April 26th, 2008

Vegetarian Bastila - need the *right* egg substitute

Hi there,

I am fairly new to vegan cooking. I really want to make the vegetarian cashew bastila from the cookbook The Vegetarian Table: North Africa, by Kitty Morse:

Cashew Bastila

Cashew Phyllo Pie (Morocco)
Serves 4

This is an adaptation of Bastila, the famous flaky phyllo pastry of Morocco. Shredded squab or, in more recent years, chicken is traditionally used in this dish. Moroccans of more modest means use ground peanuts instead of the almonds usually called for in this dish. In the meatless variation, I use cashews, instead. I think you'll agree that the result is delicious and quite unusual.

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
8 green onions with tops, chopped
6 eggs <---------------------- :(
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
12 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs, minced
10 fresh cilantro springs, minced
1 cup (about 7 ounces) cashew pieces, finely chopped
8 phyllo sheets

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter and cook the green onions over medium heat, stirring occasional, until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with the cinnamon, paprika, salt, and pepper. Add the egg mixture to the onions and scramble until the eggs are fairly dry. With a fork, stir in the parsley, cilantro, and cashews. Set aside to cool.

Melt the remaining 6 tablespoons butter. Place the phyllo sheets on a damp towel. Using a bowl about 11 inches in diameter as a template, cut through the 8 layers of phyllo. Place 4 rounds of phyllo, brushing each one with melted butter, so that they cover the bottom and overlap the sides of a well-greased 8-inch pie pan. Spread the egg mixture evenly over the phyllo. Fold the outside edges of phyllo over the filling. Cover with the 4 remaining sheets of phyllo, buttering each one as it is placed. Carefully fold the top sheets under the pie as you would a bedsheet. Generously brush the top with butter. Bake the bastila until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve immediately.

... HOWEVER. It calls for eggs, and lots of them! Butter is easy enough to substitute, but I am not sure for the eggs. Blargh.

I know that different grades of tofu can be a good substitute for eggs, but I'm very inexperienced in this area. I am hoping that a more experienced cook can recommend the best substitute for eggs in order to reproduce this sort of recipe and maintain the flavour and some of the texture. I don't want to go through the hell of working with phyllo all afternoon to find out that my bastil-"yeah" is a bastil-"don't". For example, I'd like to know if medium tofu would be better than firm or soft or whatever. That sort of thing.

Any help will be much appreciated. Thank you!

recipes for "real" oatmeal, please

so, i recently bought some steel cut oats in order to make "real" oatmeal instead of instant. my problem is that i don't have any recipes for oatmeal. my boyfriend is not vegan and he's pretty happy with just mixing it with butter and milk but obviously that doesn't work for me. i as always a fan of the "peaches and cream" oatmeal when i was a kid but i never really liked any that didn't have fruit. also, i don't really like maple syrup. i tried adding some sliced fruit but it wasn't great, i've thought of using dried fruit but i'm not sure about whether to cook it in it or not.

please help.
  • Current Mood: eager to make yummy oatmeal