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Posts Tagged ‘vegan’

Grain-Free Crunchy Bagel-Style Almond Crackers

Posted on: April 12th, 2020 by Ellen Swandiak

A crunchy cracker you can make with pantry ingredients. Those who are trying to be gluten and grain free often get the craving for the crunch. That’s where these grain-free crackers, made with almond flour, come in to save the day.

Between the poppy and sesame seeds, my favorite bagel toppings, these grain-free crackers not only taste fab, but make for a spectacularly speckled  presentation. Not to mention the nutritional benefits of the seeds. 

MAKES ROUGHLY 40 PIECES

PREHEAT OVEN 325ºF… MAKE THE DOUGH

1 3/4 CUP almond flour
1 TB almond oil
1 egg, beaten

In a large bowl combine all ingredients, knead well, and shape into a ball. Place onto a sheet of parchment paper that fits a baking pan. Transform dough ball into a rectangle echoing the shape of the parchment. Top with second piece of parchment and roll out dough to between 1/16- and 1/8-inch thickness. I like keeping the edges ragged so the tips will get more brown. You may need to fill in some holes as the dough escapes the parchment, so just break off those parts and fill in as necessary.

PREPARE SEED MIX

1 TB sesame seeds
1 TB poppy seeds
1 TB golden flax seeds
1 TB sunflower seeds
1/2 tsp sea salt

In a small bowl, mix thoroughly. Sprinkle evenly over rolled-out dough. Cover with clean parchment paper and roll over to set seeds into the dough.

BAKE THE GRAIN-FREE CRACKERS

Bake for roughly 23 min till edges are slightly browned. Move with parchment to a cooling rack and let sit for 10-15 min. Break apart by hand into irregular shapes. Store in an airtight container. Try not to eat them!

If you like this recipe, you might want to take a look at our Cumin -Spiced grain-free crackers too.

Spinach Crepes with Two Savory Fillings

Posted on: January 28th, 2020 by Ellen Swandiak

Crepes are one of the first things I learned to cook as a child because I loved them so much. These have the addition of spinach, giving them a lively green color and a slightly more earthy taste. Using spelt flour and oat milk also makes them more up-to-date than your typical white-flour-milk variety. Make sure to let the batter rest before cooking, otherwise they will tear when rolling. You can even make the batter the night before for fantastic results.

When cooking the crepes, the first one in the pan is the test. With this result, you can determine if you need to thin out or thicken the batter, and if you need to adjust the flame up or down.

Using fresh spinach gives the crepes a brighter green color, but you can also use defrosted frozen spinach in a pinch. The two fillings: Salmon and Arugula in Lemon-Dill Cream Sauce and Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, and Yellow Squash in Tahini Garlic Sauce add to the decadence of the crepes.

MAKES 10 CREPES (CUT THEM IN HALF OR THIRDS TO SERVE)

MAKE THE BATTER

6 eggs
2 CUPS spelt flour
2.25 CUPS oat milk
1 bunch spinach, roughly chopped
1 tsp salt

Split the ingredients in half, and make the batter in two batches in a food processor. Blend on high speed until smooth. Move to a large bowl, combine both batches. Let rest at least 20 min to allow the mix to fully combine. 

COOK THE CREPES

butter
batter

In 9-inch non-stick skillet, add about a tsp of butter to the pan, and melt. Pour a ladle’s worth of batter into the pan, then add about another half, so when you twirl the pan around the batter goes all the way to the edge.

Fry for about 2 min, until bottom has golden touches. Run a spatula around the edges and carefully flip over. Fry for one more min or so. (Once you make the first crepe, and the pan is nice and hot, the rest should not stick.) Transfer to a plate and repeat with the rest of the batter.

FILL THE CREPES

cooked crepe
filling (recipes follow)

Fill the crepes as they come off the pan, allowing a minute or so for them to cool a bit. Spread 3 TB of desired filling, leaving the bottom inch clear, and top 1.5 inches clear (as seen in the photo below). Roll tightly, pushing down so there is no air. Place on serving plate with open end underneath. Crepes are good at room temperature, or even cold, so great for a buffet situation.

hobnobmag Recipe Spinach Crepes

Filling: Salmon and Arugula in Lemon-Dill Cream Sauce

A rich salmon and cream gets a kick of arugula, to add some bite. Cooking the salmon in the microwave speeds things along.

ENOUGH FILLING FOR 5 CREPES

Lemon-Dill Cream Sauce

START THE SAUCE

3 TB butter, cut into chunks
4 oz cream cheese, cut into chunks
1/4 CUP vegetable stock
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper

Cook gently over very low flame while whisking, about 3 min. Allow to cool.

FINISH THE SAUCE

lemon cream mixture
3/4 CUP sour cream
white part of 3 scallions, cut into thin rings
1 TB dill

In a small bowl mix all ingredients well.

COOK THE SALMON

1 1/4 LB salmon fillet
s + p

Cook salmon in microwave: Place on a microwave safe dish, cook on hight for 1 min. Check to see if cooked through, add time in 30 sec increments till fully cooked. Allow to cool. Shred with a fork. Move to large bowl.

FINISH THE FILLING

salmon
4 CUPS arugula, chopped finely
1/4 CUP pumpkin seeds, chopped finely
Lemon-Dill Cream Sauce

Toss all ingredients together, adding the sauce a little at a time. Don’t oversauce the mix or it will ooze out of the crepes.

hobnobmag Recipe Spinach Crepes

Filling: Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, and Yellow Squash in Tahini Garlic Sauce

This vegetable medley adds a striking vegetarian addition to the spinach crepes. The tahini really adds a special flavor and richness.

