DDD #146 – Vegan Tamales & Neil Hamburger

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2019

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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OK – this episode features the awesome Neil Hamburger, local comedian, song man, magician & lounge act.  Neil happens to be vegan & so I invited him to make tamales on my channel.  Tamales have always intimidated me & I have never attempted making them myself.  Don’t let the length of this episode frighten you.  It is not long because it was hard to make tamales but because Neil is a fascinating conversationalist.

Click the image below to watch us make tamales from scratch, discuss vermin-infested chili factories, Greek cheese & serial killer yard sale finds, Tiffany Amber Thiessen – and more!


Vegan Tamales

This will make about 8-12 tamales – depending on how large you make them.  Depending on how fat they are – you might have extra stuffing ingredients.

INGREDIENTS

1 large package of corn husks (get more than you need because lots of them will be too small or torn) – soaked in warm water for an hour

4 cups masa flour

1 cup corn grits

6 cups vegan stock

1 package of soyrizo or other vegan chorizo – minced (optional)

Vegan grated cheese

1 cup (2 sticks) vegan butter

1 4oz can of diced green chilies

for mushrooms

1/2 lib sliced mushrooms

olive oil

4 garlic cloves – chopped

1 tsp ground cumin

pinch chili powder

S&P

for the black beans

1 15oz can black beans

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp garlic powder

pinch of chili powder

GARNISH OPTIONS – rice, beans, salsa, cheese, guacamole, lime wedges, sliced avocado, pico de gallo, cilantro

DIRECTIONS

for the mushrooms

Heat a little olive oil in a saute pan.  Add the mushrooms, cumin & chili powder & saute until soft.  Mix in the garlic & saute another minute or so.  S&P to taste.  Set aside to cool.

for the beans

Drain the beans.  In a stock pan, heat them & stir in the bay leaf, garlic powder & chili powder.  Set aside to cool.

for the tamales

In a large bowl, mash 2/3 of the butter & then smoosh in a cup of masa flour.  Add 1 cup of stock & combine.  Add the remaining 3 cups of masa & 3 cups of stock – one cup of each at a time – alternating.  ! cup masa – one cup stock.  Combine.  Repeat.  When all four cups of masa & stock are blended with the butter, add the rest of the butter & the cup of grits and the can of green chilies.  Combine – only using as much stock as you need to keep it in a cookie dough consistency.  It should not be soupy.

To assemble the tamales – find a large & untorn husk and put it on the counter – small side on the bottom – wide at the top. (The video will show this far better than I can explain in words.)  Then, put a small handful of masa in it. Pat it flat & add a small amount of whatever fillings you like in any combination you prefer.  Again – watch the video to see Neil expertly assemble a few of these.  Then – fold the bottom up – folding the masa from the bottom over some filling.  Fold the sides in pressing the masa over the filling from the sides.  Basically, create a veggie-stuffed masa Twinkie, then fold the bottom of the husk up, fold one side in & then the other.  If they are overstuffed & squirting out the top, simply double wrap them but put the open end on the bottom so the bottom fold encloses the opening.  Video shows this clearly.  Then 0 you can move on & make the rest or use a strip of husk (or kitchen twine) to tie them shut.  Repeat until all the masa is gone.

Neil steamed his tamales in his electric steamer for 65 minutes.  I steamed mine in an Instant Pot for 45 minutes.  I steamed mine upright.  I used a little terra cotta pot to keep mine upright. Neil steamed his flat.

Now – you can let them cool & freeze them for the future or eat them immediately – garnished as you like.  See?  Not hard at all!

 

 

DDD #143 – Cirque Du Macabre Vegan Chili for a Chili Cook-Off – for the Instant Pot or Slow Cooker

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2019

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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So – this weekend, I entered a Chili Cook-off!  There were only two vegan entries of the 14 adults competing & it was meat chilis that won the chili titles but I won for best presentation.  Check it out!

Click the image below to watch this on my Youtube channel.


It was a lot of fun & it raised money for the Downtown Women’s Shelter.   Kids competed, too!

Homemade Chili Powder

2 TBS smoked paprika

2 tsp oregano

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Mix & store in a jar.

Cirque Du Macabre Vegan Chili 

Serves a fuckton!

INGREDIENTS

1 TBS olive oil

2 each – Anaheim, Pasilla & Jalapeno peppers (I used 3 large jalapeno peppers)

2 small sweet potatoes – peeled & cubed

3 ears of unshucked corn or 2 (15 oz) cans of corn kernels

2 celery stalks – chopped

1 large onion (I used 1/2 white & 1/2 sweet onions) – diced

2 red bell peppers

1 TBS chili powder (recipe for homemade is above)

28oz can crushed or diced tomatoes (I used San Marzano)

2 TBS hoisin or BBQ sauce

2 TBS chipotle in adobo – minced

2 TBS vegan bouillon (I used vegan beef bouillon)

1 (4oz) can hot diced jalapenos (optional)

1 (4oz) can mild diced chilis

5 (15oz) cans of beans (I used a mixture of chili beans, light red kidney beans & black beans)

3 lbs vegan ground beef

8-10 large vegan sausages (Beyond Meat are the best)

2 (12oz) tubes vegan chorizo (soyrizo)

4 cups of water

GARNISHES: chopped cilantro, shredded vegan cheese, diced onion, chopped scallions, crushed corn chips, rice, corn bread, hot sauce

DIRECTIONS

I charred all the peppers (Anaheim, Pasilla, red bell & jalapeno) on a grill until the skins were black.  I did the same with the corn.  I put the peppers in a closed container to cool & then peeled & seeded them under cold water.  I shucked the corn.  You need not roast the peppers & corn but it adds a lovely smokiness.  Cool & chop.  Cut the grilled corn from the cobs.

I cooked the sausages on an outdoor grill.  Cook yours as you please.  Cool & chop.

Heat the olive oil in an Instant Pot or on the stove.  Saute the onions & celery until soft.  Add the chili powder & saute a minute.  Add the ground beef & brown it.

If using a slow cooker, transfer the meat from the stove to it.

Now – add everything else or as much as fits in your slow cooker of Instant pot (minding the maximum capacity line).  If it all cannot fit – leave out a few cans of beans.

Slow cooker – cook on high for 4 hours.  Add remaining beans – if they fit – & heat through.

Instant Pot – pressure cook for 45 minutes.  Add any beans you have left & stir to heat them through.

Serve!

 

DDD #131 – Luvo & Hodo Vegan Thai Curry Food Review (Nuggets & Coconut Curry Rice)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2019

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Click the image above to watch the video.

 

DDD #91 – Vegan Spicy Lemongrass & Ginger Beef with Purple Cabbage Fried Rice

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2018

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Click the image above to watch the video.  I had a head of purple cabbage in my fridge that was the size of a basketball.   I decided to add half of it to some leftover rice to accomplish two things: not waste all the cabbage & to extend the quantity of rice with some guiltless & vibrant cabbage.  I am very happy with the result both in color & the crunch the cabbage adds to the texture.  I recommend it very highly.

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Purple Cabbage Fried Rice

INGREDIENTS

(I used a tad more cabbage than rice but the ratio is up to you.)

2 cups cooked rice

2 cups chopped purple cabbage

1/2 onion – diced

1 cup grated or slivered carrots

1-5 cloves garlic – chopped

2 or more TBS fresh minced ginger

1 TBS sesame (or other) oil

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oil in a large wok or saute pan.  Add the onions, & cabbage & saute until they begin to soften.  Add the carrots, rice & ginger & stir to combine & warm through.  Add the garlic and saute another minute or two.  Serve.

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Vegan Spicy Lemongrass & Ginger Beef

Serves 2 very well (this is HALF the recipe I made in the video)

INGREDIENTS

2 or 3 stalks of lemongrass – cut into 3″ lengths & smashed with the handle of a knife (to bruise them & release the flavor.  The cooked lemongrass is inedible so pick around it in the finished dish.) . Or – use the juice of 1/2 lemon.

8+ ounces seitan (or other meat replacement like – Beyond Meat Chicken or Gardein beef or pork products)

3 dry red chilies (optional – they are quite spicy) – crumbled a bit

3 garlic cloves – chopped

2 or more cups of fresh green beans – trimmed

1 TBS sambal oelek or garlic chili paste (more for extra heat)

3 TBS vegan mushroom or oyster-favored sauce

2 TBS minced ginger

1 TBS ground anise or szechuan pepper

2 TBS dark soy sauce (it gives the seitan that dark & beefy color)

1 TBS liquid aminos (or soy sauce or tamari)

1 TBS shao xing rice wine

2 TBS brown sugar

Potential garnished: sliced red or green jalapeno peppers, basil or mint or cilantro leaves

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oil in a wok or large pan & add the dry red chilies – if using.  Add the lemongrass & saute a minute or two.  Add the green beans & saute on high heat until they begin to sear a bit.

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Add the remaining ingredients.  Add about 1/4 cup water to aid in steaming the beans a bit & create some sauce.  Heat through – until the sauce thickens.  Serve with rice.

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DDD #77 – Vegan Smoked Dal Makhani – Punjabi-Style – Instant Pot or Not!

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2018

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Click the image above to watch the video.

