Tag Archives: tofu

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.

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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.

rakott_szekely (2)

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.

 

 

Hungarian Gerbaud-inspired Birthday Cake

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Hungarian Gerbaud-inspired Birthday Cake

August is our month for celebrations: birthdays, anniversaries line up and they get us start…baking!!

 

Abel celebrates together with about 1 billion people (Independence Day of India) and I decided to try to recover my cake baking skills. As a teenager I used to bake a lot, but that was a long time ago and I was never an expert on decorating. “Ugly and yummie” – said an iconic Hungarian chocolate commercial, and that was true for my cakes as well.

One of my "creations" at the age of 16.

One of my “creations” at the age of 16.

Yet, I gave my best… As my mother sent a package with walnuts from my Grandmother’s garden, I didn’t have to think long. And I just realized it was probably inspired by Zserbó (or Gerbaud, named after a famous pastry shop owner), a.k.a. the traditional Hungarian Christmas pastry. :)

Contrary to our plans made long time ago, Abel was not working on the 15th of August, a public holiday here. Thus I had to speed up and make the cake within one day. Usually I like to take two days to make a nice cake.


WALNUT CAKE

Ingredients (for a cake of 24-26 cm)

Dough (sponge cake)

  • 2.5 cups of flour
  • 4 tbsp of grated walnut
  • 1 package of baking soda
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp of cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1 package of vanilla sugar
  • 6 tbsp of honey
  • 1.5 cups of soy milk
  • 1/2 cup of oil
  • 2 tbsp of vinegar

Sieve the flour and the cocoa powder and mix all the dry ingredients. Then add the liquid ingredients and mix it well. Pour the dough into a form. I used a flower-shaped silicon form. I love that the slices become hearts when you cut it! :) Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees and bake it for about 25-30 minutes.

Vegan Sponge Cake

Vegan Sponge Cake

Walnut cream I

  • 1.5 cups of raisins
  • 1 cup of walnut
  • 2 tbsp of honey
  • rum

Some days before, I put the raisins in a jar and filled it up with rum, so that they soak through.

Put raisins into a blender (better wash them before, my cream got a bit too…. alcoholic!), add nuts and honey. Mix it until it gets a nice smooth paste. It should be like a jam.

Walnut-Raisin Cream

Walnut-Raisin Cream

Walnut cream II

  • 1 cup of silken tofu
  • 1 cup of sweetened cocoa butter
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 cup of grated walnut

Melt cocoa butter and pour it into the blender, together with the other ingredients. When the cream cools down, it should have the perfect texture for the cake.

Walnut Mousse

Walnut Mousse

Decoration

  • vegan chocolate
  • (coconut) oil
  • 1 cup of vegan whipped cream
  • 1 tsp of agar-agar + vegan milk/water
  • 1 lemon (skin)
  • 6 tbsp honey
  • Hazelnut croccante and grated walnut

I wanted to make 3 layers but finally I managed to cut the cake only into two.

For the top of the cake I melted some vegan chocolate and added some oil to make it shiny. I also made some deco-hearts. To write on the cake and for the sides, I made a cream out of vegan whipped cream, honey and lemon; mixed with hot agar-agar.

A slice of my heart :P

Tip: Agar-agar needs about 4 hours time to take effect – I did not have so much time, as you will see on the result. I suggest to wait and decorate the cake later, to avoid cream dropping down. Usually one afternoon I make the base and the cream of the cake, leave the decoration for the next evening, and present it on the third day.

Abel told me he wanted some fruit cake for his birthday. Unfortunately a notice too late but… he ate it all! :) And I’m also quite proud of my first (almost) vegan cake.

Abel 2(0)9! :)

Abel 2(0)9! :)

 

Happy Birthday, mi amor!

 

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The Ultimate Vegan Tortilla de Patatas

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Tortilla de Patatas is THE food in Spain. You get it served all the time in Tapas bars and at friends’ parties. It’s easy and delicious, they say.

The only problem is that I have never tried it… Having been a lacto-vegetarian for long, I opted out on most of the culinary stuff in Madrid.  Juan Antonio said that I could make one out of chickpea flour that would taste exactly the same, but he never had the time to make one for me. So I left Spain without a single tortilla.

Back in Hungary I tried the recipe of La Dimensión Vegana, based on chickpea flour as well, and uhm… I thought oh boy, poor Spaniards… if this tastes exactly the same, they really shouldn’t be that proud of tortilla!

Years later we tried the same recipe with Abel, and the result was somewhat more pleasing. Yet, it took a few more weeks to come up with the perfect Tortilla de Patatas, confirmed by Spanish friends!


TORTILLA ESPAÑOLA

Ingredients (for a tortilla of 24 cm ø)

  • 4 medium sized potatoes
  • 1 medium onion (shopped)
  • 1/3 cup of chickpea flour
  • 2/3 cups of silken tofu
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 tbsp of vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp of powdered paprika
  • 1/2 tsp of Curcuma
  • about 2 tsp of Kala Namak (salt)
  • oil for frying

Preparation time: 40 minutes

Peel the potatoes, cut them in four and cut about 2-3 mm thin slices. Fry the potatoes until they get golden-brown. Fry also the chopped onions. Mix the silken tofu, chickpea flour, water, vinegar and the spices and add it to the potatoes and onions. Mix it carefully, so as not to break the potatoes and pour it into a frying pan (with oil). Cover it with a lid and let the tortilla fry for about 10 minutes each side on medium heat. Brown on the outside, little soft on the inside, your vegan tortilla should be perfect now! Try it with some vegannaise. ;)

Tortilla de Patatas

Tortilla de Patatas

 

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