Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Baked Chiles Rellenos (Cheese Stuffed Poblano Peppers)

Amy's dad said that this was the best thing he'd ever had at our house. That's high praise since he regularly refers to our kitchen as his "favorite restaurant," although we all know his favorite restaurant is Bari. But we'll take the praise where we can get it. This dish has two kinds of peppers and the option to add some hot sauce, so it was tailor-made for him. 

That said, it is remarkable. The richness of the cheese is a foil for the smoky, spicy poblano, and the whipped egg whites give the whole thing an ethereal quality. Baking instead of frying this dish is a great way to make it just a touch healthier.

There are a few steps to this one, but none of them are difficult. Give this a shot. We think you'll love it!

Baked Chiles Rellenos

4 large poblano peppers
1-2 chipotle peppers (from a can)

1 14.5 ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
3 eggs (separated)
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1/2 teaspoon cumin
3 egg yolks

Sliced avocado, cilantro, and hot sauce (to garnish)

Roast the poblano peppers over the fire on your burner or under the broiler turning frequently until blackened on all sides. Set poblano peppers aside in a covered bowl until cooled. Gently rub each pepper with a paper towel until most of the char is removed. Using a paring knife, make a slit down one side of each pepper and pull the seeds out. Set aside. 

In a blender, make the sauce by blending together the chipotle peppers and the can of tomatoes until smooth. Pour  mixture into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until ready to serve. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites and the cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Set aside in the fridge.

In a medium bowl, combine the cheese, onion, cumin, and egg yolks. Stuff each of the poblanos with 1/4 of the mixture. Remove the egg whites from the fridge. 

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Holding each pepper by the stem, drag each pepper through the egg whites and place onto the parchment-lined baking sheet. Using a spoon, add the remaining egg whites to the top of the peppers.

Bake for 20 minutes of until golden brown. Serve topped with the chipotle and tomato sauce, avocado, cilantro, and hot sauce. This dish goes great with rice and beans.
(Makes 4 peppers. Serves 2.)

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Our Article on DWJ 2's Amazing Korean Dishes for Memphis Magazine

Excited to share our take on DWJ 2 in the Cooper-Young neighborhood of Memphis HERE! The two of us collaborated on the article for Memphis magazine last month and made a point to try some dishes that were new to us at one of our favorite new spots.

We actually hadn't ever been to a Korean restaurant before, but we make kimchi, mushroom BBQ steamed buns, and bibimbap at home sometimes. Now we're inspired to try our hand at a few more things that we've liked at DWJ 2

Sunday, May 7, 2017

The World's Best Veggie Burger

Happy National Burger Month to you and yours! Seems like a strange greeting to hear from the authors of two vegetarian cookbooks, right? Here at The Chubby Vegetarian, we think veggie burgers are burgers, too. That's right, we said it! Veggie burgers sometimes seem to get a bad rap and, okay, a lot of times, it's for a good reason. 

The truth is that there are way too many over-processed, mushy, or otherwise unappealing versions of veggie burgers out there. Our aim here is to change that perception. To do that, we knew we had to simplify our go-to recipe, and in turn, make a burger that shines with flavor, has a great texture, won't completely fall apart, and will appeal to just about everyone who's willing to give it a try. 

This burger is vegan, gluten-free, and has only two main ingredients: mushrooms and rolled oats. It sounds strange, but we've been inching our way toward this recipe for more than a decade. In the past, we could make good veggie burgers that were complicated to make or simple burgers that were a stretch for some (Here's looking at you, sweet potato burger!). 

This recipe ticks all the boxes and passes the ultimate test: the Amy test. She may not always stick to eating just veggie burgers, but this one, she actually loves and even requests. 

The World's Best Veggie Burger

1 pound cremini or Baby Bella mushrooms
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
3 cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
6 soft hamburger buns (like brioche or kaiser)

To garnish, your choice: mustard, mayonnaise (vegan or dairy), ketchup, pickles, sautéed onions, sliced tomato, lettuce, cheese (vegan or dairy), avocado, a fried egg, or whatever else you can dream up to put on your burger 

Into the work bowl of your food processor, place the mushrooms and pulse until they're very finely chopped but not blended. (You may need to work in batches depending on the size of your processor.) Into a large mixing bowl, place the chopped mushrooms and then the salt. Allow mixture to rest for 5 minutes. You'll notice that the water is being pulled from the mushrooms; do not discard that water! To the mixing bowl, add the oats and black pepper. 

Using your hands, knead the mushrooms and oats together until well-incorporated. The mix will seem a little dry at first. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and place it into the fridge for 20 minutes. Remove the mixture and knead it once more. This time, it should resemble ground beef -- seriously! :)

Divide the mixture into 6 equal balls. On a sheet of parchment or wax paper, press each ball into roughly a 4-inch patty. Make sure your patties have smooth, rounded edges because this makes them more structurally sound  so they won't fall apart. 

In a large frying pan over medium heat, add 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil. This sounds like a lot of oil to some, but remember, there's no fat in the burger, and a burger needs some fat. Pan-fry the burgers three at a time for about 4 minutes per side.  Add the remaining oil before cooking the second batch. 

(We love to cover them with sautéed onions and melty cheddar before taking them off the heat, but hey, we all know that building the perfect burger is a very personal endeavor. We won't assume to know exactly how you like it, so you decide the rest. However, we will say a fried egg on top is always an excellent idea. 

Serve hot on a toasted bun topped however you'd like. (Makes 6 burgers.)

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Unboxing and Testing the Eggstractor

We went to a cool new store last time we visited the outlets in Southaven, Mississippi to get our J. Crew Factory fix. It was called Kitchen Collection, and walking through it provides prime entertainment for home cooks. There were quite a few items we'd never even seen before, and now we feel that we need all of them.

We knew we had to try the Eggstractor to make the process for deviled eggs easier. We're not super pleased when our peeled hard-boiled eggs turn out looking like amateur hour due to our usual impatience. The resulting crags and unevenness are annoying, so we hoped this gadget would help. The Eggstractor, which was $2.98 on clearance, actually does peel an egg in seconds as promised! Check out our video above this to see how it went.

A few other items were captivating as well; take the terracotta Brown Sugar Bear, for instance. That's a big problem-solver for dry, clumped sugar and beats our old microwave-a-damp-paper-towel-in-the-brown-sugar-jar solution. (This leaf design is the one that we ended up getting online.) Oh, and this tab can opener is pretty smart. We decided against spending .99 for it and have wished multiple times since that we had that thing handy in the midst of clumsily opening a can of dog food with a butter knife. We got this mini springform pan for the cute factor and to scale down this classic vegan cheesecake for 2.

This post is not sponsored--we're just thrilled to find a new kitchen store! And we are so happy that we're finally getting Sur La Table in the Memphis area later this May. We'll report back on that soon.