Sloppy Gentle Joes (Kid Approved)

A compassionate twist on the classic American hot sandwich filling consisting of seasoned meatless crumbles combined with onions, bell pepper and seasonings in a tangy tomato sauce.

Seasoning Mixture Ingredients
• 1 cup water
• 2 T tamari, soy sauce or Bragg Liquid Aminos™
• 1 T Worcestershire Sauce (pg. ) or commercial vegan equivalent
• 1 T prepared Dijon, brown or yellow mustard
• 1 T packed dark brown sugar
• 1 tsp onion powder
• 1 tsp dried oregano leaves
• 1 tsp dried basil leaves
• 1 tsp browning liquid, such as Gravy Master™

Basic Ingredients
• 2 T olive oil
• 1 medium onion, finely diced
• ½ green bell pepper, finely diced
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 cup dry TVP/TSP granules (textured vegetable/soy protein)
• 1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
• sea salt or kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper, to taste
• 4 white or whole grain Kaiser rolls or burger buns, split and lightly toasted

Preparation
In a bowl, whisk together the seasoning mixture ingredients; set aside.
Add the oil to a skillet and place over medium heat. Sauté the onion and bell pepper until tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the minced garlic and sauté an additional minute.

Add the seasoning mixture to the skillet. Stir thoroughly to combine and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the TVP/TSP and mix well. Reduce the heat to low and cover the skillet for 10 minutes.

Stir the tomato sauce into the skillet mixture. The mixture will be very saucy. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently (to prevent scorching) until nicely thickened, about 10 minutes. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon onto the toasted buns, and serve immediately.

Fried Mozzarella Sticks (Non-Dairy)

DSC08968-001An appetizer favorite, fried mozzarella sticks can also be made with Mozzarella di Campana or di Tuscano (from The Non-Dairy Evolution Cookbook) for additional zesty Italian flavor.

Ingredients
• 1 block Mozzarella Fior di Latte (from the Non-Dairy Evolution Cookbook)
or Mozzarella di Tuscano or di Campana variations
• 1 cup plain unsweetened non-dairy milk
• ½ cup all-purpose flour or rice flour
• 1 T nutritional yeast flakes
• 1 cup plain fine dry breadcrumbs
• ½ cup panko-style bread crumbs
• 1 and ½ tsp fine sea salt or kosher salt
• 1 tsp onion powder
• 1 tsp garlic powder
• 1 tsp dried oregano
• 1 tsp dried basil
• ½ tsp coarse ground black pepper
• high-temp cooking oil, such as grapeseed, safflower, sunflower
• marinara sauce, for dipping

Preparation
Cut the mozzarella into sticks and keep chilled until ready to prepare the breading. Prepare the marinara sauce ahead of time so it can be reheated just before serving the fried mozzarella.

In one bowl, whisk the milk, flour and nutritional yeast together until smooth. Set aside.
In another bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and seasonings.

Dip a mozzarella stick into the milk/flour batter, shake off the excess and roll in the breadcrumbs until thoroughly coated. Handle them gently so as to not dislodge the breading. Place the stick on a plate and repeat with the remaining sticks. If the breading is not adhering completely, repeat dipping in the milk/flour mixture and then the breadcrumbs. It’s important to achieve complete coverage. Place the plate into the refrigerator uncovered for 30 minutes to allow the breading to dry a bit and thoroughly chill the mozzarella.

Add 1-inch of oil to a deep skillet or wok and place over medium-high heat. Place the marinara sauce over medium heat to warm while frying the mozzarella sticks.
When the oil begins to shimmer, gently lower a few of the sticks into the hot oil and fry until golden brown. Fry the sticks in batches; remove with a slotted spoon and place on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.

Serve immediately with the marinara sauce. If the sticks need to be reheated, place them in a hot oven for about 10 minutes; they also respond well to brief reheating in a microwave (they heat from within, which is very efficient for melting the cheese).

Crock Beer Cheese (Non-dairy, of course)

DSC00019-001Crock Beer Cheese is a spreadable sharp non-dairy cheddar enhanced with the flavor of beer. The beer is first reduced to eliminate the alcohol and a good portion of the water thus concentrating its flavor (the beer flavor is not a primary note in the cheese but rather contributes to the overall flavor profile). To spice things up, ground cayenne pepper can be added before cooking the cheese. For a robust cheese, prepared horseradish can be mixed into the cheese after it has set.

Crock Beer Cheese is superb for spreading on crackers, hard or soft pretzels or chunks of crusty bread. It can be melted on sandwiches or used in any application where spreadable sharp cheddar might be used.

Note: For this cheese, you will need a working understanding for preparing the Block Cheeses in the Non-Dairy Evolution Cookbook (see the main page of the TheGentleChef.com website for information on where to purchase the book). A cheese form is not required since the cheese will be stored in a crock or other suitable container. Any heat-proof container that will hold a minimum of 2 cups liquid will suffice for chilling and setting the cheese.

Ingredients
• 1 bottle (12 oz) beer of your choice, alcoholic or non-alcoholic
(please note that dark beers will darken the cheese)
• 1 T raw apple cider vinegar
• ½ tsp vegan lactic acid powder (available from ModernistPantry.com) or 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
• ½ cup refined coconut oil
• 1 cup organic plain unsweetened soymilk (no additives) or homemade almond milk
• ¼ cup tapioca flour
• ¼ cup nutritional yeast flakes
• 2 T mellow white miso paste
• 1 T tomato paste
• 2 tsp kappa carrageenan (available from ModernistPantry.com)
• 1 tsp fine sea salt or kosher salt
• 1 tsp dry ground mustard
• ½ tsp onion powder
• ½ tsp garlic powder
• optional: ¼ tsp ground cayenne pepper, or more to taste
• optional: 1 T prepared horseradish (not creamed) for stirring into the cheese after cooking and chilling

Technique:
First, gather all ingredients. Combine the vinegar with the lactic acid powder or lemon juice in a small dish and set aside near your cooking area. The acid mixture will be added to the cheese mixture after cooking.

Next, melt the coconut oil. Measure ½ cup and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, bring the beer to a simmer. Watch carefully while heating, as the beer will foam excessively and possibly boil over if brought to a vigorous boil. Skim and discard any excess foam. Simmer until reduced, about 15 minutes. Let the mixture cool until warm. Measure ⅓ cup and discard any remainder.

Transfer the beer reduction to a blender. Add the soymilk or almond milk with the remaining ingredients (except for the optional horseradish). Do not add the coconut oil or acid to the blender. Process the contents until smooth, stopping as necessary to dislodge any dry powder from the sides of the blender with a flexible spatula.

Now add the coconut oil (but not the acid) to the blender and pulse the mixture once or twice only to disperse the oil but not completely blend. This is important. After pulsing, pour the mixture into the saucepan.

Cook the cheese according to the Preparation and Cooking Technique instructions in the Block Cheese section of The Non-Dairy Evolution Cookbook. Be sure to incorporate the acid mixture into the cooked cheese before pouring into a minimum 2-cup container to set.

Cover with plastic wrap and chill for a minimum of 6 hours. After chilling, transfer the set cheese to a mixing bowl and mash and stir thoroughly with a fork until smooth. Stir in the optional prepared horseradish. Transfer to a crock or other suitable container and chill until ready to serve.

Beer Cheese Sauce

DSC00039-001Beer cheese sauce is a sharp, non-dairy cheddar sauce enhanced with the flavor of beer. The beer is first reduced to eliminate the alcohol and a good portion of the water thus concentrating its flavor (the beer flavor is not a primary note in the sauce but rather contributes to the overall flavor profile). For a zesty sauce, prepared horseradish can be added when blending the sauce before cooking. To spice things up, ground cayenne pepper can be added too.

Beer cheese sauce is superb for dipping hard or soft pretzels or chunks of crusty bread. It can be used as a topping for hot sandwiches or pasta, or for any application where a tangy cheddar sauce might be used.

Ingredients
• 1 bottle (12 oz) beer of your choice, alcoholic or non-alcoholic
(please note that dark beers will darken the sauce)
• 1 and ¼ cup organic plain unsweetened soymilk (no additives) or homemade almond milk
• 5 T tapioca flour
• ¼ cup nutritional yeast flakes
• ¼ cup mild vegetable oil
• 2 T mellow white miso paste
• 1 T tomato paste
• 1 T raw apple cider vinegar
• 1 tsp dry ground mustard
• 1 tsp fine sea salt or kosher salt
• ½ tsp vegan lactic acid powder (available from ModernistPantry.com) or 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
• ½ tsp onion powder
• ½ tsp garlic powder
• optional: 1 T prepared horseradish (not creamed)
• optional: ¼ tsp ground cayenne pepper, or more to taste

Technique
In a medium saucepan, bring the beer to a simmer. Watch carefully while heating, as the beer will foam excessively and possibly boil over if brought to a vigorous boil. Skim and discard any excess foam. Simmer until reduced, about 15 minutes. Let the mixture cool until warm. Measure ½ cup and discard any remainder (if any).

Transfer the beer reduction to a blender. Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth and then transfer the blended mixture back to the saucepan.

Place the saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir slowly and continually with a flexible spatula until the mixture becomes bubbly, thickened and glossy. Reduce the heat to low to keep warm until ready to serve or keep warm in a mini crock pot or heated chafing dish, stirring occasionally.

“Instant” Swiss-Style Soy Yogurt (uncultured)

DSC09849-002Non-dairy yogurt preparation typically involves introducing specific strains of lactobacillus bacteria into non-dairy milk. The yogurt culture then produces lactic acid which in turn thickens and acidifies the milk, thus creating the tangy yogurt.

With this recipe and technique, the culturing step is bypassed and commercial lactic acid is added directly to the soy mixture, which instantly creates a silky, creamy and tangy uncultured yogurt. While it lacks the probiotic benefits of cultured yogurt, “Instant” Swiss-Style Soy Yogurt offers convenience for the home vegan cook (since it lacks probiotic benefits, be sure to include cultured or fermented plant-based foods in your diet).

The yogurt can be sweetened with any natural sweetener of your choice or blended with fruit or fruit preserves for a delicious high protein, non-dairy treat; or layer with fruit or fruit preserves in a tall glass to create parfaits. Try drizzling raw agave syrup over the yogurt and serve with your favorite granola or muesli.

“Instant” Swiss-Style Soy Yogurt is also ideal for preparing non-dairy frozen yogurt (you might want to add ½ tsp of guar gum or xanthan gum when blending to discourage ice-crystallization when freezing). No substitutions can be made for any ingredient in this recipe since each ingredient serves a specific function. This recipe yields about 3 cups or six ½-cup servings.

Ingredients
• 1 carton (12.3 oz) Mori-Nu™ extra-firm silken tofu, or similar (do not use water-packed block tofu)
• 1 and ½ cup organic plain unsweetened soymilk (sorry, no substitutions)
• 2 T refined coconut oil or virgin coconut oil*
• 1 T lactic acid powder (sorry, no substitutions; available from ModernistPantry.com)

*Virgin coconut oil will impart a slight trace of coconut flavor.

Preparation
Line a large plate with several layers of paper towels. Remove the silken tofu from the carton and slice into 6 slabs. Place the slabs on the paper towels. Place additional towels on top and place a large plate on top of the towels. Allow to press and drain for a minimum of 1 hour. It is essential to remove as much water as possible to ensure the best finished texture, so do not rush this step.

Measure the lactic acid into a small dish and set aside near the blender. Do not add the acid to the blender until instructed.

Remove the lid from the coconut oil and place the jar or bottle into a microwave. Heat until melted (about 30 seconds to 1 minute depending upon the solidity of the coconut oil); avoid overheating the oil. Alternately, place the jar or bottle into a container filled with near boiling water and let stand until the oil melts. Measure 2 tablespoons and set aside.

Place the tofu into a blender and add the soymilk. If you wish to add organic sugar to sweeten, now is the time to do so. Process the contents until completely smooth. With the blender running, add the coconut oil, process for 10 seconds and then add the lactic acid powder all at once. The mixture will thicken instantly; turn the blender off.

Give the yogurt a stir and then transfer to a sealable storage container. Refrigerate until well-chilled to ensure maximum thickening before serving. Stir in fruit or fruit preserves as desired.

Triple Dip Seasoned Breading for Frying

DSC09838-001This is my own breading blend for creating an extra-crispy seasoned coating when frying plant-based chikun or pressed tofu “tenders”.

Ingredients for the dry mixture
• 1 and ½ cup all-purpose flour or rice flour
• 2 tsp onion powder
• 2 tsp garlic powder
• 2 tsp fine sea salt or kosher salt
• 2 tsp sweet paprika (or smoked paprika for a smoky flavor)
• 1 tsp coarse ground black pepper

Ingredients for the batter
• 1 cup all-purpose flour or rice flour
• 2 tsp baking powder (preferably aluminum-free)
• 1 tsp fine sea salt or kosher salt
• 1 and ½ cup organic plain unsweetened soymilk or non-dairy buttermilk
(buttermilk recipes can be found in the Non-Dairy Evolution Cookbook)

Other ingredients
• high-temp cooking oil for frying

Preparation
Sift or whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

In a separate large bowl, whisk together the batter ingredients until smooth (small lumps are okay). The batter will thicken upon standing. A thick batter is ideal for this technique so do not dilute with additional milk.

Dip the plant protein of your choice into the dry mixture. Dip into the batter until coated evenly; shake off any excess. Dip again into the dry mixture until coated evenly and set aside on a plate.

In a deep fryer, or deep skillet or wok, heat a sufficient amount of cooking oil to 350°F (test with an instant-read thermometer). Fry in the hot oil until golden brown, turning occasionally. Place on a plate lined with several layers of paper towels to drain. Serve hot or cold.

Sunnyside-Ups with No-Yolks Sauce

DSC08768-001Sunnyside-Ups consist of delicate slices of silken tofu which are lightly seasoned with kala namak (Himalayan black salt), gently pan-seared, and then topped with No-Yolks Sauce. This rich sauce remarkably simulates egg yolk and is wonderful for dipping toast, vegan bacon or sausage.

Chef’s notes: The concept of a vegan fried egg is not new or original, despite what some vegan cookbook authors or recipe bloggers might like you to believe. The concept of using tofu as an alternative to egg whites is not new or original either; in fact, people all over the world are making eggless scrambles with seasoned tofu in their vegan restaurants and home kitchens. The term “sunny side up” is also not new or original and has been in common usage to describe fried eggs for decades, if not hundreds of years.

Other variations of cooked eggs, such as hard-boiled eggs, are also being replicated with plant-based ingredients. Creating molded gels using plant milks and gelling agents such as agar and carrageenan is a common practice in molecular gastronomy and is being used in the top restaurants around the world. This was not invented by vegan cookbook authors or recipe bloggers either, despite their claims of originality and “genius”.

The main goal of vegan cuisine is to provide plant-based options to animal-based foods in order to relieve the suffering and death of farm animals. This also benefits the health of the planet and human health. It’s not about feeding one’s ego.

Replicating animal-based foods with plant-based ingredients is a common pursuit in the vegan culinary world and many use similar ingredients and techniques to achieve that goal. But no one can claim “invention” of the pursuit itself. “Multiple discovery” is a well-known concept in any creative field and this applies to vegan cuisine as well. The only thing that might be unique or original is how a person prepares the food. This is simply my version developed from a great deal of personal experimentation with plant-based ingredients. The recipe for Sunnyside-Ups with No-Yolks Sauce first made an appearance in my Non-Dairy Formulary published in June of 2013. That book is no longer in print; however the recipe has made a reappearance, with some minor adjustments, in my Non-Dairy Evolution Cookbook.

 My vegan eggs are certainly not the first of their kind in the world; nor are they the only way to prepare them – but it’s my own recipe and a good recipe, so I felt it was worth presenting here.

Ingredients
• 1 carton (12.3 oz.) Mori-Nu™ extra-firm silken tofu, or similar
• kala namak (Himalayan black salt)
• cooking oil spray
• No-Yolks Sauce (recipe follows)

Preparation
Cut open one end of the carton of silken tofu, drain the water and gently slide out the tofu. Handle it carefully as it is very delicate and will break easily. Transfer the tofu to a work surface, turn the block on its side and slice lengthwise to create 4 even slabs. Place the slabs on a plate lined with several layers of paper towels or a lint-free kitchen towel to drain for a minimum of 20 minutes. If desired, cut each slab into a round using a 3-inch ring mold or biscuit cutter. Discard the tofu remnants or save for another recipe.

Note: If you’re not concerned with appearance and don’t mind rectangle-shaped egg whites, simply slice the tofu as directed into 4 slabs.

Place a small amount of kala namak into a small dish and with a water-moistened fingertip carefully rub some of the salt over the tofu slices. Set aside.

Prepare the no-yolks sauce and keep warm over low heat, stirring occasionally.

Mist a non-stick skillet with cooking oil spray and place over medium heat. When the skillet is hot, add the tofu slices and pan-sear until lightly golden on both sides. Transfer to a serving plate and spoon a generous teaspoon of the sauce onto the center of each slice. Pour additional sauce into individual serving cups on each plate for dipping.

No-Yolks Sauce
No-Yolks Sauce is a rich, golden dipping sauce that remarkably simulates lightly-cooked egg yolk. This recipe yields about 1 cup of sauce. The recipe can be doubled if desired and stored in the refrigerator for up to 7 days and reheated at your convenience.

Ingredients
• 1 T nutritional yeast flakes
• ½ tsp unmodified potato starch or cornstarch*
• ¼ tsp sodium alginate, guar gum or xanthan gum**
• ¼ tsp kala namak (Himalayan black salt)
• ⅛ tsp sweet paprika
• ⅛ tsp ground turmeric
• ½ cup water
• ¼ cup organic plain unsweetened soymilk
• ¼ cup (2 oz) non-dairy butter or margarine**

*The consistency of the sauce can be thickened by adding additional starch or simply heating the sauce until it reduces by evaporation. To add starch once the sauce is prepared, mix a very small amount of starch with a very small amount of water to create a “slurry”. Whisk this into the sauce while it is heating.

** Sodium alginate, guar gum or xanthan gum are food gums. Sodium alginate is derived from brown seaweed; guar gum is derived from the guar bean native to India; and xanthan gum is produced by the fermentation of carbohydrates with the bacteria Xanthomonas campestris. Food gum is an essential ingredient for creating the proper consistency and mouthfeel of the sauce. These gums can be purchased inexpensively in small “home-size” packages from ModernistPantry.com. Guar gum and xanthan gum can also be found in health food stores, natural food markets and sometimes larger grocery chains in the natural food section.

***Do not substitute with oil. The lecithin in non-dairy butter or margarine is essential to emulsification of the sauce.

Preparation
In a small dish, combine the nutritional yeast flakes, starch, food gum, kala namak, paprika and turmeric. Combine the water and soymilk together in a cup.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter or margarine over low heat. Whisk in the seasoning/starch/gum blend and stir until smooth.

Whisk in the soymilk/water mixture. Increase the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently until the sauce comes to a low simmer. Do not boil! The egg “yolk” color will develop as the mixture heats. Reduce the heat to low and occasionally give the sauce a gentle stir until ready to serve.

New Alfredo Sauce

DSC09719Alfredo sauce is a creamy and rich white sauce traditionally served over fettuccini. Dairy parmesan cheese is a primary ingredient in traditional Alfredo sauce; however, non-dairy parmesan won’t provide the same texture and richness; therefore non-dairy parmesan is reserved for garnishing the final dish.

The sauce is very easy to prepare and achieves the ideal “nappe” consistency for serving over pasta (“nappe” refers to a sauce or custard consistency thick enough to coat the back of a spoon).

Ingredients
• 2 cups plain unsweetened soymilk
• 1.5 oz (about ⅓ cup) whole raw cashews (pre-soaking unnecessary)
• ¼ cup mild olive oil
• 1 T nutritional yeast flakes
• 1 T mellow white miso paste
• 1 and ½ tsp onion powder
• 1 tsp garlic powder
• ¾ tsp fine sea salt or kosher salt, or more to taste
• ¼ tsp ground white pepper
• 2 T chopped fresh parsley
• shaved Hard Parmesan or Easy Grated Parmesan (from the Non-Dairy Evolution Cookbook)

Technique:
Process all ingredients except for the parsley and parmesan in a blender on high speed for 2 full minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring slowly and continually, until the mixture just comes to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low to keep warm until ready to serve; stir occasionally.

For Fettuccini Alfredo, prepare the pasta as directed on the package. Drain well and toss the pasta with steamed vegetables and/or plant protein of your choice and a small amount of the sauce to prevent the pasta from sticking. Top with additional sauce when serving. Garnish with the shaved parmesan and fresh parsley.

Shirred Eggless “Eggs”

DSC09685-004Traditionally, shirred eggs, also known as baked eggs, are eggs that have been baked in a flat-bottomed dish or individual ramekins (the name originates from the type of dish in which it was traditionally baked). This recipe is done in much the same manner, except without the eggs. The “eggs” are first baked in a standard muffin tin and can be served by themselves on a plate or in a bowl, on top of toast or English muffins, or served in individual heated ramekins, as desired. The finished product somewhat resembles poached eggs and can also be used in any dish as a replacement for poached eggs, such as Eggless Benedict.

