I think pineapple fried rice is all about preferences. If you like your sweet,sour and savoury combo, then by all means go all out on the pineapple. Cut it to sizeable chunks and grill them before tossing into the rice. If you’re more like me, who’s been slightly traumatized from a wedding event eons ago where my mother tried to feed me a chili-spiked pineapple dish along with rendang rice, you might prefer a more subtle approach and finely dice them.
Another preference. Wok or skillet.
If you have a wok in your possession, then I say bust it out. There isn’t any way to describe how much better it is to cook a stir fry in a large wok. I mean, look at it.
So majestic. And the only thing to pair with it is the foot-long spatula. You’ll walk out of the kitchen feeling like a new man woman. Okay maybe not, but the feeling is close.
And last but not least - where to serve the fried rice. A hollowed out pineapple is a bit more work, what with getting out the paring knife and scoring the flesh out, but it does make it look pretty awesome.
PINEAPPLE FRIED RICE:
[ 3 tablespoon vegetable oil + 1/2 cup diced carrots + 1/2 cup diced red bell peppers + 1/2 cup diced onion + 2/3 cup diced pineapple (you can use canned ones) + 3 garlic cloves, minced + 1/2 tablespoon grated fresh ginger + 1/4 cup chopped green onions + 4 cups cooked white rice (preferably long grain and a day old) + 3 eggs + 1/2 cup chopped basil leaves (Thai basil, preferably, but Italian is okay too) + 2 tablespoon soy sauce + 1 tablespoon oyster sauce + 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil + 1 tablespoon pineapple juice ] OPTIONAL: Fried egg + fried shallots for garnish
To make the sauce, combine the soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil and pineapple juice in a bowl. Mix well and set aside.
If you haven’t got a wok, then in a large heavy skillet heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium high heat. Add carrots, red bell pepper and onion and saute for 4-5 minutes. Stir constantly until the vegetables are tender and lightly browned. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
Add diced pineapple and saute while stirring frequently until golden brown in spots. Transfer to the mixing bowl along with the other vegetables.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoon of oil. Add the garlic, ginger and green onion and saute until fragrant. Add the rice and use the spatula to break up the clumps. Toss to coat the rice evenly with oil and garlic.
Push the rice to one side of the skillet and crack in the eggs to the center. Stir quickly to scramble them and push the rice back in and stir to incorporate. Pour in the sauce and toss well. Season to taste, adding more soy sauce if needed.
Add in the sauteed vegetables and toss everything together. Add in the chopped basil and stir until the basil leaves just starts to wilt.
Serve inside a hollowed out pineapple or plates. Top with a fried egg, fried shallots and more chopped green onions.
This post came about because I stumbled upon a video on Federal Donuts. It starts off with a basic Korean fried chicken recipe; something I’m familiar with from repeatedly watching Maangchi lording over her oil-filled wok. They’re twice fried, and at Federal Donuts they take an extra step to cure the chicken overnight to give it the finger lickin’ combo of salty and juicy. The recipe itself is simple enough and you can serve it as it is - but the magic lies in the seasoning they’re thrown into afterwards. Start prepping the chicken the night before you’re planning to serve them and make the chili-garlic sauce either at the same time (refrigerate, then take to room temperature) or 3-4 hours before serving for maximum flavor.
BASIC FRIED CHICKEN
[ 1 whole chicken, cut into 8 bone-in pieces (feeling saucy? do it yourself!) + 2 cups cornstarch + 1 cup all purpose flour + 1 1/4 to 1 1/3 cup water + 1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder + 2 teaspoon onion powder + 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder + 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning + vegetable oil for frying ]
Salt the chicken pieces with kosher salt and toss with the garlic, onion and mustard powder. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Refrigerate overnight, loosely covered with cling film.
Mix together the cornstarch, flour and 1 tablespoon of salt in a bowl. Whisk in the water to make a thick batter.
In a large saucepot, add enough vegetable oil to reach 5 inches up the side of the pan. Place over high heat and heat the oil to 300°F.
Dip the chicken pieces in the batter and fry for 10 minutes.
Remove the chicken to a draining rack and increase the oil temperature to 350°F. Fry the chicken for an additional 5 minutes and drain well.
For the dry seasoning, you can use storebought Za’atar spice blend or make your own, using:
Halve cucumbers lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and slice crosswise to 1/4 inch thick. Toss with salt in a bowl and let stand for 10 minutes. Drain and squeeze to remove as much moisture as you can.
If using, soak seaweed in a small bowl in warm water to cover for about 5 minutes. Drain and squeeze out excess moisture.
Whisk vinegar and sugar in a medium bowl. Add cucumbers, seaweed and sesame seeds and toss to coat. Refrigerate until needed.
I had friends over (who, the night before, put an end to the butterscotch brownie ice cream) help me demolish these. Friends with good appetite are always handy to have nearby.
I think one of my life’s mission is to get more people to eat shrimp. I can’t stand it when someone turns up their nose or refuse to sample one purely because of how it looks or what they think the texture would be like.
Another life mission would be to get more people to cook. Students, in particular. Living away from home and on a budget is no excuse to scarf down MSG laden ramen for every meal. Almost everyone has milk sitting in their fridge, flour in their pantry and butter for their toast. Make a roux, chuck in leftover meat (or shrimp, in my case) and add whatever vegetable you have hanging about that’s just waiting to go bad. Roll them in egg and panko, deep fry - and by deep I mean just enough to submerge, and et voila - Dutch croquettes. Who wants some?
Note: I added condensed milk in my roux mixture because somewhere in the back of my mind I remember eating one of these that’s laced with a sweetness that is unmistakably condensed milk. It makes your mind go "what the fridge is this flavor I’m eating? I’m not sure, but I like it!” (Yes, I could’ve just said je ne sais quoi, but where’s the fun in that?). It’s a wild card, so use only if you’re sure you’ll like it.
GARNALENKROKETTEN (Dutch Shrimp Croquette) :
[ 1 tablespoon olive oil + 1 3/4 cups peeled brown shrimp (or any shrimp you can get your hands on), roughly chopped + 3/4 cup mix of vegetables of your choice (carrots, onion, celery, peas, corn kernels, etc) + a small handful of parsley, chopped + 1/4 cup butter + 6 tablespoon flour + 1/2 cup milk + 1/2 cup chicken stock + + 2 eggs + 1/3 cup milk + 1 cup flour + 2 cups panko bread crumbs + salt and pepper to taste ] OPTIONAL: 1/2 to 1 tablespoon condensed milk.
Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium - high heat. Add onion, carrot and celery and other vegetables you’re using. Cook for 3 – 5 minutes and add the chopped shrimp, salt and pepper and cook until shrimp turns opaque. Remove from heat.
Put shrimp mixture into a food processor bowl, add parsley and process on high for about 1 minute. Set aside. Alternatively, you can just leave the mixture as it is. Your call.
In a medium sized saucepan over low heat, add the butter and stir in the flour as it melts. Cook for 30 seconds and whisk in the milk. The mixture will thicken up quickly so keep whisking to avoid lumps. Allow mixture to cook for 5 minutes to ensure there is no floury taste.
Add the shrimp mixture to the roux and stir until combined. If using, you can add the condensed milk now, starting with 1 teaspoon at a time and tasting after each addition. Season to taste and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Prepare three containers for the egg and milk, flour and bread crumbs.
Take about a tablespoon of mixture and form into a log shape or a ball. Dip into egg wash, then coat in flour, dip in egg wash again and then finally coat in breadcrumbs. Set aside and repeat with remaining mixture.
Heat vegetable oil in saucepan and heat oil up to about 180◦C. Deep fry 3 – 5 croquettes at a time, cook for about 1 minute or until golden. Remove and place on paper towel. Repeat with remaining croquettes until all are cooked.
Serve with mustard sauce (mustard, mayonnaise, a little sugar).
…with Creamed Spinach Mashed Potatoes. Didn’t want to scare you with the long ass title there. So a few days ago bogoshipo made a foodwish for a Thanksgiving dish to bring over to her boyfriend’s parents house. We bounced off ideas at each other (I was throwing things like zaa’tar lemon chicken and cottage pie at her which probably scared her a bit) and arrived at a conclusion: she loves something with garlic. And so garlic it is then, all 40 cloves of them. Now the biggest ordeal in this recipe is probably peeling (and counting - you don’t want to miss a clove!) the garlic. The rest is a cruise. I served it with a creamed spinach and mashed potatoes combo because, well, it’s Thanksgiving and you’re allowed to splurge a little in the calorie department. You can serve it over polenta, roasted root vegetables or even risotto. You choose your delectable poison.
40 CLOVE GARLIC CHICKEN:
[ 40 cloves of garlic (about 3 heads), peeled + 2 tablespoon vegetable oil + 8-10 pieces of cut up chicken (you can use breast or thighs) + a small handful of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped + 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth + 1/4 cup heavy cream + 1 tablespoon unsalted butter + salt and black pepper ]
Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees F
Pat the chicken and skin dry with paper towels and season with 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper.
Heat the oil in a dutch oven or oven-safe skillet just until you start to see wisps of smoke. Place chicken in skillet skin-side down, and cook until the skin is well browned, about 7-10 minutes.
Transfer the chicken to a plate (don’t try to pry the chicken off from the pan, if it is well browned, it will loosen by itself) skin-side up and set aside. Remove all the fat (the fat from the chicken will have rendered out and add to the oil you began with) until you’re left with just 1 tablespoon of oil and reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the garlic and cook until evenly browned for about 1 minute.
Add in the chicken stock to deglaze the pan. Scrape the brown bits off the pan and into the garlic. Add in the chopped parsley and cream. Return the chicken to the dutch oven, skin side up and remove from heat.
Now this step is totally optional, but you can make a “dough seal” by mixing 1/2 cup of flour with enough water to make a pliable dough. Divide the dough into 2 and roll into a long log and paste it onto the rim of the dutch oven before putting on the lid to make a complete seal. You can just use a piece of aluminium foil and then put the lid on. I ended up eating the dough seal with the garlic gravy (whaat? I hate wasting food!)
Moving on. Cook the chicken for about 20-25 minutes in the oven, or until the juices run clear.
Now if you want to make the creamed spinach mashed potatoes, now is the time to do so and here is the recipe:
CREAMED SPINACH MASHED POTATOES:
[ 2 lbs potatoes + 1/2 cup heavy cream + 2 tablespoon unsalted butter + 1 teaspoon salt + 1/3 teaspoon black pepper + 6 cups baby spinach ]
Cover potatoes with salted cold water in a large saucepan and simmer, uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes.
While potatoes are simmering, bring cream, butter, salt, and pepper to a simmer in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and keep warm, covered.
Drain potatoes in a colander and cool slightly.
Stir spinach into warm cream, tossing to coat, and when slightly wilted (after about 1 minute), immediately add to potatoes. Mash potatoes and spinach until almost smooth. Season to taste and keep warm.
Get the chicken and place the pieces on a serving dish. Mash the garlic in the dutch oven and stir in the unsalted butter. There will be more than enough heat to melt it and make the sauce glossy.
Serve the chicken with the sauce and the spinach mashed potatoes.
Just in case you thought I was kidding about eating the dough seal.
Although there are many variations of it, the only chai I’ve known is Karak Chai. I remember skipping 8th period and going to town in the back of a Nissan Sunny; best friends and boy (now man)-friend in tow. We would stop at a Lebanese diner and purchase a plethora of fatayer - middle eastern turnovers filled with red spinach and onions, cheese and zaa’tar, labneh and honey, so on and so forth. Then we’d go to the Corniche, a walled off beach of some sort and purchase paper cups of Karak. The chai wallah would come outside at the sound of a horn beep, nods his head at the rolled down car window as if to say “How many?”. Stick out your fingers in answer and the fragrant steaming cups are delivered to your car faster than you can say “بسم الله”.
Two things come at you once you take a piping hot sip. The first is the pungent smell of cardamom. The second a creamy wave of a distinct brand of evaporated milk - the “RainbowMilk”. Upon closer inspection by ways of more sips, you’d get a warm hint of ginger. Thus, this is the first tea recipe of the day.
[ 3 1/2 cups of water + 2 heaping tablespoons of Lipton Original tea, straight out of the bag + 5 tablespoon sugar + 1 1/2 cans of Rainbow evaporated milk (or any brand you have on hand) + 6-8 cardamom pods, crushed + 1 inch piece of ginger, sliced ]
Combine water, tea, sugar, cardamom and ginger. Bring to a boil over high heat. Turn down to low and let simmer for 5-10 minutes. Add in the evaporated milk and turn up the heat again. Wait until its just about to overflow from the pot and immediately turn off the heat.
Strain the karak chai into mugs and serve immediately.
Now for those who are in the warmer regions, the next tea might provide some assistance in cooling you down.
Thai Iced tea is usually made out of Thai tea leaves made from ceylon tea. Sometimes orange blossom water, star anise and crushed tamarind seeds are added which gives its distinct taste. If you can get your hands on some Thai tea mix, then grab it. If you can’t, regular black tea will be just fine.
[ 4 Black Tea bags or 1 cup Thai tea mix + 4 cups water + 3/4 cup sugar + ice + milk of your choice ]
Bring water to boil and add the thai tea mix or the 4 black tea bags. Add sugar and gently stir to completely dissolve sugar. Gently boil tea for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
Allow tea to steep for at least 30 minutes and allow it to cool. Strain the tea and set aside to cool completely. This can be made ahead and stored in the fridge until ready to use.
To assemble, gill glasses with ice and about 3/4 full of the tea mix. Top off remainder of glass with the milk of your choice. You can use half and half, condensed milk, coconut milk, evaporated milk - your call. I used a mixture of condensed milk and evaporated milk for this one. Stir and enjoy.
I drank shatloads of sugary and milky tea today. Call it a celebration for making it through the 30 days of being vegan. All’s well that ends well.
"Hi Pigamitha, thank you so much for having this blog, I really enjoy reading your recipes (and making them too when I get the time). Sometimes it’s a little hard to get some of the ingredients where I am (Trinidad and Tobago) but I make substitutions and they usually still come out great. I know you probably have many requests so I’m hoping that one day you’ll try to make Trinidad "doubles" which consists of two fried "baras" and curried channa (chickpeas) which is yummy street food here."
My first foodwish from Trinidad & Tobago! I can’t tell you how happy I am that you brought this dish to my attention. Guises, you have to try one of these before the week ends. I was going to withhold this post till the weekend, but screw it. I want you to eat one right now. Find a restaurant near you that serve them. People of New York, Serious Eats recommends Ali’s Trinidad & Tobago Roti Deli Grocery. Grab one and you won’t regret it. Those who don’t have access to such restaurant, weep. Then gather up your courage and power through this recipe. The plan is to divide and conquer - while the dough rests, make the filling. When that’s done, make the tamarind sauce (if you’re really unlucky) and grate a cucumber. That’ll give enough time for the dough to rise. Fry the dough, reheat the chickpeas and serve them piping hot with the tamarind sauce, cucumber and lime slices to hungry people to assemble their own doubles according to their taste.
[ 1/3 + 1/2 cup warm water + 1/4 teaspoon sugar + 1 teaspoon yeast + 2 cups all-purpose flour + 1/2 teaspoon salt + 1 teaspoon ground turmeric + 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin + 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper + vegetable oil for frying ]
In a bowl, combine 1/3 of the warm water, sugar, and yeast. Set aside until the mixture bubbles.
In another large bowl or in a bowl of a standing mixer, combine the flour, salt, turmeric, cumin, and black pepper. Stir the yeast mixture into the flour mixture and add additional lukewarm water as needed, about 1/2 cup, until the mixture comes together into slightly firm dough. Using the dough hook or your hands, knead until smooth and elastic and cover with a damp cloth. Set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about an hour.
Meanwhile, make the curried chickpeas filling:
[ 1 (16 ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans) + 1 tablespoon canola oil + 1 onion, thinly sliced + 3 garlic cloves, minced + 3 teaspoons curry powder + 1 1/3 cup water (can be substituted with low sodium vegetable or chicken broth) + 1 pinch ground cumin + 1-1 1/2 tablespoon sugar + juice of 1/2 lime + salt & freshly ground black pepper ]
Drain the chickpeas in a colander and rinse well with cold water. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a heavy skillet and add the onion. Cook until translucent. Add the garlic and the curry powder and mix well. Cook for 30 seconds and add 1/3 cup of water or broth. Stir in the chickpeas, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and add 1 more cup of water or broth. Stir in the cumin, salt and pepper and lower the heat. Add in the sugar and lemon juice. Simmer until the chickpeas are very tender. Set aside.
Punch down the dough and allow it to sit for 10 minutes. Pinch off walnut-size pieces of dough and flatten each into a circle about 4 1/2 inches in diameter. Dampen your hands with water if the dough is sticky.
Heat about 1 cup of canola oil, at least 3 inches deep in a frying pan or medium saucepan. When the oil is hot, add the dough circles and fry, turning once, until lightly browned on both sides, about 40 seconds. Keep the fried dough warm in the oven while you fry the rest.
Now you can either buy the tamarind and kochela sauces to go with the doubles, or you can make some of your own if you’re more like me with no access to these things whatsoever.
[ 3 oz tamarind pulp + 2 cloves garlic + 1/2 of a scotch bonnet or habanero pepper, or any hot pepper you have at hand, really + 1 - 1 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar + a small bunch of coriander + 3/4 cup water ]
Chop the pepper, garlic and coriander into a sort of chunky paste. You can use a pestle and mortar if you like. or just whiz them in a food processor.
Place the tamarind pulp into a sauce pan with the water. If your pulp is not seedless, use clean hands to work the pulp away from the seeds and try to crush the flesh between your fingers. Place the saucepan on medium heat, add the sugar and the pepper paste to the pot and bring to a gentle boil. Turn the heat down to a gentle simmer and with the pot closed allow to cook for about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir every 2-3 minutes until it reaches a thick tomato soup consistency. Let cool before you season and adjust ingredients to taste.
[ Fried baras + curried chickpeas + tamarind sauce + shredded cucumber + Kuchela, if you can get your hands on it (a sauce made from green mangoes and scotch bonnet peppers.) ]
Take a bara and add 2 tablespoons of chickpeas. Add the tamarind sauce,and cucumber, if desired. Top with another piece of fried dough and serve
A lot of of recipes for vegan cream of mushroom soup use cashew as a thickener. I immediately searched for an alternative because the thought of crunching on a piece of stray, unblended cashew makes me shudder. That, and I just think having nut paste in a soup is a bit weird.
Cream of mushroom soup is usually made with button mushrooms; finely chopped and sweated down with and almost dissolved in a mixture of broth and cream. In this one I’m using dried shiitake for two reasons; the first is that they’re unbelievably cheap. The second is that when you steep them in water, you also get a very deep, earthy mushroom stock that is simply delicious. If you want to thin the soup you can use almond milk or mushroom broth, the latter is a bit strong so use sparingly. A little bit goes a long way.
CREAM OF MUSHROOM SOUP:
[ 1 1/2 cup dried shiitake mushroom + 2 cups cauliflower florets + 1 cup unsweetened almond milk + 1 teaspoon olive oil + 1/2 yellow onion, diced + 2 cloves of garlic + 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano + salt and pepper, to taste + a small bunch of parsley ]
Soak the dried shiitake mushrooms in 4 cups of warm water for at least 1 hour. Reserve the liquid and drain the mushroom. Set aside.
Bring cauliflower, milk and 3/4 cup of the reserved mushroom liquid to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once it boils, put the lid on and reduce heat to low and simmer for 7-8 minutes, until cauliflower is softened.
Take off the heat and puree the cauliflower mixture using a blender or food processor. Return back to the pot.
Thinly slice the shiitake mushroom. Heat olive oil in a saucepan. Add the garlic and onions and sautee over medium heat until the onion begins to brown. Add in the mushroom and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the dried oregano and season to taste.
Add half of the sauteed mushroom mixture to the pureed cauliflower. Bring to a boil over medium heat, adding more almond milk to get the consistency you want (you can add the mushroom liquid instead, or a mixture of both. Almond milk will give it a creamier taste, mushroom both a more earthy flavor. Your call). Season to taste.
Pour warm soup into serving bowls and garnish with leftover sauteed mushrooms and freshly chopped flat leaf parsley. Serve immediately with some crusty bread.
Potatoes and chocolate. Aside from the classic french fries dipped in milkshake, who knew they would go so well together? Mashed spuds lends these doughnuts a rather savory taste without adding egg or even milk. Which makes them a great vegan dessert.
Speaking of vegan desserts, if there is one thing that irks me it’s the insistence tendency to eat everything raw. Raw cheesecake, raw almond milk, raw chocolate mousse - it was almost difficult to find a recipe for chocolate custard that didn’t involve an avocado. Vegan is synonymous with healthy, I get it. But surely it isn’t a crime to indulge once in a while, and almond milk based custards can hardly be called unhealthy. If you want, you can of course use sweet potatoes. But I fear that chocolate custard might not be the right filling for it, no. Salted caramel might be in order. Hmmm.
[ 1 cup mashed potato + 3 1/4 to 3 1/2 cup all-purpose flour + 2 teaspoon yeast + 3/4 cup warm water + 1/2 teaspoon salt + 2 tablespoon sugar + 2 tablespoon vegan margarine + vegetable oil for frying + caster sugar for coating ]
[1/2 cup cornstarch + 1/4 cup sugar + 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips + 1 3/4 cup almond milk + 1/2 tablespoon vanilla ]
To make the doughnuts, mix all the ingredients except the flour in a large mixing bowl mix with the paddle attachment until well combined.
Switch to the hook attachment and add the flour 1 cup at a time until you get a nice smooth dough. Cover the bowl with a dry kitchen towel and let it rise for an hour or so at a warm place until double in size.
While you’re waiting, make the chocolate custard filling. In a pan, whisk together cornstarch, sugar and salt. Gradually whisk in almond milk until combined. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a boil and gets thicker to a pastry cream consistency.
Remove from heat and whisk in the chocolate chips and vanilla until smooth. Refrigerate (covering the surface with cling film) until needed.
Punch down the dough and remove onto a floured work tabletop. Roll out the dough to about 1/4” thick. Using a small, round pastry or cookie cutter (or any medium sized circular object, for that matter. As you can see here I’m embracing my inner MacGyver by using an empty can of Golden Ginger lozenge. Oh yeah), cut rounds out of the dough and place them on a sheet of baking paper to rise again. Gather the scraps and re-roll, then cut out more donuts.
Let the bomboloni rise in a warm place for 30 minutes covered with a clean tea towel to prevent from drying, then fry them in plenty of vegetable oil at about 170-180°C.
When they are an even deep golden brown, immediately place the hot bomboloni in a bowl of fine caster sugar to coat them.
Place them on a baking rack until cool enough to handle. Get your custard out of the fridge. It will look a bit scraggly, but this is fine. Just give it a good mix with a spatula and load into a piping bag with a normal or long tip. Pipe the chocolate custard from the side of the doughnuts and serve immediately.
Tofu is dirt cheap in Indonesia. You’d get about 2lbs for less than $1. There’s no need to go to the supermarket to get it either. There’s a peddler who comes around in his motorbike, a small wooden crate strapped into the back seat filled with blocks of tofu wrapped in banana leaves. There’s also tempeh and warm soymilk. Really good stuff.
Seasoned and grilled, tofu breaks out of its stereotypical image of being watery or bland, providing that you pat it dry beforehand. It’s great topped with a lot of sauces, but I chose to make some chimichurri for some bright flavors. I know that it’s not traditional to put sugar into chimichurri and wine vinegar is usually used, but I’m putting lime to mine and some fresh chili peppers for that extra kick.
[ 1 cup firmly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley + 2-3 garlic cloves + 1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves or 1 tablespoon dried ones + juice of 1 lime + 1/4 cup olive oil + 1 red chili pepper + 1/2 tablespoon sugar + 1/2 teaspoon salt + 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper ]
Combine the garlic and onion powder, smoked paprika, cumin and vegetable oil.
Slice the firm tofu lengthwise into six to eight equal portions. Press the tofu slices between sheets of paper towel, adding some weight to help squeeze out excess moisture.
Brush the sides of the tofu with the rub and set aside.
Meanwhile, finely chop the parsley, garlic and oregano (if using fresh ones) and place in a small bowl. Deseed and finely chop the red chili pepper and throw those in too. Stir in the oil, lime juice, sugar, salt and pepper. Adjust to taste, adding more lime juice or salt if needed. Set aside.
Place tofu in a grill pan over medium-high heat. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Turn the tofu steak with a pair of tongs and a flat spatula if necessary. Sear the second side and continue grilling until done, about 3-5 minutes
1. I’m currently munching on a piece of leftover toast from this recipe. Today had arguably the worst lighting for a photo session. The sky had been dark since 10AM, and I contemplated back and forth on whether or not to do a post. I knew I wouldn’t have time to do it next week, so I guess you guys will just have to put up with the sub-par photos.
2. No one has yet to come forth and claim the anonymous ask for the post-editing techniques. I wasn’t kidding or being sarcastic when I said I’ll tell what it is once someone claims it. I figured my blogging days are numbered, so I might as well pass the post-editing baton.
3. Is a watermelon recipe appropriate for this time of year? Probably not. And I haven’t posted a pumpkin-related recipe at all, which is a personal record. If you can get your hands on some watermelon, do try this out. I have to say though, going on the vegan wagon for this month was especially hard for this dish, because it was practically begging (beggiiiiiiiiing, I tell you) for some soft, creamy feta. I’ll just go sob in a corner now.
[ 3 cups cubed watermelon + 2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes, halved, or 3 ripe tomatoes, cut into large chunks + 3 slices of day old bread + 1 tablespoon olive oil + 1 small red onion, thinly sliced + 1/2 cucumber, deseeded and cut into chunks + a handful of basil (I used parsley), chopped + 1/4 cup olive oil + juice of 1 lime + 1 tablespoon zaa’tar + 1 teaspoon sugar + 1 clove or garlic, minced ]
Brush both sides of the bread and lay out on a baking sheet. Put in a 300°F oven for 5-10 minutes, until a bit toasted.
To make the dressing, whisk the 1/4 cup olive oil, lime juice, zaa’tar, sugar and minced garlic in a bowl. Set aside.
Mix everything together and let marinate, covered, at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
When life give you oranges, what do you do? Make orange chicken cauliflowers, of course! I’m a skeptic at heart, and to be honest I wasn’t buying it when I read that roasted cauliflowers tastes like chicken. I mean come on - chicken, really? But I put to rest any doubts regarding that specific matter today, because I’ll be damned, roasted cauliflowers does taste like chicken, minus the slight gamey taste. I seriously had to stop myself from popping the freshly roasted florets into my mouth and save some to toss into the orange sauce. They were that good. So do give this a try; serve it with steamed brown rice or if you’re more like me, over some ginger fried rice (made with red rice, y’know, healthier and all).
