This is based on a traditional German recipe, and I had it tonight along with bratkartoffeln and nut roast.
3 small parsnips
3 mediumish carrots
1 cup (250ml) dark beer – I used a Czech dark lager
vegan margarine and a splash of olive oil, for frying
1 tsp maple syrup
salt, if you must
Slice the root veg on the diagonal to give long thin slices. Melt the marge in a frying pan and add olive oil. When hot, add the vegetables and the beer. Cover and cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until the veg are done. In the meantime, take the remaining half bottle of beer, pour into a glass and drink. Add the maple syrup (and the salt, if using), mix well and turn the heat up to evaporate the remaining beer and caramelise the syrup a bit. Serve –there’s enough for at least four as a side dish.
There is a French technique which involves simmering vegetables in a mixture of white wine and olive oil. The following is my attempt to do something similar using Japanese ingredients. You will need a small frying pan with a lid, and it should work with any vegetable.
Most of a head of broccoli
half a cake of tofu
1 spring onion
yuzu (ゆず – it tends to be labelled in hiragana. It’s citrus peel.)
Put sake in a small frying pan to a depth of about 1cm (½ inch – this isn’t crucial) and add a couple of tablespoons of sesame oil. Bring to the boil with the lid on.
Meanwhile, remove the stem from the broccoli and cut into strips a little larger than julienne strips. When the liquid is boiling, place them in the pan, put the lid back on and turn the heat down so that it is simmering.
Cube the tofu and add that to the simmering mixture. Stir, replace the lid and continue simmering.
Cut up as much of the broccoil head as you fancy into small florets and slice the spring onion thinly. Stir up the mixture in the pan, then place the broccoli florets and spring onions on top, to steam. Replace the lid, and allow to cook for about as long as it takes to cook soba noodles!
When it’s done, the pan should be almost dry and the tofu near the base will have gone nice and crispy. Stir it all up and serve sprinkled with yuzu. Toasted sesame seed would also be nice. I had it on top of soba, hence the description of how long to cook it for.
Update 21st May 2007: this also works well with asparagus. Cut the stem of the asparagus into 4cm lengths and then into quarters lengthways.
This is one of those “post it before I forget what I did” recipes. I just got one of those George Foreman grill things, and made this up as I went along so I could play with it.
1 sweet red pepper
Approx 250g lump of tofu, sliced into two ‘steaks’
2 tbl pale barley miso (use shiro miso of your choice here)
2 tbl sake
Oil the grill and turn it on. Cut the pepper into chunks and, when hot, place on grill. They’ll be done in about 5 minutes. Transfer the peppers to a pan. Put a small amount of oil on the tofu and put it to grill. Grind the peppers to a pulp with a hand blender (or whatever) and mix with sake and miso. Put on a very gentle heat to warm through – do not let it boil, or the goodness of the miso will disappear.
When the tofu is done, place on plate and pour sauce over – serves two, as part of a meal which included brown rice noodles and mixed oriental mushrooms braised in sake and soy sauce, sprinkled with yuzu (citron).
The sauce is a flavour explosion, and it was amusing to see the single drip of oil in the drip tray.