Saturday, April 28, 2012

Railyway Mushroom-Potato Curry

This mushroom and potato curry from holy cow was fantastic.  I wanted to make these ones, too, but ultimately went for the simpler one.  It's no secret that the textures of mushrooms and potatoes pair so well together.

Railway Mushroom-Potato Curry
(from holy cow)

8-oz package of mushrooms, quartered
2 tsp canola or other vegetable oil
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1-inch piece of ginger, chopped
3 dry red chillies
1 large onion, chopped
1 TB coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 medium potatoes, diced
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 c tomato puree
1/4 c chopped cilantro

1. Toast the coriander and cumin seeds. Grind.
2. Heat 1 tsp of oil in the skillet. Add the garlic, ginger, chillies and onions and saute until brown spots appear on the onions. Add to the blender and, when cooler, grind along with the turmeric and some water to make a smooth paste.
3. Heat the remaining oil in the skillet. Add the potatoes and stir-fry for a couple of minutes until they start to turn golden.  Add the mushrooms and and saute until they begin to soften, about 2-3 minutes.  Now add the ground masala paste and the tomato puree. When the mixture starts to darken and express oil, add 2-3 cups of water and salt.  Cover and cook about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.  Garnish with cilantro.  Serves about 3.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Morroccan-Style Chickpeas with Olives

This was great--I almost never put olives in cooked dishes--but ultimately too salty.  I halved the recipe, used a mix of kalamata and green olives, and omitted a few things, but I didn't really change Hannah's recipe too much.  The olives give the dish a savory, almost meaty flavor.

Moroccan-Style Chickpeas with Olives
(adapted from bittersweet)

2 TB olive oil
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
1/2 TB finely minced ginger
1/2 TB finely minced garlic
1/2 TB ground coriander
1/2 TB ground cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 c canned diced tomatoes, with juice
1/2 c vegetable stock (perhaps 1/4 c stock and 1/4 c water?)
7 oz whole, pitted green and/or kalamata olives, drained and rinsed
2 c cooked chickpeas
zest of 1/2 lemon

In a large pan or pot, heat oil.  Over medium heat, saute onion about 5 minutes, then add ginger, garlic, and spices.  Cook until fragrant, then add tomatoes, stock, olives, and chickpeas.  Cover and simmer 10-20 minutes.  Add lemon zest near the end.  Serve hot or cold!  Serves about 3.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Chipotle Tequila Fail

You'd think that tequila and chipotles go together like Logan Square and ironic mustaches.  But if my most recent experience in infused liquor is any indication, you'd be wrong.  Perhaps I infused too long (48 hours).  Perhaps I used a bad chipotle.  Perhaps my friend Tanya and I just didn't mix it with the right things.  But I am skeptical.  If the past few weeks have driven home any lesson, it's that as appealing as challenges are, some things actually don't need to be forced.  The magical sage-infused whiskey can stand as a witness.  But whether it was straight up, or mixed with lime, mango, and/or soda water, this was nasty.  The smokiness that tastes so delectable in beans, enchiladas, etc., seemed almost plasticky in the context of tequila.  Maybe this would work in a bloody mary?  If one even likes those...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

New Potato Salad with Asparagus and Shallot Vinaigrette

I still can't figure out why this salad was so seriously delicious.  Something about the combo of horseradish mustard, vinegar, potatoes, and asparagus created an amazingly savory/creamy/umami flavor that was far more impressive than the sum of the parts.

I doubled this recipe, but it turned out to need far more dressing.  Also, the potatoes took quite a bit longer to cook than specified.  I used horseradish mustard (liberally), and instead of mustard seed and dill I used celery seed.

 New Potato Salad with Asparagus and Shallot Vinaigrette
(adapted from maple spice)

1 lb baby new potatoes, washed and dried and cut into wedges
lots of extra virgin olive oil
smoked sea salt and freshly ground pepper (or regular sea salt)
1 large bunch asparagus, sliced into 1" segments
olive oil
1 large shallot, diced fine
3 TB olive oil
2 TB red wine vinegar
1 TB horseradish mustard
1/2 tsp smoked sea salt (again, regular is fine!)
1/4 tsp celery seeds
few grinds of black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.  Toss potatoes in olive oil, salt, and pepper, and place in a baking dish.  Roast in the oven, stirring occasionally, for 30-40 minutes, or until potatoes are tender but not mushy.  If desired, place under the broiler for the last 5 minutes or so to get a crispy brown skin.
2. In a frying pan, lightly saute asparagus in olive oil.  When cooked, remove from heat and set aside.
3. Combine dressing ingredients.  When potatoes are cooked and cooled, combine potatoes with asparagus and dressing, making and adding more dressing if desired.  Serves about 3.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Saturday, April 14, 2012

BBQ Pork!, er... Jackfruit!

I'm going to savor the screenshot of this photo at the top of my vegan blog for quite some time.  Since the demise of Pure Luck last year, I have not had any BBQ jackfruit, but since I finally got myself into A Grocery Warehouse and found their jackfruit (among other exciting things),

..I was finally able to try recreating this delicacy myself.  And it is creepily like pork: the appearance (see above) and smell are dead-on, and the taste and texture (as far as I can remember) very, very close.  In fact, I rather didn't like eating it straight up, though I think on a sandwich or in tacos with other stuff it would be excellent.

