Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Vegetarian Italian Wedding II

Okay so this is a little more true to form because I've found a fake meat I really enjoy. Field Roast Grain Meats are really delicious and I've been buying them more lately and trying to use them to enhance dishes that would benefit from a more meaty presence and texture. I use the Italian sausage in this recipe.

Cook up a pound or so of Great Northern beans (I soak for 2 hours, then pressure cook for one hour to get them creamy). Add 2 C beans to 6C water in a large saucepan and cover to bring to a boil. Add some salt here too, unless you've already salted the beans (canned beans are often quite salty). Before the soup reaches a boil I also add a Tb or so of mixed dried thyme, basil and oregano. A dash of something hot is good too.

Finely chop the following: one medium onion, a few mushrooms (creminis are great here if you have them), some sun dried tomatoes (3-4) and two Italian sausages. Saute in a pan with a little olive oil until brown (the onions should be translucent) and add to the pot of soup along with 1/4 C chopped fresh basil.

Dump 1/3-1/4 of a one pound bag of frozen cauliflower to the soup and bring to a full boil (uncovered). Add 1-2 C dried pasta (I like farfalle and orzo [add only 1/4-1/2 C orzo]) and cook until al dente or tender. Top with mozzarella or parmesan or a combination.

Really good with fresh bread on a cool autumn night.

Awesome Channa Masala

Okay so it's been a while but I've got some new recipes!

Cook up a quart or two of chickpeas or get a couple cans worth (seriously make your own if you can).

Finely chop one medium onion and a couple cloves garlic. Toss into a med-hot pan with some oil or butter (I generally use canola oil). Cook until slightly translucent.

Add 1 Tb coriander powder, 2 Tsp Cumin powder (grind fresh if possible), 1/2 tsp chile or cayenne powder and one tsp tumeric to the onion/garlic mixture and stir until fragrant, maybe a minute or two. Add one small can stewed tomatoes (~15oz) drained to the pan and mix. Add a bit more oil if you need to.

Add the quart of chickpeas, ideally with cooking fluid as well, but add 1/2 cup of water if there is no cooking fluid. Shake in ~ 1 tsp salt, but more or les can be added to your tastes. Add 1 Tsp garam masala (whole coriander seeds, cumin seeds, peppercorns, cloves) and 1-2tsp freshly grated ginger (I freeze mine so it grates easily). Stir in and add one finely chopped small jalapeno or 1/2 medium jalepeno (or more, if you like it hot).

Let everything simmer (ideally covered, if not add a little extra water) for ~ 10 minutes. Just before serving, add the juice of 1/2 or one whole lime to the dish and stir. Great when garnished with cilantro and yogurt over rice!