Tuesday, May 24, 2011

herbed and spiced hummus

Everyone loves a good hummus. It's unbelievably easy to make and you can't really go wrong with it. It's really just variations on a type of bean and adding accoutrements to it. For this I added chickpeas, olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, spices, herbs, salt. Not too complicated. I used a random mixture of Indian and Mexican spices. Dashes of ginger, cayenne, cumin, paprika, turmeric, fennel, cardamon and star anise. 

Makes about 3 cups. 


1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, reserve liquid
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 teaspoon ground star anise
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cardamon, crushed
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon fennel
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
salt and pepper
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (optional)
2 scallions, thinly sliced (optional)

In a food processor, combine beans and about 1/4 cup of reserved liquid from can. Add garlic, tahini, two tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice and all of the spices, plus salt and pepper. Add more reserved liquid until desired consistency is reached. Feel free to add less or more of spices. This is just my personal taste. I like my hummus super flavorful and a bit spicy. Top with two more tablespoons of olive oil, cilantro leaves and scallions, if you so desire. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

tequila lime cupcakes

I know cupcakes are the super trendy-epitome of hipsterdom/gentrification dessert items, but really, aren't they just adorable! There's a reason cupcakes have taken over the world! I adapted this recipe from the cookbook 'Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.' Hence, my joke. But, seriously. Well, as serious as you can be when you are writing about cupcakes that have tequila and vast amounts of sugar in them. I served them at a party recently and they're definitely a palate divider. Some people couldn't handle the lime explosion in their mouth. I, for one, love bold citrus flavors. But I can understand that it's not for everyone. You can decrease the freshly squeezed lime juice for more soymilk or almond milk, if you prefer. Or even use lemon juice. I feel that with vegan cupcakes, sometimes they come out a little dry and dense and the lime juice really helps with that. I suppose using agave could also give it a lighter taste and texture as well. 

Makes 24 cupcakes

Recipe for cupcakes: 

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
3 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
2 cups almond, rice or soy milk
1/2 cup canola oil or melted coconut oil
1/4 cup tequila 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
(icing recipe to follow)
(large crystal decorating sugar, for decorating edges of cupcakes, about a cup)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners. 
In a large bowl, beat together the lime juice, zest, soy milk, canola/coconut oil, tequila, vanilla, and sugar. Sift in flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix until batter is smooth. Fill liners three quarters of the way full and bake 20 to 22 minutes until a toothpick or knife inserted through the center comes out clean. Transfer cupcakes to a cooling rack and let cool completely before frosting. Allowing cupcakes to set for an hour or two helps the flavor develop more fully. 

Icing recipe: 
1/2 cup shortening (butter or margarine would also work) I used Spectrum shortening, softened
2 tablespoons almond, rice or soy milk 
6 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons tequila
drop of green food coloring, if you so desire
4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted 
generous pinch of sea salt

Blend shortening with a hand held or kitchen aid mixer until soft and fluffy. Add soy milk, lime juice, tequila and food coloring. Sift in two cups confectioners sugar and blend with mixer til creamy and well incorporated. Add more confectioners sugar if it seems too runny. It should be a bit stiff (as in, you can make peaks with it) and have a smooth spreadable consistency. Refrigerate until ready to use. 

To assemble: 
Spread icing on cupcakes with a knife, all around edges. Roll just the outer edges of cupcake in sugar crystals, ala margarita style. Tada! You have a booze-filled party time cupcake! 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Roasted and Stuffed Poblano Peppers with Pumpkin Seed Tapenade

I made these on a whim when I saw these sweet poblano peppers at the store. I roasted them on an open flame on the stovetop until charred a bit black. And then stuffed them with rice and adzuki beans and spiced with paprika, cayenne and red pepper flakes for color and extra kick. And topped off with chopped cilantro and the pumpkin seed tapenade, which is basically just grinding pumpkin seeds (also known as pepitos) in a cuisinart or blender with olive oil, salt, pepper and a bit of spiced paprika.