I love Indian food.  I always have.  I also love cooking with dry beans & lentils because they are so inexpensive & yield many servings for pennies per serving.  The only issue with Indian recipes is acquiring the exotic spices – which can be expensive if you do not buy them from an Indian market.  Ethnic markets are always the best place to buy spices because each will typically carry all you need for recipes from that area of the world and at greatly reduced prices.  If you do not live in an area with much diversity – Amazon is wonderful.  You can typically omit a few spices from most recipes with little loss of flavor but it is really satisfying to be as authentically true to a regional recipe as possible.   With Thai food, for example, getting fresh kaffir lime leaves & Thai basil makes an enormous difference.  You just open the packages of these things and are transported to your favorite Thai restaurant.  Indian food has a few staples that are hrd to get around – garam masala, for example.  But it is stuff like cardamom & fenugreek (methi) that add authenticity.  Fenugreek is an herb – pictured below – both fresh & dried.  It also comes in seed form & as a powder and it is ubiquitous in Indian recipes in one form or another.  It might be a good idea to research a few Indian recipes & stock up on the critical spices sif you want to experiment with this wonderful cuisine.  HERE is a list of the most used spices – garam masala being the most commonly used and that list omitted the kasoori (or kasuri) methi (dry fenugreek leaves) and I would add that to your list as well as amchoor (mango powder).

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I made a version of mahkani in July – seen above – my Spicy Vegan Dal Makhani (Beluga or Black Lentils) for the Slow Cooker.   That dish used beluga lentils & is not as authentic as today’s recipe. In today’s recipe I used whole black lentils (also called urad dal or black gram) and red kidney beans (rajma).    I not only soaked these beans overnight but I also cooked them in my slow cooker for 5 hours on high AND left them overnight to let the flavors meld.  I recommend this (though it is not necessary) to let the beans really soften & the flavors blend – so – if you are making this dish it takes two days before you are eating it.  Again, you definitely could eat it after the 5 hours but like many stew-type dishes – it gets better over time.  The good news is – there is no prep cooking for this dish so, except for cutting up an onion & 2 peppers – the slow cooker does all the work (except the smoking process – explained below).  The lentils & beans I used are below – dry – and as they looked after soaking them – separately – overnight.  As you can see – they changed color considerably.   This dish is traditionally very rich using varied amounts of butter & heavy cream.  I used only 2 TBS of vegan butter & 1/2 cup vegan sour cream – so this dish is not quite so heavy.

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As to smoking your dal makhani – it is VERY easy & I recommend it very highly.  It just requires a chunk of a natural charcoal & a small metal bowl.  You simply heat the coal over a burner until it is red hot, place it in a metal bowl & drizzle olive oil on it & place it atop your dal & put the lid on the slow cooker.  In ten minutes – you will have authentically, smoky goodness!  (The photo of the smoking charcoal is from my Smoked & Spicy Indian Eggplant Curry (Vegan – Vegetarian) – seen below.)

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Vegan Smoked Dal Makhani Punjabi-Style (Black Gram/Urad Dal & Rajma) – 

Serves 6+ with rice

INGREDIENTS

 1 cup dry black urad dal – soaked overnight

1/2 cup dry red kidney beans – soaked overnight

1 onion – diced

2 serrano (or jalapeno) peppers – seeded & diced

2 TBS vegan butter (or coconut or olive oil)

4 cups water (or vegetable stock)

1 cup tomato puree

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 TBS garam masala

1/2 tsp amchoor

2 TBS dry methi leaves

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp chili powder

3 green cardamom pods

1 TBS fresh or jarred ginger (I used jarred)

4 garlic cloves – minced

1/2 cup vegan sour cream

Steamed rice

GARNISH – more sour cream, cilantro or fresh fenugreek leaves

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DIRECTIONS

Soak the beans overnight.   Drain & rinse.

INSTANT POT

Heat the oil or butter using the saute setting – saute the onion & peppers until soft.  Put everything else in & cook, sealed, on manual for 35 minutes.

SLOWCOOKER

Put everything except the sour cream into a slow cooker & cook on high for at least 5 hours – maybe more.  If you are going for the overnight uber-cooking (as I did) – leave it covered overnight.  I left my cooker off as there was nothing in there that would spoil but – if you are not comfortable with that – add some water & leave it on warm overnight.

STOVE TOP

Heat the oil or butter and saute the onion & peppers in a large stock pot until soft.  Put everything else in & bring to a boil.  Reduce heat & simmer until the beans are tender – 30 minutes or so.

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Either way – the next step is the smoking (which you can skip but I recommend trying it because it is amazing.  Heat the coal over a burner until it is red hot, place it in a metal bowl & drizzle olive oil on it & place it atop your dal & put the lid on the slow cooker or Instant Pot or pan.  In ten minutes – you will have authentically, smoky goodness!

