Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Recipe Test Kitchen Fusion: Vegan Banh Mi

As you know, I recently conducted recipe testing for two highly anticipated cookbooks: one round was sammies from The Cinnamon Snail and the other Ethiopian food from Kittee Bee Berns.  The testing required a considerable investment of time and effort, but the return in skill, knowledge, and inspiration was astounding.

 

One recipe I was particularly enamored with was Kittee's awaze tofu recipe; I made it so many times that I didn't always have stews or injera on hand for accompaniment.

a tower of tofu!

So when I spied a banh mi on Epicurious Vegan's instagram I had an epiphany.  Hint: it involved a baguette.


I immediately grabbed some carrots and jalapenos...

it's the carrots she's after

and got to pickling via The Cinnamon Snail method.

 
 

I grabbed some Vegenaise and excitedly assembled an awaze tofu banh mi.

 

I'd had an uncharacteristically big lunch the day I planned the amazing fusion sammie for dinner, so when I realized how exquisite it was I found myself wishing I was hungrier just so I could eat more.

 
I had enough for plenty of sandwiches, but regardless of my adulations I can't get VM to eat tofu (it's all in her head).


Timberly is kind enough to sub avocado in her sammies from the Snail, but I didn't think avo would work in this instance.

89 likes tofu so much she carries some around in her beard.

And then I considered cauliflower.  

How I had not already made the association when we are both so enthralled by the illustrious cauliflower banh mi from Sprig and Vine, I can't tell you.  But, I got to work immediately.

I cut a medium head into small florets and included the stems chopped into smaller cubes (That's for GS/VCC!).

looks like popcorn!

Then I tossed the florets in the marinade and other ingredients used in the awaze tofu.

 

I roasted the cauliflower for 40 minutes in a 400 degree oven on a lightly oiled pan, stirring every ten minutes.  Warning: the sauce may burn onto the pan a little, so when you open the oven there may be a considerable amount of smoke expelled.  I'm not saying this will definitely set off the smoke detector, but it could

cauliflower for days

I assembled the cooked cauliflower with the same pickled carrots & jalapeno and Vegenaise- this time also adding arugula.


I dare not venture to guess how the Sprig & Vine cauliflower banh mi is prepared, but this was equally decadent.  I really impressed myself.

It was so good that I did it all again for dinner guests, this time with home-made bread!

 

Much more pickling:

 


A bored-with-it-all pooch:

 

And a build-your-own sammie presentation (with string bean accompaniment):

ugly (but delicious) bread
  
It was another delicious success:


I sincerely hope you're all waiting for these cookbooks with as much anticipation as I am.


It will definitely be worth the wait.

15 comments:

  1. Kittee, Cinnamon Snail, Sprig and Vine, 89 with a bow in her hair, and fresh bread! So much goodness in one post. Did you use a published bread recipe because it looks amazing?

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  2. Susan, It's the stecca recipe (minus the salt and olive oil) from My Bread by Jim Lahey. That book never disappoints! That sammie was almost as delicious as 89 is cute.

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  3. yum! (and once again, so jealous of you doing recipe testing for the cinnamon snail! I cannot WAIT to buy that book!)

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  4. where can I find the marinade recipe for cauliflower? looks divine!

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  5. Great thinking equals great food! I love the way you combined so many styles and flavors to create something new. Can't agree with you more about the awaze tofu — and the awaze sauce in general. In fact, I've used my Ethiopian spices and sauces in many not-Ethiopian ways. (Just made chickpea flour pancakes flavored with berbere and miten shiro. Using the pickled jalapenos and carrots on the sandwich was a great idea.

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  6. Those Sammies look fantastic, feel free to start selling them and I'll gladly buy some.

    89 really rocked that bow.

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  7. Wow! I cannot wait for the Snail cookbook! I will be all over that one. My current cookbook obsession is Isa Does It. I'm aware that that isn't groundbreaking news, but it is just that fabulous a book!

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  8. Awesome job on the cauli banh mis! Great idea. I'm also very much impressed by the homemade baguette, even if 89 isn't.
    I am very excited for Kittee's cookbook! Do you know when it'll be out?

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  9. THANKS..I ordered the Lahey book.

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  10. Ali- You and me both!

    MLnt- the awaze sauce will be in the upcoming vegan Ethiopian cookbook by Kittee Bee Berns. Keep an eye on this blog or our facebook page for updates!

    Andrea- I'm so glad I participated in these tests; I've significantly expanded my repertoire I'm much more confident in the kitchen.

    The Shenandoah Vegan- Ha! She did, didn't she. Only because she was focused on the carrots. Not sure I could ever produce food in mass quantities, but I did okay for a small dinner with friends.

    MollyG- I've been hearing that all over town, but haven't given mine a whirl yet. Hopefully soon.

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  11. foodfeud- I'm not sure, but you can count on me to scream it from the rooftops. I never make bread for myself, but for company I think it really shows you made the extra effort!

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  12. Abby,

    Please teach me how to pickle using a mason jar. Thank you.

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  13. My Vegan Gut, I can't divulge! But, when the cookbook comes out, I'll tell you what page it's on ;-)

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  14. It wasn't until I saw that sarnie that I realised that I need a massive amount of banh mi in my life. I love that shizz an unnatural amount. Good work on the testing gigs - what a proper treat to make up all that amazing food.

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  15. Wow, what a great test recipe roundup! The vegan banh mi looks delicious with the pickled veggies & roasted/marinated cauliflowers!

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