Sunday, April 11, 2010

Frittata and Rugelach Rolls

Yesterday morning we attended a pot luck going away celebration brunch in honor of one of C's new friends/acquaintances. In such circumstances, as C was initially consulting me about what we could bring to this brunch, I always feel a lot of pressure. Not in a bad way. The pressure I feel comes from the high likelihood that we'll be bringing vegan dishes to a otherwise all-omni affair. Under such circumstances, we need to consider two things. First, it is possible that, with the exception of some fruit salad, the dishes we bring will be the only thing we can eat. Second, and this is more important, vegans need to represent. I know it sounds silly to say that, but I truly believe it. A lot of omnis, even after they've eaten delicious vegan food, will profess that they have no idea what's involved in vegan cuisine. As though it's something truly alien and far afield. Raw toona salad not withstanding, of course this is not the case. Thus, I always want to bring something delicious and rich to such gatherings. Something to pique the most dedicated omni's tastebuds. Also, keeping both of the above points in mind, I decided that we should bring not one, but two dishes. C wanted to bring a frittata, and I thought I'd kick in some cinnamon rolls. Sweet rolls are show stoppers, and the frittata would balance them out with some protein and vegetables.

The brunch was a lot of fun, and our contributions went over well. Both the frittata and the sweet rolls were the result of tweaking recipes from Vegan Brunch, one of my favorite books ever. The fritatta was filled with vibrant red chard, shallot, and dill. I changed the recipe enough that I feel okay including it here. These changes and manipulations are most definitely not Isa approved.

Chard and Dill Frittata

2 pkgs water-packed extra firm tofu
1 bunch red chard
3 shallots, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced or thinly sliced (I almost never have the patience to mince anything."
2 T olive oil
2 T dried dill
1/2 -1 t black salt
1/4 c nutritional yeast
2 T stoneground mustard
1 T Bragg's
1/3-1/2 c daiya italian style cheese

Preheat your oven to 350. Lightly oil a 9 inch springform pan. In a largish bowl, combine the drained tofu, mustard, nutritional yeast, Braggs, dill, and black salt. Adjust seasonings as needed.

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the garlic and shallots. Rinse and de-vein the chard. Chop the stems and add them to the garlic and shallots. Cook just until the shallots and stems are softening, then chop and add the rest of the chard. At this point you may find that you need just a tiny bit of water. Do it if you need to, but exercise restraint. You don't want your frittata fillings swimming in their own private pool. Cook until the chard leaves are just wilted.

Let the fillings cool for a few minutes, then add them to tofu mixture. Stir to combine thoroughly. Dump the whole mess into your prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes or until the center feels firmish. It shouldn't be jiggly. Allow the frittata to cool. Ideally, you've made your frittata the day before you actually need it as it tastes best at room temperature the next day. A few minutes before you want to serve it, sprinkle the top with cheese and then pop it under the broiler for just a few minutes. Broiling requires diligence. Don't slide your frittata under the red hot coils of your oven and go check your facebook page. Consider yourself on standby. As soon the cheese is melted, remove the frittata from the oven. Loosen the sides by running a knife around them, and remove the sides of the pan. Slide it onto a plate, slice, and serve.

Rugelach Inspired Cinnamon Rolls

I followed Isa's instructions on these pretty closely. I found the recipe for these rolls posted here. I include it below, as found over there, with my changes.

Cinnamon Rolls (adapted from Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra-Moskowitz)

2-1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1/3 c sugar + 1 tsp sugar
1/2 c lukewarm water
3/4 c soy milk, room temperature
1/3 c canola oil
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 1/4 - 4 c flour
1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c white sugar
1 Tb ground cinnamon
2 Tb flour
To roll
1/4 c Earth Balance (soy margarine, non-hydrogenated)

1 c powdered sugar
1-1/2 - 2 Tb almond (or soy) milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Prime yeast by putting yeast into half the lukewarm water with the 1 tsp of sugar. Let sit, make sure it bubbles so you know your yeasties are alive. Mix the rest of the dough ingredients together, add yeast mix. Knead for 5 minutes. Let rise 1 hour. Punch the dough. Let rest 10 more minutes.

Make the filling (mix together ingredients above for filling).

Roll out dough to 12" x18" on a floured cookie sheet or other clean, flat surface. Sprinkle on filling evenly, dot with small chunks of the Earth Balance. You can do this by hand if easier.

Roll from the long side. Go slowly and get it as tight as possible.

Oil or spray 11" x 13" pan, cut the roll into 12 pieces (cut off and throw away the ends if they're not covered in filling). To cut into 12, cut the roll in half, then half again, then into thirds.

Cover with towel, let rise for 30-45 minutes in a warm location. I usually put it on the stove, above the pilot lights.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake 18-22 minutes. Make icing while it bakes.

When, it comes out of the oven, drizzle with icing ASAP.

This version is pretty much the same as the one in Vegan Brunch. The changes I made were as follows: To the dough I added the zest of one lemon and omitted the cinnamon. To the filling I added 1/3 c ground pistachios. I made a lemon glaze with powdered sugar, soy milk, lemon juice, and just a tiny bit of vanilla. I also sprinkled the buns with whole pistachios before serving. I thought there might be something clarifying about that. 


Cael said...

The sweet rolls were especially fantastic--people swarmed over them and they vanished! I think you forgot to mention that you also put a few dark chocolate chips in them, which was pure genius. SO GOOD.

Betty said...

Hi Marla. The sweet rolls look delicious and make me drool. I've enjoyed your blog Nice job you are doing

Hannah said...

So delicious! I love the addition of pistachios to the rolls- They're my favorite nut. :)