Tag Archives: books

Red Wine-Braised Leeks and Mushrooms

28 Nov

As promised, I tried out one of Terry Hope Romero’s recipes from Vegan Eats World as part of The Farm Table’s cook book review and blog give away. This dish was a wonderful addition to our Thanksgiving meal last week, and topped our mashed potatoes, which we usually don with butter or gravy. What a fancy  and welcome upgrade!

Red Wine-Braised Leeks and Mushrooms

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound leeks, preferably thinner leeks no wider than 2 inches in diameter
  • 10 oz cremini mushrooms, brushed clean and tough ends of stems sliced off
  • 3 Tbs of olive oil
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp salt, plus additional for sprinkling
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 Tbs non-hydrogenated vegan margarine
  • A few twists of freshly ground pepper

Directions:

Trim away most of the green stalks on the leeks, leaving about an inch near the white part. Slice away the tip of root end, and slice each leek in half lengthwise.  Firmly hold the leek so that it doesn’t fall apart, and rinse under cool running water to remove any grit or dirt. Place leeks on a cutting board and slice each piece into sections about 2 1/2 inches long — hold the pieces together to prevent the leaves from separating too much. If the leeks fall apart while cooking, don’t worry, but for the prettiest presentation try to keep them together.

Slice the mushrooms into quarters. Over medium-high heat, sear the mushrooms in 1 Tbs of olive oil. Fry the mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until both sides are browned and mushrooms look juicy  (about 4 minutes). Remove from the pan and transfer to an over-proof dish. Sprinkle the mushrooms with a pinch of sea salt, cover with foil, and put in an oven set at 250 degrees to keep warm.

Heat the remaining olive oil and place the leeks cut side down in the oil. Brown the leeks for 2 to 3 minutes, carefully lifting them up to check and see if the undersides are seared and the edges of the leaves are browned. Pour the wine, sprinkle with marjoram and salt, and tuck the thyme sprigs into the wine. Increase the heat and bring the wine to an active simmer and cover the pan. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.

If serving on top of white bean puree, potatoes, or pasta, mound the individual servings (about 1 cup) of hot puree in serving dishes. Divide the mushrooms on top of the servings of puree. Uncover the pan and using tongs, carefully lift the leeks and arrange on top of mushrooms. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the juices in the pan to a rapid simmer for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low and swirl the margarine into the juices. Use a wire whisk to continuously stir the sauce until smooth and lightly thickened. Drizzle a little bit of the sauce over each serving of leeks and mushrooms and serve immediately.

From the book Vegan Eats World by Terry Hope Romero.  Excerpted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright (c) 2012.www.dacapopresscookbooks.com

This dish was easy to make, delicious, and we were able to used left-over wine that was just a tad past its prime — perfect for this recipe. I encourage you to consider making it for your next holiday meal, or even better, add it to your meal plan this week. With Country Fresh Cremini Mushrooms coming in your Farm Table Garden Box this week, there is no reason not to.

I have been very pleased with the recipes I’ve tried from Vegan Eats World and Viva Vegan! over the past few weeks, and would like to thank Terry Hope Romero and Da Capo Press for allowing me to give vegan cuisine a try. I will definitely add recipes from both books to our meal rotation.

If you want to try out vegan cooking yourself, you have until 9:00pm EST tonight (11/28/12) to enter our blog give away. Details are HERE.

Vegan Cuisine meets The Farm Table: A Blog Give Away

18 Nov

I am thrilled to have the opportunity to review Vegan Eats World (2013), and Viva Vegan! (2010) by Terry Hope Romero, a Venezuelan-American, award-winning vegan chef, living in Queens, NYC, who is known for her bestselling cookbooks, including Veganomicon, and her blog Vegan Latina.

When the cookbooks arrived at my doorstep a few weeks ago, I put my boys down for a nap, made a hot cup of tea, and sat down to pour over the recipes, (I’ll take a good cookbook over 50 shades of you know what any day…).

What I appreciate most about both cookbooks is that you don’t have to be a vegan to appreciate vegan food, rather, Terry gives you the tools to treat vegan cooking as any other cuisine, opening the door to so many possibilities. Whether you are looking to get a few meat-free meals on the dinner table during the week, have dairy-challenged members in your family, are a seasoned vegan cook, or are looking to make a lifestyle change, these cookbooks give you the basic vegan cooking know-how to expand your culinary repertoire. Secondly, Terry talks to you, not at you, which makes a cookbook like this accessible to everyone.

