February 28, 2013

Prune & Poppyseed Hamantaschen

Makes around 32 cookies

Vegan Hamantaschen

I know, you needed this recipe last week for Purim. But so what? These fabulous cookies can be enjoyed year round! In fact, when I was a teeny tiny Brooklyn girl taking my yellow school bus to yeshiva kindergarten, I didn’t even know that hamantaschen were holiday specific.

Oh, what’s that you say…what’s Purim, hamantaschen and yeshiva? Google it! Just kidding (sort of.) In a nutshell, Purim is sort of Jewish Halloween (although, that definition is debated. But I always enjoyed the costume aspect!) Hamantaschen are fruit filled 3 sided cookies (shaped like a bad guy’s hat. You’ll see when you google it.) They’re fun and yummy and if you share one with any member of the tribe, their eyes will widen and their hearts will swell.

There are a few traditional fillings for the cookies. Apricot jam is popular, as is raspberry. But my favorites were always prune or poppyseed. And I have a vague memory of a filling that was both! After doing my own googling, I realized that it might not exist. But whatevs, I invented my own. Sort of a fig newton filling, with crunchy toasty poppyseeds and a few melted chocolate chips and orange for extra depth.

The dough is not quite flaky like a pastry dough. It’s crisp on the exterior, but soft and cakier inside. Lemon gives the cookie just a little bit of brightness that is very reminiscent of the Kosher bakeries of my youth.

If you grew up with these cookies, I hope they bring you back. And if you’ve never tried them, I hope you’ll become a new fan!

Recipe Notes

~ For the cookie dough, I used coconut oil for its yummy buttery qualities. Temperature seems to be a really important factor when using coconut oil (it’s solid when cold, liquid when warm), so make sure the oil is at room temperature.
~ I also use warm milk, because cold milk might make the dough too stiff.  Warm the milk briefly in a microwave safe bowl or on the stove top. You want it to be slightly warmer than wrist temperature, but not hot.

~ If you’re preparing the dough way in advance and refrigerating, you’ll need to let it thaw for a good long while. The dough gets very stiff when refrigerated, and will need a few hours to get pliable again.

For the dough:
2/3 cup refined coconut oil
1 cup sugar
1 cup warm plain non-dairy milk (I used almond)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
4 teaspoons vanilla

3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons organic cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

For the filling:
8 oz Prunes
1/4 cup poppyseed
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips

Prepare the dough:
In a medium mixing bowl, use an electric hand mixer to beat together the coconut oil and sugar. It should be somewhere between creamy and crumbly. Add the milk and beat until smooth and incorporated. Mix in the zest and vanilla.

Add 2 cups of the flour, the cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Beat on medium until smooth. Add the rest of the flour about 1/2 a cup at a time, mixing after each addition, until the dough is stiff, smooth and not tacky. It will probably start climbing up the beaters. That’s ok!

Divide dough in two, roll into a ball and flatten a bit into a fat disc, then wrap each in plastic and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. In the meantime prepare the filling.

Prepare the filling:
Roughly chop the prunes and place them in a sauce pot. Add the poppyseeds, sugar, orange juice, water and orange zest. Cover and bring to a simmer. Let it cook until the prunes are very soft, stirring often, 5 to 7 minutes. If it seems too stiff, add a little extra water, a tablespoon at a time, until it loosens up a bit. It should be the texture of a thick jam.

Transfer to a blender and add the chocolate chips. Puree the mixture while still warm so that the chips melt. If it is too thick to puree, once again, add a little water until it will blend.

Once nice and smooth (although many poppyseeds will remain whole) transfer to a bowl and set aside at room temp until ready to form the cookies.

Form the cookies:
Have ready 2 large baking sheets, lined with parchment paper.

Sprinkle a clean, dry countertop with a little flour. Take one portion of dough and flatten it out a bit with the palm of your hand, then roll about 1/8 inch thick, sprinkling with flour if the dough seems sticky.

Using a 3 inch cookie cutter, create 14 to 16 circles of dough.

Then peel away the excess dough.

Now fill each cookie with about a teaspoon of filling.

Pinch together two sides to form a cone.

Then fold up the bottom, once again pinching the sides to seal.

Now you’ve got a bunch of Hamantaschen!

Preheat oven to 350 F then roll out the other portion of dough and repeat. If desired, you can roll out the remaining excess dough and make a few more cookies. I’m always too lazy to do that!

Bake cookies for 10 minutes, then rotate pans and bake for another 8 minutes or so. The bottoms should be golden brown. The tops don’t brown much.

