Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Bloody Bourdain.

Darling came all the way across the Atlantic to visit, and this is how we spent our Wednesday afternoon. There are also zombie comics. Aren't we romantic?

The Vegan's Dilemma.

Veganism, when you think about it, is a cold and heartless way to eat. We never get to know our food. We don't cuddle it, we rarely name it (except for the pervertables). We are wholly unconcerned with whether or not our food had the theoretical possibility to roam free in the fields, or whether it was confined to a growth crate. It's true. Our basil plants survive with barely 25 square cm per plant. They can't even turn around or feed their young, and we amputate the flowers without anasthetic. Sigh. So we decided that if we were really going to respect the sacrifice that these vegetable were making for us, and honour the spirit of the plants, we would produce and eat our own organic, free range, happy veggies. In the form of blood pudding.

The most important participant in vegan blood pudding is vegan blood. Since we need ours, we decided that the most environmentally sound and ethical way to go about this was to look to the "responsible" carnivores and embrace the concept of root-to-shoot cooking. Oh yes, we decided to use the whole carrot. We have have a photo of our carrot. We also have a photo of Anthony Bourdain. We named our carrot Anthony.

To find other ingredients to cook with Anthony, darling visited several grocery stores to make sure that the vegetables had enough room to behave naturally and fulfill their little veggie desires. We can't post photos of this with our current PG rating. We were satisfied that the vegetable habitats were humane. They were probably certified by some sort of organization supported by PETA and Prince Charles. We are confident that the welfare of these vegetables was not in any way compromised in order to make a buck. Or a pound. Or to make us feel better. Nope. These are happy veg. Many of them were delivered to my flat in an organic vegetable box, which supports local farmers. Especially the Scottish banana farmers. This also minimizes the stress that the vegetables experience on the way to my cutting board, where they are first stunned by captive bolt or cleaver, and then rapidly and painlessly decapitated. Not is this better for the plants, but it makes them taste better. Kind of like vegans. We assume that this was the kind of cuddly and pleasant sacrifice that Anthony made when he came to the end of his carroty life.

....okay. This is exhausting. All this happy meat foodie talk is going make me lose my appetite. How do people write such drivel? The short version is that Anthony was bled dry and the carrot juice used as the base for vegan boudin. I call it "Bloody Bourdain!" You can use the this to a) describe the dish and b) mock a certain chef who has a certain menu where a lesser version of this appears. We made this for Hezbollah Tofu, which rocks. Also, we used a real camera to take photos, instead of my computer. I apologize. It won't happen again.

I am actually kinda sorta Acadian. I've experienced actual boudin, or at least seen people eat it, and smelled it. And seen it made. A face-off with a plate of the stuff is what made me vegetarian. And I have to say that this stuff looked and smelled disturbingly close. If you want it to be closer, add a cup or so of iron filings at the end. Other than that, if you want to be all les Halles "oh la la! I am eating zee fancy frenchy food" about it, serve it with apples and onions and a green bean and use your best french accent. Wear stripes, a beret, and handlebar moustache. If you want to be Acadian about it, serve it with apples and onions and mashed potatoes and about a cup of maple syrup. We, being all zen, took the middle road and just added everything. I did wear a tie.

a serenade for Anthony:

Bloody Bourdain!
(makes 12 sausages)
Look! A real RECIPE! Don't get used to it.

soak 3/4c fine pearl tapioca (NOT INSTANT) in 1c water. just let it sit there. walk away.

1L black carrot juice (available at middle eastern or turkish grocery stores)
3/4c black sticky rice
3/4c raw cashews
1/3 tsp each of nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, ginger
1tbs ground black pepper

Combine and boil until rice is done and liquid is reduced. It will look like purple boiling lava

soften 1c chopped onion in 2 tbs margarine

combine onions, lava , 1 block smoked tofu and blend, blend blend!

return lava to pot (and the pot to the stove. you might also want to turn the stove on) and add:
tapioca and its water.
2tbs molasses
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1tbs dark miso
2tbs chopped parsley

Stir everything and heat until most of the liquid is gone and the concoction begins to pull away from the sides of the pot when you stir it.

Place in fridge to cool. Once cooled, form into sausages, cool again. Fry in margarine.

Serve with caramelized onions and apples. Approx 6 small onions, sliced thin and caramelized and 6 sliced apples, added to the onions at the end, cooked until they begin to fall apart and rescued just before they become mush. This makes enough for 4 as a french-canadian size side dish, cuz you don't usually have anything else with it, and we eat alot. We served this with the aforementioned apples and onions, plus garlicy mashed spuds plus green beans and dijon/maple syrup dressing (because green beans make everything seem much more french and bistro) and a green salad with balsamic/chocolate dressing. And wine. Yum.

As far as I can tell, it's a little firmer than congealed blood boudin, but we also read that Bourdain's boudain is a little too firm. So we did it on purpose. Uh, yeah. Spanky says our boudin is better than congealed blood. Nyah.


Jillian of Bitchin' Vegan Kitchen said...

You are a ruthless pervertable! I mean, *carrots* really?! What have they ever done to you? :p

Jake said...

soak 3/4c fine pearl tapioca (NOT INSTANT) in 1c water. just let it sit there. walk away.

See, this is exactly the kind of instruction I need. And then I need someone to take me by the hand and walk me away. Otherwise I will spend the whole soaking time poking it. Do you do this too? Oh. Just me, then.

Nikki said...

Wow, that was an awesome blog entry. Now I have to go draw cartoons of a snobby French carrot and a Scottish banana farmer. And figure out what I need to throw on the grocery list to make this recipe.

Jake said...

I was rereading this and now I have two more comments: 1) the recipe looks delicious, but all the talk of congealed blood makes me completely lose my appetite. I don't think I'll ever be able to make it.

2) Scottish banana farmers

True story: Once I was in a hütte in the Dolomites, and it was really an itty bitty little place, just a wooden shack with a table, a kettle, some instant coffee and some teabags. It had an outhouse that was completely overrun by nettles. Oh, and an elderly proprietor who had clearly been into the schnapps regularly since 6 that morning. So anyway, we're drinking tea and chatting with the proprietor and he asks us where we're from. "Canada," we say.
"Oh, Canada!" he exclaims, "where the bananas grow!"

Then he climbs onto his motorcycle and careens down the mountain.

Swear to god.

sinead said...

lol. yeah. we were pretty disgusted when we made it. but it did taste good. the fact that there were a good few hours between making the snausages and eating them helped.

i wonder if the canadian bananas are grown from the same cold-tolerant banana seeds as the scottish ones?