When in Doubt…Leave it at 350

baking, cooking, and other adventures

Vegan Adventure #22 and VeganMofo #7 October 15, 2008

There was a miracle somewhere and I made a full vegan dinner.  Who would have thought it was possible?  Funny thing is it was very easy.  Another weird thing has occurred.  For about 4 days or so I actually could have been considered a Vegetarian.  I ate absolutely no meat, and it was completely by accident.  Since I have been cooking a lot of vegan food, that is what I have been eating, but it didn’t stay strictly vegan since I had some sweets that happened to have dairy and eggs in them, opps.

I was completely impressed with this dinner.  I think it took me a total of an hour, but if you think about it I made the chickpea cutlets, red wine roux, agave and mustard potatoes, and roasted asparagus.  It probably would have only taken about 30-45 minutes if I had planned my time better and been more organized.  I only had one problem with the entire dinner.  The red wine roux was a little salty, but I didn’t add any salt.  I think I found the culprit, the recipe says to use 1 vegetable bouillon cube for 1 1/4 cup water.  I checked the package to the bouillon and it said to use 1/2 cube per one cup water.  Which means it was my fault for not looking at the directions to the bouillon to make sure it was in the right increments.  Oh well, it still tasted good; you just didn’t need to use very much sauce.

The chickpea cutlets were perfectly cooked and browned on each side.  The texture was very meaty and it went well with the red wine roux.  It pays to search for sauces in the same book you are cooking  your main dish out of because Isa and Terry wrote which sauces went well with which dishes.  That was very helpful.  I made the asaparagus so that there was something green on the plate.  I tossed them in olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted them in a 400°F oven for 15 minutes and they came out perfectly.

The potatoes are based off of a recipe that I used to make in college.  For one of my classes I actually cooked in the fine dining restaurant on campus and we made honey roasted potatoes.  I have since modified the recipe to make it easier and faster to make because steaming potatoes and then putting them in the oven for 30 or so minutes just takes too long when you are at home and want a good honey roasted potato.  Then I modified the recipe one more time to make it vegan and agave was the first thing I thought of to replace the honey because it is sweet with a nice flavor and is a little thick like honey.  They turned out perfect.

Chickpea Cutlets

Source: Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero

1 cup cooked chickpeas

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup vital wheat gluten

1/2 cup plain bread crumbs

1/3 cup vegetable broth or water

2 tbs soy sauce

2 cloves garlic, pressed or grated with a microplane grater

1/2 tsp lemon zest

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp Hungarian paprika

1/4 tsp dried rubbed sage

Olive oil for panfrying

In a mixing bowl, mash the chickpeans together with the oiluntil no whole chickpeas are left.  add the remaining ingredients and knead for about 3 minutes, until strings of gluten have formed.

Preheat a large heavy-bottomed non stick or cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Meanwhile,d ivide the cutlet dough into four equal pieces.  To form the cutlets, knead each piece in your hand for a few moments and then flatten and stretch each one into a roughly 6 x 4-inch rectangluar cutlet shape.  The easiest way to do this is to first form a rectangular shape in your hands and then place the cutlets on a clean surface to flatten and stretch them.

Add a moderately thin layer of olive oil to the bottom of the pan.  Place the cutlets in the pan and cook on each side for 6 to 7 minutes.  Add more oil, if needed, when you flip the cutlets.  They are ready when lightly brownded and firm to the touch.

Just in case you were wondering, you can also bake these too! Baking these patties gives them a toothsome chewy texture and firm bite.  Preheat the oven to 375°F, lightly oil baking sheet.  Brush both sides of each patty with olive oil, place on the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.  Flip patties and bake another 8-10 minutes till firm and golden brown.

Red Wine Roux

Source: Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero

1 1/4 cup boiling water

1 vegetable bouillon cube

2 tbsp non hydrogentated vegan margarine

3 tbsp all-purpose flour

3 large shallots, minced finely

1/4 cup finely minced celery

1 clove garlic minced

3/4 cup dry red wine

1 bay leaf

1 tsp dried marjoram

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp dried rosemary, crumbed between your fingers

2 tbsp minced fresh chives

In a small saucepan, dissolve the bouillon cube in boiling water.  Keep the broth warm on the lowest flame possible.

Melt the margarine in a separate small, heavy bottom saucepan and stir in the flour with a wooden spoon.  Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is deep golden brown and smells toasty, 6 to 8 minutes.  Stir in the minced shallots and garlic, coating with the saice, and continue to cook, stirring, for another 5 minutes.  It will resemble a coarse paste.  Stir in the celery and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, until the celery has softened a little.

Pour the hot veggie bouillon and stir with a wire whisk to create a thick sauce.  Add the bay leaf, marjoram, thyme, and rosemary.  While stirring constantly, bring to a boil then lower the heat and simmer for 2 minutes.

Gradually pour in the wine, continuing to stir with the whisk, and bring to a boil again.  Lower the heat once more and simmer for 4 to 6 minutes, until slightly reduced and thickened (sauce is not as thick as gravy but will cling to the back of a metal spoon).

Remove from the heat, stir in the chopped chives, and either ladle directly over food or serve alongside in a gravy boat.

Agave Nectar and Mustard Roasted Potatoes

By Pastrybrush

4 red potatoes, cut in 3/4 inch pieces

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp Dijon mustard

1 tbsp agave nectar

salt and pepper to taste

Chop up the potatoes and place them in a microwave safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes, and let cool.  In a medium size bowl mix together the mustard, agave nectar, and salt and pepper.  Once the potatoes have cooled, heat a medium sized skilled on medium heat with olive oil.  When the skillet is hot add the potatoes and brown on all sides, should only take about 5 minutes.  Pour the potatoes over the mustard mixture and toss to evenly coat the potatoes.  Serve.

If you do not want to use your microwave you can boil the potatoes until just tender, but be careful not to cook them too much or they will fall apart.


4 Responses to “Vegan Adventure #22 and VeganMofo #7”

  1. YUM! That looks fantastic! Way to go you!

  2. bex Says:

    that all looks delicious. chickpea cutlets are one of my quick dinners but I haven’t made the red wine sauce yet. I think I have a little red wine left too . . .hmmm

  3. fortheloveofguava Says:

    Wow that looks delicious! I can’t believe that only took you an hour! Then again when I actually plan I realize how much quicker cooking can be as well! YUM!

  4. Bethany Says:

    looks great. I love their chickpea cutlets.

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