Vegan Recipes Serious Eats – Kenji is the former food manager at Heavy Food and the site’s food consultant. He is also a New York Times food columnist and author of The Food Lab: Better Cooking than Science.
The inspiration for this recipe comes from the kind I grew up eating at the original Phoenix Garden in New York’s Chinatown, a restaurant that burned down twice, but has operated largely unchanged in its Midtown digs for the past two decades. That version includes fried shell and fried walnuts and sliced water chestnuts and vegetables to allow each portion to be unique. You spread a little hoisin sauce on the bottom of a piece of cold iceberg lettuce, scoop up some of the loose mix, and eat it with your hands like a taco. This thing is all about texture as the mixture of crunchy, crunchy, and soft bits come together in your mouth, and it works just as well with a fresh vegetable-based side.
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*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much of the nutrient in a serving of food is part of a daily diet. 2,000 calories per day is used as a general nutritional recommendation.
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Kenji is the former food manager at Heavy Food and the site’s food consultant. He is also a New York Times food columnist and author of The Food Lab: Better Cooking than Science.
There were many things that I did and learned at the group camp * I attended when I was young, only some of them were related to music, and many things that I did not care to add to a mixed company. One thing I
Talk about: our chef Glenn’s West African peanut soup. Glenn’s version was a thick, peanut-filled soup made with chicken, but maafe recipes (as they are called in Mali) are very different. Some are soup, some are more boiled. Some have chicken, some cabbage. Maafe can be flavored with turmeric and chiles, or unflavored. The only common factor that connects the different types is the heavy use of peanuts and peanut butter in the base of the sauce.
I love when the dishes are so different, as it gives me the freedom to adapt as much as I want without fear of creating something unrecognizable. My focus, then, is just making a dish that is absolutely delicious, that draws out the most flavor it can offer from ingredients that are rich, satisfying, and, in this case, vegan.
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I may have gone off the deep end here. Let me know if I get lost along the way.
Most recipes start with a pot roast, add tomatoes, stock, and peanut butter, then stir in all the vegetables or meat. After trying a few recipes that call for jarred peanut butter, I decided that the first step I would take was to use it instead of real peanuts. This gives you several advantages.
First, it allows you to control the baking rate of the nuts. Roasting peanuts in oil until very dark gives the stew a sweeter, more complex flavor than peanut butter alone. Second – and this is important – the use of nuts allows you to control the level of diabetes. Commercial peanut butter is
Sweet, and the sweetness comes out like a clot in the finished dish.** Third, it gives you more control over the finished shape.
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** If you live near a grocery store that will grind peanuts for you or you can find an unsweetened version of peanut butter that you enjoy, that will work too, but then you lose the convenience of grinding them. peanuts. . It’s a wonderful treat!
Next came the question of how to add nuts to the sauce. I tried to mix and then clean the whole mixture with a blender or an immersion blender, but it was difficult for me to get the right shape: I ended up with a very smooth soup and a large marble of peanuts.
It is very good to hit the nut with a very coarse paste in the mortar and pestlefirst, which guarantees that I have the maximum size of the nut. After mixing it into the sauce it produced a well seasoned but not too thin sauce.
With the mortar and pestle already out of my desk, I started thinking about other ways I could use it to improve the flavor.
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I found it when I was working on my guacamole recipe and Daniel reconfirmed his pesto taste and experiment, pounding the ingredients with salt in a real mortar and pestle is the best way to bring out the flavor from the aroma, producing a more flavorful dish. than a blender, food processor, or hand chop can ever happen. The salt helps draw out liquid by osmosis while the intense grinding action of a heavy mortar breaks open many of the cells, releasing more flavor than slicing and slicing.
For my spice base, I used a combination of garlic, ginger, and Serrano pepper for heat. This is where things start to get a bit messy. As I digested my scent, I couldn’t help but think:
Garlic, ginger, and chile? It sounds an awful lot like the start of a good bowl of Thaikhao soi!
Can some Thai flavors work in this soup? I threw a handful of fat cilantro (substituting the commonly called cilantro root) into the peel and got to grinding.
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I knew I was going to mix the sauce eventually and wanted to make some, so I wasn’t too worried about whipping it up completely.
I’ve already combined several Thai flavors and soup techniques, so adding one more can’t hurt, right? It’s not uncommon to stir mafe dishes into a can of coconut milk while cooking. Instead of simply adding milk, I decided to separate the fat and use it to flavor the paste, which helps develop the flavor of the paste.
For this to happen, you need a can of full fat coconut milk that has not been shaken or turned recently. Open the top and you’ll find a solid layer of coconut oil hardened on top of the can that you can easily scoop out with a spoon.
Coconut oil is actually an emulsion of fat, water, and coconut solids. You can heat it in a dutch oven and as it heats up and the water evaporates, it will eventually break down, turning into a white fat with hard coconut pieces floating around. I always add a little extra vegetable oil to the pot to help the fat break down faster and keep the coconut solids from burning before the emulsion has a chance to break down completely.
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Once that emulsion is broken, the coconut solids begin to gel. This is when you have to start stirring and keep a careful eye on the pot – the hard ones can go out of style until they burn the metal eyes. As is often the case in cooking, golden brown and nutty is the look you’re going for. The moment you hit that stage, add the curry paste and stir like crazy—you’ll simultaneously enhance the flavor and lower the temperature of the coconut oil enough to prevent it from burning the hard coconut.
If I were to follow a more traditional recipe, I would start by adding some dry spices and fresh tomatoes at this point. But with so many things already going on with the Thai seasoning, I found that anything more than a little dash of turmeric and some chopped parsley was over the top. In addition to that, I added the rest of the first can of coconut milk and a second can along with some fruit.
We’re getting close to the end now. I had the base of the sauce, so now it was time for more. Sweet potatoes are such a versatile addition that I love how they add sweetness, flavor and spice to the sauce, so I saw no reason to deviate from them.
I put in a couple of diced sweet potatoes along with the crushed peanut mixture before letting it cook until soft. After that I pureed it properly in the pot using an immersion blender
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The final combination? A bunch of others, because, despite its reputation as an overused vegetable, it is still healthy, hearty, great in soup, and most importantly, completely delicious.
You can turn it on as much as you want. I personally prefer somewhere between soup and sauce to serve with rice (black, red, black rice is especially tasty here) and mix it in the style of Indian curry. (Yes, we are visiting three countries today.)
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