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December 2006/January 2007
New Millennium Soul Food
Recipes by Bryant Terry


One of my “Winter” menus from Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen (Tarcher/Penguin, 2006) is “New Millennium Soul Food”—perfect for New Year celebrations. It includes innovative soul favorites like Ginger Cornbread Muffins, Rosemary-Chile Mashed Potatoes, Citrus Collards with Raisins and, for the entrée, Spicy Barbecued Tofu Triangles.

Ginger Cornbread Muffins
Fresh ginger juice gives these cornbread muffins a spicy, sweet taste, and helps clear up any mid-winter congestion. These muffins also make nice breakfast treats.

3⁄4 C. Yellow Cornmeal
3⁄4 C. All Purpose Flour
1 T. Organic Raw Cane Sugar
1 T. Baking Powder
1⁄2 t. Ground Cinnamon
Fine Sea Salt
1⁄4 Large Ripe Banana
1⁄4 C. Fresh Ginger Juice
1 C. Plain Soymilk
2 T. Pure Maple Syrup
3 T. Organic Corn Oil

1. Set rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 6-cup large muffin tin with corn oil.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and 3⁄4 t. salt.

3. In a large bowl, using a fork, mash the banana with the ginger juice. Add the soymilk and mix well until combined. Add the maple syrup and corn oil and whisk well.

4. Using a rubber spatula, fold the wet mixture into the dry mixture. Don’t over mix, or the muffins will be dense.

5. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake for 25 minutes or until tops are golden.

6. Place a wet towel beneath the muffin pan and lift the muffins out.

Spicy Barbecued Tofu Triangles

This tasty barbeque sauce was inspired by a recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen by Peter Berley.

2 Blocks Extra-firm Tofu, pressed
6 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1⁄4 C. Apple Cider Vinegar
2 T. Fresh Lime Juice
3⁄4 C. Tamari
1⁄4 C. Tomato Sauce
1 Large Chipotle Chile, canned in Adobo Sauce
6 T. Pure Maple Syrup
2 T. Ground Cumin
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 350.

2. Place each tofu block on its side and cut into thirds. Keep the layers together, cut the tofu diagonally to make six long triangles, then cut the triangles down the middle to make 12 smaller triangles. Pat each triangle well with paper towels.

3. Warm 3 T. olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Fry the tofu triangles in one snug layer, until golden brown, seven to ten minutes on each side (adding more oil if needed). Drain the tofu triangles on paper towels.

4. In a blender, combine the vinegar, lime juice, tamari, tomato sauce, chile, 3 T. olive oil, maple syrup, cumin, cayenne and 2 T. water. Puree for 30 seconds, until smooth.

5. Place the tofu in a large baking dish and cover with the marinade. Tightly cover the dish with foil. Bake for one hour, turning once halfway through.

6. Transfer the tofu and remaining marinade to a serving bowl, and serve with extra sauce to spoon on top.

Rosemary-Chile Mashed Potatoes
The rosemary-chile oil gives these mashed potatoes as much depth as butter. The rosemary also makes this dish deliciously fragrant, while the chile gives it some kick. This is one of the easiest side dishes to prepare—after you make the rosemary-chile oil, all you need to do is boil the potatoes, add the remaining ingredients and mash.

Rosemary-Chile Oil
1 C. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
3 Fresh Rosemary Sprigs
1 Habanero Chile, seeded and chopped

1. Combine the olive oil, rosemary sprigs and chile in a small saucepan over high heat. When the rosemary sprigs begin to bubble, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.

2. Remove from heat and let sit for 30 minutes, then strain into a glass jar.

Mashed Potatoes
2 Pounds Yukon Gold Potatoes, scrubbed
3⁄4 C. Rice Milk
1 T. Fresh Rosemary, minced
Course Sea Salt, to taste
White Pepper, freshly ground, to taste

1. In a large pot, cover potatoes with cold water by a few inches. Bring to a rolling boil and cook until potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork, about 25 minutes.

2. Remove from heat, drain and peel potatoes while they are still hot. Return them to the pot.

3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, combine 1⁄4 C. of rosemary-chile oil with the rice milk and bring to a simmer.

4. Add the rosemary-chile oil rice milk mixture to the potatoes and mash well, until the potatoes are light and fluffy, adding more oil if needed. Add the minced rosemary, salt and white pepper to taste.

Citrus Collards with Raisins
Though I love savory collard greens, I created this sweet, modern variation to pair with savory entrees.

Course Sea Salt, to taste
2 Large Bunches Collard Greens, cut into chiffonade
1 T. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
2/3 C. Raisins
1/3 C. Fresh Orange Juice

1. Bring 3 quarts of water to boil in a large pot and add 1 T. salt. Add collards and cook uncovered for 8-10 minutes until softened.

2. Prepare a large bowl of ice water to cool the collards.

3. Remove the collards from heat, drain, and plunge them into the ice water to stop the cooking and set the color. Drain.

4. Warm the olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the collards, raisins, and a 1⁄2 t. salt. Sauté for 3 minutes, stirring frequently until the raisins are plump. Do not overcook—the collards should be bright green.

5. Add the orange juice and cook for an additional 15 seconds. Season with salt to taste and serve immediately.

Tips for Preparing this Menu
1. Since this is a rich meal, you can add some mixed greens with a balsamic vinaigrette to lighten it up and introduce a raw element.

2. Prepare rosemary-chile oil a few days in advance.

3. Make the barbecue sauce and cut the tofu triangles. Add the tofu to the marinade and store, covered, in the refrigerator over night.

4. Wash the collards and cut into the chiffonade a day in advance. Store them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.


 

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