Tag: vegetarian

Beetroot Tarte Tatin with Blue Cheese

I made this beetroot tarte tatin last week and it was so good and so much fun to shoot I decided it deserved its own post. It is of course, just a riff on my fennel tarte tatin recipe.

Some notes on flavors and making it vegan

I made this one a whim so I just used some herbs from my garden and decided to add soy for extra umami and caramelization. As well as a pinch of chipotle flakes for a gentle smoky heat. You can ommit the rosemary, thyme and chipotle but I’d stick with the soy and personally I think these flavors work really well together.

Of course if you’re vegan feel free to skip the blue cheese and top with a vegan cheese instead. The crust is based on a vegan savory tart crust recipe by Maartje Borst so it works very well with vegan butter.

Beetroot Tarte Tatin

Dorothy Porker
An easy recipe for beetroot tarte tatin with (or without) blue cheese. The herbs, spices and cheese are optional but highly recommended.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
30 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main course, Party snack
Cuisine French
Servings 4

Equipment

  • Large bowl or food processor (see notes)
  • Oven
  • Cast iron skillet or other oven proof frying pan ⌀ 26 cm - 10"
  • Rolling pin or wine bottle (i.e. improv rolling pin)

Ingredients
  

For the crust

  • 2 c - 250 g flour
  • 1 t - 5 g salt
  • 1/2 c - 125 g butter cold and cut into cubes - non-dairy butter is fine
  • 3-4 T - 45-60 ml water cold

For the tarte tatin

  • 2 T - 15 ml olive oil
  • 2 T - 15 g sugar
  • 4 beets precooked, peeled and cut into 14" - 1/2 cm slices
  • pinch salt
  • pinch black pepper to taste
  • 1 T - 5 g rosemary leaves optional, coarsely chipped
  • 1/2 T - 2.5 g thyme leaves optional
  • 1 t - 5 g chipotle flakes optional
  • 2 T - 15 ml soy sauce
  • 1/2 c - 75 g blue cheese optional, I like a runny aggressive gorgonzola with mine

Instructions
 

Make the dough

  • Place 2 c - 250 g flour in a large bowl and mix in 1 t - 5 g of salt.
  • Add 1/2 c - 125 g of butter and pinch and rub the butter into the flour, but avoid kneading proper. You want to be left with a kind of sandy consistency.
  • Add 3-4 T - 45-60 ml of cold water and mix by hand until the dough starts coming together. Again, avoid kneading because this will make the dough chewy rather than crumbly. Just keep pushing the dough together until it forms a ball. If it doesn't want to come together add a bit more water.
  • Wrap and leave to set in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Make the tarte tatin

  • Preheat your oven to 200° C - 390° F.
  • Heat 2 T - 15 ml of olive oil in a skillet. Divide 1 T - 7.5 g of sugar across the bottom of the pan before placing the slices of beetroot into the pan in a single layer (or as single as you can get it). Add a pinch of salt and pepper and leave to caramelize on a medium-low heat for at least 10 minutes, until the beets have started to turn slightly crisp. The best way to achieve this is to leave them be and not fuck around with them too much.
  • Now cover the beets with the remaining 1 T - 7.5 g of sugar before turning the beets over. If you want to ensure your tart looking pretty imagine how it might look the other way round and try to arrange them accordingly before adding 1 T - 5 g of fresh rosemary leaves, 1/2 T - 2.5 g of fresh thyme and 1 t - 5 g of chipotle flakes (if using).
  • Let sit for 5 minutes or so (again, no fucking around) before pouring in 2 T - 15 ml of soy sauce. Let sit for another 5 minutes until the soy sauce has evaporated and turn off the heat.
  • Take your dough from the fridge and roll it out in an even layer in roughly the same diameter as your frying pan. To make it easier to place the dough onto the beetroot in a second, it's best to do this on some parchment. The dough will break in areas but you can just stick it back together, it's fine.
  • Say a quick prayer and flip, toss or manoeuvre the dough onto your beets which are still in the skillet. Pat it down a little to make sure the dough adheres to the beets, tuck in the edges and cut off any excess dough before baking your tatin in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. The dough will remain pale but be cooked through, I promise.
  • Turn out the tatin by placing a large plate or board over your skillet and flipping the whole thing over (ask for assistance with this if you have someone around and are a bit of a klutz) and top with the 1/2 c - 75 g of blue cheese (or not, you do you). Serve with a simple green lightly dressed salad.

Notes

You can make these doughs with a food processor but the result won't be as nice and flakey as making it by hand. Still: we make due with what we can.
 
Once prepared this beetroot tarte tatin will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat for 15 minutes or so in a hot oven. 
Keyword beetroot, beets, savory tart, savoury tart, tarte tatin

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My Favorite Veg-Based Cookbooks

With Veganuary coming to a close and my covert announcement in Alicia Kennedy’s newsletter on recipe writing and ingredient sourcing on the kinds of recipes I will be sharing here, I thought now was as good a time as any to walk you through some of my favorite vegan and vegetarian cookbooks.

To be clear, I’m not vegan or vegetarian because limiting my eating options causes problems for me, but I do eat a mostly vegan and vegetarian diet and try to shop as animal, human and planet friendly as possible.

I promise these 13 vegan and vegetarian cookbooks will keep you as inspired as I am about centering vegetables on your plate.

Vegetable Kingdom – Bryant Terry

Bryant Terry is a star in his own right in (vegan) cooking and after reading Vegetable Kingdom: The Abundant World of Vegan Recipes, I can see why. I can’t recall a best of 2020 cookbook list without it, so I had to have it.

