Thursday, May 28, 2009

Whole Wheat Bolillos

Every time I bake these days I feel a bit of sadness because it is going to be too hot to use the oven very soon. I guess I'll play around with grilled pizzas and flatbreads instead for a few months.

These bolillos have a crispy exterior and a soft interior. They can be used as an accompaniment to soup or to make tortas; one traditional torta has spicy refried beans and vegetables for a filling. They are kneaded in the food processor and feature a boiled cornstarch wash before baking to give them a lovely crust.

Makes 8 rolls

¼ c. warm water (about 110 degrees F)
1 Tbsp. active dry yeast
1 tsp. agave nectar
1 Tbsp. non-hydrogenated vegan margarine such as Earth Balance
1 c. whole wheat flour
¾ tsp. sea salt
1 ¾ c. unbleached flour
½ to 1 c. warm water (about 110 degrees F)
1 tsp. cornstarch
½ c. cold water

Dissolve yeast, agave nectar, and margarine in ¼ c. warm water in bowl of food processor with the steel blade for five minutes. Add whole wheat flour, salt, and unbleached flour to the food processor; process for 10 seconds to blend. With food processor running, add water slowly until dough forms a ball that just clears the side of bowl. Process until the ball of dough turns around the bowl 25 times. Let dough stand for 2 minutes.

Start processing again and add more warm water until dough becomes smooth and satiny but still not too sticky. Process until the ball of dough turns around the bowl 15 times. Place dough on greased surface and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise 30 minutes.Remove plastic wrap and knead dough briefly, about 30 seconds. Divide into 8 pieces.

Pat out each piece of dough into a 3” square. Roll up as seen in photo above and pinch seam together. Pinch the ends so it tapers and looks like a spindle. Let bolillos rise on a greased cookie sheet until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Whisk together cornstarch and water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Brush cornstarch mixture over risen bolillos. With a very sharp knife, cut a slash about 3” lengthwise in each bolillo. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until rolls are golden. Remove and cool on a wire rack.

Here's one of my favorite tortas - I put homemade hummus, capers, slivered scallions, and red leaf lettuce on a bolillo.

I submitted this post to Yeastspotting which I highly recommend if you like lots of eye candy in bread form.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Here's our Memorial Day menu in its entirety. The menu includes the pasta salad I posted, my simple baked beans, corn on the cob, chocolate cookies, and some tofu hot dogs.

I also made a few recipe from Isa Chandra Moskowitz' new book Vegan Brunch. DH's favorite was amazingly enough the Italian Feast Sausages seen below. I sauteed them with onions and peppers before serving. In the book Isa says she was inspired by the Italian sausage recipe from Everyday Dish TV HERE.

In addition to the sausages from the book I made the Potato Spinach Squares and the Puttanesca Scramble. I also dipped some strawberries in dark chocolate.

Here's our CSA box for this week. I added a few extra things - strawberries, some New Mexico Valencia peanuts (they're very buttery), peanut butter made from the same peanuts, and some fair trade organic coffee that was roasted locally.

Whenever I get mint in the CSA box I'm inspired to do some Vietnamese Spring Rolls. I will share my recipe soon. I found these adorable mini rice paper wrappers to make teeny tiny spring rolls at Ta Lin Market so I'll use those.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Whole Wheat Pasta Salad with Basil

I have to admit something. I routinely overcook whole wheat pasta - on purpose. I really prefer the flavor and texture. It doesn't seem to break down like white pasta or become gummy like overcooked rice pasta. It is also why I love to use whole wheat pasta in big pots of soup - over time the pasta keeps it shape if you have leftovers and reheat it several times.

For this recipe I wrote 10 minutes for the cooking time which is the standard cooking time but actually I cook it 15 minutes at least.

Whole Wheat Pasta Salad with Basil

Makes six servings

6 oz. whole wheat rotini or other whole grain pasta (I used Trader Joe's organic rotini)
3 lg. scallions, diced
1 1/2 c. thawed frozen peas
2 ribs celery, sliced
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup Vegenaise or other vegan mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta in boiling water until tender, about 10 minutes. In serving dish mix scallions, peas, celery, basil, and vegan mayonnaise. Drain pasta well and add to serving dish. Stir to combine. If desired, garnish with some extra basil leaves or slivered scallion greens.

I'm serving this for our Memorial Day feast along with tofu hot dogs, corn on the cob liberally sprinkled with chipotle powder, the to-die-for chocolate-chocolate chip walnut cookies from Veganomicon, and maybe some homemade baked beans if I can find my recipe.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Soup and CSA Contents

Other than the semolina pasta recipe I posted, my favorite new recipe this month is this delightful soup. It is the Toasted Bread, Bean and Vegetable Soup from Sunset Magazine - their version of a lighter ribollita. I subbed veg. broth for the chicken, used some pretty ruby red chard, and omitted the Parmesan. For the bread cubes I used some sourdough pesto bread I made in the bread machine.

I have to admit feeling a lot of relief when our CSA newsletter this week from Farmer Monte said that the higher temperatures are negatively affecting most of the greens they grow. Our box this week contains tatsoi (look on the lower left) along with Romaine, salad mix, Swiss chard, spinach, and the greens attached to the beets. The collards in our cold frame also need harvesting soon.

Now if you'll excuse me my much anticipated pre-ordered copy of Isa Chandra Moskowitz' Vegan Brunch cookbook just arrived and I'm off to do a massive day of cooking. I adore her books and would buy a book on vegan doorknobs if she wrote it. Best of all her next book (due in November) is on vegan cookies!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Whole Wheat Dark Chocolate Cookies w/Craisins

Whole Wheat Dark Chocolate Cookies with Craisins
Makes about 30 small cookies

I call these chocolate chip cookies for grownups. They freeze well and they taste even better the next day.

1 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1 c. unbleached flour
1 c. dark chocolate chunks (I buy the Whole Foods 365 brand dark chocolate mini chunks)
1/2 c. craisins (dried, sweetened cranberries)
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. sea salt
1/2 c. canola oil
1/2 c. agave nectar
1/2 c. water
1 t. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray two baking sheets with canola oil.

In a large bowl mix flours, chocolate, craisins, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl whisk together oil, sweeteners, water, and vanilla. Stir wet ingredients into dry.

I use a tsp. scoop to shape each cookie. Place on baking sheet an inch apart. (These cookies will not spread.)

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to rack to cool.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Santa Fe Farmer's Market

Yesterday we went to Santa Fe Farmer's Market. It was voted one of the top ten farmer's markets in the country by USA Today. This building was added in the past year or so.

I have a freezer full of bread right now but one of these days I want to try some of the neat flavored flatbreads from Intergalactic Bread Company.

I was hoping to find some fun varieties of garlic but I was a bit early I think. There were tons of spring greens for sale - you could actually smell the arugula as you walked around the market.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Semolina Pasta in the Bread Machine

I like to make my own pasta but have only done it once without eggs from a recipe online. That effort wasn't a total success but recently I was paging through Beth Hensperger's Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook and saw that she had a semolina pasta recipe that didn't use eggs. I used her recipe to make ravioli and it worked extremely well - DH pronounced the ravioli "excellent" and ate about 10 of them. For the filling I pureed organic firm tofu, raw spinach, homemade basil pesto, and lemon juice in the food processor. I served the ravioli with my slow-cooked marinara sauce.

Here is the pasta recipe - I'm paraphrasing it quite a bit because it is long. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has a bread machine. It is 644 pages of wonderful bread recipes. I don't know if there is a difference between semolina pasta flour and other types of semolina flours - I buy semolina flour in bulk at Whole Foods or Vitamin Cottage in Albuquerque .

Beth Hensperger's Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook
Makes 1 1/2 lbs pasta or 7 to 8 servings
For 1 1/2 lb or 2 lb loaf machines

7/8 cup warm water
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups unbleached all-purpose or bread flour
1 cup semolina pasta flour
1 tsp. salt (I used 1/2 tsp)

1. Place all the ingredients in the bread pan according to the order in the manufacturer's instructions. Program for the Dough or Pasta Dough cycle; press Start. Set a kitchen timer for 7 minutes. When the timer rings, check the dough ball that has collected on the blade. It should be firm but not pliable. If it is too dry, add a couple drops of water while the machine is kneading. If it is too moist, sprinkle in some all-purpose flour, a teaspoon at a time. Reset the timer for 3 more minutes. When the timer rings press Stop to cancel the cycle.

2. Remove the dough from the pan. Form into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. (The dough can be refrigerated at this point for up to 3 days, but bring to room temperature before rolling out.) The dough is now ready to roll out and cut as desired.

The recipe goes on for two more pages but here is what I did with it at this point.

I have a hand-cranked pasta machine. I started putting the dough through the thickest setting (on my machine that setting is 7) and folded the dough back up and put it through the machine again and again, finally ending up on the 5 setting.

