Monday, August 30, 2010

Peach Blueberry Cobbler

I'll have to admit that cobbler really isn't in my culinary vocabulary. That is probably because my Mom was more of a crisp person. Or is it because cobbler is more of an American thing? Anyway, after making the Southern Tofu dish I was in the mood for an appropriately southern dessert and cobbler jumped to mind. But, what is cobbler, exactly? Correct me if I am wrong, but from what I can tell, it is a mix of fruit and cake, baked into moist and syrupy goodness. In many way, it is like the pudding cakes I posted a while back. Peaches and blueberries are in season here (though not for long) so it was a perfect dessert.

- 4 cups peeled and sliced peaches
- 1/3 cup water (more if peaches are not that ripe)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour (I am sure WW pastry flour would work fine)
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups soy milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract

- 1/2 cup margarine
- 1 cup blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1. Put peaches, sugar, and water in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to bubbling, stirring regularly, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 mins.
2. While peaches are simmering, whisk together dry ingredients. Place 1/2 cup margarine in a 9 x 13 pan, then place in the oven to melt. Put wet ingredients into the dry and gently whisk until mostly smooth (like pancake batter).
3. Pour batter over the melted butter, but do not mix. Sprinkle blueberries over that, then spoon the peach mixture over that.
4. Bake for 40-45 mins, until top is golden and peaches are bubbling away happily. Serve while warm with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Southern Tofu on a Corn Cake

I can't help myself, I have made this twice already this week! It's really just a version of my Memphis BBQ Tofu, but with fresh garden ingredients that give it a more refined and delightful taste. It is sweet and sour with a touch of hot, and goes perfectly with the hearty and slightly sweet corn cake below. I served this with a side of greens and some fresh garden produce. The corn cakes are from the August 2010 issues of VegNews (anyone see me listed on the last page as a Top Ten blog?) and are only adapted slightly because I did not have all the ingredients.

Southern Tofu
- 1 pkg firm tofu, diced
- 2 tbsp margarine
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 large sweet onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 green pepper, small dice
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 large tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp mustard
- hot sauce to taste
- 1/4 cup ketchup (more as needed)
- salt to taste
- chopped parsley to garnish

Prepare tofu however you see fit. You could leave it raw, but I fry it up in a touch of oil over med-hi heat, turning regularly to get a nice golden colour on each side and to give it a more chewy texture.
1. Heat margarine and oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook for 10-12 mins, stirring regularly, until beginning to get golden on the edges. Add garlic and cook 1 min, then add green pepper and cook 2-3 mins, until starting to soften.
2. Add bourbon to the pan and mix well, letting it cook down a bit (just a min or two). Add brown sugar and bring to bubbling. Let cook for 2 mins.
3. Add vinegar, lemon juice, tomatoes, paprika, mustard, and hot sauce. Bring to bubbling, then reduce heat, and let simmer for about 5 mins, letting tomatoes cook down a bit. Add ketchup to thicken, and season to taste. Add tofu back to the pan and stir to coat. Cook a few mins to heat tofu back up and absorb some sauce. Serve over corn cake and garnish with parsley.

Corn Cakes
Makes 6
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp ground flax seed
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp boiling water
- 1 tbsp canola oil

Heat a thin layer of oil in a frying pan over medium to med-hi heat
1. Whisk cornmeal, baking powder, flax, and sugar in a medium bowl. Add boiling water and mix until just moistened. Add canola and stir to incorporate. The batter will thicken a bit as the cornmeal absorbs more water, so add more water if needed.
2. Spoon equal portions of batter into the hot oil, and press into patties. (This is what the original recipe calls for, but I actually found it easier to wet my hands and pat the dough/batter into patties). Cook for 2-3 mins each side, until golden, then drain on paper.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Indian Potato Salad

I love potatoes and I love potato salad. Usually I go for a more traditional American salad with sweet pickles and plenty of mayo--perfect for summer. I also don't like too many crunchy bits in my salad (ixnae on the elerycae), a rule that I broke for this Indian inspired dish that is awesome warm or cold. This recipe also cuts back on the mayo by thinning it out with soy milk for a moist but not too runny potato salad.

- 1 lb white potatoes, peeled and halved
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and halved
- 2 tbsp oil
- 15 pearl onion, peeled and halved
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp minced fresh ginger
- 1/2 green chile, seeded and minced (I used jalapeno, the only thing around)
- 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp tumeric
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 1/2 cup vegan mayo (or use half yogurt)
- soy milk as needed
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- salt pepper to taste

1. Get some salted water boiling and cook the potatoes. Since sweet potatoes cook faster than white, ad then in about 10 mins before the white potatoes are done cooking (they take 20-25 mins, usually).
2. While potatoes are cooking, heat oil over med-hi in a large frying pan. Add onions and saute for a few mins, letting the outsides get nice and brown. Keep stirring so they don't burn. Add garlic, ginger, and chile and mix well. Add mustard seeds and cook a few mins more (seeds should begin to pop). Add spices and mix well. Remove from heat.
3. Drain cooked potatoes and let cool until warm but not hot. Cut into cubes. Mix mayo into the onion mixture, then toss with the potatoes. Thin as needed with soy milk so potatoes are coated. Mix in cilantro, and season to taste.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Thai Chickpea Curry with Thai Basil

Sorry for the radio silence, kids. I was on vacation and was very committed to relaxing and doing as little as possible. Now I am back and ready to blog! Anyway, about a month ago I bought a thai basil plant from the farmer's market and planted it in the garden. That night, the earwigs and/or slugs decimated the plant. I'll admit that I cried. But, for some reason, I never pulled it out. To my great delight, the basil rallied and is now a healthy and thriving plant. So, I had to put all those leaves to good use. This recipe is based on a dish from True Thai.

- 1 19 oz can chick peas, rinsed and drained
- 1 14 oz can coconut milk
- red curry paste to taste
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 cup vegetable stock (more if needed)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 2 cups frozen mixed veggies (I used an Asian mix of carrots, beans, mini corn, edamame and snow peas)
- 1 cup Thai basil leaves
- salt and white pepper to taste
- cooked jasmine rice

1. Pulse chickpeas in a food processor until they resemble very rough bread crumbs. Set aside.
2. Separate coconut cream from the watery part. Bring to bubbling in a large pot over medium high heat, then add pulsed chickpeas. Cook for 2 mins, stirring, then add curry paste and ginger, blending well.
3. Add the rest of the coconut milk and the stock and bring to bubbling. Add sugar, soy, and veggies and bring to bubbling again. Reduce heat and simmer until veggies are cooked. Add more stock if too thick. Season to taste.
4. Add basil and mix well. Let basil wilt a bit, but do not overcook. Serve over rice. I put the rice in a ring and pressed a depression in the centre so it could hold the sauce.