texture/flavor/melting of the mozzarella.

The Sheese moz is their weakest entry, but the rest of their line-up still would still win the "eating it on a cracker" contest. However, I'd bet there's a Cheddar Teese somewhere on the horizon.

I know Teese is still tweaking the formula to make it more "stringy" -- but for a first public attempt, it's pretty close...

Sassy! Glossy!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Raw Food Wednesday: Parsnip and Collard Green Rolls, Mashed Cauliflower with Miso Gravy, Daikon Noodle Soup

Raw Food Wednesday 3/26

Parsnip and Collard Green Rolls

Mashed Cauliflower with Miso Gravy
(from Juliano's "Raw")

Daikon Noodle Soup
(from RAWvolution)

Now that's it spring (in name only here in Ohio) we need to make room for the peas, ramps and asparagus -- so tonight was a clean-out-the-fridge sort of meal featuring lots of "white" food -- parsnips, cauliflower and daikon radishes.

The collard green rolls were stuffed with the Trotter/Klein dolmas mixture -- shredded parsnip, onion, lemon juice, dill, pine nuts, garlic, salt, mint and parsley.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Grilled Portobello Mushroom with Cappellini, Wilted Arugula and Pine Nuts

Dinner 3/25

Grilled Portobello Mushroom with Cappellini, Wilted Arugula and Pine Nuts

If this were still the 90's this would be called a "stack" ;)

The mushrooms were marinated with a new tamari, olive oil and pepper, then grilled and topped with the pasta (nutritional yeast, soy margarine), which was tossed with the arugula and toasted pine nuts.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter: Mushrooms In Phyllo with Herbed Bechamel Sauce, Grilled Asparagus, Braised Carrots, Braised Fennel, Roasted Potato and Green Bean Salad

Easter 3/23

Mushrooms In Phyllo with Herbed Bechamel Sauce

Grilled Asparagus

Braised Carrots

Braised Fennel

Roasted Potato and Green Bean Salad with Fig Vinaigrette



Devil's Food White-Out Cake
(adapted from Dorie Greenspan)

The phyllo was draped over a ring mold, and filled with the sauteed mushrooms and about a tablespoon of the herbed bechamel sauce (herbes de provence, tarragon). Then the phyllo was folded over the top, and the package was baked at 400F for 8-10 minutes until golden. Served with the grilled asparagus and additional sauce on top.

Here's the very festive table (pre-dinner) with all of the decorations...

And for dessert another crack at Dorie Greenspan's Devil's Food White-Out Cake -- Liz tweaked the cake recipe again -- still not perfect but an improvement in the "fluffy" department -- tasty as hell though! ;)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Seitan Roulade, Braised Leeks

Dinner 3/21

Seitan Roulade

Braised Leeks

Seitan Roulade, a photo essay... The seitan recipe is from Ron Pickarski. It was done the old-skool way, washing out the flour, and rolling it out into sheets which were boiled, then pressure cooked with broth, tamari, garlic and ginger. Because it swells so much in cooking, we trimmed the sides to even the edges

Next, after lightly pan frying in the wok -- really the only way to cook something this unwieldy. You don't want to over cook it here, because it'll make it hard to roll later.

Then we added the filling -- cooked mushrooms and kale, with tamari and a little marsala thrown in for good measure.

Time to roll it up, securing it with dayglo pink silicone loops instead of twine. Cooked in the oven for 25 minutes at 350F (along with the leeks on the left). Yes, they do look like dreads from the "Predator" dude ;)

Just out of the oven, the cut away shot...

Plated, with mushroom gravy and parsley and served with a side of braised leeks

We're saving the second sheet for another Hezbollah Tofu recipe... ;)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

We're on Spring Break...

...which means no posting this week (as you've already guessed), and we've really just been hanging out around the house all week and -- *gasp*! -- not taking pictures of food. ;)

So, in lieu of actual content...

According to the stats, people have been looking for Easter related dessert ideas, so, to fill up the rest of this entry, a recent history of Easter desserts...

2005 - Carrot Cake

2006 - Bunny Cake

2007 - Lamb Cake

2008 -- this year, as we've run out of animal molds, we'll be bringing back the devil's food white-out cake (new pictures tomorrow...)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Tournedos d'Seitan with Fig Confit, Braised Carrots with Tarragon, Roasted Potatoes

Dinner 3/16

Tournedos d'Seitan with Fig Confit

Braised Carrots with Tarragon

Roasted Potatoes

This is our contribution to the Hezbollah Tofu project: a vegan version of Tony Bourdain's "Tournedos d'Agneau with Fig Confit" p. 155 (picture on p. 157) from the "Les Halles" cookbook.

First, we made the seitan -- a combo of Ron Pickarski (pressure cooking method, ginger/kombu flavored broth), Isa (flavorings), and a couple of our ideas (ratio of gluten/water, jelly roll style). We rolled it into two 6" x 9" sheets, then rolled it up the long way (jelly-roll style), and pressure cooked it for 45 minutes. We also made "medallion" sized pieces as well.

