The Brellis House

 

Category Archives: Recipes

2

Vegan Strawberry Cannoli

Posted on July 15th, 2013 by Dan

What an adventure we’ve had with this one. I won’t lie, it’s a time intensive project, you need some patience and special equipment, but these vegan strawberry cannoli are delicious.

chocolate-dipped-cannoli-shells

strawberry-chocolate-cannoli

We got the shell molds from a local home and hardware store nearby, though you can buy them online at Bed, Beth & Beyond. We did a lot of research into making these, and have a result to prove it. In fact, we entered them into a dessert competition at a native berry festival and won the judges pick! This was exciting, especially since we were bitter last year after not winning with our blueberry doughnuts.

strawberry-cannoli

We had some problems with the shells at first, basically they expanded and puffed up in the oil, coming unraveled. However, after letting the dough sit in the fridge overnight and rolling out thinner, we didn’t have that problem again. Another thing that may help if you’re experiencing this problem is to dock (make holes in) the rounds before rolling them around the molds with a fork, like you would with a pie crust.

Ingredients

For the Shells:
7 oz all purpose flour
1 oz pastry flour
1 oz sugar
1 oz shortening
1 Tbl ground flax seed
2 Tbl water
1/4 tsp vegg powder (optional)
3.5 oz dry Marsala wine
pinch of salt
Neutral oil for frying                                                                                                                                                      

For the Ricotta:
8 oz well pressed extra firm tofu
3 Tbl canola oil
2 Tbl lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbl suagr
1/4 tsp yellow barley miso paste

For the Filling:
3/4 cup strawberry puree
2 Tbl cornstarch
1 cup sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
16 chopped strawberries
9 oz Ricotta (from recipe below)
zest of 1 lemon
8 oz cream cheese

Methods (shells):

  1. Make the egg by whisking the flax meal, water and vegg powder together, let sit a few minutes, then whisk again until thick.
  2. Sift the flours, sugar and salt together. Cut in the shortening till the flour is a fine, sandy mixture. Add the egg mixture and wine. Stir, adding just enough wine until you have hydrated all the flour and the dough is slightly sticky.
  3. Shape into a disk and tightly wrap in plastic wrap for 3 hours, or overnight**.
  4. Divide the dough in half, then roll out on a floured surface until very thin, about 1/16″ (I rolled it out until it was transparent and I could see the counter underneath)**.
  5. Fill your dutch oven or deep fry pot with at least 2″ of oil and bring it to 360-375°F.
  6. Cut with appropriate circles for your cannoli molds (we used 3″ diameter narrow mouth mason jar lids for our 5/8″ molds). Wrap around the molds and use some water to seal the edges**.
  7. Drop the cannoli into the oil and fry until it is golden brown, just about 1 minute. I used tongs to scootch them around so the cannoli wouldn’t burn on the bottom, or you could use a basket so they don’t sit on the bottom.
  8. Let cool on a drying rack and remove your molds. You can apparently store the shells in an air tight container for a month or two after they cool.

cannoli-shells

Methods (filling and assembly):

  1. Make the ricotta by combining all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth (it won’t be super smooth, but there shouldn’t be any big chunks of tofu).

    Tofu Ricotta

    Tofu Ricotta

  2. Now, take the strawberry puree and combine it with the cornstarch, cup of sugar and lemon juice and place in a saucepan. Whisk until the sugar and cornstarch are dissolved, then heat, whisking constantly. First it will foam and bubble, then start to thicken. The idea is to simmer it down until it’s almost the consistency of jelly (not runny). If this is runny, your filling will be runny.
    strawberry-jelly
  3. Once the strawberry is thick and not runny, add in the chopped strawberries and let cool to room temperature.
    strawberry-tofu-ricotta
  4. Whisk the ricotta, lemon zest and cream cheese in a stand mixer or with electric beaters until combined and then fold in the strawberry mixture (if the strawberries got too thick to fold in, simply heat it up for a bit until it’s workable). You can decide how much you want to mix these together, but I like a mostly white filling with streaks of red (see photo).
  5. Use a pipping bag to fill both sides of a cannoli, then top with chocolate or powdered sugar. You can dip the cannoli shells in melted chocolate before filling as well.
29

