Friday, 26 August 2011

Golden Onion Soup with Sesame Puffs

Golden Onion Soup with Sesame Puffs

First, my apologies posting a soup recipe for those of you melting in the summer heat but I live in Ireland. 'Nuff said. ;-) Ah well, you can bookmark this and make it on a cooler autumnal evening and you should as it's really, really good. I got the recipe from one of my BBC Good Food Vegetarian Christmas magazines that I always would buy back in London.

This one was essentially vegan, just needed vegan marg in place of butter and dairy free milk to brush on the puff pastry. I otherwise followed the recipe as was and found it needed no changes. It's a really beautiful soup with sweet tender onions and those sesame puffs go so well with it! Think I'll be making those again and again for other soups too. Or just to snack on, as they are seriously that good :-)

As for the onions I was very lucky to receive some very large, fresh yellow and red onions from my in-laws garden - they were just dug up the day before I made this, so mine were really fresh and I'm thinking they didn't get as golden as they should have. The photo in the magazine for example is a dark brown a la French Onion soup. Regardless of the onions you use just cook them down till really soft and as golden as they can get without falling apart. Oh, and the chives are fresh from their garden too! :-)

Golden Onion Soup with Sesame Puffs - serves 3 as a main, 4 - 6 as a starter
25g vegan margarine
2 large mild onions, sliced thin
1 large red onion, sliced thin - my combined onion weight was 700g once sliced
1 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp wholegrain mustard
4 Tbsp dry sherry*
1.5 pints vegetable stock, I made mine with 3 vegetable oxo cubes
chopped fresh chives - optional
Sesame Puffs:
100g ready rolled puff pastry
some dairy free milk
about 1 - 2 Tbsp sesame seeds

Melt the margarine in a large saucepan and add the onions and sugar. Stir well cover and gently cook for between 20 - 25 minutes or until very soft and deeply golden in colour. Stir in the sherry and mustard and simmer for 3 minutes to reduce the sherry. Add the stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

While it's simmering, preheat the oven to 220C or fan 210C and line a baking sheet with baking paper or foil. Unroll the puff pastry, cut into a strip and then into squares, or whatever shape you like! If doing squares just dip the whole square into some dairy free milk then dip into sesame seeds, coating both sides. Pop in the oven for about 7 - 12 minutes or until puffed up and golden. Spoon the soup into bowls, sprinkle with chopped fresh chives and 4 of the sesame puffs.

Sesame Puffs

Original recipe had the sesame puffs in diamond shapes which I did at first. Just as yummy but I prefer the convenience of the crouton size puffs. Up to you!

Golden Onion Soup with Sesame Puffs

* as for the sherry,  I had a terrible time searching online for sherry's that are vegan. Eventually I found this link which says that Harvey's Bristol Cream Sherry is vegan and is apparently in the Animal Free Shopper book, so, there you go. Was very happy this one is vegan as I never buy sherry and my inlaws next door just happened to have a bottle :-)

Nutritional Information: based on a serving of 3 as a main dish.
Calories: 353
Protein: 4.6g
Fat: 15.5g
Sat Fat: 6g
Fibre: 4.1g
Carbs: 37.9g
Sugar: 11.8g
Sodium: 1243mg

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Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Simple Suppers

Stir Fried Veg and Basmati Rice
Stir Fried Veg with Basmati Rice

Zucchini and Red Pepper Pasta Bake
Red Pepper and Zucchini Pasta Bake

Simple Couscous and Veg with Chickpeas
Simple Couscous with Veg and Chickpeas

A slightly different multi post for you today! I was going through my recipe folder the other day, long overdue by the way.... I had stacks and stacks of handwritten notes jotted down here and there - such a mess! I decided to go through my blog and nicely print out everything I make regularly into one binder. What I soon realized is that a lot of what we eat regularly for dinner isn't even on the blog! I always found these things to be too simple to blog I suppose but I forgot that I started this blog to be a record of what we eat and things I make. 

