Monday, August 18, 2008

Walnut You Like To Know

So here us where you have to suffer with my love of cheesy puns.

This post has been inspired by my friend K, who put me up to the challenge of making something with her ginormous bag of walnuts that had this odd smokey flavor. Here is what I came up with.

Walnut Taco Filling
1 1/2 c. Ground walnuts
1 1/2 tsp. Cumin
3/4 tsp. Coriander
2 tbsp. Soy sauce
Pinch of cayenne

The walnuts should be ground to have a chunky texture. Mix all ingredients together and set aside or refrigerate to let the flavors absorb. Then serve to your little hearts content. This recipe is credited to Sparks Recipes.

Next up mushroom walnut pate from Vegcooking.

Mushroom Walnut Pate
1/4 c. Water
3 -4 c. Sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 Sliced medium onion
2 Minced cloves of garlic
1 c. Mashed firm tofu
1/2 c. Walnuts
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Black pepper
1 Chopped or sliced green bell pepper

Cook mushrooms, onion and garlic in water until soft. Combine the veggies and tofu in a blender until all blendy and smooth. Add walnuts, salt and pepper and do the blendy thing again until very, very smooth. Let chill in the fridge before serving. Top with some green pepper. Vegcooking recommends serving it with french bread and green pepper. K ate it with crackers or veggies but prefered it alone. Eat it however you fancy.

This recipe is the only one where the walnut smokiness was not eliminated or enhanced. But hey, I am sure non smoky walnuts would do the trick.

Candied Walnuts
2 c. Walnuts

1/4 c. Soy Milk
1 tsp. Cinnamon
3 tbsp. Margarine (vegan variety of course)
1/2 c. Sugar
2 tsp. Vanilla Powder
Heat everything but walnuts until nice and thick. Mix with walnuts until well coated. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Mine turned out a little runny but yummy (I think it would be great over soy vanilla ice cream). The recipe is approximate, feel free to play with measurements.
These lovelies took a little bit of trial and error. When I found the Tofu-Walnut 'Meatballs' recipe I knew I wanted to try my mom's style swedish meatballs. I loved them as a kid and have made them plenty of times with fake "meaty" (ie. tvp or store bought variety) meatballs.
Well, the slight problem is these 'meatballs' are not a durable and a lot softer then the other variety. So when I made them to follow mom's recipe they turned into the bolognese sauce you see below. It also probably did not help that they needed to bake it the sauce where i tried to make them in my ceramic pot on the stove. Either way tasted good though. This here is the tweaked version of the original recipe.

Glazed Swedish 'Meatballs'

Tofu-Walnut 'Meatballs
(I pretty much followed these to a tee from the site above)
2 c. Chopped walnuts
1 Chopped onion
1 Shredded carrot
1 Chopped green pepper
4 Chopped cloves of garlic
Olive oil
12 oz. Cubed soft tofu
Sesame oil
1 tbsp. Spicy mustard
1 tsp. Oregano
1 tsp. Basil
2 c. Bread crumbs*

Sauté walnuts, onion, carrot, pepper, and garlic in olive oil. In a large bowl, mix cubes of soft tofu with sesame oil, mustard, oregano, and basil and sauté ingredients. Add enough bread crumbs to make a moldable mixture. Shape into balls and sauté. Do not be afraid to use extra olive oil to saute these. They need it to make them firmer. This recipe made about 30 balls.

*I made my own bread crumbs by lightly toasting some bread then grinding it in a blender. About a half loaf will give you 2 cups.
Swedish Glaze
(adapted from my mom's swedish meatball recipe)
1 c. Organic ketchup
5 tbsp. Worstershire sause*
1 tbsp. Brown rice syrup
1-2 tbsp. Brown sugar
2 tbsp. White vinegar

Bring ingredients to a boil and then simmer a few minutes or throw in the microwave for awhile. Brush or pour glazed on 'meatballs' Throw them in your toaster oven or, if you are fortunate enough, your conventional oven and bake for 15 minutes until brown.

