5/3/10

Chickpea Cutlets, at last

Chickpea Cutlets w/ savory Apple Sauce

When I first moved to Brussels, I left most of my cooking stuff and cookbooks at home. I figured I was going to live simply and cheaply, and most recipes I use all the time I have memorized. There wouldn't be much point in having all my fanciest recipes, because I would often be poor and by myself, and therefore not eating very fancily. But oh, I was wrong.

Not about the poor, by myself, or not-eating-fancy part, but in thinking that I could even go a month without trying a new recipe, or flipping through my beloved cookbooks over breakfast for the zillionth time. Reading human rights textbooks is just simply not as much fun. Thankfully, my little brother brought a few more cookbooks with him when he came, including my beloved Veganomicon. And while I don't have the resources to make my favorite potato-kale enchiladas, there's a whole other host of recipes I have never tried before that are well adapted to my pantry here. For example, the charming low-fat banana bread is a lovely thing to do with bananas in the off-chance that you aren't making banana pancakes. (Which, by the way, may just be the most popular thing I make in Berlin other than bagels- these people simply do not have access to world class pancakes here.)

I also finally made the lentil soup, which was decent the first day, but as noted in the book, phenomenal later. I enjoyed it with some leftover matzoh and some tabasco. (Weird? Who cares.) Very healthy and yummy recipe for when its springtime but still chilly outside.

But by far the most exciting thing I've tried in my rediscovered treasure is the Chickpea Cutlets! These are like, the most famous thing in the vegan blogosphere, and I've long wanted to try them, but never had all the ingredients at the same time. Oh man, what on earth was I waiting for? Simple to prepare, chewy and crunchy and juicy, they were perfect alongside some mushroom-laced pasta sauce over spaghetti. S. and I enjoyed this ravishing dinner alongside an episode of Mad Men, our new obsession. (Sexism! Smoking indoors! Skinny Ties!)

Then today I had the leftover cutlet baked and topped with a quick savory apple sauce- thinly sliced apples and shallots sauteed in oil and margarine, with white balsamic vingegar and a splash of apple juice. (Pictured at top.) Reminded me of a meat dish my mother used to make for dinner parties as a kid, and it was so fast and good! I'm considering making another batch of these versatile cutlets to eat for the next few days while I work on these dreadful final papers...

Veganomicon, what a classic.

4 comments:

Lolly said...

The chickpea cutlets look sooooo delish! I got this cookbook as a xmas gift but haven't had a chance yet to sit and devour it. I see I am going to have to take the plunge. Thanks for sharing!

~Lolly

The Ordinary Vegetarian said...

I'm a new on the vegan boat, and I have only owned Vcon for a few months now. I just came across this recipe the other day and *almost* made it right then on a whim, what a mistake that I didn't! These really look awesome, I'll be trying them soon.

jessy said...

ah ha ha ha ha! we too are obsessed with Mad Men. the smoking and sexism (and boozing) totally caught us and drew us in. dan and i were watching our first episode a few weeks ago (thanks to netflix) and found ourselves saying, "omg, did they really do THAT?" "this is so not 'PC'!" - it was magically awesome... such a fantastical show! i can totally see how human rights texts books aren't the cat's meow - so glad your bro brought over veganomicon, T! i need to make that banana bread for dan, too awesome on the better-the-next-day lentil soup (and i don't think matzoh and tabasco is weird at all!), and those chickpea cutlets. dan and i had made the cutlets just a few days in to our vegan journey (over two years ago) when our tastebuds weren't as "awake" (read open-minded) as they are now so we found them kinda "meh". i know they wouldn't be as chewy without the wheat gluten, but i want to try some gluten-free alternatives if i can so i can make them again. i have a feeling we need to give those chickpea cutlets another chance. thanks, T!

shellyfish said...

I do love Vcon so much. So many different recipes to try. The cutlets- and so many variants on that theme - are staples in our home. I think the were the great "starting off point" for so many other yummy things.