Friday, March 25, 2011

peanut butter > gluten

proper baking requires proper bondage binding. gluten is my binding pal, now and (hopefully) forever, but it's fun to flirt with alternatives once in a while...especially when the end result is this:

pbgf cookie sheet

what!!!

hey, let's gild the lily!

pbgf cookie and ice cream!

gluten-free peanut butter chocolate chip cookies originally from mitten machen, via vegan eat & treats 2010 holiday cookbooklette! these are unmissable. delicate and slightly crumbly, rich and sweet, and held together with gads of peanut butter = PERFECT. sorry gluten—don't call us, we'll call you.

my only change to the recipe: instead of 1/2 cup margarine, i used 1/4 cup peanut oil. to make them, ahem, low...er fat. just a little bit. and then i served it with unctuous coconut milk ice cream, thus blowing the mind of everyone present.

exquisite vegan vanilla ice cream, adapted from the vegan scoop

ingredients:
1 can full-fat coconut milk (about 2 cups)
1 cup nondairy milk of some kind (i used So Delicious coconut milk beverage)
2 Tbsp arrowroot powder
3/4 cup sugar
about 1-2 inches vanilla bean, or 1 Tbsp vanilla extract

directions:
in a medium saucepan, combine the can of coconut milk and additional cup of milk, 3 cups total. remove about 1/4 cup of milk, mix it in a small bowl with the arrowroot powder, and set aside.

cut open the vanilla bean and scrape out the precious treasure within; add to the saucepan of coconut milk. add sugar to saucepan, stir to dissolve, and bring to a boil over low heat. once it begins to boil, remove from heat and stir in the arrowroot mixture. it will thicken up a bit. if you are using vanilla extract instead of vanilla bean, add it now. refrigerate ice cream base until cold, then freeze in your delightful ice cream maker or use liquid nitrogen or your cold cold heart? just freeze it somehow.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

just the food, ma'am.

here's a spate of foodstuffs that have kept me going in the last few months:

a 2011 pizza

gorgeous pizza: focaccia crust, roasted homegrown green zebra tomato puree (from the freezer—much obliged to myself circa september 2010 for thinking of me), fresh spinach leaves, kalamata olives, chopped onion, a drizzle of olive oil. i especially like this photo because of the shocked visage of the little garlic pot—so expressive.

holey ciabatta

sourdough ciabatta? yeah, i conquered that with my own four hands (okay, two of them were max's). check out those holes!

the recipe is from wild yeast blog, which has guided us through many thrilling sourdough adventures so far.

when you have freshly baked ciabatta rolls in your apartment, you make a sandwich.

ciabatta sandwich

a perfect sandwich is about as perfect as perfect gets. perfect sandwich: homemade ciabatta roll, dijon mustard, sliced avocado, baked marinated tofu, crispy dry-fried kale strips.

crispy kale & tempeh, homemade noodles

more luxury: heaps of tender homemade noodles (rolled and cut by our glorious little hand crank pasta machine), topped with crispy kale (washed and dried as thoroughly as possible, cut into strips, then briefly dry roasted in the oven at around 200 F—like quick no-oil kale chips) and sautéed seasoned tempeh cubes, all drizzled generously with toasted walnut oil and sprinkled with coarse salt. this dish is such a reward to ourselves, it's totally worth the effort.

27th bday ravioli

oh no! i've really been neglectful because these raviolis—my customary birthday supper—date back to december. naturally, the meal was preceded by rollerskating and subsequent cocktails by candlelight (the rain darkened the bar, but failed to dampen our spirits).

homemade hand-cut ravioli with roasted butternut squash filling and a buttery-kale-walnut sauce...growing old is really not so bad when you have a dear someone to cook exquisite birthday meals for you.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

special delivery: gluten-free samosas

i'm very fond of parcels. it's a rare joy, receiving a package in the mail: there's something so loving about the gesture of wrapping something up and sending it across space and time to someone you miss. the receiving is an event in itself that imprints itself on my (admittedly sentimental) memory. and many of the packages i remember have involved food — like the shoebox full of vegan oatmeal chocolate chip cookies sent by my mom during my freshman year of college, which i excitedly shared with everyone i knew (i even remember leaving a cookie perched on the doorknob of an elder vegan cutie that i admired from afar — my college years being marked by an immoderate amount of admiring from afar).

it might seem silly to link parcel post to samosas. but my special affection for wrapped-up foods is just another mode of my affection for packages. dumpling-type foods require some serious time, attention, and manual labor, and i love them for it. this kind of meal prep takes work — carefully tucking filling into wrapper, folding and sealing up each dumpling like a little letter. the result is a kind of package to yourself and your dinner guests — a parcel from the you-of-meal-prep-time-past to the you-of-the-meal-time-future!

chutneyed samosa

so, samosas. with coconut-cilantro chutney. these are gluten-free: a spicy mash of potatoes and peas folded into tapioca-rice paper wrappers — the kind used for spring/summer rolls — brushed with peanut oil, and baked until nicely browned and crispy. this method is a stroke of genius from kittee and it worked wonderfully. there is a very helpful video, along with the recipes, here at everyday dish.

samosa table

some chana masala with your samosas? yes please! and brown basmati rice. oh, and mango lassi to drink. it was a gluten-free vegan indian banquet!

chana masala = redolently spiced chickpeas, simmered in a rich tomato broth. recipe, again from kittee, here. kittee knows her stuff!

the mango lassi is a blend of canned mango chunks, soy milk, a pinch of cardamom powder, and fresh lemon juice. super cool, refreshing, and creamy. even better after stirring in a shot of dark rum. definitely something to revisit in summertime kind of any damn day of the year.