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And then I had leftover crepes with sauteed peaches, coarse raw sugar, cranberry jam, and some malted soy drink mixed with enough water to make a sweet cream. Oh, frugal AND delicious, and even maybe healthy, how ’bout that? I love dinners that revolve around fructose.
Speaking of which, I made a tiny sweet potato cashew cream pie with a lone spud, because it’s just been so damned cold it seems not very weird to make food like this. Plus, it has a pumpkin seed crust a la Extraveganza, which in my weird mind makes it kinda summery. And when you pop it in the freezer and eat slices of it cold like spiced ice cream…… *drooooolz*. Also gives me a chance to use the tiniest fork ever imaginable that I picked up at a garage sale for specific things just like this. Fairy pie technique!
From now on I make my own thai green curry paste. Has anyone tried the yellow variety? I almost did but then I chickened out and returned it for a jar of the classic green, and while it resulted in a slurpily good skillet of hyper-spice, well… I’m still curious about the other variety. Maybe next time I’ll get the yellow (which boasts coriander and white pepper, yum) and just grind up lots of green chiles into it myself. I ended up throwing like, 3-4 extra thai peppers into this one anyway, cause I kind of like my thai curries to practically send off sparks into the atmosphere. Anything less and why bother, I say!
Then for a while I was all in love with med-firm tofu and it’s magical ability to become some luxurious (yet low guilt) salad dressing at a moment’s notice. I played around with a few varieties – I tried the Vegan World Fusion Caesar (yum!), I made a kind of ranch, and my favourite was a curried apricot dressing that was very inspired by something from the Millenium cookbook, although I changed it entirely… I even found the notepad file I wrote the recipe on! So here it is —-
1/4 lb. med-firm tofu
1-2 dried apricots, soaked well and chopped
1 tsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp garam masala
1/8 tsp cardamom
pinch of cayenne
1 tsp almond butter
1 tsp canola oil
enough water to thin
I always end up making curry on a whim. Without fail I am on my way to make something else, something usually boring and somehow between the fridge and the stovetop it turns into curry in my brain and I’m always thankful for the switch. I can always eat more red lentils… and I got to try out these unreal curry powders my friend J brought me from India when he went this summer. Why have I not used these all over the place before???? They are crazy good, more on them later. They made an acorn squash, red lentil, coconut, pea and green pepper curry absolutely golden. Actually, pistachio coloured. Who says curry is homely? And cardamom raisin quinoa underneath doesn’t hurt in the pretty department, either.
The south indian blend has — white pepper, chili, mango powder, dagger fool, clove, ginger, mace, citric acid, concoun, cassia, and akarkhora. Badass.
The garam masala is black cumin, black pepper, bay leaves, piper, cinnamon, mace, nutmeg, clove, black cardamom, ginger.
These are seriously aromatic and complex, and for some reason taste different in every curry I add them to. Maybe it’s like that chemical thing where the same perfume smells different on various wrists? Maybe it’s the akarkhora.
Then I made some DAIIIII-FU-KUUUU, yippee! I didn’t realize I was out of red dye for my envisioned green-and-red holiday colours, but I did have a beet, which worked perfectly and the subtle flavour didn’t mess with the beans at all. They are bean paste (anko) filled, which has got to be my favourite stuff ever. I’m still not 100% on the mochi part, I may have found the one food I’m not super crazy for, but they are definitely fun to make. And it was much as Julie in Japan describes: truly they are weird. But I did keep eating it and then later I did really want another one. That strange earlobe jellyness kinda becomes… intriguing? In a way? I must say I can taste the difference in the supple freshness of homemade mochi versus those awful pucks I got over christmas.
Okay, this is actually making my mouth water now, so disregard any blabbing about weirdness. You can also see that I like my anko (I LOVE my anko) chunky, generous in proportion to earlobe-jelly, and only moderately sweet.
J’s (half awake) response was A: “They look like the kind of thing that people eat in cartoons, Liz.” (I nodded). And B: “Hmm… they taste like rice cake.” Which I thought was mighty open-minded for a technicoloured blobby-dessert ambush, and indicative of an awesome generation of eaters. My parents would have certainly gone for the bugspray or something. :)
In response to KingoftheFrogs — what I did for the mochi:
The red and the green both had pretty different textures, since I used more water in the green, but they were both good… it takes some playing around I think.
1 cup rice flour
1/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup water + (if needed) 2-3 tablespoons
food colouring (optional)
(1 cup of anko/red bean paste)
* stir the flour, water, sugar and colouring together in a microwave-safe bowl, adding more water so that it’s smooth (but still pretty thick)
* microwave 2 minutes, then stir it like crazy
* microwave until it inflates, stir like crazy and stretch it and wack it with a wooden spoon until it’s smooth and bouncy.
* turn it onto a tray covered with potato starch (or cornstarch) and roll it into a snake, then cut that snake into 12 equal pieces.
* stretch a piece into a disc, thicker in the middle than at the edges, place 1 tablespoon of anko paste in the middle and wrap it up like a parcel, pinching the seam to join the mochi together. Dust with extra cornstarch, and set it aside, repeat with remaining mochi pieces.
note 1: they freeze pretty much perfectly, so uneaten candy can be squirreled away for later.
note 2: anko is soooo easy to make, it’s just red beans cooked with sugar and a touch of salt. Take cooked adzuki beans, add sugar til it’s sweet enough for you, mash with a spoon and cook over medium heat stirring constantly until it’s really thick, like cookie dough. Let it cool completely before using.
Yep, it’s happened here before, and t’will happen here again. Pretty much any time I get an incredulous gasp when I mention samosa pizza, I just have to change some minds, hehe.
Oh, and I was dared to make crust. I’m a Daring Baker now!
It involves making some yummy spicy curry potatoes. I used red and fingerlings, which are adorable, I just have to mention. Lots of mustard seeds, cumin seeds, coriander, turmeric, red chile, lime juice and garam masala and coconut oil. More spices. Oh, make it spicier.
And then puree up some fresh pineapple and reduce it a little bit over heat with a splash of red wine vinegar.
But my pizza? It’s pretty magically delicious. The dough is a little sweeter than I usually like, but hands down the stretchiest blob of dough I’ve ever had the pleasure of spinning on my knuckles. I like the part about letting it rest on the counter! Anyway, you’ll want to serve this one with beer, or a big salad to make up for the lack of vegetation. And chutney couldn’t hurt.
I swear it’s not even close to as weird as it sounds. :)
I’ve decided this winter will be an indian-styled winter. South indian, spicy and warming, full of root veg… it’s actually getting my passion for cooking back. Pomme made a great sambar last night and I made the apricot rice from Vegan Fire & Spice, neither authentic, but I started to actually ramble about food again, dreaming of dals and spice blends and techniques again… this is good. :)
And my first recipe from More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts was the caramel popcorn, which is essentially cracker jacks and toasty-crisp-sweet-YUM. I might use peanuts instead next time instead of sunflower seeds, but hey, it’s so easy and good I’ll probably be whipping up a batch for thanksgiving nibbles next week.
Yeah… can you believe that we’re hosting thanksgiving for both our families in our TINY apartment? MINISCULE apartment. 15 people? We’ll see how this madness goes… my mother is already lamenting the lack of turkey (she won’t after we’re through, though!).
………….. 15 people. X_x