It’s been almost one month since I wrote my last post for the Vegan MoFo. In this period I ate a lot of raw vegetables and I fell in love with kimchi. Again.
Kimchi is the most important dish in Korean cuisine and it’s basically made with fermented vegetables. The most popular is the one I used for this recipe, made with napa cabbage. As all the fermented vegetables it is very healthy and rich in vitamins. I used it in many dishes, to fill Korean dumplings (mandu) and into soups. In other words, I’m eating kimchi almost every day and I’ll make it by myself soon. I just need to find the time because the procedure requires an entire day of work.
If you want to buy it read carefully the list of the ingredients because it’s mostly made with anchovies and shrimp paste, but it is not hard to find out a vegan kimchi in the Asian supermarket.

October has been a very busy month and the next days are going to be even busier. On the 7th of November I’m going to cook two vegan dishes for the cooking battle in Restaurante Alfandega.
If you are in Lisbon just drop by, you can write me in private for more information or visit the restaurant facebook page.

Last but not the least, I’m working ton a gastronomic project with two friends of mine. I’ll tell you some news in the next posts, so… fingers crossed!

fried kimchi wild rice
Ingredients (serves four)

For the kimchi wild rice
2 cups boiled wild rice
1 1/2 cup kimchi well squeezed
5 Shiitake mushrooms
1 clove garlic grated
1 cm ginger grated
1 tbsp sesame oil
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup Shiitake mushrooms liquid
1 cup kimchi liquid

For the tofu
3 slices of soft tofu
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

For the lotus root
6 slices of lotus root
vegetable oil for deep frying

For the decoration
1/2 tbsp white sesame seeds toasted
1/2 tbsp black sesame seeds toasted
1 green chili pepper sliced
4 tbsp spring onion chopped

If you’re not using leftover boiled rice start by washing the rice carefully. Bring a pan of water to a boil, add the wild rice and cook according to pack directions. The rice I usually eat takes 20 minutes to be ready. When it is al dente drain it with a colander. Rinse with cold water in order to stop the cooking and set aside.

For the lotus root heat a pot of vegetable oil and slice the root in 3 mm thick. When the oil reaches 320 degrees add the lotus slices and deep fry for 3-4 minutes, until golden coloured. Remove the slices with a spatula, drain on paper towels and set aside.

For the tofu cut soft tofu into 1 cm slices and drain carefully on paper towels. When totally drained cut the tofu slices into triangles. Heat 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil in a pan and gently fry the tofu slices for 4-5 minutes each side. Remove from the pan and set aside.

For the kimchi rice soak Shiitake mushrooms in hot water for about 30 minutes.
Squeeze the kimchi very carefully with the hands and save the liquid. Cut kimchi into irregular pieces.
Squeeze Shiitake mushrooms, save the liquid and cut into thin slices.
Heat sesame and extra-virgin olive oil in a wok. Add garlic and ginger grated and gently sizzle for a couple of minutes on a medium heat. Add boiled wild rice, Shiitake mushrooms and turn high the heat. Stir well for about 5 minutes to combine. Pour Shiitake mushrooms and kimchi liquid and constantly stir until all the liquids are evaporated. Remove the wok from the heat.
Serve the rice with the tofu triangles and garnish with the lotus root slices. Sprinkle toasted white and black sesame seeds, green chili pepper slices and chopped spring onions.

If you are thinking about where the rice of the Maki cupcakes is, voila the answer.
Ceci n’est pas un cupcake (this is not a cupcake) indeed, it’s the rice I didn’t use for the makis and is going to be my daily meal for my next weeks. Having eaten so many cupcakes now I do need a detox period and it’s time to drink smoothies and eat steamed rice and raw veggies.

I wanto to thank the MoFo staff and all the bloggers who supported my GMC (Genetecally Modified Cupcakes) project during this month. The project is not ended with the MoFo, I’m going to post other cupcake recipes from time to time, so, if you are interested in, stay tuned!
It has beeing an exciting experience which has allowed me to know many interesting blogs. My to do list is now full of bookmarked recipes which I’m going to make soon.
Thank you all and see you on the next MoFo!

ultimo

Ingredients (serves 2)
1 cup sushi rice
1 tbsp rice vinegar
pinch of salt

For the decoration
black and white sesame seeds toasted

Wash the rice until the water is limpid in order to remove the excess starch. Pour water into a pan and bring to a boil. Add rice and cook for about 10-15 minutes, until al dente. Drain rice, add rice vinegar and whisk. Garnish with black and white sesame seeds and eat with soy sauce.

Do you feel like eating makis, but are fed up of rolling them up? Don’t worry, from today on you can bake your own makis. How? Simple, follow up my recipe and turn them into cupcakes!

The idea of maki cupcakes come into my mind at the very beginning of MoFo but, beeing the weirdest recipe I’ve ever posted, I saved for the end. Hope you enjoy it!

maki cupcakes

Ingredients (makes 20 mini cupcakes)

For the batter
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup soy milk at room temperature
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 tsp soy sauce tsp salt
2 nori seaweeds layers

For the veganaise
1 cup soy milk
1/2 cup sunflowers oil
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 lemon juice
pinch of salt

For the filling
1 avocado sliced
1 carrot thin sliced
sprouts

For the decoration
black and white sesame seeds toasted

Start by making the batter. Whisk in a bowl soy milk, canola oil and soy sauce. In another bowl measure out flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add dry ingredients to the wet and whisk until smooth.
Slice the seaweeds into 1 cm layers, form a ring and insert into the cupcake pans. Scoop the batter very carefully inside the seaweed rings and transfer to the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool completely.

For the veganaise combine soy milk, sunflowers oil, dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt and beat until creamy.

Cut a hole shape out of each cupcake and throw it away. Spread the hole with veganaise, then fill with slices of avocado, carrot and sprouts. Garnish with sesam black and white sesame seeds toasted.

On the penultimate Vegan MoFo another Mediterranean recipe. These savory cupcakes contain all the ingredients I like most. Garlic at the first place, then kalamata olives, dry tomatoes and extra-virgin olive oil.

I do suggest to make the tapenade and the tzatziki frosting the day before and then refrigerate in order all the flavors mix together. Just remember to use them at room temperature when filling and spreading the cupcakes.

What else? See you tomorrow for the last MoFo 2013 day!

tapenade filled cupcakes with tzatziki and caramelised garlic topping

Ingredients (makes 10 cupcakes)

For the batter
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup soy milk at room temperature
1/3 cup canola oil

For the tapenade
1 cup kalamata olives without stones
1/4 cup capers rinsed
2 dry tomatoes
1 garlic clove
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

For the tzatziki topping
1 cup soy cream at room temperature (I used Tofutti)
1 little cucumber
3 tbsp fresh mint leaves minced
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
pinch of salt

For the caramelized garlic
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp white wine (I used Port white wine)
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tbsp caster sugar

For the decoration
fresh mint leaves minced
black peppercorns

Start by preparing the tapenade. Remove the stones from the olives and cut very thin with a knife olives, capers, dry tomatoes and garlic. You can also use a food processor, but I prefere a rougher texture. Add extra-virgin olive oil, whisk and let it rest, better overnight.

For the tzatziki frosting grate cucumber, sprinkle a little of salt on the top and let it rest for 30 minutes. This procedure allows to remove the excess liquid. Squeeze very carefully the grated cucumber with your hands and set aside.
Beat soy cream with extra-virgin olive oil and when fluffy add cucumber and mint leaves minced. Whisk and let it rest a couple of hours, better overnight.

For the batter whisk in a bowl soy milk and canola oil. In another bowl measure out flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add dry ingredients to the wet and whisk until smooth. Scoop the batter into cupcake pans and transfer to the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool completely.

For the caramelised garlic blanch garlic in boiling water for 2 minutes, then transfer into cold water in order to stop the cooking. Drain well and cut into medium slices. Heat extra-virgin olive oil, wine and sugar in a pan. When amber-coloured add garlic slices and cook until caramelised. Remove the garlic slices from the pan and allow to cool completely.

Cut a cone shape out of each cupcake and cut the point off the cone. Fill the hole with the tapenade and replace the top. Spread tzatziki frosting at room temperature if you refrigerated overnight and garnish with a slice of caramelised garlic, fresh mint leaves minced and black peppercorns.

This time I turned into a cupcake a dessert which was a must on every Italian menu during the 80′s: the crème brûlée.

crème brûlée cupcakes

Ingredients (makes 10 cupcakes)

For the batter
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
3/4 granulated sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup soy milk at room temperature
1/3 cup canola oil

For the crème brûlée
2 cups soy cream
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/3 cup caster sugar
2 tsp turmeric
1 vanilla bean (remove the seeds with a knife)
1/2 cup caster sugar

Preheat the oven to 180°.

For the batter whisk in a bowl soy milk and canola oil. In another bowl measure out flour, caster sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add dry ingredients to the wet and whisk until smooth. Scoop the batter into cupcake pans, transfer to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool completely.

For the cream combine soy cream and vanilla seeds in a pan and bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and let it rest for 30 minutes in order the vanilla gives its aroma to the milk.
Filter the cream with a strainer, add rice flour, sugar and whisk carefully until smooth. Bring the pan to the boil, reduce the heat to low and gently simmer until creamy. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool completely.

Cut a large cone shape out of each cupcake and throw it out. Fill the hole with the cream, sprinkle caster sugar and caramelise the top with a torch or the grill.

