Wednesday, March 3, 2010
EGGS. EGG. NO EGGS.
Wow, check out our fridge during production, it's so beautiful with all the colors of yumminess. Also, Joel makes up a delicious veggie stock every VCSC, it's so amazing watching all the vegetables come together and this one was exceptional. Here is a little peek of what we eat on non-production weeks. On production weeks there is alot of snips and tasters and malty goodness (beer).
One of the things I love about cooking is the challenges that come up in the kitchen that allow you the opportunity to create new things. Last week, Jake and Joanna asked me to recreate the Annie's Goddess Dressing that they plow through. Upon review of the ingredients, it seemed nothing more than a sesame soy dressing and we are paying $5 for a tiny eight ounce bottle. That bottle must have some thick glass because it looks the same size as the 16 ounce Wishbone Italian dressing. I went to work blending up soy, apple cider vinegar, tahini, garlic, cilantro, oil and 20 minutes later nervously presented the family with a test product. The boy is my harshest critic and a tough one to please. He has a pretty refined palate for an eight year old. When his thumb slowly raised after tasting the dressing, so did my heart. Of course my heart crashed a few moments later when he told me I should work on my butter and parmesan noodle skills (not as good as mom’s) and dissed on the new wheat free soy sauce we have been using.
The second challenge was to produce a non-gross vegan egg salad. I love egg salad but I have to watch my cholesterol. Making egg salad with only egg whites is a pain in the butt and you end up with a lot of boiled egg yolks left over. By the way, never feed boiled egg yolks to dogs unless you've lost your sense of smell or really enjoy the smell of dogfart. I started at the downtown farmer's market where one of the farmers has a chicken who lays vegan eggs. . . . kidding.
Actually, I knew the trick was to get tofu to look and taste like egg salad and do a better job than Tom’s Tobooleh. I bought some silken tofu and mashed it up with tumeric, mustard, and a tiny bit of roasted garlic and vegonaise to mimic the egg yolk. For the egg white, I grated a block of firm tofu on the box grate and diced another block by hand to simulate the irregular shapes and texture you get when you chop egg whites. I seasoned the mix with whole grain mustard, vegonaise, diced celery, red onion, green onion, and dill. I would say it is 86% as good as regular egg salad. Gaining points for its health properties but losing points for some of the water that is released by the tofu (not a big deal, just stir). Please let me know what you guys think. If anyone has any cooking challenges or wants to know how to make something, please let me know and we can work on a recipe.
Now for this weeks recipe which is 75% vegan and 95% gluten free.
The Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad is here of course. The Egg Salad and The Eggless Salad make debuts. The Truffled White Bean Dip also makes a return.
The Carrot Ginger Soup is back. We also have Pork Green Chile which came out very nice using a natural pork shoulder and country ribs from Sprouts. Last night was the wrong night to run out of gloves. I had to peel 12 pounds of roasted chiles with my bare hands and now know why the Mexicans scream like they do in the cojunto song “Sopreso en el bano”. And finally, there is a Split Pea Soup. I love the stuff and even made a detour on a road trip in California to eat at the birthplace of Split Pea soup. I've never made one before and I really liked the result. I cooked the split peas with onion, celery, carrot, garlic, bay leaves, and salt. I carmelized some diced carrot and onion and added it in at the end with some roasted garlic to simulate the richness of ham hock. It is definitely some badass porridge. The only problem is the consistency. It tightened up as it cooled so you might need to rehydrate a bit with some water when you reheat. Now I know now why split pea soup is so hard to get out of the Campbells Can.
The Sides are all vegan and gluten free this week. I started with a Winter Quinoa with roasted crimini mushrooms, toasted pistachios, carmelized onions, and fresh herbs. I used a white quinoa to distinguish from the Summer Quinoa where we use the red. The Sweet Potato Hash is back and is a straightforward mix of roasted sweet potatoes, fresh corn, sautéed red bell and red onion, and cilantro. The Green Asia Saute is a new one. I was in the mood for green veggies and this one packs a bunch of them. It is a mix of oven roasted brussel sprouts, broccoli, bok choy, and spinach. It comes with a hoisin ginger stir fry sauce that is delicious, but concentrated so only use what you need. The leftover sauce can be used for other veg sautés or as a marinade for anything that used to swim, cluck, oink, or moo. Time and product permitting, I was going to do the roasted carrots with thai chile sauce from last week as a bonus veg.
The Salad is a Roasted Beets and Rutabegas on Mixed Greens with a White Balsamic Vinaigrette, Toasted Walnuts, and Citrus Segments.
Hope you guys like the food. Let me know if you don’t and we’ll fix it. Thanks again for all of the support.
Joanna's notes: It's all amazing and what a week. I am pretty sure he mixed up some rubs too, so keep a look out.