Blogs > Vegging Out

Helen Bennett Harvey promises that no animals were harmed in the making of this blog. Vegging Out is a recipe for a new way of life. Or at least a new way of eating. Pull up a chair. Contact me at:

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

A cookbook and new recipes

I finally chose a cookbook! It's called Vegetarian Planet by Didi Emmon.
I tried two good recipes from it over the weekend which Helen requested I share here on the blog.

The first is called All-American Pot Pie. It's basically chicken pot pie without the chicken.

1 tablespoon butter
8 cups any combination of the following vegetables: corn kernels, 1/2-inch cubes of carrot, chopped red bell pepper, chopped zucchini, spinach leaves (firmly packed), sliced onions and 1/2-inch cubes of potato (I also put broccoli in, which was good)
1 large garlic clove, minced
1-1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons unbleached white flour
2 cups warmed milk
1 pinch fresh or dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
4 to 5 tablespoons ice water

1. Make the filling: In a 12 or 14 inch, preferably non-stick skillet, heat the 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add all of the vegetables and saute them for 5 minutes stirring often. Add the garlic and saute for 5 minutes more stirring. Sprinkle the 3 tablespoons flour over the vegetables and stir the mixture over the heat for 2 minutes. Add the warmed milk slowly, stirring all the while to avoid lumps. Stir in thyme. Bring the sauce toa simmer, and cook the mixture, stirring, until the sauce thickens. Continue to cook the vegetables until they become tender (especially the carrot and potato) adding a bit more milk if the sauce becomes too thick. Add 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and plenty of fresh pepper. Transfer the mixture to a 9 or 10 inch casserole or deep pie dish. (At this point you can cover the dish and chill it for up to 2 days, if you'd like to bake it later)

2. To make the dough in a food processor fitted with a steel blade, put the 1-1/2 cups flour and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt into the processor. Add the cold butter. Run the machine in spurts until the butter is in bits no bigger than pea-size. Add 4 tablespoons ice water and run the machine in spurts again, just enough to bring the dough together. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead the dough, adding a bit of flour or water if necessary until the dough is soft, moist and somewhat smooth. Do this fast, handling the dough as little as possible. Form the dough into a flattened ball.
To make the dough by hand, combine the 1-1/2 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and cold butter into a large bowl. With a pastry cutter or fork, cut the butter into the flour until the pieces of butter are no larger than peas. Add 4 tablespoons ice water and stir briefly, just enough to incorporate the water. Add a touch more water or flour if necessary to make a soft and moist dough. Turn the dough onto a clean work surface and with the palm of your hand, smear the dough away from you about a handful at a time. Scrape up the enough and form it into a flattened ball. Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes.

3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Roll the dough into a circle slightly large in diameter than the casserole or pie dish. Place the circle of dough over the casserole and pinch the dough along the rim so that it clings to the rim of the dish. Cut four 1-inch long slits in the dough and place the pie in the oven. Bake it for about 20 minutes or until the filling is bubbling and the crust golden.

Serves 4

Thai Tofu with Red Curry Sauce over Coconut-Scallion Rice
(I'm not sure why they call the sauce "red" since it was really green)

10 dried kaffir lime leaves (available in Asian markets) or 1-1/2 teaspoons grated lime rind
1-1/4 cups (10 ounces) coconut milk
2-3/4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups jasmine, basmati or regular long grain white rice
1 bunch cilantro, coarsley chopped (you'll need 2/3 cups for the sauce and 2 tablespoons for garnish)
2 large garlic cloves, cut in half
1/4 cup dry-roasted unsalted peanuts
1 tablespoon Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce or 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup canola or corn oil
3 tablespoons hot chile sauce or 2 tablespoons chile paste
1 16-ounce package firm tofu, patted dry and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 bunch broccoli, cut into small pieces (about 4 cups)
1 cup minced scallions, both green and white parts

1. Soak the kaffir lime leaves in 1 quart very hot water for 30 minutes
2. While the leaves soak, bring the coconut milk, 2-1/4 cups of the water and the 1 tablespoon salt to a boil, then add the rice. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Let the rice cook, covered for 25 minutes.
3. Drain the lime leaves and with a very sharp knife, chop them into pea-sized pieces. In a food processor or blender, combine the lime leaves (or lime rind), 2/3 cup chopped cilantro, the garlic cloves, and the peanuts. Run the machine in spurts until the lime leaves are pulverized, pushing them down with a rubber spatula if necessary. Slowly, with the machine running, add the fish sauce (or 1/2 teaspoon salt) and 3 tablespoons of the oil, then add the chile sauce or paste. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl.
4. Into a wok or non-stick skillet, over high heat, pour the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add the tofu and cook until the pieces form a golden crust on the bottom. Then turn them with a spatula, and let the tofu form more golden crust on the other side. Transfer the tofu to a plate.
5. Into the same wok or skillet, put the broccoli and the remaining 1/2 cup water. Cover and steam the broccoli for 2 minutes. Stir in the lime peanut paste and cook, stirring, for one minute more. Add the tofu and toss.
6. Stir the scallions into the rice. Mound the rice on plates and spoon the tofu and sauce around it. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro and serve.

Serves 4



Blogger Patti said...

The pot pie sounds delicious. I may pass the recipe along to my favorite cook.
We're not vegetarians, but we love vegetables!

February 12, 2008 4:36 PM 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home