Archive | October, 2012

Spooky Sushi (Rice Balls)

31 Oct

Argh! Its Hallowe’en! Time to dust off that old VHS of Hocus Pocus, make cute-but-scary foodstuffs, and hope your house doesn’t get egged by the local teenagers that secretly intimidate you…

Yesterday Frank came round to help us make Spooky Sushi! Frank is literally the best at cute foods, and we basically ripped the idea for mummy dogs from him. Technically the spooky sushi rice balls aren’t origiri because we used rice dressed with rice vinegar instead of leaving it plain but we prefer it this way.

spooky rice ghosts

spooky rice ghosts

Ingredients for the rice balls: 3 cups sushi rice, 1/3 cup rice vinegar,3 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp salt, peice of kombu (take this out if you are having trouble sourcing it), 1 sheet of sushi nori, sesame oil

Cook the sushi rice according to the instructions on the packet. Different sushi rice manufacturers require different things!

Whilst the rice is cooking, make up the sushi-zu (rice vinegar dressing) by combining the vinegar, sugar, salt, and kombu in a small pan and heating until all the salt and sugar is dissolved. It makes it easier to multiply up the ingredients (still using one piece of kombu) and storing the mixture as it lasts for ages. Remove the kombu before storing or adding to the rice.

our scary carved pumpkin - carved by Ro

our scary carved pumpkin – carved by Ro

Once the rice is cooked let it cool before adding the sushi-zu. This will form the basis of our spooky sushi.

Frank brought along some silicone ghost moulds like the ones you can get to make ice-cubes with. We rubbed the inside of the moulds with a little sesame oil and packed the rice in the moulds. We then gently pushed them out. Frank also brought along a nori-punch which makes little faces out of sushi nori which we used to decorate the rice-ghosts. We also made some rather unfortunate looking (but tasty) avocado and cucumber maki. We fear our knives at Naked Vegan Cooking HQ aren’t sharp enough for making pretty maki, but we will hopefully be asking Santa for some sharp knives this year so we can do a post about maki later.

Jess n Frank

Frank’n’Jess

If you aren’t lucky enough to have Frank and his ghost moulds and nori punches, do not despair. Take a small amount of rice and put it in some cling film and shape it into a ghost shape. You can then peel off the cling film and decorate with faces cut out of the nori with scissors.

Once Frank had wandered home I quickly made up some rice balls by rolling the rice in my hands into a ball shape and used bits of the already punched nori to decorate them. Have a bowl of water handy and keep your hands wet to avoid sticking. Your hands want to be dry when it comes to handling the nori, mind! When it comes to eating them, serve with soy sauce and pickled ginger.

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Mummy Dogs

27 Oct

Its nearly Hallowe’en! We have got into the spirit a bit early this year round. Yesterday we went to Alton Towers “Scarefest” which was genuinely quite terrifying.

We picked up this cute little idea for these cute Mummy Dogs from our friend Franklin who served them at his Hallowe’en party the other day. We veganised them by using tofu hot dogs and vegan pastry. We wrapped thin strips of vegan pastry around the sausages to make them look like little mummies and gave them eyes. How cute!

This is before they went in the oven:

And after:

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Beery French Onion Soup with French Toast Croutons

11 Oct

So the other day Jess made a French onion soup with some dark ale. It happened to coincide with the “My Daughter, the Teenage Nudist” being on French TV and a consequent surge in hits from France. Happy coincidence!

We usually serve this beery French onion soup with savoury French Toast to replace the crouton + greyere cheese topping. We had ran out of soy milk this time round its not in the photos – but it is delicious. The savoury French toast is basically a vegan version of eggy bread. We also didnt manage to get a naked picture to go alongside this one, so here is a picture of Zachariah juggling lemons:

Ingredients for French Onion Soup (Serves 6): 6-8 onions (sliced into rings / half-rings), 5 cloves garlic (minced), 2 tsp salt, about 3 tbsp of vegan marg, a bottle of dark ale, up to 7 cups of veg stock, 2 tbsp yeast extract (add in it gradual amounts to taste), 3 tsp dried thyme, 1 tsp of sugar (optional), 3 tbsp of flour, bay leaf

The key to cooking a good french onion soup is to cook the onion for ages until they caramelise. Typically this involves cooking the onions in a load of butter for about 30 mins (or even longer). If you want to cheat, add a teaspoon of sugar to get the onions caramilising quicker. But basically, the longer you cook the soup, the better.

After at least 20 minutes of this treatment, add the garlic and flour. Then add the ale, bay leaf, yeast extract, salt, thyme and half of the stock. Reduce the heat and cover for 30-45 minutes, then add the remaining stock. Add any more yeast extract, thyme and salt if it needs it. Bring to the boil and serve topped with the savoury French toast (below)

Also, sorry for the shit photo: we lost the proper camera.

Ingredients for the Savoury French Toast: 1 1/2 cups soy milk, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp marjoram, 1/2 tsp salt, black pepper to taste, 2 tbsp corn starch, 1 cup gram flour, 8 slices of baguette (either stale or toasted), oil to fry

Combine the paprika, marjoram, salt, pepper, corn starch and gram flour in a bowl. Slowly add the soy milk, whisking as you go. Dip the slices of bread into the batter and let it sit in the batter for a while. Heat some oil in a non-stick frying pan and cook each slice on each side for about 3 minutes until browned. Meanwhile, soak the other slices and repeat. Keep them warm in the oven if you need them all to come out at the same time.

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Vegan Dutch Apple Cake

7 Oct

Our lovely friend Robyn gave us a bunch of cooking and eating apples from her apple trees! So, we decided to make this delicious Dutch Apple Cake. Yum!

Ingredients: 4 tbsp soy flour, 4 tbsp vegetable oil, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 12 tbsp margarine, 1 3/4 cups caster sugar (+ about 2 tbsp for sprinkling), 1/2 cups soy milk, 2 1/4 cups plain flour, 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon (+ extra for sprinkling on top), 4 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1 large cooking apple, juice of 1/2 a lemon

Preheat the oven to 180’C, and grease a decent sized cake tin.

Mix together the soy flour, veg oil, caster sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl. You should use an electric whisk to do the mixing throughout as the cake mix needs to get quite airy.

Melt the margarine in the pan with the soy milk, and the whisk bit-by-bit into the sugar mixture. Sift in the flour, cinnamon and baking powder whilst continually mixing. Pour the mixture into cake tin and smooth the surface. It will be quite liquid for a vegan cake, don’t worry about it.

Peel and core the apples and slice them into thin slices. Keep the thin slices in a bowl of lemon for the time-being to stop the going brown. Once you have enough slices to cover the top of the cake, arrange them over the batter. They might sink a bit, but thats cool. Sprinkle the remaining sugar and cinnamon over the apples and bake in the oven for about 40 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean when pricked through.

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