Archive for July, 2012

Chef Ayinde’s Vegan Enchiladas

July 25, 2012

These vegan enchiladas are savory enough to win over carnivores.  In fact, vegan chef Ayinde Howell developed the recipe to please a non-vegan girlfriend. The secret is sauteing the tofu long enough to make it chewy (adding essential texture) and adding lots of seasonings to the tofu and the enchilada sauce (giving the rich flavor).

The method of making the enchiladas is this: (1) make enchilada sauce; (2) make tofu filling; (3) warm tortillas, dip in sauce, fill with tofu filling, roll and line up in casserole with the rest of the sauce; and (5) bake. The warming and dipping of the tortillas may seem overly fussy, but this is what helps fuse together the tortillas and the sauce. The tortillas absorb the sauce, becoming soft and chewy in a way that reminds me of the sauce infused breading on eggplant in eggplant Parmesan.

The only difficulty with the dish is that it only serves 2-3. I would double it or serve it with other Mexican dishes (like the creamy rice). I also think that it tastes best when first made, so I would assemble and bake it just before serving.


Creamy Mexican Rice

July 23, 2012

I’m sorry, no picture of this. The weather had been very overcast,making it harder to take decent pictures. So, just use your imagination:  picture a casserole dish filled with creamy green herb flecked rice, green peas and corn, punctuated with rivulets of melted cheddar cheese.

The recipe comes from restauranteur and cookbook author Zarela Martinez via Elaine Louie’s The Occasional Vegetarian. According to Ms. Martinez, this is child friendly comfort food.



The Moistest, Corniest Cornbread (Dairy Free, Gluten Free)

July 20, 2012

I made this cornbread as part of a meal inspired by Ramona Quimby, Age 8. In that book, Ramona (also known as Ramona the Pest) has to make dinner with her sister as punishment for complaining about their mother’s cooking. Ramona is specifically instructed to make cornbread because she complained her mom didn’t make it.

Ramona improvises very creatively, substituting banana yogurt for the buttermilk and cream of wheat for part of the cornmeal. The cornbread comes out okay anyway, if a little pale and flat.

My son wanted to replicate the meal, so we did (but kosherizing it, of course). The whole menu? Chili chicken with peas, carrot sticks, rice, cornbread and canned pears with apricot jam (for dessert).

This cornbread is especially moist, partly because the recipe calls for adding boiling water to part of the cornmeal, partly because I added triple the oil the recipe called for by (happy) accident.


Gloria Bernstein’s Nine Days Jalapeno Corn Bread Kugel

July 20, 2012

All the way back in 1997, I spotted this recipe for cheesy cornbread in the New York Daily News. It was submitted by reader Gloria Bernstein, who says that she likes to make it during the Nine Days. Actually, she says that she like to break her fast after Tisha B’Av with it, along with a bowl of tomato soup and a salad. I don’t know that I would want to eat tomato soup and spicy cornbread after a fast, but soup, salad and cornbread sounds like an easy delicious meal. I like to serve the cornbread with tomato salad, made with large beefsteak tomatoes.

What makes this cornbread special is the use of fresh corn, a confetti of minced red pepper and jalapeno, and some sour cream and cheddar cheese. It is rich, moist, cheesy–more of a casserole or main dish kugel than a bread.


Blackout Cake

July 18, 2012

Blackout cake: layers of dark, moist chocolate cake,  chocolate pudding filling, bittersweet ganache frosting  and a final coating of chocolate cake crumbs. Chocolate layer cakes just don’t get more intensely, deeply chocolate than this.

Ebinger’s famous blackout cake is the stuff of legends (see here and here for nostalgic odes). No one knows the real recipe, but many have tried to replicate it. The original was chocolate cake, filled and frosted with chocolate pudding, but some recipes call for pudding filling and chocolate ganache frosting. A special feature of this cake is that the top and sides are encrusted with cake crumbs.


Cold Noodles with Peanut Sauce

July 12, 2012

I served these cold peanut noodles along side the Pad Thai Fried Rice Salad for Shabbos lunch.


Vegetarian Pad Thai-Style Fried Rice Salad

July 12, 2012

This recipe caught my eye when I saw in the new NYT cookbook by Amanda Hesser: she said she wants this in her refrigerator at all times as the perfect work at home lunch. I eliminated the shrimp and chicken and substituted tofu. You can serve this warm or cold, which makes it handy for Shabbos lunch.


Vegetarian Moussaka

July 12, 2012

I saw a very appetizing recipe in Weight Watcher’s Magazine for what looked like a vegetarian moussaka (Creamy Greek Veggie Bake). I changed around the recipe, changing the filling into more of a veggie chili (I added beans, lots of tomato paste and seasoned with oregano and cumin instead of cinnamon and allspice). I also added some olive oil into the bechamel sauce that goes on top of the dish.

I love the contrast of the chunky filling with the creamy eggplant, but the filling can be made and served on its own as a vegetarian chili (perhaps in little filo shells with a dollop of sour cream as an appetizer, like the Susie Fishbein Chili Bites KBD Short on Time).

I haven’t tried it yet, but I bet the moussaka could be made dairy-free (speaking of Susie Fishbein, see this dairy-free moussaka topping).
UPDATE: I made this dairy-free just by leaving out the bechamel, and it is excellent that way. What makes the dish is the contrast of the creamy smooth eggplant with the chunky veggie chili.


Slow Cooker Vegetarian Vindaloo

July 12, 2012

I was served this delicious, super healthy vegan curry at a friend’s house and was thrilled to find out how incredibly easy it is to make. All you do is dump chopped vegetables into a slow cooker and let it simmer away. You can also make this on the stove top, which is what I did when I recreated it at my house. With some brown rice, it is a complete meal.

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Vindalo
Adapted from Vegetarian Times Everything Vegan.

Dump everything in a crock pot or a large pot:
1 medium cauliflower, cut into florets
(4-5 red skinned potatoes, peeled and diced, optional)
29 ounces canned chick peas, drained
2 large leeks, white and light green part sliced
1-2 cups tomato sauce
1 Tbl. vinegar
2 Tbl. fresh ginger, minced
2 Tbl. curry powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. cinnamon or a cinnamon stick
1 tsp. hot sauce
1/4-1/2 cup water

Cook for 3 hours on high in a crock pot or 1 1/2 hours on a medium simmer in a stove top pot. Can add 3 Tbl. cilantro before serving. Serve over basmati rice.