Archive for November, 2010

November 28, 2010

Polly’s Cranberry-Rosemary Glaze for Tofurkey

by cillefish

tofurkey with a cranberry glaze
Originally a pork glaze, this recipe evolved through 2 or 3 of my friends and acquaintances to make something truly wondrous out of the common-or-garden Tofurkey. Great on its own as a normal glaze, it also combines incredibly well with the Tofurkey’s gravy to make a sweet, tasty sauce. (See the end of this post for easy vegetarian side-dish suggestions for a vegetarian “traditional” Thanksgiving.)

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, sliced pretty thin and then chopped stir-fry style
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth (save the rest of the broth for stuffing)
  • 1 can cranberry sauce
  • 2 Tbsp rosemary
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Juice of 1/2 large (or 1 small) orange
     
  • 2-3 large carrots, chopped
  • 1-2 lb red potatoes (5-7 of the little kind), chopped into large cubes

1. Sauté the onion in the oil until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the vegetable broth, cranberry sauce, rosemary, and orange zest and juice and bring to a boil, mixing thoroughly.
Reduce heat and simmer until sauce loses its watery texture and just starts to congeal into a jelly-like texture.

2. Remove gravy from heat and make stuffing.

3. Prepare the Tofurkey:
Stuff (or don’t stuff) tofurkey, as you prefer.
Arrange Tofurkey in a medium-sized baking dish, surrounding it with chopped carrots and potatoes.
Pour over everything the vegan “giblet” gravy that came with the tofurkey, then pour the cranberry mix over everything as well.
Cover baking dish with foil. Wrap stuffing in foil, separately, as well.
Bake Tofurkey for 45 min to 1 hour, until vegetables are cooked, adding foil-wrapped stuffing in for the final 30 min.

4. To serve, slice Tofurkey VERY thin. Place vegetables and cranberry gravy into a separate dish.
________

Suggestions:

What to make with this for a simple but “complete” vegetarian traditional-Thanksgiving dinner (some of these aren’t vegan):

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November 28, 2010

Zesty Pecan Apple Cranberry Stuffing

by cillefish

apple cranberry stuffing
This is a very easy and tasty alternative to the usual “unecessarily salty onion blah blah” box stuffings (even though it sort of involves a box stuffing). We played it by ear, so you can adjust the ingredients as you see fit:
In a medium or large saute pan, combine:

  • 2 Tbsp butter (optional)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup apple juice (optional)

Bring to a boil. Add:

  • 2 sweet apples, diced super small (I like honeycrisp or ginger gold)
  • 1/2 cup whole-cranberries sauce
  • 1/4 cup pecans, toasted (for 5-10 min on 200° F, if you can’t find the pre-toasted type) and chopped to peanut size or smaller,
  • 1/2 package Stuffing Mix (the kind with a bit of seasoning, but not the “Super Garlic Awesome Sodiumfest 12 Ingredients Explosion” sort – Trader Joe’s is fine)
  • Zest of 1/2 orange (optional – omit if you’re also making Polly’s Cranberry-Rosemary Glaze)

Toss around for a minute, then cover and remove from heat. Let sit 5 minutes, then use to fill your turkey or tofurkey (the Tofurkey’s own stuffing is very tasty, so you can leave that in and just make the extra stuffing for the side, if you prefer not to cut the tofurkey in half). Wrap any extra stuffing in foil to warm during the final 20 minutes of your protein item’s cooking.

November 28, 2010

Tuscan Red Bean, Potato & Arugula Soup

by cillefish

Tuscan bean potato arugula soup
Surprisingly bright for a bean-ish dish, this Tuscan soup has plenty of flavor to complement the meatier textures of the beans and potatoes. Warm arugula adds a little extra zing and a fancy, restaurant-style flair without getting things too insanely weird. Pair with garlic bread and a salad that’s less the “sweet, heavy” type and more the sort that has pine nuts and/or olives in it.

Note: The photo above is someone else’s soup; this recipe below (from Moosewood’s Simple Suppers) doesn’t include sausage, carrots, or white beans, but otherwise looks pretty similar. If you want, you can throw in some sausage, chopped: I like MorningStar’s vegetarian breakfast sausage links or Yves’ vegetarian Italian sausage (the Yves item is also an EXCELLENT vegetarian hot dog.).

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
     
  • 3 cups diced red potatoes
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary (about 4 in long – or 1-2 Tbsp dried); either include whole sprig, or remove and break/rub/crush/mince the leaves. Discard stalk.
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp salt
     
  • 1 14-oz can of small red beans, drained
  • 1/2 c white white, or 2 Tbsp lemon juice
     
  • 4 oz arugula (about 4 cups)
     
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • salt and black pepper
  • lemon wedges (optional)
  • grated Parmesan or Pecorino Roman cheese (or cheese substitute, if you’re vegan)

Directions:

1. Put oil, onions, and garlic in bottom of soup pot and sauté until garlic is fragrant but not burnt, about 2 min. Add potatoes, rosemary, broth, and salt; cover, and bring to a boil. Add the beans and the wine (or lemon juice), then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.

2. While the potatoes cook, rinse and drain the arugula. Remove any large or tough stems, and coarsely chop any large leaves. Set aside.

3. When the potatoes are tender, add the basil. Salt & pepper to taste. Remove and discard the rosemary sprig – some leaves may stay behind in the soup, and that’s fine. Put a handful of arugula into each bowl and ladle the hot soup over it. Serve immediately with lemon wedges and/or cheese.

November 3, 2010

Ginger Jack-O-Lantern Sandwich Cookies

by cillefish

ginger sandwich cookies
These cookies are really, really great. No, really — they’re the kind that make people’s eyes pop out a little. Then the person revises their obligatory “thanks for the cookie” compliment and sends you several emails telling you that these REALLY are the best cookies they’ve ever had. And yeah, I omit the Jack-O-Lantern face. These taste more like ThanksChristmasGiving-style cookies anyhow.

Source: Alison Ladman, AP, reprinted in the SLO Tribune.

Molasses and spice make for great autumnal flavors. In this cookie sandwich we’ve taken a chewy gingerbread pumpkin cut-out cookie and added fun jack-o-lantern faces and a lightly sweetened cream cheese filling. For another fall theme, the cookies also could be made with leaf-shaped cutters.

If your dough gets too warm, put it in the freezer for 5 minutes for easier cutting. A thin metal spatula works well for transferring the unbaked cookies to the prepared baking sheet.

JACK-O-LANTERN COOKIES

Start to finish: 3 hours (1 hour active)
Makes 20 cookie sandwiches

For the cookies:

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup milk

For the filling:

  • Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

To make the cookies, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, salt and baking soda.

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