Transfer to cooling racks to cool completely. Store cookies at room temp in a tightly sealed container. I think they taste even better the next day. Happy Purim!

February 26, 2013

The PPK 100 For 2012

Now that the Oscars are over we can get to the list everyone’s really been waiting for…it’s the PPK100 for 2012!  (The list is down there somewhere under this epic image.)

Vegan food was fun, cheesy, smart, sweet and boozy last year, and we’ve got the products, websites, events, utensils and recipes to prove it. Thank you to Katie Hubbard and Laura Beck for helping to write this year’s entries. This year the number 100 slot is empty, leaving room for everyone that says “BUT YOU FORGOT ABOUT X!” Well, maybe they’ll still make it on.

I compiled the list by asking everyone from my mom to my favorite musicians what inspired them in 2012. I also posed the question on Twitter and Facebook (of course!) so that I could get as much feedback as possible. Since this is the Post Punk Kitchen 100, naturally there are a few items from Terry and I that made it on to the list, but I tried to make it as diverse as possible, giving shoutouts to all of the amazing peeps that made 2012 a delicious year.

The list is in no particular order, #1 isn’t necessarily any more important or better than #47 in our eyes. The main point was just to have some fun. From time to time we link to stuff you can buy on Amazon. If you purchase through those links, the credit will go to supplies for The Teal Cat Project.

If you see a mistake or if I accidentally didn’t give credit, please just let me know. And of course let us know what inspired you in 2012. Enjoy!

1) Artisan Vegan Cheese by Miyoko Schinner
2) Cinnamon Snail
3) #veganfoodshare
4) Homemade Liquers
5) Finding Vegan
6) Popcorn Tofu At Wheatsville Coop, Austin TX
7) The Vegetarian Butcher
8) Vegan for Life
9) The Vegan Experience on Serious Eats
10) Compassionate Cake
11) Moms On Facebook Sharing Recipes
12) Eat Pastry
13) The Wynn In Las Vegas
14) Coconut Bacon
15) Veg News Food Photography
16) Raised Donuts
17) Tabby Toffee’s For Teal Cat from Lagusta’s Luscious
18) Chia Pudding
19) The Vegan Shop-Up
20) The Vegan Secret Supper Club
21) Cafe Gratitude in Kansas City
22) Homemade Tempeh
23) VegOut App
24) Soy Not Oi! 2
25) Shichimi Togarashi
26) Extracting the Teargas Cone of an Onion
27) Beyond Meat
28) Virtual Vegan Potluck
29) Umeboshi paste
30) Jorge Garcia’s and Nooch Toast
31) Epic Vegan Mealtime
32) Kale mojito
33) LA’s Vegan Beer Fest
34) Vegan Fish Sauce
35) Vegan Cupcakes Take Over Toronto
36) Traditional Pickling
37) Spherification & Pearls
38) Treeline Treenut Cheese
39) Seitan Meats Jesus Pizza from PizzaNista
40) Tea Leaf Salad at Burma Superstar
41) Patric Chocolate’s PB&J OMG bar
42) Vegan Food On Buzzfeed
43) Nooch Vegan Market
44) Twix from OCD
45) Daiya Havarti Wedge
46) Native Foods
47) Butternut Alfredo
48) Nut butters in baking
49) Vegan Butter
50) Funny pasta shapes from Amazon
51) Porcini powder
52) Homemade Syrups for Drinks
53) Steve’s Cinnamon Coffee Ice Cream
54) M.A.K.E., Santa Monica
55) Butchering A Lemon
56) Vega One
57) Homemade Kombucha
58) Moscow Mule
59) Toasted Rice Powder
60) Star Anise
61) A Profound Hatred of Meat
62) Keepin’ It Kind
63) Mac And Cheese With Roasted Artichokes at MOB
64) Compost
65) Baker’s Creek Catalog
66) Pretzels In My Ice Cream (Ideally After Midnight)
67) Vintage Spatula
68) Coconut Fiber
69) Chopped Vegan
70) Cookbooks From The Library
71) Manifest Vegan’s Ube Ice Cream
72) Coconut Oil
73) Smoked Olives
74) Green Vegan App
75) Capital City Bakery, Austin TX
76) No Whey Chocolates
77) Vegan Butterfingers
78) Bánh Mì
79) Crushing Seeds In A Garlic Press
80) Homemade Kimchi (Or Not)
81) Victoria Vegan Vodka Sauce
82) Archived Vegetarian Times
83) Boston’s Vegan Corner
84) Raw White Chocolate Bar by Organic Nectars
85) My Drunk Kitchen does Raw Vegan Cheesecake
86) The Vegan Zombie
87) Potato Towers
88) 50 Shades of Kale
89) Carrot Bacon
90) Olives For Dinner
91) Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
92) Homegrown Kale (Scattered Kale Seeds)
93) Vedge Restaurant, Philly
94) Vegan Richa
95) Blissful Chef’s Cooking Tool of the Month
96) Pumpkin Pie Filled Muffins
97) Aliens Day Out
98) Food Mountain
99) Re-purposing Non-Vegan Kitchen Utensils
100) ?????? You tell us!

