20 November 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 20: Repost

I have nothing new to write about today - I've been too busy (and have to leave for work in half an hour) and haven't been cooking much. But here's a repost: My first "This Week in My Kitchen" post from nearly a year ago. Enjoy!

This Week in My Kitchen: Barbeque Chipotle Weiners n' Beans, Veggie Pot Pie, Vegan French Onion Soup, Tom Yum Soup Broth

The past ten days have been ridiculously busy with work, socializing ('tis the season), chores, and various other stuff. But I have had time to do some cooking. I'm certainly not the best cook, but I do love to create new dishes in the kitchen. I'm one of those cooks who just can't follow a recipe verbatim - I'm always experimenting, with generally good, but sometimes mixed results! My goals are always to create yummy, healthy vegan food that's going to satisfy me as well as my omni hubby and friends. Here's a selection of the food I've made this past week (Barbeque Chipotle Weiners n' Beans, Veggie Pot Pie, French Onion Soup).


Barbeque Chipotle Weiners n' Beans
One of my favourite things to eat is baked beans, and last week I decided to make a vegan version of weiners n' beans (or beaners n' weins as my mom calls them). I used the sausage recipe from Vegan Brunch to make the weiners, chopped them up, and added them to cooked pinto beans and a sauce made from barbeque sauce, chipotle hot sauce, vegan worcestershire sauce (I use Annie's) and a bit of vegetable stock to thin it out. I baked it, covered, for about 45 minutes. Yum!

sausages steaming

sausages ready for chopping

weiners n' beans fresh from the oven

hearty dinner for a cold night

Veggie Pot Pie
On Tuesday my friend Stephanie came over for dinner. She made salad and I made veggie pot pie. I always use the hot water pie pastry recipe from How it All Vegan. For the filling I just chopped up and par-cooked yams, a russet potato, a parsnip, some carrots, broccoli (florets and stems), mushrooms and finely chopped spinach. With the leftover filling and pastry I made a cute little single-serving galette.

 
pie, made with love

the galette made a good lunch the next day

French Onion Soup
My husband Kirk's birthday was yesterday, and instead of going out for a fancy dinner, he wanted to stay home and have home made french onion soup with me and our friend Hugues. It's one of Kirk's favourite meals, and I used to love it too (before I found out it's made with beef broth). I've never made french onion soup before, so I looked at a bunch of recipes online and watched Alton Brown make it on Good Eats, season 1 episode 9 (I have all the seasons - it's my favourite cooking show). Then I just went for it.
I chopped up three large sweet onions, one medium red onion, and one medium white onion. There were many tears. I melted a couple of tablespoons of margarine in my non-stick high-sided frying pan, added the onions and carmelized them over medium-low heat. I made the broth from organic vegetable broth with a bit of apple cider vinegar, simmered with a bouquet garni of fresh sage, thyme and rosemary and a halved garlic clove and two bay leaves. I added the onions and simmered it for another half hour, then spooned it into two ramekins (for the guys - they had cheese on theirs) and a bowl (for me). I toasted french bread and rubbed a fresh clove of garlic on both sides. Paired with some nice red wine and good company, it was a great dinner.

a lot of sliced onions

carmelized onion smells fantastic

my bowl of soup with garlic toast on the side

Yum is right! Right now, as I write this, I'm making some lemongrass broth for my favourite soup - tom yum, or Thai hot & sour soup. I eat tom yum soup for lunch three or four times a week, but I've never truly made it from scratch. My methods are by no means traditional, and I'm making it up as I go along. To make the broth I'm boiling three lemongrass stalks, two garlic cloves, an inch of ginger and a dried red chile in a few cups of water. I removed the chile after half an hour so it didn't take over the flavour. The house seriously smells amazing!! I'll make soup in the next couple of days and post the results.

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