Saturday, December 10, 2011

Late Night Post after a Long Day!

I'll be brief since it's been a very long day!!! I took the time this afternoon to finally help my mom declutter her storage space. What I thought might take weeks ended up only taking three solid hours which was a bonus. I'm glad to be done for sure!

For supper tonight we had Curry Seitan Jamaican Patties which is another test recipe for Terry Hope Romero. They were soooo tasty! I have been strangely craving tourtiere and these, although differently spiced, hit the spot. The pastry is flaky, tender and flavourful. The filling was a bit hot but in the tasty way and it was perfectly spiced with the home made Jamaican Curry Powder (another test recipe). The recipe is great because you can do parts of it ahead of time and then assemble them when you are ready to eat. My pictures are less than stellar but I'm still sharing them anyways. I have yet to manage to capture the filling of a patty like this in a picture, they always seem to come out blurry! Ah well, they tasted fantastic and are definitely something I will make again!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Soy Curl Carnitas with PPK Cashew Queso

I have been a bad blogger and a bad tester lately and I want to apologize. I have been up to my ears with household responsibilities and Christmas to-do's that I have gotten a little behind for sure! I have even been finding it hard to get my butt in gear to make supper lately especially with my self-induced gluten strike for the past two weeks (trying to see if an intolerance was causing my headaches but nope). I really gotta tip my hat to anyone that is gluten free. It is tricky and not eating it for even just 12 3/4 days was really trying. I never knew what to make and while at first it felt like breakfast was the hardest to degluten, it turns out lunch was my sticking point since I usually have a sandwich. I did end up giving into the gluten since I was still having the same headaches during my gluten fast but I will say we had some seriously delicious meals without it so from now on I won't rely so much on the old standards.

One supper we had that really stood out was Soy Curl Carnitas that we topped with PPK's Cashew Queso. It was sooo yummy! I had bought a pouch of Frontera Grill Garlicky Carnita Skillet Sauce a while back at Grace in the Kitchen but hadn't had the chance to use it yet. Please ignore the pork on the package or you could do what my son does and just make everything vegan by simply saying it is.

I was thinking about what it would work on and landed on soy curls. I rehydrated them in some hot water, squeezed them out and put them in a container. I covered them in the skillet sauce and tossed it around so they got all covered. Then I stuck them in the fridge overnight to marinate. The next night at supper time I just tossed them into a lightly oiled, hot skillet with a chopped onion and pan fried them until they were golden and a bit caramelized. I served them on a bed of basmati rice with the queso poured over top and a side of guacamole and it was perfect! I kept saying as we ate "these would make great..." and listed off pretty much anything I could think of like tacos, burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas, and then landed on fajitas. They would make good anything really and that queso is the stuff dreams are made of. It is so rich and creamy and just the right amount of spicy and so flavourful. It makes a bunch too which is great because you are going to want a bunch of it. We had it after on nachos and just as a dip. It says serve warm but I was dipping tortilla chips in it cold and it still tasted amazing. I think it might be Ryan's favourite thing I've ever made. He was big into his queso before so he was very happy to be reunited. We both made sure that not a drop was wasted for sure with this one! It will definitely get made again and again especially over the holidays. Now I just have to restock on soy curls and skillet sauce.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Food Network Friday: Bacon Corn Muffins with Savoury Cream Cheese Frosting

This Food Network Friday totally snuck up on me! The break through MoFo might be to blame but once I saw it, I was in! Now usually I do all kinds of crazy impersonations for these Food Network Friday posts but this time I got nothing...sorry! I don't think I've ever seen an episode of What Would Brian Boitano Make? and I'm not sure it airs up here in Canada to be honest. I did try my best to find some clips or something but YouTube failed me big time and only had a few small clips that didn't really give me the feel of the show. Next time, I promise!

The recipe this time was Bacon Corn Muffins with Savoury Cream Cheese Frosting and I will admit to being turned off by the idea of savoury frosting right off the bat. I think it was that it was called frosting more than anything to be honest...ah semantics! Anyways, I dove in head first and went for this one despite my hang ups. I have been trying a gluten free thing for the past week and a bit too so I made them as gluten free as I know how to. I have very little experience with gluten free baking but I really wanted to take part so I put my thinking cap on. The recipe uses a mix of cornmeal and all purpose flour so I decided to use corn flour in place of the all purpose. I added a bit of potato flakes and xantham gum as well for good measure since I've heard good things about both in gluten free baking. These muffins have bacon in them and on top for garnish and I decided to go with crumbled tempeh bacon since it is my new favourite thing (thanks to Tami and Celine's upcoming sandwich cookbook, Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day!) and it really did do the trick. The muffins came out pretty good and held up well too. They were slightly acidic but I think that was my fault since I added some apple cider vinegar to my soy milk. I would skip that next time. The frosting was a mix of Tofutti Cream Cheese, Tabasco, minced chives and agave nectar and I wasn't a big fan. It was better on the muffins but still wasn't my thing. I would prefer the muffin straight up and maybe mix the chives into the muffin itself next time. But I will say that they looked pretty impressive with the frosting, tempeh bacon and chives all garnishing the tops.

No recipe this time sorry! I was throwing in dashes of this and pinches of that and totally forgot to write it all down. I can tell you that I subbed the egg in the recipe with 1/4 cup of Tofutti Sour Cream, I used 4 tbsp of olive oil instead of melted butter and bacon fat, I used 2 tbsp potato flakes and 1/2 tsp xantham gum, I subbed the corn flour for the all purpose in equal measure and I added a 1/4 cup of tempeh bacon crumbles to the mix. Anything else in the recipe I used the measurements specified and followed the instructions/temperatures as well.

Check out Tami's blog to see what everyone else did with this recipe and sneak a peek at some of the sandwiches from Tami and Celine's sandwich book since Tami just posted some sneak peek pictures yesterday! And just to note...I tried all three of the sandwiches pictured and they were all fricken fantastic! Also, check out their newest venture, Vegan Muffins on the Move if you love muffins and really, who doesn't?!?