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!

INGREDIENTS

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

Sauce:

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

WHAT TO DO

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

MEXIVEGS

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

===

GREEN SAUCE BASE

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

==

MUSHROOMS

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

yum.



Friday, March 24, 2017

Vegan Cauliflower Cabbage Carrot Corn Colcannon

Cauliflower
Carrot
Cabbage
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

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

marinate
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.
==

INGREDIENTS

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

===

MAKE THE BATTER

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.

==

FRY EM UP

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.

===

QUANTITY

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.