Cook's Hideout: January 2009

January 30, 2009

Chickpea Cutlets

I’ve been trying to make and post this recipe for quite sometime now. This is my entry to this month Jihva for Chickpeas, being hosted this month by Sometime Foodie. JFI is the brainchild of Indira @ Mahanandi.

This recipe is from Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and has been on my to-make list since the day I got the book. Finally I made it last night and it was delicious. I served the cutlets with mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy with a side of sautéed broccoli with garlic. It was a very yummy and filling dinner. I actually doubled the recipe, but I’m giving the original measurements from the book here.

Recipe adapted from Veganomicon.
Chickpeas – 1 cup cooked (see my tip on freezing pre-cooked beans here)
Olive oil – 2 tbsp
Vital Wheat gluten – ½ cup
Plain Bread crumbs – ½ cup
Water or broth – ¼ cup
Garlic - 2 cloves, grated with a microplane grater
Dried Thyme – ½ tsp
Dried Sage – ½ tsp (I don’t have this on hand)
Hungarian Paprika – 1 tsp (I used regular paprika)
Soy sauce – 2 tbsp (I used low-sodium)
Lemon zest – ½ tsp

  • Mash chickpeas along with oil using a potato masher, there should not be any whole chickpeas left at the end.
  • Mix in all the other ingredients and knead until strings of gluten are formed, about 3 minutes.
  • Heat a heavy bottom non-stick or cast iron skillet on medium heat.
  • In the meantime divide the dough into 4 equal portions. to make the cutlet, knead each piece in your hand for a few moments and then flatten and stretch each one into a roughly 4”x6” rectangular cutlet shape.
  • Pour a thin layer of olive oil on the skillet and cook the cutlets about 6-7 minutes on each side. Add more oil, if needed when flipping the cutlets. They are ready when lightly browned and firm to touch. Serve hot with any gravy or sauce.*

These cutlets can be baked also in a preheated 375 F oven on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Brush both sides of each patty with olive oil, place on baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Flip patties and bake another 8-10 minutes till firm and golden brown.

* Cutlets can be served in a number of ways, packed into a sandwich (I'm going to try this with my remaining cutlets) or smothered in gravy (like I did). Enjoy them hot..

January 29, 2009

Dal Makhani

This post is all about “My Legume Love Affair”. Yes I’m posting all my entries for MLLA-7 in one single post. MLLA is a brain child of Susan @ Well Seasoned cook, and is being hosted by lovely Srivalli @ Cooking4allseasons.
First up is my Dal Makhani. I make dal makhani with whole moong dal (green gram dal) instead of whole urad. Here’s my recipe:

Red Kidney beans – 1 cup, cooked
Whole Moong beans (Pesalu) – ¾ cup
Onions – 1 cup, chopped (from 1 large onion)
Ginger + garlic paste (g+g)– 1 tsp
Tomato puree – 1 cup (I used canned crushed tomatoes)
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – ½ tsp
Red chili powder – 1 ½ tsp (or to taste)
Amchoor powder – ½ tsp (or to taste)
Half & Half – ¼ cup
Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
Salt – to taste

  • Soak the beans separately for at least 8 hours. Pressure cook them for 4-5 whistles (depending on the cooker) until tender.**
  • Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large sauté pan; add cumin seeds and after they splutter, add onions and sauté until they are slightly brown.
  • Add g+g paste and cook for a minute. Add tomato puree; cover and cook for about 8 minutes.
  • Then add all the spice powders; cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Add the beans, salt and 1 cup of water; cover and cook for at least 20 minutes, but ideally up to 40-45 minutes; stirring occasionally.
  • Add half & half; simmer for another 2 minutes. Can be served hot with almost anything; pulao or roti.
** I usually make a big batch of beans every two weeks. I soak and cook about 2-3 different types of beans (separately of course). After thoroughly cooling them; I store about a week’s worth in the refrigerator in plastic containers; all the rest get stashed in the freezer in freezer-safe bags for later use. It’s extremely convenient to have cooked beans on a weekday; also I figured it’s much cheaper to cook them at home than buy canned. I do have few canned for extremely urgent situations.

I’m always looking for new baby recipes to make for my son. I borrowed Super Baby food by Ruth Yaron from the library. The book has rather small section on recipes, but the entire book is covered with good tips on how-to make, store & freeze homemade baby food.
There is a great recipe for “Super Porridge”; it is 2 parts whole-grains to 1 part legumes. According to the author when approximately 2 parts grains are mixed with one part beans or legumes protein is formed that is as high a quality as that from eggs or meats. To make the mix take 1/3 cup each of any whole grains and 1/8 cup of any beans/peas/legumes.

I made three different mixes for my little one:
1. Brown Rice + Rolled Oats + Adzuki beans
2. Brown Rice + Quinoa + Red Kidney beans
3. Millet + Pearl Barley + Moong beans
To cook, boil 1 cup of water in a saucepan, sprinkle in 3tbsp of the mix; cook covered on low heat, stirring occasionally until cooked, and takes about 15 minutes. Serve with cooked vegetables, yogurt or fruit. I usually serve the porridge with any curry that I make for us and my son seems to like it. Give it a try for your little ones.

January 12, 2009

Vegan Pancakes

I am not a big breakfast eater. I pack me a pb&j sandwich or eat my cereal at work. Weekends used to be no different, wake up late, skip breakfast, eat lunch. But with the baby in the house, we are waking up bright and early even on the weekends (actually we are forced out of the bed by the little one). Since I have to make him breakfast, I started making for us too.

This weekend I made these vegan pancakes from Vegan with a vengeance by Isa Chandra. They were really very good, fluffy and cakey. My son definitely loved them.

Recipe adapted from Vegan with a Vengeance.
All-purpose flour – 1 ¼ cups
Baking soda – 2 tsp
Salt – ½ tsp
Soy milk/ Rice milk – 1 to 1 ¼ cups
Water – 1/3 cup
Canola oil – 2 tbsp plus oil for the pan
Pure Maple syrup* – 2 tbsp
Vanilla extract – ½ tsp

  • Sift AP flour, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
  • In a smaller bowl (I use a measuring cup), mix all the other ingredients.
  • Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until just combined. Do not overmix or the pancakes will be tough; few lumps are OK.
  • Oil a large skillet (I pour about 2tsp oil and quickly wipe the oil on the skillet with a paper towel) and pre-heat on medium-high flame.
  • Cook pancakes until browned on the bottom and bubbles form on the top; about 4 minutes. Turn the pancakes over and cook until the bottoms are browned. Repeat with remaining batter.
  • Serve with maple syrup* or fruit preserves. This makes about 12-14 medium size pancakes.
  • 1 cup of blueberries can be added to make blueberry pancakes.

* Pure maple syrup is quite expensive ($16.99 for a quart from Costco) and pouring it all over the pancakes (or French toasts for that matter) is going to put a big dent in the purse and big bulge in the belly. So to stretch your buck here is a nifty tip: Pour syrup in a shot glass half way through. Using a fork lightly dip a pancake piece (no dunking please) in the syrup and eat syrup side of the pancake first. Check it out and you will be amazed how little syrup you really need.

January 06, 2009

Happy New Year

Wish you all a very Happy & Prosperous New Year.

Hope all of you had a great holiday season. Our holiday season was pretty much uneventful except for the party we hosted last weekend. Good food, great friends and lots of fun.

I made 2 types of appetizers:
Tomato Phyllo Shells filled with mozzarella, cucumber, tomato and basil salad (recipe from here).

Bruschetta with Roasted Red pepper puree (recipe from Vegetarian Times).

For Main course we had two types of Pasta:
Three Cheese Tortellini w/ my creamy tomato sauce (recipe here).
Whole wheat Penne with chickpea sauce (lovely Suganya’s yummy recipe).

For the grand finale we had home-made Tiramisu Ice cream. I couldn’t take a picture of the ice cream, but it was awesome. Everybody loved it (I didn’t tell them that it had Kahlua & Rum.. they would have asked for seconds ;-)

Before leaving each family got a homemade box filled with 3 kinds of homemade cookies (Oatmeal-Raisin, Dorie Greenspan's Sugar Cookies & Chocolate chip).

Now that all the fun’s over, it’s back to routine in the New Year. Hope all of you have a wonderful year ahead.


Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin
Blogging tips