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Saturday, 23 May 2009

Gernika Peppers and a recipe review

    My lovlie colleague friend (she is Spanish, from Basque Country she says!) brought me those Gernika peppers from her holidays to Spain. These peppers are unique to the region of Gernika in Spain. The best way to eat them is just shallow fried and sprinkled with some coarse sea salt. They were indeed very tasty and quite different in taste to any other types of peppers I've eaten before! If you happen to get hold of some Gernika peppers, they're worth trying! I really enjoyed them.

    Gernika Peppers

    I also adapted this Nasudengaku recipe (Eggplant grilled with Special Miso paste) from the Now Vegan cookbook. This was so good! Well, I changed some of the spices and sauces but kept the idea of cutting and preparing the aubergine in the same way.

    Eggplant

    So that evening for dinner, we had Gernika peppers, adapted Nasudengaku with couscous, tofu (marinated in soy sauce then fried) and salad! It was a feast!

    Gernika Peppers,Eggplant

    Birthday Presents

    Two weeks ago was my birthday and it was my first birthday here in Ireland in our new apartment. Boyfriendlovlie and I moved to a new apartment 3 weeks ago and we both love it! It's much more spacious and bright. Good size kitchen with enough natural light to take good photos! Nice balcony too! I can't wait to start growing a little veggie garden!

    A while ago, I was thinking that I don't actually own a single vegan cookbook. I actually did get a vegetarian one as a present from a couple of friends but no vegan one. So, for my birthday, Boyfriendlovlie got me one! Yay! I actually saw this book a while ago in the bookstore and was very attracted to some recipes in it. Boyfriendlovlie secretly recorded my fondness for the book and went to buy it. :D It's Now Vegan by Lynda Stoner. I will review or adapt a few recipes in the coming weeks or (more so) months!

    Now Vegan - Lynda Stoner

    I also got a mug; this one I wouldn't have guessed! No, it's not just any mug; it has one of my designs printed on it. You will surely recognise it!

    veganlovlie mug

    And flowers! Lilies, my favourite!

    Photobucket

    Coming up in the next post Nasudengaku recipe (Eggplant grilled with Special Miso paste) that I adapted from the Now Vegan book.

    Sunday, 10 May 2009

    Aubergine and Veggies in Beancurd Fried Wrap

    Photobucket

    I’ve had beancurd before finely chopped and just sautéed in tomato sauce or in curry. But I always tend to think beancurd skin is more appropriate as a wrapping ingredient. And indeed I liked it better used in this way.

    Depending on what type of beancurd skin you are using, you might need to re-hydrate it according to package instructions, usually soaking in warm water. I used moist beancurd skin and I only had to brush with a bit of warm water to soften it slightly more.

    Ingredients (4 wraps)

    1 large aubergine, cut lengthwise in quarters
    Bunch green beans, sliced
    2 - 3 carrots, finely cut in julienne
    3 - 4 mushrooms, sliced
    ½ cup black beans, boiled (any other beans will do)
    2 – 3 tablespoons black bean sauce
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    Few sheets beancurd
    Salt to taste

    For the batter:

    3 – 4 tablespoons flour
    1 teaspoon black bean sauce
    Salt to taste (if required)
    Water (enough to make a thick consistency)

    Oil for sautéing and frying

    • Smear the aubergines on the sides with some black bean sauce. Shallow fry them on each side until tender but still firm in a frying pan. Remove, set aside.
    • Sautee the sliced green beans, carrots, mushrooms and garlic in 1 tablespoon oil and 1 teaspoon black bean sauce for 3 – 4 minutes.
    • Remove, set aside to cool.
    • Lay the beancurd sheets on a large chopping board or on the kitchen work space.
    • Moisten and soften them by brushing with some warm water.
    • Cut into squares (so that the aubergines and veggies would fit in leaving some extra width on the sides. Allow for at least 2 turns of skins around). You may also want to make them half the length by cutting the aubergines.
    • Place aubergine, veggies and black beans on beancurd sheet.

    tags: aubergine beancurd

    • Start rolling from one end, fold over the 2 sides towards the centre.

    Aubergine and veggies in beancurd

    • Continue rolling to enclose everything nicely inside.

    aubergine beancurd

    • Preheat some oil on medium heat in a frying pan for shallow frying.
    • To make the batter, place flour, black bean sauce and salt in a large bowl (large enough to accommodate the length of the wraps). Gradually add water to make a thick batter.
    • Carefully dip each wrap (one at a time) into the batter. Gently roll to coat every side evenly with batter.
    • Place each wrap (one at a time) in the pan. Adjust heat if necessary so that the skin is not cooked too quickly, allowing the veggies to cook a little bit more inside. Turn frequently on every side until golden.
    • Remove and drain on kitchen absorbent paper.

    Enjoy with some salad! This is nice for a packed lunch for work!

    tags: aubergine beancurd

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