Furthermore while I know a lot of you are experienced cooks I'm sure a lot of you are not, are just starting out with either veganism or cooking and might appreciate even the simplest of ideas. Furthermore, these are the dinners we all eat here, meaning my son as well. These are all very kid friendly and very adaptable, for each one you can change the vegetables to whatever you like, or more precisely, whatever your kids like as those with children know, their tastes tend to dictate mealtimes ;-) 

So, these are a few of the things we eat often, as no, my son doesn't sit down to a dinner of coconut crepes filled with asparagus and lime chilli sauce!! (I wish!!) That being said, we all love these, they are simple, nutritious and delicious. All recipes serve 3 as that's the number in our house ;-)

Stir Fried Veg with Basmati Rice

225g dry weight basmati rice
1 Tbsp peanut oil
100g carrots, sliced
100g mixed peppers, diced large
100g pak choi, seperate leaves and stalks, chop stalks into large dice and slice leaves
100g mangetout or snow peas, halved diagonally
(OR 400g of whatever veg you like)
1 tsp garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp ginger, finely chopped
2 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp water
1/2 Tbsp vegetarian oyster sauce*
1/4 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 tsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp water
sesame seeds for garnish

~optional protein add in: fried marinated tofu, tempeh, half tin of chick peas, "chicken" or "beef" style pieces.

First the rice, I cook mine as so but you may want to follow the directions on your packet. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and rinse the rice well. When boiling tip in the rice, give it a stir and when it comes back to the boil reduce to a simmer with the lid on for 10 minutes. Drain and tip it back into the pot, give it a stir over low heat for just a couple seconds to remove any more water.

While the rice is cooking, heat the oil in a large wok and add all the veg except the pak choi leaves, fry on high heat for about 5 minutes or until just tender. Mix together the soy sauce, water, vegetarian oyster sauce, garlic, ginger and sesame oil then add to the wok and stir well. Mix together the cornstarch and water until dissolved and stir in until the sauce is thick. Stir in the pak choi leaves until just wilted, it will only take seconds.

Spoon the rice onto plates and top with the veg mixture and sauce. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top for garnish.

*If you can't find the vegetarian oyster sauce you can just omit this. It's a thick, soy based but sweet sauce so a sweet soy sauce or something like hoisin sauce would work in it's place.*

Nutritional Information:
Calories: 360
Protein: 9.1g
Fat: 6.4g
Sat Fat: 0.9g
Carbs: 69.4g
Sugars: 6.4g
Sodium: 806mg
Calcium: 83.7mg
Fibre: 3.5g

Red Pepper and Zucchini Pasta Bake

1  Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
200g red pepper, diced large
200g zucchini (courgettes), sliced and halved if small, quartered if large
1 tin chopped tomatoes (400g) or same weight of passata
2 large cloves garlic, pureed
40g sun dried tomato puree
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp chopped fresh or frozen basil
200g pasta, dry weight
90g super melting mozza cheezly (30g per person) - optional
~ optional protein add in: half a tin drained and rinsed flageolet or cannellini beans ~

We've been having this one for years even back when we were vegetarian and the cheese topping was veggie parmesan. Recipe comes from an old vegetarian cookbook or ours that always produced some gems.

Put the pasta on to cook according to package instructions. Meanwhile in a large saucepan heat the olive oil and fry the onion with about 15 grinds of freshly ground black pepper. When really soft and slightly golden add the zucchini, peppers and an extra 1/8 tsp of salt. Stir and fry for 5 minutes over medium heat until the veg start to go soft. In a measuring just mix together the tomato, puree, salt, sugar, garlic and basil. Stir in the tomato sauce mixture, cover and simmer for 5 minutes more. Check that the veg is tender then add the drained pasta, stirring until well mixed. Transfer to an oven safe casserole dish and top with the grated cheezly and some more black pepper. Grill till bubbly and serve.

My son however has not developed a taste for cheezly and likes this without the cheezly on top - it's just as good!

Beautiful with my garlic bread and a glass of red wine! 

