Monday, August 13, 2007

Recipe & Secrets

One of Jim's regular customers is Chuck Swirsky, voice of The Raptors. He called Jim a couple of weeks ago and asked him to to stop by for a service call. Since he just lives in Burlington, Jim was able to get over there right away. As a thank you, he gave Jim & his partner, Ron these -

Tickets for Toronto FC, Toronto's team in the Major Soccer League! I am so pumped for this! Dave that I work with at the LCBO went to a game last month & said the atmosphere is unbelievable. Woot!!

I found a recipe in a Weight Watchers cookbook that sounded interesting, so I gave it a whirl. The recipe called for chicken, so I substituted with Quorn.

This was very easy to make and had a delicious sauce. I've included the recipe at the end if you'd like to try it.

I also made little tiny roasted potatoes with rosemary and some garlic sauteed kale. Mmmmm!

Crystal over at Cafe Cyan blogged about a barley dish she'd made and was nice enough to post the recipe. I really wanted to try it and made it the next night as a side for the left over Quorn & kale. The recipe called for quick-cooking barley. I'd heard about quick-cooking barley, but have never been able to find it. On our last cross-border shopping trip I bought some, but as of yet, hadn't tried it. Now was my chance.

This is weird stuff. It's not round like barley, but flat. And the bits were big. It's like they cooked barley, sliced the pieces thin, then dried it. It cooked up really fast, but didn't have much of a taste. Once I use up what I have, don't think I'd buy any more. But - Crystal's recipe was very nice. The day I went shopping, there were no snap peas to be had -very strange - so I used snow peas instead. I also didn't include the tofu this time, but would like to try it with.

The Quorn and kale reheated nicely, and round two of this dish was almost as good as the first.

The barley pilaf was still on my mind so I decided to try it with regular barley. I just added the vegetables near the end of the cooking time so everything would be done at the same time. I also really lazed about this time and used frozen peas

This turned out just as good! Barley is so delicious and I'd like to have it more often. It's not just for soup.

So here's the recipe for the "chicken" with a few simple modifications.

"Chicken" Braised in Red Wine

2 veggie bacon strips
2-3 pounds "chicken" (quorn, seitan, even tofu, cut, if necessary, into serving sized pieces)
2½ cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1¾ cups veggie chicken broth
1 cup dry red wine
2 tbsp. tomato paste
½-¾ tsp. dried thyme
1 bay leaf

Spray a large non-stick saucepan or soup pot with non-stick spray and heat over medium-high heat; add the veggie bacon and cook until crisped. Remove and set aside to cool, then dice. Add some oil to cover the bottom of the pot and add the quorn. Cook until browned on both sides. Remove from pot & set aside.

Add mushrooms, onions and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have released their juices, 6-8 minutes. Sprinkle with the flour and cook, stirring, 1 minute more. Add the broth, wine, tomato paste, thyme & bay leaf; bring to a boil. Add the quorn & bacon and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer covered for 30-40 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the quorn and vegetables to a bowl.

Discard bay leaf, then bring the sauce to a boil over high heat. Continue boiling, stirring, until it has thickened slightly, about 5 minutes. Return the quorn & vegetables to the pot & heat through.

Serves 4-6


One blog that I very much enjoy and that I'm sure most of you have heard about is Post Secret. People mail in their "secrets" on a post card and the blog owner, Frank, posts new "secrets" every Sunday. He's been the subject of newspaper articles, published books, done tours, and been interviewed on television by none other than former Much Music VJ, Kim Clarke Champniss. (You more "mature" Canadians will remember him). ;o)
Anyhow, this week is a special installment of Postsecret - it's a mini-movie. Check it out here. Once you start visiting this blog, you'll be hooked.


Kumudha said...

Vegan fare looks delicious!

bazu said...

I'd never seen quick cooking barley! I thought pearled barley was quick-cooking, as opposed to the regular unhulled variety. I'm confused! But your meal looks magnificent, as usual! I love postsecret too, but don't check it too often. I'll go have a look right now. =)

Unknown said...

Everything looks great! I likerosemary w/my potatoes, too.

KleoPatra said...

i'm so excited for you to get to that soccer game! Too bad they're not playin' the L.A. Galaxy (David Beckham, yum yum) but i'm sure there'll be plenty of eye candy. HAHAHA. (Note to Jim: Just kidding!) (Note to Carrie: Not kidding!!) i hope you'll give a full report. i'll be watchin' to see what happens 25 August there, or maybe you can pen a full report and i'll find a way to throw it in the Sports section here...

The quorn-based recipe looks like it turned out creamy and delish. Yummers. Weird about the other kind of barley, tho, too bad it was kinda off.

As you can imagine being the nosey quack i am, i've been a Post Secret fan for a while. Thanks for the mini movie link.

Missing you!!!

Anonymous said...

That looks so good, Carrie !

I hope you have a blast at the game :)

Dr. Melissa West said...

What a score for the tickets! Have fun!

You always try such neat stuff with faux meat!

MeloMeals said...

Looks like you found barley flakes,.... similar to oats.... and you seemed to make do with them really well!

Great score regarding the tickets!

Peggy said...

Ooh, have fun at the soccer! Sounds like that will be real fun.

Great pictures! Your barley pilaf looks so lovely with the green peas and little bits of carrot. :)

funwithyourfood said...

I <3 post secret as well!! I've been hooked for some time and cara has the books..

I always use frozen peas. most of the time they are frozen fresh and they are better/cheaper than fresh ones! :)


Tofu Mom (AKA Tofu-n-Sprouts) said...

Oh Mannnnnnn.... tickets to the game! I'm so jealous! (At first I thought the tickets were for a Raptors game - that'd be awesome too but I'm more of a soccer fan!)

Really yummy looking food too...

urban vegan said...

That faux-meaty dish looks so filling and tasty--and peaceful.

Conrgats on scoring thos etickets.

Tanya Kristine said...

where aaaare yoooooou?

River said...

That faux chicken looks awesome, Carrie! And I'll bet the sauce would be absolutely delish on marinated (in red wine, etc., natch!) tofu or homemade seitan! Love the barley recipe too - your version, I think, with real barley ;) You always have such good ideas! Thanks a mil, hon. Hugs.

Love, River