As a child I grew up with US friends who were in Malta at the time. I learnt so much from them and their families. The wonderful rituals of sharing each meal ‘banquet style’ – the main dish, with the accompanying veggies in separate serving bowls, really fascinated me. I loved this daily ritual, and I loved the food at the time. As cooking was pretty much ingrained in me, I took a huge interest in helping the wonderful ‘moms’ prepare their traditional American food in their kitchens, whilst my friends were in disbelief at my new founded obsession, their food, as I suppose they took their moms’ great cooking for granted. I loved all cuisines as I attended a multicultural school that embraced every creed and colour, and I loved that as I learnt so much from these amazing cultures. I have started off by veganizing a favourite, it brought me to tears as the fond memories came rushing back – the sharing, and saying grace, and enjoying wholesome food with my best friends and their families – the warmth and love shared at table, and now with the cruelty spared too. So, ladies and gents, I am so proud of my own personal take on this traditional North American staple. Oh Yum !!!
Serves 4 to 6 portions
INGREDIENTS FOR CASHEW CREAM
100g (3½ oz) cashew nuts
2½ cups water
INGREDIENTS FOR SAUCE
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp vegan butter
1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
450 g (1 lb) ‘chicken’ pieces (there are various brands available – I used Redwoods, or else Gardein is an option in the US & Canada – but check what brands you have in your own territory)
2-3 cups water
1 cup sweetcorn
6 button mushrooms
3 Tbsp sherry
¾ tsp dried thyme – fresh is better
INGREDIENTS FOR DUMPLINGS
2 Tbsp fresh parsley (with stalks)
2 tsp fresh rosemary (you could also use chives)
2 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
2 Tbsp vegan butter
1 cup vegan milk (I use Alpro – UK link)
- First, make the cashew cream. Blend 2 cups of water with the cashew nuts in your blender (this is the ultimate blender).
- Finely chop your onions and garlic (or stick them in the food processor), then fry them in a large saucepan in olive oil and butter over a medium heat.
- Add in the bayleaves and thyme. As soon as your onion is transparent, add in the flour to make a roux. Continue to stir and cook for 2 minutes to coat the flour and remove the starchy taste.
- Now add in your ‘chicken’ pieces and mushrooms, and mix (if using frozen, they will thaw) for about 3 minutes.
- Then mix 2 teaspoons vegetable stock to the water, and add it in with the sherry, add the salt, pepper and agave too.
- Let sauce simmer until it has thickened sufficiently to coat the back of a spoon – around 15 minutes, now stir in the cashew cream and the sweetcorn and leave it on a low heat for around 5 minutes . (Leave the bayleaves in).
METHOD FOR DUMPLINGS
- In your food processor, add the fresh parsley and rosemary, and process until chopped finely.
- Add your flour, and process.
- Now add the nutritional yeast and baking powder.
- Add the remaining ingredients and process until you have a good thick batter consistency.
- Gently drop a tablespoon at a time into the simmering sauce mixture, making sure to keep enough distance between each dumpling, so that they don’t join together.
- Poach the dumplings on the top of the sauce, turning them after a few minutes, taking care not to let them break. Continue cooking for a further 10 minutes or so on a low heat, checking that the dumplings are ready before serving. Then tuck in and Enjoy !
All recipes and content © Miriam Sorrell www.mouthwateringvegan.com 2010