Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday! We had a really nice relaxed day with just my parents, sister, brother-in-law, and niece at our place. We watched Chevy Chase Christmas Vacation and dinner was a comfort food smorgasbord. It wasn't all vegan, but I did try a "beefy" version of my turkey roast.  I was pretty happy with how it came out but I think it still needs some work on technique. I completely forgot to take pictures before dinner (and I still haven't found my camera - grrrr). I did want to give you a recipe though, since it has been ages.

Cauliflower and Leek Gratin
We were having a comfort food dinner, so I added more margarine than was probably necessary. Feel free to reduce it. Either way it is still *wayyy* lower in fat than traditional gratin and everyone enjoyed it. This is adapted from America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. Serves 6-8, more if you have a lot of other dishes.

2 lbs cauliflower florets, as uniformly sized as possible (about 3 lbs whole cauliflower/2 medium)
2-4 tbsp earth balance or olive oil
2 large leeks, dark green tops removed, washed well, and thinly sliced
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp yellow miso
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups hemp milk
2 tsp minced fresh thyme
salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs 
1-2 tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 400. Spray a 9x9 square pan or large gratin dish with non-stick spray.

Bring a big pot of water to a boil, salt generously and blanch cauliflower until almost tender, but still a bit crunchy on the inside, 3-5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Melt earth balance in a large sauce pot over medium heat. Add leeks, shallot, and a sprinkle of salt and saute until tender, about 4 minutes, stirring frequently.  While that's cooking mix up your miso and nutritional yeast in a small bowl with a little water until you have a smooth, loose paste.  Add flour to veggies and stir to coat completely. Slowly pour in white wine, stirring constantly. Work in hemp milk and miso paste. Bring back to a bubble and cook 1 minute longer. Remove from heat and stir in thyme. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired. 

Pour in cauliflower and stir to coat. Pour everything into prepared pan. Mix breadcrumbs with olive oil until moist and sprinkle evenly over cauliflower. Bake 20-30 minutes until bubbly and browned on top. 



While presents are, for me, a (mostly) fun but non-essential aspect to the holiday I am soooo excited because I got this from my parents (thanks to B for giving Mom the suggestion)!!!:
I'm so excited, we go though quite a bit of soymilk even though it is just the two of us; plus I've been wanting to try my hand at tofu and soy yogurt and this will make those experiments much more economical. I made my first batch of soymilk this morning and I have the okara and some miso in the dehydrator now to try a version of Bryanna Clark Grogan's okara parmesan sprinkle. I'll have a review of the product after I've used it a few more times. Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!


ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Merry Christmas!

I've never tried okara, but it sounds so interesting.

Bethany said...

the recipe sounds good.

that's a great present. I have been waffling on getting one of those. I think it was fat free vegan that did a huge blog on this soymilk maker and tofu making.

okara is really good - especially in a burger form.