*Since I am unable to get vegan worstershire sauce here I used this recipe from cooking with rock stars. It is superb.
Now this be the bolognese sauce made on, as my mom would call me, a beautiful accident. Basically go through the painstaking process of making the delicious tofu-walnut meatballs. Then immerse them in swedish meatball sauce and cook until mushy :)
I will post the recipe for the actual swedish meatballs when I can make them properly and get my hands of fake meatballs that will hold together in liquid. But feel free to contact me sooner if you want to make this "beautiful mishap" or a variation of it and i can tell you what i used.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Korean Eats Continued

I love this place.  It is my second favorite eats in korea so far.  You basically make your own rice paper rolls.
You dip the rice paper in this pretty pink water.
Dress with these sauses,
and fill with these, as well as grilled mushrooms and garlic.  It comes with pork but I get mushrooms instead.  The people that own this place are the sweetest ever and try to accommodate in any way they can.  After you filled yourself on rolls they make a rice noodle soup to eat at the end.  I now keep this in mind when I go, save a little room, that way I am able to walk out rather then less gracefully roll out.
This is my favorite place in Korea, Todem Dubu, which means tofu house.  The best tofu I have ever tasted is from there.  The soup is shown above before cooking.  the tofu that is in it is plain but it is normally tri-coloured like the one below.  This soup is a bit spicy and served with a bunch or side dishes.  A few of my favorites are below.  Everytime you go you get a different assortment of sides, sometimes they are the same, but you can never know.  They do have meaty/fishy sides too, but it is the most variety I have had here aside for a buffet.
This tofu is tre yum.  Lightly fried (but no greasy) and served with some soy.
Lotus root in a sweet syrup.
These mushroom are killer.  You get them everytime.  Also, I am missing the picture of the soft tofu they bring at the very beginning.  Mmmmm served with a sort of sweet, but light soy sause.

    Last is Pat Bean Soo.  It is a traditional Korean dessert served only in the summer months.  It is normally made with shaved ice, sweet red bean, fruits, jelly and milk.  I got mine minus the jelly and subbed in soy milk for cows milk.  I had to bring my own, which is the little green carton you see.  It is nothing short of amazing.  They also put dry cereal in this variation.  Kristin got hers with green tea ice cream but admitted she liked mine more.  You can see how happy we were to be eating this, especially with the heat.

Some of My Favorite Korean Eats....

This is Sambap, which is a healthy rice pot eaten with a variety of veg and side dishes.  You start by getting the rice served in the lower left corner pot.  You empty out most of the rice in a separate bowl (lower right) except what gets stuck to the pot, then you fill the hot pot up with rice water and set aside.  You eat the "rice soup" last as a sort of dessert.    For the rest you take a leaf of some variety (my fav is the boiled cabbage) and you put some rice in it with bean paste and whatever side is vegan friendly and eat.  I frequent this place and the ladies are so sweet they make me a separate non seafood soup.  It is a type of doen jang chigae that i posted earlier and it rocks.  I put the bulky part of the soup in the leaf wrap too.  It is awesome.  (You may be able to see some fish further back in the photo, please ignore, for it was not apart of my meal)
Next up is spicy noodle a.k.a. hangover cure.  It is great, a huge pot of homemade noodles with mushrooms, onions and potatoes.  Then once you eat most of this enormous pot they fill your bowls with the remaining in order to create a delicious rice ensemble in the bottom of the pot.  Sorry no pic of it.  They usually put egg in but if i partake they leave it out.
This here is Kristin and her favorite korean meal.  Chung Gook Jung.  I like to describe it as a jazzed up bipbimbap.  You take rice, the tofu bean stew (close up below), veg and bipbimbap sauce (a thick red somewhat hot pepper paste) and you mix it all together, while enjoying the homemade not hot but not iced tea and side dishes.
Mmmmm tofu bean stew....
This is Kristin and I and the oh so yummy rice balls.  We have a few matching photos because we are cool like that.  You will only get subjected to one or two.  But for real rice balls rock.  Glutenous rice with a sweet red bean filling.  The red/brown ones in the middle are my fav, covered in cinnamon.  The others are coated with sesame seed and green tea something or other and something else.