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Baked and Fried Potato Filets

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Potatoes are interesting in that subjecting them to multiple cooking methods actually improves their texture and flavor. While you can certainly achieve great potatoes through a singular baking, a second cook will yield surprisingly wonderful results.  In this case I baked my potatoes and then I also pan fried them. Extra work to be sure, but a very strong return on investment.  There's also a really delicious, yet simple sauce to go along with it.  Wash your potatoes and poke some holes in them with a fork. This lets the steam escape so the potatoes don't burst.  Set oven to 425 F. Put the potatoes in there. No need to wait for it to preheat. You can place large potatoes directly on the oven rack. The rack should be at the center of the oven. If you have several small potatoes use a half sheet pan to make it easier.  Bake for 40 minutes. Then turn off the oven, but leave the potatoes in there and leave the door closed. The oven is still very hot. The potatoes will continue to

Microwave Garlic Thai Chile Oil

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  One of my co-workers gave me a big bag of thai chili peppers. Awesome stuff. The grocery stores around here have jalapeno, long hot, serrano, habanero and poblano. That's it. So this fiery, foreign invader was an exciting thing to receive.  A really simple, yet extremely flavorful way to treat chilies is with an infused oil. You can then use that oil to dress any concoction of veg and beans.  Ingredients 2 tbls olive oil 2 bird's eye chilies, minced 1 clove garlic, minced 2 tsps salt Add ingredients to a small bowl or ramekin. Microwave for 1 minute. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit overnight.  Pour over any combination of veg and beans. Add a splash of red wine vinegar.  Enjoy your stay in food paradise.  If you don't have access to fresh exotic chili peppers, dried versions will work in much the same way. Or you could attempt to grow your own.

Pan Fried Tofu and Spicy Roasted Cauliflower

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  This is two ideas in one. We've got some really beautiful cauliflower and some nicely pan fried tofu.  I was wanting a different way to prepare tofu and I thought, why not coat it in a seasoned flour and shallow fry it. Has to be good, right?  Flour Mixture 1/4 cup flour 2 tsps salt 1 tsp cayenne 1 tsp Italian seasoning 1 tsp paprika 1 tsp oregano 1/2 tsp black pepper Tofu Drain, wrap in a towel. Place in an uncovered container. Weight with a water bottle laid on its side and leave in the fridge overnight.  Cut into squares. Coat in the flour mixture. Shaking off the excess, but making sure to coat all sides.  Shallow fry, browning on all  sides. The little cubes flip easiest using a spoon.  Sprinkle the Tofu Cubes with a little more salt after removing from the pan. Recently cauliflower has been relegated to the sad  status  as the thing that replaces unwanted carbs. It deserves better. It's a unique vegetable. Under the right conditions it can be transformed from a pale, un

Creamy Soy Milk Béchamel Garlic Sauce

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Have always wanted to try making a classic French Béchamel sauce. I never actually have. However, I've seen lots of other people make it on various TV programs. So it's quite familiar.  Of course, now I would need to engineer some sort of vegan variation. No butter. No milk. And that's pretty much the foundation of a béchamel.  No worries. A roux can help us make a thick creamy sauce without animal products.  Ingredients 2 tbls olive oil 1 tbl flour 1 tbl spicy mustard 1/2 cup soy milk 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 jalapeno, minced 2 tsps salt 1/2 tsp crushed pepper flakes 1 tsp italian seasoning Heat the oil over medium heat in a small pot. Add the flour and whisk until it forms a golden paste.  Pour in your plant milk and whisk to combine.  Add remaining ingredients.  Continue whisking over medium low heat until it begins to thicken. If you used cold plant milk it will take a few minutes.  Remove to a storage container.  If you're feeling fussy, you can strain the sauce t

Vegan Rice Pilaf Inspired by Alton Brown

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 Recently, I re-watched the season 1 'Good Eats' episode where he does rice pilaf. This inspired me to come up with my own vegan version.  I used to eat pre-made pilaf back in the day, but I had never made rice pilaf from scratch before this.  Alton's enthusiasm for the dish and my voracious rice consumption combined to inspire me to give it a go.  I also learned from Alton to bloom my saffron in hot water. I didn't know this. .  Definitely didn't follow his recipe though. This is totally vegan. Funny aside. My brother and I were recently remarking about a container of Oatmilk that proudly displayed a label declaring it 100% vegan. We both chuckled and agreed that if something isn't 100% vegan, then it's 0% vegan.. There's no such thing as 99% vegan.  Anyway, I also went with a spicier more southwestern flavor profile because that is what I was in the mood to have.  2 cups dry long grain rice 1 can black beans, thoroughly rinsed 2 small tomatoes, diced 1

Vegan Red Saffron Sauce Recipe

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  Wanted to do something quick that didn't take too much fuss. I had a single can of V8 juice in my cabinet that wasn't getting any younger. I thought that I could probably make a nice sauce from it if I used a roux.  A roux is simply flour sautéed in fat until it turns golden.  There are darker roux's, but that's a post for another day. (Lol. Good Eats Fan  Reference) The sauce has Indian and Moroccan flair. It's got heat and sweet and a pretty decent depth considering it took only 10 minutes to prepare.  Ingredients 3 cloves garlic sliced 1/2 a jalapeno, minced 1 small can V8 juice 1 tbl sriracha 1 tbl water 2 tbls olive oil 1 tbl flour 1 tsp paprika 1 small pinch saffron threads 1 tbl salt Heat the oil over medium heat in a small sauce pan. Once the oil is hot add the garlic, jalapeno and salt and sauté until fragrant. About 3 minutes.  Whisk in the flour. Keep whisking until the flour turns a darkish golden beige. Careful no to take it too far .Remove from heat

Vegan Spicy Curry Vinaigrette Recipe

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I was thinking about ways to make classic curry lighter and more summery. A flash idea that I had was curry vinaigrette. Eliminate the heavy coconut milk. Forego thick tomato based sauce. Replace the base with a vinegar based dressing.  What I came up with is this.  Curry Vinaigrette Ingredients 1/4 cup red wine vinegar 2 tbls olive oil 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 jalapeno, minced 1 habanero, minced 2 tsps curry powder 2 tsps salt Heat all ingredients in a small sauce pan until the liquid begins to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Pour hot vinaigrette over prepared vegetable/bean mix that you've chosen to curry. Stir to combine and coat.  Allow to cool/absorb for at least 10 minutes.  It's kind of a hybrid quick pickle and vinaigrette dressing. Perfect for when you want something light, but flavorful.