Cook: Cauliflower Croquettes

Cook: Cauliflower Croquettes

You might’ve heard the announcement made today by Kate Middleton and her Princely husband. They  shared the name of their brand new daughter, Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, with the public. You might’ve also heard, as reported on both CBS and MTV, that their daughter’s name pretty much ruined my day. I was the guy that took all the money I was saving for my daughter’s college, which isn’t nearly as much as you are imagining, and decided to quadruple it in the best way I knew how. I got in touch with British bookmaker William Hill and told them I wanted to place a bet on the royal baby name. Alice was the favorite at the time, with 4/1 odds, Elizabeth wasn’t far behind garnering 9/2 odds. Other popular choices included Charlotte, Diana, Victoria and Olivia. None of those choices struck me as being royal baby worthy. I mean if Kanye and Kim, who are pretty much the American version of royalty, can come up with something like North, I figured those Brits had something sneaky up their sleeve. So I played that card and put my money on the name Cauliflower Charlotte Diana. Wouldn’t you know it that I had two out of the three names right. But, as Meatloaf once told us, 2 out of 3 doesn’t get you paid.

In honor of Cauliflower Charlotte Diana, I give you Cauliflower Croquettes.

Cauliflower Croquettes
(printable)

-1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
-2 cups fresh bread crumbs
-1 cup hazelnut flour
-1 red onion, finely chopped
-2 garlic cloves, pressed
-1/2 cup almond butter
-salt and black pepper, to taste
-oil for frying

1. Steam the cauliflower in a steamer until it is soft enough to mash. Pour the softened cauliflower into a metal bowl.

2. Add the bread crumbs, hazelnut flour, onion, garlic, almond butter, salt and pepper. Use a potato masher to thoroughly mash and mix the ingredients together.

3. Form the cauliflower mixture into small disks.

4. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the disks, a couple at a time, and fry for about three minutes a side. You want the croquettes to be golden in color.

5. Place the croquettes on a paper towel lined plate and pat dry. Serve croquettes topped with hot sauce.

Click: Shooting at McDonald’s, Vegan Vodouisants, Domino’s Does Not Reject the Cheese, Hip Hop Goes Green and Other Items From My Weekly Vegan Agenda

Click: Shooting at McDonald’s, Vegan Vodouisants, Domino’s Does Not Reject the Cheese, Hip Hop Goes Green and Other Items From My Weekly Vegan Agenda

Hip Hop and Vodouisants are doing the whole vegan thing. Domino’s Pizza and people who fired shots at McDonald’s for forgetting their bacon, are not. What else caught my eye this week? Take a gander:

Happenings:

Recipes:

  • BBQ Pulled Portobello Sliders from Helyn’s Healthy Kitchen- At a recent neighborhood gathering Helyn with a y told Helen with an e that her BBQ Pulled Ostrich Sliders were terrible. She made Helen with an e try her Portobello version. Helen with an e went home in tears, they were so good. I’m not sure what a spelt bun tastes like but you could probably put these sliders on cardboard and I’d be all in.
  • Vegan Ranch Dressing from Jennifer’s Kitchen- Everything tastes better with Ranch Dressing (insert sad emoji). Now you can make a vegan version at home (insert extremely happy emoji with a dabble of ranch dressing dripping from its chin).
  • Tempeh Satay from Oh My Veggies- Fun fact, food tastes better after it has been pierced with a skewer. I’m not sure what the scientific explanation is for this but I know there must be one somewhere.
  • No Bake Mini Red Velvet Cheesecake from Pickles & Honey- You mean I don’t even have to slave over a hot summer oven for this vegan cheesecake? Sign me up! Bonus points because the cheesecakes have ridges like peanut butter cups.
  • Sweet Potato Gnocchi from The Minimalist Vegan- I’m coming off a lunch where four of the six adults in attendance ordered gnocchi so there should be no surprise why gnocchi is on my mind. This version is made from sweet potato and works for a (gasp!) gluten free diet. Zing!
  • Grilled Eggplant Banh Mi from The Chubby Vegetarian (Not Vegan)- As far as I’m concerned the Chubby Vegetarian is the king of making meat out of eggplant. From Pulled Eggplant BBQ to Eggplant Sliders to Eggplant Po’ Boys, this blog knows how to do eggplant up right. I can’t wait to check out the newest addition to the eggplant party.