With Bryant’s classical training at first glance this book can come across as a bit ‘cheffy’. Once you realise virtually each recipe is a menu in and of itself, and that you can take each individual component to make your own combinations or just cook one of them at a time, it all becomes a lot less intimidating so all you’re left with is inspiration.

I’ve already made the fantastic charred leak and mushroom toast with a pinenut puree from Vegetable Kingdom but the taro root cakes and cornmeal-fried oyster mushroom po’boy are also high on my hitlist along with all the other purees mentioned in the book. Or Vegetable Kingdom here if you’re in the US, or here if you’re in the UK.

Rosa’s Thai Café: The Vegetarian Cookbook – Siaphin Moore

My brother took me to Rosa’s Thai Café in London’s East End (our old haunt) years ago and I distinctly recall it blowing my mind. Before I’d only had heavy Thai ‘curries’ but Rosa’s showed how bright and refreshing Thai cooking can be. So when I spotted this book and saw one of my favorite photography and styling teams had worked on it I had to get it.

There are quite a number of reasons to love this book. The photography by Louise Hagger and styling by Alexander Breeze is stellar, for one. The recipes are mostly vegan and extremely diverse in scope. But above all, Saiphin Moore has embellished each recipes in Rosa’s Thai Café: The Vegetarian Cookbook with her rich personal history of eating experiences, recipe sources and more. This book gives you a real feel for all the regional Thai cuisines and Saiphin’s past growing up and living in various parts of Asia and now the UK.

All the recipes, including this gaeng penang tua lima (vegan butterbean panang) are surprisingly easy to make, which is just icing on the cake to me. Order Rosa’s Thai Café: The Vegetarian here if you are in the UK.

Jackfruit & Blue Ginger – Sasha Gill

If you’re looking for a broader vegan Asian tome, Sashi Gill is your woman. In Jackfruit & Blue Ginger: Asian Favorites Made Vegan Sasha shares well-beloved classic Asian dishes from India, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia, China and Japan, made vegan, as well as some basic techniques to veganize recipes of your own accord.

Chapters are organised by region, which makes it easy to find something to suit your mood or come up with a cohesive vegan menu for a dinner party.

One thing in particular that I love about this book is that it also contains sweets or ‘desserts’ from each region (most Asian cuisines don’t work with desserts, but have sweets throughout the day instead). The vegan Hong Kong ‘egg’ tarts made with silken tofu in particular are amazing and a recipe I’ve made and fed to others again and again, it also formed the foundation for my vegan dark and stormy crème brûlee. Order Jackfruit & Blue Ginger here if you’re in the UK or here if you are in the US (it appeared under another title).

Greenfeast – Nigel Slater

As a voracious reader I prefer reading that challenges and discomforts me. But there are times when something more soothing is required. As a young one I found this comfort in Kurt Vonnegut, because he seemed as miffed by the ways of the world as I was (and still am).

Now that I’m older I cannot think of a single more soothing voice than Nigel Slater‘s. One of my favorite recipes of his is called an earthy meal in a bowl type soup, a title that describes his writing to a tee. When you read Nigel you know you are going to be alright.

Greenfeast comes in two parts: Spring, Summer and Autumn, Winter. These books will help you cook with the seasons and as Nigel states, are intended more to inspire than to be very exacting with. They are my go to when I’ve bought a vegetable but no longer know what to do with it. I just pull them out and browse, good things surely coming my way. Greenfeast is a bit cream and cheese heavy and very classical European in scope, which makes it a great place to start for anyone only just venturing into more veg-based eating straight from plates full of meat.

Order Spring, Summer here if you are in the US and here if you are in the UK. Order Autumn, Winter here if you are in the US or here if you are in the UK.

Vegan with Bite – Shannon Martinez

I got to know Shannon over some late night/ early morning transnational DMing (don’t be gross) and knew I had to get one of her books immediately. Lucky for me Vegan with Bite had just come out.

Shannon isn’t vegan but her restaurant is vegan and so are the recipes she shares because *gesticulates at planet*.

My favorite thing about this book is that ingredients aren’t prefaced with ‘vegan’ (vegan butter, vegan milk, etc). It’s a vegan cookbook so when Shannon says butter she obviously means vegan butter and when she says milk she obviously means non-dairy milk. That’s just a level of duh I’m really into. She also gives you some very useful pointers as to what to look out for when buying ready-made products because so many products that sound like they may have meat in them no longer do (chicken stock cubes, for one, rarely contain chicken – at least in Australia).

One of the chapters is called Minimum Effort, Maximum Results and another has the byline Zero Waste, Maximum Taste and these are pretty much the rules I cook by so you can see why I have to recommend it. Order here in the US or here in the UK.

Joe Yonan – Cool Beans

I bought one of Joe Yonan‘s other books years ago, when he still included meat. He’s since committed to sharing meat free recipes only.

With Cool Beans, the title kind of speaks for itself. It made me realise beans are a great staple that I could be eating more of without it being a sad ‘tin of beans’ sort of affair. Cool Beans includes a whole bunch of classics (paella! hummus!) from the world over as well as some of Yonan’s own concoctions all with a bean-centric focus. He even includes some tips on how to avoid the notorious musical side effects of beans: farts. Apparently it helps if you cook them well, and this is just the book that’ll help you do it. Order here in the US or here in the UK.

Lagusta Yearwood – Sweet+Salty

I got Salty+Sweet: The Art of Vegan Chocolates, Truffles, Caramels and More by Lagusta Yearwood because Alicia Kennedy recommended it. In it, her famous Lagusta’s Luscious truffles and caramels feature prominently. If you’re good at coming up with funky flavors and adjusting recipes to your own needs (it me) this may feel a bit one-note when you first start reading it. I can come up with funky truffles perfectly fine on my own, thank you very much.

That said, Lagusta gives such great and in-depth information in the perils of shopping and producing ethically (sugar and cacao are a nightmare) and things get a little bit more exciting (for me at least) on the caramel end of things, which is why I’ve decided to include this here. I was talking about uncomfortable reading earlier: this book will make you uncomfortable. But then you get to make better decisions and make vegan chocolate truffles in exciting flavors (or come up with your own, I’ve got kimchi truffles on my mind for one), so it’s all good. Order at Bookshop.org in the US or in the UK.

Vegan Soul Food – Jason Tjon Affo

This is an honorable mention because Vegan Soul Food by Jason Tjon Affo isn’t actually available in English (yet). But it’s a beautiful vegan cookbook full of colorful photography ánd food, mostly inspired by Jason’s Surinamese roots. Which makes this an incredibly diverse cookbook, because Suriname contains multitudes.

My recipe for vegan kue lapis flavored monkey bread was based on Jason’s vegan monkey bread recipe from Vegan Soul Food, so there you go.

Nosh – Esther Erwteman

Nosh: Mijn Vegetarische Joodse Keuken (My Vegetarian Jewish Kitchen) is a lovely and beautiful book by Esther Erwteman who runs Amsterdam-based deli, cooking school and eatery (the former two when there’s no Covid going around) Esther’s Cookery. This is another honorable mention because it’s only available in Dutch right now.

In Nosh Esther interweaves her personal history with her Jewish faith, explaining why certain dishes are prepared and eaten at certain times as well as explaining how certain less obvious choices made it into her repertoire. If you live in Amsterdam be sure to help yourself and help Esther by visiting her shop and getting some good nosh, or if you’re not be sure to order some of her prime goodies in Esther’s Cookery webshop. I’ve gotten a really nice aubergine grill and some lovely harissa’s from her and she also offers workshops online.

Zaitoun – Yasmin Khan

Another honorable mention because strictly speaking Yasmin Khan‘s Zaitoun: Recipes and Stories from the Palestinian Kitchen is neither vegan nor vegetarian. That said, only 13 recipes in this book contain meat. These recipes can easily ignored in favor of all the veg based dishes in this book. The unique insights Zaitoun offers into the Palestinian kitchen and reality are another element of this book that cannot be ignored which is why I had to include it.

I’ve made the falafel and fennel pickle from this book. Both were simple and delicious, so if you’re into Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors with a bit of back story this book is for you. Order in the US or in the UK.

Ed Smith – On The Side

I found On The Side in the discount isle at the American Book Center in The Hague. Intrigued by a book consisting of just sides, I bought it. This book has been my most trustworthy companion ever since. I don’t know why there aren’t more books on sides, though this might be the only one you’ll ever need.

Every recipe includes tips on what to combine them with or how to combine them with other recipes from the book to make a full meal. Furthermore there are not one but three (THREE!) indexes. You can browse based on your main protein, based on what veg you want to use or based on how much time you have. As such it served for the inspiration of the way I’ve set up my chapters and the additional vegan and vegetarian index for my book Nomnomnom.

I previously shared a peppercorn and lime rice recipe from On The Side. Order On the Side at Bookshop.org in the UK.

Lucky Peach Presents Power Vegetables

Sadly as it turns out Lucky Peach was not a happy place. And now as I read some of the older copies, I can tell it was all a lot more bro dudey than I can stomach (I’ll confess I was more bro dudey when I first read them too). Still, when I got my hands on my first Lucky Peach I fell in love hard because up until that point I didn’t know food writing like this existed.

Fast forward whatever years later and all I’m missing is #1. While the issues of the magazine are hard to get a hold of, most of the books are easy to find and out of all of them I think Lucky Peach presents Power Vegetables might give you the most bang for your buck. The photography is amazing and the recipes are all accessible and easy to follow, with LOADS of flavor. Vegan too.

In general I find vegetarian cookbooks lean a little too heavily on cheese (and I love cheese, just not for every meal) while vegan cookbooks are just diet books in disguise. Power Veg is just a good old cookbook that leaves you feeling hungry and ready to wield some veg.

You can find some recipes from Lucky Peach presents Power Vegetables here.

That’s my roundup for vegan and vegetarian cookbooks, I hope the scope is wide enough to have something in the list for you. Be sure to order from your local bookstore!

Zoek je deze kookboekentips in het Nederlands? Ga dan naar vettesletten.nl voor 13 van mijn favoriete vegan- en vegakookboeken.

Mexican Chorizo Tofu Tacos

Sometimes being stuck indoors brings out the best in you. Or me. As the case may be.

I’ve been trying to figure out how to make a vegan version of Mexican chorizo for ages. I had figured out the spice mix for Lady and Pups’ chorizo and shrimp burger was the way forward, but the mix itself was too dry and for years I just couldn’t figure out how to fix it.

Then for some reason it hit me. The answer had been right in front of me the entire time. I just mixed it in with some tomato paste, as I do with harissa tofu puffs, and landed on a majestic beast of a sauce.

Chorizo sauce is boss

The sauce is great like this, with tofu mince on a taco. But it also works with fish, mixed with some mayo as a dip and stuck on a cheese melt. Basically I haven’t stopped eating this since I first made it.

Start off with the tacos below and eat your way up from there.

How do I eat Mexican chorizo tofu tacos?

I like to eat two of these as a main course for lunch or dinner, a cold beer would do nicely with this as well.

If you have a bigger appetite than mine and this doesn’t sound like it’ll even remotely do, serve it with an quick coleslaw with store-bought grated red and/ or white cabbage, a finely diced jalapeno and some olive oil, white wine vinegar and maybe even a drop of Frank’s Red Hot or Tabasco or two.

What you’ll need

I have also included these recipes in the recipe below, so you don’t have to click back and forth to recreate this.

A bamboo platter on a cement backdrop, on the platter are two fried tacos with minced tofu and a red sauce as well as some pickled shallots and fresh coriander

Mexican Chorizo Tofu Tacos 🌱

Dorothy Porker
A super tasty take on Mexican chorizo, made vegan with tofu mince and a banging sauce that you can slap on pretty much anything.
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Brunch, Dinner, Lunch, Main course
Cuisine Mexican, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings 2

Equipment

  • Heavy pan or other heavy object
  • Kitchen towels
  • Big bowl
  • Sieve, optional
  • Small saucepan
  • Glass jar
  • Small blender or pestle and mortar
  • Two large frying pans or skillets

Ingredients
  

For the pickled shallots, or get store-bought

  • 3 small shallots cut into thin rings
  • 3/4 c - 150 ml white wine vinegar or similar
  • 3/4 c - 150 ml water
  • 1 t - 5 gr salt
  • 1 clove garlic smashed and peeled
  • 3 black peppercorns
  • pinch sugar

For the minced tofu, or get ready-made (vegan) mince

  • 9 oz - 250 gr firm tofu get it from an Asian supermarket and thank me later
  • 1/2 T - 7 gr corn flour or other starch
  • pinch salt
  • neutral oil for shallow frying, I use sunflower

For the Mexican chorizo sauce

  • 3 T - 45 gr tomato puree
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled
  • 1 1/2 t - 7.5 gr chili powder
  • 1 1/2 t - 7.5 gr smoked sweet paprika
  • 1/2 t - 2.5 gr hot paprika or cayenne more if you're nasty
  • 1 t - 5 ml red wine vinegar Balsamic will also do
  • 1 t - 5 ml tequila omit of dining with minors or people who don't drink alcohol
  • 1 t - 5 gr salt
  • 1/2 t - 2.5 gr ground black pepper
  • 1/2 t - 2.5 gr dried oregano Mexican if you can get your hands on some
  • 1 pinch cumin
  • 1/4 c - 60 ml olive oil

To finish

  • 4-8 burrito or taco skins I prefer corn, but you do you
  • sunflower oil for shallow frying
  • 1 t - 5 gr chili flakes optional
  • bunch coriander freshly chopped
  • feta crumbed, optional

Instructions
 

Pickle the shallots, or get store bought

  • You can also use store-bought pickles. If you are making these, be sure to make them the night or morning before so the shallots are properly pickled.
  • Bring 3/4 c - 150 ml white wine vinegar to the boil with equal parts water, 1 t - 5 gr salt and a pinch of sugar.
  • Place 3 sliced shallots in a small jar, make sure you separate the rings out a little before you do this.
  • Poor the warm vinegar mixture in with the shallots. Add the smashed clove of garlic and 3 black peppercorns.
  • Leave to cool on the kitchen counter before moving them to the fridge.

Start the minced tofu, or get ready-made (vegan) mince

  • You can also use store-bought mince of choice, pick up the process for this from step 3 under the header 'Back to minced tofu'. If you do make your own, make sure you start this part of the recipe about 45 minutes before you want to eat.
  • Press 9 oz - 250 gr of tofu by placing it between some kitchen towels and placing a heavy object on top for 30 minutes or so.
  • Now make the sauce so you can mix this in with the warm tofu mince later.

Make the chorizo sauce

  • In a small blender or pestle and mortar mix together 3 T - 45 gr tomato puree, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 1/2 t - 7.5 gr chili powder or flakes, 1 1/2 t - 7.5. gr sweet smoked paprika, 1/2 t - 2.5 gr hot paprika or cayenne, 1 t - 5 ml red wine vinegar, 1 t - 5 ml tequila (if using), a pinch of cumin and 1/4 c - 60 ml olive oil to a smooth paste.

Back to the minced tofu

  • Crumble the tofu into a bowl. The pieces should remain of uneven in size and shape, as if you've fried off some actual minced meat in a frying pan.
  • Thinly coat the crumbled tofu with 1/2 t - 7 gr corn flour and salt generously.
  • Fry the crumbled tofu in a thin layer of sunflower oil in a (non-stick) frying pan. Do this in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan and ensure crisp. Fry the tofu until golden and partially crisp.

Create your tacos

  • Fry up 2-4 tortilla skins in a shallow layer of sunflower oil. You should end up with four each. You want the edges to be crisp and the centers to remain kind of chewy. You can spice the oil with some chili flakes while it heats up for added oomph. Salt while draining on some kitchen towels post-fry
  • Drain the tofu on some kitchen towels and then mix in 2 to 4 T's of the sauce until the tofu is evenly coated.
  • To compose a taco: place 2 tortilla skins on a plate. Top with a few tablespoons of the tofu mixture. Finish with a generous hand of pickled shallots, some freshly chopped coriander and feta if using.

Notes

The chorizo sauce will keep in the fridge in a well-closed container for about a week. Mix it with mayo or stick it on a cheese melt. The possibilities are endless.
The pickled shallots will keep in the fridge in a well-closed container for about a month. 
Keyword chorizo, Mexican food, tacos, tofu, tofu mince, vegan, vegan mince, vegetarian

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Caramelized Fennel with Feta

It’s been a while since I’ve added a new recipe on here because I have been dealing with Stuff. I have a deadline for the clarification of said Stuff now and will hopefully be able to start sharing recipes again on a regular basis in the second half of the year, but for now, you’ll have to deal with patchy updates.

