June 13, 2012

ImageRemember when saying you were a “V” just meant that you were not worldly? Never felt the love of another person or were a square. I think back to the John Hughes epic tale of dentition on a Saturday morning in a library. A character cast of Freaks, Geeks, Jocks, Loner, Preppy, and the late great Mr. Gleason playing the asshole teacher. The cast sits around and discusses the shortcomings of their life. Imagine if that same group of actors had the same conversation today, it would be a longer list of failures and disappointments. Imagine a reunion Breakfast Club what a shit show; the cast of Real Housewives would display more class. Wow a shit show indeed! But I digress…spoiler alert Claire is a [Gasp?!?!] Virgin! Now, almost 30 years later there is a “V” word that creates as much and as many issues among the ill-informed; if you are  va…va…Vegan!!!!

To eat meat is natural; to not eat meat is a choice. This does not mean that meat eaters will not love Vegan fare. I see it as I get to whore my taste buds around to many different dishes. I am a fan of the flesh; but a lover of flavorful dynamic meat-free food. Vegan-Curious…well yes I am. Does that make me a bad person…Maybe but you can kiss my ass! For me, experimentation with my food is always exciting. Cooking vegan always proves a trip worth taking. Anytime I can practice my craft and take ordinary ingredients and make fabulous table fare is a challenge I am always up for.

My most recent adventure came about because of an invitation extended to a vegan friend of mine. I love to cook for Deb because it forces me to work on an aspect of my craft that I do not address every day. Not to mention that Deb is an eager “V” to sample my table fare.

So you ask, what did I cook for my favorite vegan? The theme for our dinner was a bar-b-que to welcome in the summer season. We had black bean burgers, potato salad (with a vinegar based dressing), wild rice salad, grilled asparagus, and corn on the cob with an olive oil truffle salt.

Try this awesome bean cake recipe that tastes killer on a crostini bun with grilled asparagus and fresh avocado.

Peppadew Bean Cakes

2 Cans Black Beans

1 Can Garbanzo Beans

1 Can White Beans

3 cloves Garlic; smashed

¼ sweet onion; minced

¼ cup Peppadews; diced

1 Tablespoon Granulated Garlic

2 teaspoon black pepper

1 Tablespoon Sea Salt

2Tablespoons Peppadew brine from jar

Drain and rinse all beans of nasty can fluid. This works just as great with dry beans that have been pre-soaked. Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until it has the consistence of wet sawdust and little pebbles. Pull out half and finish pureeing the hell out of the beans. Mix the mushy mix with the wet sand looking beans to create a magical ground meat look. To patty the bean mix, line a sheet pan with tinfoil sprayed with olive oil to ensure the patties do not stick. Utilizing a round cookie cutter the appropriate size to fit your buns press mixture into the round form, remove the form and repeat until all of the mixture is used. Brush the tops of the patties with additional olive oil and bake 350 degrees until the outside starts to turn golden brown, approximately 20 to 30 minutes.

Enjoy the va…va…Vegan experience, I do!

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