Friday, June 5, 2009

Chickpea Cutlets(vegan); Chickpea-Hijiki Salad Sammiches(vegan)

No rain today, but I really wish it would, lol. You know I love rainy days. But, it's lovely out there, which is probably the way most folks prefer it. Besides, if it were raining, I might not get my "new" washing machine delivered this afternoon, and I'm really looking forward to having it.

BTW, I just posted another favorite website for you to browse, if you wish, another non-food blog. The name of it is "The Unclutterer," and it's extremely interesting reading, not the usual how-to unclutter and get organized for life type of thing at all. I did get a couple of really good ideas from it, tho, and some links to some other good sites, as well. Check it out when you have time.

I don't know if I've mentioned on here or not that I don't like chickpeas(garbanzos), but for years and years, I did NOT like them. Strangely enough, my taste seems to have changed, because suddenly, I think they're pretty darned good. Go figure, right? Both recipes today...LOL! I hear rain on the skylight, no kidding!!!...use chickpeas, and both recipes are keepers. The Chickpea Cutlets are from "Veganomicon," and the Chickpea-Hijiki recipe is from "Vegan with a Vengeance," and both books, as you probably already know, are by Isa Chandra Muskovitz, and Terry Hope Romero also co-wrote "Veganomicon." So, without further chatter, here are the recipes:

Chickpea Cutlets
Makes four cutlets

1 cup cooked chickpeas
2Tbs. olive oil
1/2 cup EACH plain bread crumbs and vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup vegetable broth or water
2 Tbs. soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, pressed or grated with a microplane grater
1/2 tsp. EACH lemon zest, dried thyme, and Hungarian paprika
1/4 tsp. dried rubbed sage
olive oil for panfrying.

In a mixing bowl, mash the chickpeas together with the oil until no whole chickpeas are left. Add the remaining ingredients and knead for about 3 minutes, until strings of gluten have formed.

Preheat a large heavy-bottomed nonstick or castiron skillet over medium heat. Meanwhile divide the cutlet dough into four equal pieces. To form the cutlets, knead each piece in your hand for a few moments and then flatten and stretch each one into a roughly 6 X 4-ince rectangular cutlet shape. The easiest way to do this is to first form a rectangular shape in your hands and then place the cutlets on a clean surface to flatten and stretch them.

Add a moderately thin layer of olive oil to the bottom of the pan. Place the cutlets in the pan and cook on each side for 6 to 7 minutes. Add more oil, if needed, when you flip the cutlets. They're ready when lightly browned and firm to the touch.

Just in case you were wondering, you can also bake these, too!! Baking these patties gives them a toothsome chewy texture and firm bite. Preheat oven to 375ºF, lightly oil baking sheet. Brush both sides of each patty with olive oil, place on sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Flip patties and bake another 8-10 minutes until firm and golden-brown.

Well, I just found out why mine were so soft and chewy on the insides, lol: I didn't notice the part that says to turn them over and bake for another 8-10 minutes. Duh. Even so, they were good, and I enjoyed them. The only thing I did differently from the recipe was to cut the soy sauce to 1 tbs. instead of 2, as I'm not crazy about soy sauce. I made, of all things, some homemade tartar sauce to dip the cutlets in, and scarfed down two without any problem at all, and yup, will definitely make them again.

I think these would be good with just about any other kind of bean you like, and when I make them again, there's a good chance that I'll use either canellini or pintos, my two favorite beans. I also think that with the addition of some diced onion, and maybe some shredded carrot, the recipe would make great burgers, too.

As I said, I made tartar sauce, but some of the recommendations in the book were mustard sauce, mushroom gravy, and an onion gravy. They all sound good to me, but you can use whatever you like...of course!

Before I start the chickpea and hijiki recipe, for anyone that doesn't already know, hijiki is a type of sea other words, seaweed. I don't have any hijiki, but I do have dried wakame, which is also a sea vegetable, so that's what i used. The salad is wonderful, and is quite apt to become a regular sammich filling for me. This one comes from "Vegan with a Vengeance." Enjoy.

Chickpea-Hijiki Salad Sammiches

Makes four sammiches

1 Tbs. dried hijiki
boiling water
1(15-oz.)can chickpeas, drained
3 Tbs. Vegannaise
2 Tbs. EACH apple cider vinegar and minced onion
1/2 C peeled and shredded carrot
salt and black pepper to taste
sammich fixings(lettuce, tomato, and onion0
8 slices whole wheat bread, toasted

Place the hijiki in a small bowl and pour boiling water over it to cover. Cover the bowl with a plate and let the hijiki sit for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the rest of the ingredients.

In a large bowl mash the chickpeas with a potato masher until no whole beans are left. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. when the hijiki is ready, drain and combine it with the chickpea mixture. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes; serve on toasted whole wheat with lettuce, tomato, and onion.

And that's all there is to it. It's awfully good, there's nothing else I can say about it, lol. The only thing I can add is that altho I'm still clueless as to what hijiki tastes like, I like the flavor of the wakame. I grew up in the state of Maine, and spent a fair amount of time around the ocean, so the wakame smell and taste sort of makes me a little homesick. And, my "new" washing machine is here, so I'm thru for today. Until next time, Happy Eating!!!!


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