Friday, May 30, 2008

Brunch Skewers

Inspiration hit today as I was rummaging through the cupboards for something to make for lunch. When I saw the skewers from the chickenless wings, the now stale crusty French rolls, the pineapple, and the leftover breakfast sausages, the clouds opened and a light shone down upon me from heaven. A voice said, simply, "ye shall make brunch skewers, and they shall be tasty." I only wish that some strawberries had magically appeared in the fridge because they would have made this dish absolutely perfect. I also tried baking the french toast--success! If you have ever made vegan French toast you know it is a real pain (unless you have a brand new no-stick pan) because the batter sticks to the pan like glue. Baking french toast is easy and hassle free and is definitely the way I am making all my French toast from now on. The french toast batter recipe is adapted from this month's issue of VegNews and has a banana-y flavour which I totally love when combined with maple syrup.

Makes 6 skewers
- 3 to 4 stale crusty French rolls (or French bread) cut into 18 chunks
- 1 ripe banana, sliced
- 1 cup soy milk
- 1 tbsp ground flax seed
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg
- pinch tumeric

- 6 mini bamboo skewers
- 1 tsp oil
- 2 large breakfast sausages (i.e. make 6 sausages instead of the mini ones the recipe calls for), cut into 6 thick slices each
- 12 pineapple chunks
- 12 thick strawberry slices (not pictured)
- maple syrup for dipping

Preheat oven to 425
1. In a food processor, or with an immersion blender, blend together banana slices, soy milk, flax seed, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and tumeric. Pour into a shallow dish and add in bread chunks. Toss bread in batter and leave for a few mins to soak in, turning once or twice.
2. While bread is soaking, wet the back of a piece of parchment paper and line a baking sheet. Spray parchment lightly with oil. Shake excess batter off bread chunks and place on baking sheet. Spray lightly with oil.
3. Bake bread for 5-7 mins per side, until it starts to turn golden brown. You can broil them at the very end for a min or so of you want to.
4. While bread is baking, heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Fry sausage slices for a few mins, until heated through and a little crispy on the outside. Remove from pan, increase heat to med-hi, and add pineapple chucnks. Fry for 5 mins, stirring regularly, until beginning to brown. Remove from heat.
5. Assemble the skewers in the following order: french toast, pineapple, sausage, strawberry, french toast, pineapple, sausage strawberry, french toast. Serve with warmed maple syrup for dipping.

I also made the chocolate chocolate chip cookies from Veganomicon for a clean up/work night at the boys' school. I am totally making these for the upcoming bake sale and wanted try out a method that would consistently yield cookies as big as my head. So, I measured out 1/3 cup of cookie dough and pressed it into a 3 1/2 inch metal ring. I then baked for 11 mins--6 cookies per baking sheet (yes, they are huge!). They came out perfectly!