I’ve been perusing Serious Eats (and wishing they’d read my mind and hand over my own vegan column already, jeez) quite a bit lately, and had to borrow one of their regular features as a title here, and hand it over to the past two weeks in my culinary life.
As I’m a bit nutty already with just over a month til the second Vida Vegan Con arrives, odds are, I’ll be in an ever-increasing state of ecstatic anticipation and round-the-clock contemplation and planning, trying to squeeze just one more discussion group onto the agenda and hitting Los Gorditos and the New Seasons hot wok for take out, well, all the time. Let cooking be my down-time.
Geng Taepo (Red Curry) with Tofu and Mushrooms
Curries are on my mind even more than usual lately, with future Heartichoke concepts floating left and right. I’ve started wandering region by region, starting with Thailand (of course) and Vietnam, in two cookbooks I picked up from the library: Curry Cuisine, a striking, global cookbook with different authors sharing regional expertise on all things curry, and Curry: Fire and Spice, which I’m digging into next. The dish above included two firsts: one being a recipe Curry Cuisine, which was also my first time making a red curry paste from scratch. It was a knock out with fresh and fried tofu, local vegetables, jasmine rice, incredible, rich flavors and my little addition, sesame sautéed Maitake mushrooms, to top it all off.
With every curry paste and powder I make from scratch, the likelihood of purchasing store-bought jars fades and fades.
Fresh produce longings have taken me up to a Springtime average of two markets per week. The year-round People’s Co-op farmers market is a quick walk from my apartment, and always sends me home with mushrooms. Bonus points for the signs on Division street, which reroute me when I’ve forgotten.
This time, it was the morels – especially this beauty, that called to me. To be continued.
Maitake Mushroom Tamale, smothered in spicy red sauce; in honor of last week’s maitake mushroom pick and access to these dang tamales.
Last week, I dove into the world of bagel-making (and as I type that out, this is so in my head).
There were sesame, jalapeño, garlic, noochy garlic and coarse sea-salt-topped. For all my relenting about the lack of great bagels in town, I remained mildly uninterested in making my own for…ever. I would never say these are reminiscent of legit New York bagels, but they were remarkably easy, really fun to top and make, and a few miles better than a few other options I’ve tried in the Northwest. Just saying.
The recipe, go figure, comes from Serious Eats’ Homemade Bagels, a la Jo Goldenberg.
Let’s throw a bunch of words and some candy together for a cookie: Peanut Butter – Peanut Chew – Chocolate Chip
These are what happens when you realize you have some company coming over in 30 minutes, there’s half a candy bar in the fridge, and there’s just enough time to make cookies.
Take your favorite go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe (mine’s in Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar), go a little short on the oil, throw in a big spoonful of creamy or chunky peanut butter, and top each cookie with a slice of peanut chew. Go there.
This basil-béchamel topped lasagna was inspired by a car ride in Canada, where two friends discussed the pros and cons of pre-cooking pasta noodles.
For the record, I’m firmly in the traditional boil-the-noodles camp (Italian heritage and all). This was, however, the first time I’ve cooked them and then placed on a lined baking sheet with a wee dab of olive oil while I layered, and that worked some little wonders. The base was a spicy homemade marinara, along with tofu miso ricotta, wilted baby spinach and sautéed chickpeas tossed with some fancypants Italian balsamic, in between the noodled layers.
The latest in my Artisan Vegan Cheese endeavors: Tofu Feta
This tofu was immersed in a thick sauce of miso and mirin for a week, rinsed, and then once again spent a night in the fridge with olive oil and sea salt. Another one to be continued.
Mac & Cheese with Smokey Chickpeas
I’ve become mildly obsessed with using the rotating Artisan Vegan Cheese creations in my fridge as the basis of stove top macs.
My basic ratio follows: take cooked and drained hot pasta, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup vegan cheese, pinch of sea salt, 2-3 tablespoons of nondairy milk or water, pinch of cayenne or hot sauce, sprinkle of nooch, maybe some smoked paprika, and tah dah.
Juniors remains my go to favorite brunch spot in town.
Local cider purchase from Bushwackers Cider on SE Powell
Note to self: Make it here way more often.
Pesto & white miso roasted cauliflower, crispy kale and jalapeno-cheese grits
Grits have become a semi-regular notion for our dinner happenings, and that’s alright with me. I use the recipe from The Inspired Vegan as a guide.
Blueberry and Meyer Lemon-glazed Scone
Despite fulfilling my sconey obligation, I remain a broken record, as this is a tester for Isa’s latest cookbook-in-progress, so I certainly will be sharing from the super fun (and tasty) experiences of tasting for this fall’s release, Isa Does It soon, soon, soon.
Even with a pancake preference, I can appreciate the sentiment…
I’m also awed to share that you can now find select posts from Get Sconed! on Oregonlive – check out what’s up so far. Originally, the Oregonlive’s News Network/BlogPartner program (phew, what a mouthful) was pulling posts now and then, but I’m now doing it myself, so bear with me, and let me know if you have any suggestions for recipes or stories.