Friday, June 10, 2011

Fried Okra, Green Beans and Sundried Tomato Sausages

Every once in a while I relinquish my stronghold over the kitchen and allow Colin to fry, saute, marinate or grill something. I essentially have to leave the kitchen because otherwise I will have a fit over how much oil, earth balance, sugar or BBQ sauce he throws into something. Really, I try to be good about it. I mean he is using olive oil and Earth Balance after all. I mean these are good fats, cholesterol and trans-fat free fats - how bad can they be? Still, I can't help but cringe when he throws two tablespoons of Earth Balance into the pan to cook green beens or douses veggies in olive oil to prep them for the grill. I am a baby and I minimize my use of added oils and fats to the point that it sacrifices taste - but that doesn't mean that Colin has to. And - as he so eloquently argued as he literally was pushing my whining self out of the kitchen - "What do you think you are eating when you go out Taylor? How do you think restaurants make french fries taste so good? THEY DEEP FRY THEM."

Fine. I'll allow it. In moderation. I mean he learned how to cook from Germans after all; what do I expect?

The Okra, Green Beans and Sauerkraut (which also has a good amount of EB in it) were his doing, the sausage was mine (mediocre first attempt). The only things that actually followed some kind of traceable recipe were the okra and the sausages so that is what I've got for you today.

Deep Fried Okra
(Adapted from Vegan Piggy
  • 1 pound fresh Okra (this was a "speckled shelf" inspired dish!) - chopped into 1/2 inch slices
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup ground corn meal
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic seasoning or garlic blend
  • 1 cup plain soymilk
  • canola oil for frying
Bring a 1/2 inch layer of oil in a fry pan up to heat over MEDIUM heat.

Stir together your dry ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl.

Dip a handful of your okra pieces into soymilk and then toss them into the dry ingredient mixture.

Drop into the hot oil and let fry until golden brown :)

Remove from oil and set on paper towels to let the excess oil drain off.

Dip in sauce of choice and munch!

    Sundried Tomato Seitan "Sausages"
    (Adapted from Veggie Num Num)

    For the Broth
    • 3 cups veggie broth
    • 3 cups water
    • 1/4 cup soy sauce
    • 1/2 can of fire roasted tomatoes (you will only use 1/2 the can in the actual sausage recipe - below)
    • 1 Tbs Sriracha
    • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
    • 2 tsp italian seasoning
    • Onion/carrot/celery scraps (any misc. veggie pieces you want to throw it to give it flavor)
    Bring all broth ingredients to a boil while you are preparing the sausages.

    For the Sausages
    • 1/4 cup raw cashews, lightly toasted
    • 1/2 yellow onion
    • 3 cloves garlic
    • 1/4 cup hydrated sun-dried tomatoes
    • 1 can fire-roasted tomatoes (preferably with green peppers in them as well)
    • 1/2 lb vital wheat gluten flour
    • 2 tsp paprika
    • 2 tsp cayenne
    • 2 tsp Italian seasoning blend
    • 1 cup veggie broth
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • Kitchen Twine (we used dental floss - no kitchen twine to be found in my kitchen)
    • 6 pieces Cheesecloth (cut into squares that are about 6 inches X 6inches)
    Pulse the cashews, onion, garlic and sundried tomatoes in a food processor until chopped finely but not pulverized. They should still have a noticeable texture to them.  Add in 1/2 the can of fire-roasted tomatoes and pulse a few more times.

    In a large bowl, combine the gluten flour and all spices. Mix in the cashew/tomato mixture and then slowly add in the veggie stock and olive oil, mixing constantly.

    Mix all ingredients together for about 4-5 minutes or until you have an elastic, stringy dough.

    Divide the dough out into 6 pieces. Form each one into a sausage-type shape and place in the center of a square of cheesecloth. Wrap the cheesecloth tightly around the sausage and use twine/floss to tie it at each end.

    Place each sausage in the boiling broth and reduce to a simmer. Allow to gently simmer for 30-40 minutes.

    Remove sausages from broth, allow to cool slightly and then cut off the cheesecloth. In a large fry pan or on the grill, grill each sausage until golden on all sides.

    Top sausage with mustard and bottom with sauerkraut and munch!

    I can't wait to get better at this recipe. It has a lot of potential but definitely needs some refining. Colin loved them and I think all six were gone in a matter of two days, but still! They will be better next time :)
    Om noms.

    Live long and prosper! And share your kitchen...sometimes.

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