ENOUGH FILLING FOR 5 CREPES

Tahini Garlic Sauce

MAKE THE SAUCE

1/4 cup tahini
juice of 2 lemons
2 TB olive oil
2 cloves garlic, squeezed in a garlic press
1/4 tsp agave
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

water

Whisk ingredients together in a small bowl. If too thick, add about a tsp of water to thin it out.

Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, Yellow Squash Medley

SAUTE THE VEGGIES

10-15  brussels sprouts, cut into thin strips (or processed in food processor)
1 head cauliflower, riced in food processor
2 yellow squash, shredded
6 TB butter

Saute each ingredient separately in a large pan with 2 TB butter. Allow to sit on the pan about 3 min, so the edges get nice and brown, stir, total cook time 5-6 min each batch. (Don’t crowd the pan, you may have to do each ingredient in two batches.) Toss together in a large bowl.

PUT IT ALL TOGETHER

Tahini Garlic Sauce
cooked veggies

Add sauce to the veggie medley, and mix well. Do not overdress.

hobnobmag Recipe Spinach Crepes

Roasted Delicata Squash Rings

Posted on: October 23rd, 2019 by Ellen Swandiak

Sliced delicata makes a great presentation, with its flowery silhouette and striped edge. It also cooks a little more quickly than other squashes, and the fact that you can keep the skin on is a prep time-saver. The taste is delicately sweet, which works nicely with a nutty topping, and the tangy sweetness of the balsamic-honey-lime syrup. This is the first of the secret ingredients in Hobnob’s Hidden Secrets party menu.

The secret topping: shiso leaves which add a mint-basil burst and a great texture. They come in green and a dark purple for added vivid color to the dish.

The pearl couscous pulls the dish together and gives it weight, perfect for serving at a party—it will soak up the imbibing well. Tip: do not make the couscous the night before, it will be a sticky mess. I tried to get ahead of things, but had to make a fresh second batch the day of the party.

MAKES A LARGE BOWLFUL, ABOUT 50 SMALL PORTIONS

recipe step: cut delicata squash into rings

PREHEAT OVEN 400ºF… ROAST THE SQUASH

5 med delicata squash
3 TB grapeseed oil
1/4 tsp salt
pinch cayenne pepper

Slice each squash in half horizontally and scoop out seeds with a spoon, then cut into 1/2-inch slices, discarding the ends. In a large bowl, toss squash slices in oil, s + p.

On 3 parchment-lined baking sheets arrange slices in a single layer. Roast until lightly golden, about 40 min. (Flip slices around 20 min).

Depending on your oven size, switch order of trays from top to bottom during cooking. You’ll notice the top tray getting browner faster, so you might need to pull out one tray before the others.

MEANWHILE MAKE THE PEARL COUSCOUS

3 CUPS water
2 CUPS pearl cous cous

Bring water to a boil, add couscous. Lower heat, simmer covered about 10 min. Let stand covered 2-3 min. Fluff with fork. Add a touch of olive oil to keep it from sticking together.

MAKE THE BALSAMIC-HONEY-LIME SYRUP

3 TB honey
1/2 CUP white balsamic vinegar
1 large lime, zested and juiced

In a small saucepan combine ingredients, bring to a gentle boil. Simmer for about 12 min till the mix becomes syrupy.

recipe step: roast delicata squash rings till brown on the edges, then slice into bite-size pieces.

FINISH THE DISH

roasted squash rings, cut into bite-size pieces
Balsamic-Honey-Lime syrup
1/3 CUP hazelnuts, chopped and toasted
shiso leaves, cut into ribbons

In a large bowl, drizzle squash with syrup, but don’t drown, then sprinkle with nuts, toss together. Top with shiso ribbons last, and mix again. Add a few more shiso leaves on the top for garnish.

Put out the big bowl for guests to serve themselves on a buffet, or to accommodate roving guests, supply small bowls (we used bamboo recycled bowls and spoons) and portion out for guests to grab and go.

recipe step: place roasted delicata squash into small eco-bowls for a grab and go party buffet.

See more recipes with secret, surprise ingredients in Hobnob’s party #22 Hidden Secrets at this link.

Vegan Meat: Instant Plant-Based Party Bites

Posted on: October 23rd, 2019 by Ellen Swandiak

For The Hobnob Party launch (Hidden Secrets), we offered the collection of Fry Family Foods varieties, and got feedback from every guest. The secret: What people thought were burgers, chicken nuggets, mini schnitzels, breaded prawns, and falafel were not. It was a party hit, and most were surprised that these imposters were plant-based.

You must watch the heartwarming video, which tells the story of the brand. The Fry Family goal: to create high protein foods with great texture and consistency, and most importantly, to be enjoyable.

Vegan Meat Fry Family Foods at a party

Chickpea and Roasted Butternut Balls

Seasoned with fresh sage and cumin, and rolled in a light crumb, these golden bites could be served with your favorite dip. Ball-shaped bites are always welcome at a party. (see more ideas for serving various bites in Hobnob’s HAVE A BALL party menu)

Quinoa and Brown Rice Protein Burgers

Seasoned with rosemary, marjoram and sage, and rolled in a light gluten free crumb, just bake for 15 min, and serve. We got some potato buns, and cut the patties into four, to create the slider version of these, and topped with a True Made Foods Vegetable Ketchup.

Vegan Meat Fry Family Foods at a party

Soy and Flaxseed Schnitzels

Flavored with fresh cilantro, and lightly coated in a flax & sunflower seed crumb, we served these schnitzels on a dark-brown rye bread, on a swath of The Good Spoon Curry Vegan Mayo. (see other vegan mayo recipes here)

Rice Protein & Chia Nuggets

Resembling chicken nuggets, these little bites had a satisfying texture and taste.

Battered Prawn-Style Pieces

Somehow this item did not make it into Hobnob’s party photos (we were having too much fun!), but were passed around with a cocktail sauce dip, and did feel like a shrimp alternative. 

Every year, the Fry Family put up a chart on the website to show how many animal lives would be saved if someone had chosen a Fry’s Product instead of a meat product. Last year that number was 10,055 pigs, 647,737 chickens, 11,354 cows, and 3 million prawns. fryfamilyfood.com

See more recipes with secret, surprise ingredients in Hobnob’s party #22 Hidden Secrets at this link.

Vegetarian Tea Sandwich: Beets & Apple & Curry

Posted on: August 31st, 2018 by Ellen Swandiak

Sweet, crunchy golden delicious apples pair with creamy beets in this stunning vegetarian tea sandwich. The special ingredient that makes this sandwich sensational is the Good Spoon Vegan mayo, which works so well with all the components, and has that super bold color. In lieu of this mayo, I would suggest adding curry spice to mayo to get a similar effect. I love that these look like cake, due to the black pumpernickel bread from Northside Bakery in Brooklyn. I found it in my local health food store. 

The quickest way to get these sandwiches done is to purchase already cooked beets which seem to be available a better stores. If you can’t find them precooked, then boil in salted water till tender, about 35 min. 

MAKES 16 TRIANGLES

MAKE THE BEET/ CREAM CHEESE MIX

2 med beets, precooked, diced
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 TB poppy seeds
pinch salt
pinch white pepper

With a fork, mash together the beets and cream cheese, until beets really meld into the cream cheese, then mix in the rest of the ingredients.

MAKE THE SANDWICHES

4 slices Northside Bakery Pumpernickel Pullman bread
beet/cream cheese mix
The Good Spoon Curry Vegan Mayo
3 golden delicous apples, cut in half, then sliced thinly

Place bread side by side. Spread cream cheese mix liberally on one slice. On the other slice, spread about a TB of the mayo. Layer rows of the apple slices on top of the mayo. Close sandwich, press to unite both halves, and trim the crusts off.

Cut on the diagonal into 2 triangles, then cut those in half so that you end of with 4 triangles. Cut those 4 triangles in half again, so that you end up with 8 total.

Hearty Vegetarian Sandwich: Naan with Falafel & Avocado-Tomatillo Sauce

Posted on: August 31st, 2018 by Ellen Swandiak

Sandwiches are nice to serve at a dinner party, as long as they are special. This hearty vegetarian sandwich has a slew of heathy ingredients that combine for a true taste sensation. Chickpeas, roasted carrots, zucchini, and a super fresh sauce with avocado and tomatillos sit in a min naan.

I will admit, this recipe took some time to accomplish because of the soaking time involved, but was not hard to make—and were definite crowd pleasers. Using the dried chick peas really adds to the final product, you just have to remember to soak a day ahead, for great results.

The sandwiches are great at room temperature, and supply a hearty bite for guests they can just grab and go. Be liberal with the sauce, it really adds a freshness and needed moisture to the mix.

MAKES 22 SANDWICHES

DO AHEAD: SOAK THE CHICKPEAS

3 CUPS dried chickpeas

Pick through chickpeas to remove any debris. Rinse in a colander. Place in a large pot, topped with 4 inches of water. Cover. Soak overnight. OR bring the chickpeas to a boil for 5 min, then let them soak in the water for 1 hr.

COOK THE CHICKPEAS

soaked chickpeas, rinsed well
bay leaf
black peppercorns
2 cloves garlic

1 tsp salt

Add all ingredients, except salt, to a large pot with 4 qts of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 1.5 – 2 hrs. Check occasionally to make sure there is enough water in the pot. When chickpeas are nice and soft (they smash easily with the back of a spoon), turn off the heat, stir in salt, and allow them to sit in the water and cool, and soak up the salt.

When cooled, drain, and mash with a potato masher or pulse in a food processor.

PREHEAT OVEN 425ºF… ROAST THE CARROTS

16 carrots, cut into 3-inch sticks (about 5 CUPS)
olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Drizzle carrots in olive oil, s + p. Place carrot sticks on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast for about 17 min until they are soft and slightly browned on the edges.

REMOVE MOISTURE FROM THE ZUCCHINI

2 CUPS zucchini, grated

Spread zucchini on a large plate or shallow bowl, sprinkle with salt and let it sit for an hour. Drain the liquid that has oozed out, move to a strainer, and press out any more remaining liquid.

PREHEAT OVEN 400ºF…MAKE THE FALAFEL PATTIES

cooked chickpeas
zucchini
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 CUP parsley, minced

1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 TB garbanzo fava flour

Get out the food processor. In batches, pulse chickpeas, zucchini, garlic, parsley. (Or you can mash with a potato masher and fork.) Transfer to a large bowl, add the spices and flour and mix well.

Take a heaping TB of the mixture, place into center of palm, roll, then press into 2-inch patties. You should have around 44. Place on 2 baking sheets lined with parchment. Bake for 45 min, till nicely browned.

MAKE THE AVOCAD0-TOMATILLO  SAUCE

1 avocado, cut into chunks
4 tomatillos, cut into chunks
1 CUP parsley
1 CUP cilantro
2 cloves garlic, cut into chunks
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
pinch of cayenne

Pulse all ingredients in a food processor until incorporated. Makes about 2 cups of sauce.

HEAT THE NAAN

22 Stonefire Mini Naan

The naan only needs a minute in the oven to come back to life. So just as many as you can fit onto baking sheets.

ASSEMBLE THE NAAN SANDWICHES

avocado-tomatillo sauce
falafel
roasted carrots
1 cucumber, sliced thinly

Slather on a TB or more sauce onto the inside of the naan. On one side of the bread line with roasted carrots, place 2 falafel on top, 3-4 cucumber slices on the other side. Close bread and pierce through the falafel with 2 toothpicks so it holds together.