Nutritional Information: per serving with cheezly
Calories: 439
Protein: 12g
Fat: 18.6g
Sat Fat: 6.3g
Fibre: 5.7g
Carbs: 59.7g
Sugar: 8.3g
Sodium: 691mg

Simple Couscous with Veg and Chickpeas

1 Tbsp olive oil
100g onion, diced large
100g carrot, sliced diagonally
100g red pepper, diced large
100g zucchini (courgettes), sliced and halved or quartered if very large
100g green beans, fresh or frozen, sliced or chopped into 1" pieces
125g chickpeas from a tin, that's half a 400g tin, drained and rinsed
450ml water made with 3 tsp marigold vegan stock powder*
1 Tbsp cornstarch - optional
150g dry weight couscous
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp marigold vegan stock powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
300ml water

*First a note on the stock powder, I'm not insisting you use the brand I use here but as this is such a simple dish flavour wise, you want to use a stock powder that you like the taste of on it's own or it might be quite bland. I love the marigold vegan powder (the orange one) as it has a lot of flavour and the yellow colour works well here, it has turmeric in it but I like to add a little more to the couscous as well. That being said, just  use a stock you really like but you may have to adjust the amount you add - just follow the directions for making stock on the package.

Now. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and add the onions and carrot and fry for 5 minutes. Add the stock, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the peppers, zucchini, green beans and chickpeas, cover and simmer for another 10 minutes.

Meanwhile make the couscous. This is how I like to make mine and it always turns out great, although I realize it's not the most traditional ;-) Mix the couscous, stock powder and turmeric in a large shallow dish, you want the surface area to be large here, you don't want a deep dish of couscous as it won't cook properly otherwise. Bring the water and olive oil to a boil and pour over. Give it a quick stir then cover promptly with cling film and let sit for 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork. It should be ready now but I'm a little unconventional here and like to recover it and pop it in the microwave for just 30 seconds to reheat as I find it cools down a bit in those 5 minutes. Totally not necessary though ;-)

Spoon the couscous onto plates. Now you can either spoon the veg and broth over of the couscous, like in the photo above, or you can mix some water with 1 Tbsp cornstarch and stir this in until the broth and veg mixture thickens up like a light gravy and spoon this over. Up to you, I've done it both ways, both are good, just depends on my mood, or how watery the broth is as vegetables can vary wildly in how much liquid they release.

Nutritional Information:
Calories: 386
Fat: 11.6g
Sat Fat: 1.9g
Fibre: 7.6g
Carbs: 58.7g
Sugar: 6.4g
Sodium: 1533mg, but less as you unlikely will spoon over all the broth
Protein: 12.5g
Calcium: 64mg

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Monday, 22 August 2011

Banana White Chocolate Muffins

Vegan Banana White Chocolate Muffins

These were so good! I always used to make a banana white chocolate muffin in the vegetarian days and based this recipe on that one. It does of course require a specific ingredient - vegan white chocolate buttons, which I have used before, they taste so much like white chocolate and always turn out great in baking. Some vegan white chocolate melts to a watery liquid in baking and doesn't reset when the product cools - I learned the hard way. These buttons are perfect though, for those in Cork I get mine at the Quay Co-op, sometimes at Tesco and Holland & Barratt.

To veganize the original recipe I swapped the butter for vegan margarine, the white chocolate for vegan white chocolate and the eggs for my favourite egg replacer, a mixture of cornstarch, baking powder, xanthan gum, oil and water. I know a lot of vegan sites put banana alone down as an egg replacer and yes, it is very good at binding, but eggs do a lot more than binding. I have had quite a lot of banana flavoured baked goods that can only be described as moist bricks. Texture matters. These have a great texture, really light and still moist but not dense at all. Very happy with them :-)

Vegan Banana White Chocolate Muffins
Makes 12 - 14 muffins, depending on size of tin - I got 14 using silicone muffin cases but they are a little smaller than a traditional muffin tin.

Banana White Chocolate Muffins:

245g plain flour
100g caster sugar
50 grams light muscovado sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
75g vegan white chocolate buttons - 3 bags
100g vegan margarine, melted and cooled slightly
about 400g very ripe bananas, mashed well - about 3 large
1 tsp vanilla extract
~egg mixture~
2 Tbsp cornflour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp vegetable oil
100ml water

about 50g extra white chocolate buttons for garnish - optional

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and grease a muffin tin or individual silicon muffin moulds, I used a spray as it's so much easier.

