Posted in oodFay, tagged bruschetta, cashew ricotta, chard, cucumber, eggplant, French Bread, homemade, shiitake, vegan on July 2, 2010 |
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I was the designated roll tosser when I was little. Every Sunday we’d gather round my Grandmother’s table, after church of course, and I’d chuck rolls at all my family members, except for Grumps. I don’t recall him ever fixing his own plate… Perhaps I just liked throwing things – which isn’t far from the truth – but I loved bread and wanted it near me at all times. And I still do, love it that is not need it at my beck and call. Lately it seems like I love it a whole lot. Probably too much. Oh well.
Making your own bread always seems to scare people; or at least it frightened me. It’s definitely one of those things that, for whatever reason, takes a lot of practice. You can follow the same recipe to the T every single time and every single time you might get something different, or something gooey, or something not resembling bread at all. I’ve made this bread recipe three times and five different ways, and every time it’s turned out great. I even got a little too creative and put kale in it once and even that was edible.
Kale and nutritional yeast, kalmata olive and garlic, and plain “French” bread.
A couple days ago I threw another batch of dough together. This time I put some herbs in it (though I can’t really taste them), did about 1/3 wheat and 2/3′s AP flour, and twisted the little guy (don’t worry, I was gentle). It didn’t come out as pretty as I hoped but it’s still tasty.
So for lunch yesterday (and then dinner… good thing I had a long run in the morning) I made an open face sandwich/ bruschetta from my bread. I grilled (pan fried) slices of the bread then lightly sauteed some chard, eggplant and shiitake mushrooms in olive oil and balsamic, grabbed some cucumber and put a dollop of cashew ricotta on top. Damn tasty! if I do say so myself. And it looked prettier than the loaf did. =)
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I think eggplant is the shizznit of the veggie world. I mean seriously, can you think of a more awesome veggie? Butternut squash is probably close but I’m not sure it can take the crown.
Anyway, we make pad thai almost every week, and usually I stick to the typical random mixed frozen veggies. But today I thought I should try out some of my favorite purple veggie, the eggplant. It was FLIPPIN delicious!!! The pictures don’t do my tastebuds justice. If you like pad thai but generally find yourself screwed to find a veggie version in a restaurant, do try this. The sauce is a work in progress but it seems to taste better every time I make it.
Soak 8-9oz of rice noodles in hot water for 30-60 minutes. Refer to package for appropriate time if needed.
Slice the eggplant and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for about 30 minutes to extract the bitter juices and then rinse. Cut the eggplant into small chunks. I used about 3/5 to 3/4 of a smallish eggplant. There was more eggplant than noodles (as I only had about half of the noodles) but that’s how I like it.
Heat some oil in a wok or large skillet on medium-high to high heat. Once hot, add the eggplant and cook for about 45 seconds. Add noodles, baby spinach (if using), and sauce (below). Mix well and fry it up for a minute or two until everything seems well coated and somewhat glossy (you don’t want the sauce to be runny). Transfer to a plate and try not to burn your mouth since you won’t be able to wait until it cools!
For da sauce:
1/4 C tamarind concentrate
1/2 C H2O
1-2 T turbinado sugar
1 big heaping table spoon (like the kind you would eat soup with) of peanut butter – use chunky if you like the peanut pieces
1 T fish sauce (or oyster flavored sauce to make it vegan)
1 T rice vinegar
1 T soy sauce
1 T lime or lemon juice (both taste good so whatever your preference)
1/2 T garlic powder (or 1-2 cloves)
1/2 T onion powder (or 1/2 onion)
1/2 T chili paste (I use this stuff)
If you’re using actual onion and garlic, saute them over medium heat for a few minutes until they become soft. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until mixed through. I typically do it this way but lately I’ve realized that onion likes to hold a grudge against me so I’ve been using powder.
If you’re using onion and garlic powder, just mix everything together and nuke it for about 40 seconds so the PB dissolves.
*Makes about 1&1/2 C of sauce, enough for about 8-9oz of noodles plus veggies (or chicken if you swing that way).
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I’m giving you the pre-eaten version, in case you were concerned. I decided to try to make these: http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2009/03/colcannon-puffs.html. I subbed spinach for kale as that’s what I had in the ole kitch, and decided some grilled eggplant would be lovely (I <3 eggplant). Not so bad. I would recommend making the potato puffs not so puffy and more pancakey, and also fry them versus baking as I think they will end up crunchier. I then topped it with my marinara sauce.
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