[ 1 small head of cauliflower, cut into small florets + 1/2 tablespoon olive oil + 1/2 teaspoon salt + 1 tablespoon vegetable oil + 1 dried chili pepper + 2-3 garlic cloves, minced + 1 teaspoon minced ginger + 1/4 cup vegetable broth + 1/4 cup orange juice + 2 tablespoon soy sauce + 2 tablespoon sugar + 2 tablespoon vinegar + 1 teaspoon sesame oil + 1 tablespoon water + 1 teaspoon corn starch or arrowroot powder + 2 green onions, chopped ] OPTIONAL: Roasted sesame seeds + dried chili pepper flakes
Spread the cauliflower florets on the roasting pan and toss it with the olive oil and salt. You can chop up the cauliflower greens to throw into the sauce later, if you want. Turn the oven on to 400 degrees and roast for 30 minutes. Then set to high and broil for 2-3 more minutes. Turn off and let cool inside the oven.
Combine the vegetable broth, orange juice, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and sugar in a bowl. In a separate bowl, dissolve the cornstarch or arrowroot powder in water.
Heat the vegetable oil over medium high heat and snip the dried chili pepper into the pan. Stir for a bit and add the garlic and ginger.
Add the orange juice mixture and bring to a boil. Add the chopped cauliflower greens, if you saved them. Turn down the heat and add the orange zest. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and cook until the sauce has thickened. Remove from heat.
Get the cauliflower florets and toss with the sauce in the pan.
Serve garnished with the chopped green onions, roasted sesame seeds and chili pepper flakes, if using.
Have you ever cooked onions for 45 minutes? No? Me neither. Today included. I caved at 30 minutes because my skillet wasn’t thick enough and I kept having to take it off from the heat, stir and put it back on. I think it was close enough though, because the end result was really, really good and oddly appropriate for the weather these days; thunderstorm and lightning at night that reverberates through the wall and romantic drizzle during the day (I’ve polished off two as we speak). Carb on carb (and some fiber, I suppose. Vegan too, did you know?) never disappoint. Just make sure you serve this with the grainiest mustard you can get your hands on.
[ 2 cups all-purpose flour + 1/3 cup canola oil + 1/3 cup water + 1/2 teaspoon salt ]
In a bowl of a mixer with the paddle attachment or in a bowl with your hands, combine all ingredients and mix until you have an evenly blended, very dense ball. Allow to rest in a bowl covered with a damp cloth.
[ 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and quartered + 1 small onion, sliced + 1 tablespoon vegetable oil + 1/2 teaspoon salt ] TOPPING: 2 tablespoon vegan margarine + 2 tablespoon brown sugar + 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
In a large pot with cold water, put in sweet potatoes and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook until potatoes can be pierced easily with a knife. Drain and transfer to a large bowl to cool.
Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Once hot add onions and reduce to medium-low. Cook, stirring frequently, until deeply caramelized, which will take about 45 minutes. Transfer to bowl with potatoes and mash together until almost smooth. Season to taste.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Divide the dough in half. On a well-floured surface, roll the first half of the dough into a very thin sheet, roughly in the shape of a 1-foot square.
Create a 2-inch thick log from half your potato filling across the bottom of your dough. Roll the filling up in the dough, but not too tight. Keep rolling until the log has been wrapped twice in dough. Trim any unrolled length and add it to the second half of the dough; it can be used again.
Repeat the process with the second half of your dough and second half of filling.
Trim the ends of the dough so that they’re even with the potato filling. Then, make indentations on the log every 3 to 3 1/2 inches (you’ll have about 3, if your log was 1 foot long)
Twist the dough at these points, Snip the dough at each twist with a knife or scissor, then pinch one of the ends of each segment together to form a sealed knish base.
Use your hand to flatten the knish a bit into a squat shape.
Pinch together the tops as you did the bottom to seal them; indenting them with a small dimple will help keep them from opening in the oven.
Arrange knish on prepared baking sheet so that they don’t touch. Brush with melted vegan margarine and sprinkle with a mixture of brown sugar and cinnamon.
Bake knish for about 45 minutes and leave to cool for a little before serving with a side of mustard.
Czech it guys, below is the first bowl of tom yum I took a picture of. With soggy rice noodles, nondescript breaded fillets of hammour (sacrilege!) and a green food cover haphazardly thrown in as background to emphasize the green chilies. It was for my sister’s then GCSE Food Technology portfolio. I couldn’t choose FT for my GCSE (Chemistry was in the same column), so it was like cooking vicariously through her. Good times.
