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Showing posts from 2015

Vegan Pan Fried Dumplings

I love making these, number one because they are so good and number two because it's fun. This would be a great weekend project for the kids.


This recipe is simple, but needs to be followed quite closely. Be sure to arrange all the ingredients, before you begin preparing the dish. 

This should allow you to make 15 to 24 dumplings. You may freeze any leftovers that are uncooked, and the skins will keep well in the refrigerator or freezer.

Ingredients
Dumplings: 1 package of Dumpling Skins. Easily found at any Asian market. ½ cup each of fresh Bean Sprouts, Bamboo Shoots and Bok Choy. All finely chopped. 8 oz of Extra Firm Tofu, crumbled. A few pulses in a small food processor is perfect.
1/4 cup Green Onion, finely chopped 1 inch piece of fresh Ginger, chopped very fine or grated. ½ tsp Sugar 1 Tbsp. Light Soy Sauce
1 tsp Toasted Sesame Oil 1 tsp. Corn Starch
Dipping Sauce: 4 Tbsp. Light Soy Sauce 3 tbsp. Rice Wine Vinegar 1 Tbsp finely chopped Green Onion 2 tsp. Toasted Sesame Oil Chili Paste, optio…

Linguini with Lemon and Walnut

I've always been a big fan of crudo sauces that require no cooking. While not a 100% follower of raw food, I do appreciate the healthy qualities. 



This is a wonderfully light and healthy pasta. The lemon, parsley and walnuts work very well together.

Ingredients 

1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
2 cloves of Garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp Lemon Zest
1 tsp Chili Flakes
1 tsp Sea Salt
Freshly ground Black Pepper
1 lb Linguini, Fusilli or Farfalle would be good choice as well.
1 cup Italian Parsley, coarsely chopped.
1 cup Walnuts, Pecans or Macademia nuts, coarsely chopped.
Parmesan Cheese to taste. I like the Go Veggie brand to keep it vegan.

Combine lemon juice, olive oil garlic, lemon zest and chili flakes and slightly emulsify and allow to rest for 30 minutes. I find this takes the edge off the raw garlic.

Preheat your oven to 350F and then toast the walnuts or pecans for 7-8 minutes. Watch them carefully so they do not burn.

Start you water for pasta and when boiling …

Pimento Cheese - A Southern holiday classic

If there is anything more truly southern  than pimento cheese, I'm not sure what it is. This stuff is the real deep South deal. Right up there with fried chicken, sweet tea and biscuits. 


The beauty is that you have so many variations of the basic recipe, that you can add most anything, so be inventive. I've given you a basic recipe as a starting point.

Serve it on crackers, make a stunning cheese and tomato sandwich, use it for grilled cheese. It's amazing stuff.

And yes, it can be veganized by substituting the cheddar with a non dairy option like Daiya and using a vegan Worcestershire Sauce and mayonnaise.

Ingredients

8 oz finely shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
8 oz finely shredded mild Cheddar cheese
1 - 1 1/2 cups of Mayonnaise
2 tsp grated Onion
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
4 oz of chopped Pimentos
1 small Garlic clove, crushed
1/8 tsp ground Red Pepper
1-2 tsp fresh Lemon juice

Combine all ingredients by folding them together until incorporated. Adjust for flavor and cover with plasti…

Latkes - A Hanukkah Tradition

As part of Hanukkah, Jewish families make latkes or potato pancakes and serve them with sour cream and applesauce. They are amazing. 




Additionally, they make wonderful canapés when topped with smoked salmon and a little creme fraiche. Add a tiny silver of fresh chive and it's epic.

Ingredients 

3 lbs of Russet Potatoes, peeled and grated.
1 Egg, lightly beaten.
1 small Onion, finely grated.
1 small Shallot, finely grated.
3 Tbsp Matzo Meal
1 tsp Salt
Peanut Oil for frying.

Grate and drain the potatoes in a dish cloth or cheese cloth. You want them dry. Add in all other ingredients, except for the oil.

Heat your oil in a large sauté pan until hot, form your latkes into 3-4 inch patties and gentle slide them into the oil.

Fry until they are well browned, and then turn. A fish spatula is perfect.

Drain on paper towels and serve immediately with sour cream and applesauce.

A Vegan Filet of Fish?

How about a vegan Filet of Fish? I have to admit that years ago when I still ate McDonalds, the Fillet of Fish was my favorite. So, I thought, can you make a vegan version? 


The answer is yes, and it honestly tastes much better, is vastly healthier and has that same comfort food fix. And kids love them. 