With the exception of adding beer, I didn't change any of the flavors in Janet's recipe, though putting back in the cayenne she omitted actually made it very spicy!  I'm not sure what it is about the combo--tamarind, mustard, tomato, smoked paprika, garlic, beer-- that gives it that unmistakable smell and taste. 

The only place where things really changed was in the cooking method.  I'm guessing this depends on the jackfruit you get and how it's been preserved... I needed to de-seed mine at the beginning, and it took far longer than 15-30 min of simmering to really get tender.  Then, because I simmered longer, I also needed more liquid.  I thought beer might work well, since I have in my mind a vague association between people who eat BBQ and people who cook with beer-- is that wrong to say?

Anyway, this was super cool; I'll definitely keep it in my repertoire.  However, for the other jar of jackfruit, I'm going to attempt tuna a la the marinade for this bouillabaisse I made last year.

BBQ Jackfruit Pulled "Pork"
(from taste space)

20 oz young jackfruit, in brine
1/2 onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp Aleppo chili flakes
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground yellow mustard
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp garlic granules
1/8 tsp onion granules
1 tsp salt
3 TB tomato paste
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp canola or other neutral oil
1/2 tsp tamarind concentrate
2 c beer and/or water
2 tsp maple syrup or agave
1. In a small non-stick skillet over medium-low heat, add onion and garlic. Heat until caramelized and browned, around 9-10 minutes.  I used the same medium saucepan as below, removing the onions when it was time to cook the jackfruit.
2. Drain and rinse the jackfruit well. Remove the solid centre pieces (see here for photos). Place jackfruit in a medium bowl.
3. Add Aleppo chili flakes, paprika, cayenne mustard, black pepper, onion and garlic granules and salt to the jackfruit. Sir to coat well.
4. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add spiced jackfruit. Heat until the spices are toasted and fragrant, around 5 minutes. Do not burn. Scrape any stuck on bits.
5. Meanwhile, in a small cup, mix together the tomato paste, red pepper paste, vinegar, oil, tamarind concentrate, 1 c water/beer and maple syrup. Stir until well mixed. Add to jackfruit and deglaze the pan.
6. Once the onions are caramelized, add to the wet jackfruit mixture. Simmer jackfruit in its sauce for 15-45 minutes, until softened. Add additional liquid as needed.  Use a fork to shred the jackfruit into stringy bits.
7. Preheat oven to 400F. You could stop here, but if you want a firmer consistency more similar to pork, spread hte mixture evenly on a cookie sheet and bake for 15-30 minutes until slightly dried out.
9. Serve on a sandwich or as a taco with lots of fixings.  Serves 3.


I also made Janet's recipe for very pretty pickled red onions as an accompaniment.

Pickled Red Onions
(from taste space)

1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup cold water
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar or agave
1 squirt of sriracha (or to taste, Tabasco is recommended)
1 red onion, halved and sliced into very thin rings

In a small bowl, combine vinegar cold water. Stir in salt, the sugar and the hot sauce. Add the sliced onions and let sit for at least one hour. This can be made in advance and tastes better after a longer marinade.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Super Green Hummus

Janet's post on ginger-lime-wasabi hummus looked awesome, but so did Kate's parsley-scallion hummus.  Here's the hybrid!  So much green: lime, wasabi, edamame, scallions, and cilantro, and I think fresh mint would be great here, too.  I added olive oil to Janet's recipe to make it a little richer, and also quite a bit more citrus and wasabi.

Ginger-Lime-Wasabi Edamame Hummus
(adapted from taste space)
1/3 c mixed chopped scallions and cilantro
2-4 TB fresh lime juice
3 TB tahini
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2-inch piece of ginger (peeled if not organic)
1 c cooked chickpeas, with reserved cooking liquid
1/2 c shelled edamame, thawed
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
1/2-1 tsp wasabi powder, or to taste
olive oil

1. In a mini food processor, process greens, lime juice, tahini, garlic, and ginger, until they form a thick green paste.
2. In a blender, blend remaining ingredients with the green paste, adding cooking liquid and olive oil as necessary to get the hummus really smooth and to blend in all the greens.  Adjust citrus, salt, and wasabi to taste.  Makes about 2 c.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Spicy Mushroom-Ginger Soup

I'm feeling a sea change coming on.  Something rich and strange awaits.  Or maybe it's just the change in the weather.  And the academic calendar.  Or that between ASECS and spring break, I've been raging quite a bit.  In any case, I woke up the other day craving something simple.  This is like the spicy harissa split pea soup and the sesame-mushroom borscht, but stripped down to the essentials.

Spicy, comforting, with ginger, garlic, miso, and vinegar for health.... I ate it all that day.

Spicy Mushroom-Ginger Soup

olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 garlic, minced
2 TB minced ginger
1 serrano pepper, finely chopped (de-seeded if you don't want to sweat)
3-4 c sliced mushrooms
2 tsp miso paste dissolved in 3 c water
splash seasoned rice vinegar
drizzle toasted sesame oil
toasted sesame seeds
sliced scallions

1. In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium high heat.  Saute onion until soft, then add garlic, ginger, chili, and mushrooms.  Cook 5-10 minutes, until mushrooms express their water.  Add a splash of tamari and then add weak miso broth.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.
2. Puree soup in blender, then return to stove and reheat.  Add rice vinegar, sesame oil, and additional tamari to taste.  Serve warm with an additional drizzle of sesame oil, sesame seeds, and scallions.  Serves 2-3.