Soul Searching Twenty-Something Seeks Food Love: Settles For Food Like Most Days

Soul Searching Twenty-Something Seeks Food Love: Settles For Food Like Most Days

Sunday, June 12, 2011

French Food for Vegans

First off, I must dispel a myth.

I have not died.  I have not fallen ill to the point of incapacitation.  And I have not seriously injured myself.

Truthfully, I haven't even been a lazy blogger.  I spent my one and only day off last week preparing so many delights for you to enjoy here at Vegan Food-Like that I ran out of time to type about them.  So this week, I owe you many pictures and stories about my adventures.

Let's start with the cooking adventure that was destined to flop.  Parisienne Gnocchi.
I don't know about you, but when I think of French food, here is a smattering of the ingredients that come to mind:

Foie Gras

Here is the smattering of ingredients that I still use:
Wine (on occasion)
Sugar (raw cane or turbinado)

So why on earth did I think that I would be able to make Thomas Keller's version of Parisienne Gnocchi found in his book, Bouchon,  when the initial ingredients are 6 oz of butter, 6 eggs, 1 cup of cheese, and flour?

I don't know. 

But I sure am happy that I tried.  The original recipe can be found here, and rather than rewrite all the particulars of the directions, I am just going to give you my ingredient list and allow you to follow his directions.  That's what I did.

To make this Gnocchi, you will need:

1 1/2 c H2O
6 oz Earth Balance
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp salt
2 c sifted flour (I used all-purpose, but I'd be interested to see how other flours would hold up.  That being said, lighter flours would be better suited than denser flours)
2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp each, fresh chives parsley, & tarragon
1/3 c Nutritional Yeast
2/3 c. Daiya Cheddar Shreds
5-6 Flax Eggs (1 Tbsp ground flax seed + 3 Tbsp H2O each)

An interesting note:  After poaching the gnocchi, I found that they were incredibly sticky.  I'm guessing that this is because of the "egg" not being an "egg," so therefore it didn't cook as thoroughly.  If you let them rest for about five minutes, the stickiness of the dough all but disappears.  Make sure to do this before you saute them.

And that's what you do with them.  After your gnocchi have rested in the freezer, take a few out and saute them up until they crisp up a tiny bit on the outside and what you have are fluffy little pillows of herby goodness with a very slight crunch to their "skin."  To test these babies out, I just added a light drizzle of olive oil and some cracked black pepper and salt.

One night this week, I'm going to try to emulate my favorite gnocchi from my non vegan days by tossing around a saute of diced apples, brussel sprout leaves, and seasoned tempeh with a little Earth Balance.  I can't wait.

And that's actually one of the best parts on this recipe.  It makes a ROYAL BOATLOAD of little dough pillows.  (No joke, when I say hundreds)  And they freeze well.  And they thaw easily.  And I have enough gnocchi to enjoy it weekly through July.  Even with my husband being a little piggy ;)

Successful vegan food conversion.  And I'll be the first to admit.  I was a little bit pleasantly shocked.

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