Truffle flavored Roasted Japanese Sweet Potatoes with Black Lava Salt

Jewel yam slices with truffle oil on plate with crab cakes and lettuce

The above photo was our dinner tonight: vegan crab cakes (from the brand Sophie’s Kitchen, really tasty), roasted red pepper remoulade, and –the recipe I’m going to share with you tonight– roasted Japanese Sweet Potato slices flavored with truffle oil and black lava salt.

Before anyone raises the question as to whether or not (good) truffles are vegan due to their being harvested almost exclusively using dogs or pigs, I have to tell you that almost all truffle oil has never had a truffle anywhere near it. The vast majority of truffle oil is flavored synthetically. So no debate needed!

While this plate looks fancy, it’s actually a quick, simple dinner. It all came together in under an hour. And most of that hour I spent on the internet looking at other Vegan MoFo posts.

This is mostly due to the fact that the crab cakes were pre made. All I did was brown them on both sides. The remoulade I made is still “in development.” Which is code for “I don’t actually know what I did, but it was awesome.” Which is the reason the only recipe I’m going to share is the side dish.

What the food hole had labeled as “Jewel Yams” (hence my instagram teaser yesterday) are actually Japanese Sweet Potatoes. They have a ruby red skin and creamy, white flesh.  Their flavor isn’t as pronounced as the bright orange sweet potatoes common around Thanksgiving. Rather, the Japanese sweet potato has a more delicate flavor with a slight sweetness. And in this case, that made an amazing canvas for truffle oil.

This recipe uses two ingredients that aren’t always readily available, truffle oil and black lava salt. Black lava salt is really just used as a contrasting garnish here. You can finish the dish with whatever salt you have and it will taste the same. You could even sprinkle some black sesame seeds on top and get a very similar visual effect. If you can’t get your hands on truffle oil, however, that’s another story. You can try any other infused oil –like garlic or rosemary– but, obviously, you won’t get that truffle flavor without it. Experiment, let me know if there are other flavored oils that work well here. Continue reading

Tom Food Tuesdays: Succotash

Bowl of succotash topped with avocado fan

The inspiration for this is one of my former co-workers who used to eat beans and corn most days for lunch. This is a way to preserve that simplicity but turn it into something awesome.

Succotash is delicious and one of the easiest things in the world to make. Don’t believe anyone who says that it should be a side dish. It is totally awesome enough to be an entrée.

(Of course, Katie hates simple dishes and totally lost her shit while I was cooking this.)

Editor’s Note: No I did not. I merely expressed concern that perhaps he was doing food wrong.

Succotash takes 10-15 minutes, uses only a single pan, and you probably have everything you need already.

At the most basic level you just need:

  • 1 can black beans – rinse them first, this is very important.
  • An equal amount of corn either caned for frozen is fine. – I’m a big fan of Trader Joe’s fire-roasted corn.
  • 1 jar of salsa. (16oz)

You can lots of other things if you have them:Pan full of succotash

  • Fresh Onion, Mushrooms, and/or bell pepper – dice these and saute them in the pot first so that they can brown before you add anything else.
  • A diced tomato
  • Garlic or Garlic powder
  • A cup of frozen lima beans, peas or shelled edamame – Lima beans are traditional but I prefer peas.
  • And surprisingly Bacos (which are totally vegan, BTW!) – These need to go in towards the beginning.

Just throw everything into the pan, heat until the salsa is bubbling. Season with Bacon Salt and Pepper to taste. Once it’s heated, serve in a bowl with Guacamole or Avocado.

Editor’s Note: Grrrrrrr.

The finished version pictured up top has a tomato, garlic, peas, and avocado.

Veganniversary Presents!

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After having a conversation about artisan salts and truffle oil at dinner last night, Tom surprised me with these three lovelies: black Sea Salt, alderwood smoked salt and white truffle oil. We also had dinner at Millennium, the hella classy, gourmet vegan restaurant in San Francisco. I would have taken food photos, but it was too dark. And I didn’t want to be “that guy” using a camera flash in a romantically lit restaurant. Don’t be that guy. Tomorrow is Tom Food Tuesday! So look for another post of food I would never make tomorrow. 😉

Hot Spinach Dip

Aww yeah…

Hot Spinach Dip

It’s my Veganniversary today! YAY!!!! Tom and I are celebrating, but not until tonight. So, I thought I’d get a post in today since I was late with yesterday’s.

This is the Hot Spinach Dip I mentioned in my previous post. About a week ago, Tom asked me to make him some spinach dip because he was sad he couldn’t eat any of the packaged ones at the food hole (that’s his hand in the photo). So I made this one up. No idea how close it is to non-vegan spinach dip, but I can tell you that it is freakin’ tasty. We were snacking on it while we were cooking everything else yesterday.

Unfortunately, it does rely heavily on specialty vegan products and dairy product alternatives. Sorry to those of you who don’t have easy access to this stuff. Continue reading

Sunday Dinner: Updated Diner Classics

Open Face Hot Seitan Sandwich, Smashed potatoes, and broccolini

I decided that picking a theme for Sunday Dinner Posts would make my life a little easier. This week I wend with Updated (and veganized) Diner Classics.

I didn’t want to go with the typical burger and fries approach. Firstly, because I haven’t figured out how to make a good homemade veggie burger, and secondly because that’s far too common. I wanted something from the “entree” section of a diner menu, not the “burgers and sandwiches” section. In search of inspiration, I went to the website for Mel’s Drive In, a totally not vegan but very popular diner here in SF (I think there might be a couple veg/vegan things on their menu, but I’ve never been in to check). Sifting through dozens of menu items, I finally came across “Open Face Hot Beef Sandwiches” and I knew that that was the ticket.

My friend Elias came over to help cook and together, Tom, Elias, and I updated the typical side dishes to the Open Face Sandwich. Here’s what we came up with…

The Sunday Dinner Menu:Tablescape with dinner plate and wine bottle

  • Appetizer: Hot Spinach Dip (Recipe and photos in the next post)
  • Open Face Hot Seitan Sandwiches with mushroom gravy
  • Roasted Smashed Potatoes
  • Ginger Garlic Broccolini
  • Wine Pairing: The Velvet Devil Merlot ’11 (Charles Smith Wines)
  • Blueberry pie (See previous Saturday Sweets post)

Continue reading

Saturday Sweets: Wild Blueberry Pie!

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It was hot today. So I couldn’t start baking until about 9:00pm. I’m starting to think I should do all the cooking work for my Saturday Sweets posts on Friday nights because it’s going to be so hot during the day for the rest of the month.

So here’s the thing about San Francisco. Summer doesn’t happen until September or October, sometimes November. June, July, and August are all very cool months with temperatures in the mid 60s to low 70s. Maybe you get a day when it’s 77 degrees, but that’s about as high as it goes in what the rest of the hemisphere calls summer. Then, come what most northern-hemisphere-dwellers would think of as fall, it’s hot as balls.

Anyway, due to the fact that it is 2AM, my boyfriend is in bed, and the dog is curled up sleeping on the sofa behind me, I’m going to make this quick and simple. I’m going to post the basic recipe for my blueberry pie now and then post the rest of the photos (other than that top one there) for this pie tomorrow. If there are enough good pictures of me making the lattice crust on top, I might be able to do a tutorial on that, too. We’ll see.

My recipe looks complicated, but that’s really just because I was verbose. It only has 5 ingredients (6 if you count water, 7 if you do the optional step) and not including baking time it only takes about 45 minutes to put together. The best part is, if you’re using frozen berries, you don’t have to thaw them! They can go right into the pie frozen and they’ll come out lovely.

Without further adieu… Continue reading