Ingredients
• 1 carton (12.3 oz) Mori-Nu™ silken tofu, or similar
• 3 T unmodified potato starch or cornstarch
• ½ tsp kala namak (Himalayan black salt) – or sea salt or kosher salt if you prefer
• 1 recipe No-Yolks Sauce (from the Non-Dairy Evolution Cookbook)

Additional items needed
• 6-count large muffin tin
• cooking oil spray
• individual ramekins for serving, if desired

Technique
Remove the tofu from the carton. Slice the tofu into 4 slabs and place the slabs on a plate lined with several layers of paper towels or a lint-free kitchen towel to drain for a minimum of 20 minutes. Firmly blot the tofu with additional towels to remove as much moisture as possible. This step is very important to ensure the proper texture.

Mist the interior “cups” of the muffin tin with cooking oil spray; this is essential in order to prevent sticking.

Crumble the tofu into a food processor* and add the starch and kala namak. Process the contents until smooth and fluffy, with a texture similar to mayonnaise. Stop to scrape down the sides of the processor bowl as necessary. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and set aside.

*A blender can be used, but the mixture will be very thick and difficult to retrieve from around the blades; therefore a food processor is recommended for ease of preparation.

Pre heat the oven to 375°F/190°C. Prepare the no-yolks sauce and keep warm over low heat, stirring occasionally.

For each “egg”, spoon 3 tablespoons of the tofu mixture into the bottom of each muffin cup. Using the back of a spoon, spread the mixture over the bottom and halfway up the sides of the cup. Smooth the mixture as best as you can (it’s not important for it to be totally smooth since the “egg white” will be flipped over when served). However, be sure there are no holes in the mixture covering the bottom or the sauce will leak through when served.

DSC09682

Place the muffin tin in the oven and bake for 13 minutes.

Note: If planning to serve the “eggs’ in individual ramekins, place the ramekins in the oven to warm the last 2 minutes of baking time (do not heat them longer than 2 minutes or they will get too hot and could potentially crack the cold serving plate when placed onto it).

When baking is complete, the “egg white” should appear dry and feel dry to the touch. The top edges will have curled inwards a little bit too. Remove the tin from the oven and let cool for 1 minute to set.

Using a spoon, carefully lift the “egg white” from the tin and flip over onto a plate, over toast or into the heated ramekin. Let rest for about 30 seconds to allow the center to sink and create a “well” for the sauce.

Spoon some sauce into the “well” and garnish as desired (for example, a dusting of paprika and/or chopped parsley or minced chives). Serve with additional sauce drizzled on the plate or in the ramekin.

Escabeche (Mexican Spicy Pickled Vegetables)

DSC09705“Escabeche” is the Spanish word for “pickle”. This simple but zesty combination of crunchy pickled vegetables is a favorite for serving with Mexican cuisine.

Ingredients
• 2 T olive oil
• 1 large yellow or white onion, peeled and thinly sliced
• 3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
• florets from 1 small cauliflower
• 12 whole cloves garlic
• 3 large jalapeno or serrano chilies, seeded, membrane removed and sliced lengthwise into slivers
• 3 T coarse sea salt or kosher salt
• 2 and ½ cups water
• 1 cup champagne vinegar, white wine vinegar or distilled white vinegar
• 1 T organic sugar
• 2 bay leaves
• ½ tsp dried oregano
• ½ tsp dried marjoram
• ½ tsp dried thyme

Technique
Add the olive oil to a large cooking pot and place over medium-low heat. Add the vegetables and salt and sweat the mixture for about 10 minutes until softened. Keep the heat on the low side to avoid browning the vegetables.

Add the water, vinegar, sugar and herbs and bring to a rapid boil. Cover the pot and remove from the heat to cool. When cooled, divide the mixture between 2 one-quart jars (be sure to include a bay leaf into each jar), seal and refrigerate for a minimum of 3 days before serving (the longer the better). The refrigerated escabeche will last for a few months stored in this manner.

To seal the jars and preserve the escabeche for pantry storage, removing the pot from the heat. Carefully divide the hot mixture between 2 one-quart mason jars (be sure to include a bay leaf in each jar). Put the lids in place and tighten the lid rings. Invert the jars for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, upright the jars and slightly loosen the lid rings. Let the jars rest and cool until the lids “pop” and seal shut. Retighten the lid rings and store the jars in your pantry until ready to use.