Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Chickpeas Romesco!

This was so good I have to share it, even though I didn't make up the recipe myself. It's from Veganomicon, my current favorite cookbook.

Chickpeas Romesco

1/3 cup sliced almonds
1 28 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes
2 roasted red bell peppers (I used jarred from Trader Joe's)
olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (more if desired)
2 shallots, minced
1/4 cup white wine or vegetable broth
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried rosemary, crumbled
2 15 oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
salt and pepper to taste

Grind the almonds into a meal in a food processor, set aside. Next, puree the tomatoes and peppers together until smooth, set aside. Over medium heat, saute the garlic, shallots and crushed red pepper in oil until golden. Stir in the white wine and deglaze bottom of pan. Add tomato puree, vinegar, sugar, thyme and rosemary, bring to a near boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the ground almonds, then the chickpeas, and simmer another 25 minutes or so until sauce is slightly reduced. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with:

Saffron-Garlic Rice

2 cups hot vegetable broth
pinch of saffron threads
olive oil
5 cloved of garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 cup long grain brown rice
pinch of ground coriander
salt and pepper to taste

Add saffron threads to vegetable broth, let sit until ready to use. Saute the garlic and onion in the oil until golden. Add rice and stir to combine, sautee for about a minute. Pour in vegetable broth and stir in coriander, bring to a boil. Stir, then cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until rice is tender, about 45 minutes. Remove from heat a let stand a few minutes, fluff with fork. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Bread, perfected.

I think I finally got my bread recipe down pat. This creates a fairly dense loaf. Don't make it if you're looking for fluffy bread. It's very tasty and toothsome though, especially toasted with butter. I don't use exact measurements of flour and additions (whole grains and flax meal), so am ball parking here on those. This recipe makes two good sized loaves, so you can freeze one for later.

Amber's Whole Wheat Bread

4 cups tepid water
2 Tbsp active dry yeast
2 tsp salt
4 Tbsp vital wheat gluten
1 to 1.5 cups cooked wheat berries or barley
1 cup flaxseed meal
3-5 cups finely ground whole wheat flour

Let yeast dissolve in water in a large (very large) bowl for about 10 minutes. Then whisk in salt and gluten. Stir in cooked grains and flax meal, then start adding flour a half cup or so at a time, stirring with a spoon, until dough is too thick to stir any more. Make a mound of flour on a kneading surface, pour the dough onto the flour, and put more flour on top of dough. Start kneading with your hands, adding flour a bit at a time if needed until dough forms into a nice solid ball and doesn't stick to your hands any more. Stop adding flour now. Keep kneading for 5 or so minutes, then place dough ball in a large bowl coated with oil or cooking spray. Cover with a towel and set in a warm spot and let rise for about an hour. Roll dough out onto kneading surface, knead for a few minutes, then cut into two equal halves, form into loaves with a slit on the top and put in oiled/sprayed bread pans. Let rise for another 45 minutes to an hour. Place on middle rack in oven, turn oven on to 375 degrees. Bake at 375 for about 55 minutes.