Ingredients 
4 Gardein Fishless Filets 4 Rolls, white or whole wheat 1/2 cup Daiya Cheddar Cheese 1/4 cup Veganaise Tartar Sauce
Preheat the oven to 425F and put fish filets into a foil lined baking sheet. Cook for 11 minutes then remove from oven, sprinkle your Daiya Cheddar on top and put back into the oven for an additional 1 minute. 
Remove from oven, spread the tartar sauce on each side of the roll. Place one filet per roll and serve immediately. 

Potato and Leek Soup - A cold weather delight. UPDATED

I love a good soup and potato soup is a particular favorite. Sadly, most are not vegan and can be very rich. I created this recipe and after a few dry runs have perfected it into a wonderful hearty, but still very healthy winter soup.


The key to really concentrating the flavor is the finishing off in the oven. I find my Le Creuset is perfect for this. In this updated version, I have added some carrots, celery, mushrooms and shallots. It really gives it a richer flavor. I find that the shiitake mushrooms really boost the umami. Enjoy!

Ingredients 

2 lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes, cut into 1/2 cubes. You may peel if you prefer, but the result is richer when you don't. 
1 cup Carrots, chopped
1 cup Celery, chopped
4 Tbsp non dairy Spread, like Earth Balance
3 cloves Garlic, chopped
1 Shallot, sliced
2-3 Leeks, halved, cleaned and sliced into 1/4 inch slices. Use both green and white bits. 
1 cup of Shiitake  Mushrooms, sliced and cut into 2inch pieces 
4 cups Vegetable Broth, low sodium
2 sprigs fresh…

The Ultimate Garlic Mashed Potatoes

I really enjoy mashed potatoes, and garlic mashed are a particular favorite of mine. That being said, I have had more poorly prepared garlic mashed potatoes, than I care to remember. 


So, what is the problem? I'd say in most cases, it's two issues. Too much garlic and/or poorly prepared garlic. My method is simple and delivers a rich garlic flavor, without the bitter bite. The key is the milk.

Ingredients

2 - 3 lbs of Yukon Gold potatoes or similar, unpeeled and cut into 1 inch pieces.

1/2 cup or 8 Tbsp Earth Balance spread or similar.

6 large cloves of Garlic, peeled and smashed with the side of your knife.

3/4 cup of Soy or Almond Milk

1 1/2 Tbsp Sea Salt

Lots of freshly ground Black Pepper

2 Tbsp fresh Chives, minced.

Put the cut potatoes into a large saucepan and fill with water. Bring it up to a gentle boil and add 1 Tbsp of the salt. Cook until tender and a bit softer than normal boiled potatoes.

Once the potatoes are on the stove. Combine all the milk, garlic and black pepper into…

Enchiladas Verde

This is from a fellow blogger at Tastetickler and is a delicious, easy to prepare dish. Sort of a version of my enchilada pie. I like the addition of the butternut squash and I have veganized it.
Ingredients  4 cups (32 oz) Salsa Verde 18 small Corn Tortillas, cut it half 1 1/2 lbs Butternut Squash, peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick 1 - 14.5oz can Black Beans, drained and rinsed 3 cups Daiya shredded Pepper Jack and 1 cup Daiya shredded Mozzarella to finish.  Toppings:Chopped Cilantro, non dairy Sour Cream and sliced pickled Jalapenos for topping. Preheat the oven to 375 F Spread 1 cup of the salsa verde in a 9 by 13″ baking dish and top with tortillas.Top with 1 more cup of the salsa, 1/3 of the butternut squash, 1/3 of the beans and 1 cup of the cheese, spreading evenly.
Repeat the layering two more times reserving the final 1 cup of cheese. Cover with foil Bake for 1 hour until the squash is tender. Uncover and sprinkle with the reserved 1 cup of cheese. Broil close to the heat until the toppi…

Savannah Red Rice - Good Time Low Country Cooking

This is a dish that is a staple throughout the low country region of South Carolina. I have had many different variations but this one is my personal favorite. If you want it to be a bit milder, you can leave out the cayenne pepper.



It's easy to make and can be served as a main or a side dish. 



Ingredients

½ cup Onion ½ cup Green or Red Pepper ¼ cup Celery 4 Tbsp Butter/Non Dairy substitute or 3 Tbsp Vegetable Oil 1 package of Field Roast Sausage, Mexican Chipotle works well. 1 tsp. Cayenne
Freshly ground Black Pepper 2 tsp Salt 2 cups of medium grain Rice 1 14.5oz can of diced tomatoes 1 cup of water
Sauté onion, pepper and celery until translucent. Add spices and sausage and brown until well caramelized.You may leave the sausages whole or cut them into pieces.
Add rice and sauté for 2 minutes until all grains are well coated. Add tomatoes and water and bring back to a boil. Cover and cook on lowest heat for 20-25 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Serve in shallow bowls with hot sauce and…

The Dreamsicle Martini, a vegan cocktail with a kick.

I'm always trying to come up with fun vegan cocktails and while most are not too hard, however, the ones containing cream as an ingredient can be a bit more challenging. This one took a while, but it's done, and it's very good.

As it is refreshing and sweet, it can be deceiving. Be warned, it has a little kick.

Ingredients

3 shots Three Olives Cake Vodka
1/2 shot Cointreau
1 shot So Delicious Creamer
3/4 cup OJ

Add all to a shaker with ice, shake vigorously, and strain into a well chilled martini glass and garnish with an orange peel.

Black Bean Tofu - Smoky, spicy goodness.

It's always great to find a dish that translates into vegan even better than the original and here's one. This has all of the things I like about good quality Chinese food, without the MSG and without the meat. 

The key to this dish is the dow see or fermented back beans. They usually come in a bag and are salted. They are easy to find in any Asian market.



They are packed with umami. In Japanese, umami means, "pleasant savory taste". It's often called the 5th taste. 


Ingredients

1 package Extra Firm Tofu, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3 Tbsp Oil
4 dried Chilis, Tien Tsin chilis are perfect.
3 cloves Garlic, chopped
1/2 piece of fresh Ginger Root, peeled and minced
1 Red Pepper, cut into 1/2 pieces
3-4 Green Onions, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
3 Tbsp Dow See (fermented black beans) rinsed, soaked, drained and lightly mashed. 
2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
2 tsp Sugar
1Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
1Tbsp Cornstarch mixed with 2 Tbsp Water.


Begin by preparing all of your ingredients. …

Pasta with Broccoli, Raisins and Walnuts

This is an easy dish to prepare and has a rich sweet and savory flavor which is just perfect over pasta. It seems to fit well with the cooler nights. 


The key is to not overcook the broccoli. You still want it to have some crunch, as this goes well with the walnuts.

Ingredients

1lb Broccoli Florets 
1/4 cup Olive Oil
4 cloves of Garlic, crushed 
1 tsp Sea Salt
1/3 cup Raisins
1 tsp Chili Flakes
2 Tbsp Sherry
1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar 
4 oz Walnuts, pieces and halves
Parmesan Cheese, or non dairy substitute 
1lb Cavatelli 


Add your oil to a large saucepan. Sauté your garlic until it just starts to brown. Add in your broccoli, add your salt and cook until it just softens slightly. Add your raisins, chili flakes, sherry and balsamic vinegar and cook until the sherry evaporates. 

Boil your water, add salt and then add your pasta. When it is one minute from being done, drain and add to your broccoli and finish in the saucepan. Add your walnuts, toss and serve with cheese. 

Serves 4

Miss Minny's Chocolate Pie

For those of you familiar with the movie "The Help", you will know all about Minny's secret chocolate pie recipe. I found this recipe, minus the "secret" ingredient (read the book) and made it quite a few times and I can tell you, it is very good indeed.



You will think there is something missing, as the recipe is so basic, but it really is a simple recipe and so easy to make. 

Ingredients

1 Pie Crust, not deep dish.
1 1/2 cups Superfine Sugar
3 Tbsp high grade Cocoa Powder.
4 Tbsp unsalted Butter, melted
2 large Eggs, beaten well
3/4 cup Evaporated Milk
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 tsp Sea Salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blind bake the crust for 15 minutes. While the crust is baking, mix together the sugar, cocoa powder, butter, eggs, evaporated milk, vanilla and salt. Combine well until smooth.

When crust is finished, carefully pour in the filling and place on a baking sheet in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes. If you find the edges browning too much just cover with a …

Coconut Cake - Moist and Delicious

I love this cake and it is always a favorite at any gathering. It is rich, easy to prepare, with lovely coconut flavor and so moist. It is from Gaitri Pagrach-Chandra’s amazing book, “Warm Bread and Honey Cake” and it really is worth a try.



And, I can highly recommend the cookbook as a whole  It is filled with wonderful recipes and really not challenging from a baking point of view.

Ingredients

1 ½ cups AP Flour 2 ¼ tsp Baking Soda ¼ tsp Salt 2 sticks of unsalted Butter, softened 1 cup of superfine Sugar 3 Eggs, at room temperature and lightly beaten 1 tsp Vanilla Extract 1 ½ cups grated dry sweetened Coconut with 3 Tbsp water added. If you use moist coconut, you can omit the water. 
1 8 inch square pan
Mix the coconut with the water and set aside. Preheat the oven to 325 F and grease the pan and then dust the pan with flour. Hint: Even if you are using a non stick pan, it still needs to be greased and dusted so it will brown properly.
Sift the flour with the baking soda and salt and set aside. Cr…

The world famous Vesper

If you've ever wanted to know how to make the Vesper, like they do at Duke's in London, here's your chance.


Firstly, here is the history as told to me by Allesandro, the great man himself. Ian Fleming used to frequent Duke's bar and wrote at least one of the James Bond novels there and it is said he invented the Vesper. If you read the recipe in Casino Royale(1953), it says:

"Three measures of Gordon's, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it's ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon-peel. Got it?"

Duke's recipe below is slightly different as Kina Lillet is no longer available. " Kina Lillet was reformulated in 1986 and rebranded as Lillet Blanc, a “fresher, fruitier, and less bitter” concoction. Cocchi Americano is generally considered to be the nearest contemporary drink to the original recipe Kina Lillet and is often used as a substitute for it in cocktails."

I fond that Lillet Blanc works very well…

How to make a stunning martini.

Firstly, I should say that I prefer a gin martini to vodka, so that is how I will list the recipe, but you can certainly substitute vodka if you prefer.

I think that preparation is critical to having a really good martini. A little prep will make all of the difference to the finished product.

Finally, buy the best gin or vodka you can afford, as the end result is going to be dominated by the spirit, so if you choose a cheap gin or vodka, you will definitely taste it. 

Gin is a very personal thing and while some will like one over another, the key is to have a gin that is smooth and in balance. No one flavor should dominate in an unpleasant way.

Here are a few of my favorites:

No 3, London Dry Gin by Berry Bros and Rudd – Truly one of my favorites and a staple at Duke’s Hotel Bar in London, for making the world famous Vesper.

No Ten by Tanqueray – A close second and a real surprise, as I was not excepting it to be so good.

Plymouth English Gin- This makes a lovely martini and is how I think a…

Potato Jalfrezi - Southern Indian Goodness

This is definitely one of my favorite curries and I like it because it can be made relatively quickly. Many years ago, I made this with chicken, but after swearing off meat, I realized it was just perfect with potato. You could always substitute, sweet potato or eggplant and even butternut squash. However, if you choose any of these, I feel roasting them prior, is a good idea and adds texture.

The key to this dish is to have all of your ingredients arranged, so you aren’t scrambling around the kitchen trying to find things once you have begun cooking. I find this works very well with a wok or karahi, but feel free to use what suits you.

Ingredients
1 lb baby Potatoes, cut into ½ inch cubes or in half if they are quite small. 3 Tbsp Vegetable Oil 4 cloves of Garlic, finely chopped, crushed or mashed with a mortar and pestle 2 inch pieces of fresh Ginger Root, finely chopped, grated or mashed with a mortar and pestle 1 large Onion, sliced very thinly. A mandoline is very handy for this. 2-4 Tha…

Vegan Lemon and Clove Cookies

Years ago I learned to make these cookies from Alice Waters cookbook. They were and are truly amazing, but I wanted to find a way to make them vegan.


After much trial and error, I found that a modified vegan sugar cookie recipe worked the best, so here you go. I think you will be very happy with the results.

Ingredients

1 lb of Earth Balance sticks
2 cups of white cane sugar
2 Vanilla pods, sliced and scraped
3 cups of AP Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp ground Cloves
Zest from two Lemons


Cream together the Earth Balance, sugar, and the vanilla and then sift the dry ingredients together and mix into the creamed mixture. Finally, add in the lemon zest and form into small balls, push down lightly with a fork and bake at 350 degrees for 7-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly and then transfer to a wire rack.

Strawberry and Candied Pecan Salad

This is one of my all time favorites. It is perfect for a light salad, but yet it's packed with flavor. I do think the key is the candied pecan, but you can substitute any other candied nut.


Ingredients

6 cups cups of washed Rocket/Arugula
1 cup of sliced Strawberries
1/2 cup of Blueberries
1 cup of Candied Pecans of other suitable nut
1/4 cup of finely chopped Green Onion
1/2 cup of Crumbled Blue Cheese, omit if you are vegan or lactose intolerant 

Wash and thoroughly dry the greens. I find a salad spinner is perfect for this. Portion out the greens into the individual bowls and then add all other ingredients. Finish with a salad dressing of your choice, but a strawberry vinaigrette would be perfect.

Strawberry Vinaigrette

6 Tbsp of Pecan, Walnut Oil or other nut oil
3 Tbsp of Red Wine or Champagne Vinegar, more to taste if desired
2 Tbsp pureed Strawberries 
1-2 tsp Sea Salt

Add all ingredients into a bowl and add one half of the oil and then while whisking, add in the additional oil until em…