Singles:

“Minor Flaws” by Work Drugs

I ran into a girl I used to date the other day. That’s when I realized she was real. I had been pretending for years that she was just a figment of some loosely remembered dream. I had just about convinced myself that she wasn’t real a second time  when I caught “Minor Flaws” by Work Drugs. The memories came back all over again.

“Ain’t So Young” by Glamour Assassins

This song sounds like it should be the theme song for an eighties sitcom. I’m not talking Who’s the Boss or some lame ass show like that. I’m picturing more along the lines of an eighties sitcom that was so super exclusive that you never even saw it. That would mean that you are hearing the song for the first time today and have no idea that it ever appeared as a sitcom theme.

“Storm of the Century” by Dutch Party

Dutch Party name drops more storms in this four minutes and ten seconds than I’ve heard in my eleven years living here. I guess that’s the nature of the Florida beast. What are we going to do, complain that it is sunny 350 days a year?

“With Time” by Maria Sweet

Maria Sweet is a persistent bunch. I’ve kicked their track “With Time” around a lot. Do I like it? Don’t I? Can I cook to it? About the time I deleted their first email and said I’m not a fan, a follow up popped into my inbox. At that point I allowed the pendulum to swing as far as it could in the opposite direction.

“Take It Or Leave It” by Slim Wray

This track is what happens when you steal a mechanical bull and set it up in your garage right next to the wind machine.

Remixes:

“America” by XYLO (Young Bombs Remix).

Imagine if our forefathers had this blaring on their wooden ships as they traveled across the ocean, fought for the revolution and learned how to plant crops. Glow sticks might’ve been so sixteenth century.

Videos:

“Mene” by Brand New

“Mene Mene” is an idiom that commonly means “the writing on the wall”, or “the hand writing on the wall”. This video suggests that clearly I’ve been looking past this writing for far too long. Everything I’ve paid attention to by Brand New I’ve enjoyed. Time to seek out more.

“Loose People” by Sans Parents

My brother and I tried to make this same video to Genesis’ “I Can’t Dance” when we were almost teenagers. Obviously we failed or you would be hearing about Sans Parents and their copyright infringement suit.

“Did You See” by Running Young

I’m okay with Running Young filming every single video they make from here on out in the same setting as “Did You See”. Old, rundown buildings have such a story to tell. Pair that story with the artistic vision of the graffiti and you’ve got something to ponder. It is a ponderance that requires a length of longer than just one video to do it justice.

First Quarter Click Tracks (When Available) via Spotify:

Artist’s Cookbook: Sweet Potato and Pork Belly Hash Courtesy of Timothy Cushing

Artist’s Cookbook: Sweet Potato and Pork Belly Hash Courtesy of Timothy Cushing

unnamedThe last time Timothy Cushing appeared on Write Click Cook Listen, he was knee deep in homemade tahini and cayenne. These were the difference makers in his vegan friendly, hummus. It was a dish that paired nicely with his 2013 album Hunting Songs.

Almost two months ago Timothy and his band, The Red Rogue, put the finishing touches on their new album PhoeniciaAccording to legend, the album was created during a getaway to upstate New York. The band arrived on July 3rd and found that a giant tree had fallen down and taken the power with it. The Red Rogue was forced to do some band bonding in the creek (which became their communal shower) until the power came back. Once the electricity returned, the band had to scramble to get the album finished before the getaway ended. You might think that with the pacing what it was and the power outages that were happening all around them, Phoenicia might feel a bit forced and impatient. This isn’t the case as The Red Rogue does a fabulous job of blending the out-of-control with the laid back. On one hand you’ve got “Skull Krusherz”, portions of “Four Leaf Scent” and “Eveline” operating at hyper speed. On the other, “Move Along”, “I’ve Been Wrong” and “I Went Looking” feel very much like a carefully planned waltz around a singer-songwriter/alternative country ballroom.

My track of choice on Phoenicia is “Into Town”. This is the one track that seamlessly joins both the out-of-control and the laid back all under one title. The track’s verses are steered deliberately by the slow drawl of Carolyn Murphy’s accordion. The chorus kicks back and let’s things get a bit more hairy, a bit more upbeat. I found myself returning to “Into Town” again and again at least until the shattering heart shut it down.

Phoenicia finds Timothy still in the kitchen pairing his love of cooking with his passion for making music. So where did that cooking take him this time around? It took him on a journey that was commandeered by sweet and spicy. It was one that ended right in front of a big bowl of Sweet Potato and Pork Belly Hash. The slogan? Strong enough for breakfast but ph balanced for dinner.

