Search Me

Friday, February 16, 2018

Chinese Vegetables and Skallops



We've been looking at ways to use Loma Linda and Worthington Vegetable Skallops the past two weeks. Skallops are a versatile vege-meat and I particularly like them when we take them back to their roots. Soy and wheat gluten-based meat substitutes were brought to the Adventist Church by Dr. Harry Miller, erstwhile mission doctor and physician to Chinese leader Chiang Kai Shek. Dr. Miller set up a vegetarian meat substitute production plant that became Loma Linda Foods and from which sprang other brands like Cedar Lake, Worthington, and even Morningstar Farms which is available in almost every grocery store in the nation as a vegetarian meat substitute.

So using Skallops as a protein source with Chinese vegetables is appropriate given it's roots in Chinese food.  Using the basic fried with a corn meal coating version we showed you a couple of weeks ago, making a protein-rich Chinese vegetable dish is simple.

Ingredients:
  • Fried cornmeal coated Skallops
  • Bag of frozen Chinese vegetables
  • Wok
  • Olive or vegetable oil
  • Rice or fried rice mix
Directions:
  1. Prepare rice by package directions
  2. Prepare Skallops or reheat them if already prepared
  3. Heat oil in wok over medium heat
  4. Add vegetables to oil and cook till thoroughly heated
  5. Remove from heat and place in serving bowl.
Serving Suggestions:

This dish can be served like haystacks by placing rice, Skallops and prepare Chinese vegetables in separate bowls. Serve yourself by placing a bed of rice on your plate, a pile of Chinese vegetables on top of the rice and then place several Skallops on top of the vegetables. Add soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, sweet and sour sauce or whatever sauce you might like. There are all sorts of things you can add. I like to throw cashews, almonds, or peanuts into the mix. I also use chia seeds, flax seeds or quinoa as a healthy garnish. It's up to you. You can put nuts and the like in later or cook them in with the vegatables. Quinoa, however, is better if you start it in the oil in which you cook the vegetables before you add the veggies. 

With Chinese vegetables, you also stretch the Skallops farther if you're serving them for potluck. They get a little expensive but they are so good. You might station a helper by the Skallop bowl and dole them out sparingly, especially to the kids (and some grownups sadly) who might clean out the Skallops in one go. With a "server", you can share out the Skallops more fairly and without having to single anyone out for being a little enthusiastic in their spooning up the Skallops.  Just a trick I learned in my years of happy potlucking.

Tom


Friday, February 9, 2018

Skallop Kebabs



This is a good summer dish you can cook on the grill. Loma Linda or Worthington Skallops, fried up the way we showed you last week form the protein part of these vegetarian kebabs. There are a lot of permutations and you can use whatever vegetables pop your cork and it'll probably be fine. Here I've offered some suggestions.

Ingredients:
  • Loma Linda or Worthington Skallops pan fried with cornmeal coating 
  • Green, red, and/or yellow bell peppers. Just about any peppers you like will do.
  • Sweet onion cut in large chunks
  • Pineapple (for a sweet tang to your kebabs)
  • Medium to large mushrooms
  • Black olives 
  • Other raw vegetables you like and can manage to get on a skewer
  • Seasoning you like
  • Wooden kebab skewers
Directions:
  1. Prepare the Skallops so they are already cooked.
  2. Alternately skewer veggies, fruit and Skallops on wooden kebab skewers
  3. Sprinkle seasonings you like over the kebabs. Some nice combo seasonings are available to give you anything from a Cajun to Mexican to Italian seasonings or simple seasoned salt.
  4. Place skewers in your barbecue grill or grill them in the oven until the veggies begin to soften. Watch them close so that the edges or the Skallops don't get singed.
  5. Remove when done and serve.
Serving Suggestions:

Serve Skallop-kebabs on a bed of rice or with potato salad, macaroni salad or whatever starches you like. Set out some sauces like sweet and sour, teriyaki, ranch dressing, barbecue sauce or something more haute cuisine if you desire - anything that makes you happy.   Kebabs are great grilled over charcoal and give you something to grill now that you've become a vegetarian.

Bon appetit'.

