Category Archives: Cooked & steamed

Layered Sauerkraut in Szekler style

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Layered Sauerkraut in Szekler style

Even though the above recipe might sound quite German, I can assure you that it has nothing to do with the boring Sauerkraut – Knödel combo. It is a recipe made up by my mum and inspired by a Transylvanian cabbage dish. I made it first when living in Madrid I got hold of a piece of Hungarian smoked cheese, some sour cream and Sauerkraut. It had its debut on my very first Cena a la Húngara, my friends from Spain, Venezuela, Guatemala, China and last but not least, Hungary – loved it!

This dish became so popular that I have to prepare it from time to time for my friends, and also to strengthen my Hungarian identity. :P

Hungarian Dinner in Madrid

Hungarian Dinner in Madrid

On our pre-Christmas trip to Transylvania I fell in love with the beautiful artisan clay pots we found on every market. I wanted to have them all, but as I have my dear husband, who is good at pulling me back to the earth, we just returned with two of them.

clay pots transylvania

Clay pots in Cluj

These pots, similarly to the Moroccan tagine or the Mexican olla de barro, are famous for a traditional slow way of cooking, thus preserving more aroma. If you have any clay pot’s, you probably now that it’s sensitive to sudden changes of temperature. You might also want to soak the pot into water before using, so that it doesn’t extract water from the food.


 TRANSYLVANIAN PLEATED SAUERKRAUT

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 kg sauerkraut (choose one without vinegar)
  • 1 cup of barley or rice
  • 300g (smoked) tofu
  • 300g (smoked) cheese (optional)
  • 3 dl of sour cream
  • 1 big onion
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 1-2 tbsp of powdered paprika (or 3 tbsp piros arany)
  • oil
  • salt, pepper

Preparation time: 2 hours

Secret ingredients: paprika powder from my grandmother and Hungarian smoked cheese

I will tell you the truth. I was a bit lazy to investigate how much time and water it needs to cook the above dish in a clay pot. So I cheated! (Ups). I parboiled everything and then let it wobble for another hour in the oven.

rakott_szekely (1)

This is the vegan version.

 

Cut the onions and saute it in oil. When it’s transparent, add the powdered paprika and some pepper. You might also use some chilli powder if you like it hot. Quickly add 1/2 cup of water as well, as the paprika turns bitter very fast. Then add the Sauerkraut and stew until it becomes soft. Watch out, as Sauerkraut is pretty salty in itself, you do not need to add a lot of salt. Add pressed garlic at the end.

Boil barley with some salt. You may also use rice. Chop or just tear tofu into smaller parts.

And now put it all together. I sometimes just mix it all and put it into a baking pan. Or one can layer it nicely: one thin layer barley, then one layer sauerkraut, and some smoked tofu, then again barley, sauerkraut… Put it into the oven and give it about an hour so that the flavours mix properly.

Finally, top it with some sour cream and/or smoked cheese and put it back to the oven for another 10 minutes, without the lid.

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Pleated Sauerkraut with smoked cheese.

 

And voilá, ready it is, the perfect comfort food for the cold months! Serve with some bread and pickles. If it’s too much, don’t worry, it’s one of those dishes that are even better the following day.

 

 

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Soy Curry, a recipe by popular request

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For many years I used to cook almost exclusively Indian food. And I didn’t want to post recipes here; I thought there are better sources for this. We are a big fans of ManjulaJi’s videos, or also Charanya’s blog for a few vegan ideas. However, I learned the basics during several years from in an Indian home, thus the flavours are pretty authentic. ;)

One of the very few pictures I still have from those times

One of the very few and least mysterious pictures I still have from those times :)

We ordered some soy chunks several weeks ago. I was not very enthusiastic (call it bad childhood memories) but Abel wanted to try it. The one and only time I had eaten a delicious dish made of soy chunks was when the Indian husband of a friend prepared it. So no other way could I imagine to prepare it.


