Showing posts with label fried. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fried. Show all posts

Nov 25, 2010

t.g.i. friday's (MoFo 16) + "american vegan kitchen" book contest

Fried Mac and Cheese

T.G.I. Friday's has been in existence since the 1960's. I hadn't realized this business has been around so long. The place was started by a perfume salesman who thought it would be a nifty way to pick up women. He called it T.G.I.F. to attract the business crowd. It became a hit and other places started copying the concept.
 I also hadn't realized that the Loaded Potato Skins was invented by them. Another surprising thing is that the Potato Skins are not deep fried, unlike their competitors' versions which are. Whew! At least one thing on this tasting menu isn't deep fried :}
The Skins come with bacon bits, and you are more than welcome to add that, seitan bacon or tofu bacon, but you can probably get a nicer flavor using crushed smoked almonds. And if I had any, that's what mine would sport. I have Daiya cheddar on mine and Cashew sour cream, and again, sub what you like or have. The potatoes are first baked, then the center is scooped out, then they are brushed with olive oil and broiled for a few minutes. Top them with cheese, broil until the cheese melts and serve with the vegan sour cream and chives. These didn't last long.
Sometime in the past decade, people decided that even Twinkies should be battered and fried (is it any wonder the U.S. leads the obesity epidemic?) and Macaroni and Cheese did not escape the transformation. Cat requested this one - Fried Macaroni and Cheese. It was either this or the green beans. If you'd like to make the green beans instead, just use the same batter and technique and you will have T.G.I.F.'s Fried Green Beans.
I made a simple macaroni and cheese recipe (use a creamy version). My favorite is Road's End Organics, following their directions except adding enough milk to make them creamy (at least doubling the recommended amount). You can also use one from the Uncheese Cookbook. The stuff is then put into a square baking pan and frozen until hardened. Remove it then and cut it into small cubes. Batter and deep fry. That's it!
Lastly, I had to make something with the Jack Daniel's Glaze Friday's has come up with. It is way too popular for them to omit it from my Tasting Menu. I made the Sesame Jack Chicken Strips using Tender Seitan. The strips are battered, fried and then tossed in the Jack Daniel's Glaze. This is on the sweet side but very tasty. I bet this would even taste great with pan seared seitan strips - as long as they were caramelized enough to have a crispy surface.
Now for my last MoFo Contest.
Tami Noyes of Vegan Appetite and the author of this killer cookbook, is giving away her American Vegan Kitchen for moi. I am very honored to have the privilege to run this contest for this really cool prize!
I mused on purchasing this book for a few months, thinking I do NOT need another cookbook and then Mr. Marcus was giving a few away at and me, not having been one of the winners, thought it must be a sign, and I really DID need it. Long story short, I have been very enthusiastically cooking form it since it arrived. The reason why it is so good to have it is because it contains a bunch of recipes that are featured in diners across the U.S. I had eaten most of the dishes at restaurants before I became veg. It was wonderful to have those flavors again. The recipes are easy and they taste wonderful. I can absolutely say that this book gets plenty of use in my kitchen.
So, leave a comment on this post and I'll pick a winner on the last day of MoFo. Contest is for domestic U.S. residents only and ends Monday night, Nov. 29. Good luck!
Cost Breakdown:
potatoes: $3
Daiya: $1.50
sour cream, chives: $1
Total for apps for 4:

Road's End: $2.50
breadcrumbs: $1
milk, flour, cashews: $2
Total for apps for 4:
glaze: $2
seitan: $3
breadcrumbs, flour, cashews: $3
Total for 3 servings:

Potato Skins

Jack Sesame Chick'n

Nov 24, 2010

FNF - emeril's fish tacos (MoFo 15)

It is that time of month again - FOOD NETWORK FRIDAY - Let's rumble!

Ms. Tami over at Vegan Appetite (yes, the very same one who will be giving away her cookbook, American Vegan Kitchen, on this very blog next week), hosts Food Network Friday. Anyone is welcome to join in! All you need is imagination and desire. Someone picks a recipe from the Food Network and anyone who wishes to participate recreates it vegan. That's it! Send her your post link and Ms. Tami gushes over the wonderful ways we revise top celebrity chefs' recipes. And do a heck of a better than job than they do!

This month, we are making Emeril's Beer Battered Fish Tacos with Spicy Horseradish Coleslaw.

It has been a while since I've tried making fish (except for the Filet of Tofu), and I wanted something other than tofu (I had a sneak-peek at Tami's version and I knew that she was using tofu.

Naturally something from the sea popped into my head. And as far as I know, the only edible vegan things from the sea are seaweed. There are so many different varieties of seaweed, with many levels of strength, that if you've tried seaweed before and haven't liked it, you should keep at it. I mean, if you don't like sweet potatoes are you not going to try Russets or other tubers?

No, I did not fry up a bunch of seaweed... I flavored my seitan with the seaweed when I was preparing it by adding 1 tablespoon of crushed Arame to the gluten before I mixed it. Then I cooked the seitan in a broth flavored with a sack of crab boil - Zatarain's Crab Boil- finally putting the stuff to some good use!

The batter is a simple beer batter, the seitan is deep fried and the taco is topped with Horseradish Coleslaw.

This was excellent. Even the kids (minus Cat) ate it and loved it. The seitan turned out great - reminiscent of the sea but nothing overpowering, and the crab boil gave it that very different flavor that it needed  - after all, this wasn't supposed to be Tender Seitan. I think I shall call it, Sea Seitan. I love alliterations.

I have created a How-To Breakdown  for the recipe, but you may use the original recipe from Emeril (subbing vegan mayo) and just use the Sea Seitan. Treat it as you would fish, just remember that it isn't. It is already cooked, so you are just looking for a golden color for the crust - you don't have to worry about raw fish.

Cost Breakdown:

seitan: $3
tortilla: $2
dressing: $1
batter: $2
cabbage, green onion, cuke: $3
spices: $1
Total to make 6 tacos:

sublime (MoFo 14)

Although I had lived in Fort Lauderdale for close to two decades, those years did not happen to be during the opening of Sublime, a more upper scale vegan restaurant that has been patronized by people such as Paul McCartney, Alec Baldwin and Pam Anderson, among others.

It was opened in 1999 by Nanci Alexander and since its opening all the profits have gone toward animal welfare organizations.

That is pretty cool!

Since this is a vegan restaurant, anything is up for grabs. The only disappointing thing I found is that they use Gardein for their Picatta dish - and that is only disappointing because they are a restaurant and should make their own, by golly. That's about it, though. This place sound fantastic and I would not mind heading back to Ft. Lauderdale to partake of their culinary contributions.

First up, we are making their signature appetizer, Frito Misto, cauliflower tempura fried and then tossed in a sweet chili sauce. Really good! The sauce is wonderfully spicy, garlicky and sweet. The tempura batter is excellent.

And then I had to pick a main course - oh, boy - there are so many choices:
Picatta, Sublime Loaf, Grilled Seitan Steak, but in the end I chose the Portobello Tenderloin. How often do you see 'Tenderloin' being described as 'vegan?' This is genius - baked mushrooms, cut to size, reformed in a mold with a tomato comfit in between, covered with a porcini Au Poivre Sauce. I have decided that porcini mushrooms are my new fave.

To accompany the Tenderloin, they make Olive Oil Whipped Potatoes. Not for the fat-conscious individual; it contains a bunch of olive the name suggests.

All in all, you've got to try this place if you are near it. Reservations, not surprisingly, are recommended.

Now, for the book winner. According to, Skinny Bitch in the Kitch goes to.... Comment #2.. I will look you up, but if you see this first, email me (email is on the Profile Page). 