Tom

Friday, February 2, 2018

Vegetarian Skallops







Vegetable Skallops are an interesting meat substitute. Vaguely a sort of vegetarian seafood, they are really good and can be used in a variety of ways. SDA Vege-food giants Worthington and Loma Linda both make versions of this basic vege-meat. I send up prayers of thanksgiving for Dr. Harry Miller (the subject of the biography "China Doctor") who imported Chinese seitan and tofu variants and built a vegetarian foods industry that's helped keep SDAs eating vegetarian for comin on a century.


This week we're going to look at the standard preparation method for Vegetable Skallops. I'm not saying you can't make them a different way, but this week's recipe and the recipe for the next two weeks are all based on this basic corn meal coating version. I really do like these things. It's by far the best seafood substitute that either Loma Linda or Worthington do. Fishy products are really difficult to imitate, but Skallops are definitely a tasty substitute.

So here we go:


Ingredients:
  • Loma Linda or Worthington Skallops (both come in small and large cans)
  • Cornbread mix or corn meal. I like cornbread mix because it has a little flour in it and it sticks to the Skallops better.  Martha White cornbread mix is made with vegetable oil, unlike Jiffy.
  • Vegetable oil
  • Two or three eggs (optional) and milk
  • Season salt or your favorite seafood seasonings



 Directions:
  1. If you are using an egg wash (and you don't have to) mix two or three eggs with a little milk in a bowl. You'll use this as a first stage dip for your Skallops.
  2. Dump cornbread mix into a big bowl and add spices to taste (optional).
  3. Heat oil in large skillet to medium heat.
  4. Dip each Skallop into the egg wash (optional) and roll in cornbread mix. 
  5. Gently place each corn meal coated Skallop in the oil and lightly brown on each side. 
  6. Drain on paper towel and blot gently to remove excess oil

Serving suggestion:

Skallops can be served as you would fish or other fried seafood. I always make up a little tatar sauce out of onions, mayonnaise, cream of tartar and pickle relish.  Ketchup is also nice or eat them plain. You can also make them up into kebabs (see next week) or with Chinese vegetables (two weeks from today).




 Skallops are my second favorite vege-meat after Tender-Bits and that says something because there are some really good vegetarian meat substitutes out there.




Tom King



Monday, January 15, 2018

That Old Basagna!

That old basagna!


When  my son, Micah, was about 3 or 4, he came upstairs one Sabbath to check out what was for Sabbath lunch. When he saw his mother extract a pan of lasagna from the oven, he stood there in the kitchen, put his hands on his hips and said, "Are we going to have that old basagna again?"

I really like lasagna and it's an easy Sabbath dinner or dish to take to potluck. Sheila made wonderful lasagna, but Micah, for some reason, didn't fancy it. Not sure why, but it didn't take long before Micah's opinion of "that old basagna" changed and it became one of his favorite Sabbath dishes.

I've done "basagna" before. This version is an easy one and quite good. Just a few changes in the ingredients. Here goes:

Ingredients
  • Lasagna noodles
  • Jar of spaghetti sauce
  • Large carton of cottage cheese
  • Can of sliced black olives
  • Package of Morningstar Farms Recipe Crumbles
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped bell peppers
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Olive oil
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
    It looks like this going into the oven!
  2. Cook 9 lasagna noodles according to directions.
  3. In a skillet cook Griller Crumbles in olive oil with onions and bell peppers.
  4. Place 3 cooked noodles in the bottom of the casserole dish.
  5. Spoon cottage cheese in an even layer over the noodles.
  6. Spread Crumbles, onion, and peppers over cottage cheese.
  7. Spread layer of spaghetti sauce next then a light layer of mozzarella.
  8. Next add 3 more noodles and repeat the layers above.
  9. Add 3 more noodles on top with the rest of the sauce and a nice thick layer of mozzarella.
  10. Cook at 350° for 30 to 45 minutes until the sauce begins to bubble and the cheese is melted with brown spots on top as shown in the photo above. 
Serving Suggestions:

The picture at the top is only a partial because we were so hungry that we ate half of it before I remembered to take a picture.  This is really good with the Grillers Crumbles in it. Serve it with a nice big salad, some garlic bread and iced tea and you have a really nice Italian meal. It's easy to prepare and keep overnight and reheat for potluck next day. Lasagna is really easy to make and always a hit at potlucks. It's flexible. You can get creative with ingredients if you want. You can use spinach instead of the Crumbles, or make it with several different kinds of cheeses instead. You can hardly go wrong with it. Make it any old time. it's wonderful stuff!