First make up your 'eggs' by adding the cornflour, baking powder and xanthan gum in a medium size bowl, slowly whisk in the vegetable oil and water. When all added give it a really good whisk till thickened and smoothish.

In a large bowl whisk the flour, sugars, baking powder, soda and salt. Set aside.

Melt the margarine then transfer to a pyrex measuring jug and stir in the vanilla. Give the egg mixture another whisk then slowly start whisking the margarine into it until it is all incorporated. You should now have a smooth, thickish custardy like concoction.

Now fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just blended, do not overmix, it should not be smooth. If you overmix the muffins will be tough and rubbery. Fold in the chocolate. (I like to break the buttons in half, then half again.)

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin about 3/4 full and bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of one comes out clean. Place tin on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes then remove the muffins. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Vegan Banana White Chocolate Muffins

If you would like the drizzle extra white chocolate on top (which I highly recommend!) melt 50g (2 packages) white chocolate buttons in the microwave, should only take 20 - 30 seconds. At this stage it is still a bit too thick to drizzle so stir in about 1/2 tsp vegetable oil, or more until it is drizzling down when you dip a spoon in it. When the muffins are fully cool drizzle the mixture back and forth, let the chocolate cool then serve. :-)

Nutritional Information - based on 12 large muffins, with drizzle on top
Calories: 241
Fat: 7.7g
Sat Fat: 2.3g
Fibre: 1.8g
Carbs: 41g
Sugars: 19.8g
Protein: 2.6g
Sodium: 162mg

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Monday, 15 August 2011

Gardenburger Original Patty - Veganized! (aka - super delicious mushroom burger)

With a homemade burger bun!

Vegan Gardenburger

The flavour in this patty is so good I like to keep it simple with vegan mayo, lettuce, tomato and onion.

I think I say this whenever I blog a new burger, but, I have a new favourite burger!! What can I say? I love my burgers and truthfully I love them all on the blog here but this is a most welcome new addition ;-) Back in Canada in my vegetarian days I LOVED the Original Gardenburger patty, or "Money's Mushroom Burger" I think it was called at first. I had quite a few of them in my day and you couldn't buy them in England so was happy to find a copycat recipe online. 

I was still vegetarian at the time so had a go making them - I could see the taste was there but they were an absolute disaster! The mixture was very wet which you were to go about frying and they stuck to the pan like glue! I put the recipe away and never went back to it. Then, I was rifling through some old recipe printouts the other day and came across it. 

Now, what possessed me to not only try it again but veganize it too boot I'll never know but man am I glad I did. This tastes just like I remember the Gardenburger tasting like, so delicious and I got around the whole sticking to the pan thing! These cook up beautifully and while they are a little effort they freeze and reheat really well. So get in there and make up a huge bunch! Whether you know the original Gardenburger or not you'll be glad you did :-)

Gardenburger Patties  - makes 6 large patties or more if you want them smaller
1 Tbsp olive oil
450g mushrooms (1 pound)
120g diced onion (1 cup)
1/4 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp bulgar wheat
50g oats (1/2 cup)
50g brown basmati rice, raw weight (2/3 cup cooked)
80g shredded mozza cheezly, super melting (3/4 cup)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
4 Tbsp cornstarch
vegetable oil to fry

First cook the brown basmati rice. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and stir in the rice. Cover and simmer over medium heat for 25 minutes. Check if tender then drain and rinse under hot water.

Place the bulgar in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Cover with cling film and let sit 5 minutes. Stir with a fork, check if tender then drain well.

Place the oats in a bowl with 100ml cold water and leave to soften for 10 minutes. Then place in a sieve and press the water out with the back of a spoon.

Place the rice, oats and bulgar into a large bowl:

Now heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and add the mushrooms and onion. Sprinkle over 1/4 tsp of salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Fry until the liquid that comes out is reabsorbed, you want this mixture quite dry and the onion and mushrooms and cooked and slightly golden: (if it's starting to stick to the pan, that's good)

Tip mushroom mixture in with the grains and add the shredded cheezly, garlic powder and salt:

Give it all a good stir until well mixed and the cheezly melts from the heat of the mushroom mixture:

Now transfer the mixture to a food processor and pulse it about 8 - 10 times until it is all finely chopped but not pureed, you want a coarse texture here:

Tip it all back into a large bowl and stir in the cornflour:

and stir it up well, the mixture will be quite wet:

Now, this is where I changed the instructions. Original recipe had you frying these first then baking them but whenever I tried that the really wet mixture just stuck to the pan like glue no matter how much oil I used. I then thought- of course, bake them first then fry once they can hold their shape. D'oh! facepalm. Should have thought of that first!! Works perfectly.

