Thursday, 25 October 2012

Terry Hope Romero: Vegan Eats World (review)

I had a great time last winter and spring testing recipes for the fabulous Terry Hope Romero's latest cookbook (see my during-testing post). Yesterday, I received my beautiful, hardback copy of the finished Vegan Eats World.

This book is a gutsy romp across pretty much any world cuisine you care to think of. I've tried dozens of the recipes, and not had a single flop. Terry's writing style is engaging and funny, and there are beautiful photos to boot.

One of the things I like most about the book is the way Terry breaks down full meals into individual components. This means you have access to a ton of exciting elements that you can play around and get creative with.

Yesterday I made the Coriander Seitan, which is succulent, chewy (in the right way) and super easy to make.

It went perfectly in a green bean stir-fry served with Korean-style noodles.

Today I tried out the Homemade Mexican Beans. They were bloody perfect, and satisfied the craving I've been having for black beans ever since I got back from Brazil. Served here with plain old white rice and yummy salted and lime juiced fried plantains. Hot sauce not pictured.

Now go buy the book. Make the Flourless Chocolate Torte, make the Adobo, make perfect seitan and perfect beans and enjoy.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Pink Flamingo

Although the Pink Flamingo isn't a vegan restaurant, I eat their pizzas often enough to owe them a post.

There are four franchises in Paris, one of which happens to be on my street, and another (the original) on a good friend's street. The pizza bases are 100% vegan, and made with organic flour. Your best bet is the Aphrodite pizza sans fromage. This results in a perfect pizza base topped with tomato sauce, fine slices of grilled aubergine, garlic, red pepper flakes, and a big dollop of hummus in the centre to dip those pesky crusts in.

The restaurants themselves are quirky, maybe overly so. Think pink and black colour scheme, Ramones on the stereo, a pizza called the Obama. If you choose the delivery option, you'll be given a pink balloon so that the delivery cyclist can easily spot you and bring you your pizza. See, quirky.

Your non-vegan friends will have a lot of unusual pizza toppings to choose from, the Indian-inspired Gandhi being popular with vegetarians.

You save a euro per pizza if you choose take-away rather than delivery.

Addresses in Paris:

23 Rue d'Aligre
75012 (map)
(closed Mondays, like pretty much everything on my street)

67 Rue Bichat
75010 (map)
(the original branch, near the Canal St Martin)

105 Rue Vieille du Temple
75003 (map)
(the branch in the Marais)

30 Rue Muller
75018 (map)
(the branch in Montmartre)

Friday, 19 October 2012

Wine biscuits

At the start of the summer, my friends and I made our yearly excursion to the jazz festival at the Parc Floral in the Bois de Vincennes. I don't like jazz all that much, but I do like friends and picnics a lot.

 And peacocks.

This year, our number included a visiting Italian friend, the fabulous Marta. There are many reasons why Marta is fabulous. The one I'm going to tell you about here is that she introduced us to wine biscuits. Yes, wine biscuits. These little doughnut-shaped Italian biscuits not only contain wine, but are also designed to be dipped in wine. Twice the wine, twice the fun.

To make matters even better, Marta located, translated, and sent me a recipe for Italian wine biscuits. Here it is:

Ingredients (make approximately 40 biscuits):

150 g caster sugar, + extra sugar to sprinkle over biscuits
125 ml oil (some use olive oil, some seed oil: I find olive oil too strong for baking cakes, but, again, your choice)
135 ml white wine (or red wine)
500 g plain flour
8g baking powder
a pinch of salt
half a spoon of anise seeds (optional)

If you're using anise seeds, add them to the wine to soak. Pre-heat the oven to 180C.

Sieve flour, salt, and baking powder. Add the sugar and make the mixture into a volcano shape. Gently mix in the oil and the wine. Work the dough until homogeneous.

Section off and ball up small pieces of dough. Roll the dough into small ropes. Coil the ropes into round doughnut shapes, leaving a small hole in the middle.

Sprinkle the cookies with caster sugar and place them on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. (I found it easier to dip them into a shallow bowl of sugar, to get a good coating).

Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes and remove from the oven as soon as they get a slight golden colour on the top. Let them cool before moving them (they will be soft).

And delicious they were too.
Italian wine biscuits
Italian wine biscuits