Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The truth...

Truthfully, there are a few things I miss now that I'm a full fledged, card carrying vegan. Not enough that I regret my decision, and not enough that I would momentarily forget about all the gross stuff thats in it or anything. Just stuff I see on menus and wistfully wish they weren't made with milk from a cow's mammary gland.

I am on a mission, to veganize these particular non-vegan dishes...
Creme Brulee my all time, favorite desert. My "go-to" dish at any fine dining establishment. Lots of restruants don't get this right-- no matter how much cream or how many eggs they may use. I've gotten soggy topped, cold topped, pudding rather then custard more times then I'd like to recall. This dish has many variables-- much less adding in the "vegan" aspect. On top of it all, it may be the one desert in history I've never made. Being that it was my favorite I never wanted it to feel like a "chore" to make. Just a treat. Well I miss it and I will figure out someway to veganize it. So far I've found this which seems like a nice jumping off point, I am going to over view some other (non vegan) recipies and see what I can come up with soon.
Ranch Dressing, lets face it, I was one of "those" people. I rather liked the taste of ranch dressing, and often preferred it over the taste of my salad. I liked it in mashed potatoes, I liked it on french fries... anything and everything. I never ate the stuff from bottles, only homemade or in a restaurant (and boy did it piss me off if you could tell they used one of those Hidden Valley packages...). Tonight I broke down and attempted a vegan ranch I came up with on the fly... equal parts Veganise & Soy Milk, garlic powder, dill, pepper, etc. etc. If it comes out well I will post about it, if it comes out poorly I'll probably still post about it. I'm giving it overnight in the fridge to allow flavors to meld.Blue Cheese Dressing this actually calls for a story because I never liked blue cheese. I never touched the stuff, or in an attempt to see if my taste buds matured a small taste of blue cheese left my nose wrinkled and my palate rather unhappy. Until I tried the dressing at the restaurant I was serving at my senior year in college. We had to try all the dressings, one of our selling points was our "fresh in house" salad dressings (which were truly incredible)... the dressing was good. Damned good. And thus my love affair with blue cheese began, similarly to Ranch, I never touched the stuff from bottles and was quite weary of it at restaurants. I never made it on my own... and I know it'll probably be impossible to replicate... but I'm going to try. All this talk about dressings must make some of you think that I'd like anything drinched in Mayo-- which is completely untrue and weird. I hate mayonnaise and have my whole life-- I even have a rule that its not allowed in my car because the scent makes me down right ill. That being said, I've never had a problem with Veganaise-- though I wouldn't ever top a sandwich with it.

Brie I know, I know wishful thinking... but boy that would make me happy!

I have attempted other non-vegan favorites with steller results:
Case in point
Nutella vs. "Knew"tella. My version is simple and delicious, fresh Hazelnuts ground with peanut oil, cocoa powder and Earth Balance buttery spread... even better then the real thing if you ask me, or my husband. The texture is different (not as smooth) and it has a "dark" chocolate flavor vs. the "milk" flavor of the original... both of which I prefer.




Clotted Cream vs. I can't think of a clever vegan name for Clotted "Cream". My version is (as far as I can recall) spot on for taste. The texture is a bit thinner-- but not enough to mar the delish spread on anything really... scones, cookies, bread... we've eaten it on pretty much any baked good out there and lots of good for you fruits and stuff too (cuz I mean really does fruit have to be good for you ALL the time, spice it up a bit, geeze). The recipe for my clotted cream (and scones) can be found here, just a few posts down

Lastly, and certainly not least. Cheese cake. My original version of cheese cake wasn't that great by culinary standards in the first place. In fact, when we learned how to make it in High School Home Ec, we called it "ghetto" cheese cake because we were insensitive brats who couldn't understand that people who lived in the "ghetto" didn't worry about things like cheese cake. But y'know stupid kids and all that. So my original "Cheesecake" which I would make anytime I was interested in shoving sugar and fat down my gullet (not often) was comprised of a tub of cream cheese, some vanilla, and some sugar mixed together and poured in a prepared pie crust. I never liked "real" cheese cake-- maybe because it tasted like... cheese? And I thought that was weird? Who knows. My vegan version is just Better Than Cream Cheese with vanilla, and sugar (and this time, chocolate chips) poured into a prepared wheat pie crust. It got the job done. The job meaning satisfy my sweet tooth in less then 15 minutes. By no means something I'd make often, or recommend making often, it just tastes good enough to get the job done and takes no time in the world. And no oven to boot!

In rather sad news (and probably why I haven't been baking this week) my wonderful, cheap, little hand mixer bit the dust last weekend making vegan chocolate chip cookies (that were gross by the way, totally not worth busting my mixer!). It was just 6 months old and cheap, but will be missed....

In other news, time to convince my hubby that refund money would be well spent if going towards a stand mixer... an orange stand mixer... to match my blender of course (:

4 comments:

Billy said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog about musical influences on vegetarianism/veganism.

I replied over there.

How To Eat A Cupcake said...

It's totally strange, but the best creme brulee I've ever had is at a sushi restaurant my boyfriend and I go to all the time!

I have a question... what does clotted cream taste like? I saw it on the international foods aisle in the grocery store once and it made me curious...

shannie cakes said...

it's like rich whipped cream. a cross between awesome good whipped cream and maybe a bit of a sour cream or creme fresh flavor in there...

it's worth a try for sure. though the stuff we get in the states isn't 'real' because real clotted cream is unpasteurized and not sold in the states because of it... (i think)

cincinnati personal injury attorney said...

The creme brulee looks great. Thanks for the creative post.