Nac Mac Vegan: adventures in rabbit food



Filed under: Jewish, Recipes and techniques — Tags: , , , , — Feòrag @ 12:53

Latkes in the pan

Latkes in progress.

It is, apparently, That Time of Year and this morning Neil Gaiman lamented on Twitter Alas I will not get to cook latkes until I get home on Weds, when I’ll try to solve the world latke shortage singlehandedly. I don’t have that problem, and they’re one of my partner’s favourite comfort foods. They’re a complete pain if you don’t have a food processor with a grater attachment, but that’s what spouses are for! Most recipes contain egg, but it’s a really straightforward substitution. I do not bother peeling the potatoes and use wholemeal flour, but still, latkes are only good for your mental health.

3 or 4 medium or large potatoes (you need about half a kilo, or just over a pound in old money)
1 medium onion
2 tbl plain wholemeal flour
2 tbl gram flour (chick pea flour)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sugar
black pepper to taste
frying oil

Grate the potatoes reasonably finely into a bowl – I used a Microplane “coarse” grater for this (or rather, my partner is volunteered for this task). Do not discard the liquid that comes off. Grate or mince the onion and add to the potato. I also mince the bits of potato that didn’t get grated and add that to the mixture. Mix the flours, sugar and pepper together well, making sure to be rid of all the lumps, then add to the potato and onion. Mix it all up well.

Heat the oil in a frying pan. Traditionally olive oil is used, allegedly in memory of the miracle at the centre of Chanukah – the day’s oil lasting 8 days. My Reform mother-in-law uses butter, (she also makes her latkes quite coarse and large, more like hash browns – heretic!); I use a blend of olive oil and margarine because it tastes good.

Drop tablespoonsful of the mixture into the oil — you should get four in an average pan — and cook the latkes over a low to medium heat until they are a lovely golden colour. Remove, drain and eat promptly. The quantities given make about 12 – you will probably need to stir the mix again between batches.

Appelmoes (UK English seems to lack a word for this stuff, but Americans call it “applesauce”. I mostly see it in the Netherlands though, where it’s really popular, and the Dutch word is the one I know) is a traditional accompaniment. I like them with a bit of black pepper, and yuzu is really good on latkes. Himself is trying to convince me that Omnomnomnom is some kind of traditional invocation, but I don’t believe him.



Belgian Chicory Soup

Filed under: Recipes and techniques — Tags: , , , , , — Feòrag @ 13:43

The organic veg box this week contained a head of chicory. I know full well that my beloved spouse isn’t going to touch it with a bargepole so I decided to eat it myself. A quick Google revealed this Chicory Soup recipe, which I veganised for my lunch. The proportions are a little different on my version, due to the available ingredients. This amount made one meal-sized soup. Chicory has a nice bitter flavour, and the sweet, browned onions work well with it.

1 medium onion, sliced finely
1 head chicory, chopped
1 small leek, chopped
500ml strong vegetable stock (see note)
Olive oil or vegan margarine for frying
Pepper to taste
Parmezano (or equivalent “old sock” powder) to garnish (optional)

Fry half of the onion until it is dark, dark brown. Put to one side and fry the chicory, leek and other half of the onion in a saucepan until the leeks soften. Add the stock and dark brown onions, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes or so. Blend and serve. Season to taste and garnish with fake parmesan.

Note: I used a kosher fake beef broth as stock. This comes as a powder which has to be added to boiling water, so add water to the soup and add the powder when it comes to the boil. Any strong-flavoured vegetable stock can be used – adding a bit of yeast extract to a milder one would work nicely.


Make-it-up-as-you-go-along chimichanga-type thing

Filed under: Recipes and techniques — Tags: , , , , , , — Feòrag @ 14:15

Last week, I was stuck in the house with no cash, and very little food in stock. This is what I came up with – it will feed one hungry person and scales up nicely.

1 tin tomatoes
1 small onion
garlic to taste
1 chipotle chili (or to taste)
1 tsp cumin
2 cloves
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 pack tempeh
Olive oil for frying.

1/2 cup strong wholemeal flour
1 tbl olive oil
approx 1/4 cup water.

Chop the onion and garlic and fry in a saucepan with olive oil on a low heat. Chop up the chilli and add to the pan. Grind the cumin and cloves and add to pan. Add the tomatoes and smash them up a bit. Bring to boil and then cover and simmer on a low heat for a long time until the tomatoes are reduced.

Meanwhile, mix up the flour, olive oil and enough water to make a dough and knead it for 10 minutes or so, adding more flour as needed. Wrap it up, or put it in a sealed container and forget about in the refrigerator.

Get a wok or karhai, and fry your tempeh until it’s a nice golden colour. When the tomatoes have reduced, add the tempeh and the paprika to the saucepan and mix well. Keep it on a low heat.

Retrieve your dough, and roll it into a ‘perfect’ circle at least 30cm (12″) in diameter. Sprinkle flour on the surface of your wok, which you remembered to keep warm, and gently lower the dough into it. Slowly bake it for five minutes or so.

Take about half the filling and place it in the centre of the dough circle. Fold over the edges to make a parcel. Raise the heat and add olive oil to fry it, flipping at least once.

Put your parcel on a plate, smother it with the remaining filling and your favourite barbeque sauce and eat!


Nuttolene and Green Pepper Curry

Filed under: Recipes and techniques — Tags: , , , , — Feòrag @ 23:08

This is something I invented for my tea tonight, and it turned out quite well:

Nuttolene and Green Pepper Curry

1 tin Nuttolene
2 small onions
1 green pepper
2 tsp curry paste
1 tin chopped tomatoes
oil for frying

Chop onions finely and fry in oil until soft. Add the curry paste stir-fry on a medium heat for a minute or so. Add the tomatoes, and an equivalent amount of water (use the tin as a measure, and get the rest of the tomato juice while you are at it), and turn the heat back up. Extract the Nuttolene from the tin without removing any of your fingers. Dice it and add to pan. Chop the pepper, add to pan. Bring to boil and simmer until done, which is when the oil separates from the tomatoes. Serve with organic brown basmati rice – feeds two hungry ones.

Notes: Nuttolene is a peanut-based canned savoury ‘nutmeat’ thing made by Granose. I’m sure there will be a US equivalent. I use Patak’s Madras curry paste, which I actually saw in the US last time I was there…

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