French Macarons (Part II)

Posted on July 4th, 2013 by Dan

French macarons are the holy grail of vegan dessert in my opinion. Following a combination of Hannah Kaminsky’s mint macaron recipe in Vegan Desserts and research into foams and non vegan macarons, I’ve got a macaron now that is fairly reliable, though not close to perfect.

lemon-macarons

My problem, still, is hollow centers. I have theories, but I don’t get around to making macarons everyday to experiment. I think my biggest problem is that the batter is too thick (too much almond meal slash powdered sugar), so the shells get too big and puffy. Playing around with temperature and the egg whites might also help.

A macaron after a bite. It's crushed because of the hollow center of the shells.

A macaron after a bite. It’s crushed because of the hollow center of the shells.

Regardless, I’ll share with you my macaron recipe as I work on it now. I hope this can be useful for many people as a jumping off point and I really hope we can collaborate to improve the recipe. As before, my recipe relies on Versawhip as the main foaming agent. Also, I’ve since gotten a stand mixer, and I love it. The whisk attachment is good for making the foam.

Vegan egg whites with my Artisan stand mixer.

Vegan egg whites with stiff peaks using my Artisan stand mixer.

This recipe is a lemon variation, which is all too appropriate for summer.

Ingredients

  • 15 g cane sugar
  • 57 g almond meal
  • 115 g powdered sugar
  • 57g water
  • 1/2 tsp Versawhip
  • 15 g Ener-G Egg Replacer powder (~2Tbl)
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum powder
  • 1/4 tsp fine lemon zest
  • 2 drops of yellow food coloring (optional)

Methods

  1. Put the 15 g cane sugar in a food processor and pulse to create superfine sugar, set aside.
  2. Whisk the water and egg replacer until foamy, let stand for 2 minutes.
  3. Put the almond meal and powdered sugar in the food processor and pulse to combine and destroy any clumps. Don’t over mix or over heat the mixture (we don’t want almond butter).
  4. Place the egg replacer/water foamy mixture in the bowl of your stand mixture along with the Versawhip and xanthan gum. With the whisk attachment on low, slowly add the superfine sugar. Increase the speed to medium, add the lemon zest and food coloring, and then increase to high until you get stiff peaks (the volume wasn’t enough to get my whisk attachment into, so I had to lift the bowl up a bit).
  5. Once you have stiff peaks, turn off the machine and fold in your almond mixture, carefully. Many macaron recipes say that the batter should flow in ribbons like hot lava (whatever that means).
  6. With a piping bag or zip lock bag with the corner cut, pipe 1.5″ circles of batter onto a silpat or parchment paper which is on a baking sheet. Smooth out any bumps and tap the sheet pan to knock out any air bubbles.
  7. Now, importantly, let the batter sit, at room temperature, in a well ventilated room for 1-3 hours. This is essential in keeping the shape and making feet. You want the shells to be dry to the touch.
  8. Bake the shells at 300°F for 10-14 minutes. You can double stack your sheet pans to help with insulation so the bottoms don’t burn.
  9. For these lemon macarons, I sandwiched them with left over lemon icing for cupcakes from my sister.

Additional shots of my stand mixer. I love that it’s red. We actually got it for about half off at TJ Max.

kitchen-aid-stand-mixer

artisan-kitchen-aid-stand-mixer

Homemade ‘Gin’

Posted on March 8th, 2013 by Dan

We’ve made this recipe a couple times and really like it. It’s more like a chartreuse than a gin, but it’s still really good in a gin and tonic. Plus you can change around the recipe according to your tastes. We put together this recipe based on a few others that we found online, but every time we’ve made it we’ve changed it a little bit. juniper berriesgin ingredientsIngredients

