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Cooking diary [16 Jun 2014|02:26am]

I'm working on a project to cook every recipe and major variation in Veganomicon.

Since the last post about this, I made:

  • Dijonaise: was okay, after reducing the sweetener from 2 tbsp to 2 tsp. I'm not a huge fan of these silken tofu based dressings — they taste too much like soy. And probably I should have used a spicier dijon than the Maille — I added more than called for, anyway. And I need to cut the whole thing in half because there is no way I can finish it before it goes bad. And I need to plan to use silken tofu for multiple things at once because I've never figured out how to preserve it properly in the fridge once open for any length of time.
  • Tomato rice soup with roasted garlic and navy beans: I cooked the navy beans from dry instead of using canned — so easy with the pressure cooker. The roasted garlic instructions were wrong. The soup recipe says to preheat the oven to 425 and then roast for 45 minutes according to instructions on page 32. But page 32 says preheat to 375 and roast for 20-30. I followed the latter, with an extra 8 minutes with the garlic uncovered. The soup was very good, but I'll use less marjoram next time.
  • Marinated Asian tofu: Nice quick way to prepare tofu. I cooked down the marinade to make a sauce for it, but probably should have added some thickener.
  • Collard green rolls with blackeyed peas: Very good. No way you can do with just one bunch collards though, like the recipe says. I used two. There's kind of a temperature problem in the finished dish because the outside wrap is inevitably cold. Maybe they could be warmed back up in a steamer basket after rolling before serving.
  • Backyard BBQ sauce: Goes with the collard green rolls. Very good. I like a thick bbq sauce, so this recipe didn't make enough to have very much on top of the rolls in the end. But I also didn't think the rolls needed much (any) on top. I also ate it on a Boca burger and some Gardein chicken nuggets.
  • Banana wheat germ muffins: Mmmmm, don't they sound hippielicious? But they are good. I was wary about the amount of cinnamon, as I'm not always the biggest fan, but it wasn't too much. They took 2 minutes longer than the recipe, in my oven.
  • Lower-fat banana bread: There's a small screw-up in the recipe; the directions mention optional chocolate chips but those are not in the ingredient list. I screwed it up too, and only put half the sugar in — that's what I get for baking before coffee. It was still good, though.
  • Fresh dill-basmati rice with chard and chickpeas: Little typo in the recipe, "the it". Tasty. Kind of begging for a yogurty sauce drizzled over it, I think. I think the lowest cooking time was still a little long, but maybe I just had the heat too high.
  • Sweet Vidalia onion sauce: Boston Organics has been burying me in beautiful Vidalia onions the last few weeks. I love caramelized onions, but this recipe was pretty bad on that front. It takes longer than 20 minutes to caramelize onions — more like 40+. Also, there's no way this makes 2 cups of sauce as claimed, since it only specifies 2 cups of onions to start with. They reduce to about 25% of their size. It's more like a relish than a sauce. I also don't think 30 seconds is enough after adding the liquid ingredients — unless you want to serve a cold sauce. I turned the heat up to medium-high, brought it just to a simmer, then took it off right away. All issues aside, it's delicious. But if someone had never caramelized onions before and followed this recipe, they'd end up with grossness.

Inspired Vegan

  • Vinaigrette: I used this recipe several times in the last few weeks. I switched to using grapeseed oil with it, because I just don't like that strong of an olive oil flavor in my vinaigrette — maybe I should try half-and-half. With all olive oil, it was also too thick — probably because I use a stick blender to whisk it, which generally reduces the amount of oil required for an emulsion.
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