East Meets West: Tofu & Dumplings, New Mushroom Pot Pie, Mushroom Fricassee, Sans Coq Sans Vin, and Puff Pastry

Good morning,

We’re at the poultry chapter of The New Basics Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins.  The five recipes that we’ll deal with today were easier to adapt that I initially thought.  They are from pages 395 – 398 and page 784: Chicken and Dumplings, Chicken Pot Pie Nouveau, Chicken Fricassee, Coq au Vino Bianco, and Adrienne’s Rough Puff Pastry.

Our versions are going to be Tofu & Dumplings, New Mushroom Pot Pie, Mushroom Fricassee, Sans Coq Sans Vin, and Puff Pastry.  These dishes are heavy and suitable to winters, especially in our cold, northern Canadian climate.

By now most of my readers know the challenge – every adapted recipe must be vaishno (no meat, no egg, no alcohol), and where they are already vaishno we’re going to kick up the flavour with a little fusion!  Also, all of the ingredients must be reasonably accessible from our little northern town (or non-perishables from an Indian market in Vancouver)  So far we’re at 120 recipes of the 875 … let’s get at it.

Tofu & Dumplings

This is the vaishno alternative to Chicken & Dumplings.  We’ve spiced up the dumplings a little, added a little heat and replaced the chicken, stock, shortening and the almost omnipresent parsley from the original recipe in this thick, warm stew.

Ingredients
1 kg firm tofu, unflavoured
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 tbls canola oil
1 rib celery, cut into 2″ pieces
1 carrot, peeled and cut into 2″ pieces
2 leeks (white part and 1″ green), well rinsed and cut into 1″ pieces
1 small onion, quartered
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1 tsp chili flakes
4 cups Light Vegetable Stock (recipe here)

For the dumplings:
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 tsp hot red chili powder
2 tbsp ghee or unsalted butter
1/3 cup whole milk

Method:
Preheat the oven to 400F.  Cut the tofu into 1″ cubes.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.  Toss the cubes in a bowl with the paprika, salt and pepper to coat well.  Arrange the cubes on teh baking sheet.  Cook in oven for about 40 minutes, turning once halfway through.  When the tofu is baked add it to a dutch oven, with the oil, vegetables, cilantro, chili and stock and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat, cover, and simmer just until teh vegetables are tender and cooked through, about 35 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a platter and keep warm.  Reserve the broth in the pot.

Make the dumplings:  In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, pepper, cilantro and chili pwoder.  Using a pastry blender, two knives or your fingertips, cut in the butter or ghee until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Then add the milk, stirring just until the mixture is moistened.  Gather the dough into a ball, knead it once or twice, and cut it into twelve pieces.  Bring the broth back to a simmer, and drop the dumplings into it.  Cover, and simmer until they are puffed and cooked through, about 15 minutes.

To serve, arrange the tofu, vegetables, and dumplings into four shallow bowls.  Ladle some broth into each bowl, and sprinkle with come cilantro, if you like.  Makes 4 servings.

New Mushroom Pot Pie

I loved pot pies when I was a starving student.  They are some of the best comfort food out there.  This recipe skips the chicken obviously but is loaded with beautiful mushrooms and lots of vegetables and our baked honey tofu.  We left the hot spices out of this recipe.

Ingredients
250 grams firm tofu, unflavoured
2 tbls wildflower honey
2 tbls water
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 to 2 1/2 cups Light Vegetable Stock (recipe here)
2 cups sliced carrots (1/4″ thick rounds)
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
125 g sugar snap peas, cut diagonally in half
1 cup tiny spring onions, sliced in 1/4″ thick slices
2 tbls unsalted butter
2 tbls unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups mixed mushrooms, cut into 1/4″ slices
1/2 recipe Puff Pastry (recipe below)
1 tsp water
1 tsp honey for glaze

Method
Preheat the oven to 400F.  Cut the tofu into 1″ cubes.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.  Toss the cubes in a bowl with the honey, water and pepper to coat well.  Arrange the cubes on the baking sheet.  Cook in oven for about 40 minutes, turning once halfway through.

Bring 1 cup of the vegetable stock to a boil in a small pot.  Add the carrots and 1 rosemary sprig, and boil for 4 minutes.  Drain, reserving the liquid, and set aside.  Discard the rosemary.  Bring a small saucepan of water to a voil.  Add the snap peas and cook for 30 seconds.  Drain, rinse under cold water, and add to the carrots.

Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the flour, and cook, whisking over medium-low heat, 3 to 4 minutes.  Ass the reserved liquid from the carrots and enough of the remaining stock to make 2 cups.  Cook, whisking, until thickened, another 3 to 4 minutes.  Add a sprig of rosemary, cover, and set aside to cool.   Lightly butter four individual ramekins.  Place a portion of the cooked tofu in each, followed by a portion of the snap peas, onions, carrots and mushrooms.  Pour the thickened sauce over each mixture, and insert half a rosemary sprig in each.  Cover the ramekins, and place them in the refrigerator.

