Cutest Factory Farm Ever

5 July 2016

yet, still horrifying.

As a friend of mine explained how, as a vegetarian, he thinks of eating meat as “bathing in the blood of children.”

Boy, those animated pigs sure are cute.

Braised Tempeh in Black Bean Sauce

27 June 2016

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

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
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.

Salsa Verde

2 June 2016

Fermented – Hot and Sour

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. ┬áThe 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.

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.

Red curry paste

26 October 2015

nam phrik kaeng

1 1/2 TB coriander seeds, toasted
2 tsp cumin, toasted
1 tsp white peppercorns
7 dried Thai long chiles, seeded, soake in hot water, drained
10 dried bird’s eye chiles, ditto
2 tsp salt
2 TB galangal, finely chopped
2 TB thinly sliced lemongrass
2 tsp finely chopped kaffir lime rind
2 TB finely chopped cilantro roots (or stems)
10 cloves garlic
1/2 C sliced shallots

add them in order to a mortar and pestle to a fine paste/powder before adding the next ingredient.

although the mortar and pestle are a lot of work, it does bring out the flavours in a way that you just can’t get with spice grinders, blenders, food processors, but it is time-consuming.

Apple Butter

11 May 2015

rich amber sweetness.

With an abundance of inexpensive apples from the end of the storage season, this is much less expensive than buying apple butter at outrageous prices. I don’t recommend doing this on an unseasonably hot evening as I did. The oven’s on for a long time.


(these are relative ratios – I used 6lbs of empire and macintosh apples for this, and adjusted the rest)

1 pound assorted apples, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup apple cider
1/8 cup maple syrup
pinch Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of ground allspice

1. combine apples, cider, syrup and a pinch of salt (1/8 tsp) in a dutch oven or other pot you can put in the oven. You’ll need to. Heat over medium heat until it comes to a simmer, and leave the apples to soften. Takes about 20 minutes.

2. remove from heat. add lemon juice, cinnamon, vanilla, and allspice. Puree the mess with an immersion blender, or a regular blender in batches. You’ll want this to be very smooth.

3. place in a 250F oven, uncovered, and bake for 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes. The apple goo will thicken an darken to a rich caramel brown.

4. remove from oven, let cool, and store in refrigerator. It won’t keep for too long, so share, and feast as is your inkling.

AuMaiZin Stacks

19 February 2015

layers of polenta, roasted vegetables, and tomato sauce

5 c. polenta
3 c. tomato sauce
1 eggplant, sliced crosswise
1 zucchini, sliced crosswise
1 red pepper, sliced into strips
oil for roasting

feta cheese if you want

1. make polenta according to this recipe. pour into 4 ramekins. cool in the refrigerator.
2. coat the vegetables with oil. use extra on the eggplant. roast in an oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, turning halfway. it might take longer.
3. remove the poleta from the ramekins. slice crosswise into 3 pieces.
4. make 4 stacks: polenta, red pepper & eggplant, sauce, polenta, zucchini & eggplant, sauce, polenta, sauce.
5. bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes until heated through.
6. serve with a salad or some other appropriate accompaniment.

NOTE: I’ve also done this like a lasagna. pour the polenta onto two greased cookie sheets in thin layers. cut into layers, and then pile it up like a lasagna. You’ll likely need more vegetables to do it this way.