Then I took the rolled pasta sheet, added some filling (a scant Tbsp filling per ravioli), folded the sheet and formed ravioli with the red wheeled ravioli cutter that came with my machine. Before cutting it is important to press the dough around the filling to remove air holes as seen below.

The raviolis were put on a floured baking sheet to rest in the refrigerator until time for dinner. Then I boiled them for about 3-4 minutes until tender.

I'm very happy with the tenderness and flavor of the dough recipe. I think my raviolis were still thicker than I liked and there was a too large proportion of pasta to filling. Next time I'll roll the dough out until a 4 in thickness on my machine and I'm going to get some new ravioli stamps and fillers. This recipe made about 22 raviolis.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

More Greens from the CSA

I ordered extra strawberries from our CSA this week along with mushrooms and some NM peanut butter from Valencia peanuts grown in Eastern NM. Those oranges are Florida Valencias which are in season this month and are apparently are considered the Cadillac of all the oranges.

And here are all the greens. When you add in the greens we have growing in our cold frame it looks like every meal this week will revolve around greens. We received spinach, salad mix, arugula, red leaf lettuce, turnip greens, and bok choy.

Here are the books I turn to use up my CSA produce; although most are not vegetarian they still have lots of recipes I can use.

Greens Glorious Greens by Johnna Albi and Catherine Walthers - I like this book because it is divided by type of green and it even includes a section on wild greens. There is a tahini dandelion concoction I may try this week.

The Greens Book by Susan Belsinger and Carolyn Dille (1995, Interweave Press) - I found this at the Page One Too used bookstore in Albuquerque but am not sure if it was ever even in print. My Library Thing search engine can't even find this book listed. It is divided by type of dish rather than green and has really beautiful photos.

Sam Okamato's Incredible Vegetables - I bought this online at a book closeout web site and I greatly enjoy it. As far as I can tell this book is vegan. He includes a section on whole grains and has many interesting recipes, most with a macrobiotic or Asian bent.

The Good Housekeeping Step-by-Step Vegetable Cookbook - This photo-heavy book is divided up by specific vegetable and includes a salad know-how chapter, a pasta chapter and a section on grains and beans. Nutritional info is included for each recipe.

From Asparagus to Zucchini: A Guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce, 3rd Ed., Madison Area Community Supported Agriculture Coalition. This book is so helpful even our CSA sells it to members. It is divided into sections for each vegetable and has contributions from many market gardeners so the recipes run the range from quite simple (kohlrabi sprinkled with lime and chili powder to more time-consuming ones. I just realized this book has four pages of cookbook recommendations at the end so I need to check those out.

Rolling Prairie Cookbook: Over 130 recipes celebrating fresh produce, Nancy O'Connor. This book is vegetarian - many of the recipes use cheese. It is also divided up into sections by vegetable and includes helpful storage and preparation information. She does include nutritional analyses for each recipe.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Rosemary-Garlic Pan Rolls

Although I love kneading bread by hand and I enjoy my Kitchenaid mixer and my bread machine, I use my food processor most of the time for yeast breads.

Rosemary-Garlic Pan Rolls

These are lovely, soft pull-apart rolls. They are a savory version of monkey bread. Fresh rosemary is mixed in the dough and the pieces of dough are dipped in garlic oil before placing in the pan. I serve these straight from the pan at dinner.

Makes 16 rolls

1/4 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)
2 tsp. agave nectar
1 package (1/4 oz) active dry yeast
2 3/4 cups unbleached flour (use the spoon into the measuring cup method rather than the scoop and pack method to measure flour)
1 Tbsp. Earth Balance or other non-hydrogenated vegan margarine
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 cup fresh rosemary leaves (remove from woody stems, no need to mince, the food processor will do it)
1/2 to 1 c. warm water
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves minced garlic

Combine 1/4 c. water with agave nectar and yeast. Let stand until bubbly, about 5 minutes.

With steel blade, combine flour, margarine, salt, and rosemary leaves in food processor. Process until mixed, about 10 seconds. Add yeast mixture and process another 10 seconds.

Slowly drizzle 1/3 c. warm water through feed tube into flour mixture until dough forms a ball that cleans the sides of the bowl. Process until dough turns around bowl about 25 times. Let dough stand a few minutes to rest.

Turn on processor again and gradually drizzle enough remaining water to make dough soft, smooth and satiny. (It should not stick to your hands at this point.) Process until dough turns around bowl 15 times.

Shape dough into ball and place into lightly greased bowl, turning to grease all sides. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place for 30 minutes.

