Friday, November 30, 2007
Homemade Tofu Turkey is WAAAYY better than that other stuff.
Press the tofu first, and then FREEZE it. Then let it thaw out the day before you intend to bake it.
After repressing, stuffing and turning it out in a dish, go ahead and take a brush to baste it. Let is sit maybe 30 min marinading in that BEFORE cooking. (If you put it on while cooking, it just makes a salty skin and does not absorb into the tofu)
Cook at 350 not 400. Bake 1 hour covered. take the cover off and baste again
(keep cover off). 30 min later baste again (should be the last of the marinade). 30 min later you're done!
For this Tofurky I only used 3 blocks of tofu, so adjust your cooking time and marinade as needed!
The basic recipe to work off of is here.
1 ready made pie crust-pre cook for 10 minutes
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
1 lb. your choice veggies (broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, red peppers, etc), cooked to just done
Any add ins like vegan ham or cheeze
1 lb firm tofu, drained
1/2 cup soy milk
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Cook your veggie of choice until just soft. Cook onion and garlic until golden, and add veggie and heat through. In blender, puree tofu, soymilk, mustard, salt, nutmeg, pepper, and soy cheese, until smooth. Pour into large bowl and add the onion and veggie mixture. Combine well. Taste for seasoning. Pour into pre-cooked pie shell, and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 35-40 minutes or until quiche is set (you may need to put foil around the crust if getting too dark). After 25 minutes, brush top of quiche with olive oil to brown. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before cutting.
HINTS FOR THE BEST
I use a pre-made pie shell. Follow the directions for baking and cook it empty for a little under its directions (ie- cook 12 min. you should only cook it 10).
Depending on your oven, you may need to add some foil or a pie ring around your crust to keep it from getting too brown.
1. The BEST is 1 tub of water packed soft tofu (not silken though). If you can't get that, firm is still perfectly fine.
2. Press the tofu
3. Puree with the spices.
4. Fold in all the veggies.
Add some chopped up veggie meat and veggie cheese in it too. num num.
This was filled with portobello, spinach, onion, and broccoli.
I brought this baby to Lindy Loo's (of Yeah That "Vegan" Shit fame) big to-do. An omni couldn't tell it was vegan, so that's a sign of a great quiche. And you're lookin' at it!
I like saying "shrimps" so shut it. Shrimps are cute, and I don't like saying "I ate shrimp," so I dub their new vegan name... 'Rimpies! Or maybe Shrimpens. Shrimplies? Shrimpy MaGee? Shirmples? You tell me.
I found these Shrimples in a large Asian supermarket.
1. Cook your angel hair pasta.
2. In the meantime, on med-low melt a bunch of butter in a skillet. Put in as much chopped garlic as you like and your THAWED shrimples. (Allow a few hours of defrosting on your counter top before using)
Oddly enough, as the shrimples cook, they do turn a little pink! Maybe it was my imagination, but I don't think so.
3. Drain pasta when cooked and tossed with garlic butter sauce, shrimpies, and a pinch of Italian seasoning.
(Salt for taste if you want to, you probably won't need it though.)
RESULT: They do smell like shrimp. My mom thought they were too chewy. But they taste fine and if you wait a few minutes after cooking, they soften up. AND they squirt delicious butter garlic sauce in your mouth when you bite into them! AWESOME!
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
This mysterious package laid eyes on me and new I was a sucker. And for 89 cents how could I say "no"?
I soaked the mysterious balls and stir fried them with mushrooms as directed by LimingXu. A little squishy, but not bad. I think I will stuff them next time!
*Punch teh Wizared
You will need:
1. fancy gnocchi
2. expensive mushrooms
equals this (plus extra ramblings!):
There is this store I have a love-hate relationship with. They have an excellent variety of gourmet and international goods. But because I am not a middle-aged woman with a giant SUV with an overpriced purse with a scowl on my face, I get treated like scum. (Hey, the reason I buy discount clothes is so I can buy fancy food! Jerks!) So I go in there with ripped jeans to mess with their heads. (Oddly, the cashiers are ALWAYS nice. And an older man stocking made conversation with me. Most of the staff acted like I wasn't even there though.) SO I bought basil gnocchi at this establishment. Put them in boiling water and as soon as they float they are DONE. Do not wait a second longer!
