May 16, 2016

"baconish" + giveaway

Because I've been so busy with my upcoming book, Aquafaba (Amazon, B&N), it seems I've only had time to write reviews! It just seems to be the only break I've been allowing myself to get -- and as much as the kids like sweets, even they are getting a bit inundated with aquafaba creations since I've been done with the savory part of the book. 

Luckily, Leinana Two Moons offers just such a needed break with her Baconish (Amazon, B&N) cookbook, published by Vegan Heritage Press

As you might expect, the book is all about vegan bacon, in the form of tofu, seitan, coconut, tempeh, eggplant, carrot, etc. After introducing you to her bacon recipes, Leinana makes use of those bacon creations to include them in sweet and savory dishes of all kinds: beakfast, salad, soup, lunch, mains, sweets, ice cream, yeah, pretty much everything.

I make a really great bacon myself, so I had to see how Leinana stacks up in the bacon department, and naturally, if you have a bacon book, well, you should make bacon.

I chose the Seitan Bacon since that is one I haven't actually ever made, and, I think, have only had seitan bacon from Upton's company (really delicious, too, so Leinana had some big boots to fill.)

I made the seitan bacon as directed, but my bacon wasn't cooked by the designated time. So, if you make it, touch the gluten and if it is still very soft (raw) toss it back in for another 30 minutes or so. 
Once it was cooked, it was very tasty and my kid is still asking for it...of course, it is long gone.

We collectively decided to go for the Croque Monsieur sandwich, mostly because it looked like an interesting version, with a bechamel sauce on top, instead of more melted cheese.

The sandwich was very tasty, but a word of advice: don't add all the sauce to the sandwiches as it made them soggy and voided the hard work of toasting the sandwich in the first place. Also, place the sandwiches on a cooling rack on the baking sheet so the bottom doesn't steam up and get soggy, either.

With these few suggestions, the sandwich is really great. Oh! and if you have vegan brioche, that is the traditional bread to serve it on. (Hint: recipe in my upcoming Aquafaba!)

And then, I made my biggest mistake: I gave the book to my kids to pick something. Naturally, they chose the most time-consuming recipe in the book, Potato, Bacon and Onion Pierogi.

As Leinana point out, they are a lot of work, but they are worth it. Since the pierogies have onions in them, I decided to caramelize a little more as some topping. Very decadent and delicious.

Finally, I couldn't let you go without letting you have at the Famous Coconut Bacon BLT! Once you check out the recipe, I have more good news...giveaway! Comment below to enter to win a copy of Leinana's Baconish cookbook. Contest is open to US residents only and ends May 30, midnight. Good luck!

The Famous Coconut BLT
Makes 4 sandwiches

This recipe will make any vegan-bacon skeptic a true believer. Because Coconut Bacon will become less crisp the longer you store it, I recommend making it just ahead of preparing your sandwiches. (From Baconish © 2016 by Leinana Two Moons. Used with permission from Vegan Heritage Press.)

8 slices sandwich bread
Vegan mayonnaise
2 cups Coconut Bacon (recipe follows)
1 large ripe tomato, sliced
Lettuce leaves, washed and patted dry

Spread each slice of bread with a generous amount of mayonnaise. Top the mayonnaise with about 1/2 cup of the Coconut Bacon per sandwich, followed by slices of tomato and lettuce leaves. Top each sandwich with the remaining bread slices. Cut each sandwich with a serrated bread knife and serve immediately.

Coconut Bacon
Makes 2 1/2 cups

This recipe will make any vegan-bacon skeptic a true believer. It is my absolute favorite bacon to use for the best BLTs ever. (From Baconish © 2016 by Leinana Two Moons. Used with permission from Vegan Heritage Press.)

3 tablespoons tamari
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon maple syrup
3 cups unsweetened large-flake coconut

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Whisk the tamari, liquid smoke, water, and maple syrup together in a large bowl. Stir in the coconut and mix well to ensure that the flakes are evenly coated.

Spread the coconut in an even layer on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 10 minutes, then stir. Bake another 8 minutes, keeping a very close eye on the coconut in the last few minutes. The coconut will go from almost done to completely burned very quickly. Remove from the oven when the coconut flakes on the outer edges of the pan are becoming a deep, dark brown, but not black.

Place the baking sheet on a cooling rack. The coconut will continue to crisp as it cools. Coconut bacon will keep 1 to 2 weeks in an airtight plastic container, but will become less crisp the longer you store it.