Faux pho

August 30, 2011 at 9:32 am (East and SE Asia, Other, Seitan, soup, Tofu, unrated, Website / blog)

Derek’s student Scott is always raving about Phở, a vietnamese noodle soup. Since it’s never vegetarian, I’ve never really tried the real thing.  Wikipedia says that  one of the techniques that distinguishes it from other Asian noodle soups is that charred o­nions are added to the broth for color and flavor.  It also says that  the broth is typically made with charred ginger and spices including cinnamon, star anise, black cardamom, coriander seed, fennel seed, and cloves.  The soup is also typically served with lots of fresh garnishes, including scallions, white onions, cilantro, Thai basil, fresh Thai chili peppers, lemon or lime wedges, and bean sprouts.  Some people also add hoisin sauce or chili sauce.  Although traditional Pho is not vegetarian, I found a recipe for it in the Vietnamese Fusion book (by Chat Mingkwan) I borrowed from my mom, and I also found a recipe in a Vegetarian Resource Group article on vegetarian travel in Vietnam.   Oddly, though, the recipe in the Vietnamese Fusion book didn’t include any dried spices in the broth–just ginger and charred shallots.  So I made a mix of the two recipes.  My soup came out okay, but the broth needed a lot more spice.   Read the rest of this entry »

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Tomato-tarragon soup with fennel croutons

August 27, 2011 at 9:40 am (B_, Derek's faves, French, Georgeanne Brennan, soup, Summer recipes)

The summertime soup recipe is from Georgeanne Brennan’s “France: The Vegetarian Table.”  Brennan says that tarragon gives this soup a surprise finish that is heightened by the crunch of toasted fennel seeds. Read the rest of this entry »

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Whole grain pasta with salsa cruda

August 23, 2011 at 9:51 pm (B_minus, Italian, Peter Berley, Sauce/dressing, Summer recipes)

It’s finally gotten hot in Saarbruecken, so I decided to make this uncooked pasta sauce from the Summer section of Peter Berley’s Fresh Food Fast.  The sauce is made of raw, chopped tomatoes, olive oil, parsley, basil, chives, balsamic vinegar, and minced garlic.   Read the rest of this entry »

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Indian rice pudding

August 23, 2011 at 9:39 pm (B_minus, Dessert, Indian, Mexican & S. American, Pudding)

I was making an Indian dinner for company, and Derek decided that he needed to make rice pudding for dessert.  He used this recipe from Alton Brown. The recipe has received excellent reviews.  I’ve never had a rice pudding I’ve loved, so I had pretty low expectations.  But I enjoyed it.  The raisins and pistachios were tasty, and I liked the freshly ground cardamom.  (I’d probably add even more if we ever make rice pudding again.)  That said, given all the wonderful desserts in the world, I don’t think this one is worth the calories. Derek had higher expectations than me, and ended up a bit disappointed.  He thought there was too much rice and in general just too much “stuff.” Read the rest of this entry »

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A lasagna for every season

August 7, 2011 at 7:42 pm (Uncategorized)

In updating a recipe on this blog I noticed that I have quite a few lasagna recipes, all of which are vegetarian (of course), but quite different from one another. I also noticed that in the various recipes I tend to spell lasagna two different ways (either with an “a” or with an “e” at the end).  I looked it up and apparently “lasagna” is the singular, but in Italy only the plural “lasagne” is used.  But I think I prefer the American spelling, which allows you to distinguish between one lasagna and multiple lasagnas. Read the rest of this entry »

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