Feel free to follow me on Instagram for behind-the-scenes madness, cats and me growing my first tomatillos, or on Twitter where I passive aggressively like political tweets so they land in your feed without your being able to tell me you disagree with me.

There is also The Big Thing, which I don’t really want to talk about because everyone else is already talking about it. But I can share a simple recipe (and hopefully a few more) while we are all stuck indoors.

The cover of Yotam Ottolenghi's PlentyGoat cheese schmoat cheese

So here’s an old favorite of mine, adapted from a recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty, caramelized fennel with feta and pine nuts.

Ottolenghi makes his with goat quark or yogurt, but since I always have feta on hand I prefer to make it like this. I like to throw in some pine nuts for good measure, because pine nuts. Hazelnuts would probably also be very nice.

What do I eat with caramelized fennel with feta?

I eat this by myself for lunch or dinner as a main course with some pita or Turkish bread. You could probably also have it with some simply baked white fish or salmon but I don’t think it needs much more. If there are two of you you’ll probably went to get a bulb each or add another dish to ensure a satisfying meal.

An overhead shot of a small green plate with caramelized fennel topped with roast pine nuts and crumbled feta and fennel fronds scattered across with a bamboo fork sticking out at the top, next to it is a small tan bowl filled with crumbled feta on top of a light green backdrop.

Caramelized Fennel with Feta and Pine Nuts

Dorothy Porker
A vegetarian recipe for caramelized with feta and pine nuts, inspired by Ottolenghi. Perfect at all temperatures for spring, summer, fall and winter.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main course
Cuisine Vegetarian
Servings 1 -2 people

Equipment

  • Large frying pan or skillet
  • Large plate

Ingredients
  

  • 1 large bulb fennel cut into 1 cm/ 5 inch slices, fronds set aside
  • 2 x 2 T - 20 gr butter
  • 3 T - 15 ml olive oil
  • 2 T - 25 gr sugar
  • 1 t - 5 gr fennel seeds ground works too in a pinch, but not as nicely
  • 4 oz - 120 gr feta crumbled, you can do this by stabbing it with a fork and then twisting the fork
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/4 c - 33 gr pine nuts dry roasted in a skillet or non-stick frying pan to bring out the flavor

Instructions
 

  • Melt 1 T - 20 gr of butter and 3 T - 45 ml of olive oil in a large skillet or frying pan.
  • Once the butter stops bubbling, place as many slices of fennel into the pan as it will comfortably hold (usually about half of the fennel) and roast for 3-6 minutes on each side to get a decent amount of color on them. This will go a lot quicker if you resist the urge to move them around.
  • When the first batch of fennel has browned nicely, set it aside on a large plate or in a bowl, add 1 T - 20 gr butter again and fry the second batch as before.
  • Remove the remainder of the fennel when ready, leave the pan on the heat and add 2 T - 30 gr sugar, 1 T - 15 gr fennel seeds and a good helping of salt and pepper. Shake the pan vigorously for 30 seconds or so to help the butter, oil, fennel seeds and sugar divide evenly across the bottom of the pan.
  • Now place all the pre-cooked fennel back into the pan and let sit on each side for 2-4 minutes until you get some REALLY good caramelisation going on.
  • Remove from the pan and back into your large bowl or plate and mix with the finely chopped clove of garlic while still hot.
  • Depending on the weather and the season, serve immediately or leave until cooled covered in a healthy dose of the crumbled feta, dry roasted pine nuts, chopped fennel fronds and more seasoning to taste.
Keyword fennel, feta, ottelenghi, pine nuts, pinenuts, Salad

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PB and Hot Sauce Noodles with Tofu

Because I am perpetually broke but also overspending, I eat a lot of instant noodles. On this path I’ve discovered I prefer dry instant noodles over instant noodle soup, especially during summer.

So now… all of the instant noodles I have left in my cupboard are soup based. And I don’t want to buy more dry noodles because that seems wasteful.

The ingredients for mapo noodles with silken tofu

Indorockspiration

I wanted to eat something quick and easy and cheap the other week when this dish hit me. The inspiration comes from both my tahini noodle bowl with harissa tofu puffs as well as a banging recipe for tempeh-brittle from Vanja van der Leeden’s upcoming Indorock, which I tested for her (unfortunately only available in Dutch and German).

Together their powers combined, with my hot-tingle mapo hot sauce, this is really something excellent and easy to make any day.

Variations on pb and hot sauce noodles with silken tofu

You can make this sauce with pretty much any hot sauce you like, though I’d stick to Asian variaties like srirachas and sambals.

If you’d prefer a firmer tofu with these noodles try my recipe for crispy oven-baked tofu puffs. Obviously you can also add more veg, some quickly wilted baby bok choy should do you nicely.

