biscuits and southwesty gravy

Val woke up this morning and had a hankering for some biscuits and gravy. So that is what we had.

The biscuits are just vegweb’s Savory Biscuits recipe with a bit of extra flour and basil for the dried herbs. The gravy was a modified version of this gravy recipe. So here is the modified recipe, it makes enough to top about 10 biscuits:

  • 1 package Upton’s Chorizo Seitan chopped
  • 1 jalapeño minced
  • 1/2 yellow onion diced
  • 1 shallot
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 5 tablespoons margarine
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 heaping teaspoon butcher’s cut pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups + 2 tbsp veggie stock
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • salt (this one is up to you)

You could probably do this all in one pot but I used a small pot and a pan and cooked the saucy part of the gravy separately from the meaty part.

Heat a pan to medium heat. Add in 2 tbsp of margarine. Add the seitan and the jalapeño and cooked until it browns a bit. About 5-7 minutes at most. Turn heat off.

In a small pot heated to medium heat add 2 tbsp of margarine. Add the onion, garlic, pepper, and shallot. Cook until translucent. Add the flour and remaining butter. Cook for an additional few minutes. Add the veggie stock and the cornstarch stir to make sure that there are no clumps from the cornstarch. Bring to boil, then add the soy sauce and nu-yeast and cook for a minute or so more. Once done combine and pour into pan with the seitan and mix well – add salt to taste. Serve over top of some delicious biscuits.

One quick note about the biscuits: cook the biscuits directly on a pizza stone, don’t put in a pan. If you don’t have a pizza stone go buy one, you need it because it makes for perfectly cooked biscuits. Our stone, which should really be called a biscuit stone, permanently stays in our oven even if using a pan and always seems to help distribute the heat well.

Melody likes to keep a close watch for quality control while we cook. She takes her job very seriously.

by Ryan | 02.17.13 | Recipes | No Comments »

not quite pozole soup

This is loosely based on the Mexican soup pozole (it is important to note that no humans were harmed in the making of this soup). Ryan grew up going to friends’ houses where this would be on the stove all day long and after a night of drinking this spicy soup, much like menudo, would serve as a perfect hangover cure. I was never much the fan of hominy, but Ryan always liked the taste of it because it reminds him of tortillas. We struck a deal that I would try hominy again so this soup was a compromise between the two of us, a bit of hominy and a bit of yellow corn in a spicy tomato broth.

Ingredients:

  • 20 tomatoes on the vine, roasted and cored
  • 3 serrano peppers, roasted (note these died in the roasting, but their “juice” mixed with the tomatoes)
  • approximately 3 tbsp chipotle infused olive oil
  • 1 purple onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tbsp dark chili powder
  • 1 oz package pozole spice mix
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 15.25 oz can yellow corn
  • 1 29 oz can hominy
  • salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 425. Lightly coat the tomatoes and serrano peppers in some of the olive oil (about 1-1 1/2 tbsp). Place in oven to roast for about 30-45 minutes or until they begin to split open and brown. One quick thing to note, this killed our serrano peppers; that said, the mixture of tomato juices and slightly disintegrated serrano did add flavor to the tomatoes with just a hint of a kick. Remove from oven to cool. Once cooled core the tomatoes and place in a blender to puree. Set aside.

Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add in the remaining olive oil. Add in the onion, garlic, and pozole mix, cook onion until it begins to be slightly translucent. Add the bell peppers and chili powder. Cook until bell peppers are tender, enough for a fork to easily go into them. Add the tomato puree and the vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes. Add in the hominy and corn. Let cook for a little while longer. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pozole mix is meant traditionally for pork and most pre-made mixes make for a decently spicy pork rub long before it is added to the soup pot. So depending on what type of pozole spice mix you purchased or made for yourself it can make for a soup with quite the kick. If you are afraid of spicy things I’d check the mix or reduce the amount of spice mix you use. You can also let the mix soak and simmer in hot water for a little bit before adding  it to the pot and it might reconstitute some of the dried chiles in the mix.

by Valerie | 01.27.13 | Recipes | No Comments »

Peppermint Patty Cupcakes

Here’s a bit of cupcake porn for those who read this blog. Just some simple easy to make minty, chocolatey chip-y, vegan, gluten-free cupcakes for you to enjoy.

The recipe follows Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s book Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World‘s basic chocolate cupcake recipe. Instead of regular flour substitute gluten-free all-purpose baking flour and a little extra tapioca flour (no more than a tablespoon). Go with the chocolate extract option for the additional extract and I also added a bit of mint extract (1/2 teaspoon) as well. For the icing I followed the directions for mint icing from the book but left out the green food coloring; I wanted to go for the classic peppermint look. Paint thin stripes of red gel food coloring inside a piping bag, 2-3 are all that is needed, then add the icing in to frost. Nothing fancy here other than a few simple substitutions.

by Ryan | 12.25.12 | Holidaze, Recipes | No Comments »

tamales tamales tamales

A few years ago I decided to buy a book on tamales because I was disappointed by the tamale selection here in Southeast Michigan. That is not to say that there are no places to find tamales, and even some good ones, they just aren’t as good as they can be or what I was used to growing up. A few weekends ago I had a little more time on my hand so I decided it was time to dig in and cook some tamales. I made two kinds but the fillings—nopales and roasted poblanos with corn; one would probably be enough for the masa that this makes we had quite a bit of leftovers which made for some delicious quesadillas. The masa recipe is a slightly modified version of Daniel Hoyer’s whipped masa recipe.

Pre-preparation:

  • Several corn husks (about 24 or more)

Soak the corn husks for about an hour or more. They need to be pliable.

The Masa:

  • 3 1/2 cups masa for tamales
  • 2 1/4 cups hot water
  • 1 1/4 cups butter @ room temp (I used Earth Balance, we had some vegan friends coming over)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups veggie stock
  • 2 tbsp green chile powder

To make the masa mix the hot water and masa to make a dough. Set aside for about 30 minutes covered. Using a stand mixer whip the butter until smooth and fluffy. Add about 1-inch size pinches of the masa dough at a time, waiting for each one to be incorporated into the mix. Once you’ve added about 1/3 of the masa add some of the veggie stock and then start to alternate adding the masa and veggie stock until both are well incorporated. Add the chile powder and salt, mix until completely combined. You can test the masa mix by seeing if a small pinch floats in water. If it doesn’t add more veggie stock. Set aside until ready to use.

For the nopales:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (I used a chipotle infused one)
  • 3 large nopales (cactus pads) diced
  • 1 jalapeño minced
  • 1/2 red onion diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 tomatoes on the vine cored and deseeded and diced.
  • 1 tsp Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • salt to taste

Heat a medium pan to medium heat. Add the olive oil; once the oil is heated add the garlic, jalapeño, and onion until they start to sweat. Add the nopales, Mexican oregano and thyme. Cook until nopales begin to soften, it will take a few minutes. Add the tomatoes and continue to cook until the tomatoes begin to soften. Salt to taste. Remove from the pan and set aside.

For the roasted poblanos and corn:

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 large poblano peppers
  • 1 small package frozen corn
  • 1 tsp butter (Earth Balance)
  • 1 tsp green chile powder
  • a sprinkle or two of granulated sugar to bring out/add to the sweetness of the corn
  • salt to taste

Pre-heat an oven to 375. Lightly coat the peppers in olive oil and place in the oven to roast. You’ll roast them until the skin starts to brown and gets puffy. Be sure to flip them at some point in time. It usually takes me 15-20 minutes in our oven to get them nicely roasted. While they roast, heat the corn up in salted water (we used a microwave, but you can use a pot if necessary). Drain and set aside. Once roasted put them in a brown paper bag to steam. Steam for about 10-15 minutes. Remove from the bag, remove the skins, and then core and deseed. I usually like a little heat so I leave a few seeds in. Dice the peppers and mix in with the corn. Add the butter and green chile powder, mix until the butter is melted and well combined. Salt to taste. (Note you can add some good asadero cheese to this mix when you spoon it onto the tamale if you’d like (I did), or add some nu-yeast for a cheesy flavor (I did that for our vegan friends))

Putting it all together:

Prepare a pot or some sort of apparatus for steaming. Grab a well soaked corn husk, towel off excess moisture. In the upper half of it spoon some of the masa onto the husk and spread it about 1/4″ thick. Cover about 2/3rds of the top half starting from the center. Scoop a good spoonful or two of one of the fillings into the center of the masa. Fold/roll over the edges of the corn husk to form a tube. Fold the bottom half over the top half. Tie the tamale. Set aside. Once you have made all of your tamales place them in the steamer for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Once finished remove from steamer and let rest for about 10-15 minutes. Serve however you want. We topped ours with some homemade salsa (below) and guacamole.

Extra special bonus green salsa:

  • 1+ tsp of olive oil
  • 4-5 medium to large tomatillos
  • 1/2 purple onion finely diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 2/3 cup cilantro chopped
  • salt to taste

Lightly coat the jalapeño and tomatillos in the oil. Place in a pan over medium heat. Roast until the tops, bottoms, sides (if they will stay on their side) brown and become soft. Set aside to cool. Core the tomatillos. Remove the stem of the jalapeño, deseed if you desire, and mince. In a food processor or blender add the tomatillos, onions, garlic, jalapeño, and lime juice. Blend to a consistency you like (best to pulse blend if you have that option). Add salt and cilantro. Serve.

 

by Ryan | 02.08.12 | Recipes | No Comments »

spicy chipotle taco time

A while back ago I made a post about the Rick Bayless taco sauces. At that time I had made it a goal to try to replicate them by making the sauce myself. Since posting about them I’ve had several successful attempts at replicating some of the sauces, but due to my inability to write things down and remember what I did I never made good on the promise to post them. So after a year I’ve abandoned the mission to replicate and just made my own versions of taco sauces. So here are two version for a spicy chipotle taco sauce.

Número uno:

  • 2 chipolte peppers (canned) and a tablespoon of adobo sauce from the can.
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • 2 pan roasted tomatoes cored and deseeded
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Salt to taste

Número dos:

  • 2 chipotle peppers canned in a tablespoon of adobo sauce from the can
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tomatoes cord and deseeded
  • 1/3 bottle of beer (my Texan roots prefer Shiner Bock)

For the tacos themselves, we usually use some type of faux meat product (usually seitan). We start by cooking some onions (about 1/2 chopped, usually white or red), 2 cloves of garlic, and if we have them on hand some bell peppers either diced or sliced in some butter or olive oil over medium heat. We then add the meat and cook until heated all the way through, sometimes I let it brown a bit. Finally add the taco sauce lower the heat and cook for and additional 5-10 minutes. Serve and enjoy.

by Ryan | 01.29.12 | Recipes | No Comments »

Life (and biscuits) is good!

Life is good…& biscuits are definitely good! When we woke up this morning & I announced that I’d like biscuits for breakfast & to eat later with the homemade Broccoli Cheddar Soup we’ll be making for lunch, Ryan whipped up a batch of piping hot, delicious, rosemary thyme biscuits posthaste. I topped my breakfast biscuits with margarine & cherry jam – yum! What is it about a good biscuit that just makes your soul feel good?

by Valerie | 01.08.12 | Recipes | No Comments »

ringing in the new year with soup soup

Val has a cold, or something along those lines, I’m getting over a sinus infection I got for the Holidays so I figured a spicy soup was in order. This soup has several things in it but most importantly for the new year it has black-eyed peas. The tradition of eating black-eyed peas is recorded as far back as a Rosh Hashana in Babylonia times. According to wikipedia it was brought to the South by Sephardi Jews around the time of the Civil War. Supposedly eating black-eyed peas brings luck and prosperity for the new year. Whether all that is true or not, I don’t know. I do know however, Val grew up with the tradition of eating black-eyed peas on this day and we’ve continued the tradition in some form or fashion since we’ve been married.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large poblano peppers
  • 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil (we used a chipotle infused olive oil)
  • 1 purple onion diced
  • 4 large cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of dried thyme
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of Mexican oregano
  • 12 tomatoes on the vine cored and deseeded, cut into thin slices
  • 4 cups vegetable stock (or more depending on when you plan on serving it see bottom of post)
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons of smoked sweet paprika
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • 1 box of pasta shells
  • 1 can of kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 can of black-eyed peas drained and rinsed
  • salt to taste

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Lightly coat the poblano peppers in olive oil (about 1/4 – 1/2 tablespoon should do it) place on a baking sheet and place them in the oven to roast. Roast them in the oven until the skin browns and pepper is puffed out. About 15 minutes. Place in a paper bag for a while to steam them. Once steamed core, deseed (some seeds are okay if you want them), and remove the skin. Dice them and set aside.

Get a large pot of water boiling to prepare the pasta. Cook the pasta al dente and drain and rinse. Set aside for later use. You can do these first to steps as you prepare the rest of the soup if you have multitasking/fast switching skills.

In a large pot over medium heat add the remaining olive oil. Once heated add the onions, garlic, Mexican oregano, and dried thyme. Cook them until the onions begin to become soft and translucent. Add the tomatoes and cook until they begin to break down. Add the tomato paste, water, veggie stock, and paprika and bring to rolling boil. Let simmer for about 10 minutes. Then add the remaining ingredients (peppers, pasta shells, kidney beans, and most importantly for the new year the black-eyed peas). Lower heat and cook for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.

Once finished eat some soup, get snuggled up on the couch, and watch the New Year’s day Twilight Zone marathon or any other TV series marathon of your choosing. And most importantly, feel yourself get zapped with good luck as your body digests the black-eyed peas!

UPDATE: After the soup sat several hours on low the shells had absorbed a significant amount of the broth. The moral of the story is, if you don’t end up eating it all once made you may need to be prepared to add in some more veggie stock, I added a couple more cups before storing it for later.

by Ryan | 01.01.12 | Recipes | No Comments »

green chile black bean burgers!!!

 

We are visiting Val’s folks right now in Gatesville, TX. Like most small towns in Texas, Gatesville isn’t quite known for its large selection of vegetarian options (you won’t find it on Happy Cow). So this evening instead of heading out to buy some frozen veggie patties I decided to try to make some myself. Previously I’ve made black bean burgers and used things like flax, egg, a bit of flout, etc. to bind it but none of those really seam to hold the burger patty together very well. Wanting to try something new I decided to make some patties based on Vegan Dad’s Homemade Sausages. I’d had success with making my own sausages following that recipe and figured why the hell not apply that method to some burger patties. With some modifications to the vegan dad recipe they made great grill-able burgers. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 3/4 cup black beans (or a bit more if you want more beanie-ness), rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic (pressed or grated)
  • 1 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten
  • 1 tbsp finely ground cashews (this is a substitute for the nutritional yeast in the Vegan Dad recipe)
  • 1/2 can of green chiles (you can add more if you like, but I was saving some for breakfast)
  • about 2 tbsp of adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles)
  • 1 heaping tsp smoked cumin
  • 1 heaping tbsp mexican oregano
  • black pepper and salt to your taste

Just like the Vegan Dad recipe you’ll start by setting up some apparatus to steam the patties. Also get about 6 sheets of aluminum foil ready to wrap the patties.  In a large bowl start by mashing the black beans. Then mix all of the remaining ingredients together to form a kind of dough-like mixture (I usually add the veggie broth and wheat gluten at the end). Form about 6-7 burger size patties. Wrap each individually in the foil. I placed them in the center of a sheet and the folded the remaining foil over it into a square. I then folded the corners so that as the dough expands they don’t become square-shaped (I think a certain burger chain has a patent on that). Place in the steamer for 40 minutes. Let cool for a bit before grilling.

For grilling, rub some olive oil on them, add some additional burger/steak seasoning on it if you like, grill for about 3 minutes each side over medium.

Though I did not add this (because it wasn’t on hand), I’d recommend adding a little bit of Worcestershire sauce to the mix as well

 

by Ryan | 12.21.11 | Recipes | No Comments »

Smokey ‘Mater & Merlot Soup

We made some soup the other day. It was smokey, earthy, and delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • 1 heaping (or 2) tsp smoked pepper
  • 1 heaping (or 2) tsp paprika
  • 1 white onion diced
  • 2 small shallots diced
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic minced
  • 3-4 small carrots peeled and diced
  • 1 cup merlot (or other earthy red)
  • 12-14 large tomatoes cored and cut into slices
  • 1 tbsp of fresh thyme
  • 3/4 cup of fresh cilantro chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large pot to medium heat. Melt the butter and add the onions, shallots, garlic, carrots, paprika, and smoked pepper. Cook until carrots are soft and onions are translucent. Add the red wine, bring to a boil, and simmer until the wine has reduced completely. Add the tomatoes. Cook until the tomatoes are fully cooked and can easily be blended, about 20mins. Lower the heat. Using an immersion blender (or food processor/standing blender) blend the tomatoes and other veggies. Add the fresh herbs (cilantro and thyme), cook for a few more minutes, add salt and pepper to your taste preference. Serve.

by Valerie | 09.10.11 | Recipes | No Comments »

Easter cupcakes

Easter Cupcakes

We didn’t dye any eggs today, but Ryan did make these awesome Easter egg inspired cupcakes. Thank you, sir, may I have another?

Easter Cupcakes

by Valerie | 04.24.11 | For Funsies, Holidaze | No Comments »

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