Listen: Underground Railroad to Candyland, Fire Fences and Tenterhook

Listen: Underground Railroad to Candyland, Fire Fences and Tenterhook

Ice pick pizza goes best with an earful of:

Underground Railroad to Candyland remind me a lot of FYP and Toys That Kill, two of my favorite carefree, adolescent themed, pop punk bands. This probably shouldn’t come as much of a surprise considering lead singer Todd Congelliere is the mastermind behind all three bands (as well as Stoned at Heart….and he runs a label….where does he find the time?). The band’s new single “Th Ppl R Hm” is a jangly affair that features a buoyant guitar and Congelliere’s distinct, laissez faire vocals which are supported by springy melodies and surf inspired rhythms. Some would call what they do lo-fi pop punk. Others would say their music is sort of like “Merry Prankster’s cross-country voyage of 1966; a ramshackle school bus painted in day-glo rainbow tearing across the desert at 80 miles per hour, speakers blasting perversely twisted freeform tape loops of beatnik rock and roll while all manner of suspicious individuals imbibe massive quantities of speed and LSD on a quest to blur the lines between nihilistic self destruction, art, and society at large”. The new album, The People Are Home, is out May 26th via Recess Records.

When last we heard from Fire Fences they were doing their best impression of Bastille and Deaf Havana. This time around they’ve dialed up the energy a bit, dialed down the acoustics and have crafted a kick ass pop punk/indie rock tune called “Pulling Teeth” (guess there’s something about pizza and pop punk). “Pulling Teeth” is the first single from Fire Fence’s second EP, Pocket Full of Stones, which is coming your way on May 1st.

“Pulling Teeth’s” video:

Tenterhook (aka Archie Faulks’) has given the world the gift of his new single “What I Like”. The track might start with breezy, melodic textures and acoustic windsprints but those are quickly shoved aside in favor of Tenterhook’s fabulous falsetto. That’s what makes the track so memorable.

Cook: Sex, Ice Picks and Puff Pastry Pizza

Cook: Sex, Ice Picks and Puff Pastry Pizza

DSC_0453About halfway through my Basic Instinct marathon last weekend I got a strong desire to do something “psychologically empty” with an ice pick (you know what I’m talking about Ms. Stone). I stripped down to my sexiest undergarments and decided to pound away at the iceberg that had been forming for three years in my freezer. I was pretty convinced that what I would find beneath that ice mound was something mind blowing. Perhaps it wouldn’t top the find documented in Atari: Game Over, but I thought it would come close. After countless hours of grueling ice picking and many false positives I finally hit the jackpot. There, buried in the middle of that desolate landfill of ice, was a half empty box of puff pastry. Score one for the ice spelunkers in sexy undergarments.

I decided a puff pastry pizza was in order. I put together some veggies, oil and balsamic vinegar and baked the mixture nicely on top of the thawed puff pastry. I ate it while finishing up the Basic Instinct marathon. Sex, ice picks and pizza. Not sure life gets anymore real than that.

Puff Pastry Pizza
(printable version)

For the pizza:
-one vegan puff pastry shell
-1 red onion, small dice
-2 handfuls of mixed greens, small shreds
-1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
-4 ounces of button mushrooms
-2 cloves of garlic, pressed

For the sauce:
-1 can cannellini beans
-a few sprinkles of water
-1/2 tsp. olive oil
-1/4 tsp dried sage
-1 garlic clove
-salt and pepper to tast

1. Allow the puff pastry to thaw. 45 minutes for typical puff pastry. Longer if it has been in the freezer for more than two years.

2. Once the puff pastry is thawed, carefully open the sheet of it and slice it in half. Spray a baking sheet with cooking oil. Stretch out the puff pastry by pressing each half with your fingers and pulling with your hands. When the halves have been stretched as far as they can, place each half on the prepared baking sheet.

3. Preheat oven to 415 degrees Fahrenheit.

4. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, saute the garlic and red onion in olive oil until the onions are beginning to caramelize. Add the greens and balsamic vinegar and cook until the greens have wilted. Set the greens, onions and garlic aside.

5. Using the same pan heat the mushrooms. You can also mix the mushrooms in with the greens and onions but we live in a mushroom love/hate household so I made them separately. Heat the mushrooms until they have begun to brown. Set them aside.

