rosefox: A cheerful chef made out of ginger. (cooking)
Rose Fox ([personal profile] rosefox) wrote2012-11-12 02:36 am

"Tasty tasty monster"

Recipes, as promised!

Vegan gruyère

Source: Artisan Vegan Cheese by Miyoko Schinner

2 cups (10 oz by weight) cashews, soaked in water for 3 to 8 hours and drained
.5 to 1 cup rejuvelac (I make my own: 1 cup distilled water + 1/8 tsp [1 capsule] non-dairy probiotic powder from GNC)
.25 cup REFINED coconut oil, warmed or melted (unrefined will taste too much like coconut)
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
1 to 2 Tbsp "white" miso (any miso that's a medium brown color will do)
1 tsp salt
.5 tsp xanthan gum

Put all ingredients in blender, using smaller quantities of rejuvelac and miso. Process, scraping down occasionally, until smooth and creamy, adding more rejuvelac if necessary. (Longer soaking time on cashews and/or higher-speed blender means less liquid is needed.) Taste and add more miso if desired.

For spreadable cheese, transfer to a sterilized glass or ceramic container (I use a 1-quart glass jar), cover tightly, and let rest at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours. Taste occasionally to see how fermentation is progressing. When cheese is thick, rich, and slightly tangy, refrigerate. Keeps 2 months in the fridge or 4 in the freezer.

To make a firmer cheese that can be sliced, culture the soft cheese in a sterilized glass or ceramic container for 24 to 48 hours, then transfer to a heavy saucepan and add 1 Tbsp carrageenan powder or 2 Tbsp agar powder (or, if you don't care about vegetarian/veganity, 2 Tbsp gelatin powder). Cook over medium heat 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until mixture is glossy and gooey and starts to pull away from the sides of the pan. Pour into a glass, ceramic, or nonreactive metal mold, smooth top, let cool completely, and then cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours until firm.

I love this SO MUCH. It makes killer fondue and toasted cheese-and-tomato sandwiches. I haven't tried the hard cheese version yet, but I will soon.

Vegan béchamel sauce

2 Tbsp non-dairy butter (for best results, use a soy-free butter substitute like Earth Balance's soy-free formulation, as soy oil has a distinctive and not entirely pleasant flavor that comes out when the butter is melted)
2 Tbsp flour
1.5 C unsweetened non-dairy milk at room temperature (I used Silk plain soy milk)
freshly ground pepper and grated nutmeg

In a small pot over low heat, melt the butter until fully liquid and bubbling but not brown. Gradually add the flour, stirring like mad with a fork or whisk, and cook for about 2 minutes, still whisking. When the two are entirely integrated in a golden, lump-free mixture, slowly stir in the milk and cook, stirring frequently, until thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. Taste, then add pepper and nutmeg. Since most butter substitutes are salted, you should not need to add any salt.

Why make béchamel of all things? Why, so I could make croque monsieur, following Daniel Boulud's recipe. Note that when he calls for melted butter to coat the sheet pan, you should use olive oil; most non-dairy butters have too low a smoke point and your sandwich will scorch. Check out the results:

Delicious photo of two croque monsieur sandwiches

Yes, that is the vegan gruyère on top, perfectly browned, and the béchamel dripping down the side. It was indescribably delicious.

Greek meatballs in olive tomato sauce

Source: Kokkari: Contemporary Greek Flavors by Erik Cosselmon and Janet Fletcher

1 lb ground meat (the cookbook suggests half lamb and half beef; we would usually use turkey but the supermarket was sold out of it (!) so we went with all beef)
.25 C grated onion
1 Tbsp each: chopped fresh mint, chopped fresh parsley (plus extra chopped fresh mint for garnish)
.5 tsp each: dried oregano, dried spearmint, ground cumin
.25 C fine dry bread crumbs
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 large egg yolk
.5 tsp red wine vinegar
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
.5 cup thinly sliced onion
1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped (or 1 tsp diced garlic)
2 Tbsp dry white wine
.5 tsp each: ground cumin, dried oregano
12 large unpitted green olives (packed in brine, not vinegar)
1 cup canned tomatoes with juice

Combine all meatball ingredients except the oil, mixing well with your hands. Divide into 6 equal portions and shape each into an oblong patty about 2 inches wide by .75 inches thick in the middle. In a 10" skillet, heat the oil over high heat until smoking. Sear meatballs 1.5 minutes on each side and transfer them to a plate.

Pour off fat from pan until 1 Tbsp is left (or, if meat is lean, add olive oil until there's about 1 Tbsp of fat in the pan). Add onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt, and sauté about 1 minute. Remove pan from heat. Add remaining ingredients, crumbling the oregano and breaking up the tomatoes if necessary. Bring to simmer over high heat, return meatballs to skillet, cover, and reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cook 7 minutes, flip meatballs, cook another 7 minutes. Serve immediately on its own as an appetizer (serves 6), or over orzo for a main course (serves 3); 1 cup dry orzo makes just the right amount of pasta for 6 meatballs.

I organized our cookbooks today, because Sundays are for doing things like that, and decided it would be nice if we actually used one of the cookbooks. A hankering for pomegranate led me to Kokkari, and while we ended up with an entirely pomegranate-free recipe, it was still quite yummy. I'm looking forward to trying other recipes from this book.

Vegan chocolate mug cake

Source: Budget Bytes

4 Tbsp (or .25 C) all-purpose flour
4 tsp cocoa
5 tsp sugar
.5 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp (or .125 C) oil
5 Tbsp unsweetened non-dairy milk (or use vanilla-flavored and omit the vanilla extract)
1 tsp vanilla extract

In microwave-safe mug, mix dry, mix in wet, add add-ins. Microwave at 90% power for 1 minute 20 seconds or until perfect.

Successful add-ins so far: 2 Tbsp peanut butter; 6 Junior Mints. Less successful: hard peppermint candy. Follow my #mugcake tweets for future experiments.

Tonight I started a batch of fresh mozzarella and a half-batch of sharp cheddar. (Note to self: half-batches do not have enough mass for the blender to work.) Wednesday my lovely nearby natural grocery will get in unsweetened unflavored soy yogurt and then I can make meltable mozzarella! I was never this excited about cheese back when I could have dairy, but right now it seems like the most exciting thing in the world. That croque monsieur made my week.

[identity profile] 2012-11-12 11:03 am (UTC)(link)
The Greek meatballs look particularly good to me because we chose our restaurant Friday night for its proximity to the gallery in which my aunt's show was opening. I tried getting bazayla. Er, no. It tasted like every bad Italian restaurant's bland spaghetti and meatballs, but with no spaghetti. It was Very Sad. So now I am short on tomatoey Greek meatballs, and could use a boost in that direction.

[identity profile] 2012-11-12 06:11 pm (UTC)(link)
I am so excited for the mozzarella.

[identity profile] 2012-11-12 11:09 pm (UTC)(link)
Re: mug cakes:

Look up "Easy Bake Oven" recipes for more similarly proportioned fun. :) we found this out back when I got Deb one, and we (thought we)could still eat wheat stuff.