Posts tagged ‘vegetarian’
According to wikipedia; ‘appam’ is fermented bread usually prepared with finely powdered rice flour. Palappam has a crisp lacy edge from being cooked in curved pans like woks.
The first time I had tried them was at a Sri Lankan restaurant in Staten Island, they called them hoppers (not to be confused with string hoppers which I had done at another Sri Lankan restaurant).
An egg goes on every fourth one (optional?), and I tried to keep the yolk runny. I used the recipe from Salt and Pepper, a simple recipe with really helpful photos, using just rice flour, coconut milk, and yeast. From what is I saw of all the rest of the recipes online, you basically need some raw rice and cooked rice. I took 2 tablespoons of rice flour and cooked it with some water to form a paste, the “kurukku” part (to be mixed with raw rice flour, can of coconut milk, and yeast). It ferments overnight, so plan ahead. In the morning the batter was thick and needed to be thinned out. The first one stuck to the pan, but the rest worked out great. This broke in my newly seasoned wok. Overall, it was much easier than I had expected. Unfortunately I didn’t have a good Sri Lankan fish curry to go with it. You can also eat it with sweet accompaniments instead of savory. They have a slight tangy coconut flavor and fluffy texture.
Trying to infuse some healthier things into my baking, I bought some whole wheat graham flour along with whole wheat pastry flour. Graham flour really smells like graham crackers (go figure). I also happened to catch the crepe episode on Good Eats the day before (this was a while ago), so naturally I had crepes on the brain.
Whole wheat graham crepes
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup whole wheat graham flour
1/2 cup white flour
1 1/4 cup water
1 tsp honey
2 tsp oil
and extra oil for pan
Mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix the wet ingredients together well in a separate bowl or large measuring cup (the honey will not want to meld, it’ll take some time). Then whisk wet and dry together till smooth, set batter aside for 20mins. Heat up pan or griddle (medium to medium high), I prefer cast iron but nonstick will work. Put a few drops of oil in the pan and spread it all around. Ladle (about 1/4 to 1/3 cup) batter into the center of the pan, and quickly use the bottom of the ladle to spread out the batter in a circular motion (this will give you a nice thin crepe). After a minute (maybe little more) you can flip them, it should be a golden brown, if it’s too light you can flip it back again after another minute. Pile them up on a plate as you cook. They are both tender and sturdy with a slight honey graham flavor, great for breakfast or whenever.
My favorite squashes are Kabocha, a Japanese squash (with a thin skin that I can easily cut thru and leave on) and Butternut squash (if it’s the pre-peeled/pre-cut packaged kind). And my favorite way to cook squash is to roast them in the oven till they get crisp and caramelized.
Cumin Roasted Squash with Orange and Thyme
- 1/2 Kabocha squash or 1.5lb of Butternut squash
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp of coarse sea salt or kosher salt
- 1 tsp of whole cumin seeds or ½ tsp of ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp coarse fresh ground pepper
- 1 orange, juiced and zest
- 1 tbsp of fresh thyme or 1 1/2 tsp of dried thyme
Preheat oven to 425°.
Cut squash into one and a half inch pieces.
Pour oil into a large cast iron pan or roasting pan.
Add in squash and mix in pan till they are coated in oil.
Then sprinkle on salt and spices, mix thoroughly.
Place in oven for about 20-25mins, turn them every 10min with tongs or flip them with spatula.
Zest the orange, and then juice it.
Mix zest and thyme in the orange juice.
Put the hot squash and juice into serving bowl, stir to incorporate.
You can skip the orange juice as a dressing altogether. The roasted squash on its own is already perfect, a sweet interior with a savory crisp exterior.
I usually just pack leftovers as a lunch for the hubby. When there are no leftovers, he sometimes leaves in morning with a banana and an orange and calls it a meal. With our families always insisting he’s too thin, I try feed him as often as I can. Usually in addition to dinner, he eats most of my baked goods and I pack him lunch when he’s substitute teaching. Here’s an example of my obento (not the cutest or most elaborate).
1/2 sheet nori (cut into small strips)
1 egg (beaten w/ dash of salt & pepper)
3 shitake mushrooms
1 korean pepper
1 tsp sesame
1 tbsp oil
handful of (1 cup) baby spinach
4 cherry tomatoes (halved)
Cook rice according to package (I used a rice cooker and added some mixed grains). Cut mushrooms and peppers into strips. Heat up a small pan, add oil and then sesame seeds. Give it a few seconds for the sesame seeds to toast up and then throw in the mushrooms and peppers. Cook till mushrooms have shrunk and the peppers soften, then add the mirin and the spinach, stir till they wilt. I put the veggies in one corner of the dish, and the rice on the other half. With a hot pan coated in oil, pour the beaten egg in and swirl around. It should spread out thin like a crepe, and fold it over on itself twice to get a wedge. Stick in the egg and tomatoes, and sprinkle the rice with nori and furikake. You can make it completely vegan by replacing the egg with tofu or natto (for the adventurous). I think I got in a good chunk of the food pyramid, and I applied the principles of washoku (balance of colors and flavors). Made me feel like a Japanese housewaifuu.
I soaked 2/3 cup of black beans and 1/3 cup of kidney beans for 5 hours (soaking times vary for differnt beans). I also soaked 1/4 cup of wild rice separately at the same time. To test it out the first time I cooked the beans and rice first in the pressure cooker. I didn’t know if the 4qt pot could hold all the ingredients for my chili under the max-fill line. I found out the pot is really good as a 4qt pot on it’s own, the thick bottom really heats up fast and evenly. I sealed up the lid and watch the pressure build, and all the mechanisms pop up till finally the top knob started hissing and wobbling. After that it’s supposed to be only about 5min of cooking. You have to wait for the pressure to go down on its own or run it under cold water before the locking mechanisms release and you can open it.
- 28oz can of diced tomato
- 1 cup of dried beans (any type, I used black beans and kidney beans)
- 1/4 cup of wild rice
- 1 cup water
- 2 Portobello mushrooms
- 4 shitake mushrooms
- 1 medium onion
- 1 poblano chili (or bell pepper)
- 2 small green chilies of your choice
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
- 2 tbsp chili powder*
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 3 tbsp olive oil
Soak the beans and wild rice in a bowl of water that covers the beans by 1-2 inches for 1-4hrs, or go with canned beans and quick cook wild rice if not using a pressure cooker (and leave off the added water). Drain off the cloudy soaking liquid and rinse. This recipe cooks the beans in the chili, not separately.
Dice the mushrooms and pepper into roughly ¾ inch chunks and the onions into ½ inch dice. Mince the garlic and green chilies.
Heat the pressure cooker pot medium high; add oil then onion, garlic and chilies.
Stir for a minute then add chili powder and salt. Continue to stir till everything is coated in chili powder. Next add the pepper then mushrooms, stir and heat thru.
Then add in can of tomato, beans, wild rice and water. Making sure everything is below the max-fill line (you can cut back on the water), mix well then cover and seal the pressure cooker. Wait for the sealing, followed by hissing then it’s about 8-10min. After which you turn off the heat and wait for the pressure to dissipate (another 10-15min). If you find it too soupy, turn heat back on and simmer for a few more minutes while stirring. It should thicken up nicely. Lastly, chop up the cilantro and mix in before eating.
I like the added textures of mushrooms and wild rice in a vegetarian chili, beans alone can seem monotonous.
*My chili mix usually has dried ancho, chipotle, and cayenne peppers, along with cumin, coriander, oregano, garlic powder, and some other stuff I can’t remember.