Vichtenaar Scramble | Vichtenaar Tofu Scramble | Imperial Stout Potatoes
In honor of Philadelphia’s wildly successful and exciting Beer Week, I decided to include beer in each of this Sunday’s featured items. Everything came out better than I expected, and Emily even came over the night before to teach me how to make the Winter Ale Vegan Sausages (for those of you curious about the sausages, we pretty much followed that recipe but substituted water for a spiced winter ale, mushroom powder for chicken flavoring, and added a bit of chipotle). When I found out Emily was coming, I immediatly recalled her scathing review of the Morning Glory Cafe’s tofu scramble. Maybe I should have been gripped by fear of what she would think about whatever vegan concoction I turned out for her, but really, I just saw a great challenge. Being vegan for 5 of my formative years, I’ve learned a trick or two… The single most important thing to know about a successful tofu scramble is that YELLOW does not make it taste good. Let me repeat that for all of you replacement addicts (you know who you are): YELLOW COLORING will not make something taste like eggs. Don’t add turmeric or curry to something unless you want it to taste like turmeric or curry. As long as you get some incredibly fresh tofu, you shouldn’t need to treat it any different than you would treat a regular scramble. The only difference is that you might need to add a little extra salt, and if you want it to have an extra “meaty” taste, you can always add some parsnip puree, nutritional yeast, mushroom powder, or a TINY bit of sesame oil or tahini. But really only a dash of these things. Your emphasis should be the same as it is for a regular scramble. For this recipe I caramelized the onions and fennel in Vichtenaar, a Flemish Sour Ale which has very strong vinegar overtones. You could easily substitute it for a dash of balsamic if you wish.
Vichtenaar Scramble Ingredients (amounts approximate):
- eggs beat with a bit of milk OR crumbled firm tofu
- fennel bulb
- asparagus, cut to bite sized pieces
- 1 bottle of vichtenaar
- 1-2 cloves of garlic, pressed or minced
- olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Vichtenaar Scramble Instructions:
- dice the onion and fennel bulb and begin to caramelize in a large frying pan with plenty of salt and olive oil and pepper to taste
- slowly add the Vichtenaar, cooking it off as you go until the entire bottle has been used (or less if you are making smaller servings)
- after it has sufficiently cooked off, add the pieces of aspargus and cook until just barely tender]
- add your egg or tofu mixture with the minced garlic
- cook the eggs until free of moisture, remove from heat and top with cheese
- cook the tofu until some of it becomes a little crispy and most of the moisture is gone
- top with scallions, avocado, and sour cream (or vegan sour cream) and serve
compare the two, while different in texture, they were both equally flavorful and delicious:
Imperial Stout Potatoes
This is probably the easiest recipe I have, it’s almost shameful how simple it is. All you need are potatoes, a stout beer, and some salt.
Imperial Stout Potatoes Instructions:
- quarter and lightly boil the potatoes (I used six pounds and had left overs, serving about 10-15 people)
- drain and rinse the potatoes when they are just barely starting to get soft. think “al dente” pasta.
- toss potatoes in a bowl with some olive oil, beer, and plenty of salt. Feel free to add some minor seasoning like crushed garlic or fresh pepper, but not too much (the primary flavor should be the caramelized beer).
- in a 9 x 13 baking dish spread the potatoes in a single layer, leaving around an 1/8 inch of beer on the bottom.
- heat at 325 degrees for about an hour or until well browned, occasionally shifting the potatoes to reseason with the beer and olive oil drippings.
- serve immediately