Noodles, Noodles, Noodles Class @ Cook

The other night I taught a sold-out class at Audrey Claire’s Cook on making fresh pastas from around the world. Some of these component recipes are already up on the blog, but most are not and they are all together here (except for the bulgur filling and chile oil which will be added soon). The menu was: Bulgur wontons with chili oil Pandan glass noodles with turmeric vinaigrette, cashews, and green mango Pappardelle with lentils, fermented escarole and apple Gnocchi with mushroom ragu and pickled mustard seeds.

Read More

gnocchi, green olives, clementines, dandelion

This is a more composed dish than I usually do, which is even more reason I should have taken a picture. On the other hand, beyond the cooking time for the potatoes, it’s a pretty quick dish to put together.  In that sense, this is sort of in the style of how we put together the gnocchi at Talula’s garden over the course of my year working there. The Spanish do a lot of various mixtures of olives, clementines (or oranges), almonds, sherry vinegar and cinnamon. Then cinnamon and potatoes is actually something I first did with Chinese food, but it fits. More than anything, though, I like the combination of textures on this plate.  Creamy almond puree, juicy clementines, crisp dandelion stems, tender gnocchi, crunchy almonds, fatty and bright vinaigrette. Yum.  

Read More

Baked Dumplings, Bluefoot Mushroom Sauce, Green Garlic, Peach Powder

This is a little different baked semolina - somewhere between a pasta and a fritter.  Some call this kind of thing a roman gnocchi.  The dish is creamy and crispy, savory and vegetal. It’s a light dinner or appetizer.  

Dumplings:

  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup semolina
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 t polenta
  • Salt and pepper

Sauce:

  • 2 cups bluefoot mushrooms, stemmed
  • ¼ cup sliced green garlic, just the white and light green parts
  • 1 t ap flour
  • 2 cups homemade or at least unsweetened, soymilk
  • 1 head radicchio, quartered, cored, and roughly chopped
  • Salt 
  • whole nutmeg
  • Red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chiffonade parsley
  • 4 unsweetened dried peach rings

Read More

Check out this incredible Italian vegan recipe blog.  This cat really knows some stuff and has a refreshingly different take on food than a lot of what is out there.  Every recipe is provided in Italian and English and he even provided me a tiramisu recipe prior to posting it up on his blog because Sam’s pignolis have created a deep, deep hunger in my soul for more real italian desserts. 

unocookbook:

SEITAN-BALLS with TOMATO SAUCE
(scroll down for english text)

ingredienti per 2 persone:
• 130 grammi di seitan

• 1 cipolla rossa

• 8 cucchiai di pane grattugiato

• 1 cucchiaio di olio extra vergine di oliva

• 1 cucchiaio di tamari (salsa di soia)

• 1 cucchiaio di arrow root

• 1…

About this Blog:

I guess i’m at a point in this where I should introduce this blog and tie all the content together, so:

  I’m a line cook in Philadelphia. When I started digitizing my recipes I decided I might as well share them. Here are the foods I make at home and the thoughts that go through my head. The food I’m passionate about is a cut above - mainly Italian but I’m very open.  I think these recipes should speak for themselves but between the three restaurants I’ve worked in in Philadelphia there’s eight bells - not bad. At this level, I love the great ingredients, the science and art, the creativity, the passion, the technical prowess, the teamwork, and most of all the experience of eating something really good.  

But the current culture of food in this society and especially fine dining - the hedonism, the waste, the financial and cultural inaccessibility, the meat and dairy and eggs, let alone the imperialist parasitism that make their abundance possible, the male chauvinism - is, well, not what I’m passionate about. While I take great pride and satisfaction from eating, cooking, and thinking about food, part of my aim in  life as well as with this blog is to affect radical change in society.   On a planet where for hundreds of millions of people a menu - a choice of foods to eat - is beyond what they can even hope for, I aim to take the great knowledge and skill found in high-end kitchens and make it serve humanity.  

This blog is obviously not going to do much on it’s own towards that end, but while I’m working mad hours, training and learning and then cooking relatively simply at home to refine my own food (without a dishwasher!), writing up what works and what doesn’t, I feel like I might as well share some of that knowledge, as well as share some broader truth about what’s going on in society because that needs all the exposure that it can get.  Please, if anyone’s reading this, engage with what I’m posting, comment, write me, let me know what you’re doing if its similar. 

You might notice that all of this food is vegan - I have empathy for animals and I want future generations to be able to survive on this planet.  I hope to raise the bar for what everybody eats - vegans as well as flesh-eating zombies omnivores. 

When I’m not cooking or eating I try to put some time and effort towards the We Are Not Your Soldiers Tour, and it’s parent organization World Can’t Wait, I try to spend as much time with my partner and my cat as possible, and I read avidly.   

Daniel Boulud’s Braise

Braise by Daniel Boulud is a book anyone who cooks should have, including vegans. Crazy flavor combinations that result in amazingly balanced dishes, inspiration from all over the world, and accessible recipes for every season from one of the best chefs in the world.

To cut straight to it - one of the reasons braising meat works is because of the thickening ability of gelatin, a protein found only in animals. That said, braising also just cooks and tenderizes food, all the while acting as a hot marinade, bringing all the flavors in the pan together. It’s a simple method of searing food in oil, then cooking it in a flavorful liquid. There aren’t many as-is vegan dishes, although the ones that do exist are phenomenal: Mixed greens with rhubarb, leeks, and dill; Leeks, prunes and plums; and Eggplant with white miso, kaffir lime, lemongrass, and ginger. Beyond that, however, a large portion of the meat and fish dishes are relatively easily translatable, and with appropriate substitutions result in perfectly seasoned and balanced meals.  

Most of the meats can be straight substituted for good quality tempeh or seitan, although I tend to use a lesser portion of protein than what’s often called for.  Some recipes call for ground proteins, which I replace with ground mushrooms or a mix of ground mushrooms and ground seitan.  The fish, especially the recipes for cod or other white fish, can be replaced with (preferably home-made) firm tofu.  I use a lot of mushrooms to replace either shellfish (like oyster mushrooms or rehydrated shiitakes) or aromatic meats like bacon or prosciutto (like chantarelles or matsutakes fried till they’re crispy). A large portion of the dessert section, mainly different variations on poached fruits, can also easily be made vegan. 

Some of my favorites meals from this book have been spiced seitan with (the best I‘ve ever had) couscous and butternut squash, tahini-braised tofu (which I posted about a few weeks back), tempeh with Red miso and watermelon Radish, and layered seitan and root vegetables in a spicy coconut curry.  In my opinion, the best thing one can say about a cookbook is that the recipes work, and in this book, even with substitutions, the recipes work.