Monday, August 3, 2009

Let Me Eat Cake

Damn. It's been months since I've posted about real food (i.e. not cake, sweets, the bake sale, or a combination thereof). That's probably because cake is pretty and I still haven't gotten the hang of making my savory food look good.

I guess that's my way of warning that today's post is going to be full of crap photos (especially given that it's monsoon season in NYC).

Terry Hope Romero and Isa Chandra Moskowitz are both testing new recipes for their upcoming cookbooks (Vegan Latina for Terry and something weight lossy for Isa) and what you see up there is Terry's Papacitas Rellenas and Isa's Jerk Asparagus (with a little scoop of leftover potatoes).

I LOVE the Papacitas Rellenas. They're new potatoes stuffed with a combination of chopped mushrooms, olives, raisins and some other stuff. When run through the food processor, mushrooms look bizarrely like hamburger. I really should have taken a picture of the stuff while it was cooking. It was the sort of thing that if I'd gotten it in a restaurant, I would have double checked with my server that the meat was fake. The filling is a perfect combination of sweet and savory and they're cute and small and fun to just pop in your mouth. That said, they're quite a bit of work and took me almost two hours to make. They're definitely something to make for a party (where people may appreciate you sitting there scooping and refilling all those little potatoes), not to pop in your mouth while reading comics (which was sort of yesterday's plan).

The Jerk Asparagus was just the opposite: twenty minutes all in. The most complicated thing is mincing the ginger. I'd never eaten jerk anything before, so I don't know how authentic the dish is, but the spice blend was really interesting (cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, etc.) and I really liked it.

I've also finally jumped in and have tried to become less dependent on other people's recipes and work things out for myself. I've mostly been doing savory baked goods. None of the recipes are perfect yet, but when they finally work right, I'll probably share them here. After participating in this whole vegan Internet food community thing for almost two years, it'll be nice to be able to share and not just be a total mooch.

The first thing I played with was a roasted garlic biscuit, which came out pretty much close to perfect on the first try:

I basically roasted a couple of bulbs of garlic, mashed it up and used it to replace some of the fat and liquid in a basic biscuit recipe. Good stuff, but major garlic breath ensued.

Then there were artichoke muffins, which were tasty, but a little chewier than they should have been, I think. The recipe definitely still needs work.

I also tried my hand at pesto and sundried tomato scones, which tasted about as good as you would expect them to, but I totally messed up the moisture, so they ended up way too crumbly. But I will persevere and get something right sooner or later, I swear.

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