We made veg stock earlier in the day and used some of it to make a little "semi" demi-glace -- brown roux + mirepoix + stock + reducing = sauce espagnole. Take that plus a little maderia (or red wine) and reduce it again.

Here's the seitan being rolled up...

The seitan after the pressure cooker, cut to size, wrapped with twine to keep the roll secure -- all though it really didn't need it, it was more for show...

The seitan was seared on all sides, then baked in the oven (375F for 15 minutes) finally rolled around in the sauce and plated with the poached figs (in the same banyuls that is also used for the sauce -- a sweet fortified red wine, or you could use port). Served along with braised carrots and tarragon as is the picture in the book.

A fun project, and perhaps there will be a few other recipes to come...

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Gobi Manchurian, Jasmine Rice, Miso and Sake Glazed Eggplant, Hoisin Green Beans

Dinner 3/15

Gobi Manchurian

Jasmine Rice

Miso Glazed Eggplant

Hoisin Green Beans

All veggies, all the time.... Once more, we made Liz's (new) favorite cauliflower dish (the Gobi Manchurian), along with a long time house favorite, (red) miso glazed eggplant which are finished under the broiler for extra caramelization.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Crepe Purse stuffed with Seitan and Lentil Stew on a bed of Mushrooms, Roasted Broccoli

Dinner 3/14

Crepe Purse stuffed with Seitan and Lentil Stew on a bed of Mushrooms

Roasted Broccoli

The crepes (from vwav) were stuffed with a quick seitan and lentil stew -- onion, garlic, herbes de provence, tamari, pepper, veg stock. The lentils were cooked in the pressure cooker with veg stock and half an onion studded with two cloves (which is removed after cooking for 15 minutes) which speeds things up considerably. The purse is sitting on a bed of button mushrooms formed in a ring mold, and is tied with a chive.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Raw Food Wednesday: Zucchini Pasta Puttanesca, Fennel Salad With Radishes

Raw Food Wednesday 3/12

Zucchini Pasta Puttanesca

Fennel Salad With Radishes
(adapted from Juliano)

After helping our son to make the puttanesca last night, we decide to make a raw version tonight -- onion, garlic, jalapeno, nama shoyu, olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes, cherry tomatoes combined in the vita-mix, the combined with crushed walnuts, oregano and rosemary. It was topped off with dehydrated baby portobello mushrooms (olive oil/nama shoyu/pepper) on a bed of zucchini noodles cut with a vegetable peeler.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Pasta Puttanesca, Braised Brussel Sprouts

Dinner 3/11

Pasta Puttanesca

Braised Brussel Sprouts

Our son wanted to cook dinner tonight, so he made his specialty, Puttanesca (onion, garlic, celery, soyrizo, kalamata olive, tomato, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, pinch of sugar and capers) to which we added the last of the Isa's spicy pinto sausages.

The brussel sprouts (trimmed, but left whole) were braised: cooked in water about halfway up the sprouts along with 1 tbs. of soy margarine until the liquid cooks away, then topped with some nutritional yeast and baked in the oven for 20-25 minutes at 350F.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Crack of Noon: Blizzard Update

The Crack of Noon: Blizzard Update

We were snowed in all weekend, and couldn't get out of the driveway if we wanted to -- the snow was piled up so high at the base of the driveway we couldn't even see the mailbox ;)

So, with nowhere to go and stack of test recipes from Isa's "The Crack Of Noon" to try... here's what we made while waiting for Mr. Plow, ("...that name again is Mr. Plow!")

(as these are test recipes, we can't give them out, except the Spicy Pinto Sausages, which are on Isa's blog)

Chocolate Chip Muffins

Basic Omelet with Spicy Pinto Sausages, Onions and Hot Sauce (open)

Basic Omelet with Spicy Pinto Sausages, Onions and Hot Sauce (folded, close-up)

...and as a bonus, the Lemon Bars from Veganomicon

Lemon Bar with Powdered Sugar

Polenta topped with Wilted Kale, Mushrooms, Onions and Smoked Tofu

Dinner 3/09

Polenta topped with Wilted Kale, Mushrooms, Onions and Smoked Tofu

The mushrooms, lacinato kale and onions were simply cooked in a little olive oil with salt and pepper and splashed with tamari at the end of cooking, while the tofu was smoked with alder wood for 25 minutes and then pan-fried and cut into strips... a little aged balsamic was drizzled over the whole thing at the table.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Mongolian-Styled Seitan, Crispy Lo Main Noodle Cake, Tempura Green Beans, Tofu Triangles

Dinner 3/08

Mongolian-Styled Seitan

Crispy Lo Main Noodle Cake

Tempura Green Beans

Tofu Triangles

We kind of just winged the Mongolian styled seitan -- the sauce was a mixture of onion, garlic, turmeric, tomato added to the fried seitan. It then sat on a base of the crispy lo mein noodle cakes adapted from Jean-George Vongerichten -- slightly undercooked lo mein noodles mixed with sriracha sauce, scallions and a little grapeseed oil and fried in a flat-bottomed wok until crispy on one side (about 3-4 minutes), then flipped and fried until finished. Simple and effective...

