Hello! December was kind of the worst for me cooking-wise. I had this vision of a month of candy recipe posts, but they all failed miserably. Towards the end of the month I decided to cleanse my creative palate with a classic Fieri recipe: chicken avocado egg rolls.
Years ago Isa Chandra Moskowitz blogged on The PPK about making egg rolls for Joaquin Phoenix and didn’t include a dough recipe because she said it was a nightmare (sadly the post seems to me gone, but it was a good one). I decided to double up on spring roll wrappers instead of trying to mimic egg rolls, and they provide a satisfying crunchy, chewy texture.
Hello there! As you can see, Vegan MoFo (which I couldn’t even finish) completely wore me out. But I’m back, with pretzels! These soft pretzels are a copycat recipe (adapted from this one) of the ones you’d get at the mall. They’re soft, buttery, chewy and just a tad sweet. I served mine with a “honey” mustard, made by mixing brown mustard with agave. This recipe is simple if you have a stand mixer, and requires about 10 minutes of kneading without. I don’t have a stand mixer so it took some work, but it was definitely worth it. I’ll be back on the Guy Fieri wagon next week!
Since I have an aversion to deep frying, these mac & cheese bites were baked at a high temperature to achieve maximum crispiness. You can use whatever mac & cheese recipe here you like, because the key to keeping your bites from falling apart is using cold mac (which also makes this a great way to use leftover mac, if you have any).
I served mine with ranch dip, but a spicy ketchup or BBQ sauce would also be yummy.
Jalapeño poppers are without a doubt the perfect snack food. To me, at least. So of course for Vegan MoFo I’m gonna stuff ’em with mac. This recipe is pretty easy, but I’d recommend using latex gloves to seed the jalapeños, otherwise you’ll have spicy fingers for eternity. The bigger the peppers, the better, because they can hold more mac and are usually milder. Also, a smaller pasta is necessary here. I used small shells, but elbow macaroni would work fine, too. Now on to the recipe..
While I was making these, I texted my partner “Making onion rings is so hard,” followed by “Onion rings are so delicious” about 30 minutes later. Making these onion rings wasn’t exactly hard, but it took longer than I wanted it to (perhaps because I made enough onion rings for 4 people, but you can never have too many onion rings). I’m not a sriracha fanatic like many folks, but the sriracha + ketchup combo in this recipe is pretty much perfect. Spicy, but not so much that you can’t eat more than few bites. It also gave the rings a gorgeous deep orange color, which makes for a lovely presentation. I served mine with ranch dip.
The recipe’s under the cut!
I have to be honest, I wasn’t all too excited about this recipe. I didn’t really know what irish nachos were and I’ve never had actual corned beef before, so I wasn’t really sure how it would taste or what to expect. I didn’t want to go through the trouble of making corned seitan only to eat around it (“Dear god I hope this doesn’t taste like pumpkin pie” floated through my head after I saw the spice combo). I combined this recipe from Vegan Dad and this recipe from Inspired Vegan Eats to make my corned seitan, mainly because I had no prior experience with corned beef and wanted to make sure this was done right.
In Guy Fieri’s recipe, he melts shredded cheddar cheese on top of his corned beef-topped waffle fries, but I didn’t want to do this with vegan cheese. My vegan cheese of choice is almost always Daiya (shout-outs to Follow Your Heart’s “Mozzarella” and Nacho-flavored Teese), and I knew I’d be using it in this recipe. But I’ve always thought making nachos with melted shredded cheese was kind of a cop-out. It’s bro food. It’s what you make if you’re stuck in a college dorm with a microwave and a mini fridge, and folks, I’m a little past my prime for that. While searching for photos of Fieri’s Irish Nachos, I found this recipe for Rachael Ray’s Irish Nachos (Does everyone at Food Network make Irish Nachos? Is this a thing?), and she made a beer cheese sauce for hers.
Guys, I made vegan beer cheese sauce. And it was so amazing.
Ultimately, these nachos were really, really good. As in, go to the store after you read this and make them for your next meal. I don’t care if it’s breakfast. The sauce was perfect, the seitan was flavorful and tender and all of the toppings rounded everything out. I suggest making the seitan ahead of time to save your sanity.
Here’s the recipe: