Monday, August 14, 2017

Pineapple Tofu "Al Pastor"

Based on a Guero's pork al pastor recipe published in "Nuevo Tex-Mex"

Pork al pastor is a richly flavored pork stew. I am sure mexican shepherds didn't have much pineapple, but in my experience in Texas, it is always served with pineapple.

In this recipe, I mixed the pineapple in, and added miso and smoked paprika to move the recipe into a meaty direction.

Warning, steps 1, 2, 3 and 4 are time consuming. I offer workarounds for steps 1 and 2, and you can cut corners on 3, but step 4 is, well, the whole idea really. But actually, if you do it right, you can work on all four of these steps at the same time. I found myself very busy for about an hour with this recipe, but the first time you do it, it may take longer!


1 lb extra firm tofu diced in 1/2" cubes or similar
1/2 pineapple
1 medium to large onion
1 large bell pepper or 2 small
optional: 1 zucchini, halved the long way & sliced thin


3 dried guajillo chiles or 2 extra tbsp ancho chile powder

2 tsp canola oil
1 tbsp ancho chile powder
1 cup fresh orange juice
1 tbsp cider vinegar or rice vinegar
2 tbsp miso (I used barley miso)
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp oregano (pref Mexican oregano)
1 tbsp Better Than Bouillon Mock chicken, or a vegan mock chicken bouillon cube
6 cloves garlic
2 tbsp achiote paste (available at Mexican groceries)

1 tsp soy sauce or vegan worcestershire or similar


1) Prepare the dried chiles if using:
    pan roast on high heat for about 1 minute per side until color changes, but not burned
    soak in hot water at least 20 minutes

2) Roast the fresh peppers (if roasting, else see 3 below):
    broil on high for 8 minutes, top up if you can balance them
    rotate, repeat for 8 minutes 2 or 3 more times until skin blisters everywhere
    place in large bowl, cover, let cool

3) sautee onions
   heat 1 tsp oil on medium high
   chop onions fairly fine
   drop an onion bit in oil when it is hot, should sizzle but not splatter
   add onions
   add 1 tbsp ancho chile powder
   stir until red color is evenly distribute
   turn heat to medium low, occasionally
   add peppers chopped if not roasted
   peel and press the garlic and add to the onions
   if you roasted the peppers, when cool enough to handle, peel, seed & chop and add
   if using zucchini add thin sliced zucchini
   slow cook until vegs are soft and a bit sweet

4) grill pineapple
   Take a half pineapple, cut off the rind. Quarter through the core. Remove core.
   Pull out remaining bits of fiber with a potato peeler or a grapefruit spoon.
   If you have a grill, slice the pineapple into thin slices and grill a few minutes on a side.
   If you are pan-grilling, lightly oil a wok, chop pineapple fine
        stir-fry on high heat
  Cook until lightly browned in some spots.

5) make sauce
   in blender, add orange juice, vinegar, miso, achiote, bouillion, spices, and chile powder if using
       blend briefly

   if using dried chiles, rinse, tear open, discard seeds & step, & tear into a few pieces, add to blender
       then puree on high setting about 1 minute. run sauce through fine sieve to catch the dry bits

 6) remove pineapples from wok
   add 1/4 c water & heat pan to deglaze
   when water is boiled off & a little syrup remains, add 1 tsp canola oil
   add tofu, 1 tbsp ancho chile powder, soy sauce & cook on high heat until heated through.
   add all other ingredients & cook sauce down a bit until it thickens

Ideally serve on warmed corn tortillas with chopped red onion & fresh cilantro, but also nice on a toothy whole grain rice.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Green mushrooms