2. FANCY PANTS MUSHROOMS
Same store. The only reason I bought them was for the fact they were $300/lb.
I re-hydrated them with warm water and a splash of cooking sherry for about 30 min.
I simmered them very quickly in the liquid I had soaked them in. I used a separate pan and did it right before I plated the dish to keep the optimum flavor.
I will say, I'm totally sold. My taste buds have been opened to a whole new world of mushrooms. It was earthy but light. They were magnificent!
3. THE SAUCE
Most celebrated chefs hate vegetarians. I don't even want to know their opinion on vegans. I don't know if Heston Blumenthal is a hater, but he has one of the top restaurants in the world and his food science is fascinatingly mind-blowing. I knew if I were to make an amazing sauce... I would have to find a recipe of his.
I used this recipe.
I know it's for pizza sauce, but it still works since the video stops before it turns into sauce. I didn't use a pressure cooker, just boiled everything covered for a bit (make sure it doesn't burn to the bottom though!) Toss it with the gnocchi and topped with the mushrooms. All the simple flavors are divine.
I only used 4 large tomatoes. I used pre-chopped garlic an dried herbs minus the bay leaves. I pressed the tomato innards through the sieve and didn't use the seeds.
BONUS: When you finally open the oven door after a few hours (I did 200F for like 3-4 hours) the smell is amazzzinnngggg. I chopped up the cooked tomatoes before I put them in the sauce pan.
I know it's a lot of work for something you could make in a blender or by opening a jar. But Oh My Zeus, it is SO worth it. I've never had such a wonderful tomato sauce. Thanks Heston!
For dessert I got these giant spice-cake shaped pretzels dipped in chocolate from Germany. MMMMMM.
I used silken firm tofu*, which really is the best texture for eggs. I pressed it and cut it into 4 thin slabs. I only used two (half of the box) here. Silken tofu falls apart very easily, so that's why it's all crazy looking.
I made a rub of turmeric and garlic and rubbed (duh) it all over the slices.
I heated some oil in a skillet (on medium) and added the tofu. I added a splash of soy sauce. After a few minutes, or until the other side looks yellow and slightly browned, carefully flip the tofu. At this point I added a slice of Follow Your Heart mozzarella to the top of the slabs. If there is room in the pan you can also add any veggies you want to sauté. Cover the pan with a big lid or foil until cheese is soft (about 4-5 min).
*The unrefrigerated kind in the small cardboard box.
I soaked some TVP in warm water with a dash of soy sauce for about 20 minutes.
I stir fried them with peppers and onions and padang (a spicy peanut) sauce until it cooked down. Viola!
I used to be really scared of peanut sauce and veggies. It just seemed wrong. But, I'm expanding my palate and as long as it is vegan I will eat it*!
*Except cucumbers because I'm allergic to them. And olives because they taste like butt.
Saturday, November 03, 2007
So I had a remark that there is not enough "how-to" any more here. I guess I agree, so here we go! A completely original recipe.
Did you know it's Brussels sprouts, not Brussel sprouts? The more you know!
I know it's not a very good name, but suck it.
How to clean & cook Brussels Sprouts:
Rinse them well. Peel off the outside layer of leaves and chop off the stem. Make an X with your knife in the bottom of the stem (to cook better). Steam for about 5 minutes (until they are bright green). But for this recipe, maybe only 3 minutes.
Pan fry some Tofurky Beer Brat medallions with oil and garlic, and toss in the Brussels sprouts with it for a few more minutes.
Next, get some pre-made croissant dough. Depending on how many sprouts you have, you may have to put the precut pieces back together and then re-cut out how many pieces of dough you need.
Place one medallion and sprout in the croissant square. Then wrap the dough around the two, slightly patting it into a ball, trying to get the air out. Repeat with the rest. Try and work quickly if possible. Bake by the croissant directions (about 10 minutes until golden brown). Enjoy!
I also made standard mashed potatoes as a side, along with portobella and onion gravy. I've become awesome at making gravy from scratch. It involves browned flour, oil for the fat, water and soy sauce. Usually though in some mushrooms at the end.
Here is a good basic gravy recipe until you can get a handle on it yourself. Seriously, cooking it in that order is the key to good gravy.