Vegan Eats World is a collection of recipes pulling from cooking traditions around the planet, and allows you to experience Italian, Mediterranean, Asian and many other traditions in a new, surprising, and potentially more healthful way. Vegan Eats World is broken down into three sections:

  • Kitchen Cartography: a guide to vegan pantry basics, cooking terminology, and cooking techniques. Terry guides you through the basic ingredients to keep on hand for easy vegan cooking, such as masa harina for Mexican cooking, hoisin sauce for Asian cooking, cous cous for African cooking, and aleppo-pepper flakes for Middle Eastern cooking.
  • Recipes: Terry provides a basic introduction to each recipe, giving the reader a background for each dish, variations you can try out, suggested pairings with other recipes in the book — all of which entice you to try out a dish that might otherwise intimidate. The recipe section includes, among many others: spice blends, proteins, sauces, sandwiches, entrees,  and desserts. Terry even put together easy markers, so you know if a recipe is for the beginner, if it is gluten-free, or if it is easy on the wallet.
  • Menus, Online Resources, etc: Terry crafted together menu suggestions so that the amateur or seasoned vegan cook can easily round out a meal.

Vegan Eats World helps answer the question, “What if the world was vegan?” and would be a wonderful addition to even the world’s biggest “meat-and-potatoes” cookbook library, and is a fabulous option for people with gluten allergies.

Viva Vegan! reads like a novel, and I am especially drawn to it given my affinity for Latin food. The format to Viva Vegan! is very similar to Vegan Eats World, only with a guide to creating a “Vegan Latin Pantry,” and recipes focusing solely on Latin cooking (not just Mexican cooking). The cookbook offers essential “Latino Vegan” recipes like Annatto-Infused Oil or a Basic Onion-Pepper Sofrito, to Salsas, Empanadas, Ensaladas, and mouth-watering concoctions that combine what Terry calls, “Los Dos Amigos,” also known as beans and rice.

Terry has an entire section on making vegan tamales, which includes shopping for ingredients, preparing corn husks, and prepping your work station, so that this laborious food option becomes a little less intimidating. Want to make Black Bean-Sweet Potato Tamales with Farm Table produce? Terry will walk you through it. 

Viva Vegan! is also a great option for people who would like to eat Latin food, but fear that it is too spicy. Guess what? Not all Latin food is spicy, and Terry includes these non-spicy options for those who can’t stand the heat. 

There are not a lot of photos in this cookbook, so if that is something that is important to you, know that before purchasing. My two cents? The introduction she gives to each recipe, and the way she walks you through each ingredient and how to create each dish makes the amount of photos the book contains unnecessary. 

Many thanks to Terry Hope Romero and her publishers for allowing us to present these two cookbooks to you, and to offer you the opportunity to own Vegan Eats World and Viva Vegan! in our blog give away. We are also pleased to be able to share one recipe from each book, which I will test out and post here in the coming weeks! Stay Tuned!

The outcome of my first Vegan recipe from Vegan Eats World using Shiitake Mushrooms from the The Farm Table’s Garden Box  “Takeout Stir-Fry Noodles with Mushrooms and Greens.”

To enter our Blog Give Away:

  • Farm Table members get 1 entry for simply being a Farm Table member. Just comment on this post telling us you are a current Farm Table member, and which book you would prefer if you won the give away.
  • Sign up for this blog  to the right under “Follow The Tractor” to receive email updates on future posts, then comment letting us know you’ve done so. If you already follow us, just let us know in your comment.
  • “Like” us on Facebook and then comment under this post letting us know you’ve done so.
  • Follow us on Twitter @TheFarmTable, and then comment under this post letting us know.
  • Follow us on Pinterest, and then comment under this post letting us know.
  • “Like” this post and then comment below letting us know you’ve done so.

Blog Give Away Details: Each comment counts as one entry and you have up to 6 chances to enter if you are Farm Table member, and 5 chances to enter if you are a non-member. We will choose two winners at random. One winner will receive Vegan Eats World, and a separate winner will receive Viva Vegan! Entries must be submitted by 9:00pm EST, Wednesday, November 28, 2012. The give away is open to The Farm Table blog readers in the US and Canada only. 

The give away is closed.

Congratulations to Kathleen Bowden who will be sent Viva Vegan! and Jessica Clarke who will be sent Vegan Eats World. Look for your copies in the mail!

Hodge-podge

28 Apr

This weekend brings us a hodge-podge of information, and we’re not talking about soup:

Remember the radishes that were growing? Well, they grew.

Home grown radishes

We are so grateful for the rain that came this past week. Our farmers, whose livelihood depends on equal amounts of  rain and sun, needed it. The produce is sure to flourish because of it.

And it’s not just the radishes that are thriving — the weeds are happy about the rain, too.

Got dandelions and purslane? Consider taming  those offending weeds into something edible.

If your weekend plans don’t include pulling weeds for your dinner, you might be interested in this local Richmond event hosted by Bon Air United Methodist Church. Tanya Denckla Cobb, UVA professor and author of Reclaiming Our Food: How the Grassroots Movement is Changing the Way We Eat will speak at Bon Air United Methodist Church on Sunday, April 29 at 9:45 a.m. in the sanctuary. The event is free and open to the public.

Or, you have two more nights to enjoy Richmond Restaurant Week. Did you dine at a participating restaurant this week? Tell us about it!