p.h.d.elicious cooks plants in tiny kitchens

Plant-based Cooking!

Thanksgiving Extravaganza

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So, Thanksgiving has now come and gone in my tiny Canadian kitchen. I see this one as my first adult Thanksgiving, since it was just me and my partner, at my apartment–no older family members around to take charge! Fittingly, since we were hungry before I started cooking, we ate a piece of pie first, like the 28-year-old rebels we are.
So, the dinner proper was mostly out of Gourmet Today, which gave me all the tools for turning two humble brassicas and some rice into a fancy turkey-less occasion. I made the Mushroom Risotto from the book, which was really fun because I’ve always wanted to try making risotto and I hadn’t yet. Which is nuts because every time I’ve tried risotto I’ve swooned, which I guess makes sense because I’m a lifelong rice lover. Of course, I used vegetable stock in place of chicken stock, Earth Balance for the butter, and omitted the parmesan. I thought omitting the parm might make the risotto a little less rich than I wanted it–you know how those Gourmet types use dairy as a shortcut for flavour and balance in their dishes!–but with the dried porcinis and Earth Balance and wine, I can’t even imagine a richer result.

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Then we have the Cauliflower “Steaks” with Pancetta and Caper Berries. I omitted the pancetta, adding a teaspoon of sesame oil and a drop of liquid smoke to the sauce instead, and used drained pickled capers instead of salt-pack, and omitted the caper berries (I think that might have been overkill, considering the 1/2 cup of capers already in the dish!). Again, I used Earth Balance instead of butter in the sauce. The roasting of the “steaks” took way longer than the book said it would, which threw off my cooking schedule a bit (since I wanted to–and did–roast the brussels in the cauliflower pan once it was done and set aside). But overall it was a really tasty dish. Roasted cauliflower slabs with a salty lemony buttery sauce? Yes please!

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Now, the pie. I went back to my old standby, Farm Journal Complete Pie Cookbook, determined to veganize one of their pumpkin pie recipes once and for all. The key, I found, was to become satisfied with a slightly softer filling than a traditional pumpkin pie, since I didn’t want it to be too tofu-y: I wanted clean pumpkin taste. I chose the Pumpkin Pecan Pie, with the description “Filling is a mellow golden brown, rich like an old gold coin.” Since my two favourite kinds of pies are pecan and pumpkin, I figured I couldn’t lose. And it turned out really well! If I were to do it again, I’d blend the silken tofu instead of lazily mashing it. It’s almost impossible to mask silken tofu into complete smoothness, as I found out.

Pumpkin Pecan Pie

unbaked 9 or 10 inch pie shell
scant 1 c. soft silken tofu, drained as much as possible, measured, then blended
2 c. canned pumpkin
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. powdered ginger (or just “ginger” as old cookbooks call it)
1/4 t. ground cloves
1 and 1/2 c. “milk”
1/2 T. ground flax
Caramelized Pecan Topping (instructions below)

Mix together blended tofu and pumpkin. Stir in sugar, salt, spices. Mix in “milk” and flax. Pour into pie shell. I covered the edges of the pastry with strips of tin foil, too, to prevent overbrowning, and removed them in the last 15 minutes of baking. Bake at 400F– it says 45 to 55 minutes, but I baked it for 60 mins, watching carefully for overbrowning the crust. Cool completely, refrigerate covered overnight (this helps set the filling). Next day, return to room temperature. Mix together 3T. Earth Balance, 2/3 c. brown sugar, 2/3 c. chopped pecans. Drop in spoonfuls over pie to cover. Broil until mixture starts to bubble, about 3 minutes. Don’t overbroil– they say it will turn syrupy. Cool and eat!

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Next morning, fresh out of the fridge for breakfast!

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Written by phdelicious

October 16, 2010 at 6:28 pm

Posted in Baking, Meals

Tagged with , , ,

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