Monthly Archives: October 2012

Almond Cake by Marcella Hazan

Almond Cake

Made this cake to take to work.  Didn't have enough daylight in the morning to get a good photo.

Maybe next time.

But it got rave reviews.

 

Almond Cake
Compliments of JennaDish

from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan

10 ounces shelled, unpeeled almonds, about 2 cups
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
8 egg whites
Salt
The peel of 1 lemon grated without digging into the white pitch beneath
6 Tablespoons flour
An 8- or 9-inch springform pan
Butter for greasing the pan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  

Put the almonds and sugar in a blender or food processor and grind to a fine consistency, turning the motor on and off.

Beat the egg whites together with 1/2 teaspoon salt until they form stiff peaks.

Add the ground almonds and the grated lemon peel to the egg whites, a little bit at a time, folding them in gently, but thoroughly. The whites may deflate a bit, but if you mix carefully there should be no significant loss of volume.

Add the flour, shaking a little of it at a time through a strainer, and again, mixing gently.

Thickly smear the pan with butter.  Put the cake batter into the pan, shaking the pan to level it off. Place the pan int he middle level of the preheated oven and bake for 1 hours. Before taking it out of the oven, test the enter of the cake by piercing it with a toothpick. If it comes out dry, the cake is done. If it does not, cook a little longer.

When done unlock the pan and remove the hoop. When the cake has cooled somewhat, and it is just lukewarm, loosen it from the bottom of the pan. Serve when it is completely cold. It will keep quite a while if stored in a biscuit box. [or a cake taker, I presume]

 

 

Southwestern Mixed Vegetable Soup

 

IMG_5935j
This soup is a great base soup that you can tinker with.  Very healthy.

Tomatillos
I personally felt it needed more spice or complex flavor, so I would recommend adding jalapeno if you like heat, or a teaspoon or two of chili powder.

Southwest Vegetable Soup Recipe

As with many soups, this one is quite tasty the next day and can be altered into something totally new.

With our leftovers, I made it into a fish stew.  I heated it up, add about 1/4 cup red wine (or use white), and added 2 fresh cod fillets, and more fresh pepper.  Very tasty.

 

Southwestern Vegetable Soup
Compliments of JennaDish

adapted from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman

SERVES 4 

2 Tablespoons cooking oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 dried chipotle chile (optional)
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1 Tablespoon fresh oregano (1 teaspoon dried)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large potato, peeled and roughly chopped
1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
1 cup cooked black beans
3 tomatillos, husked and cut into chunks
1 medium tomato, cored and roughly chopped
1 medium or 2 small zucchini, roughly chopped
6 cups vegetable stock or water
1/4 cup or more chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and cut into rings (optional)

Put the oil in a large saucepan or dutch oven over medium heat. When hot, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, chipotle, cumin, oregano, and some salt and peper and cook stirring, for about 30 seconds. Add the vegetables along with some more salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are shiny, just a minute or so.

Add the stock, bring to a boil, and adjust the heat so the mixture bubbles gently. Cook until the vegetables are very tender (the potato will take the longest), 15 to 20 minutes. Taste, adjust the seasoning, and serve, garnished with the cilantro.

 

Thai Style Soup with Rice Noodles and Tofu

 
Thai Soup with Rice Noodles and Tofu

Alyssa and I visited the Saigon Market at Findlay Market this past weekend.

At a traditional grocery store, you might be able to find a few stalks of lemongrass. Or maybe not.

But at this market, there's a whole cardboard box of lemongrass stalks.  And crazy fresh ginger.

 
Lemongrass Lime Chili

This soup was amazing. Lots of flavor.  But if someone in the family doesn't like some of those exotic flavors, cut them back a bit. Use 1/2 the amount of lemongrass and lime. 

 

Thai Soup with Rice Noodles and Tofu
Compliments of JennaDish

adapted from How To Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman

SERVES 6 

6-7 cups vegetable stock, water, or combination of the two
3 stalks lemongrass
2 Tablespoons soy sauce, or more to taste
grated zest of 1 lime
1 small hot fresh Thai chile, seeded, minced
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup button or oyster mushrooms, chopped fine or sliced
1/2 cup snow peas, trimmed, or shelled peas (frozen ok)
1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
Juice of 1 lime
chopped fresh cilantro leave for garnish
12 oz box extra firm tofu, cut into small cubes (we used Mori Nu)
8 oz rice noodles (we used Erawan Brand medium size oriental style noodles) 

Heat a pan of water on medium-high heat for the rice noodles. Meanwhile, put the stock in a separate large saucepan over medium-high heat. Mince the core of one of the lemongrass stalks and add it; trim and bruise the other 2 lemongrass stalks, cut them into 2- or 3-inch lengths, and add them to the pot along with the soy sauce, lime zest, chile, black pepper, and sugar. Stir, then add the vegetables and tofu.

When the water for the noodles is boiling, add the rice noodles and cook to just a minute or two short of being cooked, according to package directions.  

Simmer the soup for about 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender but not mushy. Add the lime juice, then taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more soy, lime, chile or pepper as you like.

Add the noodles to the soup, simmer another minute.  Garnish with cilantro, if desired, and serve.

Vegan New Orleans Jambalaya with Smoked Tempeh and Brown Rice

Vegan Jambalaya
Vegan Jambalaya with Brown Rice Smoked Tempeh

This is the first recipe Alyssa and I have made from the cookbook she got me last June for my birthday, Big Vegan: More Than 350 Recipes No Meat/No Dairy All Delicious by Robin Asbell.
I was surprised at how good this tasted.  Maybe it was that "expectations" thing.  I didn't expect it to taste that great, and it really did.
We used the rice cooker to cook everything together in one pot, except for the last 2 ingredients, which you stir in at the end, just long enough to warm them up.
Some of the family didn't care for the smoked tempeh.  This would be easy to fix because you stir in the Fakin Bacon at the end.  So you could stir in another meat or meat substitute for those that want something else.
New Orleans Jambalaya with Smoked Tempeh and Brown Rice
Compliments of JennaDish
from Big Vegan by Robin Asbell
MAKES 4 SERVINGS
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium green bell, chopped
6 large scallions, white and green parts chopped separately
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 large jalapeno, chopped
1 large bay leaf
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp dired thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
2 cups vegetable stock (I used unsalted)
1 cup long-grain brown rice (rinse first)
1/2 tsp salt
6 oz smoked tempeh Fakin' Bacon, chopped into 1" pieces
1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes 
(see below if using Rice Cooker to cook the whole dish)
1. Heat the oil in a large pot with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat. Add both bell peppers, the whites of the scallions, the celery, jalapeno, and bay leaf. Saute until the vegetables are softened.  Add the garlic, thyme, oregano, and basil and stir briefly, then add the stock and bring it to a boil.  Add the rice and salt and bring to a simmer, then cover tightly and cook on very low heat until all the liquids are absorbed and the rice is tender, 35 to 45 mintues.
RICE COOKER Version: Place all the ingredients, except the tempeh and tomatoes (and green part of scallions) and turn your cooker on for brown rice.  When finished, open the lid carefully and follow step #2.
2. Fold in the tempeh and tomatoes and let stand, covered, to steam the rice and warm the tempeh and tomatoes through, about 5 minutes. Serve topped with the remaining chopped scallion greens.

Red Thai Tofu


Red Thai Tofu_text

Serve this tofu dish over your favorite rice.  The cookbook this came from suggests a pineapple rice.

 

Red Thai Tofu
Compliments of JennaDish

from Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

SERVES 4

1 block extra-firm tofu (about 14 ounces), cubed
1 teaspoon oil
1 red pepper, seeded and sliced thinly
1/2 cup sliced shallots
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon light agave nectar
15 leaves fresh Thai basil

Preheat a cast iron or heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat. Spray with a little cooking spray. Add the tofu and cook for about 10 minutes, flipping it with a thin spatula once in a while, until it is browned on most sides. The thin spatula is important because you should be able to slip it underneat the tofu and flip it easily, keeping the tofu intact. About midway through, drizzle with 2 teaspoons of the soy sauce and toss to coat.

Remove the tofu from the pan and set aside. Saute the red pepper, shallots, garlic, and ginger in the oil, using a little cooking spray if needed. Cook for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the curry paste, water, remaining soy sauce, agave. Add the tofu back the pan along with the curry paste mixture. Cook for another 5 minutes. Add the Thai basil and toss to wilt. Serve!