And while it wasn't quite the epic win of scallions in 2004, the green beans were plentiful and extremely cheap, so tempura it was. As we had the oil already going, we made the tofu triangles, marinated with tamari, gin, pepper and cornstarch, then deep-fried.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Mac 'n Cheese 'n Grilled Asparagus, Panettone

Dinner 3/07

Mac 'n Cheese 'n Grilled Asparagus



Comfort food for a blizzard... Our son's Mac 'n Cheese recipe with the addition of some grilled asparagus (marinated with olive oil, tamari, balsamic vinegar).

For dessert, Liz made a Panettone and we served with a little drizzle of "Just Like Honey" and Soy Delicious Vanilla Ice Cream. Yum!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Portobella Mushroom, Collard Green and Seitan Quesadilla, Chiles Rellenos

Dinner 3/06

Portobella Mushroom, Collard Green and Seitan Quesadilla

Chiles Rellenos

The quesadillas were grilled baby portobella mushrooms, wilted collard greens and thinly sliced and fried seitan strips along with FYH Cheddar. The red chile pepper shells were cooked on the griddle with the filling, then folded in half and flipped halfway through cooking to keep everything together.

The poblanos were first blackened over the direct gas flame, allowed to cool, and then we removed the skin. They were stuffed with home-fried potatoes, soyrizo and FYH Cheddar, and stuck under the broiler for 4 or 5 minutes which helped melt the soy cheese very nicely.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Raw Food Wednesday: Gobi Manchurian, Collard Green Salad Rolls

Dinner 3/05

Gobi Manchurian

Collard Green Salad Rolls

After making the cooked version of this last week, we wanted to try a raw version -- and the result was great!

The basic concept was to make a tempura-like batter to coat the cauliflower, so instead of a flour/cornstarch base, we used ground flax seed along with cumin seed and red pepper flake.

Raw Gobi Manchurian

1/2 head cauliflower, "flaked" (see below)

for the garlic/ginger paste

6 cloves garlic
1" piece peeled fresh ginger, grated (a microplane works best)
2 tbs. water

for the batter

1/2 cup flax seeds, finely ground
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds, finely ground
1/2 tsp. red pepper flake
sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
half of the garlic ginger paste
1 tsp. nama shoyu
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup water

for the sauce

1/2 small red onions, minced
1 Thai chile (or jalepeno), thinly sliced
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (soaked 30 minutes)
2 or 3 cherry tomatoes
1 tbs. cold-pressed sesame oil (or olive oil)
remaining garlic/ginger paste
sea salt & pepper to taste

for the garnish

2 scallions, thinly sliced
cilantro leaves

1. "Flake" the cauliflower by first dividing it into small florets, and then using your fingers work around the bottom of the floret and stem, and snap off small sections about the size of "popped" popcorn. I won't lie, it's tedious. You could also use a pairing knife, but it works faster with your fingers once you get the hang of it. Set aside.

2. With a mortar and pestle, mash the garlic and ginger and a pinch of sea salt until well combined and add 2 tbs. of water to make a wet paste. You could use a blender, but there isn't enough volume to break the garlic and ginger down the way a mortar and pestle does.

3. Grind the flax seed, red pepper flake, cumin seed, salt, and pepper together and place in a medium bowl. Stir in half the garlic paste, 1 tsp. nama shoyu, and about 1/2 cup water to make a batter. It should be the consistency of pancake batter. Dip the cauliflower pieces in batter and place on a teflex sheet at 105F 6-8 hours, turning occasionally. You can remove it from the teflex and place it directly on the rack about halfway through.

(Now, at this point you can do one of two things -- about an hour into the dehydrating time, we removed half of the cauliflower and rolled them a dry mixture of 1/4 cup flax seed, 1/2 tsp. cumin seed, sea salt and pepper, coating them for a second time. The batter was still sticky enough to accept the coating, and did so perfectly. The other half we left alone to see what the difference would be. We decided we like the extra bit of crunch/flavor from the second coating, but either way would still be good)

4. For the sauce: in a vita-mix combine the onions, chiles and remaining garlic/ginger paste with sun-dried tomatoes, tomato, nama shoyu, cold-pressed sesame oil and about 2 tbs. water -- it should be about the consistency of ketchup. If you like you could dehydrate for 1 hour in a glass small bowl to thicken it slightly.

5. Place the cauliflower in a bowl and top with the sauce, stir to combine. Garnish with remaining scallions and cilantro.