- One large can of crushed tomatoes
- Half of a small red onion, finely chopped
- Five to seven cloves of garlic, finely minced
- White vinegar -- 1/3 cup
- Liquid smoke -- 1/2 teaspoon (a cap full)
- Soy sauce -- 1/4 cup
- Brown sugar -- 1/3 cup
- Regular yellow mustard -- 1 teaspoon
- Crushed red pepper -- 1 teaspoon for a mild sauce (up to a couple of tablespoons if you are bad ass)
- Arrowroot powder -- make a slurry of several tablespoons.
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Saturday, January 15, 2011
So I decided that I was going to try to make red curry for the first time ever last night. I think the heartiness and bad-for-you high calorie and fat content of this dish makes it sufficiently redneck enough. Now for some reason I have always had a bit of trouble making Asian foods more than any other, and my downstairs smoke detector always goes off whenever I try. (I think my smoke detector is racist.)
Often when I decide I’m going to make something for the first time I will browse around other recipes online and try to formulate my own recipe. From there I can usually create a good recipe that I think will work best. That’s what I did here, lurking around various sites, making mental and sometimes actual notes on what to do, until finally I developed what seemed like a process that would work. And it did – quite well actually.
Most red curry recipes out there are for chicken curry, though a lot is for tofu. While I like the tofu curries that I have had when I go out to eat (St. Louis has really good Thai restaurants by the way), I don’t particularly like cooking with tofu at home. I don’t hate it or anything, but it’s a bit of a process to get it drained and marinated and all (which I do by freezing then thawing and squeezing). I decided that I was going to use eggplant, as eggplant is pretty hearty, and will often work well in lieu of meat. I ended up going to the cool little ethnic food market here in town (Jay’s International) to get the necessary ingredients. They had these cool little cans of red curry paste which were perfect.
Anyway, the curry turned out really well, enough to where I feel pretty confident giving this recipe out for mass consumption:
- Two Chinese eggplants (or one regular eggplant), diced into largish chunks
- One medium-small red onion, sliced
- One green bell pepper, sliced
- Five cloves of garlic, minced
- 8 oz or so of sliced button mushrooms
- Several tablespoons of red curry paste (exact amount may vary)
- A light oil (I used Canola)
- One (normal sized) can of light coconut milk
- Three tablespoons of soy sauce
Note: I don’t like dicing the onions and peppers for this dish like I would a soup or a chili. For a curry I think it’s good to leave the pieces a little longer. Most pieces were around an inch long.
Get a wok (or a large pan of some sort) and heat up several tablespoons of oil (enough oil to coat the bottom well) using medium-high heat. Throw in the eggplant, pepper and onions at the same time, and stir fry until the eggplant starts to get saturated and the onions begin to get translucent. Then turn the heat down to medium and add the garlic and the mushrooms, and keep stir frying until the mushrooms are saturated.
Then add your curry paste. I should note here that not all curry pastes are created equal, so you might need to use more of some types than of others. Most of the time you will use between three and six tablespoons, but if you like it hotter and more flavorful then feel free to go crazy. Stir in your curry paste well, then add the coconut milk and the soy sauce.
Turn the heat down to medium-low and let it simmer for a few minutes. Also, you might want to take a taste to see if it needs anything (most likely either curry paste or soy sauce). Serve this over your favorite rice (I like white jasmine rice) and eat. Yum. This was pretty good.
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Every now and then I will provide a review for a product here at RVK. These posts will be fairly short and straightforward for the most part. I will provide a grade ranging from A to F, as well as more specific grades like A- and C+.
My first review is of the meat alternative Frieda’s Soy Taco.
This is meat alternative made from soy protein. I had a hankerin’ for some tacos, and was planning on getting the Boca meatless crumbles and use some taco seasoning that I had gotten from Trader Joe’s. Well, I live in south city St. Louis, and no, it’s not the cool part. It’s a more middle-low income area where they don’t carry some meatless stuff on a consistent basis, so although this place (a Schnuck’s in south city) has had them before, they didn’t this time. So I decided to look in the hippie section of the produce department where they sell the tofu, some fake dogs, and the like, hoping to find a tube of SmartLife fake ground beef. No luck. But they did have Freida’s Soy Taco, so I figured what the hell; I was too lazy to drive to the Dierberg’s a few miles away.
All in all, it was good not great. I used some regular taco shells and some shredded spring greens, and I was not disappointed in the tacos at all. It was spiced pretty well. It had a taco flavor to it so I didn’t have to add anything to it. Now they were a little acidic – a little too vinegary. But in a pinch, this product makes some pretty decent tacos pretty quickly, and isn’t too expensive.
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Here's what you need and the amounts*:
- 2.25 cups of vital wheat gluten flour
- 7 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
- 4 tablespoons of garlic powder
- 1 cub of broth
- 0.5 cups soy sauce
- 5 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
You want to thoroughly mix the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients together, separately. Then, in a large mixing bowl, add the wet to the dry. Some people suggest using a spoon for this, but I just use my hands.
You are going to want to kneed this for several minutes until the dough is nice and elastic. Then I roll in into a log shaped form several inches thick and slice pieces about half to three-quarters inches each.
Then you put them into a stock pot with 10 cups of cool broth. You can add some soy sauce the broth if you like. It doesn't have to be cold -- room temperature is fine -- but it can't be warm. The turn the heat on high and bring it up to a boil. After it's boiling, put the heat on medium low (high enough to where it still simmers) and cover for an hour.
After it’s simmered for an hour, drain the seitan through a strain and then you let it cool. When it's cooled off then you will need to squeeze the excess broth out. It will be pretty watery if you don't do this.