6. Mix the ingredients for the sauce, except the water, in a blender. Puree until smooth. Add water to thin the sauce out if necessary.

7. Spread the sauce down the middle of each side of the puff pastry. Sprinkle the vegetables and mushrooms on top of the sauce. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Don’t worry if it puffs up a lot (its called puff pastry for a reason). Allow it to cool for ten minutes. Slice it and serve.

Served best with a side of cold, hard…

Food Flavored Video: Sloshed by Pedico

Food Flavored Video: Sloshed by Pedico

Back in February I attended a benefit for a local non-profit at Kaleisia Tea Lounge. I left the event ready to make a difference for this community. But what could I do? A weekend visit to the farmer’s market sparked an idea. The wooden shelves were just bending under the weight of all the watermelons they had for sale. Why not serve a bunch of homeless people some Watermelon “Steak” Salad? I could show them there is more to “steak” than steak.

While I was at it, I figured a large screen viewing of Pedico’s new video (for their single “Sloshed”) would pair perfectly. “Sloshed” combines three of Pedico’s favorite activities: throwing watermelons off of high cliffs, helping out their community and goat herding. The band describes the video as being “basically like if Moses (from the bible) drank 12 beers on a shitty, cloudy day and then fell asleep.” I’d add to that by saying that it is also basically like if 12 homeless Fletcherites were served Watermelon Steak Salad on slightly melted wax paper right when the abortion clinic protesters were wrapping up for the day. One of the most interesting parts of “Sloshed”, aside from the retro VHS quality framing, is that the music video pauses halfway through to offer an exclusive promo/info piece for “Brooklyn Urban Farming”, the band’s grassroots goat-adoption start-up, that is dedicated to the fostering and care of urban goats, all with troubled upbringings and spotted pasts. I like it. Instead of locking the goats away, they are handed over to the goat version of social services and provided an opportunity to work through their problems. I one hundred percent support goats getting a second (and in certain instances a third) chance to make things right.

“Sloshed” demonstrates why PEDICO deserves some sort of community centered award. They are always trying to give back to the furries, humans and smashed up watermelons in their community.

Listen: Singles from White Reaper, Kill the Waves, Kotomi and Racing Glaciers

Listen: Singles from White Reaper, Kill the Waves, Kotomi and Racing Glaciers

Spirulina is blue-green algae. It hangs in the muck. Its a dirt grinder. Its also chock full of vegan powered protein. All that is to say that Spirulina pairs perfectly with:

When we are talking muck diving, White Reaper’s new single “Make Me Wanna Die” comes to mind. Don’t let the white fool you, this is anything but sparkling and clean. The track reminds me a lot of one of my favorite garage rock artists, Jay Reatard. That means its best served loudly.

Kill The Waves can best be described as the combination of two sides of a personality meshed into a brand new shape and delivered with a Scottish accent. They are part glitchy rhythms, a la Caribou and Four Tet, and part unashamedly soulful songwriting, a la Arcade Fire and James Blake. Kill the Waves new single, “Better Days”, ventures into the world of syncopated soundscape. These soundscapes are created by the enthralling rise and fall of Tim Kwant’s vocals and the deeply embedded violins, triangles and keyboards which hover in and out of the listeners consciousness. Its easy to lose yourself in what “Better Days” has to offer.

While Kotomi is certainly no stranger to this, she usually got mention in the same breath as her collaborating partner Germany Germany. For once, Kotomi gets the stage all to herself. Her new track “Please (Say You Never Will)”, is a grandiose pop tune that explores the range of Kokomo’s vocals. It starts of level, with a calm majestic feel. By the time the chorus rolls around her vocals have risen to a much higher, more upbeat range. There is even a sort of yodeled out awawawa that hints at the bird like sound that appears on “I Bet My Life” by Imagine Dragons. I probably should’ve shared this track with some sushi, as she seems to be a fanatic, but I can’t keep sitting on it forever.

8 Months have past since Racing Glaciers last uploaded a song (insert glacial joke here). But it has all been well worth the wait as their return was done in fabulous style. “What I Saw” starts slow. From there it builds and builds into something magical and graceful. Think a glacier that is being carved out by sequin covered figure skaters. Racing Glaciers has slowed their online music content due to their focus on releasing a proper debut album. The new batch of tracks are a continuance of the band’s foray into expansive, post rock-influenced sound.