A few days ago thebrownboy asked when I’m planning to start the vegan challenge. I vaguely answered with “soon”, because I was a bit uneasy about going vegan for a whole month. I love eggs - I’ll probably have egg withdrawal half a day into the challenge. And I love seafood in general. So I thought what better way to wean off from my mostly pescetarian diet by turning a sour and spicy soup that should be loaded with fresh, large prawns and fish to a vegan one loaded with shiitake and oyster mushrooms? Usually carnivores and some omnivores will turn their nose and run for the hills when they see the words “vegan" and "tofu" in the same post, which is why I aptly left them out of the post title. But believe me, vegan or not, you’d want to dive into this bowl.
TOM YUM (serves 4):
[ 3 tablespoon vegetable oil + 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced + 2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger + 1-2 Thai chilies, seeded and finely sliced + 6 cups of vegetable broth + 2 stalks of lemongrass + 2-3 Kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced + 1-2 teaspoon hot chili paste + 1 teaspoon sugar + 2 tablespoon soy sauce + 2 tablespoon fresh lime juice + 1 1/2 cup shiitake of oyster mushrooms + 1 cup chopped tomatoes + 1 lb. extra-firm tofu + a bunch of cilantro + cooked noodles or rice ]
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Drain tofu and pat dry. Cut into 2-3 cm cubes and fry for about 5 mins over high heat, turning often, until golden brown. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and set aside.
Prepare the lemongrass by to bruising the lemongrass with a pestle or a heavy knife and slicing it to 4-inch pieces.
Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil and add garlic, ginger and chilies and cook until fragrant. Add stock, lemongrass stalks, and kaffir lime leaves. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn down the heat, cover the pot, and simmer for 10 minutes.
If you want, you can use a slotted spoon to remove the lemongrass stalks, but I left them in for maximum flavor. Add the hot chili paste and stir. Add the mushrooms and boil for 2-3 more minutes, until mushrooms are soft. Be careful not to overcook the mushrooms or they get soggy with rubbery stems.
Add the sliced tomato and cook until soft, about a minute.
Turn off the heat. Add the soy sauce, sugar, and at the very end the lime juice. Adjust the amounts to your taste. It should be very sour & spicy.
To serve, pile some rice noodles in a bowl, top with the fried tofu and ladle the soup over. Garnish with cilantro.Serve with a side of chili paste and lime wedges.
About 8 months ago, tulipcutie(though under a different name, if I’m not mistaken)made a foodwish for Mulligatawny soup. I had no idea or thoughts about it back then, except for thinking that it made me want a tawny owl for a pet. A little searching told me that it was an invention of the Tamil servants to satisfy the Britishers who demanded a soup course for dinner from a cuisine that had never produced one till then, which makes sense because Indian cuisine isn’t well know for its soups - curries don’t count.
Apparently if you’re a big Seinfeld fan, you’d at least have heard of it (I’m more of a Frasier gal). The name translates itself to “pepper water" and like any other soup, there are way more variations than I care to count. Some calls for cream, another for coconut milk. Some are adamant about the type of apple that goes in, some turned a blind eye to a pear. The one I’m making will be a vegan version, but feel free to add in some shredded chicken and a splash of cream.
nb: to other foodwishers, I’ve taken note of your foodwishes and they will make its way to the blog one way or another. surprise is the word - unless urgently needed, that is.
[ 2 tablespoon oil + 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds + 1 teaspoon cumin seeds + 1 teaspoon coriander seeds + 1 teaspoon turmeric powder + 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes + 2 tablespoon garam masala or curry powder + 2 tablespoon flour + 1 onion, diced + 1 teaspoon minced ginger + 2 garlic cloves, minced + 2 carrots, chopped + 1 Granny smith apple or 1 pear, chopped + 3 ripe tomatoes, chopped or 1 cup of canned crushed tomatoes + 1 cup yellow split peas + 6 cups vegetable broth + 1 cup coconut milk + coriander leaves and mint for garnish ]
In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat the oil on medium-low. Add the cumin and mustard seeds, then add the onion and carrot and saute until the onion is soft and translucent. Add in the ginger, garlic,turmeric, ground coriander, and chili flakes and stir.
Turn the heat to low. Add in the flour and stir until the flour cooks through. Add vegetable broth in a steady stream while continuing to stir. Add in the garam masala or curry powder.
Stir in the tomatoes, apple and split peas. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 35 minutes, stirring once in a while to prevent it from sticking to the bottom, until the carrots and split peas are tender. Add in the coconut milk and season to taste.
Take off from heat and serve topped with chopped cilantro and slices of lime.