Sunday, June 13, 2021

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Do you receive updates from where's the beef? via email? The service we've been relying upon to send those updates is being discontinued in July 2021. We're working on a new system and if all goes well, you'll be automatically transferred over and will barely notice a thing! But if there are hiccups, you may need to resubscribe.

Keep an eye out for new posts this week for rum and raisin cake and all the things we've been cooking from Hetty McKinnon's beautiful cookbook, To Asia, With Love. If they fail to arrive, come visit our website directly and try resubscribing to our emails. You can contact us at wheresthebeef_blog[at]yahoo.com.au.

Wednesday, June 09, 2021

Bush tomato-seasoned damper

May 23, 2021

   

I didn't leave it too long between batches of damper! For my second loaf, I veered slightly away from Nornie Bero's recipe and used her bush tomato seasoning as the featured spice. It's actually a spice blend, with the ground dried bush tomatoes backed up by other native and non-native ingredients such as mountain pepper and garlic. As you can see in the photo above, it lends the damper a light orange hue. The flavour reminded me of Barbecue Shapes, Pizza Shapes, and focaccia with sun-dried tomatoes... all things I'm very fond of.

As a colour and flavour contrast, we ate this damper alongside broccoli soup.

Saturday, June 05, 2021

Gloria

May 15 & 23, 2021

   

Gloria is hard to miss - it has a luminous pink shopfront on Sydney Rd, just a few shops south of Bunnings and Icecream Social. Within 15 minutes of entering Gloria, I was thinking: "I want to become a regular here." 

It starts with the cheery décor and friendly staff, and it's the all-vegan food that seals the deal. Two glass cabinets display numerous filled baguettes, sweet and savoury tarts, and slices. On top glass domes boast several magnificent layer cakes. The menu also includes two hot meals per day, available around lunch time.  

   

On our first visit, Michael and I arrived for a late breakfast and the hot meals weren't available yet, but the cabinet options were freshly prepared and plenty appetising. Michael ordered a huge baguette stuffed with scrambled tofu, dill mayo and roasted carrots ($14).

   

I carefully carved my way through a slice of mushroom quiche ($12), savouring the crumbly base, fluffy filling (I reckon it was based on a chickpea flour batter) and earthy herbed mushrooms. The bonus medley of roasted veges was a nice touch.

   

I could not leave without trying something sweet, so we shared a slice of coffee-flavoured layer cake ($9). It was a good cake and an exceptional vegan buttercream.

   

A week later, we timed our grocery shopping so that we could try Gloria's hot lunches. (Yes, I am following through on that vow to become a regular!) The meal of the day was a plate of Brazilian beans, garlic rice, roast cauliflower, pumpkin puree and beetroot salad ($22). It tasted homely and nourishing, but also just a little bit more special than what most of us can pull off at home most of the time. We especially liked the pickley edge to the beetroot.

   

If the meal of the day impressed, the winter special of mushroom congee ($16) positively blew our minds. I'm generally soup-agnostic, especially when it comes to the thin brothy variety, but this was an epiphany. The broth was so deeply flavoured with mushrooms and ginger, occasionally shot through with blended herb garnish, holding just enough rice to fill you up. I felt like it was curing a cold that I hadn't even caught.

On this second visit, we didn't have the stomach or bag space for more dessert but I'll definitely make up for that on future visits. I notice that Brazilian carrot cake is on regular rotation (something that I've made at home before!), and they're riffing on the peanut butter and jelly theme in a layer cake. Gloria are stuck in a reduced takeaway mode right now as Melbourne experiences its 4th lockdown - I reckon we'll pick up a little something on the weekend, and look forward to a near future where we can stop in again for a full hot lunch.
____________

Gloria
391 Sydney Rd, Brunswick

Accessibility: Gloria has a very wide door and a shallow ramp on entry. Tables are reasonably well spaced with a mixture of backed and bench seating (see top photo). We ordered and paid at a low counter. The toilet is a single, relatively narrow, unisex cubicle located down a somewhat winding path. 

