Friday, August 28, 2009

Vegetarian Tacos, instantly.

Today was the day the 1st Mate ran out of ideas for lunch. She told me that yesterday, so I could plan on cooking today. There's criteria for cooking for the 1st Mate: it has to conform to the diet we've been on since April, i.e. No meat, no cheese or dairy, no eggs, no bread.

We had been talking about Soyrizo™, a local (as in Mexico, local) vegetarian chorizo made with TVP (textured vegetable protein) but we didn't want to run off to buy it because they use pig lard in it... ('nuff said about that.)

So I cranked up the new laptop and looked for recipes for pig-lard-free chorizo. I found this one:
2 cups(dried; not reconstituted) TVP*
6 Dried Anchos or New Mexico chile or some combination of the two
2 Dried Chipotles; optional, if you want smokey flavor
½ teaspoonCoriander seeds
3 Whole cloves
½ teaspoonPepercorns
½ teaspoonOregano
¼ teaspoonCumin seeds
1 smallPiece cinnamon; about 1/3" x 3/4"
8 Cloves garlic; peeled and crushed
2 teaspoonsPaprika
2 teaspoonsSalt
¼ cupVinegar
½ cupRed wine
¾ cupWater or stock
¼ cupOil or more
Mix it up and put in the fridge for two days.

This recipe is really a lot harder than it needs to be, in my lazy opinion. All the spices here I have already ground up... And two days in the fridge?? I could die of starvation.

So, I did this: I took the TVP we had and ground it fine in a mini food processor we have. Two cups full size TVP rendered down to about half that. I poured hot water on it and I had two full cups of reconstituted stuff. In the mini blender I dropped in 8 cloves of peeled garlic (1st Mate buys it that way), 2 tsps salt, 1-1/2 tsps of Chipotle abodados, 1/2 tsp coriander, 1/2 tsp clove, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp cumin, 1/4 cup of veg oil, 1/6 cup Basalmic vinegar. I don't drink, so the wine came out, as did the paprika and oregano. Blended it well and mixed everything together in a bowl, fired up the skillet with a little veg oil in it and cooked.

Because the TVP is finer, it picked up the flavors right away, so it's virtually instant. I figured that since I was going to use these in tacos, if somebody wants it hotter, they can add salsa.

I think it was better than Soyrizo™, and certainly cheaper and healthier. The 1st Mate approves.

1 comment:

1st Mate said...

This has a more complex and spicy (not as in hot) flavor than actual chorizo, and is much less greasy. I'm going to use some with sauteed veggies to stuff baked potatoes and that'll be lunch today, since it's my turn.