3 zucchini
2 yellow onions
8 roasted, peeled, seeded anaheim peppers
2 dried guajillo peppers
6 cloves garlic
some oil
ancho chili powder to taste
smoked paprika to taste
salt & pepper to taste

pan roast guajillos & soak in hot water 20 minutes
then remove seeds & stems, & scrape pulp from interiors

chop remaining vegetables & sautee
add spices



1 1/2 cups cashews
10 tomatillos

soak cashews at least 1 hour, drain
peel, wash tomatillos, boil until soft about 10 minutes, drain

put all in blender & puree



1 lb mushrooms
1 tbsp soy sauce
some oil

stir fry mushrooms until starting to soften
add soy sauce, sautee a little longer


combine about 1 c mexi-vegs, 1 c sauce base, all mushrooms, adding fresh thyme
heat the whole thing up


Friday, March 24, 2017

Vegan Cauliflower Cabbage Carrot Corn Colcannon

Can of Corn - drained & pureed

some roast garlic
some raw cashew butter
some nutritional yeast
a bit veggie Better Than Bouillon
lots of fresh black pepper

Shred & steam fresh veggies but leave some tooth
microwave creamed corn

stir together, over medium heat

add flavoring ingredients until it tastes good


This idea is vaguely Irish, as if I knew anything about that, inspired by a cauliflower colcannon at Whole Foods around St Patty's day.

I suppose you could add some boiled potato if you were inclined toward authenticity, but it does not start with the letter "C".

The main idea is that the creamed corn substitutes nicely for the traditional dairy cream.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Linda's amazing Fake Bacon

Shredded raw coconut

 2 T liquid smoke
 1 T soy sauce
 1 T maple syrup
 1 T water
 1 tsp smoked paprika

Bake 325 F 20 min, turning frequently

better than bacon!

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Nobel Prize Winning Latkes

What, there's no Nobel in Latkes? Well there should be.

These were extremely successful.

These are amazing hot.

Even a bit stale at a potluck they were appreciated.


Two sweet potatoes
About the same amount of waxy (red or Yukon gold) potatoes
A half a beet
A medium sized peeled yellow onion
2 Tbsp ground flax seed (or 2 beaten eggs)
Chick pea flour (maybe a cup?)
Better than bouillon Not-Chicken (or other bouillon concentrate) 1 tsp
Black pepper and salt to taste
Canola oil



Peel and coarsely grate sweet potatoes. Microwave for about 5 minutes until almost cooked.
Peel and coarsely grate beet. Microwave for about 2 minutes until almost cooked.
Let them cool a bit.

Corasely grate potatoes (not necessary to peel)
Drain potatoes in colander, squeezing out excess moisture.

Peel onion and grate on finest side of box grater.  This is quite tedious.
You should get a sort of oniony slush. Drain as much onion juice as you can from the slush in a fine-grain sieve.

(Running the onion through a food processor is less satisfactory but much easier. You will get a stronger onion flavor as the juice won't separate. You may want to use less, maybe half an onion.)

If not using eggs:
  Bring 1/2 cup water to a vigorous boil in small pot. Reduce heat.
  Add flax, and bring back to a slow boil.
  Whisk vigorously for about 2 minutes, to form a sticky substance.

Combine root vegetables and onion in large mixing bowl.
Add chick pea flour until the vegetables clump together. I think about a cup.

Add seasonings and flax or eggs and mix thoroughly.



The hard part is getting the oil to the right temperature.

Pour oil into a large, good, smooth or non-stick pan to cover bottom to at least 1/4 inch. If you don't have a good pan, don't bother trying this.
Heat oil, medium hot.
Put a small amount of test batter in oil. It should sizzle but not spatter. If it doesn't sizzle you'll get a greasy mess. It it spatters you'll get a coal lump before the pancake cooks through.
When you think the oil is the right temperature, make a test latke.

Drop about 2 tbsp of batter into the oil. Be careful - if oil is too hot this can be dangerous - keep your face a good distance from pan.
Flatten batter to thickness of about 1/2 inch. Ideally half the latke is in the oil and half not.
Wait until the edges are quite dark, and flip. Ideally do not flip a latke more than once. (I am not sure but I think about 4 minutes for one side, 3 for the other.)

Do NOT flip the latke before pushing on one side of the latke with the spatula loosens the whole bottom and moves the entire latke. If it just squishes a bit, it is too soon to flip. Once it doesn't squish but slides, you still want to give it about a minute. Flip.