The ingredients for mapo hot sauce flavored noodles with silken tofu

PB and hot sauce noodles with silken tofu

Dorothy Porker
This vegan tangy spicy noodle bowl is delicious, filling and an easy treat for any weekday lunch or dinner.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main course, Salad
Cuisine Asian, Vegan
Servings 1

Equipment

  • Pot for cooking noodles
  • Pot for poaching tofu
  • Bowl

Ingredients
  

  • 1 bundle noodles per person, I like udon but use whatever noodles you have
  • 6 oz - 175 gr silken tofu about half a pack
  • 2 T - 30 gr hot sauce of choice
  • 1 T - 15 gr peanut butter whatever kind you have
  • 1 t - 5 ml kecap manis sweet Indonesian soy sauce, Japanse or Chinese soy sauce will work in a pinch
  • 1 t - 5 gr honey or palm sugar to make it vegan
  • 2 spring onions finely chopped
  • 1 T - 15 gr peanuts coarsely chopped
  • 2 t - 10 gr crispy chili oil to finish, optional - I like Lao Gan Ma

Instructions
 

  • Cook the noodles per the packet instructions.
  • Cut 6 oz - 175 gr of silken tofu into cubes and poach them for 3 minutes in boiling water. You can skip this step, but poaching firms the tofu up a bit and helps it retain its shape.
  • Mix together 2 T - 30 gr of hot sauce, 1 T - 15 gr of peanut butter, 1 t - 5 ml of kecap manis, 1 t - 5 gr of honey and 1 finely chopped spring onion together in a bowl.
  • Drain the noodles and place them in the bowl with the sauce, mixing them together until the noodles are evenly coated in the sauce.
  • Top the noodle-sauce mixture with the poached silken tofu, another chopped spring onion, 1 t of coarsely chopped peanuts and a dash of crispy chili oil if you have it. You can either do this in the bowl you mixed the sauce in, to save on washing up, or get fancy and put it on a plate (or in a mason jar, but I will cut you).
Keyword easy vegan, noodle bowl, noodles, peanutbutter

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Gado Gado: Classic Indonesian Salad

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I used to dislike gado gado until I realised I can just omit the veggies I dislike. Now I make a combo of the veggies that work for me. As pictured here.

The vegetarian cheat code for gado gado

It was the first staple dish I cooked for vegetarian friends when they came round for dinner. But it wasn’t until this year that I learned that you can make it vegan or vegetarian by replacing the trassi (fermented prawn paste) with miso.

A plate of Indonesian chicken and waffles with pandan waffles, gado gado slaw and Indonesian style fried chicken

Gado gado slaw for Indonesian chicken and waffles

I use the sauce to make a gado gado style slaw with grated red cabbage, white cabbage and carrots for my Indonesian chicken and waffles. And replace the boiled egg with crispy oven-baked tofu puffs for vegan friends.

When and how do I eat gado gado?

Gado gado’ll do nicely for lunch or dinner and should comprise a full meal in itself, with maybe a side of kerupuk or prawn crackers.

I still get angry when people put weird shit like bell peppers in their gado gado. Or boiled blubbery bean sprouts? But I guess at least they’re eating it. So if that’s what you wanna do I’m not stopping you.

A yellow ceramic bowl with white trim filled with gado gado (lettuce, cucumber, new potatoes, bean sprouts, a soft boiled egg and a peanut-based sauce) with a red chili floating above it on a soft pink backdrop.

Gado Gado: Classic Indonesian Salad

Dorothy Porker
This classic Indonesian salad recipe with spicy peanut sauce is a great staple to feed your vegetarian and vegan friends and yourself. Never forget yourself.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main course
Cuisine Asian, Indonesian, Southeast Asian, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings 2

Equipment

  • Small saucepan
  • Pots in the amount of veggies you want to cook

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 c - 350 ml water
  • 2 medium shallots finely chopped
  • 3 red chilies finely chopped with the white core and seeds removed if you prefer less heat
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 2 t - 8 gr trassi fermented prawn paste, use miso to make this vegan
  • 1" - 1.5 cm galengal freshly grated, or replace with 1/2 tsp dried
  • 1 1/2 T - 20 gr tamarind pulp
  • 2 T - 30 gr palm sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 7 T - 100 gr peanut butter as plain as possible
  • 3 makrut lime leaves smashed and bruised
  • 1.5 oz - 50 gr creamed coconut you can find this in Asian supermarkets
  • 1 T - 15 ml kecap manis sweet Indonesian soy sauce

For gado gado my way

  • head lettuce of choice, avoid anything too bitter, I like little gems myself
  • 1 egg per person, soft boiled - skip if you're eating vegan
  • tofu puffs as many as you like, either store-bought or home made (see notes)
  • 1 c - 50 gr bean sprouts brown bottoms removed, definitely not cooked
  • 2 c - 75 gr new potatoes cooked for about 15 minutes in salted water
  • 1/2 cucumber sliced to whatever dimensions you enjoy

For gado gado slaw

  • 1 c - 100 gr red cabbage grated
  • 1 c - 100 gr white cabbage grated
  • 1/2 c - 50 gr carrots grated
  • 3 spring onions sliced into thin rings

Instructions
 

  • Prep your veg first, I like my combination of 1 head of lettuce, 1 egg per person, a handful of tofu puffs, 1 c - 50 gr of bean sprouts, 2 c - 150 gr of boiled new potatoes and 1/2 sliced cucumber, but you can have this with whatever and however many veg you like.

To make the sauce

  • Place 1 1/2 c - 350 ml of water in a small saucepan, add 2 finely chopped shallots, 3 finely chopped red chilies (seeds and pith removed for less heat), 3 finely minced garlic cloves, 2 t - 8 gr trassi, 1 inch freshly peeled and grated galengal, 1 1/2 t - 20 gr tamarind, 2 T - 30 gr palm sugar, 3 bruised lime leaves and a pinch of salt and bring to the boil.
  • Once the water spice mixture has come to the boil, lower the heat and stir in 7 T - 100 gr of peanut butter.
  • Let it come back up to the boil, then reduce the heat one last time and add 1.5 oz - 50 gr creamed coconut. Stir until dissolved and take the sauce off the heat.
  • Finish by stirring in 1 T - 15 ml of kecap manis to give the sauce a slight gloss.

