Saturday, December 03, 2005

Argotnaut's favorite meatless loaf

as opposed to her favorite meaty oaf, which I hope is me!

Those who also read Dr. Lizardo's blog (link to the right) know there's been some recipe-ing a'going on. She asked about the vegetarian "meat"loaf and brown sauce I make for special occasions that Argotnaut loves so much. And since I'm doing everything humanly possible to avoid vacuuming right now, here it is.

Two precautions: #1, make a double batch because the first one will be gone quickly and you'll be left with a disaster of a kitchen and no leftovers! Which leads me to precaution #2: these dishes together (and they MUST be served together, preferably with mashed potatoes and nice steamed veggies) use every pan you have and probably some you don't! The recipes come from "3 Bowls: Vegetarian Recipes from an American Zen Buddhist Monastery," by Seppo Ed Farrey. The book is a wealth of delicious, well-explained veggie recipes that range from all-in-one-pot stews to mammoth ordeals, such as this one:

Quinoa-Mushroom Nut Loaf
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well and drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large celery ribs, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1.5 teaspoons sea salt
10-12 oz. white mushrooms, diced
1.5 cups wheat germ, toasted*
1 cup walnuts, toasted*
0.5 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1 large egg, lightly whisked
1 tablespoon dried sage, crumbled
2 teaspoons dried thyme, crumbled
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled
Freshly milled black pepper
* toasting means exactly that: toast the stuff in a medium skillet until mouth-wateringly fragrant

1. Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the quinoa, reduce the heat to very low, cover and simmer until the water is completely absorbed and the quinoa is tender, 15-20 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 350F and generously coat a 5x9-inch loaf pan with spray, oil, or butter.

3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the celery, onion and salt and saute, stirring occasionally, until the onion is almost translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and saute, stirring occasionally, until all the juices have evaporated and the vegetables just begin to stick to the pan. Transfer to a large bowl.

4. Add the quinoa and remaining ingredients. Mix well with your hands. Pack the mixture tightly into the loaf pan.

5. Bake for about 1 hour, or until the top is toasty brown. Let cool for 10 minutes, loosen the sides with a spatula, and carefully flip the nut loaf onto a serving platter. Slice carefully. Serve.

Garden Brown Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large carrots, chopped
.75 medium onion, chopped
2 large celery ribs, chopped
2 oz. white mushrooms, cut into quarter-inch slices (about 1 cup)
4 garlic cloves, halved
quarter-cup tomato paste
quarter-cup unbleached white flour
1 cup dry red wine
2 tablespoons tamari
2 teaspoons peppercorns
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
half-teaspoon sea salt

1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and onion and saute, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 15 minutes.

2. Add the celery, mushrooms, and garlic and saute, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 10 minutes more.

3. Add the tomato paste and saute until browned, about 10 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.

4. Stir in the wine and scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the saucepan. Add 6 cups water and the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes.

5. Strain through a very fine sieve into a medium bowl; discard the solids. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 week. Make a double batch and freeze any leftovers. The sauce can be frozen for up to 3 months.


Tavia said...

Wow! You must have gotten the cooking genes in the family! I draw the line at chopping more than 2 things.
But I hightly recommend also the mushroom casserole in the Moosewood cookbook. Two people can eat a 9x13 panful, it's so good. Though I haven't tried this one, so I'll take your word 'til I try it myself (which will be when Ursa cooks it).

Andrew said...

For some reason, I think the boys in the family got the cooking genes (perhaps from Grampa Harry, who, I hear, cooked a heckuva fudge.) Steve is a decent cook himself.

Homer Simpson said...

Hmmmmmmm, loaf.....

Ted Nugent said...

Meatless loaf ? Don't you know it's un-american not eat meat on a regular basis ? If you don't eat meat, the terrorists will win !

Anonymous said...

Now that you've finished your novel, will you be working on a cook book next ? Just a thought....
Yes, I really should get back to work...

argotnaut said...

Thank chaos _someone_ around here has cooking genes! If it were up to me, we'd be eating nothing but steamed veggies and burnt noodles.

Tavia said...

That's why the Goddess invented Thai Peanut Sauce.

Devon said...

I'd have to agree that the boys got the cooking gene. Probably from our father. . . Man, I kill myself. . .

Devon said...

What is tamari? Can I use it again in another recipe?

Andrew said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Andrew said...

I don't know about inheriting cooking genes from Dad... I really can't remember him cooking ANYTHING. Not even the things Dads traditionally cook, like BBQ. Steve and I must have gotten our cooking proclivities from Mom, although I think we tend to be more adventurous in the kitchen. Especially me, because of Argotnaut being a vegetarian. If you don't want to eat mac-&-cheese and Boca burgers every night, you have to be a willing to try new things.

I think of cooking as being somewhat like working in a lab, except you eat the results to judge the success of the experiment. I guess it all goes back to my love of chemistry... if I had it to do all over again, I'd probably have become a chemist rather than a writer.

Finally, tamari is a kind of soy sauce, so yes, you can use it in just about any recipe where soy sauce, or even salt, is required. Here's a good explanation:

Tavia said...

Lab experimentation, and testing the results on yourself?? Maybe you got the cooking bug from Bruce Banner.

Andrew said...

Many's the time Argotnaut has come home and said, "Me hungry! Arrrrrggggghhh!" I'm afraid she's not very intimidating, though, with her bird-like bones and wee fists.