  • 1 cup vodka
  • 2 Tbl Juniper berries (divided)
  • 4″ peel grapefruit
  • 1″ sprig rosemary
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 small piece of anise star
  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • 4 black whole peppercorns
  • 2 allspice berries
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 3 dried chamomile flowers

Methods

  1. Crush 1/2 Tbl of the juniper berries and combine with 1/2 Tbl of whole juniper berries in a glass jar with the vodka and let sit overnight (covered in dark place).
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients, including the rest of the juniper berries and let infuse in a dark place, covered, at room temperature for 24 hours.
  3. Strain the mixture through a cheesecloth or coffee filter.

homemade gin

Bulgur with Asparagus and Balsamic Vinegar Rosemary Seitan

Posted on January 24th, 2013 by Dan

This recipe was my first introduction to bulgur and now I’m a big fan. This little grain cooks up toasty and nutty and keeps it’s toothy texture. With fried chicken style seitan, asparagus, lots of garlic and lemon, and balsamic vinegar, this is one for the books. It’s quick to make and produces about 4 servings.

Bulgur with Asparagus and Balsamic Vinegar Rosemary Seitan

Ingredients

  • 8oz package of chicken style seitan
  • 1 sprig rosemary, plus 1/2 tsp chopped rosemary
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, divided
  • juice from half of a lemon
  • 1 cup of vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking bulgur
  • Half a bunch of asparagus spears
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 tbl balsamic vinegar

Methods

  1. Saute the onion, a pinch of salt, and 2 cloves of garlic in a medium saucepan over medium heat until soft, then add the bulgur and vegetable broth.
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, covered, until all the water is absorbed. Take off heat and set aside.
  3. In a heavy bottomed pan (preferably cast iron), heat 1/4 cup of oil on high heat.  Once the oil is hot add the chopped seitan and rosemary sprig, and fry until crispy and golden brown.
  4. To prepare the asparagus, wash and chop asparagus into 2 inch pieces. Arrange on a small sheet pan and drizzle half of remaining oil from the setain and toss with lemon juice, tsp of salt, and remaining 2 cloves of garlic. Bake (in oven or toaster oven at 350) stirring halfway through, for 15 minutes or until the edges are crisp and asparagus is bright green.
  5. Combine the asparagus with the bulgur mixture and seitan. Add balsamic vinegar, 1/2 tsp chopped rosemary, and sliced almonds.  Enjoy!!

Coconut Blueberry Pancakes

Posted on January 19th, 2013 by Dan

I made these delicious pancakes this morning.  It’s a nice variation on a classic pancake recipe- coconut and lemon to blueberry pancakes. Serve with butter and maple syrup.  These pancakes are a little thicker so you can add an extra splash of milk (2 tbsp) if you prefer a thinner pancake. Makes about 10 pancakes.

lemon coconut blueberry pancakes

Ingredients 

  • 3/4 cups light coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup milk (we used rice milk)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp coconut extract (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup blueberries

Methods

  1. Combine everything up to the flour into a bowl, stir to combine.
  2. Sift in the flour, baking powder, and baking soda and stir until just combined, some lumps are okay.
  3. Fold in the blueberries.
  4. Cook over medium heat in a lightly buttered frying pan, 2 minutes on one side and 2 minutes on the other.

Cranberry Soda, Homemade

Posted on January 5th, 2013 by Dan

cranberry-sodaHappy 2013 to all. For the holidays we experimented with making sodas. We’ve already had amazing success with ginger beer, so I decided to do a cranberry version. I made two batches, augmenting the original ginger beer recipe differently. Cranberry Soda #1 is all cranberry, while #2 is more like a sparkling cranberry lemonade. The recipes are below and you can just follow the directions from the ginger beer post. Both are great on their own or mixed with some sake or vodka as a cocktail on ice.