To compose your gado gado or gado gado slaw

  • When the sauce has cooled completely,either:
  • Plate up your veggies, tofu puffs, new potatoes and eggs and add a nice big dollop of the sauce on top of it. OR:
  • Mix a few tablespoons of the sauce into a large bowl 1 c - 100 gr red cabbage, 1 c - 100 gr white cabbage, 1/2 c - 50 gr of carrot and 3 finely sliced spring onions until everything is coated in a thin layer of the sauce.

Notes

You can find my recipe for oven-baked tofu puffs here.
The peanut sauce will keep for 5 days in a closed container in the fridge but you need to allow it to cool to room temperature before you store it.
If re-using, remove from the fridge and let it get back up to room temperature and give it a good stir before adding it to anything as it does get quite firm once cooled down completely or reheat in a sauce pan and add water until you get your desired consistency.
Keyword Asian food, asian recipes, gado gado, Indonesian food, Indonesian recipe, Salad, slaw

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Mango, Bean and Feta Salad

I have to go to Amsterdam once a month. Because of travel expenses I tend to arrive early and then need something to eat.

Food options near Amsterdam Central Station

The area surrounding the train station is a sort of tourist hellscape. Where no decent food can be found unless you’re really into subpar fried shit and Nutella waffles. You know, the type of fair that is pretty much overrunning every city the world over now.

An inside out carved mango with the ingredients for mango bean salad scattered over them

The first time I went this sent me into a panic attack, alleviated with some light meditation in a bathroom stall and(less so) 5 euro chicken nuggets. So the second time I had to venture into Amsterdam I decided to bring my own. And so this salad was born.

Mexico: The Cookbook

This recipe is inspired by a bean salad from Mexico: The Cookbook and the contents of my fridge. The original consists of a bean salad with baked mushrooms, grilled red pepper, fresh parsley and a balsamic dressing. But that’s not what was in the fridge.

Because this salad is a lot less work, since nothing has to be baked or grilled, this has turned out to be a refreshing keeper that travels well and holds its own as both a side and a main.

An inside out carved mango with the ingredients for mango bean salad scattered over them

Mango, Bean and Feta Salad

Dorothy Porker
The perfect salad for a sunny picknick, road trip or just for the fuck of it.
Prep Time 15 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main course, Side dish
Cuisine Fusion, Mexican, Vegetarian
Servings 4

Equipment

  • A knife, to cut the mango
  • A bowl or container, to mix the salad

Ingredients
  

  • 1 whole mango diced
  • 1/2 c - 60 gr chickpeas drained and thoroughly rinsed
  • 1/2 c - 60 gr kidney beans drained and thoroughly rinsed
  • 1/2 c - 60 gr butter beans drained and thoroughly rinsed
  • 1 bunch coriander roughly chopped
  • 2.5 oz - 75 gr feta cubed, skip or use vegan cheese to make it vegan
  • 1/4 c - 30 gr pickled jalapeños roughly chopped, more or less to taste
  • juice of 1 lime

Instructions
 

  • Mix everything together.
  • Hey presto: salad!

Notes

This salad will keep for up to 3 days in a closed container in the fridge.
Keyword beans, caesar salad, mango, Mexican food, summer, travel food

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Veggie Sweet Potato Burrito

I love a good portable snack.

The first time I had a burrito proper was in San Francisco. My friends dragged me and my jetlag to The Mission, to the wonderful Puerto Alegre, where I did not understand the menu and ordered a cheese burrito. Which, for those not in the know, is basically a burrito with an actual block of melting cheese inside, topped with more melting cheese on the outside.

A veggie burrito with sweet potato wrapped in tin foil and cut in half with eyes stuck on them

It was great (though the one thing I never got over after that trip is the red mole chilaquiles I had a few mornings after), but I couldn’t really handle more than two bites (see also, the Chicago deep dish pizza debacle a few years prior to this). The doggy bag I took home that night could’ve easily lasted me the entire trip, were it not for my desire to Eat More Things.

A tin foil wrapped veggie sweet potato burrito with a face on it

This burrito is killer too, but it won’t require you to have a good long lay-down after. I found it in Lucky Peach’s Power Vegetables. It’s filling minus the lay-down, and perfect for road trips once you’ve figured out how to wrap it.

A veggie burrito with sweet potato wrapped in tin foil and cut in half with eyes stuck on them

Veggie Sweet Potato Burrito

Dorothy Porker
This sweet potato burrito inspired by Lucky Peach presents Power Vegetables is the perfect portable snack (even from the kitchen to the sofa).
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American, Mexican, Texmex, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings 2

Equipment

  • Oven
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment
  • Bowl
  • Frying pan or skillet, optional
  • Tinfoil, optional

Ingredients
  

For the sweet potato

  • 1 large sweet potato peeled and cubed (2x2 inches/ 5x5mm)
  • 1 T - 15 ml neutral oil I use sunflower, just avoid olive oil for this
  • 1/2 t - 2.5 gr cumin powder
  • 1/2 t - 2.5 gr ground coriander
  • 1/2 t - 2.5 gr chili powder
  • pinch salt
  • pinch pepper

For the pico de gallo

  • 3 large tomatoes de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 small shallot finely chopped, rinsed in cold water post-chop
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 bunch coriander finely chopped, stems included

To construct the burrito

  • 2 large tortilla skins of choice, I prefer corn tortillas
  • 1 c - 250 gr cooked rice
  • 2 T - 30 gr sour cream optional
  • 1/2 c - 125 gr shredded cheese optional
  • 1/2 c - 125 gr kidney beans rinsed, black beans also work
  • 1/2 avocado thinly sliced or cubed, optional
  • 5-10 pickled jalapeno slices more or less to taste

Instructions
 

To make the sweet potato

  • Preheat your oven at 200° C/ 400° F and line a baking sheet with parchment.
  • Mix your cubed sweet potato with the oil and spices. Spread onto the parchment paper in a single layer. Bake for 30 minutes, giving them a toss at the halfway mark.

