December 17th, 2006

perfect fried tofu

Me and my guy go to this chinese place to eat like once a week due to the awsome garlic fried tofu. It is so good that my omni-guy gets it now after trying mine and eats the whole plate when he picked at the beef/pork dishes in the past.

I have had fried tofu before....In the past it is usually cut at an angle (triangles) and lightly fried...This tofu however resembles pork-rinds (I know gross!!! but it is what it looks like) and is crunchy but not dried out. It is so good my guy and I are going to plan on chef-napping the cook and making him give us his recipe! Any ideas here? It is getting to the point we will start going 2 times a week and not have $ for bills! :)
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other uses/substitutions for bulgur?

i just returned from the store to discover that the bulgur that i purchased [in bulk] would be joining more that i had already bought to replace the one that was running out and then was gone. so i now have about twenty times more bulgur than i really know what to do with.
i usually just make baked falafel balls, but i think that i'd end up with double my weight in them. and i just mixed some with tvp and spices to make a taco filling. but i am now at a loss. i was hoping to find something casserole-like that already had bulgur or could easily have bulgur subbed in for another grain.
i checked the memories and searched through and this http://community.livejournal.com/vegancooking/1450817.html is what came up. except i'm not really fond of cold grains or congee/oatmeal -like breakfast foods.
any suggestions?

Kreeli's Krimster Pudding

Kreeli's Krimster Pudding
(Vegan Christmas Pudding aka Vegan Plum Pudding)

Before you begin, ask yourself if you have enough time before serving this dish to allow it to "cure". Most Christmas/Plum Puddings don't begin to develop their true, rich flavours until they've been allowed to set for a week or more. Many people make their puddings weeks or months in advance. If you're making it for this year's winter holiday festivities, today or tomorrow are really your last days to do so while still allowing it enough time to develop it's flavour.

You're also going to need some equipment for this. A food processor, a heatproof bowl or pudding mold (metal or pyrex), a steamer basket or trivet, and a large pot, kettle or crockpot with a tight-fitting lid that will hold the bowl/mold and trivet.

Other than these things, Krimster Pudding is actually very simple to make and takes very little "hands-on" time. Most of the time required to prepare it is allowing it to steam, cure, and reheat.


Ingredients:

3 cups bread crumbs, lightly packed (take any stale bread you have laying around and use it up)
1 cup raisins, any variety
1 cup dates or prunes
1 cup dried unsweetened cranberries
1 cup melted vegan margarine or shortening
1/2 lb (about 3/4 cup) whipped medium-firm tofu
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cloves or allspice
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract

Chop your dried fruit up together in the food processor and toss with the bread crumbs and spices. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Pack into your heat proof bowl or mold. Place the trivet or steamer basket inside your pot, kettle or crockpot. Set the bowl or mold on the trivet or in the steamer basket. Add water to the pot, kettle or crockpot until it comes about halfway up the bowl or mold's sides. Set to a low simmer and allow to steam for at least six hours; overnight is best. Cover tightly with the lid. Be sure to check it periodically to make sure there is still water in the pot. You will be able to tell it's done when it is a dark brown walnut colour and it's fairly firm to the touch. Cool it in the mold or bowl, cover and keep in the fridge* until 2 hours before serving.

To serve the pudding, begin steaming it again using the same method at least 2 hours in advance of serving. Remove from the steamer and invert a plate over the top of the bowl. Carefully turn the whole thing upside down and it should pop right out onto the plate. If you wish to flamboyantly flambe it, pour 1/2 cup brandy/whiskey over and around the pudding and using a bbq lighter set it aflame at the table to a chorus of "oohs" and "ahhs". Serve hot with ice cream, or my personal favourite, hard sauce.

Hard Sauce
1/2 cup vegan margarine
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar/confectioner's sugar/icing sugar
2 tbsp brandy

Melt margarine and then place in a bowl. Beat slowly while adding the powdered sugar. Once it's all added, slowly beat in the brandy. Serve with warm pudding. If you're thinking this doesn't sound like it will turn out very sauce-like, you're right. It's more like a soft icing or frosting.

This whole recipe, both the pudding and the hard sauce, should serve about 8 people.

*I should mention that it is rumoured a christmas pudding/plum pudding keeps just fine out of the fridge in cold storage (like, a wine cellar) for several months. I have never tried this myself, and if you do try it, I accept no responsibility for what condition you may find your pudding in when you attempt to reheat it.