Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Monday Night Vegan Cooking with Kat

Hold on to your hats, boleros and bonnets folks, not only did this week's episode of the Bachelorette promise to be the one where Frank Loses It, but Kat and I are cooked up a storm!

Frank. What a dweeb. He sucked. I hope he and his girl are broken up again.

Last night's Menu:

Appetizers: Stuffed Mushrooms
Sides: Wagamama's Raw Salad, Pasta Salad with artichokes and olives
Main Course: Tempeh Crab Cakes with... erm... some kind of remoulade.
Dessert: Bittersweet Chocolate Orange Sorbet

Here's what the dinner plate looked like:

Wagamama Salad, Pasta Salad, Tempeh Crab Cakes
Now, Kat was worried about the tempeh crab cakes... which is a first for our Monday night cooking. Usually what happens is I get weirded out by the recipe and she's totally calm, cool and collected.

So when she gets nervous, I get extra nervous... 'cause, you know... I'm not even entirely sure I know what what tempeh is. I know there's fermenting. I know it's soy bean based. I know it comes in blocks.

We were both relieved that the cakes were awesome. My husband gave them huge thumbs up. And when the carnivore does that, you know you're in a happy place.

Recipes and links after the jump!

Stuffed Mushroom Caps 
- found in Ripe: From Around Here.
I could have eaten these all night long. Mushrooms, nuts, thyme, marjoram and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Mmm. Mm! As Kat made these, I don't feel comfortable posting the recipe. Pick up the book though! I'm not vegan in the least, but Jae has some great ideas about how to incorporate local seasonal produce into your diet.

Wagamama Inspired Raw Salad
 (based on the recipe from the Wagamama Cookbook)

1 handful runner beans (romano beans), chopped into 1 inch pieces, blanched it boiling water for 3 minutes and then cooled in ice water
4 handfuls of salad leaves
4 tbsp wagamama salad dressing (my interpretation to follow)
salt &; pepper
1 tomato (I like to do strips)
6 slices cucumber (again, I'm in a julienning kind of mood)

Plunge the pepper slices into cold water until they curl, which will take a few minutes.
Toss salad leaves with dressing. Add salt & pepper to taste. Divide between two plates and scatter pepper, tomato and cucumber over top.

Theoretically Serves 2

Wagamama Salad Dressing
makes about ½ cup
I've played around with the original recipe's measurements because my jar was only ½ cup in volume. My version has less oil and used regular soy sauce instead of light soy sauce (and less of it)

2 tsp finely chopped shallots
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
1 small clove of garlic, finely chopped
1½ tbsp rice vinegar (the plain kind, not the seasoned one)
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp water
5 tbsp vegetable oil
2½ tbsp soy sauce

Marmalade + Cocoa
Shake all ingredients together in a screw top jar. Or a mason jar. Whatever you've got handy. Store in the fridge for up to a week. 

Bittersweet Chocolate Orange Sorbet
For this, you'll need an ice cream machine! I used Cooking Light's Chocolate-Cherry Sorbet recipe and replaced the cherry with Martha Stewart's Blood Orange-Grapefruit Marmalade (substitute Blood Oranges for the tangerines and pink grapefruit for the lemons). Because the marmalade was so chunky, I pureed up with an immersion blender once I'd added the water in.

Churning away in my machine
This recipe is RICH and intense. If you don't like bittersweet chocolate, this is not the recipe for you! I didn't believe the recipe when it said it made 7 servings, but it really does. A little goes a long way. Next time I'll use a berry jam (wouldn't raspberry be killer) - the bitterness added from the orange and grapefruit rind were a tad too overpowering for me once I got to the 5th spoonful. Of course, that fact might make this the perfect dieting dessert. Kat and Phil agreed it was spectacular though - and I will admit that it has the creamiest consistency that I've ever had from a sorbet. So... serious props to this recipe!

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