Jun 18, 2012

vine and dine + stroganoff-stuffed potatoes

So this is the last post in the Vine and Dine series - unless something happens and it gets resurrected, like Food Network Friday, which is being continued, albeit with a twist, over at Kelly's blog, Three and a Half Vegans. Be sure to check her out and see what she has up her sleeves.

As for V&D, at least for now, Tami's Tempeh Stroganoff-Stuffed Potatoes is the closing cookalong. I am thrilled that she chose to end the series cooking from American Vegan Kitchen. It is only appropriate and, lucky for us, happens to be scrumptious.   

This is another of those recipes from AVK that slipped under my radar. Having not made this recipe yet, I was pleasantly surprised.  I guess it didn't seem like a main dish (although that is the section of the book it is in!) because it is a stuffed potato and we all know potatoes are always a side dish. Tami doesn't conform to expectations, and turned the side-dish potato into a main course.

I added more mushrooms to her recipe (doubled it) and cooked it a bit longer than the recipe calls for, but that is because we love out 'shrooms golden brown and sauteed really well. After baking the potatoes, scooping them out (use an ice cream scooper), mashing them and introducing them to the sauteed tempeh and mushrooms, you re-stuff the potatoes and bake for a few more minutes. 

Combine creamy potatoes, crunchy potato skin, crispy tempeh and mushrooms and this dish is no longer a side thought. If you haven't made this yet, get to it. A refreshing green salad to cut through the richness completes this dish, along with a - no surprise - red wine. David and I chose to indulge in a Cabernet Sauvignon from Arcane cellars. We received this wine as a gift a while back and saved it for this perfect occasion and perfect meal.  

Thanks, Tami, for all the inspiration and cookalongs, not to mention all your fantastic food!

May 14, 2012

vine and dine + blue plate special wheat-meat loaf

Back for another round of Vine and Dine. We are finally cooking something from Tami Noyes' first cookbook, American Vegan Kitchen. This makes me happy. On top of getting to pair wine with AVK (did anyone really need any excuse, though?), the ladies somehow managed to choose a recipe that I had not yet made from the book. Although I had before made a wheat-meat loaf from AVK, Southwestern Wheat-Meat Loaf, this was new territory for me. Just goes to show you that you can love and use a cookbook and still have undiscovered treasures within it. 

This was a delicious and easy recipe to make (once you have the seitan). Homey and comforting. My only addition to Tami's written word was ketchup. I couldn't resist! Sorry, Tami. Even my kids gave me a funny look, but in the end the tomato did ketchup to their taste-buds. (Sorry, again :)

The whole family enjoyed it. This was most likely the first Vine and Dine that the kids loved as well as we did, so double thanks to Vegan Appetite for picking a kid-friendly dish. However, I am not sure that my kids can be called 'kids' much longer; both teens (16 and 15) are officially in college. Community college, tis true, but Mikel is now a full-timer heading to University of Southern California for their film school and Catt is looking to get her Associates by the time she is 17. With these credentials, they are no longer allowed to act like kids and whine about their dine. (I'm on a roll - stop me now!)

Naturally the Blue Plate Special Wheat-Meat Loaf was served up with traditional Mashed Potatoes and Homestyle Gravy. Felt like we were sitting in a diner! Do diners serve Frey wine? 

Speaking about the wine, one Frey was not enough for us, we went all the way from the white to the red. I love red wines (in fact, David and I have decided that we will be staying with reds from here on) and I love Frey vineyards, if for no other reason than that it was the first wine that came to our attention as being vegan, more than a decade ago. Loyalty, you could call it. I am sorry to say that we were not too impressed with their Merlot. And since we weren't that impressed with their Natural White either back a few weeks ago, it might explain why my hubby was reluctant to post a review about that one.

However, he did manage to put something together for this Merlot and here it is below.

We paired the 2009 Frey Vineyards Mendocino Merlot with the American Vegan Kitchen’s Blue Plate Special Meatloaf and this merlot is a velvety complex wine with the nose of cherry, pear and blackberry combined with earthy undertones and a touch of spice.  I thought the wine would go better with spicier fare and partaken with the meatloaf it seemed wanting.  I guess had I added some “Heat” to the loaf, the wine would have been more satisfying but I was happy with our selection, none the less, just not ecstatically so.