Comfort Stew

18 December 2016

Vegan, Gluten-Free, Ebola-Free, Reduced Salt, Low Cholesterol, Low Sugar, age-reversing, corpuscle-rejuvinating, body-nutrilizing.

Last recipe of theAbysmal. I threw this stew together, looking to make some kind of vegan equivalent to the comforting meat-heavy stews I had growing up. This one manages to get an equivalent flavour and texture.

Also, I suck for not having pictures, I know. I fail at Internet.

Ingredients:

1 leek, sliced
1 head garlic, peeled, sliced
13 large cremini or portebellini mushrooms, sliced thick
3 carrots, peeled, cut into chunks
2 big potatoes, peeled, diced
1 bulb fennel, diced
1 TB marmite
cooking oil
1 cake smoked tofu, small dice
1 cake firm tofu, frozen, thawed, large dice
1/2 C tamarind paste
1 C water
soup stock
2-4 TB dried porcini, minced

  1. boil water, add 1 C to the tamarind paste. Stir to break apart paste, let sit 15 min. Strain off pulp. Pour strained liquid over frozen/thawed tofu. Let sit while you prep the rest.
  2. Heat the oil in something, I used a dutch oven, at about medium. Add leeks, cook for a while.
  3. add mushrooms, let them heat up before tossing them around. They absorb oil, so you may need to add some. Don’t be shy. Cook the mushrooms through.
  4. add the rest of the vegetables. Stir thoroughly. Add tamarind-marinated tofu, but reserve the marinade. Stir everything together. Add the smoked tofu, mix, and let the flavours combine.
  5. add tamarind marinade, and soup stock to cover the vegetables.
  6. stir in marmite and porcini. simmer until it’s as good as done.

I had most of these ingredients lying around. I think the keys here are potatoes, thick-cut mushrooms, and the flavours of marmite-tamarind-smoked tofu really hit all the right spots. I don’t eat a lot of soy (like wheat, it’s in everything), but I guess I’ve been craving protein.


Braised Tempeh in Black Bean Sauce

27 June 2016

Chinese fermented Black Beans, not the turtle black beans used in Latin American cooking.

Ingredients:
1 cake of tempeh (250 g), thawed

Braising Liquid:
2-3 C vegetable broth
1 star anise
1 strip of kombu seaweed
1 TB lemon zest
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

Black Bean Sauce:
1 C fermented black beans
9 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 inch+ piece of ginger, peeled, chopped
2+ TB chili flakes
1/2 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp balsamic reduction
1 tsp mirin
1 TB soy sauce
2+ TB sesame oil
Enough neutral-flavoured oil to cover the black bean sauce ingredients.
vegetable broth (optional)

Oil for cooking.

1. Add whole cake of tempeh to a pot with the braising ingredients, bring to a boil.
Remove kombu, reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat, let
cool.
2. Combine the black bean sauce ingredients in a blender and puree. Add vegetable broth in a thin stream if desired.
3. Remove tempeh from braising liquid, cut into cubes, or however you like it.
4. heat cooking oil over medium-high heat. Add tempeh, heat for a few minutes, then add black bean sauce. Heat through.

I’m guessing that the black bean sauce will also work with sweet potato, mushrooms, Asian mustard/cabbage family vegetables.


Pico de Gallo

2 June 2016

Sharp and mild. Yeah, I don’t know how either.

Ingredients
1 spanish onion, peeled and chopped
1 lb, or 8ish tomatoes, cored, chopped
1 head of garlic, peeled chopped
1/2-1 c cilantro leaves
brine: 2 C water + 2 TB salt

I’m using a 1.5 L (about 6 C) wide mouth mason jar with a water-lock in the lid.
1. prepare all the ingredients, toss together.
2. place ingredients in the mason jar, pack down as tightly as possible.
3. add brine to within 1/4″ of the top. Add water lock.

leave for 4 to 6 weeks to ferment. Vent the gas every few days. It smells delicious.

4. depending on your taste, you can blend it to make a homogeneous sauce, or if you like it chunky, serve as is.


Salsa Verde

2 June 2016

Fermented – Hot and Sour

Ingredients
1 spanish onion, peeled and chopped
1 lb, or 20is tomatillos, husked, washed, cored, chopped
dozen jalapenos, seeded, cored, chopped
1/2 head of garlic, peeled chopped
1/2-1 c cilantro leaves
brine: 2 C water + 2 TB salt

I’m using a 1.5 L (about 6 C) wide mouth mason jar with a water-lock in the lid.
1. prepare all the ingredients, toss together.
2. place ingredients in the mason jar, pack down as tightly as possible.
3. add brine to within 1/4″ of the top. Add water lock.

leave for 4 to 6 weeks to ferment. Vent the gas every few days. It smells delicious.

4. depending on your taste, you can blend it to make a homogenous sauce, or if you like it chunky, serve as is.

NOTE: there wasn’t much heat left by the time this was done. I’m not sure if the fermenting process mellows the peppers or if they weren’t particularly hot jalapenos, or maybe I didn’t use enough.  The other thing, is that this is the first time I’ve used tomatillos where they didn’t break down into a thick mush. Putting this in the blender never yielded a homogeneous paste. Call this the rough draft.


Gim Chi

3 May 2016

Another transliteration of Kim Chi, and in this case, only one particular type of the many many many variations there are.

Ingredients:
5 heads of nappa cabbage
5 asian pears, peeled, cored, chopped
5 onions, peeled, chopped
2 heads garlic, peeled
1 large ginger root, peeled, chopped
10 carrots, peeled and julienned
10 bunches of green onions, trimmed and sliced
5+ cups of Korean red pepper (maewoon gochugaru for the spicier type)
10 C brine: 1 TB salt dissolved in 1 C water

1. cut the cabbage into quarters lengthwise, clean under cold water, core, chop.
2. place asian pears, onions, garlic, ginger in a blender and puree the ingredients.
3. mix together blended ingredients with the gochugaru red pepper, carrots and green onions. Combine with the cabbage.
4. I put the whole thing into a wine fermenting bucket (23 Litres, about 6 gallons), it was only about half full.
5. Pour brine over contents in the bucket until it’s all submerged. Put a weight on it, because that stuff will float. Under the brine it will ferment nicely. Anything on the surface risks unwanted growth. This can be scooped off the top.

Leave to ferment for four to six weeks.

This one was so popular with family, friends and coworkers that I’m going to fill the bucket this week. Updates to come.


Aji Amarillo Hot Sauce

3 May 2016

I wrote this down and can’t find it. Alas, I’m going from memory – it was over a month ago. YMMV.

20 aji amarillo (I used frozen), seeded, stemmed, chopped
2 sweet orange peppers
10 aji mirasol (i.e. dried aji amarillo)
4 onions, chopped
1 head of garlic, peeled, chopped
2 TB coriander seeds
2 TB achiote/annatto seeds
brine (1 TB salt to 1 C water)

1. Seed and stem the aji mirasol (their flavour is key), soak in 1 C. warm water.
2. Dissolve 1 TB salt into the mirasol water.
3. Place all the chopped ingredients into clean containers (I used a 2 L mason jar).
4. Pour the mirasol/brine over the ingredient. Top up the container with brine, leaving about 1/4″ head space. I used a water lock, as with homemade wine and beer.
5. Leave it for four to six weeks. I vented it every day, and it smelled delicious. Make sure that the ingredients stay below the brine. I used larger pieces of chile at the top to keep everything trapped below.
6. Place contents in a blender and have at you.

I find that the flavour is fantastic, the heat is nice but short-lived. I’m going to try this again with habaneros and see where that gets us.


Kim Chi

26 October 2015

1 head napa cabbage
1/2 – 1 C sea salt

1 bunch green onions, sliced
1-2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 1/2 c korean red pepper
1 white onion, minced
1 bulb garlic, minced
1 knob ginger, peeled & minced
1 asianapple, cored & minced

1. separate the leaves from the core, rinse and compost anything looking brownish or wilty. Sprinkle each individual leaf generously with salt. Let sit 3 hours at least, or overnight for better results.
2. rinse the leaves of salt, pat dry. Chop into appropriate size (I cut mine fairly thin). Squeeze out more water, put in a large bowl.
3. add the rest and mix thoroughly (use gloves – those peppersare hot!)
4. place into jars, or containers, leaving the lids loose to vent gas formed during fermentation. Leave overnight at room temperature. Refrigerate the next day.

Enjoy at your leisure.