Monday, January 17, 2011

Vegan Hot Dogs / Lil' Smokeys

1/2 cup white beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup onion, very finely minced
1 garlic clove, very finely minced
1 teaspoon finely ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoon ground mace
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard seed
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt and pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar or maple syrup
1 cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 1/4 cups vital wheat gluten


1. Prepare a steamer basket. In a food processor or a large bowl, mash beans until they look like mush. Now, mix in your onion, garlic and spices (from the coriander to the sugar).

2. Next, add the broth, vegetable oil, soy sauce, liquid smoke and nutritional yeast. Mix it all up. Add the vital wheat gluten. It is essential that you add the gluten last because otherwise your spices will make a spiral through everything and it is disgusting.

3. Now mix it all together until it looks like bread dough. Okay, this is the fun part. Tear off sheets of aluminum foil. Form dough into long skinny strips, about 1/2" thick and 5" long (or for lil' smokeys, 1 1/2" by a 1/4"). They will not look like hot dogs, yet.

4. Roll them in the foil (with ends twisted) and place them in your steamer. Let them steam for 40 minutes. After that, unwrap them and store them in an air tight container or eat them.

This recipe makes between 30-45 lil' smokeys and up to 12 hot dogs depending on the size you form them into.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Fair-Style Corn Dogs

When I was a kid, the first place we stopped at the county fair was at the food stands. The air smelled of deep-fried everything from french fries and corn dog to turnovers and funnel cake. It was a smell of happiness and rainbows. Sadly, a hundred pounds later, I realized that salad would make me just as happy. Either way, every once in awhile all children and adults should be given the chance to eat a little deep-fried goodness on a stick.

  • 6 Vegan hot dogs
  • Corn starch (for coating the dogs)
  • 1/2 Cups Yellow corn meal
  • 1/2 Cups Flour
  • 1/2 tsp. Cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 Tbs. Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Baking powder
  • 5/8 Cup Soy milk
  • 1 Tbs. Brown mustard
  • 1 Egg worth of replacer
1) Heat deep-fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2) Mix together the dry ingredients (Corn meal through the baking powder).
3) After the dry are well mixed, add the soy milk, mustard and egg replacer. Mix until smooth.
4) Sprinkle corn starch on a plate, roll the hot dogs in the corn starch until lightly coated.
5) Pour batter into a tall glass, dip hot dogs in and immediately place into the deep-fryer. Let cook for 5 minutes or until golden brown.
6) Push chopsticks or trimmed bamboo skewers into the finished Corn Dog for convenient eating!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sweet n' Dirrty Co'nbread

Photo by Jesse Kline
Goldmouth: Hey, girl! You gon' eat yo' cornbread?
Claude Banks: You talkin' to *me*?
Rayford Gibson: Yeah, I think he's talkin' to you.
Rayford Gibson: Uh, no. Not at all; I want you to have it. Uh, Willie, you mind passin' this down to-
Rayford Gibson: Hey, no, don't pass your cornbread to him. That's your cornbread.
Claude Banks: Ray, I'm a grown man, okay, I'm not gonna eat this cornbread, if he wants the cornbread, damn it, have the cornbread!
Rayford Gibson: No no, if he wants some cornbread, let him go up to the front and get his own portion of cornbread, that's your cornbread, f*ck him.
[to Goldmouth]
Rayford Gibson: Hey, man he gonna eat his cornbread, all right? F*ck you.
Claude Banks: Ray, look, I don't need you to take up for me, I'm all right, I'm a grown man, I can handle this.
Rayford Gibson: If you let have your cornbread, you're gonna be ironin' his drawers and clippin' his toenails.

According to the movie industry, cornbread in prison is worth its weight in gold. I believe it. If it wasn't, I wouldn't wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat and craving corn bread. So here you go world, a way to get over your cornbread-induced insomnia.

  • 1 1/4 Cups Yellow corn meal
  • 3/4 Cups flour
  • 1 Tbs. Baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 tsp. Salt
  • 3/4 Cups Sugar
  • 1 Cup Soy or Rice Milk
  • 2 Eggs worth of egg replacer
  • 1/4 Cup Vegetable oil
1)Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
2)Combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, cayenne pepper, salt and sugar - set aside.
3)Combine remaining ingredients and mix into dry ingredients. 
4)Pour mixture into a cast-iron skillet (best or a greased 9 x 9 baking pan. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until browned.

Top it with "butter" and serve alongside gumbo or a nice thick chili. 
(P.S. the movie quote is from "Life")

Faux Gumbo

Photo by Jesse Kline
When I was 17, I had a friend named Jessica. She was a carefree blond with a heart of gold and a CD case chocked full of punk rock. One day, she invited me to her international cooking class where she prepared a vegetarian version of gumbo. It changed my life. From that point on, I craved gumbo nearly every day. The problem was I had no idea how to make it. I didn't know how to make a roux, I couldn't find file powder for the life of me. Fast forward eight years and I found myself putting together a menu for the week to save money and I decided to seek out the basic elements of gumbo. This of course meant I had to make a roux. I said eff that. Maybe I have a fear of browned flour or maybe even margarine. Either way, the name for the gumbo is appropriate. If there is no roux, it isn't really gumbo. So here you go, my version of gumbo.


  • 1 Tbs. Olive oil
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 1 Green bell pepper, diced
  • 3 Stalks celery, sliced
  • 3 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Cups vegetable broth
  • 3 Cups water
  • 1 14 Ounce can (No salt added) diced tomatoes
  • 1 3/4 Cups frozen okra
  • 1 Zucchini, sliced 
  • 1 tsp. File powder
  • 1 tsp. Thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. Fennel seed
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • Tabasco sauce, optional


1)Saute the onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic in olive oil over medium heat in a soup pot. 
2)Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a low simmer. Cover and cook for at least 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Serve it over rice or eat it like a delicious soup.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Holy pizza Batman!

Photo by Jesse Kline

Pizza is nothing without a good crust. So I searched and searched for one. After 20 pounds of dough and a million concoctions, I found a recipe and decided to make it my own with a few corrections. It is light and airy and has a chewy bite. You would be a fool not to try this pizza. I will be working on a sauce recipe, so hold your undies (or lack thereof) on!

  • 250 g Bread flour ( Which is 1 2/3 cups)
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 tsp. Active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp. Salt

1) Mix the flour,yeast,salt & water in your stand mixer with the paddle on high speed, it won't look like it is doing anything for a while. Then after about 10 minutes or so it will start to come together. It should start to pull off the sides and get stuck to the paddle, if not add just a touch of flour. The dough should be sticky.
2) Spray a pitcher with vegetable oil  and pour the dough in. Now wait until the dough triples (or proofs). In other words, go do something for 2+ hours. It's going to be awhile.
3)Preheat your oven to 500 degrees. While the oven is heating, heavily flour a nice, clean surface and pour your blob of dough onto it. Now without pounding it down too much (notice the bubbles?) form your dough into a crust and then flip it over to get both sides with a tad of flour. Now place your doughy crust on the pizza pan and add your sauce and toppings BUT  NOT YOUR CHEESE!!! Now pop that sucker in for 5 minutes or until golden.

4) If you want "cheese" (I use Teese). Pull out your pie and sprinkle the mother load on top and pop it back into the oven until the cheese is melted to your liking. For me, that is another 5 minutes.