Tuesday, September 14, 2010

White Soy Sauce Glazed Pasilla Pepper, Kale, Chickpea and Chorizo Quesadilla topped with Cilantro Creme Fraiche

I believe that the majority of my readers are under the impression that I must eat like a gourmand on a daily basis. Let me dispel this notion immediately: I am one very apathetic home chef. For example, tonight for dinner I threw some ramen noodles, mushrooms, spinach, vegan chicken and no chicken broth base into a pot and called it a night. It took about ten minutes to prepare, and my lazy ass is completely satisfied. If i made a cookbook of what I actually ate on a daily basis, I think I'd sell about 10 copies. And no one would read my blog.

When I write recipes, I like to not only think outside of the box, but outside of what's considered appropriate for a trained professional chef. I have no training besides what I've read in books. i let my palate do the teaching. I find that I usually have a great deal of success when I test a recipe, and the feedback I receive is 90% positive.

The biggest complaint I receive is that my recipes seem just a tad to overwhelming for novice home chef, but I promise that my book will break it down into easy step-by-step processes that even include shortcuts to eliminate a great deal of the dirty work that goes into the preparation process.

The recipes I'm posting today is one of my more simple ones, that way I don't have to listen to you all bitch and whine...haha how I kid. Actually, the only thing I'll allow you to bitch about the fact is that Whitey McWhiteGirl is making a decent attempt to create an authentic Mexican recipe.

The funny think is, I threw this recipe together with much less forethought than I do most of my other recipes, and I actually believe it to be one of my better ones. It was one of those "what do I have lying around the house that I can throw together" creations. Or, what my grandpa would affectionately refer to as a "Garbage Can Recipe".

I really enjoyed it, so did my roommates, and hopefully you will, too.

Oh, and one last thing. I've created a Facebook page for my book, "Veganize This!". On the left hand sidebar, you can click a pretty little link that will allow you to "Like" the book on Facebook. So get your mouse in gear and show me some lovin'!

Have a great week!

White Soy Sauce Glazed Pasilla Pepper, Kale, Chickpea and Chorizo Quesadilla topped with Cilantro Creme Fraiche

  • 2 TBSP Canola Oil
  • 4 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 White Onion, chopped
  • 1 14 oz can Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 12 oz package of Vegan Chorizo (I used Yves)
  • 1 Pasilla Chile Pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 4 cups chopped Kale (any type)
  • 2 TBSP White Soy Sauce
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups Vegan Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • 4 Large (Burrito Size) tortillas

In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat the canola oil. Add the garlic and onions to the pan, and saute until the onions are translucent but not browned. Add the chickpeas, chorizo, and pasilla pepper to the pan, and saute until the chorizo is browned, the chickpeas are cooked and the pepper is softened.

Add the white soy sauce to the pan to deglaze, then stir in the kale and saute until wilted. Taste to see if salt or pepper is needed, then remove the pan from heat and set aside.

Take your tortillas, and add equal amounts of the chorizo mixture to one half of the tortilla. Spread the mixture out evenly over half the tortilla. Sprinkle 1/4 cup (or more, if desired) of the vegan cheddar over the filling on each tortilla, then fold the tortilla over to make a sandwich.

You have two options for cooking the quesadilla. One is to cook it in a pan on the stove, the other is to use a George Foreman Grill-type device.

If you're cooking stove top, grease a grill pan with a touch of oil and heat the pan over high heat. Cook the quesadillas one at a time for about 4 minutes on each side, or until all the cheese is completely melted.

If you're cooking on a Foreman Grill, cook the quesadillas individually until the cheese has fully melted and the tortilla is brown.

Cut the quesadillas into 4 slices, then serve immediately garnished with Cilantro Creme Fraiche. These also taste great with pico de galo salsa or guacamole.

Cilantro Creme Fraiche

  • 2/3 cup MimicCreme (or sub 2/3 cup Soymilk mixed with 1 TBSP White Vinegar)
  • 1/3 cup Plain Soy Yogurt
  • 1 small bunch Cilantro, finely diced
Mix the MimicCreme and plain soy yogurt together well, and leave out un-refrigerated for 12 hours. Yes, you read that correctly. It won't kill you...I promise.