Thanks to everyone who participated!
The next, and last giveaway, is American Vegan Kitchen. In case you've been locked away in an awful meat locker for the past year, and are unaware of Tami Noyes' delicious and easy cookbook, you are missing out and need to check it out now. Tami herself has offered to give this cookbook away for my blog (I know, right!?) and the contest begins on Fur Free Friday. And if you can't wait that long, check out her website, Vegan Appetite - she puts a bunch of her recipes on there. 

Cost Breakdown:

cauliflower: $4
chili sauce: $1
batter: $1
Total to make apps for 6:

portobellos: $8
tomato; $2
sugar, vinegar, herbs: $1
porcini: $2.50
brandy, cashews: $1
garlic, Earth Balance: $1
Total to make 4 servings:

russets: $3
olive oil: $1
Total to make sides for 6:

Frito Misto

Portobello Tenderloin with Olive Oil Whipped Potatoes

Nov 18, 2010

outback (MoFo 11)

After making these dishes from Outback, it is no wonder that this restaurant is at the top of the 'Worst Food for You," list. The restaurant conveniently places a calorie-nutritional value calculator on their website so you can see exactly how many calories you are shoveling in. The only additional thing they should add next is something to calculate the next pants size you will need after eating their creations.

Here we go:

The Bloomin' Onion is vastly popular. So much so that you can purchase a gadget set that will assist you in cutting the onion and dipping it in the batter. I've only seen them. To purchase one takes too much commitment, too much dedication to constant frying. 

Naturally, this was a hit. It takes a little finesse to cut the onion just right (without aforementioned gadget) and to get it coated well. I have created a How-To Breakdown for this, just in case you look at the pic and must have one of your own. It is great to do this with a large onion (~3/4#), but I tackled it with a small one because I figured it is easier for everyone to obtain a smaller onion than a larger one. The dip is a mayo-based concoction.

Now for the main meal: Outback's menu is 60% beef, but they manage to torture a few birds as well. I chose the Alice Sprigs Chicken to reinvent because it is a signature dish of theirs and, let's face it, it is covered in cheese. I must be too close to the Wisconsin border. 

And to accompany the bird, I present to you Outback's-and-possibly-the-world's-worst-food-only-being-beaten-by-KFC's-Double-Down (but that's another post): 
The Aussie Fries
Deep fried potatoes (you know, the kind that the public school system considers a vegetable), covered with a fair amount of salt, bathed in two different cheeses, and topped with crushed bacon.
Eh, yum..?

I used a mixture of shredded Daiya and Follow Your Heart Cheddar, but success can be had by using any bought or homemade nondairy cheese. To melt the cheese on both the chick'n and the fries, microwaving is your best bet; broiling does not melt vegan cheese as well as you would like - ooey, gooey. Nuke it.

Who is it who gets paid to think up stuff like this? The chicken is marinated in a honey-mustard sauce, grilled and topped with sauteed mushrooms, bacon (more?), and cheese.

 I used Tender Seitan cutlets, marinated them in maple-Dijon sauce, topped with sauteed mushrooms and Tofu (or Seitan) Bacon [see this post for the recipe and How-To Breakdown for the 'bacon'), and melted the Daiya/Follow Your Heart cheeses on it.

Making one or the other here and there is doable and even tasty (vegan, that is), but to have all three in one sitting at Outback can be downright dangerous!

To make me feel better, I am giving away Skinny Bitch in the Kitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. It is an adorable little book packed with recipes. To enter, just leave a comment. Contest ends around midnight on Tuesday morning, Nov. 23, and is open to North American and UK residents.

Cost Breakdown:

onion: $2
flour, spices: $1
cashew, almond milk: $1
dip: $1
Total to make 2 onions:

fries: $3
FYH/Daiya: $2
'bacon': $1
Total to make 4 servings:

seitan: $3
Daiya/FYH: $2
Dijon, veganaise, maple: $2
'bacon': $2
mushrooms: $3
Total to make 5 servings:

Bloomin' Onion

Alice Sprigs Chick'n Plate

Aussie Chick'n

Aussie Fries

Nov 14, 2010

red robin (MoFo 9)

Red Robin is an American Burger joint which happens to be all over the U.S. While not veg they do serve Boca burgers (vegan) and Gardenburger (vegetarian). While all that is well and fine, sometimes a stomach gets to hunger for one of those fancy-pants burgers, sans dairy and eggs but with the authentic flavors still intact.

As an appetizer, we are quite partial to jalapenos and making them into golden little Jalapeno Coins is very appealing. I mean, who doesn't want a few extra coins to toss around? I made mine with pickled jalapeno slices, but you can use fresh jalapenos or ones that aren't pickled. I made a simple tempura-beer batter (anything with beer is better, right?) and fried them to a crisp. Yumm.

Choosing the burger was more challenging, they have so many, but I picked one that isn't really a burger, even by their definition, but a chicken sandwich. I replaced the chicken with an Amy's Quarter Pounder (a little sweeter than the Bocas - be warned) and made the Bruschetta Chicken Sandwich into a Vegan Bruschetta Burger. This one has a pesto-aioli, tomato, onion and basil salsa, cheeze (Daiya in this case), balsamic cream on a ciabatta roll. Yumm.

Going to Red Robin is not really complete without those aromatic Garlic Fries. Make the steak fries as you would make any crispy fries (using the double fry method) and coat it with your premade garlic oil. Yumm.

Lastly, since it has been so long since I've made anything sweet, I made the Mountain High Mud Pie. Unfortunate Red Robin customers can only get this dessert with chocolate and vanilla ice cream, but us brilliant vegans can use any combination that we find tasty. I used Prailine Crunch Almond Dream and Chocolate Almond Dream. In addition to the ice cream, it has a layer of crushed cookies, peanut butter and chocolate syrup. I used Rice Whip for the whip cream but you can do without it. This was a double Yumm.

Cost Breakdown

jalapenos: $3
flour: $1
beer, baking powder: $1
Total to make apps for 4:

Amy's burger: $6
Daiya: $2
lettuce, tomato, onion, basil: $2
veganaise, vinegar, pine nuts, garlic: $1.50
ciabatta: $4
potatoes: $3
Total to make 4 burgers:
(each of these sandwiches at RR is $11.50)

Almond Dreams: $8
cookies: $2
chocolate: $1
peanut butter: $1
Rice Whip: $3
Total to make 5 giant servings:

Jalapeno Coins

Bruschetta Burger

Mountain High Mud Pie

Oct 28, 2010

chicken fried seitan

Happy Birthday, David! 

His Birthday has finally come! He certainly has been taking advantage of this week - but, that's okay. 

For his birthday meal, he requested Country Fried Steak...or is that Chicken Fried?

Well, no real difference between the two, except that Country Fried can be served with brown gravy (with onions) and can be simmered in the gravy before serving. Which means I made Chicken Fried Seitan.

Yes, this is a repeat , but I have made a few variations and they should be noted! This is, after all, a learning process.

First off, the seitan is just vital wheat gluten, nothing extra added. Mix 1 c gluten with 7/8 c water (1 cup of water with 2 T of water removed). Cook it in any seitan simmering liquid.

Then cut the seitan thin - about 1/4 inch thin. This makes the final product even crunchier without drying it out. We aren't going for shoe pleather.

Third,  the coating liquid could be cashew cream, making this dish soy free. In the original recipe I used yogurt to replace the buttermilk, which still works, but try to make sure it is the thickness of buttermilk by thinning it out with a nondairy milk.

Fourth, I double-dipped it this time. I didn't last time because I think I made my yogurt too thick and double -dipping it in the flour created too much of a coat. Having the dipping liquid be thinner allowed two coats of flour and a crunchier crust.

This turned out even better than the last time and again, no surprise, another fried meal came out on top.

Happy Birthday, my love!

Cost Breakdown:
seitan: $3
flour, oil, cashews: $4
potatoes: $4
almond milk: $2
Total to feed 6 people well: