Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Cookbook Challenge Tuesday

The great vegan.in.brighton cookbook challenge is back! This challenge began two years ago as part of Vegan MoFo when I decided that I needed to use my cookbooks more. I devised the recipe generator to help me pick truly random things to make, things that I may not otherwise have chosen. If you haven't tuned into one of my cookbook challenges before I pull the name of the cookbook out of a hat, or, as was the case this week, a bundt pan. Next I use a random number generator to pick the page. I shoot for two or three recipes a day & there's no re-picking even if it's something I'm not sure I'll like! 

The first cookbook that came out of the bundt pan today was Hearty Vegan Meals For Monster Appetites by Celine Steen & Jonie Marie Newman. I was super excited about this as it's one of my newest cookbooks and I hadn't made anything from it...until today! I've actually banned myself from buying new cookbooks until I've cooked at least three recipes from every cookbook I own and hopefully this challenge will mean that I can get back to the bookstore soon. Today the generator picked page 67, Baked Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut Holes. 


These yeasted doughnuts were a surprisingly tricky start to the day. It took four tries for me to manage to activate the yeast! Four! On the first attempt I totally messed it up & threw the yeast into the cold soya milk, duh. I blame the jet lag! I tried to rectify it by adding the other warm ingredients but surprisingly that didn't work. Not at all! The second and third tries were more confusing, I warmed the milk, I even used my candy thermometer to make sure that it wouldn't be too hot or too cold and the yeast still didn't activate! At this point I realised that it probably wasn't just my brain fog causing the problem but the yeast itself. Thankfully I had some little packets of yeast hidden in the back of my cupboard and once I used those things turned out just fine.

After leaving the dough to rise under the radiator in the bathroom it was time to make them into 'holes'. This was super simple and just involved using an ice cream scoop to pop them into a cinnamon sugar coated muffin pan.


After another 40 minutes of rising & 20 minutes in the oven out popped these beauties.


These were delicious and had the added bonus of being bigger than your average donut hole! I don't see these lasting very long! This was a total cookbook challenge win, I never would have chosen this recipe as I'm not usually the biggest cinnamon fan but these were great. The authors weren't wrong when they say that they're just as good as their fried counterpart.

The next recipe to come outa the generator was from 500 Vegan Recipes, another book written by Celine & Joni and another cookbook that the generator always seems to lean towards. The recipe it chose was the Monte Cristo Reuben. Now that's what I'm talking about! A fried sandwich?! Hell yes! The first good thing about this was that it uses slightly stale bread, perfect after my toastie post yesterday and secondly it seemed kinda simple! Sauerkraut was easy, I picked up an enormous jar for about £1 and I'll definitely be using it again soon. The only thing I needed to do was whip up some seitan. I chose the Smokey Seitan Roast from Vegan Diner because, in the spirit of the challenge, I wanted to make a new-to-me recipe.

This was one of the easiest things I've ever made! You basically mix all of the ingredients together, form it into a loaf, wrap it in a tea towel and then steam it.


I was a little worried about fitting the roast in my steamer basket...


...because of the handle in the middle but it fitted down one side relatively easily! After 50 minutes of steaming I was delighted to find this perfect looking seitan roast inside the tea towel. What a beaut'!

 

As soon as Nick walked through the door we got stuck into making sandwiches. First we dipped the bread into the savoury french toast style batter before frying each slice and then piling in the seitan, sauerkraut, and red onion filling. We also added a healthy dollop of Veganaise.


This was a truly epic sandwich. Like, on par with the sandwich I had at The Chicago Diner epic. This sarnie has made me even more excited for Vegan Sandwiches Save The Day another of Celine's books and one of the first cookbooks I'll be buying once my self imposed cookbook ban is over!

29 comments:

  1. Those doughnut holes look crazy-good. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who has to wage battles with yeast!

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  2. Fried sandwiches? DUDE! What was the batter made of?

    I've got a cookbook moratorium on at the moment too - I've got a one in, one out policy. Trying to decide which one to ditch so I can pick a new book to experiment with!

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    1. It was just a simple mix of flour, vegan milk, herbs & spices.

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  3. Whoa. That is an awesome idea! I may try that soon when planning my meals for the week! I love the randomness of choosing a page number and having to make whatever is there. I love the Vegan Diner seitan! And I bet it's delish in that Monte Cristo.

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  4. That seitan looks ace. I've made the chicken style one from that book and that was great too. Really like the idea of the doughnut holes. Yeasted doughnuts are something I've yet to attempt!

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  5. I bet your kitchen smelled amaing after cooking those Doughnut Holes!
    And I love your tea towel!

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  6. oh those doughnut holes look so good! might just have to buy that recipe book (tho i too have loads)

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  7. The donut holes and the sammich both look amazing! I just ate dinner and I'm hungry again looking at that.

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  8. Hearty Vegan Meals has become one of my favorite cookbooks, haven't tried those donut holes yet. I'm ashamed to say that I haven't made much from Vegan Diner, I may have to try your random recipe generator method :)

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  9. Amazing! It wasn't until I started buying American cookbooks that I ever used dry yeast though, we mostly use fresh here!

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  10. The donut holes look great and sound so good, I'm a sucker for anything with cinnamon in it. I love how they are baked in the muffin tray rather than fried. The seitan and sandwich looks awesome too. I love the way you do these cookbook challenges randomly.

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  11. I've been meaning to make those donut holes for ages! I've been having yeast problems lately too, when using the stuff from a big container. It doesn't activate in warm water, but then I thought I would mix everything up and try to get it to rise anyway and it works fine! The stuff in the little packets always activates for me, though. Yeast! It's a mystery!

    And your seitan is so much nicer looking than mine, mine are always a lumpy mess!

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  12. Tis the season for doughnuts.

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  13. WHOA. You are not messing around! Three new recipes in one day! First of all, those seitan recipes from Vegan Diner are so amazing, aren't they? They're just easy, delicious and perfect. I love that pastrami one that's rolled in peppercorns. And that monte cristo sandwich really looks totally amazing. You're killing me with all these glorious delights!

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  14. I love those donut hole muffins! SO good.

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  15. your yeast has been acting up .. 4 times!
    the donut muffins look gorgeous though!

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  16. You really rocked these awesome cookbooks! What a great variety of recipes to sample.

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  17. Oh everything looks amazing! I applaud your commitment to doing what the generator says to do.

    I think every vegan ends up on a cookbook ban at one point or another. I'm going on a two-year one at this point.

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  18. Love this cookbook challenge, I need to stop buying books until I have used some of my neglected books, too!

    Yummo, donut holes and a sammige - what a great day of food!

    ps. I made a toastie this arvo inspired by your toastie post :D

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  19. love this challenge!! both the donut holes and the sarnie look great!

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  20. I made the same cookbook ban on myself!!! Three recipes from each book before buying a new book....but I broke it last night when I preordered Crazy Sexy Kitchen. However, I don't plan on buying any more.

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  21. I love random cookbook challenges! You actually inspired me to do one on Wednesdays this MOFO, and I drew Hearty Vegan Meals, too!

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  22. Whoa. That sandwich sounds pretty amazing! And I have that cookbook! I'll have to look it up. Your random cookbook challenge is one of my all-time favourite MoFo themes, I always love seeing the results.
    And the donut holes look so good! I've never made donuts of any kind.

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  23. Both recipes looks wonderful. I've just recently tried steaming seitan and felt like something went wrong. Any tips? Did you leave it covered or uncovered? I'm glad the recipes were such a hit. Love this challenge.

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    1. Hmmm, for me steamed seitan is the easiest to get right, I always fail at the boiled kind! Which recipes have you tried? I've found the ones from Viva Vegan, Vegan Brunch and Vegan Diner to be the most successful. I either wrap the seitan in a tea towel or in tin foil (for sausages or smaller chunks) and then steam for as long as the recipe says in my steamer insert over about an inch of water with the pot covered.

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  24. I need to make that seitan and baked donuts? YES!

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  25. I love this theme! I must make those doughnut holes.

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  26. Holy crap, that sandwich rules.

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  27. I'll have to try that sandwich, it looks awesome! I love those donut holes too!

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