Showing posts from December, 2020

Accidental Pita Bread

I have tried to make pita bread a few times by following recipes. All attempts resulted in good flat bread, but no puffy pitas.  When I was first learning how to work with various forms of bread dough, recipes were extremely helpful in understanding both the finesse and mechanics of how to execute a variety of different types of breads.  Once I'd gotten in enough experience from following recipes, I abandoned using them. I just enjoy it so much more doing it by feel and instinct. I also get pretty good results most of the time. But when I went to make a pizza type flat bread, I somehow accidentally wound up with pitas. Which is especially funny given that all my intentional attempts at pita were unsuccessful.  My accidental pita, however, was awesome! And now I know how to make it on purpose for the future. It's surprisingly simple. Don't let those complex internet recipes mislead you.  For some reason I decided to crank the oven up to 475 F instead of the 450 that I usuall

30 Minute Vegan Red Beans and Rice Recipe

Recently, I was discussing red beans and rice with a colleague. She'd never made it, but was curious to try. She contemplated buying a boxed mix. I cautioned that it may contain pork. She doesn't eat pork.  Since pretty much all my meals are some form of beans and rice or beans and grain, I posited that I could probably create a pretty authentic vegan version.  Classic red beans and rice is definitely not vegan, but not a long shot to adapt. What I think of when I think of that dish is the rich brown gravy that coats everything. So I focused on creating a texture and flavor that was the same or better.  In order to do this, I used a roux. A mixture of flour and fat that thickens certain sauces. Red beans and rice also requires heat and smokiness. Chile powers activate! Traditional red beans and rice uses dried beans which are rehydrated in the cooking liquid. But I'm not about cooking something for 2-3 hours. So I used canned beans. They don't get to absorb the cooking

Olive and Corn Risotto Vegan Recipe

Just an idea I had to try an unusual risotto flavor profile. They eat olives and corn in Italy, so why not. As far as I'm concerned, risotto is just creamy rice. You can pretty much throw any flavors you love at it and it'll make them shine.  Olive and Corn Risotto Ingredients 1 can black olives, sliced into thin rings 1 can sweet yellow corn 1/2 cup risotto (Arborio) rice 1 pint baby bella mushrooms, minced 5 cloves garlic, minced 1 shallot, diced 1 jalapeno, sliced in short ribbons 1 poblano, sliced in small ribbons 1/4 cup dry white wine 2 tbls olive oil 1 tbl salt 1 tsp black pepper 2 tbls nutritional yeast powder 2 tsps thyme 2 tps Aleppo pepper flakes 2-4 cups water Cook down the mushrooms with 2 tsps of salt  until most the liquid has been released and evaporated.  Add olive oil,  shallot and garlic and continue to sauté until everything is nicely caramelized.  Deglaze with wine. Cook or wine for 5 minutes.  Add rice. Toast for 3 minutes. Stirring often.  Add brine from

Vegan Remoulade Sauce

Remoulade is a classic French mayonnaise based sauce. It's spicy and tangy and generally just a great accompaniment to many dishes.  This is a creamy vegan version. It doesn't use store bought vegan mayo. I can't eat all the lemon juice concentrate in the pre-made stuff.  It's easy to make. It's still creamy, tangy, and a perfect sauce to go with anything that needs a little extra pizzazz.  Vegan Remoulade Ingredients 1/2 package silken firm tofu 1/2 can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed 1 jalapeno, deseeded and chunked 1 long hot, deseeded and chunked 3 cloves garlic 1 tbl nutritional yeast 1 tbl red wine vinegar 2 tbls olive oil 2 tsps salt 1 tsp Aleppo pepper flakes 1 tsp ras el hanout Just puree until smooth in your kitchen appliance of choice. I used a food processor.  The ras el hanout does not make it taste Indian. It just to gives it an earthy and mysterious backbone. I use Indian curry blends often in dishes not intended to be Indian in flavor. A li

Spicy Barbecue Lentils

1/2 cup dry lentils 1 small can low sodium V8 juice 1 guajillo pepper, broken, seeds discarded 1 chile de arbol, broken, seeds discarded 1 jalapeno, desseeded, diced 1 habanero,desseeded,  minced 1 long hot pepper, desseeded, diced 5 cloves garlic, minced 2 tbls soy sauce 1 tbl olive oil 2 tsps salt 1 tsp black pepper 1 1/4 cups water This was kind of a creation of necessity. I didn't have many ingredients on hand, so I just put into the pot what I thought would most likely result in some tasty lentils.  That V8 is really useful sometimes. It's got all the flavor of a vegetable stock, plus some tomato flavor. It's a great ingredient to have lying around when your pantry is sparse. If you're wondering, I am not being compensated for my endorsement. It's genuine.  Dried chiles are another ingredient that often saves the day when you've run out of most of your fresh ones. They wait quietly in the cabinet and are there just when you really need them.  Once you'v