Green Burritos or: How I Learned to Free Willy and Stop Fearing Spirulina

Green Burritos or: How I Learned to Free Willy and Stop Fearing Spirulina

DSC_0448I get it dude, I was there once too. I think I was like five or six, playing hide and go seek around the house. I snuck into my mom’s secret closet of goodies to hide. My brother, cheater as he is, saw where I went and immediately rushed to grab me. In doing so, he hit one of my mom’s tins. Green stuff splattered all over my face. I thought it was the ashes of my great-great-grandmother and starting screaming to high heaven. Turns out those weren’t my great-great-grandmother’s ashes, just a container of my mom’s finest Spirulina. For years I attended therapy and avoided that green stuff because of the haunting memories it bestowed on me.

But when I found out Nuts.com (that’s where I ordered my last bag of boba from) was looking to make spirulina less intimidating, I knew it was just what I needed to cleanse those demons from my soul and free that Willy the Whale permanently. Perhaps, at the same time, I could help some of you with your whale releasing and soul cleansing ways.

Spirulina is a blue-green algae that has been dubbed a superfood because it is jammed packed with health benefits. For one, it is a complete protein, one that includes all nine essential amino acids. As any meat gouging human knows, protein is super important to vegans because they don’t get enough of it. According to Dr. Mike Roussel, Spirulina, by weight, is about 60% protein. That’s higher than beans, soy or MEAT (although not quite as high as eggs or milk)! *Vegans stand and do the cha-cha knowing the answer to the question where do you get your protein from is now even more confounding to meat eaters* Spirulina is also chock full of antioxidants, iron and calcium. It pretty much rules the roost when it comes to providing gamma linolenic acid. This omega-6 fatty acid is considered essential, meaning that it is necessary for human health (proper brain function, possible inflammation reduction), but the body can’t make it on its own. It has to be ingested.

Normally I put Spirulina to use in my smoothies. Pair it with some chocolate soy milk and you’ve got an almost Oreo cookie like treat. But tonight I wanted to try something different. I wanted to make green “taco meat” using walnuts, Spirulina and Edamame. I then wanted to shove that meat into a burrito filled with radishes, lettuce and avocado. I was quite impressed with how the whole process wound up playing out. The burritos were super tasty. The best part was that the only way J-Fur knew there was Spirulina in the the recipe is because she saw it on the menu. You couldn’t taste it at all. Huge health benefits with very little taste? Sign me up for another round of that one.

Green Burritos
(printable version)

-olive oil for frying
-1/2 a large onion
-2 garlic cloves
-2 cups of walnuts
-2 cups of frozen edamame
-4 sun-dried tomatoes
-2 Tbs. soy sauce
-2 Tbs. olive oil
-1 tsp. Spirulina
-2 tsp. chili powder
-1 tsp. cumin
-1/2 tsp. coriander
-radishes, thinly sliced
-avocado
-salsa
-wheat tortillas

1. In a nonstick frying pan, warm the edamame. Add the walnuts and toast for about two minutes. Pour into a food processor along with the sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, soy sauce, Spirulina and the spices. Pulse until the ingredients are well blended and have the same consistency as refried beans.

2. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the onion and cook until translucent and fragrant (we’re looking about five minutes).

3. Warm the tortillas. Pile a layer of “meat” right down the middle. Top with slices of avocado, radish, salsa and crisp lettuce if you have any (mine froze so it was unusable for this recipe). Wrap the ingredients in the tortillas and serve burrito style.

Sounds like…this.

Click: Loose Lipped Vegans, the California Droughts, Verbal Shots at the FBI and Other Things That Transformed My Week

Click: Loose Lipped Vegans, the California Droughts, Verbal Shots at the FBI and Other Things That Transformed My Week

Hey, didn’t you used to be that Man v Food guy who’d eat like fifty pound steaks and hellfire hot wings? Why are you instagramming out photos of tofu? Don’t tell me PETA and Neil Barnard ganged up on you too:

Happenings:

Recipes:

Singles:

“Hummingbird” by Hira King

“State of Low” by Cajsa Siik

Jade the Moon “Broken Angels”

Sivik “High”

“Skeletons” by Trails and Ways

Videos:

“The Bells” by Francisco’s Fortune

“This is War” by Skinny Lister

“Broken Angels” by Jade the Moon

“The Wolf” by Mumford & Sons

First Quarter Click Tracks (When Available) via Spotify: