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Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook Part 69

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Pinch of cayenne

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Several pinches of freshly ground black pepper

Leftover Simple Seitan (page 131), diced small, makes an delicious addition. Add it to the vegetables when sauteing them in the roux.

Frozen okra makes this recipe a breeze; it slices up easily with little mess. If you've never used it before, you'll be blown away by that perfect rectangle of frozen okra, or at least marginally amused. Of course, sliced fresh okra ( to pound) may be used instead.

FIRST WE'RE going to make a roux: Preheat a large heavy-bottomed stockpot over medium-low heat. Place the margarine in the pot and stir until melted. Sprinkle in the flour and stir to dissolve it. Cook the flour mixture, stirring frequently, until it is a rich caramel color and smells toasty, anywhere from 10 to 14 minutes.

Add the chopped onions and peppers to the roux mixture, stirring to coat completely. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook until the vegetables are very soft, at least 12 minutes.

Add the celery, garlic, and okra, and cook for another 6 minutes. Add the tomatoes, roasted red peppers, kidney beans, and vegetable broth. Whisk together the beer and tomato paste and add that to the mixture, stirring to incorporate completely. Stir in the allspice, liquid smoke, and grated nutmeg, and lastly, tuck in the bay leaves and thyme sprigs.

Raise the heat and bring the mixture to a gentle boil, then lower the heat back to medium and partially cover. Allow the mixture to simmer 35 for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the okra is very tender. Allow to cool at least 15 minutes before serving, then season with salt, pepper, and cayenne.

Ca.s.sEROLES.

PERHAPS AT FIRST the word ca.s.serole evokes images of a '70s mom. You know, she's the not-quite-picture-perfect version of '50s mom: hair a bit messed up, mascara running, her ap.r.o.n slightly askew over her no-iron poly-blend twin set. But there she is, our hero, with her plaid oven mitts, getting dinner on the table even though she just returned from work an hour ago. And all she had to do was open a couple of cans, pour 'em into a ceramic, and throw it in the oven-patriarchy has never been easier!

Well, there's no canned mushroom soup here in our modern, new-fangled kitchen and we smudge our mascara on purpose. When we talk about ca.s.seroles, really what we mean are one-dish meals that are baked. They aren't necessarily faster than other dinners, but the oven time does give you downtime to do your nails, organize a "Take Back the Night" demo, or call your mom and apologize for being such an ingrate. So don't let the longer cooking times for these recipes worry you.

These comfort meals-kugel, enchiladas, potpies of every description-come from all over the world. Some fall under the category of "side dish" and some are what laymen might call "main dishes," but if it goes into the oven in a baking dish, it's a ca.s.serole to us.

SPINACH-NOODLE KUGEL.

SERVES 8.

TIME: ABOUT AN HOUR.

So you've never made kugel before? If the word kugel scares you, just call this Spinach-Noodle Ca.s.serole. If matzo scares you, then use bread crumbs. See? There's no reason to be scared. This goes great alongside the lentil salad. And of course, serving with potato pancakes and applesauce would be awesome. Just a note: the frozen spinach needs to be completely thawed, so remember to leave it in the fridge overnight or well in advance.

3 cups uncooked rombi pasta (or mafalde or any short, cut ribbon noodles, or broken-up lasagna noodles)

3 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed

1 cups matzo meal (from about 4 matzos) or plain bread crumbs

1 small onion, finely chopped (about a cup)

12 ounces extra-firm silken tofu (the vacuum-packed kind)

1 cup vegetable broth

2 tablespoons olive oil

cup lightly packed, chopped fresh dill

2 tablespoons lemon juice

teaspoons salt (use teaspoon less if your matzo is salted)

teaspoon ground black pepper

Nonstick cooking spray

BOIL A pot of water and cook the noodles according to the package directions. Preheat the oven to 350F. Meanwhile, place thawed spinach in a colander and leave it in the sink to drain.

If making your own matzo meal, place the matzos in the food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse until they are crumbs. Transfer to a medium-size mixing bowl.

Add the vegetable broth, oil, and tofu to the food processor and puree until smooth, sc.r.a.ping down the sides to make sure you get everything. Add the tofu mixture to the mixing bowl.

Press the spinach in the colander to get out as much water as you can, then add it to the mixing bowl. By this time, your pasta should be done, so drain it and run it under cold water.

Add the pasta along with the remaining ingredients (except, of course, for the cooking spray-cans don't taste good) to the mixing bowl and mix very well. Use your hands if you have to.

Coat a 9 13-inch gla.s.s ca.s.serole dish with cooking spray. Press the kugel into the ca.s.serole dish. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing.

SOUTHWESTERN CORN PUDDING.

SERVES 6.

TIME: 1 HOUR 20 MINUTES.

This insanely flavorful, velvety side dish is the perfect accompaniment to any Southwestern meal-that is, whatever else you're making with cilantro and scallions and jalapenos and stuff in it. Or, serve with Green Pumpkin-Seed Mole (page 210) and Chile Cornmeal-Crusted Tofu (page 125).

2 tablespoons corn oil

4 cups fresh corn (about 6 ears)

1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped finely

2 jalapenos, chopped finely

1 cup coconut milk

cup cornstarch

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Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook Part 69 summary

You're reading Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook. This manga has been translated by Updating. Author(s): Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Already has 252 views.

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