Showing posts with label BBQ. Show all posts
Showing posts with label BBQ. Show all posts

Nov 16, 2016

bbq nachos

If you follow this blog at all, you know that I don't like to repeat recipes a lot. In fact, it is only the family that makes me cook the same recipes over and over again.

With that in mind, when I was asked to make nachos again, I had to put a spin on it. Here is BBQ Nachos for the win.

This is my southern spin on a typically Mexican-inspired dish. It has homemade Chile con Queso, pulled BBQ seitan, BBQ sauce, collard greens, scallions and pickles. Trust me on this - it sounds odd, but is surprisingly tasty!

The cheese is a simple combination of ingredients and is easy to whip up. It is thick and rich and tangy. This recipe is based on my cheese sauce from Everyday Vegan Eats [AMAZON], which is a book we cook from at least a few times a week. Still a fave.

The pulled barbecue seitan is my recipe from Aquafaba [AMAZON]. It is Memphis-style Pulled Seitan recipe that pulls apart perfectly, complete with a tangy and sweet crust. I love this seitan, but you can use any barbecued tempeh, tofu, legumes or jackfruit. That part is really up to you.

Cook one bunch of collards in plenty of water and drain really well. I mean, squeeze out the excess water to avoid sogging down your chips. If you cook greens in plenty of water then most of the bitterness will leach into the water. Of course, so does a lot of the water soluble vitamins, so keep that in mind. It is a trade-off.

Then assemble:

Warm chips.
BBQ seitan, beans or jackfruit.

Choice of warm BBQ sauce.

Cheese sauce.

Collard greens, scallions and pickles.

Now get to work!

BBQ Nachos
Makes 4 servings

Cheese Sauce:
1 cup mashed soft or silken tofu
3/4 cup unsweetened plain nondairy milk
1/2 cup unsweetened plain nondairy yogurt
3 tablespoons chopped roasted red peppers (jarred is fine)
3 tablespoons tapioca starch
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon onion granules
1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes with chiles, lightly drained

Warm tortilla chips, as needed
2 cups barbecued beans or other barbecued plant-based protein
1 cup barbecue sauce
1 cup cooked, chopped and well-drained collard greens
1/2 cup chopped pickles
3 scallions, chopped

1. Combine the tofu, milk, yogurt, red pepper, tapioca, yeast, salt and onion in a blender. Blend very well. Add the mixture to a medium pot. Bring to boil over medium heat. Add the diced tomatoes and return to a light simmer. Cook, stirring often, until thick and the tapioca cooks well, about 4 minutes. Keep warm.
2. Warm the chips in a toaster oven, warm the protein, warm the barbecue sauce and cook the collards. Once the collards are cooked (either steamed or boiled) drain very well, squeezing out excess water. Chop the pickles and scallions.
3. To assemble, layer tortilla chips, add the protein, add some barbecue sauce, add the cheese sauce, add collards, pickles and scallions. Serve immediately. 

© 2016 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

Sep 18, 2014

eggplant sriracha bbq burger

Day 14 VeganMoFo Burger Hoopla continues with this Eggplant Sriracha BBQ Burger with Zucchini Slaw. This is an Asian-inspired burger of eggplant slices grilled and basted in Sriracha BBQ Sauce.

There are Asian flavors spiking this burger throughout, in the BBQ sauce and the slaw: tamari, sriracha, sesame seed oil, rice vinegar and Chinese 5-spice powder. I love using that spice because most of us have it in the back of the cabinet, yet seldom get the chance to cook with it; it adds so much flavor!

You can see all those wonderful flavors coating the grilled eggplants. So good and so fast!

As an aside, you can see hot hot it is in San Diego: we don't have central air, and as soon as I took the bottle of sriracha out of the fridge, it immediately began to condense the water from the air and the label got all soggy. Sheesh.

Oops! Who is that?! Jimmy photobombed my shoot. He took a sniff, turned right around, not being one for eggplant, and promptly went to the back of the table to lay down for the duration. Spot him in the remaining photos.

As soon as I moved the food out of the way, he claimed his rightful spot in the front. I've noticed that he and I are taking turns using the table!

This burger is outrageously good! Even my youngest took a careful bite, looked at me wide-eyed and said, "I cannot believe I like this so much - it has everything I don't like!" She dislikes eggplant, ginger, ziucchini and bbq sauce.

Goes to prove that the sum of the parts can be very different than the parts themselves.

Eggplant Sriracha BBQ Burger with Zucchini Slaw
Makes 4 to 6 burgers
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seed oil
1 small onion, minced
6 garlic cloves, minced
⅔ cups ketchup
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon reduced sodium tamari
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sriracha (or more)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
½ teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder
½ teaspoon dry ground ginger
2 tablespoons vegetable broth
1 large eggplant, cut into ¾-inch slices (you will need 8 slices for 4 burgers)
4 to 6 (3-inch) buns, not sliced
Vegan Mayonnaise, to taste
Zucchini Slaw, recipe below
1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and sesame oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until golden, about 8 minutes. Add the ketchup, 2 tablespoons tamari, vinegar, sriracha, brown sugar, 5-spice and ginger, stir and cook over medium-low for 8 minutes to thicken and marry flavors. Remove from heat.
2. Combine the remaining teaspoon oil and tamari and the vegetable broth in a large bowl. Toss the eggplant in the marinade and set aside while grill pan preheats.
3. Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Spray each slice of eggplant with oil before placing on grill pan. Cook the eggplant until almost tender, about 2 minutes per side. Baste the eggplant with the BBQ sauce and cook until glazed and the eggplant is tender, about 1 more minute per side.
4. Toast the buns to warm. Cut the buns in half almost all the way through, but not completely. This will help keep the sandwich together. Spread a little mayo on one side of the bun, add 2 eggplant slices, a bit more BBQ sauce and top generously with the slaw. Serve.
Zucchini Slaw
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium tamari
2 tablespoons brown sugar
½ teaspoon fresh ground ginger
1 garlic clove. minced
1 medium zucchini, julienned or grated (use a julienne peeler)
2 cups shredded baby kale
¼ small onion, grated
2 tablespoons minced cilantro
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper

1. Combine the lime juice, tamari, sugar, ginger and garlic in a large bowl.
2. Add the zucchini, kale, onion and cilantro. Toss to mix. Season with salt and black pepper.

© 2014 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

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If you haven't seen the giveaway for the cookbook Vegan Tacos by Jason Wyrick, it is HERE. Don't miss it.

Jul 9, 2014

pulled carolina bbq sammie

Hoo-wee! That's tangy! Carolina BBQ is known for its tang - and they aint kiddin, folks. Most Carolina BBQ sauce is almost all vinegar with a dash of sugar to "mellow" things out. I thought I had an odd-ball recipe I was looking at when I first began my search, but it turns out that's the norm and not the exception.

Only thing I can figure as to why this is the case is because the meat used is very fatty and the vinegar helps temper the heaviness. As does the required slaw.

Since our vegan version of this very traditional dish contains no saturated fat or any inherent fat at all, really, it is important to add some, otherwise the same flavor will elude us. In fact, it is completely realistic to add two or three tablespoons of melted vegan butter to the cooked bbq - and if you are looking for a very authentic vegan sammie, please go for it! We didn't, but we might next time!

As this recipe stands, it has about four tablespoons of added fat, but, dang it, it's worth it. With the added richness, the vinegar-based sauce is a bonus, instead of an overpowering distraction.

Having said that, I nevertheless went ahead and tempered the vinegar with a bit of mustard and ketchup - both ingredients still well withing the wheelhouse of the Carolina barbie (all you Food Network fans, did you catch that?).

As for replacing the animal product in this 'cue, well, dadgummit, it aint hard - I used Beyond Meat Chicken-Free Strips and separately made another variation using tempeh. Loved both! The strips give a more meaty texture, but the tempeh adds a nutty undertone, which was very welcome.

As usual, this recipe is ready in a jiffy. Come and get it!

And GO AND GET IT! Get entered in the contest at Simple Beauty Minerals, that is. Enter....

-----> HERE  <-----

for a chance to win my cookbook, Everyday Vegan Eats, and gift certificates to Simple Beauty Minerals. The chance to win is on-going once you enter, so why wait?

This week Lisa is giving away another gift certificate for her make up (which I simply ADORE!) and this week up for grabs is a natural fragrance by Pure Diva Natural Botanicals.

Once you are done entering the contest, come back here to get the recipe for that there Carolina BBQ. Not a second sooner!

Pulled Carolina BBQ   
Serves 4

2 tablespoons neutral oil, plus more for sauteing
½ teaspoon toasted sesame seed oil
½ teaspoon liquid smoke
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon dry mustard
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 (12-ounce) package Beyond Meat Chicken-Free Strips or 1 (8-ounce) package tempeh
Carolina BBQ Sauce (recipe follows)

1. Combine the oils, smoke, salt, garlic, sugar, paprika, mustard and black pepper in a large bowl. Set aside.
2. Shred the strips or tempeh using a box grater. Use a sharp knife to thinly slice any pieces that are difficult to shred with the grater. Transfer the shreds to the marinade and mix well to combine.
3. Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the marinated protein and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
4. Add half the BBQ sauce to the skillet, mix and remove from the heat. Serve the barbecue on toasted buns, with coleslaw and the remaining sauce.   

Carolina BBQ Sauce

1 tablespoon vegan butter
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
½ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup ketchup
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon sea salt

1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the garlic and chili flakes. Cook, stirring, until the garlic is golden, about 1 minute. Add the vinegar, ketchup, mustard, sugar, black pepper and salt. Whisk to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning.

© 2014 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

I am linking to these recipe parties: Healthy Vegan FridaysWhat I Ate Wednesday and Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck. 

Oct 20, 2012

chi chi's make over

Chi Chi's Mexican restaurants has a sordid past. It is an understatement to say that they are no longer the warm and inviting casual dining experience we have come to know this MoFo. In fact, they are no longer even an operational restaurant in the U.S.,  having been relegated to the grocery store aisles of salsa. The brand is now owned by Hormel, making a line of salsas, microwave meals and chips. That is a long way from operating 210 restaurants internationally.

Chi Chi's (whose name is equivalent to "Hooters," yes, it is named for breasts) was plagued by a string of bankruptcies, spanning from 1993 through 2003, when they filed for their final Chapter 11. As if that wasn't enough to put them under, a mere month after this, they were hit by the biggest, most devastating Hepatitis A outbreak in the U.S. One of the restaurants was found responsible for contaminating food, via green onions, and sickening over 600 people, including 4 deaths. After a few months, Chi Chi's settled with the victims and by 2004 had sold their remaining few stores to Outback and eventually closed all their US locations.


Let's get into the food.

Chi Chi's was popular (or was it?) for making Mexican food with an unusual twist. Take for instance the dish below. It is a Twice Grilled Barbecue Burrito. Twice grilled because the beef is grilled and then the burrito is grilled. Before being served, it is brushed with barbecue sauce. Believe it or not, this is really good! The barbecue sauce really adds a great flavor to the burrito. It is filled with grilled seitan, grilled peppers and onions and cheese. You can easily omit the seitan and make it all fajita vegetables, even adding the avocado into the burrito itself before grilling it. But if you bake it, I would add the avocado on top, as in the picture. 

There is no cost comparison for this meal, since there is none possible.

Cost Breakdown

tortilla, lime, oil: $1.25
cheese, avocado: $3
peppers, onions, garlic: $3
BBQ sauce: $.75
seitan: $2
Total to make 4 burritos:

Oct 5, 2012

california pizza kitchen make over

Not to be outdone by New York and Chicago, California introduced the west coast's version of pizza in the 1980's. It takes New York style thin crust and serves it up with California cuisine which integrates different cooking styles and local ingredients.

California Pizza Kitchen made this style of pizza popular by serving it in a casual dining environment. Pizzas such as Original BBQ Chicken and Jamaican Jerk Chicken, are being served around the country and internationally.

I couldn't leave well enough alone, even though I said I'd only make one dish, so here are two pizzas, but totally unconventional, with nary a tomato in sight. These crispy, sweet, loaded pizzas are a surprising culinary adventure.

The Original BBQ Pizza has chicken, onion, cheese, BBQ sauce and cilantro. So what is absolutely vegan and BBQ-y? Beans. I used navy beans because I didn't want the pizza overwhelmed with the texture of beans and the navy bean is dense, firm and small. I baked them in the sauce before adding them to the pizza. It works! The onions gets almost caramelized and the sauce of choice of the chain is a sweet and spicy one. Really delicious.

The second pizza I made was the Jerk Pizza. This one originally comes with chicken, onion, bacon, roasted peppers and green onions with a sweet Caribbean sauce. I used marinated tofu as my chicken sub and used my Tofu Bacon. The tofu needs to be pressed really well (6 hours in Tofu Xpress), but only needs to marinate about 30 minutes. The marinade is a very strong chicken-style broth. This was delightful as well.

