Friday, August 20, 2010

if you haven't noticed...

I haven't posted in a while. i've been crazy busy, and am currently in the middle of trying to move. the blog WILL be back up, once i am again settled in the pacific northwest, and once i find and unpack my deep fryer. then we can continue this nutty adventure and finally get to tomato aspic and roasted "possum". stay tuned!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

You’re My Cherry Pie…

What kind of southern cookbook doesn’t have cherry pie?!? The WSCC, that’s what. But they do have a recipe for piecrust. Which is a good thing, because do you know what happened when Colleen visits Costco and walks past an eight cup container of cherries? She decides she absolutely has to have it. So now, we’re making cherry pies. Lucky for us, the WSCC has a recipe for piecrust, so I can still post the recipe. Woot woot!

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2/3 cups earth balance
5-6 tablespoon ice cold water

Add the salt to the flour and cut flour and the earth balance until you have a very coarse meal. If you don’t have a pastry blender, just get one. Otherwise, you’ll be like me and end up using 2 knives to cut your dough. This takes forever and will make you cranky and anyone that attempts to enter the kitchen will incur the wrath of Khan. Add the water to your flour mixture a tablespoon at a time, blending until mixture becomes a coherent dough. Wrap and place in the fridge for at 2 hours.

2 cups fresh-pitted cherries
1/2 cup water
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch

In a saucepan, cook cherries in water and lemon juice for 10 minutes. Mix the sugar and cornstarch; add to cherries. Cook cherry mixture until thickened. Cool slightly before filling pie.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place your oven rack on the bottom rung.

Divide your pastry dough in half. Roll out each piece large enough to fit into an 8 to 9-inch pan. Put one of the rolled pieces of dough in the bottom a greased pie pan, and pour cooled cherry mixture into the crust. Moisten edge of bottom crust. Place top crust on and flute the edge of the pie. Make a slit in the middle of the crust for steam to escape. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake for about 45 minutes and cool before eating.

An after thought: I made this a while ago, but life has been nuts and I haven’t gotten around to posting this (or really, cooking at all) but seeing as it’s a holiday, it seemed appropriate. Happy 4th, bitches!

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Sunday, May 30, 2010

"Cheesy" Garlic Biscuits

Yum…. Reminiscent of those biscuits one gets at Red Lobster. Except I do not have a tank of pathetic looking live lobsters in my foyer. Hell, I don’t even have a foyer. Anyways. The household ate the whole batch, and I know I’ll be making them again soon.

2 teaspoons sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ cups vegan “buttermilk” (made with apple cider vinegar)
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 cup shredded smoked cheddars style sheese (though I suspect Daiya cheddar would work. I wouldn’t know. All I could find was the mozzarella style. Though I do like the smoked sharpness of the sheese)
3/8 teaspoon garlic powder
¼ cup earth balance

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Combine sheese, 2/8 garlic powder, flour, sugar, and baking powder in a bowl and make a well. Add in the “buttermilk” and vegetable oil and mix with a spoon until thoroughly combined. Divide the dough into 12 pieces, roll into loose balls and pat down to about ½” thickness. Place on a cookie sheet. Melt earth balance and add the remaining 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder. Brush on the dough. You can also sprinkle some dried parsley on the biscuits if you want to add to that faux red lobster biscuit taste. I ran out of dried parsley months ago and never bothered to replace it, but the last time I attempted to make similar biscuits, I went this route with no regrets. Bake for 10 minutes. Eat. Repeat whole process.

the oyster stew experiment

There are two recipes in this book I’ve been dreading. This is one of them: oyster stew. The other one is a roast possum recipe, but we’ll get to that later. Back to the oyster stew. Why anyone would make oyster stew in the first place is beyond me, but it’s in the book, and had to be done sometime. So I guess I thought today seemed like as good as any other.

Faux fish seitan recipe from La Dolce Vegan. Use smoked salt. Tear the seitan into small pieces when placing it in the boiling broth. They kinda turn out in the shape of oysters. Weird.

1 lb. potatoes
1-cup bacon bits (vegan, duh.)
1 chopped white onion
1 cup chopped celery
Corn from 2 ears corn
4 cups regular unsweetened soymilk
2 cubes vegan bouillon
2 teaspoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
1-teaspoon salt
1-teaspoon black pepper
Herbamare to taste
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley (optional)

Boil the potatoes in two batches (1/2pound each), 1 batch whole, 1 batch cubed.
Sauté celery, corn, and onions until celery is soft.
Heat up soymilk, bouillon, and whole potatoes and use a hand blender to blend until smooth (or throw the soymilk, bouillon and whole potatoes in a vitamix and blend until smooth. Then heat up in a large pot.
Add Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper, and bacon bits.
Add corn. Celery, onions, cubed potatoes, and faux oysters
Cook for 10 minutes. Add herbamare to taste.
Serve in bowls and add parsley for garnish