Tom

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Mammaw's Cream Corn

You'll notice I prepared this in a Wok. It's not because you
need a Wok to make it. It's just that I've worn all the non-stick
surfaces off the other skillets and I was using the cast iron
skillet for other things at the time. I prefer the cast iron skillet.


This is a nice vegetable dish for potluck. It's easy to make, tasty and easy to multiply. All you have to do is to multiply the ingredients. I'm a creamed corn fan. I wasn't when all I'd ever eaten was the canned stuff.

This is Sheila's recipe. She got it from her Mammaw. Mammaw was a tiny little elderly woman when I first met her. She wore her hair in a three foot long Indian style braid which she kept coiled on top of her head like a little tidy bird nest. She was a lovely woman and welcomed me to the family with open arms. She had a way with food. Like me, she tended to use every dish and pot in the kitchen when cooking, unlike Sheila who can make a 5 course meal and put it on the table without leaving any sign she'd ever been cooking. Like Mammaw, when I get done making a bowl of soup from a can it looks like the aftermath of firefight conducted by a division of US Marines.

Here's the recipe:

Ingredients:
  • Can of whole kernel corn
  • Can of creamed corn
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp butter or margarine
  • 2-3 tbsp flour
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk
Directions:
  1. In skillet melt margarine
  2. Sprinkle flour into the margarine until it begins thickening
  3. Slowly add evaporated milk and salt. Allow to thicken.
  4. Pour in can of whole corn and a can of creamed corn.
  5. Allow to thicken. 
Serving suggestions:

If you make it up on Friday for a Sabbath potluck, simply put it in Tupperware® and heat it up in a skillet or microwave just before lunch. The whole kernel corn gives creamed corn some body. It's an easy side dish to go with the usual assortment of lasagna, enchilada casseroles, salads and main dishes.  Enjoy.

© 2017 by Tom King

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Kitchen-Aid Mixers - The Potluck Chef's Best Friend

The Mighty Kitchen-Aid Mixer!

If you do potluck cooking, you are frequently called upon to prepare food in mass quantities.
You can do this, of course, with quite ordinary kitchen have a lot of time on Friday's to get something ready for the church potluck next day, then I'm here to tell you....

Industrial strength kitchen tools are essential!

The one I'm going to talk about today is the inimitable Kitchen-Aid mixer. Let me warn you they are NOT cheap. We inherited ours from a friend when she passed away or I would never have known the joys of having the mighty Kitchen-Aid in our stable of kitchen tools.

This powerful and versatile stand mixer allows you to prepare stuff in a hurry or to multi-task, something we all have had to do when getting ready to feed hungry visiting academy choir. Here are some things specific to potluck preparation the size and power of the Kitchen-Aid allows you to do.
  1. Bread-making - You can go off and leave the dough hook kneading your while you peel potatoes and prepare the baking pan for your rolls or bread loaves.
  2. Potatoes - Great for whipping up enormous batches of mashed potatoes or potato salad.
  3. Cakes -  Homemade cakes and cobblers are easy to whip up with a stand mixer. Just toss all the ingredients into the mixing bowl and run with the batter attachment. You can do other stuff while the ingredients are mixed up.
  4. Vege-Meat/Food Grinder - The Kitchen Aid has a power hub and a bunch of attachments including a meat grinder. If you've  made up some gluten "wheat meat" or just want to make burgers out of something else like choplets or vegetable steaks. Just run it through and you've got burger.
  5. Cookies and biscuits - For heavier mixtures like cookie or biscuit dough, the batter attachment is a whole bunch easier for blending in shortening with flour and eggs and stuff of different consistencies. Makes a big bunch of biscuits or five or six dozen cookies.
  6. Whipped cream and meringue - For stuff that needs to be whipped up or beaten for a lengthy period like pudding, a mixer like this is great. With the whipping attachment, you can go off and leave it whipping while you work on something else. Works great.
  7. Pasta - There's a pasta-making attachment that lets you make all sorts of homemade pasta like
    spaghetti, egg noodles and lasagna noodles
  8. Ice Cream Maker - You can even make homemade ice cream with the ice cream attachment. Saves all that hand cranking or using the more awkward electric version of the hand-cranker. Great for small group parties or you can make it up and freeze enough for a potluck.
  9. Grain Mill - The grain mill attachment allows you to make flour from a variety of whole grains - oats, rice, soy, flax, almond, corn, and even dried coconut. Multi-grain bread is a lot of fun to experiment with and you can get all sorts of grains and nuts in the bulk foods section of many grocery stores.
  10. Food Processor - There is even a food processor attachment for chopping up vegetables and stuff.  Saves you some room on your counter and the attachment hardware is one tough magilla, unlike so many stand-along food processors.  
 
