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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Vegetarian Fare - Some ideas for easy preparation

Vegetarian Fare

Last night I had the pleasure of presenting a few vegetarian dishes at the Madison Square MLCC with Product Ambassador and host, Sheila Nash who presented some wonderful pairings as well.

1. Sautéed Tofu with Korean dipping sauces
Paired with Gekkeikan Zipang Sparkling Sake #8548 @ $6.90 and Zonin Prosecco Brut #6017 @ $13.28

4 4-ounce cakes of medium - firm tofu
3 tbs vegetable oil

Cut the tofu into rectangles or squares 3/4 inch thick. Pat dry.

Heat oil in a non-stick skillet over medium high heat. When hot, place tofu in pan, careful not to overfill the pan. Cook for about 3 minutes on one side and turn, looking for a golden colour. Cook the other side for about 3 minutes and remove from oil and place on a warmed platter with paper towels. Serve with dipping sauces

Korean dipping sauce #1

1 tablespoon kochu jiang (Korean hot pepper paste)
1 tbs white vinegar
drizzle sesame oil
1 tsp brown sugar
1/4 cup cold water
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 scallion, finely chopped

Combine all ingredients until smooth. Enjoy with fried tofu, on salads, seafood, etc.

Korean dipping sauce # 2

1/4 cup good soy sauce
1/4 cup Mirin
drizzle sesame oil
pinch white sugar

Mix ingredients and serve as dipping sauce for tofu and other fried foods.


2. Saag Paneer
Paired with E @ J White Zinfandel #285767 @ $8.99, Anakena Cabernet Sauvignon Rose #8938 @ $10.99 and Trivento Reserve Torrontes Mendoza #9385 @ $11.95.

1-inch cube of fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
6+ cloves of garlic, peeled
1 fresh hot green chili, sliced roughly
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tbs "curry powder" spice blend (I make my own but several excellent ones are available commercially)
1/4 tsp garam masala
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
~ 4 tbs vegetable or olive oil
6-8 cups chopped mixed greens (spinach, kale, chard, beet greens, sorrel, arugula, mustard greens, etc)
1 - 2 chopped tomatoes
1 cup yoghurt
1 tbs butter (optional)
salt, to taste
paneer (homemade or available at Dino's on Notre Dame in block or frozen)
1 tsp brown sugar

Place the ginger, garlic and green chili into a small blender with a few tablespoons of water and purée until you have a smooth paste. In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil and add the onion. When the onion is translucent, add the spices and cook on medium heat until the spices are soft. Then add the chopped tomato and the ginger, garlic, chili paste. When they have softened, add the greens, slowly so as to let them cook down and stir all together. Add the salt. When the greens have cooked down, add the yoghurt, butter if desired and remove from heat. Using an immersion blender or a blender, mix all of the ingredients into a purée. Return to heat and add the fried or non-fried paneer. Cook slowly with a lid so as to not have the hot vegetables bubble up and burn you.

Serve with rice or naan or other flat breads.


3. Patliçan Yogürtlü
Paired with Laurus Chateauneuf De Pape Gabriel Meffre #8922 @ $51.82 and D'Alba Docetto Tenuta Carretta #8024 @ $16.50

1 lg eggplant sliced
3 cloves garlic minced
1 1/2 c plain yogurt
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp salt

Slice and salt eggplant and let sit in a bowl of cold water. If eggplant is very young, skip the step of salt and water. Rinse and squeeze out water from slices.

Mince garlic and stir into yoghurt with salt.

Sauté eggplant slices on medium high heat until golden brown on both sides. Remove from pan and let sit for a moment on a paper towel. Place on platter and top with yoghurt mixture. Sprinkle rubbed oregano and paprika over yoghurt. Top with a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with baguette slices or water crackers.


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