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.

Nov 12, 2016

vegan baked chèvre cheese dip

Chèvre is the French term for goat - or goat cheese. I didn't want to name this outright "goat cheese dip" because, well, it isn't goat cheese. However, I do want to give you the idea that this cheese dip is not your ordinary dip, but is in fact funky and creamy and unique- just like goat cheese is.

This is not an aged cheese, so it is ready to bake as soon as you blend it up. However, it does have a unique component that is quite interesting: preserved or fermented beancurd. Beancurd is, of course, just tofu, but because this is a preserved ingredient it is quite on the funkier side of things.

Of course, the next question is where to get it? I've been able to get it at all kinds of Asian markets: Korean, Japanese, Thai, etc., so if you have a local Asian market, hit that up first. Get the version without the chili flakes or chili oil - just tofu, salt and oil.

For the very adventurous, I have found a recipe online for making it at home. I just recently found it and so haven't tried it, yet, but I am planning on making it because I like to know that the tofu I use is non-GMO; these bottles don't state that.

Recipe for making homemade Fermented Bean Curd.

The tofu itself, once preserved, is very soft and aromatic:

You won't use much of the stuff because it is very potent, but you can always adjust to your taste. The first time I made this dip I used 1/3 cup of it. While I liked it, I imagine it would be a bit over the top for others.

All you do is blend the ingredients and bake.

While the dip was baking I roasted off some potatoes to use as the dipping agents - air-fryed with a teaspoon of oil; they came out crisp and flavorful. Easy roasted potato recipe.

Serve the dip with some radishes and pickled onions (or raw onions) and you have a very elegant dip to serve to guests - or to enjoy on a night to yourself.

Vegan Baked Chèvre Cheese Dip
Makes 1 1/2 cups

1 cup plain unsweetened nondairy soy or almond yogurt
2 to 4 tablespoons preserved or fermented tofu
2 tablespoons tapioca starch
1 garlic clove
1/2 to 1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon onion granules
1/2 teaspoon xantham gum (optional)
Olive oil (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 375-degrees F. Add the yogurt, tofu, tapioca, garlic, salt, onion and xantham gum (if using) to a blender. Blend very well until very smooth. Transfer to a small (about 2 cup) baking dish and drizzle with a few teaspoons of olive oil. 
2. Bake until golden and bubbly, about 30 minutes. 
3. Make the salad by combining the radishes, parsley and onion. Add the salad on top of the dip. Serve with crackers, raw vegetables or Roasted Russet Potatoes (recipe below).

Roasted Russet Potatoes

1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into wedges, about 1/4-inch thick
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion granules
1/2 teaspoon garlic granules
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil

1. Preheat an air-fryer to 360-degrees (or an oven to 400-degrees). Add the potatoes, paprika, onion, garlic, parsley, salt and oil to a large bowl. Toss well. Add the potatoes to the basket of the air-fryer in a staggered crosshatch pattern (like building Lincoln Logs) and bake until crisp, about 20 minutes, shaking the basket after 10 minutes and then after 15 minutes.
2. If baking in the oven, bake on a baking sheet until crisp, about 30 minutes. Toss every 10 minutes. 

© 2016 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.