Sunday, 20 April 2014

Waffle Taco?

I'm still getting used to using my waffle maker - I forget I own it so it hasn't gotten much use lately. But I came across this recipe from The Sugar Hit and was intrigued - buttery corn, spring onions and salsa together? Instead of the fried egg, I figured a nice greasy rosti would be an excellent choice. It photographs terribly, but damn it was good.
I really liked this recipe, although I think there was far too much butter (cough, Nuttelex) in there - it kind of overwhelmed the sweetness of the corn and the spring onions. Perhaps the omni version fares better? But the waffles came out lovely and crispy with great inner texture and were the perfect vehicle for my lazy pico de gallo (a handful of grape tomatoes, quarter of a red onion, 6-8 pickled jalapeno slices, pepper and lime juice). The whole thing took very little prep - the batter rests a while but it was a nice easy, lazy, tasty way to end an Easter Sunday - waffle maker, a frypan and a chopping board on the go while having a drink in the kitchen. Super relaxing. I rolled mine up into a giant waffle taco and stuffed my face. I am not even ashamed. Happy Easter! 

Friday, 11 April 2014

LOTF Chapel Street + Schnitz

Found myself in Prahran yesterday with a little time to kill. The Lord's seemed like a good way to escape from the rain and get a feed at the same time - especially with their Facebook spamming about the new sweets menu, only available at the Chapel St. store.

I grabbed a vegan Mini Mark because it's a damn good burger, $4.45:

This was as good as any: lots of pickles, nice and tangy. I rarely get anything else because this burger is really that tasty. But the real reason I was there was to try the oreo cookies and cream shake, about $6:

Props to LOTF; this came out in a red aluminium cup with condensation on the sides and full of froth. It has a real milkbar feel to it, but honestly, it wasn't that great. It appears to just be vegan milk, a couple of Oreos and maybe a little So Good Vanilla ice-cream blended - not a lot of chocolaty flavour. If they jazzed it up with either more biscuits or a little chocolate syrup, it'd be much more interesting and worth six bucks.

I do like the Prahran store, though - it's very cute and service was great and fast. They're carrying large and mini Mr. Nice Guy cupcakes in red velvet and golden comb, as well as a Botanical Cuisine mint slice dessert (which I didn't get to see) and a peanut butter choc shake. Glad to see LOTF branching out - a cupcake is an awesome dessert to have on the menu - but I hope the shakes improve!

Oh, and I discovered Schnitz chips are vegan just the other day so I had to try them out. This is a "family" size box, $8.90:

If you like beer battered chips, these are the chips for you. Crispy and well-seasoned with an oniony flavour to the crumb, they're super addictive and we ate the whole box and were totally happy about it. These will be my go-to chips when I fancy takeaway from now on. Schnitz's site now has allergen information (the veggie schnitzel contains milk) and the only other vegan option is the garden salad, but at least there's something for us there!

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Tomato Not-Eggs

Does anyone else occasionally have strong food memories? Like you're just minding your own business, you see something you ate once upon a time (and which you promptly forgot about) and suddenly it's at the forefront of your brain and you need to make it happen again right now. Just me? Just me. Whoops. 
Enter tomato eggs.

I remember trying these as a kid and thinking they were really delicious.. but somehow I never remembered that fact until I was browsing the web and came across a picture. It's a really simple recipe - tomatoes, eggs, spring onions - so not much room to play with but this version is pretty damn good. It relies heavily on the omelette recipe from Vegan Brunch - you could do it with tofu but I wouldn't suggest it. The texture needs to be softer than a scrambled firm tofu will do, and needs to have more flavour than soft tofu on its own. But this could be an awesome base for a scramble - there's heaps of room to play with, and you only need one frypan once the omelette mix is made. Easy peasy.

Tomato Eggs (serves two)

Ingredients
- one to two spring onions, sliced finely
- two large tomatoes, cut into thin wedges (aim for 8-10mm thick max)
- one quantity vegan omelette mix from Vegan Brunch, as follows:
300g medium tofu, the water-packed kind (you could use silken like the original recipe - I wanted more of a curdy, harder texture for this though. if you use silken, cook a little longer and keep an eye on it.)
1 tbsp. nutritional yeast
1 tbsp. neutral-flavoured oil
generous pinch turmeric
1/2 tsp. black salt 
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. arrowroot
1/3 cup chickpea flour
Combine tofu, nooch, oil, black salt, turmeric and garlic in food processor and pulse. When thoroughly combined, add in arrowroot and chickpea flour and re-blend until you have a smooth mixture. Bam: omelette mix.

For the tomato eggs:
Preheat a large, nonstick frying pan to around medium. Season your omelette mix generously with salt, white pepper and sesame oil, then add about half a teaspoon of vegetarian oyster sauce (this stuff - I suspect if you don't have it, worcestershire sauce would be a decent addition). Re-blend. Oil your frypan fairly generously, add your omelette mix and carefully spread it out into an even layer with a large spoon or spatula. Let sit for around 2 minutes. Once it appears to be partially setting, tear it up! Loosen the entire thing from the base and, using a spoon or fork, separate the mixture into small chunks. Check your heat at this moment, if you've got serious browning it's up too high. Once you're happy with the chunks, let them cook a further 5-ish minutes until you're happy with the consistency. Remove from pan and set aside.
Using the same pan, re-oil and pop in your tomatoes and spring onions (reserve some of the darker green bits for garnish). Season with salt, white pepper and a generous pinch of sugar. Stir-fry for a few seconds, then add a few teaspoons of water. Cover with lid and let steam for 30-45 seconds, until tomatoes are visibly softened but still very much intact. There will be residual water, don't worry about that. Add your eggs back into the pan and stir thoroughly to coat. Let cook an additional minute or two so that the residual liquid is absorbed and the eggs are fully coated. Take off the heat, garnish with spring onions and maybe a little sesame oil, and stuff your face.