Stick in the refrigerator until just before you're ready to make the quesadillas.

Remove from the refrigerator, stir in the cilantro, the place back in the refrigerator until you're ready to eat.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Chipotle and Black Pepper Crusted "Steak" Sandwiches with "Cheddar", Heirloom Tomato Horseradish "Mayo" and Watercress

This past week, my vegan immunity powerhouse of impeccable health was crumbled by some unknown virus. My throat was sore, my cough was strong, and there was more mucus coming out of my body than I was aware it could produce. I had "bear head*" for over two days. I couldn't leave my bed for almost three days. I know I was extremely ill because I also couldn't even think about food. That's my red flag. When I can't even pick up a cookbook without growing queasy, I know something's up...and that something was a violent flu that I'll hopefully never cross paths with again.

I'm not used to falling ill. It's been almost two years since any sickness nearly this strong has pervaded my tiger-like immune system. And I am one crabby motherfucker when I'm sick. I couldn't just order Jane around to bring me tea and lozenges because she was equally as ill as I. All we could do was lay in bed together and whine in between coughing fits. I'm sure it was quite a scene.

I used to fake sick all the time as a kiddo, and I was downright GREAT at doing so. Most kids just stick a thermometer under a lamp and call it a day. Not me. I busted out. I would lay a hot water bottle underneath my neck and head to raise my temperature, then hide it the second my mom came in to check my fever. It would raise me to at least 99.5 or higher. I had perfected the fake sneeze like an artform. And, (this is gross...I know) I could make it seem like I'd thrown up in bed by chewing a bunch of food and spitting it on the comforter. I was one crazy 8-year-old. But instead of seeing myself as a young slacker, I like to think that all my days at home taught me how to keep a house together and tidy while the kids are at school. It's all about the light you shed on a situation.

Gross childhood stories aside, I'm back on my feet and back in my kitchen. For this sandwich, I used the new stretchy Teese cheddar, but I'm going to be an ass and recommend using Daiya instead. I just like the taste so much better.

Happy belated Labor Day!

*(You've seen the commercials where the guy wearing the bear head represents that disconnected feeling, right? Alright. Maybe I just like the term "Bear Head".

Chipotle and Black Pepper Crusted Steak Sandwiches with "Cheddar", Heirloom Tomato Horseradish "Mayo" and Watercress

  • 1 batch of Beef Style Seitan, made in 1 large piece
  • Canola Oil, for rubbing "Steak"
  • Kosher Salt, for seasoning
  • 1 1/2 TBSP Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
  • 1 1/2 TBSP Dried Chipotle Pepper, ground
  • 4 Sandwich Rolls, halved and toasted
  • 8 Slices of Vegan Cheddar Cheese
  • Heirloom Tomato Horseradish Mayo (Recipe Follows)
  • 1 bunch of Watercress

Heat your grill, grill pan or skillet over high heat. Rub the big piece of Beef Style Seitan with the canola oil, then rub well with salt, pepper and ground chipotle. Grill the "Steak" on both sides until slightly charred, about 4 minutes per side. Remove from the grill or pan and set aside to cool for 4 minutes. Slice into 1/4 inch thick slices.

Place two slices of "Cheddar" on the bottom of each sandwich roll, the place an equal amount of "Steak" atop the "Cheddar". Wrap each sandwich tightly with foil, then place back on the grill or pan for 1 minute on each side. Remove the sandwich from the heat and unwrap it, the add the Heirloom Tomato Horseradish Mayo and watercress to the sandwich. Serve.

Heirloom Tomato Horseradish Mayo

  • 1 large Heirloom Tomato, seeded
  • 1 cup Vegan Mayo
  • 1 TBSP Whole Grain Mustard
  • 2 TBSP Horseradish, drained
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Using a food processor, puree all of the ingredients except the salt and pepper until fully blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving.