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TALK BLOG

Talk Food Festival: Makini Howell

Posted on Feb 24, 2014 11:45am

Makini Howell, owner of Plum Bistro and author of “Plum: Gratifying Vegan Dishes from Seattle’s Plum Bistro,” came to THE TALK with a menu of Southern-style cuisine that’s completely vegan, but still has all the flavor of classic comfort foods. Click here for recipes.


 

Plum’s Smoky Mac & “Cheese” 

Makes 6 to 8 servings


Ingredients

For the pasta:

2 teaspoons sea salt

1 pound elbow macaroni

1 tablespoon canola oil

3 ounces smoked tofu, minced to roughly resemble bacon bits

1 large onion, diced

2 teaspoons garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper


For the sauce:

3 cups unsweetened soy milk

4 to 6 sprigs fresh thyme

4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

3 tablespoons unsalted vegan buttery spread

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup Savory Soy Cream (recipe below)

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

5 cups (22.5 ounces) shredded vegan mozzarella or cheddar cheese (such as Daiya brand), divided

2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes

½ cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)


Directions

To make the pasta, bring a large pot of water and the salt to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook according to the package directions, until al dente. Drain and set aside.


Preheat the oven to 400ºF.


In a medium sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the tofu and cook until crispy, about 2 to 4 minutes. Put the onion, garlic, and thyme leaves in the same pan and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.


To make the sauce, in a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk with the thyme and garlic until hot but not boiling, about 7 minutes. Strain out the solids using a fine-mesh sieve and set the milk aside.


Melt the buttery spread in a deep sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Make sure this roux doesn’t darken; turn down the heat if it’s in danger of browning.


Whisk the milk into the roux. Continue to whisk over medium-low heat until the roux is smooth, about 1 minute more. Stir in the soy cream until it is thoroughly incorporated about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and remove the pan from the heat.


Add the cooked macaroni, 4 cups of the cheese, and the red pepper flakes, and fold together until the macaroni is coated. Scrape the mac into a large baking dish (3 quarts is about right, or use 2 smaller dishes). Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of cheese and tofu-onion mixture over the top, then dust with the panko. Bake until the mac is bubbly in the center, crispy on top, and heated through, about 30 minutes.

 
 

Savory Soy Cream

Makes about 3 cups


Ingredients

1 cup unsweetened soy milk

2 cups canola oil

1 to 1 ½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Minced garlic, for seasoning (optional)


Directions

Put the milk in a powerful blender. (The more powerful the blender, the creamier the consistency of the final cream.) With the machine running, drizzle in the oil very slowly, until it is thoroughly blended with the milk. Continue blending for another minute or so, until the mixture has the consistency of heavy cream. (Note that it will become more like a light whipped cream after you add the vinegar.)


Pour the mixture into a medium bowl and whisk in the vinegar and garlic to taste.


Store the cream in a tightly sealed jar in the refrigerator for up to a week. It will firm up to about the consistency of mayonnaise. Re-whip it with a whisk to return it to its original texture, adding a little more milk if need be.

 
 

Panko Crusted Seitan Steak 


Ingredients

Seitan, cut into 3-4 oz steaks (find a really good store bought seitan)

4 cups cooking oil

1 cup soy or nut milk

1 cup ap breading (recipe follows)

1 cup panko breading (recipe follows)


Directions

Put milk, ap breading and panko breading in three separate bowls. Dredge the seitan steaks in the milk, then pat them in the ap breading, then dredge the seitan back through the milk and finally pat them in the panko breading.  


Heat cooking oil to medium high in a sturdy frying pot, drop breaded seitan in the hot oil, being careful not to splash yourself with the oil, cook for 2-4 minutes or until crispy and golden brown. Serve on top of a biscuit and pour some gravy on top and enjoy!


Fresh Thyme Panko Breading


Ingredients

3 cups panko

½ cup vegan Parmesan cheese

3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

1½ teaspoons chili flakes

1½ teaspoons sea salt

2 teaspoons ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped roasted garlic


Directions

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix together. 


Ap Breading


Ingredients

1 cup flour

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

2 tsp black pepper

2 tsp dry parsley

sea salt to taste


Directions

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix together.



Skillet gravy


Ingredients

1 cup mixed chopped white onion, celery and bell pepper

½ cup olive or Canola oil

2 teaspoons raw garlic, chopped

½ cup all-purpose flour (can use gluten-free flour if you like)

1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

3 cups vegetarian no-chicken stock (Imagine is a good brand)

Salt and black pepper, to taste


Directions

Heat a pan over medium high heat and add veggies and garlic, sauté until veggies are translucent and aromatic, about 3-5 minutes.  Add flour, let flour turn golden brown, about 2-4 minutes.  Pour in stock and whisk, the gravy should start to thicken.  Bring gravy back to a slight simmer and add in fresh herbs, salt, and pepper.




Biscuits

Makes 4 large biscuits


Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for flouring the work surface

2½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1/3 cup vegan shortening (such as Earth Balance brand) or canola oil, plus more for greasing the baking sheet

¾ cup unsweetened soy milk

1 tablespoon vegan buttery spread (such as Earth Balance brand), softened


Directions

Preheat the oven to 475ºF.


In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Using a pastry blender or 2 forks, cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center of the mixture. Pour the milk all at once into the well. Using a fork, stir until the dough is just moistened and pulls away from the sides of the bowl (it will be sticky).


Flour a work surface. Using as light a touch as you can, pat the dough out with your hands to a ¾ inch thickness. Cut out circles with a 4-inch biscuit cutter, dipping the cutter into flour between cutting each circle.


Lightly grease a baking sheet and place the biscuits close together on the sheet. Brush the tops with the buttery spread. Bake the biscuits until they’re golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.



Peach Galettes 


Ingredients

1 lb. peaches, seeded and sliced 

½ cup brown sugar

¼ cup flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon lemon zest

Seeds of ½ a vanilla bean

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch salt

Pie dough, store bought or you can make your own, if you like.  (Make sure the store bought dough is vegan.)


Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350º.

 

Combine all ingredients except the pie dough. Roll your dough out into about 5-6'' circles, stack about 4-6 peaches in the center of the dough, spoon a tad of the liquid over peaches and fold edges up in a circle around peaches. Bake at 350º for 25 minutes or until golden brown


Top galettes with ice cream or, if you’re feeling fancy, add a little Bourbon to your sweet soy cream recipe.

 
 

Sweet Soy Cream

Makes about 3 cups


Ingredients

1 cup unsweetened soy milk

2 cups canola oil

1 tablespoon agave syrup

1¼ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Vanilla extract, for sweetening (optional)

Ground cinnamon, for sweetening (optional)


Directions

Put the milk in a powerful blender. (The more powerful the blender, the creamier the consistency of the final cream. You can use a food processor too, but the creams will come out thinner and a bit oilier.) With the machine running, drizzle in the oil very slowly, until it is thoroughly blended with the milk. Continue blending for another minute or so, until the mixture has the consistency of heavy cream. (Note that it will become more like a light whipped cream after you add the lemon juice.)


Pour the mixture into a medium bowl and whisk in the agave syrup, lemon juice, and vanilla and cinnamon to taste.


Store the cream in a tightly sealed jar in the refrigerator for up to a week. It will firm up to about the consistency of mayonnaise.




Recipes Courtesy Makini Howell & Plum Bistro

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