Saturday, November 29, 2008

Farro, Broccoli Medallions, Smoked Tofu Medallions, Smoked Eggplant Parmesan

Dinner 11/29


Broccoli Medallions

Smoked Tofu Medallions

Smoked Eggplant Parmesan

Playing with food, part 2,436 ;)

In the center of the plate is Farro, which was smoked (along with the tofu and eggplant), then cooked in 2 1/2 cups of veg stock for 20 minute. It was finished with nutritional yeast, breadcrumbs, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper and put in a ring mold in the center of plate.

The green disc is the Broccoli "Medallions" -- two heads of steamed broccoli, 1 tbs. nutritional yeast, 1/2 cup of soaked cashews, salt & pepper to taste. In a separate pan, 2 tsp. of powdered agar agar was whisked into 1 cup of boiling water then simmered for 7 minutes. This was added to the broccoli mixture and pureed together. This was poured into 2oz. ramekins, and allowed to set up in fridge for two hours. They were removed from the ramekins, and placed in a low oven for 10 minutes before service.

The broccoli had a very creamy mouthfeel -- almost like a pate. The idea was sort of a play on Broccoli and Cheese Sauce -- just combined ;)

The tofu was cut into rounds (with a cookie cutter), hickory smoked, then pan-fried (4-5 minutes per side in a wok) and splashed with tamari at the end of cooking.

The Eggplant Parmesan used Japanese eggplant (peeled, hickory smoked), which was rolled in seasoned flour (salt, pepper, smoked paprika) -> dipped in a cornstarch slurry (1:1 cornstarch:water) and rolled in seasoned bread crumbs (nutritional yeast, pepper) then deep-fried (375F 1-2 minutes per side).

The entire plated was drizzled with aged Balsamic Vinegar.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008, A Photo Essay

Thanksgiving 2008

There was a last minute decision to change the entire menu the night before. Unfortunately, this was decided while enjoying a few silk nog/bourbon beverages (a very good, but very sneaky drink). So, I was at a slight, er... "disadvantage" in the morning. I played through the pain... ;)

Here's the chronology:

Pumpkin pie crust.

Pumpkin pie going in the oven.

Blocks O' Tofu.

Tofu going in smoker box with hickory wood.

Brussel Sprouts, Carrots, Potatoes & Green Beans all prepped.

There were lots of carrot peels...

Pumpkin Pie coming out of the oven

Machine Bread

Smoked Tofu, pan-fried, later stuffed with mushrooms and roasted garlic

Potatoes to be mashed with Roasted Garlic

Fingerling Potatoes going in the oven

and now, a palate cleansing look at the table, the calm before the storm

From the left

From the right

Bakelite silverware and table

Wide shot

Braised Carrots and Brussel Sprouts out of the oven.

Cranberries (cranberries, brown sugar, orange juice, ginger, cinnamon, bourbon, salt and pepper).

Touch of Grace Biscuits.

Roasted Fingerling Potato and Green Bean Salad with Maple Syrup Vinaigrette.

Main plate: Hickory Smoked Tofu stuffed with Marsala Mushrooms and Smoked Garlic / Braised Carrots / Braised Brussel Sprouts / Mashed Potatoes and Gravy / Wild Rice Stuffing.

A different angle, you can see the Wild Rice Stuffing underneath the tofu a little better.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Alder-Smoked Peanut-Crusted Bourbon-Marinated Tofu, Roasted Acorn Squash with Maple Syrup and Balsamic Vinegar, Wild Rice

Dinner 11/26

Alder-Smoked Peanut-Crusted Bourbon-Marinated Tofu

Roasted Acorn Squash with Maple Syrup and Balsamic Vinegar

Wild Rice

Our pre-Thanksgiving dinner... and we've run out of hyphens ;)

Here's the Acorn Squash, Carrots & Parsnips with Maple Syrup and Balsamic Vinegar, going in the oven (425F for ~40 minutes, turning once).

The Acorn Squash coming out of the oven...

For assembly: the tofu is smoked in alder wood for 25 minutes, cooled, then vacuum-sealed with a reduced bourbon and smoked salt marinade (1/4 cup of bourbon reduced by half, with a pinch of smoked salt dissolved)...

The tofu was briefly tossed with a 1 tbs. of tamari, then stuffed with a mix of pan-fried dinosaur kale and mushrooms.

