Archive for the ‘Episodes’ Category

New Episode: Vegan White Sauce

September 18, 2009

In this episode of Building Blocks Show, I show you how to make two versions of Vegan White Sauce, one plain and one with onion and garlic.  This was a really fun episode for me to put together because I’ve learned so much about dairy free cooking over the past few years and was excited to put that knowledge into some creative dishes.

In the video you can see we paired these sauces with fresh ingredients to make Creemy Shroomy Veggies on Crusty Bread* and Phyllo Wrapped Cod.  I also created two other recipes with Vegan White Sauce included on the recipe page for this show:  Vegan Creemed Spinach and Dairy Free Biscuits and Gravy, which uses the dairy free biscuit recipe found in the Making Lard episode.

Vegan White Sauce Part I:
http://www.youtube.com/v/PwlsJxJ5tNI&hl=en&fs=1&

Vegan White Sauce Part II:
http://www.youtube.com/v/X5Rrpyu0N8I&hl=en&fs=1&

Below are the white sauce recipes and you can find the recipes for the rest of the dishes listed above on the Vegan White Sauce Episode Page.

Vegan White Sauce (Makes 1 cup)

You will need:

  • 2 tbsp. vegan margarine
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 1 cup rice milk
  • Salt, fresh ground white pepper
  • Spices (depending on final recipe)

Put it together:

  • Melt butter in small pot over medium heat
  • Whisk in flour
  • Cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly until light brown (roux should come together)
  • Add rice milk a few tablespoons at a time, mixing in between additions until it starts to look creamy, then add in ¼ cup at a time. You can add more or less milk depending on how thick you need the sauce for your recipe.
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Add spices

Wrapped in crispy phyllo, the cod in this dish comes out flaky and moist every time:

Vegan White Sauce with Onion (Makes 1 cup)

You will need:

  • 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 tbsp. vegan margarine
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 1 cup rice milk
  • Salt, fresh ground white pepper
  • Spices (depending on final recipe)

Put it together:

  • Heat olive oil in small saucepan over medium heat
  • Sauté onion until soft
  • Add garlic to onion and sauté a couple of minutes
  • Melt margarine into onion
  • Add flour and stir to combiner
  • Cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly until light brown (roux should come together)
  • Add rice milk a few tablespoons at a time, mixing in between additions until it starts to look creamy, then add in ¼ cup at a time. You can add more or less milk depending on how thick you need the sauce for your recipe.
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Add spices

Versatile and summery Creemy Shroomy Veggies on Crusty Bread:

* No, this is not a misspelling, I’m told “creem” is the way vegans spell fake “cream.”

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New Episode Up: Making Red Sauce (Sunday Gravy)

July 1, 2009

 http://www.youtube.com/v/dqvSJwyoSr0&hl=en&fs=1&

http://www.youtube.com/v/PMi8_rvfRMk&hl=en&fs=1& 

Our latest episode, Making Red Sauce, is up. Italian cook Vinny Pasceri shows us how to slow cook his versatile Sunday Gravy to use with pasta dishes like ziti, lasagna and manicotti.  The meatiness of Sunday gravy separates it from other red sauces, like marinara.

Vinny grew up in a Long Island Italian-American family with a passion for cooking.  His red sauce is influenced by all of the savory gravies his parents and grandparents simmered up during their family dinners every Sunday.  Watching this video, I’m sure the history and passion will inspire you to build your own tradition of great food and family. 

Here is a ziti recipe that I used the Sunday Gravy in.  Although not normally a fan of the graininess of whole grain pastas, the texture is good in ziti, since it gets cooked twice. 

Whole Wheat Baked Ziti

You will need:

Put it together:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Cook pasta until al dente and drain
  • Mix eggs, mozzarella, ricotta, pecorino in a large bowl  
  • Add pasta and sauce to cheese mixture
  • Put in pan(s)
  • Optional – Add 1/2 lb sliced mozzarella on top
  • Optional – Brown and mix in 1 lb ground Italian sausage
  • Cover with foil and bake 50 minutes at 400 degrees F.
  • Optional – Take foil off and brown 10 minutes

Sweet Potato Fries Goodness

April 9, 2009

The recipe below is the most amazing goodness ever to come from my kitchen (pardon my immodesty).  It’s sweet, crispy and salty all in one.  In case you’re curious, the seasoning I used is a meat seasoning with a Hungarian paprika base and I pick it up at the Skagit River Ranch in Sedro Woolley, WA.  This recipe was supposed to go with the lard episode, so I’m happy to say it was worth the wait.  Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Fries

You will need:

  • 1-2 quarts Building Blocks Show Lard
  • 1-3 lbs sweet potatoes
  • Seasoning: You can use a paprika or brown sugar based meat or taco seasoning or make up your own with ingredients like salt and paprika or brown sugar and cinnamon
  • Special tools: large soup pot, cooking thermometer, wire strainer (aka Asian strainer or spider) or metal slotted spoon, mandoline (optional)

Put it together:

  • Scrub sweet potatoes, cut in half and put into a large pot.
  • Cover with cold water and bring to a boil.
  • Boil for 7-10 minutes. This step is very important because softening the potatoes brings out the flavor. The more you boil the better the flavor, but you need to balance that with a good French fry texture and keeping the skin on. The more you boil, the easier the skin comes off.
  • Take potatoes out of the hot water and let cool until you can handle them easily. Slice potatoes slightly larger than the fries you want as they will shrink slightly while frying. I recommend a 7mm julienne. A mandoline can be extremely useful for making conformed fries.
  • Put lard in a heavy soup pot and heat slowly on med-low heat until 300 degrees F.
  • Fry potatoes a handful at a time for 3 minutes and drain immediately onto paper towels. This is the first frying.
  • Let the potatoes sit for at least ten minutes (but up to a couple hours okay).
  • While the fries are resting, turn the heat up just slightly, so that it is closer to 350 degrees F. Make sure that the lard is not smoking. This is very important for both safety and tastiness.
  • Fry the potatoes for 1-3 minutes depending on how brown and crispy you want the fries. This second frying is what gives the fries their characteristic texture.
  • Remove the fries with an Asian strainer or metal slotted spoon and season immediately.

Tips:

  • Crispiness: It seems counter intuitive, but to make crispier fries, you turn down the heat. This allows the fries to lose more of their moisture before burning.
  • Lard may be re-used once or twice if filtered first. Filter the lard while it’s still in a liquid state (but not burning hot) by straining it through a fine mesh sieve lined with a couple layers of cheesecloth or a coffee filter.

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=my-builblocshow-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&asins=B000TJ4IQO&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr&nou=1

New Episode Up: Making Lard

April 2, 2009

 http://www.youtube.com/v/9_zHrCbtT3Y&hl=en&fs=1

 

Our latest episode, Making Lard, is up. If lard doesn’t excite you like it does us, think of all the tasty foods you can make the traditional way: pastries, fried goodies, tortillas and refried beans. We have a whole wheat, dairy free biscuit recipe using lard and are in the final recipe testing stages for a sinfully delicious sweet potato fries recipe.  Be adventurous – give it a try!