Group Cook and More

January 10, 2011

We recently celebrated our holiday break by having some friends over to cook and eat a vegan dinner. We used Terry Hope Romero’s “Viva Vegan” to make mango rice, mojo potatoes and tempeh, a green sauce and corn pancakes. We also made our own drunken refried beans. I would’ve liked to marinate the potatoes and tempeh for more time, but the rice, pancakes and especially the green sauce came out very well. Great food and great company as usual. The way the meal came out made us want to use the book again soon.

Sometimes I get a hankering for some Southern delights. And grits are one of those cravings. Collard greens are another in some way. The grits actually came out very creamy and tasty. We used soy milk and Daiya to get the texture and taste right. In the collards, we used liquid smoke and apple cider vinegar for flavor. Together this dish is divine, and with fresh tomatoes really flavorful stuff.

We also recently used celeriac for its flavor. We copied a regular recipe from the New York Times for a creamy celeriac-chestnut soup. It came out so tasty vegan, too. It reminds me how much flavor comes from vegetables and how they really provide a great base for non-veg soups and sauces, too. One always starts with Mireproix (or some variation of it), and one must build flavors from that, but it really is the base.  We also often use liquor (usually wine), nutritional yeast and a good brand of broth to build the flavor. Celeriac brings its own earthiness to bear, too. It smells and tastes like a combination between a broccoli stem and a celery stalk.

We also got a Dutch Oven for Christmas and Nicole recently made a whole wheat and thyme bread. It was dense and delicious, and will inspire us to do more bread baking soon.

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