Make your pico de gallo

  • Mix together the chopped tomatoes, shallot, coriander and lime juice in a bowl. That's it. That's the recipe.

Assemble your burrito

  • Preheat a dry frying pan over a high heat. Briefly heat the tortilla skins in the pan on both sides, until they get a little color on them. Be sure not to overheat them as they will dry out and break when bending.
  • Place your tortilla skins on a flat surface. Be sure to have a large square of tinfoil at the ready next to your tortilla skins.
  • Create a layer of rice in the center of each of your tortilla skins, then a layer of beans, sweet potato cubes, avocado, pico de gallo and finally, if using, jalapenos, cheese and sour cream.
  • Fold in the two narrowest opposing sides and fold the widest side over the top of these opposing sides and the contents of your burrito.
  • Give it a little tug and tuck to really tighten up your filling and roll up your burrito tightly before wrapping it into the tinfoil. Using the tinfoil to get the tightest wrap possible.
  • If these words make no sense to you try this nifty little burrito wrapping video. Keep in mind with practice, it can be done!

Notes

Lucky Peach also ads salsa verde to his burritos, as it's quite hard to come by tomatillos here and there's already so much flavor going on they can easily do without.
Same goes for the cheese and sour cream, or almost any of the other ingredients mentioned. Though you wouldn't want to end up with an empty tortilla skin.
If you don't like eating the same things 2 days in a row and want to make the most of a sweet potato, you could make my sweet potato fries one day and tuck them inside this burrito the next.
This burrito will keep overnight in the fridge to be taken on a road trip the next day and make for a perfect lunch. I don't think it'll keep much longer, but I won't blame you for trying.
Keyword burrito, easy vegan, easy vegetarian, Mexican food, sweet potato, tex mex, travel food

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Butternut Squash with Chipotle Crema

I should have googled what piquillos were before I made this. Because I ended up making this butternut squash piquillo crema recipe from Lucky Peach presents Power Vegetables with a tin of chipotles in adobo instead.

What’s the difference between piquillos and chipotles in adobo?

Everything basically Piquillos and chipotle in adobo are very much not the same thing. At all.

The latter is mad spicy, the former? Not so much. Still it’s one of my favorite delicious mistakes. Since you can’t get piquillos as easily here, though I reckon sweet red peppers might do. Still, I’ve found no other purpose for chipotle in adobo that I like as much as this.

That’s great but how do I eat this butternut squash?

I tend to eat this vegetarian butternut squash with chipotle crema with a good helping of pasta, though I’d imagine a warm bowl of rice will also do nicely.

I save the remainder of the garlic oil to roast potatoes, veggies, meats and fried eggs. Garlic all the things basically.

The book suggests you can have this as a side (I’m not sure with what though, maybe a good medium-rare steak or some expertly roast chicken) or as I have described above, with some pasta or rice as a comforting main. Even if you use the wrong sort of chili.

A bowl of roast butternut squash with chipotle crema surrounded by its main ingredients as well as a towel, grated cheese and some dried linguine

Butternut Squash with Chipotle Crema

Dorothy Porker
Vegetarian recipe for butternut squash and chipotle crema inspired by fucking up a recipe from Lucky Peach presents Power Vegetables.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Dinner, Main course, Side dish
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 2

Equipment

  • Oven
  • Small saucepan
  • Microwave proof bowl or cup
  • Large skillet or frying pan
  • Oven tray and parchment or an ovenproof dish
  • Blender

Ingredients
  

  • 4 cloves garlic Peeled
  • 2 c - 500 ml olive oil roughly, see recipe
  • 1 c - 250 ml creme fraîche
  • 1/4 c - 20 gr chipotle en adobo basically one chipotle with some adobo
  • 1 t - 5 gr salt
  • 1/2 butternut squash peeled and cubed
  • 1 c - 80 gr Parmesan grated
  • 1/4 c - 20 gr coriander roughly chopped

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 200° C/ 400° F.
  • Confit 4 cloves of peeled garlic by placing them in a small saucepan and covering it in olive oil until it starts to float. Place it on a low heat, bring to a simmer and then turn down the heat as low as possible, leaving it for 20 minutes.
  • Toss the cubes of half a butternut squash in a the garlic oil. You want to lightly coat the cubes, salt and then roast them in an even layer for about 30 minutes on a baking tray lined with parchment or in an ovenproof dish. Toss halfway through.
  • Warm 1/4 c - 250 ml of creme fraîche in a microwave proof bowl in the microwave at low for 1 minute. Pour into a blender with 1/4 c - 20 gr of chipotle en adobo, 4 cloves of confit garlic and 1 tsp - 5 gr of salt and blend until smooth.
  • Pour the crema into a large skillet set over a low heat, add the roasted squash and toss to combine. Stir in 1/2 c - 40 gr of cheese until melted. Serve topped with the remainder of the cheese and the cilantro.

Notes

Store any leftover garlic oil in an airtight container and use to roast potatoes, veggies, meats, fried eggs, whatever tickles your pickle. It will keep for 2-3 weeks in the fridge. 
Keyword chipotle en adobo, lucky peach, Mexican food, pasta sauce, peter meehan, power vegetables, side dish, side dishes

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