The dough needs to proof overnight and the oven needs to preheat at 500 for an hour, so plan on making this in the winter.

If you've been hankering for CPK or just curious about all the fuss, get baking. 

It's worth the experience.

How did I do?

The chain charges $12.75 for each pizza.

Original BBQ:

crust: $2

beans: $2
onions, cilantro, sauce: $1.50
vegan cheese: $4
Total for 2 pizzas:

Their charge per Pizza: $12.75
Make-Over cost per Pizza: $4.75


crust: $2
tofu, pepper, tofu bacon: $3
onions, green onion, sauce: $1
vegan cheese: $4
Total for 2 pizzas:

Their charge per Pizza: $12.75
Make-Over cost per Pizza: $5.00

Original BBQ Pizza

Jerk Pizza

Oct 19, 2011

boston market (MoFo 29)

Boston Chicken has gone through its ups and down. In the early 90's they were at the top of their game, so much so that they began offering other menu items. In fact, they became so popular for it, that they decided the name Boston Chicken was no longer apt for the business and so changed to Boston Market. Woo-hoo! Until, that is, they so over-extended themselves that by 1998 they filed Chapter 11. Who do you think came to their rescue? I'll give you one McClue... 

The company was purchased in 2000 by the McDonald's Corporation with the intention to get their hands on the real estate and dump the name and menu. However, after McD's cleaned house of the constipated BM's (I have a joke here that I will not indulge in...too late), the Market began to flourish again (rats!) and McD's decided to leave well enough alone. If it makes money...ya know.

Apparently things weren't quite as rosy in McLand though, because by 2007, the Market once again changed ownership.

The Boston Market Meatloaf was one of the menu additions from the original folks, and here I have reinvented it in all its vegan glory. While theirs is made of a cow, mine is made of veggie burgers. Pretty sure any veggie burger will work, but I made mine with Boca. The burgers are mashed up and mixed with onions, seasonings and barbecue sauce. The sauce is added at mid-cooking, as well. 

The sides at Boston Market are something that vegetarians, at least, can indulge in, but why should vegans be excluded? And why not make it vegan, anyway, for that matter?

Here I have made three of the side dishes, Creamed Spinach, Macaroni and Cheese, Sweet Potato Casserole and Poultry Gravy. The mashed potatoes are my creation and not one of their "Gourmet Sides."

All of them are fantastic, but as far as it goes, this place should be called Boston Butter, not Market. They use a ton of butter, cream and cheese in almost every side dish - at least the ones I chose to make. A note: To make this as good as it can be, you must use unsweetened, plain non-dairy milk. Anything else will make things taste way too sweet.

Vegan Meatloaf with Gravy

Creamed Spinach. Macaroni and Cheese, Sweet Potato Casserole

Oct 11, 2011

hard rock cafe (MoFo 25)

Hard Rock Cafe was the first theme-based restaurant. Although when it opened in 1971 in London, England, narry a guitar or gold record graced the walls of the hamburger place By the time it's first American restaurant opened in Los Angeles in 1982, it had made not just a  name for itself, but gave birth to a trend that has been duplicated since then. 

It all began when Eric Clapton donated Hard Rock Cafe one of his guitars. Not to be outdone, Pete Townsend offered one up soon after, with a note saying "Mine's as good as his! Love, Pete." Thus began the collective legacy. Today, Hard Rock Cafe, complete with 130 or so stores, 4 hotels, 2 casinos and 2 concert venues, and a museum, is owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida... quite a history!

One of their most popular menu items is the Hickory-Smoked Pulled-Pork (or Chicken) Sandwich. It comes with marinated cabbage and creamy cole slaw. I made a tofu-gluten seitan for this. It is served on a ciabatta roll with extra sauce on the side. It is, in fact, quite good and not all that difficult to make, even with the making of the seitan. The only catch is that you have to make the seitan, the marinated cabbage and the creamy cole slaw the day before serving it, as all three have to sit over night. If you ask me, it just makes the day of the meal that much easier for the cook since most of the work will have been done already.

When you are ready to eat, spin some tunes and stock up on the napkins. It's worth it, even if you have never been to a Hard Rock Cafe.
 It's not like they have a monopoly on music.

Hickory-Smoked Pulled Seitan Sandwich

Creamy Cole Slaw