Then we used the three pan method for the tofu: roll the tofu in flour (seasoned with salt, pepper and smoked paprika) -> dipped in cornstarch slurry (1:1 ratio of cornstarch/water) -> rolled/pressed in the peanuts (about 1 cup processed in a spice grinder or vita-mix dry container until reduced to small pebbles).

This is what it looked like after the pan-frying (olive oil, about 3-4 minutes per side), but before roasting in the oven to finish cooking (15min @ 350F).

The wild rice was cooked in the pressure cooker -- 1 cup of wild rice, 2.5 cups of water, 1 tbs. tamari, 23 minutes at 7psi (1st ring on the Kuhn-Rikon). To this we pan-fried in 1 tbs., of olive oil a mixture of 1 onion, diced, 1 celery stalk, diced, 1 clove of garlic, minced, salt & pepper to taste.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Raw Food Wednesday: Cauliflower Tagine, Mango Soup Shooters, Grated Beet and Carrot Salad

Raw Food Wednesday 11/19

Cauliflower Tagine

Mango Soup Shooters

Grated Beet and Carrot Salad

The cauliflower tagine recipe is from last year, and still as rocking as before. I could eat this for days...

The mango soup is simply a puree of one mango, 1/8 tsp. of both fresh ground fenugreek seed and cumin seed and a wee pinch of fresh turmeric & ginger root, salt and red pepper flakes. If you want to thin it out add a little young coconut water. Good stuff...

The grated beet and carrot salad also uses some of the green tomatoes from last week that have changed (red and yellow). It was a huge grocery bag of tomatoes that will still be good through the end of December ;)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Chiles Rellenos with Teese, Seitan Fajitas

Dinner 11/18

Chiles Rellenos with Teese

Seitan Fajitas

The poblanos were placed over the gas burners until well blackened. Normally at this point, you throw them in a paper bag and let them steam to make it easier to remove the blackened bits. We've found tossing them in the microwave works equally as well without wasting a paper bag.

The rellenos were stuffed with a combination of fried soyrizo, plantain, onion, Mexican oregano, and Teese (mozzarella). Have I mentioned that we love Teese? Yes? Good. ;)

They were put on a rack under the broiler for 2-3 minutes until the Teese melted -- keep a close eye on them so they don't ooze out!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Roasted Tofu with Jerusalem Artichokes, Salad with Smoked Tomato Dressing

Dinner 11/17

Roasted Tofu with Jerusalem Artichokes

Salad with Smoked Tomato Dressing

We've made this dish a couple of times -- it's a pretty straight-ahead one pan meal adapted from Martha Stewart. You basically sear the (alder-smoked) tofu and then roast at 450F with the jerusalem artichokes, garlic, lemon zest, thyme, wine, olives and shallots. takes about 40 minutes.

The salad dressing came from a few of the green tomatoes that ripened to red -- they were smoked at the same time as the tofu, then pureed with olive oil, sherry vinegar salt and pepper. Good change of pace dressing...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Phyllo with French Lentils, Seitan and Oyster Mushrooms and Gravy topped with Green Beans

Dinner 11/16

Phyllo with Lentils, Seitan and Oyster Mushrooms and Gravy

Green Beans

The seitan was first marinated with a mixture of reduced scotch, tamari and pepper, then vacuum-sealed for six hours

The oyster mushrooms, ready to be sliced

The seitan was pan-fried with olive oil

Now on to the phyllo portion...

Phyllo 01: fold one piece in half (like a book), brush with olive oil, then cut down the center -- surprisingly, a pizza cutter works wonders here.

Phyllo 02: lay one half of the phyllo across the oiled mini-loaf pan.

Phyllo 03: add the second piece, pushing into the corners.

Phyllo 04: add the first layer of French lentils (pressure cooked with a half an onion, studded with cloves, 16 minutes).

Phyllo 05: add the cooked seitan.

Phyllo 06: add the pan-fried oyster mushrooms (olive oil, pepper, tamari).

Phyllo 07: add the second layer of lentils.

Phyllo 08: fold the second layer of phyllo over the lentils...

Phyllo 09: brushing any exposed area of phyllo with olive oil.

Phyllo 10: do the same with the first layer.

Phyllo 11: fold over the last piece.

Phyllo 12: place the mini-loaf pans on a cookie sheet and bake at 425F for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven, invert the loaf pans, place phyllo back in the oven for 4-5 more minutes until golden brown.

Here's a close-up cutaway shot, showing the layers.

Finished: plated with gravy (shallot, garlic, roux, veg stock, tamari, pepper), topped with green beans.