December 10, 2008

Vegan fudge from DD&D / kabocha-beet soup

I always say I shouldn't do attention-requiring tasks at night when I'm tired. They should get done early in the day when I'm more alert and fresh. Maybe if I'd tried to repair my torn winter boot when I had more time and energy, I wouldn't have super-glued that toothpick to my finger. And if I'd made the DD&D vegan fudge in the morning instead of at night, rushing to get it done, I might not have left out an ingredient!

It's all okay. The toothpick and my finger are separated, and the fudge looks a little rough but tastes great. I made Ricki's fudge with just a minor, intentional, logistical substitution of almond butter instead of macadamia nut butter, and was spreading it into the pan wondering why it was so hard to spread. "Seems a little stiff," I was thinking as I struggled to smooth it out and make it even. Then I looked up and saw the agavé nectar sitting on the counter. Oh. There was supposed to be a half cup of that. Too late, but will it be sweet enough? Soft enough? YES! For me anyway. I guess the chocolate chips, though bittersweet, were already fairly sweet, and the apricots and orange zest added the nicest flavor. Maybe it's a little firmer than intended...

I found it a bit hard to cut after its refrigeration period, so my pieces are somewhat uneven; more like the chocolate bark my father used to love so much than neat little fudgy rectangles. The question now is, must I eat this batch myself and make a new one with the correct ingredients and finer cut for those I was planning to share it with? After all, I DO want theirs to be perfect. I am motivated by only the highest intentions. What would you do? I'm thinking of making this again and covering it with finely crushed toasted almonds.

Kabocha-beet soup

I actually made the candy over the weekend. Tonight (Tuesday) I had to made some actual nourishing food for dinner. Not that fudge isn't nourishing, in its way, but it's so cold here right now that I wanted something hot to go with the fudge. We had a kabocha pumpkin that needed to be used, so squash soup seemed the obvious choice. It's so easy and tastes so good that I make it often. I was looking around in the fridge for some root veggie like a turnip or parsnip to add depth to the flavor. What I found was a beet. Beets are the one vegetable from the CSA box that are most likely to end up in our compost. We mean to eat them, but beets are just not my favorites.

Feeling virtuous, I grabbed that beet and headed to the sink. Even peeling the beet under water, I managed to spray my light grey sweatshirt with tiny red dots. Beets can be so mean. Well, I cooked the squash and the beet in the pressure cooker, and sautéed a lot of onion and garlic in the wok. When everything was cooked, the ingredients were combined in the pot to be puréed with my wonderful immersion blender. I added my usual white miso and truffle oil, but the squash was so sweet it needed something more. I added umeboshi vinegar, sambal (a preparation of chopped chiles and vinegar) and chopped green onions. The beet added a rich earthiness (and super intense color) to the soup and the vinegar and spices worked perfectly to balance the sweetness of the squash. Everyone said, "this soup is really good!" And it was. Who wudda thunk it?

note: Beets take longer to cook than squash. You can compensate for this by cutting the squash into large pieces and the beet into small pieces.

6 comments:

  1. Okay, you know your blog has made it when it becomes an acronym in someone else's blog post title!! You have no idea what kind of thrill you have given me this morning (sad life, I know!). ;)

    SO glad it worked out despite the no-agave and that you liked it anyway! Maybe it would even be better thicker, not sure. . . and that soup sounds fabulous (maybe even sweeter than the fudge!). :)

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  2. I'm not a fan of beets either, but I think I could tolerate them in this kind of spicy soup.

    I know Ricki's treats are all sensational and I think the fudge looks great. Definitely make another batch!

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  3. That fudge looks great. I think it is even more appealing when it is cut like that. Your soup sounds good too. I find the beets are easier to peel and safer to handle, if you cook them with the skins on.

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  4. Hey, Andrea,
    I've been into beets lately--ever since I saw a study that said they can increase your endurance. I brought orange juice/beet puree along with me on my marathon and it was delightful. Love your soup here. I've also been making beet sauce: 4 medium beets, steamed, peeled. Zest from one organic orange. 1/2 cup good quality purple grape juice. 1/4 or so teaspoon ground cloves. Puree all until it's a lovely purply crimson sauce. Excellent cold or hot. And give you the energy to go another mile!

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  5. Well, Lorraine, I don't think I'll ever manage to bring OJ/beet purée along as an energy drink but I admire your taste! Beets are still not my favorite vegetable, though I do like them raw and grated into a salad. And I've always liked them in soup.

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  6. I want this right now, looks delicious

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