Dec 30, 2011

peruvian stew with walnut and pepper sauce

With the New Year so close, I thought I would dig into my new cookbook collection and give a sample of a few of them, especially if you are new to veganism. 

As you must know, one of my absolute favorite authors is Bryanna Clark Grogan. No surprise, I am sure that she is a favorite among many of you as well, being such a pioneer in vegan cooking as far as I am concerned. She was one of the first ones who made vegan delicious for me and introduced me to many techniques to make vegan successful. 

A few of my first books were:
 Simply Heavenly  by George Burke - yes, I still own my one copy that I was lucky enough to buy before it went out of print again. Simply Heavenly was my first successful introduction to seitan. 
New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook by Hagler and Bates, with their simple and rustic recipes. It is a perfect segue into veganism. 
Then came Bryanna, and I knew for the first time that year that our family was going to be okay.

Since then, Robin Robertson, Tami Noyes and Isa Chandra are among my super stars of cooking. You really can't go wrong with any of them. 

New Year, New You, and no excuses.

My first cookbook in my international week line-up is Bryanna's new one - World Vegan Feast.  The first thing I noticed about this book is that she has ingeniously included some (most?) of the recipes from her Vegan Feast Newsletter. Love it! 

I made the first international (aren't they all that, though??) recipe that jumped out at me, Peruvian Stew with Pepper and Walnut Sauce, mainly because it uses aji pepper paste. I have 25 pounds of dried aji peppers and love using them simply anyway it is remotely appropriate. 

This dish was delicious and unusual! It makes a lot of sauce and I advise you to double the potatoes in the recipe. We still have some of the sauce left over - which isn't a problem if you can make more potatoes right away, however, at the dinner table, it is not so optimal. Trust me, make extra.

The sauce is beautifully thickened, flavorful with walnuts and parm cheese (recipe is in the book). This is poured over Crispy Tofu and boiled potatoes. I roasted my potatoes, but that is totally optional and more than likely not at all authentic. 

This and 197 other recipes await you.

Dec 28, 2011

march of the grenadiers

Catt's birthday week menu reaps a bounty of potato and pasta dishes it seems. Tonight's meal, March of the Grenadiers, was one, except it magically incorporates both potato and pasta. It also happens to be one of her favorite dishes. 

This is a classic Hungarian dish using Paprika Potatoes as the base. It is mashed with a light hand and mixed with cooked pasta, after which it is fried in a little oil to make crisp some of the potatoes and some of the pasta. It is creamy and crunchy all at the same time.

The Paprika Potatoes are an easy and quick dish to prepare and is delicious all on its own with the creamy potatoes in a rich sauce. You could stop right there. But, if you wanted to take it to the next level of decadence, this is where you would end up. 
The picture does not do the flavors justice. 

Cost Breakdown:

potatoes: $3
pasta: $2
onion, pepper, tomato: $1
spices, oil: $1
Total to make 6 servings: