Saturday, October 13, 2007

Peanut Butter Hummus

Awhile ago I bought some chick peas at the grocery store. They've been sitting in my cupboard for a few months, and today I decided it was time to do something with them. What can you do with chick peas? For one thing, you can make hummus.

As far as I can tell, hummus has four main ingredients: chick peas, lemon, garlic and tahini. I didn't have any tahini so I used peanut butter instead.

To make the hummus all I really did was throw everything into the blender and blend it. I used a can of chick peas, 2 cloves of garlic, 2 gobs of peanut butter and half a lemon. If you're wondering what the red stuff is, I decided to add a spoonful of paprika at the last minute to spice it up a bit. I also had to add a little bit of water because the stuff wouldn't blend properly without it.

After blending it was a little more watery than I was hoping, which was probably a result of the water I added. Meh.

I scooped some into a bowl and ate it as a snack with some crackers and carrots. It was pretty tasty. I think next time I might want to use a bit more spice. I'm not sure how close the taste is to actual hummus because I've only had it a few times, and I don't remember what it tastes like. It made a lot more than I thought it would... I wonder how long this stuff will keep in the fridge?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Vegan Pasta

The purpose of today's cooking adventure was to see what fake soy cheese was all about. Continue reading for the results...

Meet the ingredients: Pasta, Coconut Milk, White Beans, White Onions, Garlic, Shallots, Fake Soy Havarti, Shallots, Yellow Pepper, Red Pepper, Endives...

Margarine, Flour, Sun Dried Tomatoes in Oil, Capers and Olive Oil.

My first thought was to make a basic Mornay Sauce without the butter, milk or cheese. So, let's just call this a "Yanrom Sauce". I made a "roux" with margarine and flour. Then I poured in a can of scalded coconut milk.

This is the soy havarti, aka fake cheese. Since I couldn't find fake edam or parmigiano-reggiano, I settled for something with a hopefully creamy taste. I was wrong. Fake cheese is awful. Icky, ick, ick! So with nothing else to do with the entire $6 block of fake cheese, I put all of its 900 calories into the sauce hoping the other ingredients would obfuscate its flavour.

At least it melted, but it's just not gooey or stringy. Add salt, pepper and I also put in a few capers for good measure.

While the cheese is melting in the sauce, use some olive oil in another pan to fry the onion, then shallots and finally the garlic. After a Little While (tm) add the rinsed out can of white beans, sun dried tomatoes and chopped up peppers. I deglazed with water a couple times. If white wine were on hand, that would have been the preferred deglazing agent.

Now came the endives. I've never cooked with them before and they were expensive!

Chop, chop chop! Endives are grown underground so they remain white. Raw, they are somewhat bitter.

To complete the sauce, I combined both pots together.

And there it is, on top of some pasta. Tasty. You can barely taste the cheese at all! I'm not sure how to describe the flavour. It's an Asian-Italian-Hippie infusion.