Monday, 15 February 2016

Our Man In Japan's Risotto

We were asked to give this a go by our friend Warren in Fukuoka; Altar Ego Radio contributor, Japanese-speaker and compiler of interesting vegan recipes.

Its ingredients look odd at first but it was very tangy and fresh.

You could just as easily make this into a kind of dal by using lentils instead of rice, but you'd need to adjust cooking times for the lentils accordingly - start boiling them ahead of time, then drain, then add to the recipe when they've got around 20 minutes to go.

So, you'll need:

- 1 cup arborio or risotto rice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 chopped chillis 
(your call on how hot these are - whether that's 2 scotch bonnets or 2 relaxed ones is up to you!)
- 1 glass vegan white wine 
(Warren used half a glass, I put in 1 whole but small one)
- 500ml of vegetable stock 
- Zest and juice of half a lime
- Half an onion, chopped finely
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 - 1&1/2 tablespoons of coconut milk 
(or you can use 50g creamed coconut blended into 200m heated soya milk)
- Fresh garlic leaves to garnish 
(optional, I had some just pulled out of the garden so I added it)

- Salt & pepper to taste

I should point out that in the absence of lime, I used half a lemon and some finely chopped lemongrass - I feel pretty sure the net result was very similar.

Here's what you do:

- Wash the rice thoroughly in boiled water, till it runs clear.

- Put your tablespoon of olive oil into your deep pan or wok and sauté the rice gently till it begins to go clear, and is fully coated with the oil. It can gently 'golden-brown' a little, but do not let it burn! About 10 minutes, stirring constantly.

- Pour in the white win, bring to the boil.

- Chop and add the chillis. 
TASTE after cooking for a further five minutes.
The rice should be a nice moist mixture by now. 
Add more wine if it looks a little dry.
Add more chilli if it's not warming the cheeks.

- Stir the coconut milk (or 50g creamed coconut in soya milk) into the rice till fully combined.

- Finely chop the lemongrass and add together with your lime/lemon juice.

Top to bottom:
Freshly picked garlic leaves, lemongrass, chilli slices.

- Make up your stock and add to the rice mixture. Bring to boil, then allow to simmer, stirring frequently.

- Add the chopped garlic glove, and turmeric. This'll give it its unusual golden glow.

- Add salt and pepper to taste.

- Keep cooking till most of the liquid is dissolved into the rice. It will go a little porridgy, but that's OK - and KEEP TASTING!

Serve with the chopped green garlic leaves on the top. Works well as a main dish, or as a small side with a main event.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

THE HOLY GRAIL - Vegan Yorkshire Puds

Many a tear has been shed over failed Yorkies, because being almost entirely egg-based they are, of course, going to need some serious alchemical synthesis to get those buggers into Vegan Mode.

Well, Graham had a crack at these some months ago, and Lord they were good, but I lost the recipe and had to do them from memory.

They worked.

The first thing to get comfortable with is that they're never going to rise like their ovum cousins - they'll puff out quite a bit, but don't expect towering balloons of brown crispiness. They'll crisp up, they'll puff out, but in a less jazz-hands kinda way.

So here is what you need:

- 3oz vegan marge such as Biona, Pure or Vitalite
- 2oz Organ 'Egg' Replacer (worth buying - I don't use this much, but it seems to be the magic ingredient for these, and one box = 66 'eggs')
- 60ml of soya milk (avoid using ta sweet milk if you can, it messes with the flava) or 2oz water - this is to mix with the Egg Replacer
- 4oz plain flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of sage, fresh or dried
- A turn of fresh black pepper (optional, but I like this addition, makes them a little meaty)
- Soya milk to mix to a batter 

And here is what you do:

Put a knob of the marge in each section of a cake pan / bun tray / muffin tray / whatever you have that makes little versions of things, usually 12 to a pan.

Put it in a VERY HOT oven - anywhere between 190-220 degrees C should do it, that's Gas Mark 4-5 - you know your own oven.

Wait for the marge to melt and get smokin' hot  - should take about 10 minutes - and while you do, mix baking powder, flour and salt well:

Mix the egg replacer with the milk.
Add HALF of this Egg Replacer mixture to the dry flour mix.
Whisk to a smooth paste, then add the rest of the Egg Replacer mix.

Combine the rest of the dry ingredients with each other, and add soya milk a bit at a time.

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry, carefully, then check to make sure there are no lumps, then WHISK WHISK WHISK (a fork works best, you'll get too much stuck in the whisk if you use one) to get those bubbles in.

When the batter looks bubbly, thickish and well mixed, review: it should look just like classic Yorkie batter, or like a pancake mix.

Check your pan. See that the marge has gone very runny and is smoking a little. If it is, take that roasting hot tin out of the oven CAREFULLY and as fast as you can without making a mess, put an even quantity of the batter into each aperture.

You should see the edges of the puds start to fizzle and rise immediately, which is a sign you've got the timing right.

Cook for 15-20 minutes!

Eat the whole lot in an amazed frenzy of 'checking they're OK!'

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...