If you've got work to do, this invaluable tool helps you cook faster and better. The Kitchen-Aid is the Kirby Vacuum Cleaner of kitchen tools. Man, you gotta get yourself one of these!

© 2017 by Tom King



Stuffed Peppers

Roasted a couple of ears of corn along with the peppers.

I was planning on doing something else this week, but on Friday I happened upon someone with a crate of very nice green Bell peppers they were giving away, so I accepted ten of them with a vague notion of chopping and freezing them or, perhaps, stuffing them. I found a plethora of recipes online, so I cobbled together my own vegetarian version and it came out rather well. It was a bit tomato-ish for Sheila, but her digestive system is a wreck, so pay no attention to her negativity.

The recipe requires the following:

Ingredients: 
(Multiply as needed)
  • Four (or multiples thereof) Bell Peppers (any color is okay)
  • Salt (to taste - I just went with the salt I used to cook the rice)
  • 5 Tbsp olive oil (it's virginity level is up to you)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 bag Morningstar Farms Recipe Crumbles or a can of vegeburger (LL, Worthington, etc.) 
  • 1 1/2 cup of cooked rice (I made half brown/half white rice)
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes, (drain liquid from the can)
  • 1 tbsp oregano (chopped, powdered or dried - go lighter on the powdered)
  • 1/2 cup Mozarella Cheese (optional)
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp of Worcestershire Sauce
  • Dash of Tabasco sauce (super optional)
Directions:
  1. Cook the rice according to directions. Adding a dash of olive oil and red wine vinegar keeps it from being sticky. Preheat the oven to 350ยบ.
  2. Remove the tops and cut out the seedy bits of the Bell peppers. Steam them till they soften. You can put them in a steamer for 8-10 minutes or do as I did and bake them for 10 - 17 minutes to soften them.
  3. Saute' the onions in a large skillet or electric skillet. Once they start to soften, add the Recipe Crumbles or vegeburger and brown lightly. 
  4. Add the rice and chopped tomatoes to the mixture and stir in. Add the mozarella and let it melt into the rice/vegeburger mixture.
  5. There are two ways to do the ketchup and Worcestershire Sauce. One is to mix it up in a bowl with a little bit of water (less than a quarter cup) and mix about half into the stuffing. The other is to wait and ladle it over the peppers after they are stuffed. I put half into the stuffing and saved the rest to put on top of the stuffed peppers.
  6. Stuff the peppers with the vegeburger/rice mixture. Put a spoonful of the ketchup/Worcester/optional Tabasco mixture on top of the peppers. 
  7. Place in casserole dish and bake 40-50 minutes till they look like the picture above.
    Serving Suggestions:

    Serve with another vegetable or salad and maybe some rolls. The peppers look a little wrinkly, but they taste good. You can play with the spices a little bit. Me, I'd have added a little Tabasco, but then I like the pepper flavor and a little heat with some dishes.

    If you have a late summer harvest of green peppers, you can make up multiple batches of the stuffing mix, core the peppers and make as many as you'd like to. It's kind of ambitious, but it's a nice single dish for a potluck. 


    © 2017 by Tom King