Now – stir in the sour cream.   If it is too thin – add water or vegan milk to thin it.  If it is too thin – cook it on high with the lid off until it thickens.  Mashing some of the dal with a wooden spoon or pureeing with an immersion blender gives an even creamier result.

Garnish with a dollop of sour cream & serve with rice.

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DDD #76 – Spicy Vegan Szechuan Chickpeas

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2018

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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OK.  Another SUPER DUPER easy one!!!  The first time I made it, I just threw this shit into a two serving slow cooker, hiked for two hours (that recipe is HERE) – and came back to this really spicy & really yummy dish!  This recipe now is for the stove top.   While Szechuan dishes are often very greasy – this has only one TBS of sesame oil in the whole thing.  None of the ingredients are particularly exotic & if you find one in the list you don’t have because it is too exotic for your local stores – blow it off.

These dry red chilies are kind of important for flavor but I expect most big grocery stores will carry them.  If not – sub out with crushed red pepper in a quantity that suits your tolerance for heat.

Stove top – this can be ready in 10 minutes.

Click the image below to watch the video.

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Spicy Vegan Szechuan Chickpeas 

serves 2 with rice

INGREDIENTS

2 (15 oz) cans of chickpeas

2 TBS hoisin sauce

2 TBS chili paste (chili garlic sauce or sambal oelek or sriracha)

2 TBS balsamic vinegar

1 TBS sesame oil

5 TBS low sodium soy sauce (or tamari)

1 TBS ginger – minced or grated

4 garlic cloves – minced

2 TBS Chinese rice cooking wine (not vinegar) or dry sherry

1/4 cup water

5-10 dry red chilies (halved or quartered) – THIS IS A LOT – so – use way less if you are not heat tolerant – the seeds are hot so discard if you hate spice.  I used 15 peppers in this – seeds & all – hence EXTRA spicy.  PS – you do not EAT these peppers once the dish is cooked.  Use crushed red pepper (to taste) if you cannot find these.

1 tsp Chinese Five Spice

1 tsp anise pepper (or Szechuan pepper – they are the same thing)

1 TBS cornstarch

PEANUTS as garnish

Scallions – sliced

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DIRECTIONS

Heat everything except the chickpeas & garnishes in deep pan.  Whick to blend.  Add the chickpeas & heat on high until the sauce thickens.  Stir in the peanuts.

Serve over rice with sliced scallions.  REMEMBER – do NOT eat those dry red peppers.  I mean you can – but it is not advised.

See?  EASY!

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DDD #75 – Vegan Spicy Citrus Black Beans

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2018

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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These are as easy as putting everything into a slow cooker & walking away.  I did not even pre-soak the beans.  You could speed this process up either by using canned beans or soaking dry beans overnight or quick soaking them or cooking them on a higher setting – or by doing it stove top.  These are mildly spicy & mildly citrusy.  You could ratchet either of those flavors up or down – according to your preferences.

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Vegan Spicy Citrus Black Beans (Instant Pot, Slow Cooker or Stove Top)

Feeds 6 with rice

INGREDIENTS

1 lb dry black beans

5 cups water or stock (1 cup only if using drained, canned beans)

Juice of 2 limes

juice of 1 large lemon

juice of 1 large orange

6 garlic cloves – minced

2 (or more or less) chipotle chilies in adobo – minced

1 onions – diced

3 serrano (or jalapeno) peppers – minced (or to taste)

1 TBS  ground cumin

2 TBS dry oregano (or fresh – chopped)

2 bay leaves

2 tsp dry sage

1 tsp of salt

Squirt sriracha

Garnish – cilantro & cooked rice & maybe citrus wedges to squeeze

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DIRECTIONS

SLOWCOOKER

Put it all in a slow cooker on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.  Cook uncovered longer if they are too wet – add water if they are too dry.  If they seem too runny – maybe puree a small amount of the beans & return them to the pan.

STOVE TOP

Put everything in a very large stock pot & bring to a boil & simmer until the beans are tender (90 minutes or more or until the beans are tender).  Boil longer if they are too watery.  Add water if they get too thick.  If they seem too runny – maybe puree a small amount of the beans & return them to the pan.

INSTANT POT

Put it all into the Instant Pot & cook on manual for 25 minutes.  Drain in a colander if they are too wet.  Add water if they get too dry.  If they seem too runny – maybe puree a small amount of the beans & return them to the pan.

All of these methods will go much faster with beans soaked overnight and, in the case of canned beans, the only times required is maybe an hour to let the flavors meld.

Garnish with cilantro & serve with rice.  Maybe squeeze a bit of lemon, lime or orange juice onto the beans.

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