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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cookbook Club 1.2 AND 1.3

Pardon the absence, I had to transfer to a new camera and was too lazy to actually install the software onto my computer. I am also still learning to work with the damned thing, so it might be a while until the food is distinguishable.
When not avoiding electronics, I was cooking more out of Veganomicon for Lindsay's Cookbook Club.
The second recipe I turned to was due to peer pressure from Shen, who frequently posts some really good-looking bok choy and tofu. Veganomicon's recipe is Baby Bok Choy with Crispy Shallots and Sesame Seeds. I served it with pan-seared tofu, as that seemed fitting, and bok choy alone a meal does not make.


In all honesty, even all this a meal did not make and I think both Greg and I supplemented with a salad or something more; I can't remember exactly what.
I don't often use much oil in my cooking so we both found this a little greasy. It tasted good, though. I bought scallions instead of shallots because I wasn't at home to check the ingredients when I bought them (d'oh!)and ended up subbing plain old onions. They also didn't get particularly crispy but that could have been due to either my impatience or because they aren't shallots.
I could have done with a bit more flavor - I used apple juice instead of mirin, and felt it probably could have been omitted completely. As I ate the dish, I also added more soy sauce and topped it all with some red pepper flakes.
I wouldn't call the recipe a total winner but the flavor and recipes can be varied to liking. I think this may have been my first time making bok choy! The sesame seeds on top were also nice; I'm glad I actually did buy them.

And last night, I made V'con's Broccoli Polenta. I found this a little bland too. I never had much of a taste for salt, but really! I did use low-sodium vegetable broth but I don't think a recipe should depend on something like that. I'm also a little stunned that there were no herbs or spices whatsoever in the recipe to even complement the subtle broccoli and polenta. No garlic, Isa? Nutritional yeast would also have helped. Isn't polenta usually a little cheesy? When I ate mine, I topped it with hot sauce.
Other than that, I did enjoy making the recipe - It gets hectic as soon as you pour the cornmeal into the broth and it starts bubbling and popping all over the stove but that is just excitement. This recipe ALSO allowed me to use my broiler for the first time! I think I've previously just high-temperature baked polenta. Look how nice and crispy they got.
This recipe I would definitely try again, tweaking a few things here and there. Polenta is also one of those recipes that can have so many variations, and it's easy to make.


One more Veganomicon recipe to go, and G picked it out this time so maybe he'll finally enjoy something I make.

7 comments:

  1. The bok choy and tofu does look good, but I think it would leave me a little hungry too.

    Any polenta I've ever tasted has seemed bland to me...maybe it's just me. But, I agree a little nutritional yeast would go a long way to make it tastier...thank goodness for hot sauce, the ever trusty remedy for things like that. I have to say, I like the idea of the broccoli in there....maybe corn bread with broccoli...now that sounds tastier than polenta.

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  2. that polenta looks great! i would def try making it!

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  3. The lack of salt continues to be a recurring theme in other Cookbook Club Members posts.

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  4. I made that Veganomicon Broccoli Polenta Dish and wound up serving it to my chickens. Bleh!

    http://shenandoahvegan.blogspot.com/2010/08/wfh-wednesday_25.html

    To make Bok Choy & Tofu, you don't even need a recipe, just stir fry both items in Sesame Oil.

    I say, drop out of Cookbook Club and consult with me before attempting any other meals.

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  5. I think I would still be hungry after the Bok Choy and Tofu also. Bok Choy isn't filling all to me.
    Your polenta looks very good! That's another thing that I haven't tried yet, mainly because of Shen making it and not liking it....she sacred me away from it...ha

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  6. Rose, yeah - the notes say "Broccoli just makes polenta that much more 'RAR!'", haha. It was a nice addition but had to be chopped very fine.
    Shen, I definitely should consult with you - a WWSD reminder! Greg drools over your photos all the time. Honestly, I figured bok choy was a giveaway recipe but it being part of the book, I figured I might as well follow the damn recipe. Next time.

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  7. My biggest criticism of the book is that most recipes use way too much oil (though they give advice on how to reduce the oil in the intro.) I've been looking for a recipe to use up my broccoli stalks and was thinking of the polenta...don't think I'll try it.

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