Friday, July 9, 2010

Faux Crab cakes + Okra Tomato Facon Goodness

Once again we made a recipe from Vegan Brunch, the faux crab cakes (called chesapeake cakes). They aren't listed under crab cake, so I actually added crab cake to the index in pencil, because really, its a fake crab cake and I can't seem to remember 'chesapeake cakes'. It was about 9pm when I started these babies, so as you can imagine, I was like "I'm not staying up all night to fry these" and I baked 'em instead. Yes, I know that's always a huge mistake, and why we need a deep fat fryer. I'm not trying to gain 10 lbs. or anything...but think of it: perfect hash browns, latkes, "crab" cakes, and whatever other patties and etc. we end up baking out of laziness which could taste 100 times better. The remoulade was crazy flavorful, which is a good compliment to the fairly bland flavor of the cakes. I feel like I can't give a thumbs up or down to this recipe, because I know first hand how much of a difference baking vs. frying makes. When I make them again, I will fry them and let you know.

Onto Okra and Facony goodness! Now, I'm not a huge okra person. The snotty texture is groady. However, this recipe came out non-snotty and totally tasty! The recipe is adapted from Cooking Light's Stewed okra with Tomatoes and Bacon.

3 Facon Bacon Tempeh bacon slices sliced into 1/2-1 inch squares
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 chopped green bell pepper + 1/2 chopped red pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
4 cups sliced fresh okra (about 1 pound)
14 oz can of diced tomatoes, drained
1 to 2 teaspoons hot sauce
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat 1 tbs oil, then add facon slices in a fry pan with high sides over medium-high heat until crisp, flipping to other side to fry evenly. Remove facon from pan, leave any oil in pan.

2. Add another few tsps oil, Add 1 cup onion, green bell pepper, and garlic to pan, and sauté for 5 minutes or until tender. Add okra, tomato, hot sauce, vinegar, salt, thyme, and black pepper. (at this point it still looks snotty. Don't worry, that goes away, keep on going) Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until okra is tender. Sprinkle with facon and mix in.

Also, I made a beet salad that was kind of gross. I made a dressing for it and it was too runny, so I added maybe a tsp of xanthan gum (my new friend), and then thought, eh, why not add another, doesn't look thick enough. BAD IDEA, xanthan gum just takes a few mins to thicken up, so I had what would have been a rockin' beet salad covered in goo. It was like the slime from ghostbusters. Will post pix tonight. Hopefully. I am making gluten free carrot cupcakes, so it may not happen, but I'll try!