Part of my goals for VeganMofo was to cook out of cookbooks and cook French food. Both of which I’ve done a pretty good job of for once. I still have Around My French Table from the library (which I should really just buy) and made this stuffed pumpkin from it. The recipe is also posted on NPR here. Obviously I left out the bacon, cheese, and cream. I had some leftover stuffing mix – you know, the crappy bag of MSG laden bread cubes that sells for $.99 after Thanksgiving and my boyfriend loves so I’ve had a bag in the cupboard for a year now because I hate packaged stuffing. Well it was perfect here. I mixed up half a bag of that with a chopped onion, salt, pepper, garlic, a big handful of Daiya cheddar, and some vegetable stock so moisten everything a bit. I stuffed it into a really pretty blue-green squash. I never found out what type of pumpkin/squash it was but that’s ok because I didn’t love it. It was a little dry and stringy for my tastes, I’ll stick with my preferred kabocha squash. It was still a fun experience though.
I’m not usually a fan of fruit in my entree. Raisins and apples can go in salads and citrus gets a pass. At least I thought I didn’t like fruit in things. During my French cookbook obsession I found a recipe for a chicken-sweet potato tagine with prunes. It sounded weird enough that I might like it. I’ve done raisins in tagine before and thought it was ok and I happened to have two pounds of prunes that really needed to be used it. Don’t worry the recipe didn’t call for two pounds, more like eight prunes. The only change I made to the recipe was to swap chickpeas for the chicken. It does call for a lot of saffron which I miraculously had. This was the first time I made something that had a very strong and distinct saffron flavor and I can’t say I loved it. Possibly the mix of saffron and prunes, each very distinctive, might have been overwhelming. It was good that night for dinner but I couldn’t bring myself to eat the leftovers the next afternoon.
I served it with couscous and some sauteed chard and mushrooms. The tagine recipe is from Around My French Table.
It’s no secret I love France and French food and Dorie Greenspan’s cookbooks. I picked up Around My French Table a few weeks ago from the library. And then rechecked it out today. And am adding it to my Christmas list (along with far too many other cookbooks). I love the stories and ideas as much as the recipes. I don’t mind non-vegan cookbooks because I enjoy veganizing things.
Like this here Tofu á la Diable which means devil tofu. I guess it was supposed to be scary hot since dijon mustard is soo spicy (/sarcasm). I added some cayenne to mine and it still wasn’t very devilish, but it was super tasty and easy. Mix together some strong, good dijon mustard, a minced shallot and a minced garlic clove, some cayenne pepper, and a little water or wine to thin. Dip tofu slices in this then press into panko breadcrumbs. Drizzle with melted EB if you so desire and broil for a few minutes (watch the breadcrumbs closely, they like to burn). Flip and broil a few more minutes.
Next time I might marinate the tofu and make some sort of sauce for it. Along with it I had some kale salad (because I’m addicted to it) and celeriac-potato mash. It was supposed to be puree, but it didn’t want to cooperate with my brand new ricer. This was my first time trying celery root and I really like it. I’m not usually a fan of celery unless dipped in peanut butter, but I will add the root into regular rotation among the mashed veggie set.