Archive for the 'vegetarian' Category

Really Good Veggie Chili

Veggie chili

W lives in Minecraft world, where even when he’s not attached to the screen everything revolves around swords and armor and pickaxes and protecting oneself from creepers. The creepers in my world are the cinnamon buns that I have to bake in the morning for a photo shoot, and then sit lustily on the countertop, warm and needing to be eaten. The succession of recipes to be tested and photographed – the pizza straight from the oven, the baked cheese and waffles and pasta carbonara that I have to make and shoot, still steaming, before it gets dark. The lunch meetings and restaurant openings, the rationalization that I need to eat all this, in the name of research. It’s my job, dammit.

Veggie chili 2

So in the interest of preservation of self and pants, I’ve decided to arm myself with pots of flavourful, veggie-heavy food at all times. Things like soup and chili and baking sheets of roasted veggies. Because it’s harder to go overboard on a bowl of veg than a pile of just-baked biscuits, and even if you do, you’ll feel better for it. Or so I’m told.

(Also? This veggie chili is really good. And it gets better with time in the fridge, so you can dip into it all week.)

Really Good Veggie Chili

This is almost the same as one I made all the time years ago, but I read about Jamie roasting his sweet potato first, which seemed like a very good idea. (On the other hand, I don’t like cinnamon in my chili – I only added a pinch.)

1 medium dark-fleshed sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
canola oil, for cooking
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
1 yellow pepper, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bunch cilantro
1 Tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
pinch cinnamon
2 19 oz (540 mL) cans beans, such as kidney, black, romano or chickpeas
2 19 oz (540 mL) cans diced or whole tomatoes, or one of each
crumbled feta, for serving (optional)

Preheat the oven to 425F.

Spread the sweet potato out on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle generously with oil and toss around with your hands to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast for 25-30 minutes, until tender and turning golden.

Set a medium pot over medium-high heat, add some oil and saute the onion , peppers and garlic for a few minutes, until soft. Chop and add the cilantro stems and about half of the leaves (save the rest to put on top) along with the chili powder and cumin and cook for another few minutes.

Add the beans and tomatoes, scrape the roasted sweet potatoes into the pot, season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer; cook for 30-45 minutes, until thickened. If you like, continue to cook it over low heat, or cool it down and refrigerate overnight to let the flavours develop a bit. Otherwise, it’s good to go. Serve hot, topped with crumbled feta (or sour cream) and fresh cilantro.

Serves 8.

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January 19 2015 | beans and one dish and vegetarian | 10 Comments »

Cauliflower Fritters with Lemony Mayo

Cauliflower Fritters 1

I know, it (kind of) defeats the purpose of eating cauliflower to deep fry it and serve it with lemony mayo. (Then again, if you’re going to eat fried food, you may as well get a cauliflower out of it.)

cauliflower 1

Parka season = beer batter season, right? And when everyone has planted themselves on the couch for a hockey game or movie or rousing game of Munchkin, they inevitably want to eat something. And I like it when that something can fall simultaneously into multiple categories: 1) salty, 2) dippy, and 3) edible with fingers. (And truly, a platter of crudites and dip never gets a welcome response on a snowy Saturday night.) Cauliflower florets have a lovely creamy texture and mellow flavour, but if you’re like me, once you have a bowl of batter and a pot of oil at your disposal, you may go a little nuts, deep-frying anything you can find in your fridge. (I imagine a zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced, would also make a great candidate.)

cauliflower fritters

I got this recipe (more or less – it did require some finessing for home use) from my pal Paul from the much-loved Rouge and Bistro Rouge, where apparently the majority of tables down an order of these before dinner. I’ve made them a few times since, because a) they’re awesome, and b) don’t require you to get dressed and shovel off the car.

In other news, I have a meeting tomorrow afternoon with a new web designer! For real! It’s my resolution (new year or not) to say no to all extra things until I give this place an overhaul. I’m sorry the design is so dated, and that the Index hasn’t been updated since 2009. Is there anything you’d like to see, in terms of design, content or functionality? And on the home front, the kitchen is almost ALMOST done – it’s functional, but still needs a backsplash, which is being cut and painted now, and is scheduled to be installed on Friday. I’ll keep you posted and do a proper update… likely on Monday, when a photographer is coming to shoot it for the cover story of the spring issue of Flavours Magazine! It’s a good thing my life revolves around deadlines, or I’d never get anything done.

Cauliflower Fritters with Lemony Mayo

With thanks to Bistro Rouge, where they serve these babies with Hollandaise for dipping.

1 small cauliflower, cut into florets
1 1/2 cups beer (I used Wild Rose Velvet Fog)
2 cups all-purpose flour

Lemony Mayo:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
finely grated zest and juice of a lemon (or to taste)
1 garlic clove, finely crushed
1 tsp. grainy mustard
salt and pepper, to taste

Steam cauliflower florets until tender; cool and refrigerate until needed. In a deep bowl, whisk flour with beer and a big pinch of salt until smooth, dip cooked cauliflower florets in the batter and carefully place one at a time in a deep-fryer, preheated to 360?F; cook until golden brown. (Alternatively, heat a couple inches of canola oil in a pot until it’s hot but not smoking – a scrap of bread should sizzle when dipped in. Cook a few at a time, without crowding the pot.) Remove with a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt.

To make the mayo, stir all the ingredients together in a bowl, adding enough juice to keep it thick, yet tangy, and seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Serve the fritters immediately, with the mayo for dipping.

Serves 4-6.

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January 14 2015 | appetizers and veg and vegetarian | 20 Comments »

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