Cheddar and Sour Cream Potato Chip Seasoning

DSC00726This cheesy, creamy and mildly tangy seasoning powder was created specifically for dusting pre-salted potato chips and popcorn. For unsalted chips and popcorn, consider increasing and even doubling the amount of salt in the recipe. Freeze-dried minced chives can be added for a “loaded baked potato” flavor. This recipe yields about 1 cup of seasoning.

Ingredients
• ¾ cup nutritional yeast flakes
• ¼ cup organic soymilk powder (do not use soy protein powder or soy flour)
• 3 T tomato powder
• 2 T onion powder
• 4 tsp fine sea salt or kosher salt, or more to taste
• 1 and ½ tsp lactic acid powder (available from ModernistPantry.com)
• ½ tsp dry ground mustard
• ⅛ tsp garlic powder

Preparation
Process the ingredients in a DRY blender until finely powdered. Store the seasoning blend in an airtight container at room temperature in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months (but you’ll never keep it around that long!)

To season a large bag of commercial potato chips, open the bag and add about 3 tablespoons of seasoning. Close the bag tightly and gently shake and turn to distribute the seasoning. Open the bag and enjoy.

Alternately, add the seasoning powder to a shaker dispenser and season your favorite foods and snacks according to taste.

Loaded Baked Potato Variation
Process the ingredients in a DRY blender until finely powdered. Add 1 tablespoon freeze-dried minced chives and process again until the chives are reduced to small particles but not completely powdered. Season the chips as directed above.

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Cheddar and Sour Cream Potato Chip Seasoning
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Rating: 4.12
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Vodka Blush Sauce

DSC00436Vodka blush sauce is a creamy tomato-based pasta sauce flavored with vodka. This is my own variation which can be prepared with either cashew cream or soy cream. Sweet red pepper was included for flavor. For the photo, I used torchiette pasta rather than the traditional penne pasta.

Ingredients
• ¼ cup whole raw cashews*
• ½ cup water*
• 2 T olive oil
• 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
• 1 large sweet red pepper, seeded and chopped
• 3 cloves garlic, chopped
• 1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes with liquid
• ¼ cup premium vodka
• 2 T tomato paste
• 1 tsp dried basil leaves
• 1 tsp fine sea salt or kosher salt, or more to taste
• ½ tsp dried oregano leaves
• ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
• grated non-dairy parmesan
• julienned fresh sweet basil for garnish (optional)
• fresh ground black pepper, to taste
• cooked pasta of your choice (penne is commonly used)

*or ½ cup basic Soy Cream (from the Non-Dairy Evolution Cookbook or Seitan and Beyond Cookbook)

Preparation
In a blender, process the cashews and water on high speed for 2 full minutes. Transfer to a cup and chill until ready to use. Alternately, the cashew cream mixture can be replaced with ½ cup soy cream.

Add the olive oil to a skillet and place over medium heat. Add the onions and sweet red pepper and sauté until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and sauté an additional minute or two.

Stir in the diced tomatoes with liquid, vodka, tomato paste, dried basil, salt, dried oregano and the red pepper flakes. Bring to a gentle simmer and cover the skillet. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Transfer the skillet mixture to the blender. Begin processing on low speed, gradually increasing to high. Process the contents until smooth and then transfer back to the skillet, placing over medium heat.

Stir in the cashew or soy cream and cook until heated through. Season the sauce with additional salt as needed to taste. Ladle the sauce over cooked pasta, sprinkle with parmesan and fresh ground black pepper and garnish with the optional fresh basil.

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Vodka Blush Sauce
Votes: 14
Rating: 3.5
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Bacun Grease

Bacun grease is essentially a flavored vegetable shortening. Use for any cooking purpose just as you would real bacon grease; store in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use within 1 year. This recipe yields 1 cup.

Ingredients
• ⅔ cup organic refined coconut oil
• ⅓ cup vegetable oil
• 1 and ½ tsp tamari, soy sauce or Bragg Liquid Aminos™
• 1 tsp dark brown sugar or real maple syrup
• ½ tsp liquid smoke
• ¼ tsp coarse ground black pepper
• ¼ tsp guar gum or xanthan gum (acts as an emulsifier and stabilizer; do not omit!)

Preparation
Melt and measure the coconut oil.
Process all ingredients in a mini-blender or in a heavy measuring cup using an immersion blender until emulsified.
Transfer to a sealable container and freeze until hardened and then transfer to the refrigerator for storage until ready to use.

DSC00396

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Bacun Grease
Votes: 30
Rating: 4.03
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Votes: 30
Rating: 4.03
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“Hard-Cooked” Eggless Eggs

28Important! This recipe should only be used if you wish to prepare solid “hard-cooked” eggless eggs. If you wish to prepare vegan deviled “eggs” or eggless “egg” salad, please see the appropriate recipe in this blog or in my Non-Dairy Evolution Cookbook, as these recipes are much less involved and easier to prepare.

This is my own recipe and technique for producing “hard-cooked” eggless eggs that are remarkably similar to their egg counterparts in appearance, flavor and texture. For this recipe, you will need 2 six-count egg molds which will yield one dozen “hard-cooked” eggless eggs. If you only have one mold set, any remaining “yolk” and “egg white” mixture” can be used for crumbled “hard-cooked” eggless egg (superb for topping cold salads) or for eggless egg salad sandwiches.

Please note: The “eggs” cannot be used for heated applications, such as “Scotch eggs”, because the agar will melt and the eggs will turn to mush. They must remain chilled or at room temperature for serving.

About the egg molds: The internet source I was recommending for the egg molds is no longer offering that product, so you will have to do some internet searching for the molds. Many of my readers have found luck locating them on Ebay.com (search for “Jell-O jiggler egg molds”).

eggmolds

Food Processor Ingredients for the “Egg Yolks”
• 5 oz pressed extra-firm block tofu (about one-half of a standard block; do not use silken tofu)
• 2 T refined coconut oil, melted
• 2 T nutritional yeast flakes
• ¼ tsp sodium alginate, guar gum or xanthan gum

Saucepan Ingredients for the “Egg Yolks”
• ½ cup water
• 1 and ½ tsp agar powder
• ½ tsp sweet paprika
• ½ tsp ground turmeric
• ¼ tsp kala namak (Himalayan black salt)

Blender Ingredients for the “Egg Whites”
• 5 oz pressed extra-firm block tofu (about one-half of a standard block; do not use silken tofu)
• 3 cups water
• ½ cup plain unsweetened non-dairy milk
• 4 tsp agar powder
• 1 and ¼ tsp kala namak (Himalayan black salt)

Additional Items Needed
• 2 six-count egg molds
• food processor
• blender
• small saucepan
• a melon baller or ½ T measuring spoon
• small food storage container that will hold about 2 cups
• 2 cup measuring cup with pouring lip
• wax paper or parchment paper

Preparing the “Yolks”
Set the “egg molds” aside. Be sure they are completely snapped together.
Place the food processor ingredients for the “yolks” into a food processor; process into a coarse paste.

Combine the saucepan ingredients for the “yolks” in the saucepan and heat until bubbly over medium heat. Swirl the contents occasionally as the mixture heats.
With the food processor running, pour the molten saucepan mixture into the food chute. Process the entire contents until smooth. Stop as needed to scrape down the sides with a flexible spatula.

Transfer the “yolk” mixture to the food storage container and chill uncovered for a minimum of 1 hour to firm.

Line a plate with wax or parchment paper. Using a melon baller, rounded measuring spoon or similar object, scoop some of the “yolk” mixture into a rough ball shape, about the size of a hardened egg yolk. Roll the mixture between your palms to round the ball and smooth the surface a bit. It doesn’t have to be totally smooth. Set it on the lined plate. Repeat the procedure until you have 12 “yolks”. Make sure the “yolks” are not touching each other on the plate or they will stick together when frozen. This procedure is a bit messy and some of the mixture will stick to your hands, so keep a moist towel nearby. Place the uncovered plate into the freezer for about 1 hour. Avoid freezing for more than 2 hours or ice crystals will form on the “yolks”.

Preparing the “Egg Whites”
When ready to proceed, add the blender ingredients for the “egg whites” to a blender and process until completely liquefied. Add half of the mixture to the saucepan and heat to a soft boil, stirring frequently to avoid scorching. Transfer the hot mixture to the measuring cup with the lip. The mixture may begin to curdle a bit in the measuring cup – this is normal and will not affect the finished flavor or texture. Pour the mixture into the molds, filling them no more than halfway. Let cool at room temperature for 10 minutes to help set the “white” mixture just a bit (this will help keep the yolk suspended, rather than sinking).

Carefully open the molds and place the frozen “yolks” in the center of each “white”. Close the molds and securely snap shut. Make sure they are completely snapped shut or the molten “white” mixture will leak out when topping off.

Pour the remaining “egg white” mixture into the saucepan and bring to a soft boil, stirring frequently. Transfer the mixture to the measuring cup and then fill each egg mold with the mixture to the top of the stems. The mixture may begin to curdle a bit in the measuring cup – this is normal and will not affect the finished flavor or texture. Let settle momentarily and then top off each mold with the mixture (the excess “whites” in the stems can be trimmed away later).

Transfer the molds to the refrigerator and chill for a few hours until completely set. Be careful handling the molds when transferring to the refrigerator so they do not pop open accidentally (for assurance, place the molds on a tray and then transfer to the refrigerator).

Finishing the “Hard-Boiled Eggs”
Open the molds and pop out the “eggs”. There will be a seam on the “eggs” where the molds joined together. Use a dry paper towel to gently rub the “egg” and remove the seam. Trim off the stem ends as needed with a paring knife. Chill the “eggs” in an airtight container until ready to use. The “eggs” should be consumed within 1 week. I’ve never frozen them for storage, so I cannot advise if this can be done successfully without damaging the texture.

DSC00323

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“Hard-Cooked” Eggless Eggs
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Rating: 3.88
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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.

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Triple Dip Seasoned Breading for Frying
Votes: 14
Rating: 4.21
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Votes: 14
Rating: 4.21
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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.

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Escabeche (Mexican Spicy Pickled Vegetables)
Votes: 236
Rating: 3.91
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Votes: 236
Rating: 3.91
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