Saturday, November 14, 2009

beer braised carnitas tacos

I busted out a quick and delicious dish tonight utilizing soy curls and an amazing method for braising them to create a rich and delicious sauce. I think this is probably the best thing I have ever stuffed inside a warm corn tortilla. You could substitute seitan or tofu for the soy curls but these offer the best texture for a vegan carnitas.

Vegan Carnitas Tacos

1 cup dried soycurls, or about 2 cups sliced seitan
1 cup water
a bottle of Founders Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp liquid smoke
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp cumin
2 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp chipotle puree
2 tbsp maple syrup 
1 tbsp oregano
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper

diced cooked sweet potato 
shredded lettuce
shredded vegan Monterrey jack cheese
pico de gallo salsa
vegan sour cream 
corn tortillas

Start out by getting your soy curls hydrated. Then get a pan on medium high heat with a touch of oil and toss your onions in. After a bit add your garlic and toss in the soy curls. When everything starts to get brown add your beer and all the rest of the ingredients. Let braise over medium high heat for about 15 minutes until most of the liquid gets absorbed. Stuff your corn tortillas with a bit of the carnitas, a bit of sweet potato, cheese, lettuce, sour cream and pico de gallo. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

seitan piccata with cauliflower parsnip mash and broccoli pesto

I got pretty excited to cook tonight after reading a bit of the conscious cook by tal ronnen earlier today. In the cookbook he has a really good looking gardein piccata recipe, amongst several others, that I wanted to try. I didn't get a chance to write down the recipe or even remember it very well but I gathered the basics and started to make the dish anyways. After drinking some of the white wine I deliberated a good side and knew that mashed potatoes of some kind would definitely be the best pairing for this one. I mixed together parsnips, a head of cauliflower and a few potatoes together and boiled them with eight cloves of garlic and salt. When they were finished I smashed them up with a pat of vegan butter and seasoned them with salt and black pepper. To top the potatoes I made a simple broccoli pesto with a small blanched head of broccoli, a clove of garlic, a handful of almonds, a pinch of nutritional yeast, a squeeze of lemon, some olive oil and of course salt and pepper to taste. The real gem of the meal was the piccata sauce with is based around white wine, lemons, and capers. Check out my take on this classic and repeat it in your own kitchen because its really good.

Seitan Piccata

a few good sized pieces of seitan, chicken style
1/2 cup flour season with salt and pepper and a pinch of paprika
olive oil 
1 small onion, finely diced, you can use shallots here too
2 cloves garlic, minced
a few glugs of good white wine
a lemon or two of juice, depending on how juicy they are
1 cup of vegan chicken broth or vegetable broth
handful of capers
pat of butter

Start out by lightly flouring your seitan pieces with the flour mixture and then sear them on both sides in olive oil over medium high heat. Remove then from the pan after both sides get nice and brown. Add the onions and garlic to the pan with a splash more olive oil. Cook for a couple minutes then sprinkle in the remaining flour, about 3 tablespoons. Cook for a minute more then add the white wine to deglaze. It should start to thicken quickly, add the veggie broth and the capers and lemon juice. Cook until thickened and reduced by about a quarter. Add the browned seitan back into the pan and cook with the sauce for a minute. Serve immediately with the smashed potatoes.   Enjoy!


Friday, November 6, 2009

Vegan Gyros and Tatziki Sauce

After getting caught in the whirlwind of school, work, reading and all things other than posting on this blog I am back again. I am posting the meal we had tonight because it was real good. I made a simple simmered seitan recipe for the gyro and some tatziki sauce to add a cool creamy element to the sandwich. It tasted even better than how I remembered it at the good ole greasy fast food restaurant I went to so many times as a kid. Some crinkle cut potato wedges completed the meal in a good fried food fashion.

Vegan Gyros

1 batch seitan, thinly sliced
chopped onions
good amount of Greek seasoning (oregano, sumac, basil, thyme, etc)
splash tamari
2 pitas, with pockets
chopped romaine 
chopped tomatoes

Get a pan on over med high heat. Add some olive oil and fry up the seitan and onions to get them a little crispy and brown. After 5-10 minutes season with the Greek seasoning, then splash with tamari.  Throw the seitan in the toasted pita pile high with lettuce and tomatoes and serve with vegan tatziki.

Tatziki (cucumber sauce)

1 box silken tofu
1 med cucumber, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic
1 lemon,  juice it 
1/4 cup canola oil or olive oil
2 tsps salt
black pepper

Throw everything except a little bit of the chopped cucumber into the food processor then add the chopped cucumber for some texture. Transfer to the fridge to let the flavors meld.