Friday, July 30, 2010
The ultimate vegan egg yolk
For me, one of those foods is eggs. Anybody who reads this blog for more than three or four posts will be aware of my enormous love and veneration for the omelet recipe from Vegan Brunch. However, as much as I adore it, there are times when it just...isn't...enough. One of those times, for me, is the morning after I've had a little too much to drink. Admittedly these times are very, very rare, of course, but in my pre-vegan days what I used to crave then was a nice soft-poached egg. Tofu subs extremely well for egg white, but what about the yolk? When it counts, you really need something rich, fatty, yellow, and altogether special. So here I am having done experiment after experiment, offering you the perfected vegan yolk!
Actually, even the image above isn't my best yolk, because they're kind of tricky to cook. Unfortunately, my very best yolks have been accompanied by imperfect additional items...here's an example, showing that the yolk has its own dignity as a sauce as well as a trompe d'oeil:
Apologies in advance to anyone who thinks this is gross. I understand where you're coming from, but on the other hand, this is the ultimate in delicious, so I urge you to lay aside your prejudices for the 30 seconds it takes to make this recipe, and try it.
My recipe is based on this one, which I could not make work for me, so I adapted it, as follows [On edit: go over here for a slightly re-worked recipe with better instructions]:
Vegan egg yolk
makes 2 yolks
1/2 tbsp Veganaise
1/2 tbsp carrot juice (if you don't have carrot juice, just finely grate a carrot and squeeze the juice out of it)
2 tbsp vegetable broth (or 2 tbsp water and 1/4 tsp nutritional yeast)
1 tbsp Earth Balance
1 tsp cornstarch
Put all the ingredients in a small bowl.
That's the easy part. Now for the tricky part. Put the little bowl in the microwave for 20 seconds. Whisk the mixture up. Put it back in at 5 second increments (I can't stress this enough; the egg at the top of this post was put in for an additional 10 seconds and it nearly separated). You should need at most 2 5-second increments to fully cook the egg yolk. It should be like a smooth, yellow-orange bechamel. If it separates--and you'll know when this happens--it still tastes good but there's nothing you can do to it to make it smooth and nice-looking; you'll either have to start over or just do what I do and eat a delicious but not-so-great-looking egg.
The egg itself is just a slab of fried fresh tofu:
The link above gives directions for carving the tofu in an intricate kind of way to make it look more like a fried egg, but eh, once you have the taste, you have it all, in my opinion.
It isn't an egg, but it admirably fits the purpose of one.
(Did you notice the sneaky inclusion of zucchini cakes? Ooh, it's zucchini season again!)
The salad is from Mark Bittman's 101 simple salads for the season, brought to my attention by a friend at work. I got all the way to 21, but plan to refer back to this wonderful post again and again during this incredibly hot summer...