Cranberry Soda #1

Ingredients

  • 22.5 oz water
  • 6.75 oz cranberry juice
  • 6.75 oz simple syrup
  • 1/8 tsp champagne yeast

Cranberry Soda #2

Ingredients

  • 22.5 oz water
  • 6.75 oz simple syrup
  • 4.5 oz lemon juice
  • 2.25 oz cranberry juice
  • 1/8 tsp champagne yeast

NOTE: You can mix an additional 2 oz water with 1/4 oz simple syrup to top the bottles, until ~2.5″ space is left at the head.

cranberry-soda-2

Thanksgiving Menu

Posted on November 16th, 2012 by Dan

I enjoy Thanksgiving like I enjoy other holidays- a chance to cook for a lot of people. This year my parents will be away, so Susanna and I can devote our entire weekend to her family, which is always nice since we don’t have to spend half the day driving around.

Somehow, I’m getting organized and providing a menu to our readers before the actual holiday. So here’s my menu as it stands. I’ll be keeping it vegan on my end (and as gluten-free as possible). Using a lot of French inspired dishes and recipes from others as well as some I’ve made up.

Appetizers

  1. Salad of Shaved Fennel, Oranges, and Candied Pecans (GF)
  2. Spiced Balsamic-Beet Compote on baguette slices (GF option)

Sides

  1. Truffled Mashed Potatoes (GF)
  2. Raw Kale Salad with Cranberries & Almonds (GF)
  3. Lightly Steamed Green Beans with Garlic and Slivered Almonds (GF)

Entrees

  1. Tofurkey (store bought, I know, but so delicious)
  2. Butternut Squash, Cranberry, Root Vegetable & White Kidney Bean Stuffing (filling from Harvest Pies) (GF)

Desserts

  1. Pumpkin Pie (GF pie crust, recipe to come)
  2. Vegan Galette des Rois
  3. Chocolate-Covered Cranberries (GF, recipe to come)
  4. Macarons (GF)

Drinks

  1. Cranberry Soda (GF)
  2. Ginger Beer (GF)
  3. Sipp Mack 2010 Gewürztraminer
  4. Red Burgundy/Pinot Noir

This turkey from the Ithaca Farm Sanctuary, and others, thank you for choosing vegan on thanksgiving.

Lightly Steamed Green Beans with Garlic and Slivered Almonds

Ingredients

  • 1 lb fresh green beans, washed and trimmed
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • oil for frying and dressing

Method

  1. Stem the beans over 1 inch of boiling water for 5 minutes (cook to al dente, do not over cook!)
  2. Plunge beans into ice water to retard cooking.
  3. In a sauce pan, saute the almonds in about 1 tbl of olive oil until fragrant (these burn quickly). Add the garlic and continue cooking for an additional minute.
  4. Toss with the beans, salt, pepper and additional olive oil to taste.
  5. Toss with an optional vinaigrette of 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tspwhite-wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, and 2 tsp lemon juice.

Sourdough Cinnamon Raisin Swirl

Posted on November 5th, 2012 by Dan

Susanna and I were very lucky to come out of hurricane Sandy with only 12 hours of lost internet. We’ve had good luck with bad storms so far in this house. We spent the night swing dancing and preparing for the power to go off.

On Monday I worked from my grandparent’s house (they didn’t lose internet) and my sister happened to be there in the morning for breakfast. She has a slice of cinnamon raisin bread from the store and it smelled amazing. I thought, I need to make me one of those!

So I found a nice looking recipe from the kitchn. And oh, by the way, my sourdough is back! It died, I was too lazy to grow a new one, when I tried it took 2 weeks… but now it’s alive and healthy. So I modified the recipe I found to use up some of the sourdough starter. Here it is, very tasty for breakfast.

cinnamon raisin swirl bread

Ingredients

  • 5 oz starter
  • 4 oz AP flour
  • 4 oz warm water
  • .5 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1.5 oz milk
  • 1/8 cup (1 oz) Earth Balance, melted, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 7.5 – 8.5 oz all-purpose flour
  • 0.5 cup (3 oz) raisins
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

