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Archive for the ‘Peas’ Category

 

Cherries, especially the tart variety,  are receiving a great deal of attention these days in the athletic world due to their ability to mitigate pain after exercise.  This little fruit is packed full of anti-inflammatory anthocyanins as well as the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin which are important to the health of your vision. They are also, interestingly enough,  a good source of the calming antioxidant, melatonin.

I use a great deal of fruit and vegetable juices in my cooking to impart both flavor and nutrients to our food, so when Cheribundi approached us and asked if we’d try out their cherry juice, we eagerly agreed.  This sauce, coupled with the yuba, was savory and sweet, tangy and lip-smacking good.   In short, it had umami.   The slaw, absolutely necessary for any mustardy Carolina-style barbecue-sauced dish, was the perfect fresh and raw accompaniment. 

 

Pulled Yuba in a Cherry Barbecue Sauce with Sesame Slaw

Ingredients:

1 cup tart cherry juice [I used Cheribundi’s Tru Cherry juice.]

½ cup dried sour cherries

¼ cup yellow mustard

¼ cup Dijon mustard

½ cup balsamic vinegar

¼ cup dark brown sugar

3 T tomato paste

1 T Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp chili garlic sauce

1 tsp freshly-cracked black pepper

6 oz dried bean curd sheets [1 package]

Peanut oil

Directions:

Add a drizzle of peanut oil to a pan and heat over medium.  Add the tomato paste and spread around the pan to caramelize and rid the paste of the tinned flavor.  Add the remaining ingredients, except the yuba and dried cherries, and bring to a low simmer.  Cook for at least 15 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.

While the sauce is simmering, soak the sheets of yuba in hot tap water to hydrate.  Once pliable, drain and roll into a tight bundle.  Cut into small shreds across the roll. 

Add the shredded yuba and dried cherries to the sauce.  Mix well to incorporate and set aside to marinate.  The longer you leave it, the more flavor the yuba will absorb.  To serve, simply return to the heat and warm through.  I served this sandwich-style on a toasted ciabatta bun.

 

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Sesame Slaw

Ingredients:

snow pea pods, julienned

red bell pepper, julienned

apple, julienned

golden beet, shaved with a vegetable peeler

tahini

fresh lemon juice and zest

dark sesame oil

black sesame seeds

Directions:

I did not include amounts because it depends upon how much you wish to make.  I simply added equal portions of each fruit and vegetable ingredient and then used a 2:1 ratio of tahini to lemon juice as the dressing with a few drops of dark sesame oil added.  Season with sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper.  Garnish with sesame seeds.

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Tofish ‘n’ Chips

I grew up beside the ocean in Southern California, and because of that it will forever be a part of me.  I love the scent of the kelp, the sand, and the water and am one of those odd ducks that actually approaches a beached kelp pile in order to breathe its scent in deeply and investigate which critter hitched a ride to shore with its torn holdfast.  Yet, since we no longer consume sea creatures, a bit of creativity with botanical foods was called for in order to mimic the flavors of seafood.  Also, since this tofu variant was deep fried, I felt the need to compensate by roasting the chips rather than frying them.  They taste better roasted and are a heck of a lot better for you.

Tofish

Ingredients:

2 cups dried organic soy beans, soaked overnight

3 kombu dried fronds

¼ cup arame kelp

10 dried turkish bay leaves

roasted nori super-fine strips, cut into tiny pieces

lemon pepper

Braggs Sea Kelp Delight seasoning

cheesecloth x 2

candy thermometer

calcium sulfate [3 T suspended in 3 cups 180° water]

tofu mold

Please read the procedure for making tofu prior to attempting this variation to familiarize yourself with the overall process.

To a large stockpot add 5 quarts water and the kelp.  Soak for 30 minutes.  Add heat to the stockpot and bring to just under a boil.  Strain through a cheesecloth to remove kelp.  Return to the stove.

Add half the soaked soybeans to a blender and cover by an inch with the kelp broth.  Blend until liquefied.  Decant into the stockpot.  Repeat the process with the remaining soy beans. Add the bay leaves and bring the soybean slurry to 180°.  Cook for 30 minutes.  Strain through cheesecloth into a clean container.

Return the kelp and bay-flavored soy milk to the stove and bring back up to 180°.  Add 3/4 of the calcium sulfate slurry and let sit for 10 minutes to allow large curds to form.   Ladle the curds into a colander lined with cheesecloth to drain the majority of the whey off.  Transfer about an inch-thick layer of these curds into the cheesecloth-lined tofu mold.  Sprinkle some finely chopped nori, lemon pepper and Braggs Sea Kelp Delight seasoning over the layer then cover with a new layer of the partially-drained tofu curds.  Repeat until you have 3 layers and end with a layer of tofu curd.  Press for 30 minutes.  Transfer to a bowl of iced water and soak for an hour.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Oven-baked Potato Wedges

Ingredients:

Russet Potatoes

olive oil

sea salt

freshly-cracked black pepper

Directions:

Cut Russet potatoes into wedges and spray lightly with olive oil or for an interesting flavor use Bragg’s Liquid Aminos.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in a 400° oven until golden brown.  This should take 45 minutes to an hour.

Mushy Peas

Ingredients:

one bag frozen peas

12 fresh mint leaves [Or more if you favor a strong mint flavor.]

Earth Balance vegan margarine

sea salt

freshly-cracked black pepper

Directions:

Put a pot of salted water on the stove and bring to a boil.  Add peas and cook until the peas are hot.  Drain and transfer peas to a food processor.  Add a pat of Earth Balance margarine and a dozen mint leaves.  Pulse until incorporated but not so much so that you have a smooth paste; you want texture.  Season with salt and pepper.

Frying the Tofish:

8 oz AP flour

a bottle of vegan beer

1 cup brown rice flour

Old Bay seasoning

canola oil

Directions:

Heat canola oil to 350°.

Make the batter by whisking the beer into the AP flour and add a tablespoon of Old Bay seasoning.

Place a cup of brown rice flour on a plate and mix in a couple of teaspoons of Old Bay seasoning.

Pat the tofu dry and cut into slices.  Dredge in the seasoned brown rice flour.  Dip into the beer batter and deep fry at 350° until brown and crispy.  Drain on paper towels to absorb excess oil.  Salt while hot and serve with oven-baked potato wedges and mushy peas.

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Like many others around the country today, D and I decided to have a more traditional New Year’s Day dinner full of foods that represent luck, prosperity, and comfort.

Colcannon (steamed cabbage, mashed German Butterball Potatoes, unsweetened coconut milk, salt, and pepper)

Braised apples with sautéed kale and currants

Black eyed peas cooked in vegetable stock with mirapoix, bay leaves, and cinnamon stick, with chopped carrot tops for garnish.

Whole wheat cornbread with whole kernel corn and minced serrano peppers

We are happy. We are stuffed. And now, we’re in desperate need of a nap. 😀 Ah, yummy bliss.

Happy New Year everyone!

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