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Posts Tagged ‘vegan’

  1. Ingredient Spotlight: Pagoda Bean Thread Noodles

    June 25, 2012 by brett

    Pagoda Bean Thread

    I sometimes forget that not everyone grew up eating this kind of yummy food. For the record, “Lung Kow” is not a brand name. This term, like “vermicelli,” describes this type of fine, yet resilient, noodle. Bean thread noodles, lung kow noodles, cellophane noodles, glass noodles, and vermicelli are often used interchangeably when describing this kind of food product. It’s primarily made of starch.

    The package of Pagoda brand bean thread noodles pictured above has the following ingredients listed on the package: pea(mung bean) starch, corn starch, water. As far as allergens go, my son has eaten these noodles many times for more than a year, and he has never had a reaction to them. He is extremely allergic to wheat and all forms of gluten (wheat, rye, barley, oats), dairy, egg, tree nuts (except for coconut), peanuts, and sesame. (YMMV.)

    Bean thread noodles are wonderful in stir fries. They’re also nice in soupy/stewy dishes, and they make a great filler ingredient for dumplings and fried rolls. Bean thread noodles, which can soak up a lot of liquid (commonly vegetable or chicken stock when added to stir fries), adopt and intensify the flavors of the dish easily, making the bean thread noodles quite tasty.

    Made correctly, these fine noodles can be addictive. They have a wonderful mouth feel: chewy, bouncy, happy-go-lucky. They soak up flavorful broth like mad and add substance to a dish without weighing down the dish. Even though they’re made primarily of starch, they don’t feel starchy at all, and you’re definitely not feeling weighed down by carb overload after a meal of these noodles. Go figure, eh? (more…)


  2. Hippo Flatbread

    June 21, 2012 by brett

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    Flatbread plays an extremely important role in the cuisine’s of most cultures around the world. It is the building block, the basis, of many a meal worldwide. Flatbread fills the belly, nourishes the body, and feels good in mouth and hand in all its soft/chewy/crispy/crunchy glory. It can be eaten alone (it’s so convenient on the go — a great stroller snack), or it can accompany stews, curries, meats, veggies — whatever you like. Flatbread is like rice, the perfect white shirt, and the name Michael*: It goes with everything.
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  3. Chocolate Craze Spider Cake

    June 14, 2012 by brett

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    This was my son’s birthday cake this year. I was so happy he loved it!!! 🙂

    An old-fashioned term, “spider” refers to a cast iron skillet, which I use to make this cake; spiders are not an ingredient. 🙂 Pineapple Upside Down Cake is probably one of the best known spider cakes baked today.

    The use of vinegar and baking soda to provide the acid/basic-inspired rise of the cake, and the oddball directions to add liquid ingredients into three “troughs” or indentations in the dry mixture, followed by pouring water all over the top, provide unmistakable clues to the ancestry of this cake. This cake is a gluten- and allergen-free descendent of an American classic known by many names: Crazy Cake, Wacky Cake, Oil and Vinegar Cake.

    Typically, Crazy Cake is made in an 8″ or 9″ square pan, though I’ve seen it doubled into a 9″ x 13″ sheet cake creation as well. In the past, I’ve made my own gluten- and allergen-free version in a 5″x7″ Pyrex baking dish. (To see a lemon version, check out Lemon Craze.)

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  4. Hippo Bread

    April 29, 2012 by brett

    Gluten Free Hippo Bread

    Every gluten-free cook has his or her signature bread recipe. This is mine.

    A derivation of Neat Bread, Hippo Bread is superior in terms of texture, taste, and appearance thanks to its key ingredient, plain, homemade soy milk. Homemade soy milk acts as a binder, tenderizes the loaf’s crumb, adds a creaminess to the flavor, and imparts an attractive, slightly golden hue.

    Gluten Free Hippo Bread

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  5. Soy Milk

    April 28, 2012 by brett

    Ladle partly submerged in a pot of soy milk, which is ready to be put into the French press for filtering.

    Soy milk is a kitchen basic in our household. It’s good for drinking, but it’s also indispensable in the kitchen as an ingredient in many recipes. Soy milk is an excellent dairy substitute in cooking. It’s also a great egg substitute in recipes requiring the binding (though not rising) properties of eggs.

    My family enjoys eating Hippo Bread, pancakes, brownies, and other bread- and cake-type foods made with it. Soy milk’s by-product, okara, if cooked thoroughly during the soy milk making process, can be toasted in a dry pan and used as a healthy filler for meatballs, dumplings, and the like. (more…)


  6. Ingredient Spotlight:
    Takara Sho Chiku Bai Classic Sake

    April 3, 2012 by brett

    Takara Sake, Sho Chiku Bai

    Whenever a recipe calls for sake, sherry, or shao hsing wine, I reach for Takara Sho Chiku Bai Classic Sake. Takara is a company with deep Japanese roots and has offices and a sake museum/tasting center in Berkeley, CA. My Takara sake is brewed in Northern California using the pristine mountain water there, according to the company.
     
    I contacted the Takara folks up in Berkeley, CA, and they assured me their sake does not contain nor is processed in facilities that handle: gluten sources (wheat, barley, rye, oats), dairy, egg, tree nuts, peanuts, and/or sesame. Hooray!!!
     
    Cooking purists and nationalists of certain Asian countries (one especially big one in particular) are no doubt shaking their heads (or fists) at my use of sake for recipes that call for shao hsing wine or America’s time-honored shao hsing substitute, sherry wine. (more…)


  7. Hobo Joe Hash Browns

    March 23, 2012 by brett

    Hobo Joe Hash Browns

    I vividly remember the first time I had hash browns. My Aunt Rose had taken my mom, my brothers, and her daughter, my cousin Sabrina, to Hobo Joe’s, a chain eatery that no longer exists in Los Angeles. Aunt Rose ordered hash browns, and my, they were dee-lightful! The texture was light, ever so slightly crispy on the outside yet soft and tender and the inside, the color was a lovely golden brown, and the taste was lighthearted yet earnest in note. I LOVED them! Hobo Joe’s no longer exists, but my memory — and these potatoes — still do. (more…)


  8. Chamorro Red Rice

    March 19, 2012 by brett

    FYI: I’m in the middle of updating this recipe. I’ve had too many disasters, so consider this recipe problematic prone for now. Will post again as soon as I can get it right and duplicate good results reliably. Thanks!

     

    This dish relies on annatto seeds, not tomato, for its distinctive orange-redness and smoky, earthy flavor. It’s a classic accompaniment to Chamorro-style barbecue at fiestas. Everyone adds their own touch to this dish: bacon, hot peppers, peas, etc. (more…)


  9. Bao de Bing, Bao de Beng!

    February 16, 2012 by brett

    The evolution, which is still ongoing, of this recipe travels the globe. It started out as a Kenyan recipe for a sweetened, yeast-risen rice pancake tinged with cardamom. We were enjoying that for a while. Then one day, I ran out of rice flour and threw in a bunch of glutinous rice flour. Chewier and nicer — toddler smiles all around. The next day, I adjusted some of the dry ingredients and along the way, accidentally left out the cardamom. The result? Something definitely Chinese in texture and flavor and even bigger toddler smiles. (more…)


  10. Neat Bread

    January 27, 2012 by brett

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    This rustic loaf offers a thin, chewy, golden crust full of a rye/wheat-like taste, which is neat considering it’s gluten-free. The interior is moist, soft, and dotted with flaxseed — a nice contrast with the thin, chewy, rustic crust. And it smells wonderful in a heady, bread-y kind of way. 🙂 (more…)