Cranberry Stuffing and Buttercup-Udon Stew
I’d been eying the kabocha-udon stew in Veganomicon for awhile, but held off, hoping I’d one day see a kabocha squash…no such luck. I wasn’t able to find the kombu either, which is supposed to flavor the stock. I finally decided the time had come regardless, and I would just improvise. I had all the other ingredients on hand, and the dish did come out pretty well:
I definitely under-tamari-d a bit, because I was afraid of sodium overload, and as a result, bowls of the leftovers will each get a squirt of braggs. This needed some additional spice as well, and I think I’d add a generous squirt of hot chili oil in future editions. Who knows…I may even find the kombu someday…
Just to be totally random, I decided to make some stuffing as well. I had a bag of the potato rolls that was STILL rolling around in the fridge, and even though they were long stale, I figured stuffing would offer them a noble ending. I was also in the mood for cranberries, and in honor of Veganmofo, wanted to keep this one dairy free, which left me short my normal binder…eggs. My favorite stuffings of the past were also heavy on the butter, another no-no for the vegan challenge and my waistline.
I started by creating a pretty simple cranberry sauce, simple boiling down the berries with some sugar and water. I then mixed that into the bread, a couple stalks of slicked celery, a minced onion, rubbed sage, cayenne, bac-uns, 1 cup veg. stock, and salt and pepper. I’m not going to bother you all with more specific directions, because to be honest it wasn’t very good. It held together much better than anticipated. (and I’m not totally sure how) Apart from the tang provided by the cranberries, this was just bland…and pretty boring. I think it had a lot to do with the rolls, which were too “wheaty” tasting for the dish. I was also hoping the bac-uns would come out more, since I’m told bacon in stuffing is amazing, but they got completely drowned out somewhere in the cooking process. All in all, this one definitely needs work. I’m very into the idea of a vegan, low-fat stuffing….this just isn’t quite it.