Grog and Vittles

Food and Spirits by an Vegetarian in Atlanta

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Spinach-Mushroom Quiche with "Chicken" and Waffles

This dish will be a little southern for many of you.

Chicken and waffles is a Georgia tradition. While some of you can't imagine putting the two together, until you've tried it, this is a case of something you can't deny.

Of course, we're not using real chicken, we're using the meat-substitute Quorn. As we've mentioned before, it is made from the roots of mushrooms.

If I'm a little inexact about the ingredients this week, my wife is trying out the Trader Joes that just opened up 2 blocks away, so I'm not sure what I'll be cooking with.

Spinach-Mushroom Quiche
For each quiche we need:
  • Frozen Pie Crust
  • 3/4 cup half and half
  • 2 eggs
  • 1pkg defrosted frozen spinach (or cooked down fresh spinach)
  • 1 can mushrooms (or 1/2 pound fresh mushrooms cooked)
  • 1/2 lb shredded swiss cheese
First turn on the oven to 350F. Crack all the eggs and pour the half and half into a cup. Beat vigorously.

Stir up the spinach and mushrooms, and put into the pie crust. Sprinkle the cheese on, and then pour enough of the egg/dairy mixture to come somewhat short of the top of the quiche.

Bake for 45 minutes (will be slightly jiggly, but solid), then let the quiche set for 15-25 minutes before serving. (Unless you like volcanically hot scrambled eggs that are runny, in that case, serve immediately).

Fried "Chicken"
Bread according to the method mentioned in this post. I use a mixture of panko and normal bread crumbs this time. I make sure and put salt and pepper in the flour I use for this one. Then I pan fry these or deep fry them, depending on time and quantity, usually at 20 degrees below the smoke point of the oil I'm using, which is usually safflower or vegetable oil. If you do this recipe with *real* chicken, I recommend using a good chicken finger cook time/temperature, more like 5 minutes on each side at 340F, to make sure you don't die of undercooked chicken.

Waffles
Almost straight out of I'm Just Here for More Food, I use the buttermilk waffle recipe, however I use 50/50 whole/white flower.

Serve with the "chicken" on top of the waffle, drizzled in syrup. The quiche goes on the side.
--Michael

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Calzones, Greek Salad, Grilled Zuchinni

My April 1st post was a joke for those of you who didn't catch it....we're still vegetarians and have no plans to not be. The first half of April was quite busy so I slacked off on the blogging. Now that product #1 of Rowdy Labs is out the door, I can blog again.

Garlic Grilled Zucchini

Sliced into medallions, then drizzled with olive oil, these are then put into broil. Garlic is put is *separately* after the squash is done, as it burns easy, just to get a hint of roastedness.

After cooking, they are both tossed in a bowl, along with parmesean flakes, black pepper, kosher salt, and a little onion powder, then served.

Greek Salad

Romaine Hearts, black olives, pepperoncini, onions, feta, roma tomatoes, and greek salad dressing (we're using something from a jar this week). Slice everything into rings, hydrate the lettuce (we're using one of the 5 salad spinners we got from the wedding), then spin and toss and serve.

Olive and Veggy Sausage Calzone

These come in two parts: The Dough and the Filling

For the dough, we're going to use a variation of what we use to make the piroshki we really had on April 1st:

3 pkgs dry yeast
3 tsp honey
3 cu warm water
4.5 cu wheat flour
4.5 cu white flour
1 cu veg oil
3 tsp salt

Stir yeast and honey into warm water. Let sit for 10 minutes.

Combine 3 cups of each flour and the salt in a bowl then mix in the oil and yeast mixture. Stir this for 140 vigorous strokes. This is to produce a precise amount of gluten in the dough, which will give it a particular chewiness in the final product. Let this sit for 30 minutes or until it bubbles, whichever is longer.

Dump out onto a floured breadboard and knead in the other 3 cups of flour. Knead for 10 minutes, drop the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, then cover and leave for an hour.

We're stuffing them with olives, veggy sausage, and mozzerella. Some will be made with red sauce, others with pesto. We take the dough after punching it down and divide it up into individually sized calzone-sized balls that we roll out to 1/8th inch thick. How do I know how thick? I have rubber bands that go around my rolling pin and force me to go no flatter. These are great for making pastries of all sorts, not just calzones.

We crumble the Gimmie Lean veggy sausage into a skillet and brown it. Then we mix it and the sliced olives and cheese together, then mix each, along with each of the sauces.

After rolling out, I take a fork and poke the inside of the calzone to make holes for steam to escape (docking). I'm careful to not go through the outside, just a little bit.

We then use a disher to get a reasonable amount in each of the calzones. Judgment is only needed for the first calzone, then after than, its just an integer count of disher scoopfuls. After filling, we close then use a fork to make the edge thin and sealed. We brush with butter and a little Parmesan cheese to allow for browning.

The dough in question will require 30 minutes at 375 F to cook (per pan of 8). Everything inside is already cooked, so there is no worrying about that.

And this recipie gives dough amounts for 20-24 calzones. You probably are going to want to cut that in half, one third, or one sixth for your own purposes.

They keep for a week and a half or so, can be frozen with little loss, and are good when reheated in a microwave or oven.

--Michael

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Sunday, April 01, 2007

Dinner tonight after a suprising convesation.

My wife and I had a strange conversation last night that I didn't expect to ever have. From the recipes given below, I am guessing you know what it was. I'm sorry if I'm brief today. I'll recap how dinner went later in the week as why I'm changing back to a more normal diet.

Fillet Mignon
Lemon Aperagus
Bacon with Macaroni and Cheese
Applesauce

I know what some of you are thinking: I owe him a steak dinner.

--Michael

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