Tuesday, October 11, 2011

MoFo Mystery Picture the Eleventh + turkey pie

I've given you one and a half to make this one a little easier...you'd get it right away if the whole one were in focus!

So...eleven days into MoFo and I haven't posted a single composed food shot!  This is partly because I've been insanely busy painting my house, organizing the basement, getting the garden ready for winter, and other related matters, and eating out of the freezer to the point where there is now actually room in there for some new stuff (ooh!), partly because I've been surfing the MoFo-verse and slavering over all the wonderful food in other kitchens than mine, partly because when I do cook all I want is stew.  Now, I love stew, but how many stews are on this blog already I don't even want to speculate.

With that in mind, er, here's one more!  This meal was inspired by two posts on other blogs, one from Tami at Vegan Appetite for her Gobbler slices, a recipe that will be finding its way into her and Celine Steen's new sandwich book.  Check out the link, which contains a recipe and a gorgeous photo.  I love that Tami will often post some of the best recipes from her books on her blog (I'm thinking especially of you, All-American Incrediburgers).

I had a bit of an adventure making this, which resulted in kind of a cool result that some of you might be interested in.  I had all of the ingredients for the Gobbler slices on hand except the minute tapioca.  But I did have some large pearl tapioca, so I thought, well, hey, I'll just grind that up into little pieces and that will be the same thing.  Apparently this is not the case.   Instant or minute tapioca is very different in structure from the pearl kind--like Minute Rice to regular rice (Ellen's simile from the link above), or, I suppose, couscous to cracked wheat.  Anyway, what I ended up with was a slice with little visible flecks of clear tapioca that looked exactly like those tiny lumps of fat you see in sausages and in some meat slices.  No picture, friends, because it was a little bit gross, not in Tami's recipe, and I didn't want to prejudice her recipe, which is a good one, and produces a mildly fragrant, very slice-able roll (in fact it slices incredibly thin), perfect for when you want something substantial for a sandwich that doesn't take over the whole thing (as the chorizo-type seitan sausages tend to do, for example).  But if you're looking for a more realistic meat-sausage analogue, you can do what I did and achieve it with ease.  The roll has a perfect texture for slicing, and was reluctant to crumble even when I spoke to it sternly.  That's a good thing in a slice!  Nevertheless, I applied some force and fried some up:

I was aiming for a riff on one of my pre-vegan post-Thanksgiving favorites from my mom (and even post-vegan favorites because my mom is nice and makes me a vegan version), turkey pie.  Also, there were a bunch of bits of things in the fridge that needed using up.  So I fried the seitan and set it aside, while I cooked up a mixture of onions, garlic, potato, celery, long beans (ahem!), corn, parsley, etc. in a chickpea-flour based roux:

Then I wanted to see how my dumplings of genius would hold up to baking like biscuits, but, you know, that must have been in a moment of insanity because you don't need biscuits to hold together like golf balls which is the genius part of my dumpling recipe, so if you're inspired to replicate this dish, use some other, real biscuit recipe that will give you light, airy biscuits instead of golf balls.

But it was pretty good anyway:

The dressing on the tomatoes is Bryanna Clark Grogan's Almost-bleu-cheese dressing.  I'd been wanting to try this for a while, but was really inspired to do it yesterday by a recent post and discussion about Chinese fermented bean curd on Stacy's blog Shorty Can Burn

I've posted about fermented tofu before.  There, I called it slimy (which it is) rather than stinky (which really, it shouldn't be, I do think Stacy got a bad batch, or some kind of weird chemical-based fermented tofu--my kinds don't have scary warnings on them).  Anyway, I liked this recipe a lot, though I did end up doubling the miso (on purpose, to make it saltier and more tart).  As Bryanna herself says, it isn't exactly bleu cheese dressing, but it is good!  So as the unofficial Defender of Fermented Tofu in the West (in the East it's hugely popular and doesn't need defenders, unofficial or otherwise), I say: Go forth and try it, try it, and it may grow on you as it did on me.  I use it in all kinds of things now where I'm just looking for a bit of an edge...

...and the klew to yesterday's mystery picture (y'all guessed it pretty quick):


  1. Chestnut?

    The bleu cheese dressing looks interesting, I'll have to check that out. :-)

  2. i am guessing a walnut
    shawn is guessing a hazelnut

    these pictures are so much fun!!

  3. A hint: It's way, way smaller than any of these guesses so far...

  4. I'ma go with coriander, too.
    Okay, first, your "turkey" looks friggin' delicious. Second, I looked at your older link on your experiments with fermented tofu and the kind I bought looked really really really different. Like, scary gunmetal gray instead of a friendly, tasty-looking brown. So why the heck did you buy that kind, you might rightly ask? Well, it was the only one at our Asian superstore that specifically said it was fermented on the jar, although it was lined up next to some tofu products that looked less heinous and more like your pics. So I may have to try again, but probably not until my husband goes out of town or something :).

  5. As usual I am baffled but I wanted to say that I'm LOVING these MoFo posts.

  6. You've talked me back off the edge in terms of the fermented tofu, oh fermented tofu defender of the West. The dressing sounds like it would be tangy and interesting to try.

    The pie filling and dumpling biscuits look savory and perfect Thanksgiving fare...Happy Belated Thanksgiving btw.

    I was going to say coriander seed too.

  7. I think I'll just say the turkey pie looks great, and ignore the other ... thing. Oh, and my fermented tofu is white. Happy Thanksgiving.

  8. It is indeed coriander. Good guesses!

    Andrea, thanks for checking in on the fermented tofu question. Feel free to ignore the other things--mystery pictures are cool even if you don't want to guess. To me coriander seed looks so smooth and discrete to the naked eye. Who knew there was all that other protoplasm-stuff in there?

  9. Gorgeous pot pie! I made your Dumplings of Genius a long time ago. I need to make them again now that it's Dumpling weather.