Thanks so much for all who participated (in order of appearance)! Troy Farmer [Raven & Crow], Lagusta Umami [Lagusta’s Luscious], Quarrygirl [Quarrygirl], Jason Das [SuperVegan], Sarah Kramer [Sarah’s Place], Laura Beck [Vegansaurus], Jasmin Singer and Mariann Sullivan [OurHenHouse], Terry Hope Romero [Vegan Latina], My Mom [no website], Gabrielle Pope [Vegans on the Move], Mo [Mo Betta Vegan], Jess Sconed [Get Sconed], Lianne Mai-Ly Hilgart [Voute Coutre], Elizabeth Castoria [Veg News], John McDevitt [Laziest Vegans In The World], Stephanie Seabirds [Seabirds Truck]

February 19, 2013

Chocolate Yogurt Bundt Cake

Makes one 12 cup Bundt, serves 16
Active time: 15 minutes || Total time: 2 hours

Does chocolate cake ever need an introduction, or is this pretty self-explanatory?

Fine, I will spell it out for you: I was craving chocolate cake!

And I wanted something supermoist, you know, the kind of cake that melts in your mouth and melts your heart and makes you forget about the snow outside that might not ever melt!

Chocolate Yogurt Bundt Cake

I’ve been on a Bundt kick lately, because they’re so casually fancy, and I’ve just been too busy for anything more than one bowl and one baking pan. I threw in some chocolate chips and dusted with powdered sugar to at least give the appearance of effort. And if you’ve got a bushel of strawberries burning a hole in your produce pocket then now is a good time to use ’em.

So there you have it! A deeply delicious and chocolatey cake that you never need a special occasion to bake. Tonight I’m going to share it with my writing group because another bonus? You can eat it with one hand!

Chocolate Yogurt Bundt Cake

Recipe Notes

~ I used coconut yogurt, but I think any plain or vanilla yogurt will work. I really like the So Delicious brand. 

~ For the boiling water that you add at the end, make sure to measure it after boiling, not before, since some might evaporate. 

~ I pulled everything off with a simple whisk, but feel free to use an electric hand blender if you prefer!

~ If you can’t accept a Bundt Cake without icing, try the ganache here. 

1 1/4 cups plain or vanilla vegan yogurt (see note)
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup non-dairy milk (I used almond)
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup boiling water

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

To decorate:
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Fresh strawberries

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 12-cup Bundt pan.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sugar, milk and canola oil until smooth, about a minute. Mix in the vanilla.

Sift in about half of the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Mix until almost smooth, then add the remaining flour and hot water. Mix again until smooth. It’ll be relatively thick.

Fold in the chocolate chips. Transfer batter to prepared Bundt pan and bake for 55 minutes to an hour. A knife inserted through the center should come out clean, but because of the chocolate chips it might be hard to tell. Just make sure there’s not a bunch of batter on it.

Let cool for 20 minutes or so, then invert on to a cooling rack to cool completely. Because the cake is so moist it may take a little tapping to get the cake to release.

Once completely cool, dust with powdered sugar and serve with strawberries!

February 17, 2013

Bouillabaisse With Roasted Yellow Squash & Chickpeas

Serves 6 to 8
Total time: 1 hour || Active time: 45 minutes

Vegan Bouillabaisse

This isn’t your run of the mill chickpea tomato stew. It’s got so much interesting goodness going on: fennely bites, a little orange undertone and just a hint of the sea. I wish I had a really interesting story to tell about me and bouillabaisse and my French lineage but…the truth is, the word just got stuck in my head. A few days ago out of nowhere. Bouillabaisse. Bouillabaisse.

In fact, before today I couldn’t even tell you what went into the recipe. Just one of those things that sounded super fancy to me in the 80s and kind of fell off the radar.

But I became intrigued and did some intense research (uh, google image search). A Provençal fisherman’s stew, a bit spicy, usually served with crusty bread and rouille. OK, well, count me in.

For my vegan version, I had two main goals — replicate the fishiness and retain that eclectic fancy rustic-ness. For the sea flavor, I decided on my old stand-bys: chickpeas and just a little crumbled nori. And for garnish, a few briny capers. Easy enough!

To mimic the pretty shapes of the shellfish that poke out of the stew every which way, I decided to go with yellow squash, cut into half moons. Since sometimes boiled summer squash can get mushy, I opted to roast the squash and toss it in at the end. Forgive the fussiness, but well, sometimes a little extra work produces great rewards. The roastiness brings a lot to the bowl.

In most of the photos I saw, I noticed that although the stew was brothy, there was a lot of stuff floating around, likely from flakes of fish. But I decided to throw in a handful of red lentils to give the broth some interest and boost the flavor even more.

For the rouille, I decided to…oh wait, what’s that you say, what is rouille? Well, duh, it’s a peppery mayo! How could you not know that?

For mine, I basically followed Julia Child’s recipe (she uses almonds, although many recipes call for breadcrumbs) and threw in a little Ina Garten (that’s the dijon mustard.) Now, of course bread and spread are options here, the stew is filling enough on its own, but please if you’ve got the time, make the rouille! It was so rich, cozy and decadent, and really just the thing for dipping into the stew on a blustery winter afternoon.

And there you have it. A vegan bouillabaise that even a French fisherman would love. OK, fine, a French fisherman would probably laugh at me and call me terrible things in French. But still. It’s still totally delicious.

Recipe Notes

~ Since yellow squash tapers at one end, you can simply slice the narrowest part into discs. Then cut the rest in half lenghtwise and make 1/4 inch thick cuts widthwise to create the halfmoons. You can use zucchini instead, if you like!

~ I love the flavor that fire roasted canned tomatoes bring to the party, but use only the tomatoes, not the juice. You can reserve that for another soup another time! It freezes well in a small plastic ziplock. I just grab the tomatoes out of the can and crush them in my hands right into the pot. But if you don’t feel like being savage, you can chop them on a cutting board, too.

~ One average sized naval orange should get you enough zest. Use a microplane grater and eyeball the amount. It’s too frustrating to actually measure a teaspoon of zest, in my opinion.

~ If your nori is incredibly fresh, you should be able to crumble it in your hands. But sometimes, even if the package has been open for only a few days, the nori is too pliable to crumble. In that case, roll it up and chop into tiny pieces with a chef’s knife.

~ I roasted the peppers for my rouille while the squash was roasting. That made it super easy to pull together.

~ Most recipes call for saffron. I didn’t have any, but if you do, congratulations Warren Buffet! By all means, throw some in.

2 average sized yellow squash, cut into 1/4 inch thick half moons
Olive oil
2 cups thinly sliced fennel bulb (one bulb should be enough)
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
24 oz can fire-roasted tomatoes, tomatoes only, chopped (see note)
1 lb yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1 inch chunks
1/2 cup red lentils
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon finely grated orange peel
1 teaspoon salt
1/8th teaspoon cayenne, or more to taste
Several dashed fresh black pepper
1/2 sheet nori, crumbled into tiny pieces
5 cups vegetable broth
6 sprigs fresh thyme

2 cups cooked chickpeas (a 25 oz can, rinsed and drained)

For garnish:
Chopped flat leaf parsley
Fennel fronds

To serve:
Toasted bread

Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the yellow squash with a little olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. When oven is preheated, roast for 10 minutes, then flip and roast for another 5 minutes or so. Remove from oven and set aside. In the meantime, prepare the stew.

Preheat a 4 quart pot over medium heat. Saute fennel and onion in about a tablespoon of olive oil with a pinch of salt for 5 to 7 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the remaining ingredients, except for the chickpeas, cover pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat to a simmer and leave the lid ajar so that steam can escape.

When potatoes are tender and red lentils are cooked, about 15 minutes, add the chickpeas and turn heat to its lowest setting, cooking uncovered for 15 more minutes. This is so that the potatoes don’t overcook, but the lentils have more time to turn mushy and the flavors can develop even further. Add up to an extra cup of vegetable broth if needed, to keep the stew brothy. Cook this way for 10 minutes, then turn the heat off and let stew sit for at least 10 minutes to allow the flavors to marry. Taste for salt and seasoning. Remove the bay leaves and thyme springs before serving.

