16 May 2011

Broccoli Rabe & Chorizo

The local Farmer's Market had some interesting greens this week.  One of my favorites is broccoli rabe.  One of the farmers had some ,and I bought it, but he insisted it was some sort of Asian mustard green.  Maybe so, but if it looks like broccoli rabe, cooks like broccoli rabe, and tastes like broccoli rabe, I'm going to use it as broccoli rabe...

Other greens would work here - kale, mustard greens, collards, gai lan, etc.

This recipe uses a somewhat unusual combination by using some black bean sauce with the chorizo to balance out the flavors.  Very little salt is used in the recipe itself.  I prefer to use a good finishing sea salt at the table, like Maldon's or a grey sea salt.

Broccoli Rabe & Chorizo

1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 c corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
2 tsp black bean sauce
6-7 oz vegan chorizo, diced
1 bunch broccoli rabe, cleaned
1/4 c vermouth or other white wine

Put a 4 qt pot of water on the stove to boil.
When it is boiling, add the broccoli rabe and blanch for 4-5 minutes
Remove the greens and drain.
When cool, chop the greens into bite sized pieces
 Put a 10 or 12 inch skillet on to heat on medium heat

Add olive oil to skillet
Add onion and saute 2-3 minutes
Sprinkle salt on onion
Add garlic, cook 1 minute
Add corn kernels, cook 1 minute
Add black bean sauce and mix well
Add chorizo and greens and mix well.
Add white wine and cook for 4-5 minutes until everything is very hot, and the greens are cooked

Serve over brown rice and add chile flakes!

13 May 2011

First Harvest Meal, 2011:
Kale Chorizo Stew

The first meal from the garden is always an exciting event.  Today, the Red Russian Kale seemed to have enough large leaves to harvest, so harvest it, I did.

Last year, the kale didn't do very well.  The weather went from hot and wet to cold and wet to more wet, and it languished.  It still tasted terrific, though, and Tae and I ate all of it raw while standing over the container in which it grew.

This recipe is more of an assembly guide than it is a proper recipe.  The quantities of each ingredient are totally up to you, and you can add as you wish.  We were out of onions, so there was no onion.  If I had more kale, I certainly would have added it.  The vegan chorizo isn't shown, but here were all the other the ingredients.

I make my own chorizo, vaguely using the chorizo recipe from 'Viva Vegan' as my guide.  'Viva Vegan', is one of the best vegan cookbooks EVER, and I've tried a lot of recipes.  I mostly use them as inspiration and wander off on my own, but it has many, many interesting places to start.

If you don't have your own seitan chorizo on hand, I would recommend the 'Chipotle' sausage from Field Roast.  It was my favorite 'sausage' until I started making my own.

I used fresh corn and used the cobs to start a stock for the stew.  If you have to use frozen, skip the step making the broth and head straight to the Massels.  You might want to add an extra cube if you don't make the quick stock. Without the stock-making step, this recipe only takes 15 minutes or so to make.

As an option on this, try baby bok choi or gai lan (Chinese broccoli) in lieu of the kale, and mix in  1-2 tsp of miso paste right before serving.

Kale Chorizo Stew
serves 4

1 Tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 c water
2 Massels vegan broth cubes
2 ears of fresh corn

Red potatoes, diced
1 bunch kale, cleaned, stemmed and chopped
3 carrots, diced
mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
corn from the ears
6-8 oz vegan chorizo, diced

Using a sharp knife, remove the kernels form the fresh corn and reserve.
Heat a 6 qt pot
Add olive oil and saute garlic for 30 seconds
Add corn cobs and Massels cubes
Add water
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes

Remove cobs and toss in the compost pile
Add kale and potato
Cover, bring back to a boil
Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes
Add corn kernels, mushrooms, carrots and chorizo.
Cover, bring back to a boil
Reduce heat and simmer 5minutes
Check veggies for doneness

Serve with a sprinkle of chile flakes if desired.  
In the photo above, we served the stew with home made kamut bread and a sprinkle of Daiya Pepper Jack vegan cheese.  And chile flakes, of course.  They go on everything...

24 April 2011

Vegan Crab & Veggie Pasta

A recent 'find' has been Match Meats imitation crab 'meat'. Match Meats is located in St Louis and makes a variety of 'ground meat' substitutes for vegans - chicken, ground beef, sausage, pork and crab. I've used the crab for crab cakes and in sushi and had about half a pack left over in the freezer. So, this pasta dish was born.

Before I was vegan, I wasn't that mad about crab.  We lived along the Louisiana coast at one point and ate a lot of fresh seafood then, but  crab always seemed more trouble than it was worth.  So, I don't know if this really tastes like crab or not.  But it does have a good taste, and I've served it to both vegans and non-vegans and everyone liked it.

I made my own kamut pasta but you can buy it or substitute your favorite ribbon-like pasta. You need however much the box says is 4 servings.

Note that there is no added salt to this dish. The pasta water is salted and that seems enough. If you do want more salt, I'd suggest adding a little of your favorite soy sauce to the crab mixture rather than actual salt.

As an alternative preparation, you could eliminate both the broccoli and arugula, and substitute blanched, chopped broccoli rabe.

Vegan Crab & Veggie Pasta

Pasta - enough for 4 servings
2 Tbs olive oil
8 oz (half pack) of Match Meat Imitation Crab
1 zucchini diced
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/4 c white wine or vegan broth
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbs Old Bay seasoning
1 tsp sumac powder
2 cups loosely packed baby arugula leaves
3-4 c broccoli florets
Daiya Mozzarella 'cheese' to taste

Start the salted water for the pasta and broccoli
Heat a 10" skillet on low-medium heat

Add the broccoli to the boiling water and cook 2 minutes
Using a slotted spoon, remove the broccoli to a bowl

Add olive oil to the skillet
When the oil is hot, add the crab and break up with a spoon
When the crab is broken up, add the next 5 ingredients, cover and simmer until the zucchini is done to your liking.

Add pasta to the boiling water and cook until barely done
Add the broccoli and arugula to the crab mixture and heat until the arugula wilts.
Combine pasta and crab mixture and mix.
Serve, topped with Daiya Mozzarella sprinkled over the top.