Friday, January 22, 2010

A week's recap

I have been a bad blogger. I have eaten things that I should have taken pictures of, and taken pictures of things that I ate yet failed to blog about. I must do something to rectify this situation. I can't be posting a ridiculously long blog once a week about every little thing I made the week prior. I mean, I can, but I don't want to. So here's a recap of what I have made (and have pictures of).

This Russian Cabbage Borscht from The New Moosewood Cookbook might be my favorite soup ever. After recently re-reading the NYTimes blog "The 11 Best Foods You Aren't Eating," I wanted to make something with beets. When I saw the recipe for this borscht that also included cabbage, I knew I had to make it. It was super easy and super tasty. John and I ate it three out of four days, along with chiabatta bread, sandwiches, anything really. This will definitely be back.

I also made seitan again. This time I used the recipe from Veganomicon, which supposedly was quicker than the Vegan with a Vengeance recipe. I'm not convinced, except that maybe there were less ingredients. Last time I was out of my favorite soy sauce, this ridiculously dark concoction made by Pearl River Bridge (Superior Dark Soy Sauce) so I used Bragg's instead. The dark soy sauce darkened the seitan immensely, which I liked, although it did make them look like little piles of poo and the not-completely crushed pieces of garlic only added to that image. I kneaded them longer than the recipe called for, hoping that if I formed more gluten before boiling them, they would stay together better in the water. I might have been right, but who knows? They didn't fall apart like the last batch did, and there were minimal "crumbs" left in the broth when I was finished. Not that I'm complaining -- I added the bit that I collected in the strainer and added them to all the little crumbs from the last batch, which is currently residing in the freezer, and they will be "ground beef" in some recipe, sometime.

I also used up the last of the red curry paste on this delicious dish, which means soon I will have to make another batch. This is when I really love Brandon's Vitamix. It makes the curry paste so smooth and creamy compared to what I made before with the little chopper. I know, I know, I should be using my mortar and pestle to make curry paste but that takes sooooo much time and the lemongrass is so tough while the Vitamix shreds through it like nothing.

For anyone interested in Thai cooking, Real Vegetarian Thai by Nancy McDermott has been my bestest friend ever. I have broken the spine of the book from overuse. Although now I'm confident enough in my curry-making abilities to not reference her recipes (that often), I still use the recipes for the curry pastes themselves.

One of the nice things about making curries is emptying out the fridge -- pretty much any vegetable is fair game. The only constant in my curries is onion. And fried tofu, of course. This time I used the remaining half of a butternut squash that had been hanging out for several weeks, a bell pepper that was wrinkly and about to expire, and a zucchini that I had planned to use earlier but forgot about and was also getting a little wrinkly. I didn't have to cook the butternut squash prior to throwing it in the curry -- I just let it simmer for 20-30 minutes before I added the bell pepper and zucchini which didn't need as much time. The one thing I forgot that would've made this curry perfect? Cashews. So sad, but it was so delicious that I forgave myself.


  1. Wow, that tofu look so good. My fried tofu never looks that pretty!

  2. The secret is to cook it at medium and let it cook for ages. I usually put it on when I start the rice cooker, and turn the pieces every once in awhile as I'm chopping up everything else. Just keep turning the white sides to the oil and eventually it gets to be a nice golden color and it's crispy too.

  3. Coincidentally, I just made the borscht recipe from Moosewood.. and I love veganomicon and vegan with a vengence. Cool blog!!