To serve:
Ladle stew into bowls, top with roasted zucchini, capers, fresh parsley and fennel fronds. Serve with toasted bread spread with rouille.

February 7, 2013

Curry Tofu Tacos With Pintos & Kale Slaw

Makes 8 tacos
Total time: 30 minutes || Active time: 30 minutes

Curry Tacos

I’ve been away from home for most of the winter, but the instant I walk through the door, still in an airplane funk, all I want to do is cook. My boyfriend looks at me like I have a carrot growing out of my forehead, and I’m like “I wish! I love carrots.”

Jet-lagged or not, this time of year is always so muddled and I never quite know what I’m craving. The winter makes my taste buds so restless. Let’s see…curry? Or Mexican? Or hippy? Oh, what the hell, let’s do all three. You could even call these YOLO Tacos (if you wanted to be the most annoying person in the world.)

The tofu is simply sliced into slabs, soaked in a little puddle or curry powder, olive oil and soy, then grilled to high heaven. (You can also broil.)

The beans are equally as simple: sauteed onions and an entire field of garlic (ok, 4 cloves), some fresh tomato, cilantro. Done!

And the Kale Slaw is my favorite hippy vegan recipe, and really not much more difficult than making guacamole. It’s sliced into shreds, and doused in a creamy garlicky dressing of avocado, tahini, and red wine vinegar. So easy! Even though there are a few components, the entire recipe should only take 30 minutes or so.

Curry Tacos

Now that I’m home and relaxed, I hope to be updating a little bit more regularly. Thanks for sticking around, everyone, and I hope you’re having a delicious (if restless) winter!

Recipe Notes

~You don’t have to press the tofu here, but if you have time, then it’s not a bad idea. Otherwise, just squeeze as much water out as you can, and blot the tofu with paper towels.

~I used my favorite S&B curry powder. Use whichever mild curry you like best!

~I was feeling very hippy vegan, and so I pulled out the old school Bragg’s Liquid Aminos for the tofu. You can use soy sauce or gluten-free tamari, too. If it needs more salt, just sprinkle some on after the tofu is cooked.

~To prepare the kale, pull the leaves from the stems. Roll up a few leaves at a time (into a cigar shape) and slice widthwise to make 1/4 inch strips. That is what “chiffonade” means! I used purple kale because PURPLE! But you can use whatever kind is available. About 1/2 of my bunch equaled the 6 cups needed for this recipe.

For the tofu:
1 14 oz package extra firm tofu
3 tablespoons Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce or tamari)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons curry powder

For the pintos:
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium tomato, chopped
Pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 15 oz can pinto beans, rinsed and drained (or 1 1/2 cups cooked)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

For the kale slaw:
6 cups shredded kale (stems removed, chiffonade – see note)

Dressing for slaw:
2 cloves garlic
1/2 an avocado
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or lime)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water (plus more to thin)

To serve:
Remaining 1/2 of avocado, diced small
8 corn tortillas

Make the tofu:
Preheat grill over medium high heat, or preheat broiler. Slice tofu into 8 equal slabs, widthwise.

On a rimmed dinner plate, use a fork to mix together Bragg’s, olive oil and curry powder.

To grill, spray the hot grill pan with cooking spray. Dredge each slab of tofu into the curry mixture on both sides, then place on the grill. Let cook for about 7 minutes each side, or until grill marks appear.

For broiling, place on a lightly greased baking sheet about 3 inches from the broiler. Broil each side about 5 minutes, keeping a close eye so that they don’t burn.

When ready to serve, slice the tofu slabs into four strips lengthwise.

Make the beans:
Preheat a large pan over medium-high heat. Saute onion in oil with a pinch of salt, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute 30 seconds more. Add the chopped tomato, red pepper flakes and salt. Cook until tomato is broken down and releasing juice, about 3 minutes.

Add the beans and heat through. Mix in the cilantro, and turn the heat off. Keep covered until ready to serve.

Make the Kale Slaw:
In a blender, pulse the garlic to get it a bit chopped up. Add the remaining ingredients, and blend until smooth. Add extra water as needed in order to get it to a thick but pourable consistency, like a thick milkshake.

Place the shredded kale in a bowl and add the dressing, using a rubber spatula to scrape the blender and get everything out.

Use your hands to massage the dressing into the kale for about 30 seconds. Taste for salt and seasoning.

To assemble:
Warm the tortillas (I wrap mine in paper towels and microwave for 30 seconds.) Place a bit of kale, a scoop of beans and a few strips of tofu in each taco. Add a little chopped avocado, and eat up!