Monday, February 9, 2009

Sunday Night Dinner: Chowdah n' Puddin'

On last night's menu:
  • Clam-Free Chowdah! from the Jan & Feb 2009 issue of VegNews (pg 60)
  • Sourdough bread from a local bakery
  • Homemade Chai Rice Pudding
We had a couple guests for dinner last night so I wanted something I could make in advance and just heat up when we were all ready to eat. The soup and rice pudding recipes fit the bill. I made them both Sunday morning which made for totally stress-free entertaining.

First, I apologize for not having any pics of the Clam-Free Chowdah. I've made it twice in the past week now and each time it has been inhaled too quickly for a food porn photo shoot. But trust me, it's worth it.

This recipe, which is published in the current issue (Jan/Feb 2009) of VegNews is another brilliant brainchild of Allison Rivers Samson. You know, the creatrix of my favorite vegan Mac n' Cheese recipe. I had high expectations for the chowdah and Allison did not disappoint.  If she continues to churn out these culinary gems I'll be forced to build an altar to her in my kitchen. 

Hey Allison, when's your cookbook comin' out?  :::hint hint:::

In this veganized version of chowdah, the clams are replaced by sauteed oyster mushrooms (yum!) which have a similar texture - chewy and delightfully meaty in that special mushroomy way. The soup gets its insanely creamy and silky-smooth texture and thickness from a base of pureed raw cashew nuts and cauliflower. Genius and delicious!

The only issue is that there is a typo in the recipe. The ingredients list calls for 2 cups of water, which are never accounted for in the recipe instructions. The first time I made the soup, the water was never added to the soup pot and we ended up eating stew, instead. Nummie, fantabulous stew, mind you, but stew nonetheless.

The second time I made the chowdah, I wised up and added the 2 cups of water when it seamed most logical: along with the remaining veggie broth, seasonings, cashew mixture, and salt in step #3.

I served the Clam-Free Chowdah in deep bowls, dished over hunks of torn-up, locally-baked sourdough bread. Oh yeah, baby. Now that's eatin'!

For dessert, I made the vegan version of Chai Rice Pudding from the Vegetarian Times website. Not only is this dessert hearty and delicious, it's low in fat and will cost you a mere 4 Weight Watcher points per serving.

I dished out the puddin' into pretty tea cups, topped each serving with whipped Soyatoo, and added a dusting of cinnamon.  Rich and delicious, just as rice pudding should be.

Hot chowdah and a hot, creamy dessert accompanied by freezing rain and storm that whipped our palm trees against the house ... it was pretty much the perfect combination and certainly a lovely way to end the weekend.

Hope yours was grand!


veggievixen said...

mmm that rice pudding looks so good!

Jeni Treehugger said...

It all sounds wonderful. I'm guessing the Chowder recipe isn't online, no?
And damn you for living in another continent and not inviting me to dinner!

Marni said...

veggievixen: Thanks! It's a good recipe. You should give it a try. :)

Jeni Treehugger: Right. I tried to find the recipe on the VegNews website, but it's not up yet. I think all the print recipes get added to the website eventually, so it'll probably be there by the time the next issue is published. So check back and I'm sure you'll find it eventually. As far as coming over for dinner is concerned, any time you want to book that 11-hour flight, you're more than welcome to join us! :D

allularpunk said...

that soup sounds so good! i made the clam chowder out of vegan planet and it was a huge disappointment, so i'll have to try this one out! and that rice pudding. oh. my.

jessy said...

you've totally sold me on the chowdah, Marni! i let my friend borrow my issue of vegnews - but i'm gonna make sure she returns it to me when she's done (she usually leaves it at the gym for others to enjoy when she's finished reading them). the chai rice pudding looks absolutely awesome - sounds fantastical as well. it's so pretty all served up topped with soyatoo & a little cinnamon! going to have to make that! ooooh, yay! thanks for the link, Marni! (and thanks for the tip on the recipe typo, too. i never would have caught that.)

Allison Rivers Samson said...

So thrilled that you've been enjoying my recipes, Marni! I have to admit that I was overjoyed when I had the aha! moment to use oyster mushrooms for my clam chowder. I am beaming from all your glowing comments. :-D You'll be happy to know that I am indeed working on a cookbook. When it will be finished, I have no idea, but it is in the works! Wanna be a recipe tester? If so, go to my site and send a note thru the contact us link so we can chat.
Oh, and good job catching that typo and figuring out when to add the water. If you can believe it, I only noticed it myself two days ago. Ooops! Damn that human imperfection. ;-)

Allison Rivers Samson said...

Guess what?! All of my "Veganize It!" recipes are now available online! Go here and get cookin':