Remember to allow the caramle to cool completely before serving

A couple of days ago I was talking to my mother via Skype when she came up with the sentence: “What about a fondue cupcake for your blog?”.
Yes, in Italy fall has already begun, while here in Lisbon yesterday there still were 30°.
Turin, the town I was born in, is nearby the France and the fondue is a traditional dish during the fall and the winter seasons.  It basically consists of melted cheese in a pot, where everybody dips cubes of bread.
For this recipe I filled the sauce into the cake with the possibility to dip the roof of the cupcakes into the fondue. I added porcini mushrooms to get it richer and so the fondue cupcakes were born.

To get the “cheesy” flavour I often use white miso paste and whole grain Dijon mustard. I’m not a big fun of vegan cheeses, but if you like them you can replace these two ingredients with your favorite vegan cheese.

I was forgetting… if you have a truffle, then use it!

fondue cupcakes with porcini mushroomstwo

Ingredients (makes 10 cupcakes)

For the batter
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup soy milk at room temperature
1/3 cup canola oil

For the fondue
2 tbsp soy butter
3 tbsp all purpose flour
2 cup soy milk cold
1/2 tbsp white miso paste
1/2 tbsp whole grain Dijon mustard

For the porcini mushrooms
1 cup porcini mushrooms
1/3 cup white wine
extra-virgin olive oil
parsley leaves minced
pinch of salt

For the decoration
black peppercorns
parsley leaves minced

Start by making the batter. Whisk in a bowl soy milk and canola oil. In another bowl measure out flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add dry ingredients to the wet and whisk until smooth. Scoop the batter into cupcake pans and transfer to the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool completely.

For the mushrooms heat extra-virgin olive oil in a pan, add mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes, until brown-coloured. Add salt, pour withe wine and let it totally evaporate. Add parsley leaves minced and remove the pan from the heat.

For the fondue heat soy butter in a saucepan. Add flour and, keep stirring, make a roux. Remove the pan from the heat, pour cold soy milk and whisk carefully to avoid it becoming lumpy. Bring the pan on a low heat, add white miso paste, whole grain Dijon mustard and stir continuously until creamy.
Remove the pan from the heat, add mushrooms and whisk.

Cut a cone shape out of each cupcake and cut the point off the cone. Fill the hole with the fondue with mushrooms and sprinkle black pepper and parsley leaves minced.

After the Baklava cupcakes I come back with another Levantine recipe, probably the one I like more. This time i turned baba ganoush into a cupcake. Traditionally the dish is garnished wit fresh pomegranate seeds and for this reason I thought abot the pomegranate reduction as a topping, sprinkled with fresh pomegranate seeds.

The characteristic I especially appreciate of baba ganoush is its smoky taste and the texture. To get this peculiar taste is enogh to char the eggplants over a gas flame, but if you don’t have it it’s possible to bake them into the oven. You won’t have the smoky fragrance, but it works out as well.
I like baba ganoush with a rough texture, therefore it’s very important not to overwork the pulp of the eggplants while mashing. If you prefere a smooth texture you can even blend all the ingredients and have a sauce.

Vegan MoFo is coming to the end and I still have a lot of cupcakes to post, then I won’t bake cupcakes for a long time! :)

baba ganoush with pomegranate reduction topping
Ingredients (makes 10 cupcakes)

For the batter
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup soy milk at room temperature
1/3 cup canola oil

For the baba ganoush
2 medium eggplants
1 tbsp tahini
1 lemon juice
2 garlic cloves finely minced
fresh parsley leaves minced
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
pinch of salt

For the pomegranate reduction
1 pomegranate seeds (1 cup)
3/4 cup pomegranate juice
2 tbsp caster sugar
black peppercorns

For the decoration
pomegranate seeds
black peppercorns

Start by making the baba ganoush. Char the eggplant over a gas flame, turning often, until soft inside and allow to cool completely. This procedure gives a smoky taste to the vegetable.
Scoop out the pulp and drain in a strainer for at least one hour. In a bowl whisk tahini, lemon juice, garlic finely minced, parsley leaves minced, and salt. Add eggplant pulp and gently mash with a fork, stir into extra-virgin olive oil and keep mashing until combined. Be careful not to overwork, it shouldn’t became smooth and uniform.

For the batter whisk in a bowl soy milk and canola oil. In another bowl measure out flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add dry ingredients to the wet and whisk until smooth. Scoop the batter into cupcake pans and transfer to the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool completely.

For the pomegranate reduction bring pomegranate seeds, pomegranate juice, caster sugar and black peppercorns to a boil. Stimmer until thick until reduct to about 1/3.

Cut a cone shape out of each cupcake and cut the point off the cone. Fill the hole with the baba ganoush and replace the top.
Pour the pomegranate reduction on the top of each cupcake and garnish with pomegranate seeds.

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