July 30, 2011

Isa's Tofu Benny

It might be because I just booked flights out West, or because bioluminescent sand and the oldest of trees have been making appearances in my dream life, or because I haven't had a decent donut all summer,  but I have been having some serious hankerings for the pacific northwest. In an effort to subside the desire for long pines and swimming holes and DIYers,  I decided to dedicate my afternoon to a recipe by Portland's best Brooklynite, Isa Chandra Moskowitz. This take on eggs benedict will not disappoint! Purslane, home fries with onions and green peppers, a thick slice of salted tomato, marinated and fried tofu, and a thick layer of hollandaise sauce. We got such a loot from our CSA this week and I was glad not to have to run to the store (even for the hollandaise sauce ingredients). Try substituting grapefruit juice for the lemon juice in your hollandaise. It's a trick I learned from JP and one I won't forget! 

Here's to Saturdays and to following recipes (at least sort of),

Palisade-Style Peach Pie

Peach pie has never been a favorite of mine but after seeing some knocked-around sale-seconds representing the only produce in our corner store last weekend, I decided to give peach pie a second chance. Peaches are so good right now! I'm not sure how long the season will run here in the northeast, but this July Flame has brought a beautiful harvest. All in all, I was happy with the way the pie turned out and it was great to reflect on the season CB and I shared picking peaches in far west Colorado two summers ago. This pie will feed many hungry mouths, so invite your friends over. Our dusty, parkside, Brooklyn apartment had some unexpected guests show up and it was great to have this treat around to share with them.

2 1/2 cups AP flour
1 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 cup cold earth balance
about 1/3 cup ice cold water

In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Next, cut in the earth balance (margarine) with two knives or with one of those nice half-moon shaped tools if you have one. Add the very cold water in small parts, mixing quickly to ensure that all the ingredients stay cool, until the dough starts to stick together in a loose ball. You probably will use 1/4 - 1/3 cup water. Form the dough into two equally sized balls, cover with wax paper, and put it back into the fridge. Let it chill off while you work on the filling.

8-10 peaches (or as many as you can fill in your pan), pitted and sliced
1/3 cup flour
1/2 - 3/4 cups sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
tiny pinch of salt
juice of 1/2 lemon

Mix everything together in a big bowl. Taste a peach and decide if you need more lemon or sugar or if you want to get crazy and add something like ginger. If your peaches are really juicy, you might consider adding some more flour too.

Preheat your oven to 425. Take one of your pieces of pie dough out of the refrigerator and roll between pieces of waxed paper until it is very thin. Place in pie dish and poke the surface with a fork so that any air can escape during baking.  Some people pre-bake their crusts but I almost never do, especially not when I am making a double crust like this one. Scoop your filling into the bottom crust and roll out your other piece of dough until it is very thin. Cover the filling with the dough and pinch together the outsides of the crust. You can get fancy here if you have the skills, or you can just pinch the edges with your thumbs like me. Sprinkle a touch of sugar over the crust and cut some vents into the top. Use a strip of foil around the edges of the pie crust to protect them from burning. Place in the oven and turn the heat down to 350. Let the pie bake for 50 minutes or until the crust is just browned, removing the foil if and when you feel it is necessary.

Enjoy, and don't forget to take a slice to your neighbor!

July 22, 2011

Cooking Together: Breakfast Special with Figs & Purslane

I am proud to say that I share a kitchen with one of Brooklyn's best vegan chefs, KM! She has taught me so much about cuban food and good coffee and I am always delighted when our mornings coencide and tagteam breakfasts emerge. Food truly is our urban entr'acte and we meddle in substitutions, the mysteries of our CSA, and leaning towers of soapy geranium-scented dishes. This is the fourth kitchen we've shared in nine dizzy months. I can't believe how time passes and how many meals we have made in stange and inconvenient spaces.

This breakfast special was amazing! Tofu scramble mixed up with spices, fresh herbs, garlic, chorizo and mushrooms! Country-stlye potatoes with parsley and toasted rye bread! To top it all off, fresh figs from JG's tree and purslane from our CSA. Purslane is an interesting and delicious leafy green that tastes a bit tart and salty, like a mix between sorrell and spinach. It has lots of omega-3 fatty acids in it and is great for you! Try it!

Cooking together is better!

July 14, 2011

Molasses and Ginger Buttercream Sandwich Cookies

My dear friend, LB, has molasses cookies mastered! Even though she is not a vegan, she is such a thoughtful baker and always considers the health and preferences of her friends when in the kitchen! I tied my hand at the recipe I copied from a scrap of paper in her legume-filled, berry-stained, sprouted, Michigan kitchen but I must have mixed something up because my cookies came out much poofier and lighter in color than hers. I'll have to try again!

I whipped up a spicy buttercream frosting with some earth balance, soymilk, confectioner's sugar, vanilla, and a heaping teaspoon of ground ginger, assembled the sandwiches, and took them to the printshop with me. These sandwiches looked perfect with inked-up knuckles and the arm's newly-acquired collection of vintage wood type.

Stay tuned for a complete recipe for these little darlings!
With joy,

July 10, 2011


Do you ever feel the need for a good old fashioned Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado, and Tomato sandwich with a thick schmear of Veganaise? I do. This weekend K and I served up these hearty sandwiches on toasted rye. We used tempeh bacon that was already prepared and smoked. If you are feeling adventurous you can make your own, but frying up some packaged strips is perfectly acceptable for a lazy day lunch. Enjoy!

From a sunny corner in Brooklyn,

July 8, 2011

CS(Amen)! Kale Chips

I know kale chips are old hat, but I continue to be delighted by the metamorphosis of thick, leafy greens into this crispy and delicious snack. Kale chips can satisfy some of the strongest potato chip cravings (trust me, I'm an addict) but they are actually good for you! Perfect for kids, professionals, family, you name it- just make sure to eat these little crisps soon after you make them. They don't keep very well but don't worry, you won't have a hard time watching them fly off your plate.

1 bunch curly kale
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
pepper and seasonings to taste

Heat your oven to 400. Wash the kale thoroughly and dry very well with a towel. Rip or cut the leaves into smaller pieces, tearing out the thicker stems and composting them. Massage the leaves in a large bowl with the olive oil, salt, and seasonings (get creative!). Place on a large baking pan so that the leaves are not touching each other. Bake between 350 and 400 for 10-15 minutes. Do not stir. Check the chips to make sure that they are crisp and take them out just before they brown. I like to drizzle the chips with a splash of vinegar when they come out of the oven. Repeat as necessary!

I hope you are enjoying your summer. Happy July!