I found it quite tasty, although a bit strange. My wife and roommate ate the biscuits and ignored the soup. I guess, unless you’ve had oyster stew and really miss it, don’t bother making it. On that note, if any workfolks want some for lunch Tuesday, hit me up. I have a ton. After that glowing review of this strange stew, I can imagine how many messages I’ll get asking for this concoction.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Poifect Waffles

Waffles have an uncanny ability to take me back to my childhood. Many a Sunday morning was spent sitting around the table eating fruit with my mom while my dad fired up the old waffle iron. We’d enjoy each others company and Dad would inevitably be stuck eating the burned waffles, while mom and I enjoyed the golden brown ones. Once we discovered that replacing half the liquid in the batter with seltzer water resulted in the most light, airy and crispy waffles, every time anyone mentioned making waffles, they HAD to be made using seltzer water. So when I started off to make these waffles, I was quite skeptical, as the little voice in the back of my head went “but where’s the seltzer?” Surprisingly enough, with these babies, no seltzer water is needed to get the perfect waffle.

The trick, I’m convinced, is self-rising flour. For some reason, I’ve never used self-rising flour. I have no idea why. But anyways, you can buy self-rising flour, or you can just make your own: for each cup of all-purpose flour, add 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Easy peasy

1 ¼ cups soymilk “buttermilk” (add 1 tbs of lemon juice and then fill up your measuring cup to 1 ¼ cups. Let sit for 10 minutes to curdle)
Egg replacer equivalent to 2 eggs (I used Bob’s Red Mill egg replacer. I stand by its genius)
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 ¾ cups self-rising flour

Grease waffle iron with earth balance and heat. Mix egg replacer and beat in soymilk, baking soda, oil, and sugar mix until smooth. Add flour and beat the crap out of it until no lumps are left. Pour the batter into the waffle iron and cook until steaming stops and waffles are golden brown. We have the “Flip ‘n’ Fluff” waffle iron, which we affectionately call the flip ‘n’ fuck. It makes us giggle and makes great waffles. Who can beat that combo?

Serve waffles with earth balance and syrup, or jam. I had mine with some locally made peach ginger compote, and it rocked my socks off. This is definitely a recipe I will use for years, and makes me love Fannie Flagg for giving me the poifect waffle.

Monday, May 17, 2010

"beef" stew

It’s true, it’s not winter, which is usually the stew season, but I haven’t cooked in a few weeks (was out of town for a week, and who cooks when they’re out of town?) and, quite frankly, last week I just didn’t feel like cooking. And I still don’t really feel like cooking. But there’s something to be said for that. When life gets you down, and motivation is scarce, sometimes the best thing to do is to go look at beautiful local produce at the farmers market, choose some ingredients for comfort food, and make yourself get in the kitchen (of course, this really does only apply if you actually enjoy cooking, but, you get the point).

So, with a black and white kitty trouncing behind my footsteps, and Gogol Bordello on the stereo, I made the seitan, made the stew, and drank a beer. And therein lies a little bit of happiness.

“Beef” Stew (WSCC 126)

Faux Beef (La Dolce Vegan: 288)- times recipe x2
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
4 cups broth (I use rapunzel vegan bouillon)
1 ½ tsp seasoned salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp pepper
6 medium red potatoes, cubed
6 carrots, peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained (I use fire roasted)
1 15 oz can tomato sauce

Really, I suppose you can use whatever “beef” you wanted. Was toying around with Gardien’s new beef tips, but I would need 2-3 packages I think, and besides, I wanted to make the seitan fake beef from La Dolce Vegan.

Take your “beef” and onions and brown them using a little bit of olive oil in a heavy skillet. Don’t go as far as to caramelize your onions though!

Combine the broth and the remaining ingredients into a stockpot and bring to a low boil. Add the “beef” and onion mixture and bring heat down to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes.

Spoon up in lovely bowls and enjoy. Comfort in a bowl.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Lemon Ice Box Pie

OH MY GOD. No, seriously. This is what I had for dinner tonight. And then I had seconds. It’s tart and sweet and cold and delicious and you can bet your sweet ass I’m going to be making this recipe again. In fact, if you choose to make one, and only one of my recipes I post here, please make this one. I promise you it’s worth it. A perfect treat for a hot summers day. Or any day, really.

Lemon Ice Box Pie

1 ½ cups crumbled vanilla wafer cookies (see recipe in revious post)
¼ cup margarine

1 package tofutti cream cheese
1 oz can sweetened condensed soy milk
1 6-oz frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 box soywhip, beaten until fluffy

For the pie:

Mix the cookie crumbs and margarine and press onto the bottom and sides of a 9” pie pan
and chill. Beat tofutti cream cheese until fluffy, and gradually beat in condensed soy milk and frozen lemonade. Beat in the whipped topping. Pour into pie pan and place in fridge, let sit for 3- 4 hours or until set. Top with more whipped topping if you like.

I can’t tell if I’m giggling because this is like sunshine in my mouth, or because I get to say “box pie.” You decide.