Thursday, August 2, 2007

This Week's Specials.

What's on the menu this week at Chez Melisser?
The arrival of some new kitchen accouterments have resulted in a wave of new dishes!

Panko Buffalo Tofu

I bought some Panko (Japanese style bread crumbs) & then raided my cabinets to find something to use it with. Tofu was the winner!
The buffalo in this dish comes from the buffalo sauce I marinated the pressed tofu in before coating them with breadcrumbs & baking them to a crisp. Yum!

Lemon Sorbet

I finally bought myself an Ice Cream Maker! I've been talking about it for ages, but a trip to Target revealed a basic inexpensive model, so I snagged it.

Making this sorbet was amazingly easy;
1/2 cup water + 1/2 cup sugar, combine in a pot & heat until lightly boiling & sugar is dissolved.
1/2 cup lemon juice + 2 teaspoons lemon zest.
Combine them all & put them in the refrigerator to cool. Once they're cold, throw them in the machine & you're set!

Additionally, my new Microplane Grater / Zester is ruling my world! No more crappy cheese grater for this little lady. Lemons are zested with ease, ginger is grated to perfection, & I am a happy person.

Raw Zucchini Spring Rolls with Soy-Ginger Dipping Sauce

Another new addition to my kitchen cabinets is a Mandoline! While I've already shaved off my fingertip (haha), I've also made some beautifully cut veggies, which made these rolls possible.
This was my first foray in to raw foods after being inspired by a dish at Cafe La Vie in Santa Cruz. They're so simple; long strips of zucchini with julienned carrots & zucchini of various sizes inside. Other great additions would be bell peppers, avocado, or bean sprouts!

The sauce was not raw, but was very tasty, especially as a dip for our side of tofu noodles. I think well try something creamier for the rolls next time, but I would recommend this basic Asian sauce for other dishes, it works as a dip or a marinade!

Soy Ginger Dipping Sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 small garlic glove, minced.
1/4 teaspoon ginger, grated.

Whisk them all together & you're done!

Also on the menu this week:
Tex Mex Lentils with tons of veggie from the Farmers Market!
Nachos ala Real Food Daily with their amazing Jalapeno Cashew Cheddar, thanks to my new Food Processor!
Vegan Donuts from both VeganYumYum & the Damn Tasty Vegan Baking Guide!

Quick! Someone give me a reason to make cupcakes!


Anonymous said...

everything looks so fabulous!

Anonymous said...

Have you checked out "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World"? I stumbled across it and thought of your blog - it's not too expensive, I'm tempted to order it on Amazon. The rolls look fabulous, by the way.

Kate said...

Your blog is awesome, thanks for the visit! Make cupcakes because you can rest assure that someone somewhere is having a birthday.

Gigi said...

Lemon sorbet looks cool and refreshing! :)

Anonymous said...

you never need a reason for cupcakes. cupcakes are the reason within themselves! :)

& give me that tofu now.


Anonymous said...

The Panko buffalo tofu sounds and looks absolutely delicious!

Thanks for the comment. The cake baking is going alright, a few stumbles but I suppose that's to be expected when making cakes from scratch for the very first time.

vko said...

Damn girl- you turn out some fine cooking on your blog. I love it! And yes, I am that rare creature- a vegan producer (forgot to put on my last post about all the vegan options I always request from catering...I actually found a regular caterer who is secretly an undercover raw foodie!) I thought you would have tons more vegan options on shoot on the west coast.

Anyway- love you blog & am linking to it- got to keep the veg makeup person in my veg industry network!

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

stonie- Thanks SO much, that means a lot coming from you!!!

erin- I love that book! Isa is a vegan kitchen goddess!

Thanks Kate!

Thanks Gigi, it was!

kristen- Come over & the tofu is all yours! :)

megin- I think we ALL stumble on the baking sometimes. I just had some chocolate donuts turn out like weird springy cookies, ugh!

vko- I think the West Coast has it better in the vegan food department on shoots (my last shoot in NYC was a food nightmare), but I can't tell you how many times they get FISH for the vegetarians!! ugh.

natalilly said...

beautiful photos and such delicious looking grub! unfortunately I am looking at it pre-breakfast, and I want a little of everything.

I also have been "talking about" getting an ice-cream maker forever. what model did you buy? do you recommend it?

Amey said...

love this blog! Where have you been all my life? thanks for leaving a comment on my blog... or else I don't know how much longer it would have taken us to connect! Cool that you are in SF, I live down in Santa Cruz!

I love reading about all your new gadgets. 3 cheers for kitchen gadgets! I also just recently got a mandoline... although I keep forgetting to use it. Ooops! And, I have a new ice cream maker. So far my favorite was probably the cashew-based strawberry peach stuff I made. yumola. try it!

Have you tried the RFD jalepeno cheddar cheese before? It sounds like you have. What's it like? I love the RFD book, and have made many things, but haven't tried that yet.

see you!

Amey said...

oh yeah, and i forgot to mention, it's cool that you are going to be making donuts because I just started looking into all these vegan donut recipes a couple days ago. you read my mind! apparently that book "sinfully vegan" has a good recipe for donuts, although it is generally a book that I never use.

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

natalilly, I went cheap with my ice cream maker. I wanted to make sure I'll actually use it before I get anything too fancy! There's a link to the one I bought on the post. I like it so far, the capacity is a bit small, but that's fine for the two of us. Also, the freezer bowl is best kept in the freezer at all times, which is a bit inconvenient, but all the cheaper models are that way.

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Amey, thanks for stopping by! My blog is relatively new & not 100% vegan, so I'm not on most people's radar.
Santa Cruz = Cafe La Vie, mmm! I'm so sad they've started serving fish, what a shame! I grew up in Fremont, so most of my weekends were spent in Santa Cruz. I also love Taqueria Vallarta. In fact, I'll be at the Boardwalk with friends (quite a few vegan) this Sunday!
The Mandoline has been great, but I've taken off 3 fingertips already. I'm a klutz in the kitchen! The ice cream maker has been more successful, haha. I have cashews right now, I'll have to try your strawberry peach!
Real Food Daily jalapeño cashew cheddar is something we talk about constantly in this house. The nachos at the restaurant are the best EVER. I made it at home & it was good, but not as good as at RFD itself! I'd give it a try, it's nutty & a bit tangy & makes great slices & shreds too! I halved the recipe, used a bunch to pour on nachos & still had a TON to refrigerate to make a block out of. It's only good for 4 days, so I had to toss a bit.
As for vegan donuts, I have sinfully vegan, but went with 2 other recipes instead. Damn Tasty's recipe was a failure for me, very odd. The donuts from VeganYumYum ( were SO good. I took them to a Vegan brunch potluck & people LOVED them, myself included. I'll be blogging about them this week.

Vegan_Noodle said...

Awesome spring rolls!

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Thanks Vegan Noodle!

roberta jane said...

That tofu looks amazing! I have been wanting to discover some new ways of baking tofu - I think I will try that... let's say yum for panko!

(p.s. the blog looks fantastic!)

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Thanks Bird! It took me awhile to realize how versatile tofu is. I think the key is really pressing it to get the water out, unless making something crumbly. Also, freezing tofu gives it a chewier texture & helps it hold up better in stir-fries. It's pretty cool!

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