Wednesday, December 05, 2007

*The Sound of Trumpets and Fanfare*--Finally, I Bring You 'Tales from a Post-Tday Veg Gathering'!!


Finally we have made it to tales and recipes from my Post-Tday Veg Gathering, and wouldn't you know it: I'm too tired out to talk about it in depth.

But I'll try nonetheless.

Awesome thing #1 about the Post-Tday Veg Gathering: I got to finally meet The Vegan Ronin in all her delightful and cute glory. And she was actually exactly like I expected her to be: delightful, cute, and delightfully and cutely tattooed. She also bakes a wonderful quiche and has mad skillz when it comes to creating Ohio-shaped vegan margarine pads. So woot woot to all that.

Break in awesomeness to fill you in on what we ate:

  • Peppermint's kick-ass homemade foccacia (this is the second time she's made this for one of my party's, and I still haven't managed to get a picture of it because I end up hogging it all down before I remember);

  • My vegan paprikash--I was a bit disappointed with this, unfortunately. This time, I decided to add these faux-chicken chunks that I saw at the Web of Life recently, and they were strange little chunks, kind of like wee faux-chicken tampons, immediately sucking up EVERY SINGLE OUNCE OF MOISTURE within a 1-mile radius. Thank god my toilet-lid was closed, that's all I can say. Also, the dumplings turned out weirdly soft. *BUT* the good news is that E shared with me another recipe from Vegan Family Favorites, I believe, that crafts the most wonderfully perfect dumplings ever, so that should solve this problem. All in all, it wasn't remotely close to as good as last year. *ALTHOUGH* I realized that I really need to start making this a day ahead of time and just reheating it on the day of a gathering, because it tastes SO much better once it's sat overnight;

  • The Vegan Ronin's quiche;

  • Chocolate Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce;

  • Dave's Awesome Apple Crisp--what was so awesome about this, you ask? Well, the fact that he understands what makes apple crisp so damn good, which is not so much the apples as it is the crisp. In this case, he doubled the crisp-part of the recipe, so it was all about the sweet sweet brown-sugary decadence; and

  • Russian Tea Cakes, aka. Mexican Wedding Cookies, aka. snowballs from VegNews.

Awesome thing #2: My favorite food-item to grace the post-Tday Veg Gathering was the indomitable Steph's Very Kick-Ass Chili, whose recipe (and secret ingredient) she was kind enough to share so that I could post it today. For those of you who've been reading this blog for awhile, you may remember Steph as the creator of Steph's Sockarooni Pasta, one of my favorite easy vegan standards (which I will, in fact, probably be whipping up again this weekend). Well, Steph is a bad-ass in the kitchen when it comes to beans, clearly, as she's also created this *amazingly* good chili. What makes this chili worth writing home about? Well, not only is it rich and feisty-tasting, thick with beans and roasty flavorings, and wonderfully spicy to boot, but Steph's secret ingredient (fennel seeds) balances the heat of the chili with a wonderfully cool clean taste reminiscent of licorice. Well, that's just plain strange, you may be thinking. But holy crap--do not knock it until you try it. And do not make this recipe *without* the fennel seeds, since it truly is the key ingredient in making this baby stand way the hell out from other chilis.

All that being said, I now share with you the recipe for Steph's Very Kick-Ass Chili, as written by the very kick-ass Steph...


  • 3 large white onions (diced)

  • 1 28-oz can of crushed tomatoes

  • 3 cans of black beans

  • 1 box of Boca crumbles

  • 4 poblano peppers

  • 2 small cans of chopped chili peppers

  • olive oil

  • kosher salt

  • fennel seeds

  • chili powder

  • chipotle powder


Sautee the onions in olive oil until tender. Throw them in a pot (medium heat) with the tomatoes, beans, soy crumbles, and 1 of the cans of chili peppers.

Rub the poblano peppers with olive oil, sprinkle them with salt and put them in the oven at 400 degrees until the skins blister (15 minutes or so). Pull them from the oven, discard seeds, stems and skins (you might want to use gloves. My poor sensitive little hands were burning for several minutes after this step. I'm OK. Don't worry about me....go on without me...THUD). Place the peppers in a food processor along with the remaining can of chilis. Puree the peppers, and pour them into the pot of ingredients. Add a generous amount of fennel seeds (like a tablespoon or more), mix well and simmer for a few minutes. Add a dash of chipotle powder and chili powder. Stir and give it a minute before you taste it. You won't need much seasoning and you can always add a little more if needed.

This chili is also good over veggie hot dogs, and can be sensually licked off of nipples (just seeing if you're still paying attention).

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