Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Vegan Cheese Fondue

One of my biggest vegan pet peeves is when people spell cheese "cheez" as a way to denote its vegan-ness.  Just because vegan cheese doesn't contain milk doesn't make it not cheese. It's just our own version of cheese; we're expanding definitions here. Similarly, I hate it other vegan alternative words, such as: "Chik'n" and "Soysage" and "N'egg." Ew ew ew. Okay THAT is why people don't want to eat it. Who wants to eat something called a "Soysage, N'egg and Cheez" breakfast sandwich? SERIOUSLY. If the words themselves look processed, you can bet the food won't be much better.

So, friends, this is not "Cheez" fondue, but rather, it is Vegan Cheese Fondue. There we go, nothing processed sounding about that (except for the fact that cheese in and of itself is processed but whatever). Calling a spade a spade: it's what I do best.

This whole recipe was inspired by the lovely little fondue set that the boyfriend purchased for me, insisting that I would need it for my blog. Naturally, I rose to the challenge and decided to make fondue that very night - only, I didn't attempt chocolate fondue (as the words on the lip of the bowl would have you believe) - I decided to really push myself and try vegan cheese.

It actually turned out phenomenally well. It was creamy and smooth and light tasting and it didn't leave you with a bloated-sticky sensation in your gut (it hasn't been THAT long since I had the real thing - I remember how it feels when it's down). Basically, the recipe was as follows.

Vegan Cheese Fondue
  • 1 Tbs earth balance
  • 1/2 cup Daiya
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 package soft silken tofu
  • 1/2 cup plain soymilk
  • 1/2 cup dark beer (we used Späten Optimator - amazing flavor)
  • 3 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Braggs
  • 2 tsp mustard
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
Begin to melt the Earth Balance and Daiya in a large skillet over medium-low heat.

In a food processor, pulse the nutritional yeast and tofu until fully combined and then add to the pan.

Add half the soymilk and half the beer to the mix, whisking constantly to avoid clumpy build-up.

Whisk in the lemon juice, Braggs, mustard and spices.

Continue to alternate adding beer and soymilk until you get the desired consistency and texture! Taste test as you go and add any additional spices or liquids as you see fit :)

We paired our fondue with polenta baguette cubes, pears, apples, sauteed wild chantrelles, and grilled smart dogs. (The latter two ingredients not pictured) but it would be equally good with any variety of other vegetables (carrots and fresh bell peppers perhaps?) and/or roast apple sage field roast sausage. Mmm.

We licked the bowl clean. 

Live long and prosper. No vegan homonyms necessary.

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