Preheat the oven to 150C (fan if you have it) that's about 300F, quite a low tempurature. Line a baking sheet with baking paper and lightly grease it. Take a 1/2 cup scoop, or 1/3 if you want smaller burgers and fill up the scoop:

Scrape the mixture out of the scoop onto the baking sheet then with a fork shape into a burger patty:

Repeat until all the mixture is used up: (I'm doing a half recipe here, so just 3)

Place in the preheated oven and cook for 15 minutes, they will now be firm enough to hold their shape and be able to flip:

Place back in the oven and cook the other side for another 15 minutes. Then that's it, they are cooked. But yeah, they don't look great do they? Pale and aneamic looking isn't the most appetizing. Take a non-stick frying pan and add some oil. I fried these individually and used 1 tsp vegetable oil per burger. Fry on high heat just until golden and crispy on both sides. They are already cooked, you just want to colour and crisp them up:

That's it! Super yummy vegan mushroom burgers just waiting for a nice homemade bun maybe?

Note: If you are going to freeze these, and they freeze really well, after frying place them on a cooling rack lined with baking paper. Leave to cool for not more than an hour then wrap in cling film and freeze. You can reheat these various ways: fry from frozen, oven grill from frozen, microwave a couple minutes a side, or you can defrost first in the fridge then fry/grill/microwave. Just ensure they are piping hot throughout.

Nutritional Information: per large patty (making 6) after frying
Calories: 213
Fat: 11.4g
Sat Fat: 3.0g
Protein: 5.8g
Fibre: 3.0g
Carbs: 24g
Sugar: 2.4g
Sodium: 402 mg

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Burger Buns

Vegan Burger Buns

I do love my burgers and usually just go for store bought burger buns. However when you go to all the trouble to make your own burgers sometimes it is nice to go all the way and make the buns too. I've had great success with this recipe although I should let you know those are way too big! I got greedy and made 4 out of  a recipe that should have made 8 :-) That's the great thing about making your own though, you can make them any size you like, just like the burger patties themselves.

315g strong white bread flour, plus 20g more
15g or 1 Tbsp caster sugar
3/4 tsp salt
50g vegan margarine
1 sachet easy blend yeast, that's 7g
200ml dairy free milk, I used rice
cornflour, water and sesame seeds

In a saucepan add the milk, sugar and margarine, bring to heat until the butter and sugar melts, when the butter melts the sugar will have too. Transfer to a bowl and let cool to 45C, I used a cooking thermometer here, if you don't have one you want it to be quite warm but not hot. You should be able to leave your finger in it comfortably. In the bowl of your mixing machine or a regular large bowl mix the flour, salt and yeast. Stir in the lukewarm liquid and using the dough attachment on your mixer knead for 5 minutes. Alternatively, stir in the liquid then transfer to a flour dusted surface and knead for 10 minutes. With the machine running add the extra 20g flour if it seems sticky, same if you are doing it by hand. I use the machine and when the 5 min is up I like to still transfer it to a floured surface and give it a few kneads, just to shape it up and get a feel of it. It should be smooth and elastic now. Oil a large clean bowl, place the circle of dough in it, oil the surface and cover the bowl with cling film. Place in a warm place to double in size, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Mine took 1 1/2 but I do have a "dough proving" feature on my oven. God I love my oven. 