Zucchini Falafel Balls with Yellow Tomato Dipping Sauce

Posted on: November 29th, 2017 by Ellen Swandiak

Zucchini falafel balls are a little lighter than what you might expect in a falafel. These mini bites are baked, and look great in tones of yellow, especially with the yellow cherry tomato dipping sauce which adds its fresh twist.

Making these from fresh chickpeas takes a little extra time, but the end result is worth it. I suggest starting the chickpeas the night before. Then the next steps are pretty straightforward. If you want to used canned chickpeas, you will need 4 cups. Note: if you freeze the balls, they will fall apart, so these are best cooked the day of the party. See more “ball” recipes in our party menu, Have a Ball, made with meat, fish, and more.

MAKES 62 BALLS (ABOUT 1 INCH)

DO AHEAD: SOAK THE CHICKPEAS

2 CUPS dried chickpeas

Pick through chickpeas to remove any debris. Rinse in a colander. Place in a large pot, topped with 4 inches of water. Cover. Soak overnight. OR bring the chickpeas to a boil for 5 min, then let them soak in the water for 1 hr.

COOK THE CHICKPEAS

soaked chickpeas, rinsed well
bay leaf
black peppercorns
2 cloves garlic

1 tsp salt

Add all ingredients, except salt, to a large pot with 4 qts of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 1.5 – 2 hrs. Check occasionally to make sure there is enough water in the pot. When chickpeas are nice and soft, turn off the heat, add salt, and allow them to sit in the water and cool, and soak up the salt. Drain, and mash with a potato masher or pulse in a food processor.

REMOVE MOISTURE FROM THE ZUCCHINI

2 CUPS zucchini, grated

Spread zucchini on a large plate or shallow bowl, sprinkle with salt and let it sit for an hour. Drain the liquid that has oozed out, move to a strainer, and press out any more remaining liquid.

PREHEAT OVEN 400ºF…GET OUT THE FOOD PROCESSOR… MAKE THE zucchini falafel BALLS

chickpeas
zucchini
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 CUP parsley, minced

1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

In batches, pulse chickpeas, zucchini, garlic, parsley. Transfer to a large bowl, add the spices and mix well. Roll into 1-inch balls. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake for 45 min.

HOBNOBMAG Recipe Zucchini Falafel Balls

MAKE THE DIPPING SAUCE

10.5 oz container yellow cherry tomatoes
1/4 CUP EV olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp sriracha sauce
s + p

Place all ingredients in a Blendtec blender, on soup mode, which heats and spins ingredients together. OR, place in a normal blender, then move to a small pot and heat gently for 5 min.

Party Potatoes: Roasted with Carrots and Cumin Coconut Yogurt Dip

Posted on: September 20th, 2017 by Ellen Swandiak

We love these party potatoes as much for their color, as for their cuteness and pop-ability. An all-natural treat, they are accompanied by a dip whose base is coconut yogurt, and is spiced up with cumin. Vegans and paleoists will salute your hosting finesse. This recipe is part of a paleo party planning theme.  Click on the link to see more recipes.

MAKES 60-70 BITES

PREHEAT OVEN 425ºF…ROAST THE POTATOES AND CARROTS

1 LB mixed color baby potatoes, cut in half (keep small ones whole for variety)
5 large carrot bottoms, cut into 1-inch chunks (match potato size)
5 mini peppers (yellow, red, orange), cut and use bottoms
1 TB olive oil
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

In a bowl, toss ingredients in oil to coat sprinkle with s + p. Move to a baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake for 30 min, till tender and browned.

HOBNOBMAG baby potatoes tricolor

MAKE THE CUMIN COCONUT YOGURT DIP

1/2 CUP coconut yogurt
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper

Place all ingredients into a blender, and emulsify.

TO SERVE

Put roasted mix in a nice bowl with a side of dip, add some toothpicks.

Crispy Artichoke Hearts with Lemon-Horseradish Sauce

Posted on: September 20th, 2017 by Ellen Swandiak

With the mix of the lemon and horseradish, and slight creaminess from the coconut yogurt, the flavors mesh perfectly with the crispy artichoke hearts, which have been roasted in the oven. These make a light, zingy paleo snack. Using quartered artichoke hearts, allows for a dainty bite for party goers, for something a little more substantial, buy a can of whole artichokes and halve them. I created this recipe to serve all Paleo party food, you can see the other recipes here

MAKES ABOUT 40 BITES

PREHEAT OVEN TO 425º F… CRISP THE ARTICHOKE HEARTS

2 cans artichoke hearts (14 oz), quartered
2 TB olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
juice from 1/2 lemon

Place artichoke hearts on a paper towel leafy side down to get rid of excess moisture. Then move a bowl, toss together all ingredients. Space artichokes evenly across a parchment-lined baking sheet, leafy side up. Roast 30 -35 min, till tips turn brown.

hobnobmag recipe artichoke hearts and lemon horseradish dip

MAKE THE VINAIGRETTE

1/4 CUP white wine vinegar
1 TB horseradish
1 TB Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, squeezed in a garlic press
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp lemon zest
2 TB coconut milk yogurt

1/4 CUP olive oil

garnish: 1 TB parsley, minced

In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients, except oil, then add in a little at a time. Drizzle over warm artichoke hearts, sprinkle parsley.

Paleo Party Finesse: Crunchy Cumin Spiced Crackers with Mixed Seeds

Posted on: September 20th, 2017 by Ellen Swandiak

If you have committed to a Paleo diet, then you know that grains are verboten. But there is no reason to ignore those cravings for crunchy crackers. This recipe not only addresses those “crunch” cravings, but will also give you paleo party finesse when you serve them along with a stocked charcuterie board or along with guacamole. Enjoy them no matter what dietary leaning you follow. 

When developing this recipe, I did a few versions of these babies, in order to decide what flavors matched best with what. The cumin seeds add an almost a lemony zing, with the flavor profile akin to Indian and Moroccan cuisines. Therefore, they make a perfect vessel for dipping into hummus, (for non-Paleo participants, that is—beans are also not allowed). For traditional Paleoists, pair with guacamole, a swath of butter or sliced avocado, or enjoy nakedly on their own. If you like this recipe, you might want to take a look at our Grain-Free Crunchy Bagel-Style Almond Crackers, which tops the crackers with a slew of nuts and seeds for a slightly different take.

We included them on our charcuterie board, so people could match them with meat slices. You can also eat them with or in a salad, in lieu of croutons, they soak up the dressing nicely while keeping their crunch. Include some red pepper in the salad, the flavors really work especially well together. See my other paleo recipes, in the theme Purely Paleo

MAKES ROUGHLY 45 PIECES

PREHEAT OVEN 325ºF… PREPARE SEED MIX

1 1/2 TB sesame seeds
1 1/2 TB hemp seeds
1 TB chia seeds
1 TB golden flax seeds
1 TB cumin seeds
1/2 tsp sea salt

In a small bowl, mix thoroughly.

MAKE THE DOUGH

2 CUPS almond flour
seed mix

1 TB almond oil
1 egg, beaten

In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients, then add the oil and egg. Knead well, and shape into a ball. Place onto a sheet of parchment paper that fits a baking pan. Transform dough ball into a rectangle echoing the shape of the parchment. Top with second piece of parchment and roll out dough to between 1/16- and 1/8-inch thickness. I like keeping the edges ragged so the tips will get more brown. You may need to fill in some holes as the dough escapes the parchment, so just break off those parts and fill in as necessary.

BAKE THE CRACKERS

Bake for roughly 27 min. The crackers should be browned on the edges. Move with parchment to a cooling rack and allow to cool about 10-15 min. Break apart by hand into irregular shapes. Store in an airtight container. Try not to eat them!

Adorably Mini: Where to Find Micro Veggies, Chocolates, and Customizable Candy

Posted on: September 22nd, 2016 by Ellen Swandiak

Make party bites even more tempting with micro-minded ingredients: baby veggies, mini-printed bon-bons, and candy you can customize.

[1] Elevated Crudite Supermarket plastic trays of cut-up cauliflower, baby carrots, and celery sticks, anchored by a tub of ranch dressing, no more. Upgrade your tired crudité platters of yore with mini versions of your favorite spring veggies, small, tender, and crisp. These tiny varieties of produce, perfect for a healthy, raw party bite, can come either as “baby” vegetables picked before growing to their full-size or miniature varietals cultivated to petite proportions. Think mini heads of spiky bright green romesco cauliflower, micro cucumbers that look like tiny watermelons, and real baby carrots with their tops on, not the whiddled, dried out versions from a bag. Not only do they look very cute, these veggies tend to be milder and sweeter than their adult counterparts to boot. Dunk in your favorite hummus or whip up a quick Green Goddess-inspired dip by zapping Greek yogurt, your favorite fresh, leafy herbs, a bit of garlic, and lemon juice in a food processor.

[2] Mini Produce Sources Look for mini produce in local specialty food shops and farmers’ markets in spring and summer or special order through an online source. Marx Foods sells a “Tiny Crudite Mix” that includes a seasonal variety of veggies with their slender stalks still attached, making it the perfect cocktail food, no toothpicks necessary. Specialty Produce carries a huge variety of unique produce varietals, including mini sweet bell peppers and cucumbers with colorful yellow flowers attached. Go to The Chef’s Garden for their beautiful tender microgreens of all types and their sweet, crisp baby turnips, radishes, and carrots.

HOBNOBMAG micro veggies, chocolate, candy

[3] Tumbador Chocolate The mini patterns on these fine chocolates will get your gang cooing. Executive Pastry Chef Jean-François Bonnet (formerly of restaurant Daniel) works with only the finest ingredients in the world—exotic fruits, spices, fresh herbs and regional flavors. You can also order custom designed chocolates, attuned to your palate. tumbadorchocolate.com

[4] Papabubble New York Take a look at these tiny bits of fun. Papabubble is an artisan candy making academy, where aspiring candy artists get trained in the intricacies of working in the medium of molten sugar. Picture these cuties atop a cupcake, or set around the party in tiny dishes. The flavors are bright, fresh and fruity. Check the website for their other styles, like the #1 Dad mix, the Mazel Tov mix, the Thank You mix—or have a custom candy made just for you. papabubbleny.com

Dark and Delicious Treats for a Foodie Halloween and After

Posted on: September 19th, 2016 by Ellen Swandiak

In keeping with the orange and black color scheme of this party, we’ve unearthed some authentic chocolate treats from Mexico, a black chimichurri sauce, spooky charcoal crackers, and a salsa with a new ingredient, to create the ultimate foodie Halloween.

[1] Hernán Day of the Dead Chocolates A special edition line created just for Day of the Dead, these hand-molded chocolates are shaped into emblematic skulls. Presented in bright artisan, hand-woven palm leaf baskets, they make an excellent gift for the holiday. Made in a traditional style using organic cacao, cinnamon, and sugar, these chocolates can be enjoyed as is or used to make a heady hot chocolate drink with just hot milk or water. Founded by Isela Hernandez, a veteran of the fashion industry, Hernán sells premium Mexican culinary products, including kitchenware and specialty foods, with social responsibility in mind. hernanllc.com

hobnobmag foodie Halloween ingredients

[2] Samba Flavor’s Premium Black Chimichurri Samba Flavor’s black chimichurri sauce is striking in both sight and flavor. Samba takes chimichurri, the classic South American sauce already packed with flavor, and takes it to the next level with big, bold ingredients such as black garlic, balsamic vinegar, and the company’s signature herbs and spices. Black garlic is made from very slowly roasting garlic until it turns sticky and black, resulting in a deeply caramelized product with complex notes of sweet molasses and dark chocolate. The sauce is perfect as a marinade or condiment for grilled steak, fish, or vegetables, but feel free to spoon it over anything—soups, pastas, breads—that needs a vibrant punch of flavor. sambaflavor.com

hobnobmag foodie Halloween ingredients

[3] Yummy Yammy Sweet Potato Salsas Jarred salsas get a makeover with Yummy Yammy’s nutrition-packed line of sweet potato salsas. Full of spice and flavor and perfect for dipping tortilla chips or cut-up vegetables, sweet potato salsas are a fantastic alternative to your everyday, watery, jarred tomato salsas. Using pure, roasted sweet potatoes as a base, Yummy Yammy incorporates only all-natural, non-GMO ingredients. For this party, try the classic Mexican variety full of hearty black bean, corn, and smoky chipotle. Also in the line, a Moroccan version that includes lentils, kale, and curry spices, and a Tuscan version with roasted red pepper, white beans, balsamic vinegar, and basil. www.yummyyammy.com

[4] The Fine Cheese Co.’s Fine English Charcoal Squares Add a dramatic color and flavor to your next cheese plate with charcoal crackers from The Fine Cheese Co., an artisanal British cheese company based in Bath. Decadently buttery, tender, and slightly flaky, these crackers are made with a touch of natural charcoal powder (perhaps an ode to “charcoal biscuits” of yore), giving them their unusual, but elegant look. These dark and distinctive crackers go especially well with strongly flavored, soft goats’ and sheeps’ milk cheeses. www.finecheese.co.uk

Butternut Squash Soup with Red Curry Coconut Milk

Posted on: November 13th, 2015 by Ellen Swandiak

This soup can be made very quickly, once you have an already roasted squash. We upped the ante on this butternut squash soup with the addition of curry paste and coconut milk—the Indian and Thai spices make it rich, and the coconut milk gives it an appealing creaminess.

We created this dish as part of a plan for hosting weekend guests. If you are following the weekend guest plan, then you would have the roasted butternut squash you made the night before.  Make this soup while creating the Veggie Crepes, and serve together.

MAKES 12 SMALL MUG SERVINGS OR 4 LARGE BOWLS

START THE SOUP

2 TB olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander

20 oz vegetable stock

Heat oil. Saute onion and spices 5 min. Add broth and cook for 10 min.

INCORPORATE THE ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH

1 butternut squash, roasted

10 oz unsweetened coconut milk
3 tsp red curry paste
1 tsp salt

squeeze of lime for garnish (optional)

Cut squashes in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and skin, then cut into cubes. Spoon out the flesh and add to the pot, stir to incorporate. Add coconut milk, curry paste, and cook for 10 min.

Process in blender or food processor in batches (or use an immersion blender). Season with salt.

Offer the lime at the table for those who would like to add a squeeze to their soup.

Chipotle Salsa with Brown Tomatoes: A Deeper Tone

Posted on: October 9th, 2015 by Ellen Swandiak

When you see brown tomatoes in your supermarket, give them a shot. They are mild and juicy and work wonderfully in a salsa. Tip: Removing the seeds from the tomatoes makes for a chunkier, and less wet salsa, and much nicer to eat.

We chose to plate the chipotle salsa with blue corn tortilla chips to continue the serious deep mood. This will make a statement on your party buffet for sure. This recipe is part of our Halloween menu, which conforms to an orange and black color theme to give your buffet a holiday feel.

MAKES ABOUT 2 CUPS

GRAB A NICE SHARP KNIFE…

5 brown tomatoes
1 can of chipotle peppers, chopped, adobo sauce reserved
juice of half lime
2 TB cilantro, chopped finely

To create nice little tomato chunks, cut a slice off the top, then cut in half, scoop out the seeds with a spoon, and flatten. In a bowl, mix in chipotles, lime juice, and cilantro. Depending on how spicy you want it, add adobo sauce incrementally.

Marinated Black Olive Bruschetta: Back in Black for Halloween

Posted on: October 9th, 2015 by Ellen Swandiak

Bruschetta is a fun party offering, where you can set our pre-made toasts, or just let your guests make their own. We chose crinkly Moroccan olives for this Black Olive Bruschetta, because of their intense taste, and the ability to hold up to the marinade without getting mushy. They lost a little of their leathery texture and soaked up the flavors nicely. The orange slices and curls add to the orange and black theme, in addition to giving the olives an additional level of taste.

Halloween and Day of the Dead parties are getting spookier by the minute! See the full menu in our party theme Spooky Harvest: a squid ink pasta, roasted carrots, and tomato soup—to name a few recipes in the party mix.

MAKES ABOUT 30 BITES

MARINATE THE OLIVES

2 CUPS black olives
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp orange zest
3 slices orange
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 TB parsley, chopped
EV olive oil

Lightly crush the olives, and transfer to a glass jar with a lid. Add the spices and cover with olive oil. Allow to marinate at room temperature for 1 to 3 days, shaking the jar occasionally.

MAKE THE BLACK OLIVE BRUSCHETTA

crusty baguette, cut into thin slices
EV olive oil
orange curls, for garnish
thyme, minced, for garnish

Drizzle olive oil onto bread. Take marinated olives and crush 3 onto each baguette slice. Top with orange curls and a touch of thyme. Or just leave out the ingredients and let guests make their own toasts.