Divide dough into quarters, then divide again into quarters making 16 pieces. Shape each piece into a ball, lightly dip in oil on all sides, and arrange in a greased 8-inch round cake pan.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until dough fills entire pan as seen in above photo.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Remove plastic wrap from rolls and bake until golden, about 25 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

I hope you enjoy these rolls! I am also going to submit this post to Yeastspotting.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Cream of Broccoli Soup w/Mixed Greens

Yesterday in the comments Michelle (DKM) recommended that I make some soup to freeze to get rid of some of my excess greens. I thought that was a really good idea and cut some spinach and collards from the cold frame to get started.

Cream of Broccoli Soup with Mixed Greens

Serves 6

I've tried a couple different ways to make creamy soups without dairy (tofu, non-dairy milks, oatmeal) but my favorite method is by using pureed white beans.

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 large leek, cleaned well and sliced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable broth
3 cups broccoli florets
4 cup mixed dark leafy greens (try collards, spinach, kale, chard, etc)
15 oz. can cannellini beans, drained
salt to taste (depends on how much salt is in your broth and beans)
lots of freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup nutritional yeast (optional but gives it a "cheesy" flavor)

Right Before Serving:
Juice from half a lemon
2 Tbsp. white miso

Saute leeks and garlic in olive oil for five minutes, stirring occasionally, in a large pot. Add broth, broccoli and greens and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook 15 minutes or until broccoli is just tender. Add white beans and salt and pepper. Let simmer another five minutes. Using a hand blender puree soup until creamy. At this point it can be frozen.

Immediately before serving stir in lemon juice and miso.

This is Patch. She's waiting to be adopted at Petco West Side on Old Airport Road in Albuquerque. The woman who grooms the dogs says Patch is very curious and just loves watching the dogs get haircuts. She'd be a great first-time house rabbit.
You can also meet Patch tomorrow, May 9th, at our next Rabbit Adoptathon between 10 am and 2 pm at the Petco Lomas (10700 Lomas NE). Please stop by to meet our adoptable rabbits and talk to our knowledgeable rabbit people. You can also bring your bunnies in to get their claws clipped or to bond with another bunny.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Recipes I've Tried Lately

First here's our CSA haul for the week. This time of year it can be challenging to use up all the greens but I'm going to start freezing some and basing some of our meals around main dish salads. Fortunately I have a pet rabbit who lives to eat.

This is the Pumpkin Sourdough Bread from Beth Hensberger's bread machine book. I thought it needed more sweetener but DH loved it.

These are an adaptation of the Chesapeake Tempeh Cakes from Isa Chandra Moskowitz' blog. I changed a few things to reduce the sodium and didn't make the sauce. I made my own bread crumbs but I need to try them with panko next time. They were really tasty though.

This is a Food Network recipe for a Peanut-Lime Salad Dressing I saw on the Simply Delicioso show. I was really hoping it would work as I'm always looking for more salad dressings but it mainly tasted like really sweet peanut butter. I'm proud to say that is my home grown spinach though - we planted some in the cold frame back in October and it is still going strong. We need to take the cold frame cover off because it is getting too hot in there now.

I made these chocolate chip bars from a recipe on a package of some grain-sweetened chocolate chips. They weren't a success although the chips were quite good.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Here is my tamale recipe using fresh masa. I did two different fillings - spicy vegetarian refried beans with cooked shredded collards and chard and roasted green chiles with non-dairy cream cheese. There are all sorts of veg. fillings you can use for tamales - I've done sauteed wild mushrooms, walnuts and non-dairy cheese, fresh corn scraped from the cob with leeks and cilantro, whole chipotle chiles in adobo, etc. You can even do sweet tamales with fruit filling. The sky is the limit!

I buy fresh masa in 5 lb. bags and freeze it then thaw it to use part of the container for this recipe. Unfortunately corn husks have greatly ballooned in price lately - a 12 oz bag was almost 6 dollars at my local grocery the other day. (Note to self: dry your own darn corn husks in the future.)

I've also used aluminum foil for tamale wrappers as recommended in Huntley Dent's A Feast of Santa Fe and that works just as well. I use non-hydrogenated margarine for my tamale dough; most tamale recipes I've seen use some sort of solid fat. Kippy Nigh's A Taste of Mexico has a tamale recipe that uses oil but I haven't tried it.

(Makes about 40 tamales)

1 cup non-hydrogenated non-dairy margarine
5 cups fresh masa dough
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup broth (cold broth is best here)
Salt to taste (I didn't use any because the margarine I chose was pretty salty.)

