Egg Foo Young
When I saw the challenge for /52weeksofcooking was to use a TV show for inspiration I realized two things: 1) there aren’t many vegetarians/vegetarian friendly shows on TV and 2) I don’t really watch that much TV. As part of our move we did away with cable, relying on Netflix and honestly haven’t missed “normal” TV at all. So I made a list of possible shows, and then tried to figure out if a vegetarian meal would make sense. Some of the bigger shows, such as House of Cards or Game of Thrones, it was clear from the beginning that going meatless was not an option. I debated making some “fish” fingers with pudding for Doctor Who, but the best part of that is the fish so…I enlisted some outside help. Which lead me to Firely, easily one of the best TV shows ever and one that has a few options when it comes to food. From mock protein bars to anything involving strawberries. however my friend who suggested Firefly also suggested doing an American/Chinese dish (aka what most Chinese restaurants serve) since that’s all the Alliance seems to be made of. I debated the options and decided to go with Egg Foo Young, for while delicious it does resemble the protein dish served during Out of Gas.
As a bonus it turned out Joe had never had this dish, and there’s something rather awesome in introducing someone to a new dish. At some point I want to figure out a way to vegetarianize the sauce that comes with this dish, but it wasn’t until researching it that I found out it normally contains fish sauce as well as shrimp paste – so I probably won’t be ordering this dish anytime soon. Another great thing about this dish is it works well for all meals, I served it as part of a weekend brunch – but typically order it as part of dinner. Nothing like a quick and versatile meal 🙂
Chocolate Stuffed Muffins
Oh, chocolate – you are amazing. Which is why I was rather thrilled to see that Random Recipes – hosted by the fantastic Dom of Belleau Kitchen along with the Chocolate Log Blog (cuz chocolate!!!) – was going chocolate this month, in addition to the normal rules. I only have two dedicated dessert books, but found that a number of my books had at least one chocolate recipe tucked away. In the end a non-dessert book won out, and with that these delicious chocolate filled muffins from 1000 Vegetarian Recipes. I did make a slight adjustment to the recipe, as the basic muffin directions called for zest which is something I avoid due to an allergy. I also decided to go with milk chocolate chips, while the original recipe didn’t say one way or another.
The best thing about this recipe is that the technique can be used for making other types of filled/stuffed muffins. I could see pieces of fruit, jam, or caramel (!) doing rather nicely in this delicious muffin – or being really naughty and putting brownie or cookie dough in the middle! If I was to do chocolate again I would probably use something more like a chocolate nugget as the chips didn’t really give it as much chocolate as I was expecting – or use a chocolate spread like Nutella!
Poached Cinnamon Caramel Apples
Poaching is nothing to new to me, at least not anymore. Which is why when I first saw poaching as the theme for /52weeksofcooking I really wasn’t that worried. Until I tried to figure out something to poach that: 1) was vegetarian and 2) I hadn’t poached before. This eliminated a fair amount of things, so I started checking out my cook books to see if any of them could offer insight. In doing so I found more than a few recipes for poached pears, which I’m not a fan of, but realized I could use that same concept on apples. Unsure of how they would turn out I grabbed three varieties at the store: granny smith, honeycrisps, and pink ladies – figuring I would test them all and see what worked the best.
In the end the pink ladies won for me – the skin stayed crisp while the flesh was moist and delicious. Plus it still had the same tart/sweet contrast as the granny smiths, which become all soft. The honeycrisps were just a disaster, falling apart in the pan and having to be skimmed out…which was a total pain. I served the pink ladies over oatmeal (pictured), while the granny smiths topped a mini-dutch baby.
Savory Mushroom Bread Pudding
I’m so thrilled to be getting back to Random Recipes, hosted by the awesome Dom. Random Recipes is a bit different than my other challenges in that it sends me back to my books, some of which can get rather neglected. This month the challenge was to pull out all our new books and randomly select the book from that group. I was lucky enough to get four books this year: Indian Slow Cooker, Madhur Jaffrey’s Quick and Easy Indian Cooking, Dining with the Doctor, and The Heart of the Plate – which was the “winning” book! I used my same random method (Joe picking a number) to select the winning page which led me to a Mushroom Bread Pudding, and wow did I wish for a different page at that point. The last time I made a bread pudding was Home Ec back in middle school, so it’s been a fair bit of time. However I had some leftover sourdough bread so with the addition of some fresh peasant bread I at least had the basic ingredients. I also adjusted the ratio a bit, along with the seasonings, as things didn’t look quite right at first and I was worried about it being a bit bland as written.
I’m also sending this over to /52weeksofcooking for their eggs challenge since I rarely, if ever, prepare dishes that feature 5 eggs. This is the first of their challenges for 2014, and if things go as planned the second one will be up on Wednesday!
When I saw the challenge for /52weeksofcooking was North African cuisine, I was a bit nervous. Most of my recipes draw on meals I’ve had or meals I’ve seen prepared on one of the many cooking reality shows on TV. While I’ve prepared a few tagines, that’s really the limit of my N. African exposure so I set out on an internet search. First I decided to focus on nations in Central North Africa, in order to avoid the temptation to do another tagine or something that might be considered more Middle Eastern. Which is what led me to finding the Algerian Brik (or Borek), which seems to come in many varieties across N. Africa thru the Middle East and up in to South Eastern Europe/South Western Asia. After reading a few articles on the history and origin of this easy to transport dish I realized I had a different version of it while in NYC last winter. So with my new found knowledge, and a half dozen recipes, I set out to figure out the best way to conquer this dish while living in temporary housing. I decided to use pre-made phyllo dough and got a variety of ingredients for the fillings. Previous experiences with phyllo dough led me to go for the flat “panini” style we had in NYC but I’m hoping one day to have the skills to make these cigar or “eggroll” style.
I love dishes like this, quick and simple with a million different preparations. Once I’m fully moved in to our new place I’m hoping to give the fried version a try, though I think I’ll stick to pre-cooking the eggs if I use them. I served this with a bit of Greek Yogurt, though sour cream would also work – or nothing at all!
Time for October’s installment of Secret Recipe Club!! This month I was assigned the amazing Camilla who blogs over at Culinary Adventures with Cam. I was immediately blown away by how many amazing international dishes she has her blog, including recipe from Malaysia, Kiribati, and Estonia. I came oh so close to trying the rhubarb cake but the farmer’s markets were working against me so I went for my back-up recipe: Aloo Tiki from Pakistan. I loved that the recipe was vegetarian to begin with, and by leaving out the egg wash I was able to make these appetizers vegan friendly as well.
These were amazing, both with our dinner curry and as breakfast the next morning. For breakfast I paired them with applesauce, my mom went for the sour cream, while my sister enjoyed them naked. Any way you dress them up (or not!) they were AMAZING!
Banana Sourdough Bread
Hello again! Sorry for the long delay in posting, I thought I had two recipes set to go up while I was out of town but apparently something went wrong. While I’m not exactly sure what happened I do know that I have a bunch of delicious recipes to share, as well as some updates on what all is going on in the world of Dancing Veggies. This first recipe has become a new stand-by as it used two ingredients that need weekly attention: sourdough & bananas. Normally the bananas just get tossed in the freezer for future use but this time I decided to try adding some smashed bananas to my standard sourdough recipe and see what would happen!
This wound up being the perfect breakfast bread, just toasted with some butter and cinnamon as well as using the few remaining pieces for French Toast. Writing this post up I’m tempted to toss the ingredients in my bread machine in order to insure I have some of this weekend!