Vegan Appetizer: Artichoke Hearts with Black Pepper-Lemon Dip

Posted on: August 2nd, 2015 by Ellen Swandiak

Something light and easy for summer entertaining, this vegan appetizer packs a lot of flavors in its small bites. Lemon, herbs, and a touch of sour cream bring it all together. I found myself loving the flavors in the dip and think it could work well in many dishes. Think about pairing it with all sorts of things: pouring it over broiled fish, tossed as a salad dressing, or dousing string beans with slivered almonds.

Hints of oregano and thyme in the breading of the artichokes allude to the tastes of Greece. Check out our other recipes from the Greek party theme, if you like that idea, we have a whole menu of Greek dishes that you can serve at a party to great applause.

MAKES 50 BITES

MAKE THE DIPPING SAUCE

zest of 1 lemon
juice from 2 lemons
2 TB brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, crushed in a garlic press
1 TB Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream
1/2 CUP EV olive oil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt

Whisk ingredients together.

PREHEAT OVEN 375ºF…MAKE THE ARTICHOKES

2 cans artichoke hearts (14 oz), quartered


2 eggs, beaten

1/4 CUP nutritional yeast
1 CUP breadcrumbs
2 TB thyme, minced
1/2 TB dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
pinch of cayenne

Rinse artichokes, allow to dry on paper towels. Prepare dipping stations in two bowls: one with eggs, the other with dry ingredients combined. Drench each heart in the eggs then cover with the breadcrumbs and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 min, flipping halfway through.

Gregory Gourdet: Life After Top Chef and Keeping It Healthy

Posted on: June 9th, 2015 by Ellen Swandiak

Top Chef contestant Gregory Gourdet shares a recipe for a super-healthy and beautiful salad with shaved collard greens in a spicy Asian dressing.

Fans of Top Chef know Gregory Gourdet as an animated and passionate, high-energy chef who wowed the judges with his tasty combinations. I know him from his days at Jean Georges in NYC, before he took off to find calmer pastures and a more healthful lifestyle in Portland, OR. I asked Greg to contribute a recipe to my party plan for hosting a rainbow-colored gay pride party. His suggestion for this salad could easily qualify in the Green section on your buffet.

hobnobmag Gregory Gourdet recipe

His career has really taken off at Departure, a slick, ultra-designed restaurant amidst the rugged climes of Portland, perched atop the luxurious Nines Hotel.

hobnobmag Gregory Gourdet recipe

Gourdet can really take advantage of the best the Pacific Northwest has to offer and transform these goodies into gorgeous, healthy Asian cuisine. Perhaps his study of medicine and wildlife influenced his leanings towards fresh ingredients and long-distance running. Gourdet shares his recipe for Shaved Collard Greens, Carrots, Red Cabbage, & Spicy Peanut Dressing, which has its own array of rainbow ingredients. This chef remains Number One in my book! Follow his adventures on Twitter and Facebook.
departureportland.com

hobnobmag Gregory Gourdet recipe

recipe

Shaved Collard Greens, Carrots, Red Cabbage, & Spicy Peanut Dressing

FOR THE PEANUT DRESSING

2 Thai chilis, de-stemmed
1/2 CUP cashews
1 1/2 CUPS peanuts, toasted
2-inch piece ginger, peeled, sliced crosswise
1 CUP coconut milk
1 small clove garlic
1 TB salt
2 TB maple syrup
1 1/2 CUPS rice wine vinegar
zest of 2 limes

Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until very smooth. This dressing is thick and creamy.

FOR THE SALAD

1 bunch collard greens, washed, stemmed, rolled into a cigar and sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 CUPS red cabbage, sliced
1/8 CUP red onion, thinly sliced
1 CUP red cabbage, julienne
2 kaffir lime leaves, destemmed, julienned
sea salt
olive oil

Combine all vegetables and herbs in a bowl. Season with sea salt and gently toss in some dressing and a few drops of olive oil.

For the garnish

crushed, toasted peanuts
mint leaves
cilantro leaves
sunflower sprouts
sliced scallions
toasted coconut

Garnish with your choice of these toppings, or all of them.

Raw Party Dip: Zucchini and Cauliflower Curry

Posted on: June 1st, 2015 by Ellen Swandiak

In order to get an intense yellow coloring on this raw party dip we relied on a mix of curry spices, which includes turmeric. This refreshing dish that stars as the color YELLOW is part of the six colors that we used  in our party theme for create a buffet in a colorful  rainbow menu.

Tip: Make sure to remove all the water from the zucchini, so your mix will be dry enough to eat without messy drips. Best to prepare day of the party.

Rainbow Shortcut for the color Yellow: Order a curry dish (one with lots of turmeric, and very yellow) from your favorite Indian restaurant, chop into small bites, mix with rice and set out in small cups.

Other yellow foods to consider: mango, curried rice, yellow bell peppers, plantains, yellow squash, lemons, pineapples, yellow soups. See our picks on PINTEREST for more fantastic rainbow party ideas and recipes.

MAKES ABOUT 1 QUART

GET OUT THE FOOD PROCESSOR… MAKE THE CURRY

2 oranges, peeled, separated into quarters
2 carrots, peeled, cut into chunks
1 yellow tomato
1 avocado
1/4 CUP basil
1/2 TB turmeric
1/2 TB curry powder
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp salt

Process ingredients together till fully combined.

MAKE THE DIP

3 large zucchinis, grated in food processor
salt

1/2 head cauliflower, grated in food processor
1/8 CUP sesame seeds, toasted w salt
curry sauce

Place the grated zucchini in a shallow platter, sprinkle with salt. Let sit for 1 hour. Drain, move to a strainer and press out as much liquid as possible. Transfer to bowl, add cauliflower and sesame seeds. Toss with curry sauce. Set out in small bowls with yellow tortilla chips for dipping to stay with the yellow theme.

