January 8, 2008
New Cookbook Mania
We are rolling in cookbooks over at my house. I got both Veganomicon and Vegan With a Vengeance (can you believe I didn’t have it before?) for Channukah, plus I got my mom How to Cook Everything Vegetarian—approximately the size of a dictionary—so I have more recipes than I know what to do with. I’ve been sticking with Veganomicon so far (I had to narrow it down somehow) and it hasn’t failed me.
Actually, my first attempt was the Chocolate Rum Pudding Cake from VwaV, but my springform pan leaked most of the pudding, so I ended up with a tasty but hideous brown disc. Next I figured I had to try the chickpea cutlets from Veganomicon, since I’ve seen half a dozen tantalizing picture of them on various blogs, which I made with roasted Brussels sprouts (pictured rather unglamorously above). [Edit: I found out on Have Cake, Will Travel that this recipe is now online. It is without a doubt your lucky day.] I made a recipe and a half (six cutlets) for three, and that was the right amount for us. The cutlets came out well. My parents were enthusiastic about them (although my mom and I agreed that they could use less soy sauce, as they were a tad salty) and equally enthusiastic about the sprouts. Boiled or steamed Brussels sprouts can be nice, but roasted sprouts are what converted me from scoffer to scarfer.
Tonight I made the Sautéd Seitan with Mushrooms and Spinach and served it with Lemony Roasted Potatoes. Again, both successes, though I wish I knew how to manipulate seitan better. I’ve never cooked with it before; I’ve heard it’s easy to make, but I bought the chicken-style kind from the store and used it as the recipe dictated. It wasn’t tough, as I had worried originally—if anything, it was slightly too soft. Any advice on how to make it crispier? My dad thought breading and pan-frying it first might help. Nevertheless, this dish was tasty and very easy to make. The potatoes were actually more time-consuming than I expected (prep plus cooking exceeded the 55 minutes listed in the cookbook), but they deliver on the promise of Greek diner-style wedges. I’m ready for more Veganomicon!