August 20th, 2009

under the mountain

experimenting with new oils

I'm cooking an "Indonesian style" stir fry noodle dish tonight for my new neighbors, and I'm a little nervous about substituting my usual oil. Normally I make all components of this dish with sesame oil, but I'm running a little low on it and want to save it for the final phase (veggies) -- I was wondering if it might be a good idea to use coconut oil for the tempeh (which I cook first with garlic, then set aside until everything else is ready)? I haven't cooked with coconut oil before, but I'd imagine that it would mesh nicely with this dish. My big concern is: will the coconut flavor be too complex in addition to the garlic, sesame oil, peanut satay sauce + nasi goreng + braggs? Should I just stick with olive oil (my only other alternative, which I didn't really care for the last time I ran low on sesame)?

Here's the other components:
green beans, onion, cauliflower, baby corn, red chard, tomato, peanut wheat gluten, casava crackers, rice noodles

Thanks for your help! If this was just for myself I wouldn't hesitate to try it, but tonight I don't want to mess this up! (:

ETA: It turned out incredible; everyone came back for seconds, thirds, even fourths!

More Adventures in Seitan

This time, I made Happy Chicken Kiev!
(the chickens are happy because they are still strutting & pecking)

I've seen meatless chicken things like this for sale in the freezer section of the health food store from various companies but they've never been vegan and they're always CRAZY expensive (like $8 for two rolls). This is so much less expensive and doesn't have any eggs or anything in it.

This is a two-day recipe, but not because it's particularly difficult - you've just gotta let things chill out in the fridge/freezer for a while; so plan ahead! I would reccommend doubling up on the recipe, too, since it doesn't take any more time and it means you'll have some yummy stuff stashed away in the freezer for some future meal.

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As an aside, this seitan mixture (that's basically half firm tofu) will make an excellent substitute for chicken in all sorts of recipes. Pound the dough into cutlets, freeze it solid, then bake it at 350 for 20 minutes. At this point you could do all sorts of things - cut it into strips for stir-fries, batter and deep-fry it, make no-chicken nuggets or fingers, cut it up into a no-chicken salad, braise it and serve it with gravy, whatever. Plus you could use this same method and stuff it with all sorts of things. Be creative. It's yummy and versatile.