Wild Ingredients: Colorful Lettuce, Alligator Sausage, Foraged Foods, & Wild-Caught Fish

Posted on: May 20th, 2015 by Ellen Swandiak

Your guests will be wowed when you take them off the beaten track and treat them to tastes of wild, unexpected ingredients that they wouldn’t find in their regular grocery aisle. Whether it’s foraged food, wild-caught, or just simply wild in its taste and appearance, we’ve got the goods.

Elevate your party food to adventurous, daring, and bold new heights with these extraordinary selections. It will get the conversation flowing.

[1] I’ll Take My Lettuce in Pink, Please

This gorgeous fuschia-flecked yellow lettuce, radicchio castillo franco, looks like it came from a blooming field of fresh flowers, but we found ours at Eataly, a great source for specialty produce. Vibrant colors don’t just belong in your flower vases—get inspired by nature’s palette and visit your local farmers’ market or specialty grocer for veggies that pop. See our recipe for Fresh Cranberry Bean & Barley Wraps that will make your table pop. eataly.com

hobnobmag MAILLE wild ingredients

[2] Maille Dijon Mustard Boutique

Maille, the Cadillac of mustards, recently opened its first mustard-only boutique in New York City featuring dozens of incredible flavor combinations. Try mustards infused with some of our favorite wild ingredients such as Roasted Onions, Wild Thyme & White Wine and Shallots, Chervil & Chanterelle. Your picks will be freshly hand-drawn into beautiful earthenware pots and carefully sealed with cork stoppers on the spot. Feeling overwhelmed by too many good choices? Don’t worry—their in-house mustard sommelier is there to assist. See a great party recipe for Gougères with Mustard.  maille.com

hobnobmag sausage wild ingredients

[3] Exotic Meat Sources

Get adventurous with all-natural, farm-raised game and exotic meats from Fossil Farms. Their combo packs are perfect for bold party-goers to try a range of exotic offerings. The sausage pack includes varieties such as Venison Sausage with Blueberries and Merlot Wine and Wild Boar Sausage with Cranberries (see our recipe featuring these exotic sausages paired with two dijon dips in this month’s issue), while the daring should go for the wild game assortment that includes alligator, antelope, elk, and more. Other great sources for exotic meats include: Belmont Butchery, Marx Foods, and BuyExoticMeats.com.

[4] Foraged Finds at the Union Square Greenmarket

Support your local farmer’s market. In NYC the Union Square Greenmarket has foraged finds at: Lani’s, Mountain Sweet Berry Farm, Berried Treasures, Bodhitree, Gorzynski Ornery Farm, Yellow Bell, Deep Mountain Maple, Lucky Dog. Union Square Greenmarket

hobnobmag WILD INGREDIENTS

[5] Wild-Caught Fish

Do your best to avoid farm-raised fish and support amazing wild fish purveyors such as John Dolan’s World Wide Direct Seafoods at the New Fulton Fish Market in New York. Get the best, freshest wild-caught seafood, including black cod, wild arctic char, American red snapper, wild Atlantic striped bass, Pacific pollock, and much more. Worldwide Direct Seafoods

Vegan Party Bite: Fresh Cranberry Bean & Barley Wraps

Posted on: May 4th, 2015 by Ellen Swandiak

Some people might thing being vegan is boring. Well , this vegan party bite might change your mind. Have you ever seen lettuce in a light citron yellow with pink stripes? We chose to incorporate this lettuce as an ingredient in our “wild” party theme based on looks alone. Known as RADICCHIO CASTILLO FRANCO, they work as wraps—so no need for utensils. Their slightly bitter taste contrasts nicely with the cranberry bean and barley filling.

When I spotted the fresh cranberry beans at the market in matching color to the lettuce I thought I struck gold. Though the beans start out as pink and yellow, after cooking the color is lost (darn!). But, the benefit of using fresh beans is that they cook a lot faster than dried, and there’s no soaking involved. If you love surprising guests with new taste sensations, then check out the other recipes in our Wild Party theme’s menu.

hobhobmag Vegan Party Bite Cranberry Bean

MAKES 28 WRAPS

COOK THE BARLEY

1/4 CUP pearled barley
1 CUP water
1 tsp salt

In a medium pot, combine barley and water, bring to a boil. Simmer, covered, about 25 – 30 min, till soft and chewy, and liquid is absorbed (add water if barley is not soft enough). Let sit covered for 5 min. Fluff with fork.

COOK THE BEANS

1/2 LB fresh cranberry beans in the pod, shucked
1 bay leaf

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add beans, simmer about 35 min, till beans are soft. Drain.

FLAVOR THE BEANS

3 TB EV olive oil
10 fresh sage leaves, cut into strips
cooked beans
1 1/2 cloves garlic, minced

juice from 1/2 lemon
salt, to taste

EV olive oil

Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add sage, fry for 1 min, till starting to crisp. Add beans, saute for 2 min. Add the garlic, saute for 1 min, till golden. Remove from heat, toss with lemon juice. Season with salt. Combine the beans and barley. Drizzle with a little olive oil.

MAKE THE SAUCE

4 TB vegenaise
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp parsley, minced
1/4 tsp ground coriander

Whisk ingredients together in a small bowl.

CREATE THE WRAPS

radicchio castillo franco, separated into leaves

beans and barley mixture
sauce

fresh parsley sprigs, for garnish

Remove 28 medium leaves from the center of the radicchio. Place a teaspoon, or so, of the bean and barley mixture into each leaf. Add a small dollop of the sauce and garnish with parsley leaf.