Take it out, give it a punch, knead a couple times then cut out how many shapes you like, the maximum amount of rolls you'll get out of this recipe is 8, any more and they will be mini buns! Knead each cut piece a few times and shape in to a ball, flatten slightly and place on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. When all done grease a sheet of cling film and place over the top, return to a warm place and preheat your oven to 200C

When the oven is ready take the sheet and remove the cling film. Now to make the sesame seeds stick I like to make a 'glue' out of cornflour and water, till it's fairly thick, brush it over the top and sprinkle the seeds on, give them a gentle press in as well. The ones you see in the photo here I didn't do this, I thought I would try a new method of just spraying the tops with cooking spray and sprinkling the seeds on. Doesn't work. ALL of those fell off! So next time I will stick to my regular cornflour glue method :-)

Now pop them in the oven and bake for 10 - 15 minutes. It will depend on what size you made the buns and your oven but they will have risen again and be golden. Remove and let cool. 

Nutritional Information: based on 8 rolls
Calories: 192
Protein: 5.6g
Fat: 4.5g
Sat Fat: 0.9g
Fibre: 2.1g
Calcium: 30.7g (depending on milk used)
Carbs: 32.4g
Sugar: 3.1g
Sodium: 284 mg

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Saturday, 6 August 2011

Hickory Smoked Baked Almond Cheese

Hickory Smoked Baked Almond Cheese title=

Damn. This is good! You all know how much I love the Baked Almond Feta, going so far as to claim it's changed my life - and this confirms that. Going for a smoked flavour came about as I was able to get a couple bottles of liquid smoke here. For those that don't know it's nigh impossible to get in Ireland/UK but I found some online at American Food, a Dublin based American grocer. They sell two bottles, one hickory the other mesquite. I went with hickory here as it seemed better suited to cheese. Now I had similar stuff growing up in Canada and I remember it being pretty much just liquid smoke in the ingredients. This stuff isn't, it's soy sauce and other stuff with liquid smoke.

Still, I'm not complaining, it's wonderfully smokey and I instantly started to think about smoked cheeses as I used to love them. Naturally I turned to the Baked Almond Feta as it is vegan cheese perfection and set about changing the recipe. For this I omitted the lemon juice, added some liquid smoke and reduced the salt as the liquid smoke already had some in the form of salt and soy sauce. I also reduced the garlic and swapped the olive oil for vegetable oil as I didn't want a strong flavour from the oil here but rather wanted the smokey flavour to shine through.

Texture wise, it initially seemed the same as the original when it got wrapped up in cheesecloth. Then some of the liquid did drain away just like the original but when it came time to bake it this cheese was a lot softer. With the original you end up with a firm disc of cheese to bake. This one needed scraping into the dish to bake as it was still quite soft. I baked it for basically the same amount of time 200C for 30 - 40 minutes, until golden and cracked on top. The end product was really nice, bit of a crust but soft and creamy inside and wonderfully smokey (but no smoke overkill here!) Also the different texture with this one meant you can slice it a bit easier than the original, which was more of a crumble or spreading type cheese.

Altogether a success, will definitely make this variation again. Now, what to do with it - smoked cheeses for me are calling out for a sandwich, especially anything with avocado - a match made in heaven! So I present you with the open faced sandwich of my dreams: 

Ciabatta with Hickory Smoked Almond Cheese, Avocado and Tomato

Warm Crispy Ciabatta, spread with vegan margarine until all melty then topped with slices of tomato, avocado and the hickory smoked almond cheese (aka - pure sandwich heaven)

Now, before you go about making the cheese please note this - the brand or type of liquid smoke really matters. Like I mentioned above mine is more of a smoked soy sauce than straight up liquid smoke and 1 Tablespoon in the recipe is perfect. If you use one that is much more concentrated you'll end up with something way too smokey! You've been warned ;-)

Hickory Smoked Baked Almond Feta:
145g ground almonds (1 1/2 cups)
1 Tbsp hickory liquid smoke
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup water

Simply add everything to a blender and blend until thick and really creamy - a few minutes is fine. Line a bowl with three layers of cheesecloth and scrape the mixture into it. Tie the cheesecloth up into a ball and place in a colander over a bowl and refrigerate overnight. The next day, preheat the oven to 200C and remove the cheese from the cloth and place in an oven proof dish. Like I mentioned before this cheese stays a bit soft at this stage and you may have to scrape some in. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes, or until golden, firm to the touch and cracking a bit on top. Leave to cool on a wire rack. Then it's ready to slice into sandwiches, spread onto crackers, crumble into pasta - endless possibilities!

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