The outside of the latke should be mottled dark brown and crispy. If it is soggy, your oil is too cool or you flipped too soon. If it is black, your oil is too hot or you cooked too long.

Wait a couple of minutes and taste. Decide if it is delicious.

Is it delicious? Make a batch of 4 or 5 in your pan.

Is it not delicious? Adjust your strategy and try again with a single latke.

These things are greasy, so they absorb some oil. As you make batches, adding oil and getting it up to the right temperature is something you will get to practice.



This recipe makes a whole lot of latkes.

Serve with sour cream or vegan sour cream. Have some applesauce on hand for random goyim that think that is how to serve potato pancakes.

Note: latkes can be vegan but they cannot be health food. Also, let's face it, they are worth it, but a lot of trouble. Once a year, please.

Friday, December 18, 2015

FIghting Fire with Fire

Radical intolerant Islam is not the same thing as Islam, in just the same way as radical intolerant Christianity is not Christianity.

The battle is between terrorism and tolerance, between violence and peace, within each culture. It's amazingly symmetrical between Christians and Muslims, where the most dangerous people pick a few passages out of an ancient book and represent them as key to their holy war.

As someone without roots in either Christianity or Islam living in Texas, guess which bunch of extremists I find myself more afraid of on a day to day basis?

Angry people who take ancient books too seriously are dangerous. That's surely true. But it really doesn't matter much which book they are worked up about.

The way to fight them is not by mistreating all their distant relatives just because of their culture and background.

My grandfather ended up in Hitler's gas chambers because of thinking like this. When you think of "Muslims" as the enemy you are no better than someone who thinks of "Jews'" or "Christians" as the enemy. All of us have good sensible people and terrible, evil people among us. The question is which tendency we want to celebrate.

When you buy into an enemy extremist's view of what their culture is about, you are doing them a huge favor. Is that really what you want?

The way to fight extreme intolerance is with extreme tolerance. "Fighting fire with fire" actually is not the strategy of most fire departments.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

mt's vegan wheat-free low fat cornbread recipe

mt's vegan wheat-free low fat cornbread recipe

I'm very pleased with this recipe and now make it regularly.
0) prepare flax
grind golden flax seeds in coffee grinder to a fine powder

1) liquid ingredients
  • bring 6 Tbsp water to a boil & reduce heat
  • add 2 Tbsp ground flax, whisk for 2 or 3 minutes until a paste forms
  • add 2 Cups unsweetened soy milk 
  • add 2 tsp maple syrup
  • whisk until roughly mixed (won't blend perfectly)

2) prep
  • spray or lightly grease a 9" square glass casserole with oil 
  • preheat oven to 450 F

3) dry ingredients
in mixing bowl combine thoroughly
  • 1 1/3 Cups cornmeal
  • 2/3 Cup oat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
try to avoid lumps in oat flour
4) bake
  • add liquids to dry
  • pour into casserole
  • bake for 23 minutes

NOTE: after 12 minutes baking, it's nice to spray oil over top surface - this prevents grittiness

5) don't eat yet
  • let cool 5 minutes
  • run a knife around edge of bread to separate from dish

6) eat warm
(or next day split horizontally & toasted in toaster-oven)
  • adding Nature's Balance avocado butter is nice nut not so low fat
  • or regular butter is not so bad but not so vegan
  • if you're feeling indulgent, a little extra maple syrup or honey

7) don't keep more than a day or so without freezing

South Carolina Flood vs the Amazon River

I calculated the water falling on South Carolina, ballparking it as an average depth of 0.25 meters falling over 2 days. 

It works out to 0.11 Sverdrups, which is a bit over half the discharge of the Amazon, but greater than any other river, about seven times the discharge of the Mississippi or St. Lawrence.

The atmospheric flux must have been much higher.

SC area 83e3 km2 = 83 e9 m^2
depth of flood = 0.25 m  
total water = 20e9 m3 
time = 2 days 
10e9 m3 /day
= 115740 m3 / s