Methods

  1. Soak the raisins in enough boiling water to cover. Let sit for an hour or more to plump.
  2. Combine the starter right out of the fridge and feed it with the 4 oz of flour and water. Let it sit in a mixing bowl for an hour or over night if you have the time.
  3. Mix in the yeast, milk, butter, salt and  7.5 oz of flour. Stir until a rough dough forms, then turn out onto the table and knead until smooth, adding more flour to make a tacky, elastic dough. NOTE: when we add the raisins it will add more moisture, so you can make this a bit drier than usual.
  4. Let the dough relax on the counter, covered, for a half hour. Drain the raisins and toss with someflour to absorb excess moisture. Stretch the dough on the counter and fold the raisins in, adding more flour as necessary to take up the moisture from the raisins.
  5. Let rise in an oiled bowl until doubled (1.5 hours).
  6. Deflate and form into a loaf using the technique from the kitchn to get the cinnamon swirl effect. Preheat over to 375°F
  7. Rise in a loaf pan until cresting the top and then bake at 375°F for 40 minutes.

Pumpkin Granola

Posted on October 28th, 2012 by Dan

We’ve been taking full advantage of pumpkins this year. We have been frequently making this granola and it’s been our breakfast almost every day for a few weeks. The recipe is adapted from Recipe Boy’s pumpkin granola. It’s great in milk or yogurt.

Ingredients

3 cups old fashioned (rolled) oats
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup pure (unsweetened) pumpkin puree
1/4 cup applesauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup pepitas
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup roasted pecans

Method

1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, or use a nonstick baking sheet.

2. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl (oats through salt). Mix the wet ingredients (syrup through vanilla) in a smaller bowl. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Then stir in the cranberries, pepitas, and pecans.

3. Spread the mixture out onto your baking sheet. Bake until golden- stirring halfway through baking- 20 minutes, then stir, then bake another 20 minutes. If it’s not quite golden and crisp, bake 5 to 10 minutes more. It will get crisper as it cools. Let it cool and mix in chocolate chips, and then store it in a covered container to nibble on for a couple of weeks.

pumpkin granola

Suess clearly approves!suess and pumpkin granola

Pizza Flat Bread – 4 Ways

Posted on October 14th, 2012 by Dan

I’m proud of myself for how much I used the grill this summer. I’ll admit, the heat and our lack of air conditioning had a lot to do with it. Additionally, we lost power for over a week from a storm, so our oven was out of commission anyway.

One of my favorite things from the grill was a pizza flat bread. I was re-inspired by an article in Bon Appetit magazine which gave tips on grilling flat bread. So I went to work and made the dough from Alton Brown, but divided it into 4 balls for even more diversity!

For each of these toppings, I followed the directions laid out by Alton Brown, rolling out the dough, spreading the top with oil, flipping it over and grilling the oiled side for 2 minutes, remove from heat, oil the non-grilled side, flip, top with ingredients and then grill for an additional 2 minutes. Depending on what you’re looking for, grill time may vary from 1-2 minutes, so check the bottom and stop before you get past the point of no return.

Topping 1 – Margarita. 1 large tomato (sliced and grilled alongside the pizza, per Mr Brown’s instructions), a handful of Diaya Cheese, and a handful of basil chiffonade.

Topping 2 – Basil Pesto. Pesto and 1 large tomato (sliced and grilled alongside the pizza, per Mr Brown’s instructions)

Topping 3 – Sun dried Tomato and Green Charmoula. Green charmoula spread and sun dried tomatoes (chopped).

Topping 4 – Sausage & Cheese. Field Roast Italian Sausage (chopped), Diaya Cheese, tomato sauce and pesto.

Use whatever sorts of proportions you’d like. I’ll share my recipe for the Green Charmoula spread below. I originally made the one from the magazine, but it taste, unsavory, so I added some extra herbage and sugar. Combined with the tomatoes, I think it turned out pretty good.

Green Charmoula

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/8 cup mint leaves
  • /2 tsp ginger, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
  • olive oil
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp sugar

Method

  1. Pulse all ingredients, except oil, in a food processor, scraping down until combined and the herbs shredded.
  2. With the food processor running, slowly add olive oil until the mixture comes together into a spreadable paste.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.