Sunday, September 29, 2013

The 30 Minute Vegan's Taste of Europe by Mark Reinfeld

Vegan fusion. That's the style of cuisine Mark Reinfeld enjoys. He describes this style as a combination of different ingredients from different culinary traditions or ethnic backgrounds in the same dish or menu. His book, The 30 Minute Vegan's Taste of Europe, is a collection of classic recipes from different countries, and showcases his style.
Family and restaurant favorites from Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, the UK, Ireland, Greece, and Germany are present and all are vegan-style. Regional specialties are re-worked to make them vegan, such as sauerbraten made with tempeh, and bouillabaisse made with tofu, mushroom, and arame, a sea vegetable, that gives the dish it's "flavor of the sea."

Contributing chefs each lend their specialties and culinary specialities to make Taste of Europe a complete cookbook. Jennifer Murray shares her knowledge of European Herbs and Spices. Colin Patterson indulges in Wild Mushrooms. Patrick Bremster lends his hand with Vegan Wine and Beer Pairing.

It's easy to find a favorite recipe as the book is separated by country or region rather than by menu item. You'll find everything from classic appetizers to regional desserts. Vegans will appreciate both cooking a beloved dish and the cooking revisions themselves to make them vegan by Reinfeld. Non-vegans will enjoy and indulge in dishes free from animal products. An example of a vegan recipe everyone will enjoy is the Vegan Bouillabaisse. Rich in flavor, color, and texture, it rivals many of the standard bouillabaisse recipes out there. It is included below courtesy Da Capo Lifelong. Enjoy.

Vegan Bouillabaisse

A traditional stew that typically includes several varieties of seafood and traces its origins back to 600 BC, when ancient Greeks were chilaxing in the harbor town of Marseille, in the Provence region of France. This innovative version uses the sea vegetable arame to create the flavor of the sea. If you have more time, you can prepare a bouquet garni. Serve as part of a French feast with Rice Pilaf with Fennel and Saffron (recipes in the book) and Provencal Vegetable Salad (also included in the book).Serves 4 to 6.

  • 14 ounces extra-firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 cup diced shallot
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced celery
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped or thinly sliced fennel bulb
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon seeded and diced hot chile pepper
  • 1 cup diced shiitake mushrooms
  • 3 cups heated vegetable stock or water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup arame
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 cup seeded and chopped tomato
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
  1. Slice the tofu into three cutlets and stack them on top of each other. Slice the cutlets three times widthwise and four times lengthwise. Place the cubes in a shallow dish with the lemon juice and 1/2 cup of the wine. Allow to sit for 10 minutes, gently stirring occasionally to ensure even coating.
  2. Meanwhile, place a large pot over medium high heat. Add the oil, shallot, celery, fennel, garlic, chile pepper, and shiitake mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  3. Lower the heat to medium, add the remaining 1/2 cup of wine and the vegetable stock, bay leaves, arame, and saffron, and stir well. Add the thyme and parsley, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally
  4. Add the tofu and its marinade ingredients and cook for 10 minutes, gently stirring occasionally. Add the tomatoes, salt, and pepper and stir well. Remove the bay leaves, garnish with parsley, and bon appetit!

Chef Patrick Recommends:
  • French rose, or California-style Chardonnay
  • Roast the tofu for 15 minutes at 400F before adding to the bouillabaisse.
  • You can used dried shiitake instead of fresh. Soak three or four dried shiitake in 1 cup of boiling water, until they are soft enough to chop, about 10 minutes. Use the soaking water to replace some of the vegetable stock.
  • If you have more time, allow to cook for an additional 20 minutes over low heat for added flavor.
Chef’s Tips and Tricks:
  • Bouquet Garni: Use sprigs of thyme instead of the loose leaves, and tie the bay leaf, parsley, and thyme together with a piece of culinary string.

Recipe from the book The 30 Minute Vegan’s Taste of Europe by Mark Reinfeld. Reprinted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright © 2012.

Book Information:

Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher and any opinions are my own.

Renee Shelton
The Cookbook Papers


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