About 4 oz. dried corn husks, rehydrated in hot water for about 20 minutes
Your choice of fillings (you'll need about 1 Tbsp filling per tamale)

Place margarine in bowl of an electric mixer and beet until fluffy. Add masa, baking powder, and broth and beat at high speed for 10 minutes. The resulting mixture should look similar to cake batter as seen below. Add salt to taste.

Rick Bayless says that you can ensure that your tamales will be light and fluffy by taking a tsp. of the dough at this point and seeing if it floats in a glass of water. Honestly I've had some pretty heavy tamales that still passed the float test. My theory is that if your tamale dough is too dry your tamales will be too dense and heavy. This tamale dough is pretty liquid and the resulting tamales are nice and light.

Take a few of your rehydrated corn husks and tear them into 1/3" strips lengthwise to be used for tying each end of the tamale. Place about 1/4 cup of the tamale dough in the center of one or two corn husks and top with 1 Tbsp. of your choice of filling.

Roll up your corn husks and tie each end with a corn husk strip. Place tamales in a steamer and steam them for 45 minutes. Make sure you remember to replenish the steamer water several times over the 45 minutes. You can also freeze your tamales at this point. I freeze them in packs of 12 for a meal - I eat 4 and DH eats a whopping 8 tamales for a meal.

Here they are served with the red chile sauce I talked about yesterday.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Red Chile Sauce

Adding tomato to red chile sauce is a bit controversial here in NM. We use Rick Bayless' recipe for our red chile sauce (with tomato) which is part of the recipe found HERE. We occasionally make red chile sauce more quickly using Chimayo chile powder or the Bueno frozen red chile purees but this sauce is quite possibly one of the top ten best things I've ever tasted. And that is really saying something because I'm very much a green chile person.

Whole dried red chiles are available in big bags anywhere in NM in supermarket produce sections. These are guajillos and occasionally we do add one or two dried chipotles or anchos for an even more complex sauce.

The dried chiles need to be toasted in a cast iron pan. It only takes a few minutes but will perfume your whole house with the most wonderful spicy almost chocolate-like aroma. After the chiles are toasted they need to be submerged in hot water with a weight on top.

After the chiles have soaked, they are pureed with garlic and canned tomatoes. Virtually everything plastic that comes into contact with this mixture will become stained. I have an entire collection of chile-stained spatulas.

Next comes the hard part. The puree needs to be strained to get rid of all the chile skins. I've occasionally seen recipes that do not strain out the seeds and pieces of chile skins but it is impossible to puree this enough to make a smooth sauce otherwise.

The strained puree goes back to a pan with some oil and is cooked down to the consistency of tomato paste. Then it is cooked for a long time with some veg. broth until the desired consistency. A bit of sweetener improves the chile flavor quite a bit.

Tomorrow for Cinco de Mayo I'll post my tamale recipe using fresh masa dough. I like to serve tamales with red chile sauce on special occasions. Once I even made tamales for Thanksgiving.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Garbanzo Veggie Burgers

Garbanzo Veggie Burgers

Makes 7 burgers

These mild-flavored nutty burgers are a variation of the Veggie Cheeseburgers from 'Tis the Season.You can vary these by adding various spices - Cajun seasoning or smoked paprika works well in these. Add all your favorite burger toppings and condiments- I like roasted green chiles and some non-dairy cheese. These freeze well - I freeze them after they've been fried and then microwave them to reheat.

I have tried these using my George Foreman grill but unfortunately these fragile burgers don't hold together well enough - you really need to cook these in oil. To keep your veggie burgers (whatever recipe you use) from falling apart during the cooking process make sure you chill them before cooking and do not crowd them in the pan. That way it is easier to get your spatula (preferably flexible) underneath them to flip them.

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 onion, finely diced (about 1 cup diced)
15 oz. can garbanzo beans, no-salt-added, drained and mashed coarsely
1 c cooked long grain brown rice
1/4 cup cashew butter or tahini
1/2 tsp. salt or to taste
Canola oil for frying

Saute onion for 5 minutes in oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute an additional 3 minutes, stirring, or until lightly browned. Add remaining ingredients to skillet (the heat of the pan will help melt the cashew butter so it mixes well. If mix isn't forming together well enough at this point, use a potato masher to break up the beans more.

Form into 7 patties, using about 1/3 cup mix for each patty. Put on a plate and chill 1 hour or until serving time.

Fry in canola oil over medium heat until browned on each side - about 4 minutes per side. Carefully remove from pan and let cool slightly on paper towels. These burgers are delicate and won't survive a lot of manhandling at this point.

Serve with your favorite condiments and relishes.

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