July 19, 2012

Lentil Olive Burgers with Dilly Sauce and Roasted Fingerling Wedges

I have some big decisions to make in the next few days and between the giant pros and cons lists and the general business of the summer, I haven't had much time to think about cooking actual meals for myself. I made a huge batch of these Lentil Olive Burgers that have been my sustenance. Onions, garlic, mushrooms, kalamata olives, and herbs contribute to this tasty and salty burger that holds up to any meaty patty. I made a few sauces and poured them over the burgers, like the dilly sauce above made with veganaise, dill, and apple cider vinegar. Serve with roasted fingerling potatoes or a fresh salad.

All hail PPK!

July 13, 2012

Guest Blogger: Denise Cheng: "Chinese" Potato Salad

This week I had the pleasure of meeting DC and EO who invited me over to their lovely English Kills apartment for a beautiful vegan meal. I've been surprised at how few vegans I have met in the city and it was such a treat to meet these two! We enjoyed a spread of marvelously cold food: a Mango and Black Bean Quinoa Salad, Vietnamese Spring Rolls, and this Potato Salad. I stuffed a few Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies with  Steve's Cinnamon Coffee Ice Cream for some messy ice cream sandwiches. When DC pulled out this salad I thought the potatoes were noodles! This recipe was so interesting and delicious I asked if she would be willing to post it here on the veganette, and she said yes! Now all I have to do is find a julienner and I'll be making variations of this recipe all summer long. Enjoy!

Photo by DC

"Chinese" Potato Salad (or my version of a common cold appetizer in Chinese cuisine)

Using a julienner, julienne two peeled potatoes and rinse the ribbons under cold water several times to remove as much starch as possible. You want your water to be as clear as possible.

Bring a pot of water to a boil. In the meantime, prepare an ice bath. When the water boils, add your potatoes and make sure all the ribbons are submerged. Cook for about one minute.

Pour out the hot water and quickly transfer the potatoes into the ice bath. Once everything is cool, drain.

Now you can get creative! Add julienned cucumbers or zucchini, carrots. For herbs, I usually use either fresh chopped chives or scallions. Sometimes I'll add fresh jalapeno, too. Pour in equal parts sesame oil and sichuan peppercorn oil (or just more sesame oil). Squeeze in lemon juice and salt to taste.

Serve chilled.

July 11, 2012

Pancakes with Cinnamon Syrup, Fresh Figs, and Toasted Almonds

We are in the midst of the first of two short fig seasons. This is my second year receiving giant figs from my coworker, JG's, South Brooklyn tree. On Monday my desk was donned with these lovely gems, wrapped in curled, mammoth leaves. Can you think of a better way to arrive to your cubicle? Fresh figs are so delightful and fancy, the perfect addition to this deluxe stack of flapjacks drizzled with a homemade cinnamon syrup and toasted almonds.

Feeling good,

July 6, 2012

Green Chili Pizza

I got hooked on green chili a few years ago when visiting the desert during the season when all streets and sidewalks are lined with huge rotating drum roasters and towering stacks of 30lb bags and red and white signs saying only one word, HATCH. On the off-season you can buy the prized chili in little yellow cans, which is what we used here. AP mixed up an herb filled dough and we loaded it with mushrooms, field roast sausages, olives, artichokes, and green chili. Here's my dough recipe for your weekend pizza party. It takes forever (2 hours rising time) but is totally worth the wait.

2 tsp active dry yeast 
1 tsp agave nectar or sugar
2 cups warm water
5 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp salt

In a large bowl, mix together the yeast, warm water, and agave nectar. Once yeast is frothy, add the salt and flour one cup at a time. Let the dough rise for two hours.  Divide the dough into 3 balls. Let rest, covered, for another 20 minutes. Prepare your toppings and sauces. Press the dough out from the center of the circle and pick up the dough, stretching it with your fists and pointer fingers. It doesn't have to look perfect, just focus on a thin crust with a thicker exterior ring. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 

Place on a heated pizza stone (if you have one) or bake on pans as we did. Bake till crust is crispy and toppings are browned.


July 3, 2012

The Veganette for Earth Eats: Arepas

Arepas! I fell in love with these little stuffed corn pockets at Caracas, where they serve up delicious arepas to hungry New Yorkers of all dietary preferences. Pull up a milk crate in their charming garden and order a Leek Jardinera with Tofu and Avocado or try your hand at making your own! I'm still learning the art of perfect arepas but for now I am pleased with these sloppy, irregular pockets. By request, this was my second consecutive year making a Venezuelan meal for my New Mexican hosts who filled the pockets with Sundried Tomatoes, Leeks, Onions, Beans, Sweet Potatoes, and Avocados. You can find the recipe on the Earth Eats blog-


Bosque Farms 2012

It is good to do things twice. Am I aging myself by taking the same parallel vacations year after year, in the same locations with the same people? Maybe. Last week I took a plane to visit the rugged and wild folks of Bosque Farms. It is so beautiful there. The morning light is strange across the desert and even moreso here, where it moves through crops and weeds and trucks to make its way onto the backs of chairs and just-picked iridescent fruits. It is easy to idealize these places but I tried not to. My friends who labor there have huge biceps and work long hard hours between sunburns for a few dollars, handfuls of produce, and heavy sleep. We slipped away for a mini-vacation up north and spent a few days camping and climbing at El Rito Crag. Unfortunately, I got terribly sick and we had to head back early to the farm for cool washcloths and doctors visits. 

When traveling, I re-read one of Roni Horn's art books that I bought when I was living in Marfa. I'm sure Horn is one of the best living American artists and when she talks about the desert it gives me the chills, even though I know she is talking about Iceland and not New Mexico. I even read some of it aloud when we were rushing through the dust, rambling on about sameness and difference and the edge. This stuff is good. I'm back in the city and recovering, still dreaming of the desert and loving it for for its weird and extreme ends, it's salt and wind, and the darkness of its corners. 

Recipes and vegetables to come,