SOY CURRY

Ingredients (enough for 4 ppl):

  • 3 medium potatoes (optional)
  • 2 cups of green peas (frozen)
  • 2 cups of texturized soya chunks
  • 1 big onion
  • 5-6 garlic cloves
  • 3-4 tomatoes peeled (or a canned version)
  • 4 tbsp of oil or ghee (pure butter)
  • 1 and 1/4 cups of coconut milk
  • 3 tsp mild curry powder
  • 1 tsp Kitchen King spice mix (optional, but I love to add it to everything)
  • 1-2 red hot chilli pepper
  • 2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1/2 tsp Mango powder
  • salt, according to taste
  • green onion, chopped coriander and coconut milk for decoration

Preparation time: 30 minutes

First make a marinade of soy sauce, pepper and coconut milk for the soy chunks. Leave it for two hours.
Then make the masala: put tomatoes, onion and garlic in the blender until it becomes a soft paste. Heat some oil in a pan (I used a big wok) and add the masala. Fry it for about 5-7 minutes on low heat.
Then add the soy chunks, without the liquid, and fry it for a few more minutes. Now mix it with the powdered spices.
Finally leftover marinade liquid/coconut milk, the peas and potatoes. Cook it for another  15-20 minutes.

Soy Curry

Soy Curry

You can eat our Soy Curry with rice as well, but I made some Garlic Naan, that due to our oven became more like a pita bread. Anyway, it was utterly tasty and this is what matters. I can share the recipe, if you like. :)

Garlic Naan mistaken for Pita Bread

Garlic Naan, mistaken for Pita Bread

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Kick-Ass Seitan

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Kick-Ass Seitan

In my first months ~years in Munich I had the opportunity to live in a shared apartment with two very kind happy hippies, my flatmates Miri and Benny. They are vegetarian, of course. They used to cook often, and one of the best dishes I tried there was their Seitan. They didn’t have a special recipe, so every time they prepared seitan, it was a different and tasty stuff.

By the way, seitan, is a ‘vegan meat’ made mainly out of wheat gluten (a.k.a. wheat protein) and spices, originally from Japan. The base is a powder you can order from almost any vegan or organic store.

As so many times, first we used La Dimensión Vegana as an inspiration.  Then Uta and I found our own style and we ended up with this kick ass seitan and chorizo. Beware: we used it and will use it in many recipes, just have a look at the Tamale from Chiapas for instance, so you might want to bookmark this recipe!


 SEITAN BASICS

Ingredients (4 to 6 pieces) :

  • 1 and 1/2 cup of seitan basis (gluten powder)
  • 2 tbsp of onion powder
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tbsp of oregano
  • 1/2  cup of bread crumbs
  • 1 and 1/4 cups of water
  • 2 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp  of liquid smoke (you can find it in many vegan shops and it is the final touch you’ll need for the perfect taste)

Possible fillings:

  • 4 garlic cloves pressed or chopped
  • 1/2 cup of fresh parsley chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper cut stripes

Preparation time: 20 minutes


Mix in a big bowl all the dry ingredients. Then pour together all the liquid ingredients. Then mix very well liquid and dry ingredients using your hands. The result should be a soft dough.

 

Now divide the dough into four. Spread out each part over a piece of plastic foil. You can roll it up and make plain ones, or you might top it with garlic, parsley and red peppers, as we did for the photos. Make a firm roll out of it and boil it for 15 minutes with the plastic foil around. Thus, it will keep the form.

You can eat it like this, but we often fry it, as the thin&crispy seitan slices have an amazing aroma!

Seitan Vegan Sausage Chorizo


We have another basic recipe for seitan powder, so let’s make this post an economic two-in-one. Chorizo in Spain and Mexico, kolbász in Hungary: a spicy sausage based on paprika.

SEITAN CHORIZO

Ingredients (6 to 8 pieces):

  • 1 and 1/2 cups of seitan basis
  • 2 tbsp of onion powder
  • 1 tbsp of chilli flakes
  • 3 garlic cloves chopped
  • 3/4 tbsp of salt
  • 3 tbsp of paprika powder (the best is the homemade red powdered paprika from Uta’s grandmother ;)
  • 1/2 tbsp of oregano
  • 1/2 tbsp of thyme
  • 1/4 cup of steamed rice
  • 1 and 1/4 cup of water
  • 2 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp of liquid smoke and/or chili Chipotle (yummie!)

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Chorizo Kolbász Vegan

The process to do Seitan in any variation is the same. First the dry ingredients in one bowl and all the liquids in another, then mix it all to make the dough. Roll them into plastic foil, firmly, and boil for 15 minutes.

For excursions like we had last weekend to the Tegernsee, our sandwiches look like this: fried chorivegano (see above recipe), vegan mayonnaise and veggies. It resists warm temperatures, will give you energy and you wouldn’t guess….it’s very tasty!!

Tegernsee

Or try it on the grill. Mmmm….

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