Friday, January 28, 2011

Cookbook Challenge 2: Weeks 1-2 Appetite for Reduction and Vcon

I've been trying to utilize my cookbooks more, so I decided to join the Cookbook Challenge over at the PPK.  Week one was Appetite for Reduction, a book I got semi recently but I love it so damn much that I'd like to cook from it all the time.

Below are two things I cooked over the holidays before the challenge.  Sorry for the photo quality.  Sometimes a girl needs to get her eat on:

chickpea piccata & caulipots
hottie black eyed peas and greens & ginger mashed sweet potatoes and apples for New Year's Day
Now for everything I made during the first week of the challenge followed by my thoughts on the things I hadn't made before.  There is so much greatness in this book that I can't wait to get back to it.

 baked falafel, eggplant kibbeh, shabby sheik hummus
Brussels sprout-potato hash
mushroom and cannellini paprikas w/ scarlet barley
THOUGHTS (newly tried recipes)
1. Chickpea Piccata: The piccata in Vcon is my favorite meal of all time.  This is a great alternative to having it with seitan.  I honestly could not tell that this was low fat.
2. Caulipots: These are another thing that blow my mind!  They taste so damn good that I might even like them better than regular mashed potatoes.
3. Eggplant Kibbeh: This made me realize that I hate fresh mint in every form.  I liked the kibbeh though!  Very delicious.
4. Shabby Sheik Hummus: Smoky.  Awesome.  Deliciousness.
5. Brussels Sprout-Potato Hash: This was far more amazing than I thought it would be.  Super filling and the lemon really makes everything pop!
6. Mushroom & Cannellini Paprikas: This was good, filling, and earthy.
7. Scarlet Barley: This stole the show and a bit of my heart!  By far, my favorite dish from the book so far.  And it's visually stunning.

The second week was all about Veganomicon.  I have cooked more recipes out of this book than any other.  I decided to randomly choose what I was eating so I could branch out of my comfort zone.

saffron garlic rice

chickpeas romesco
chile cornmeal crusted tofu, southwestern corn pudding, and green pumpkin seed mole
THOUGHTS (newly tried recipes)
1. Saffron Garlic Rice: I've made this before but didn't remember it so I'll include my thoughts.  The best part about this rice is the almonds. Such crunchy goodness!
2. Chickpeas Romesco: I know.  I've had the book for 3.5 years and never made one of the most talked about recipes.  This was so delicious!  I loved how beautifully the ground almonds work in the sauce.
3. Southwestern Corn Pudding: Truthfully, I never tried this because I thought it would be like creamed corn (which I hate).  However, it was delightful!  I loved the flavors and colors in this thing.
4. Green Pumpkin Seed Mole:  This tasted fresh and nutty.  Great paired with the corn pudding, and super easy to make.
5. Rustic White Beans and Mushrooms (not pictured): Good, but I had a lot of trouble with my beans.  Instead of cooking them for 45 minutes like the recipe said, I cooked them for at least 3 hours.  This is entirely due to the quality of beans I used.
6. Tomato Couscous w/ Capers (not pictured): I love anything with capers, so this was really good!

Some time this weekend I'll post everything that I cooked from Urban Vegan this week.  Happy Friday all!

Monday, January 24, 2011

End of the Month Blues

I've been feeling really under the weather lately.  Lethargic and nauseous.  And today I've got a headache that just won't end.  So, I decided to do a quick post to ease back into blogging.  I made these last month: Boozy Apple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls.  These things are huge and delicious.  They are loosely based off of my mom's recipe, but I added apples and booze and lessened the sugar/margarine quantities.

unfrosted rolls
Boozy Apple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls
(makes 12 huge rolls)
soy free option: Use soy free margarine and non-dairy milk

⅓ cup vegan margarine
1 ½ cups non-dairy milk
1 Tbsp active dry yeast
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
4 cups unbleached all purpose flour, plus more for kneading
1 tsp fine sea salt

2 Tbsp vegan margarine
2 Granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced small (about 2 cups)
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 Tbsp good quality whiskey (use apple cider for alcohol free)
1 tsp cardamom
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup light or dark brown sugar
⅓ cup chopped pecans
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

Whiskey Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp good quality whiskey (apple cider for alcohol free)
1 tsp vanilla

In a small saucepan, melt the margarine. Once melted, add the non-dairy milk and heat until lukewarm. Remove from heat and set aside. In a large bowl, mix the yeast and 2 Tbsp of sugar together. Add the milk mixture and stir until combined. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Add 4 cups of flour to the yeast mixture and stir vigorously until everything comes together. Knead in enough flour until you get a smooth and slightly sticky dough (usually no more than ½ cup). Knead for a few minutes. Spray a bowl with non stick spray, add the dough and spray the top of it. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until double in size, about 45 minutes.

While the dough is rising, prep the filling. In a large skillet, melt 1 Tbsp of margarine. Add the apples and cook until they first start to brown. Add the 1 Tbsp of sugar and cook until the apples are completely softened. Add the whiskey and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the cardamom.

In a medium bowl, add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and pecans. Mix together using your hands. Set aside.

When the dough has risen, punch it down, and knead it into a ball again. Roll it out into a rectangle that is 10x14 inches. Take the remaining 1 Tbsp of margarine and spread it on top of the dough. Sprinkle half the pecan/sugar mixture onto the dough. Add all of the apples, and sprinkle the remaining pecan/sugar mixture. Roll the dough up as tightly as possible. Close up the roll by pinching the dough together and pinching the ends. Divide into 12 pieces and place in a greased 9x13 pan. Spray the tops of the rolls with nonstick spray and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise again for about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the rolls for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes, while you make the glaze.

In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar, whiskey, and vanilla until smooth. Drizzle over the warm rolls.

boozy delightfulness
Era and I really loved these!  I'm waiting to have a brunch/gathering before I attempt to make these again.  They are seriously dangerous.

I hope everybody is having a great start to the new year.  I've been doing the PPK cookbook challenge so I'll post a couple more times this week with the results.