Wednesday, June 02, 2021

Chocolate-backed coconut macaroons

May 9, 2021

   

I've had this recipe physically filed away for years. It's written on a cute piece of stationery by my mate Tamsin; she'd baked these biscuits, I'd loved them, and she made time to scribble down the recipe for me before moving away from Melbourne.

It's a recipe I would have scrolled right past if I encountered it online, because: tofu. I'm a long-time fan of savoury tofu dishes, and I know that it can hide away well in some sweet ones. Very occasionally it's even a dessert's feature, but I did not like the idea of a soy-milk-scented macaroon. I think the almond extract works with the coconut here to mask it.

With that tofu binder secretly tucked away, there's a lot to like! The biscuit dough takes just one bowl, and doesn't require an electric beater. The biscuits are chewy inside and toasty-gold around the edges, with just enough chocolate to form a dark-cocoa contrast. They're not gluten-free, but I'm optimistic that some commercial gluten-free flour or almond meal would work. And for me, they're all the sweeter for reminding me of Tamsin each time I eat them.


Chocolate-backed coconut macaroons
(a recipe from Isa Chandra Moskowitz's Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar
which she has since published on her website)

85g silken tofu
1/3 cup neutral-flavoured oil
2 tablespoons non-dairy milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup plain flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
3/4 cup chocolate

Preheat an oven to 180°C. Line some baking trays with paper.

Place the tofu, oil and milk in a food processor and churn them up until smooth. Pour it all into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the sugar, almond extract and vanilla extract. Sift over the flour, baking powder and salt, and mix well. Stir in the coconut. Drop generous tablespoons of the mixture onto the baking sheets. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until the bottoms of the macaroons are lightly browned and their tops have golden tips. Allow them to cool.

Gently melt the chocolate using your preferred method. Dunk the flat bottoms of the macaroons in the chocolate and put them back on the trays, chocolate side up this time, until the chocolate has hardened. You'll probably need to get a teaspoon into the chocolate and spread it around as your supply dwindles. Store the biscuits in the fridge.

Monday, May 31, 2021

Goddess noodles with tempeh & broccoli

May 9, 2021

   

We wanted a new lazy weeknight meal to add to our rotation and after a quick browse of Isa Does It, this jumped out as an ideal option. Isa promised it was almost *too* easy to include in her book and it combines a bunch of flavours we love (tempeh! broccoli! tahini! nooch!). 

Isa was right that it's super easy - cook the pasta, fry a couple of things and mix together a sauce - you're done! It's a pretty basic dinner - I think we'd crank up the tahini and nooch next time to try to give it a bit more oomph. We also underestimated our broccoli, it would definitely work better with the full 6 cups in there. I stirred some chilli through the leftovers and that was an excellent idea too. While we figure it out, we can always go back to our old faithful tempeh and broccolini pasta option.



Goddess noodles with tempeh & broccoli
(from Isa Chandra Moskowitz's Isa Does It)

250g dried linguine
1/2 cup tahini
1/2 cup warm water
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
3 tablespoons olive oil
250g tempeh
6 cups broccoli florets
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup fresh chives, chopped small

Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions, drain and set aside, putting aside a cup of the pasta water.

In a small bowl, mix together tahini, warm water, lemon juice and salt. You want it to be pretty smooth, so add some water if needed. Stir in the nutritional yeast and set aside.

Heat a frying pan up and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Fry the tempeh with a shake of salt, stirring frequently. You want it to brown up nicely - about 7-10 minutes. Take the tempeh out and set aside.

Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and fry the broccoli for about 5 minutes. You want it to keep some crispness, so don't overcook it!

Make some space in the pan and add the rest of the oil and the minced garlic. Let it cook for about 15 seconds and then stir it together with the garlic. 

Stir the pasta into the pan, kill the heat and add the tahini mix, stirring to coat. Pour in as much of the reserved pasta water as you need to get the sauce consistency right. 

Stir in the tempeh, chives and a few twists of black pepper and serve.