On a cool, floured surface, roll the pastry out to form a rectangle 1/4″ thick.  Cut into four rectangles.  Whisk the honey together with the water, and brush the outside rim of each ramekin with this wash.  Set a pastry triangle on top, draping the excess dough over the sides and pressing around the outside to seal.  Trim the dough to make a neat edge, and chill in the freezer for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 475F.  Transfer the ramekins to the oven, and bake until the pastry is puffed and well browned, 15 to 18 minutes.  Serve immediately in the ramekins.  Makes 4 sservings.

Mushroom Fricassee

Ingredients
5 tbls unsalted butter, divided
1 tbls olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 ribs celery, with leaves, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
3 sprigs dill
4 cups water
2 cups Light Vegetable Stock (recipe here)
1 zucchini, cut into 2″ julienne
1 carrot, peeled and cut into 2″ julienne
1 leek, white part only, well rinsed and cut into 2″ julienne
1 kg fresh mixed mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt, to taste
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
3 tbls chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Method:
In a heavy dutch oven, add the chopped carrots, celery, onion, garlic, and the parsley and dill sprigs.  Add the water and stock, and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.  Strain the broth, discarding the vegetables if desired (we put them in a compost pile) and return the broth to the pot.  Bring it to a boil and reduce by half; this will take about 10 minutes.  Reserve 2 cups of the liquid (freeze any excess for a future use).

While the broth is reducing, melt 2 tbls of the butter in a large skillet.  Add the julienned zucchini, carrot and leek, and the mushrooms.  Saute quickly until just tender, 3 minutes.  Set the vegetables aside.  Melt the remaining butter in a heavy saucepan.  Add the flour, and whisk constantly over low heat for 3 minutes.  Then add the 2 cups reserved broth and the cream, whisking constantly until the sauce has thickened.  Season with salt and pepper, and remove from heat.  Add the sauteed vegetables, shallots and 2 tbls of the chopped parsley to the sauce.  Place the mushroom fricassee in bowls and sprinkle the remaining 1 tbls parsley on top.  Serve immediately.  Makes 6 sevings.

Sans Coq Sans Vin

500 g firm tofu
2 tsp paprika
1 tbls olive oil
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
2 cups spring onions, chopped
2 tbls unsalted butter
1 cup coarsely chopped onion
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
2 tbls olive oil
1 tsp black cumin (available in Indian markets)
1 tsp honey
1/2 kg fresh mixed mushrooms, stems discarded, caps quartered
1 bay leaf
2 cups unsweetened grape juice
1 cup Light Vegetable Stock (recipe here)
1/2 tsp dried thyme or 1 sprig fresh thyme
2 tbls chopped fresh coriander

Method:
Preheat the oven to 400F.  Cut the tofu into 1″ cubes.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.  Toss the cubes in a bowl with the paprika, olive oil and pepper to coat well.  Arrange the cubes on the baking sheet.  Cook in oven for about 40 minutes, turning once halfway through.

Melt the butter in a large flame-proof casserole.  Add the chopped onion, and saute over low heat, until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.  Combine the flour, paprika, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl.  Add to the casserole with the tofu and spring onions and cook, over medium heat, tossing constantly, until the onions are lightly browned.  Sprinkle them with the honey and continue cooking until the onions are carmelized, 3 to 5 minutes.  Add the mushrooms and cumin to the casserole, and cook over medium heat until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add the bay leaf, grape juice, stock, and thyme to the casserole.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cook about 25 minutes.  Transfer the vegetables to a warmed platter.  Bring the remaining liquid to a boil and reduce until it is slightly thick, about 10 minutes.  Pour the sauce over the vegetables, and serve garnished with the chopped coriander.

Puff Pastry

Ingredients
250g unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp fine sea salt
250g butter, cold, cut into small pieces
about 150ml cold water

Combine the flour and salt in a food processor and process to blend. Add the butter and pulse until the butter is in very small pieces (about the size of a lentil) – 10 pulses or so. Add 4 tbls of the cold water and pulse just to blend. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rest for 20 mins in the fridge.

Turn out onto a lightly floured board, knead gently and form into a smooth rectangle. Roll the dough in one direction only, until 3 times the width. Keep edges straight and even. Don’t overwork the butter streaks; you should have a marbled effect. Fold the top third down to the centre, then the bottom third up and over that. Give the dough a quarter turn and roll out again to three times the length. Fold as before, cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 20 mins before rolling to use.

 

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