April 2018

Babaganoush: Roasted Eggplants Dip {Vegan, Gluten Free}

Babaganoush is one of those recipes that never gets old for me. Easy. Smoky. Flavorful. I just love it!

Babaganoush or Mutabal is that middle eastern creamy or chunky eggplant dip (or salad, if you wish) that is usually paired with hummus and variety of salads.

In terms of ingredients I’ve seen some variations: some people add raw garlic while others add roasted (which I prefer because the flavor is less sharp), some people add greek yogurt (I always wondered why my friend’s babaganoush looked soooo white! You got it!), others rely on tahini and others even add mayonnaise for creaminess. Some people mix-in fresh parsley, some people just garnish with it, and so on… but despite all this, I wanted to share my recipe for an Easy Babaganoush, so let’s get started!

How to Make it

To prepare this delicious dip I roast my eggplants over high flame making sure I turn a few times so that the eggplants gets all the skin charred (including both ends). This is what adds the beautiful smoky flavor to the babaganoush.

Roasting on high flame can get a little messy, to avoid this, I cover the stove top burner with aluminum foil. Baking the eggplants should be definitely a no-no when making babaganoush. It is simply not the same because the smoky flavor won’t be there (which is the main characteristic and a plus!).

Once the eggplants are all charred and beautifully burnt, transfer to a plate to cool down and then peel the skin off. No need to run under water! (heresy!!). The skin will peel off very easily when the eggplant is cooked and cooled. If you find some places where skin is not peeling off is because that bit is undercooked. You can probably finish cooking that bit on the stove..


Here it comes a critical step. You need to dry out those eggplants! If you don’t you will end up with a soupy mess. Not good! For this step, I just add my roughly chopped or mashed eggplants to a skillet, on medium-high heat, and dry for a good 5-7 minutes, or until I see there is no more excess liquid. Alternatively, you can drain the excess water by transferring your peeled eggplants to a sieve and let it drain for like an hour or so, but who has time for that, right?!!

Finishing up the Babaganoush

Once your eggplants are all dried you can mix with the remaining ingredients; mashing with a fork or pulsing in a food processor to get a creamy texture. Super easy right? That is why we love Babaganoush so much!

To add another layer of flavor I add roasted garlic. I buy fresh and roast several garlic heads to always have on hand; because roasted garlic is so good! You can totally add fresh garlic if you don’t want to do the extra step, but I suggest you add a bit less than the recipe calls for. For 2 eggplants (500 grs) I add 3 roasted garlic cloves, but if I am using raw garlic I will just add 1 clove or adjust to taste.

 

How do you like your babaganoush? Creamy or Chunky? Let us know in the comments section below or head over instagram and pinterest and let us know. We love to hear from you!

And, don’t be shy and show us your recipes from the blog with the hashtag #kasheribbean. If you love this recipe don’t forget to follow on instagram and pinterest and share with your friends and family! It really means a lot to us!

Until next time!
Hannah

Vegan Challah

Have you ever wanted to make Challah and then realized you are out of eggs? No need to go last minute shopping anymore thanks to this easy Vegan Challah.

Making bread at home

Bread is made with 4 basic ingredients: Flour, water, yeast and salt; so essentially “bread” has been made vegan for generations, but today a lot of recipes have tons of eggs.

If you are allergic to eggs or, you just ran out of eggs at 10 pm, right before starting baking; don’t worry, you have come to the right place.

The recipe I use was originally created by Rachel Orenstein Packer. In her recipe she uses a combination of oil, water and baking powder which she mixes separately to create an egg replacement (so the original recipe calls for 2 amounts of water and 2 amounts of oil).

I wanted to make this easier for me so I mixed together my dry ingredients (flour, yeast, sugar and salt) and, in another container, all the liquids plus baking powder, and after making it both ways, I honestly don’t see a difference.

Kneading by hand or not?

I like to knead my dough by hand because this is how I learned and it is so therapeutic!! so this is how I made this Vegan Challah initially, but you can use an stand mixer if you prefer.

When using a stand mixer, adjust the kneading time and speed as it is easier to overheat or overwork the dough using one. To avoid any issues with the quality of your bread, and to avoid burning your stand mixer, knead at low speed.

What you are looking for when kneading, either by hand or stand mixer is to have a stretchy and smooth dough.

Note on the ingredients

I converted the original recipe in grams in order to achieve consistent results, so for this recipe you obviously will need a digital scale. I know it can sound a little tedious at the beginning, but honestly is the best you can do, specially when baking. (For the recipe in cups, visit here)


Make sure you buy bread flour when making a bread recipe, It has a higher protein content (gluten) and will result on a more elastic dough and better final product.

Also make sure the yeast you are using is fresh. For this recipe I use instant yeast for convenience, but if you are using fresh baker’s yeast (the one that comes in blocks), you’ll need to double or triple the amount. (to be safe I will double the yeast and increase the time for fermentation).

When adding the yeast to the dry ingredients make sure you add the salt far away from the yeast so that it doesn’t make direct contact because the salt kill the yeast.

To add the seeds to the top, I just dip the top in a little bit of water and then dip in a bowl with seeds/seed mixture. You can also just brush the top with maple syrup if you like the flavor and want the shine, but this is not necessary.

A dough in the making

Once you poured wet ingredients into the dry, start mixing with a fork and then, continue to mix with your hands, still in the bowl, until the dough comes together (See picture below)

Once this point have being achieved, transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. As you can see in the picture below, the dough looks messy and a bit crumbly, so you will knead unto the point where you see the dough is smooth and elastic. This will take about 10 minutes.

When transferring to your work surface, don’t go crazy about the flour or you will dry out the dough. I find 2 Tbsp is enough. Knead the dough for 10 minutes straight and when time is over, place it on a bowl lightly coated with oil and let the dough rest for and hour or until is doubled in size. Time here will depend on the temperature and humidity of your kitchen. If in one hour or so, the dough hasn’t rise enough, the place might be too cold or the yeast might be old.

If the place is too cold, alternatively you can place your dough in a warm oven with warm water inside (just turn on your oven to warm it up a little bit). Turn off the oven before placing your dough inside and let your dough rest until doubled in size.

Once the dough has finished its first rise (also called “bulk fermentation”), punch it down and start portioning and shaping the dough.

Portioning & Shaping

The final dough should be 1900 grams or so. I made 6 spiral round challahs, each weighing 110grs. With the remaining dough I made buns/rolls (usually these weigh between 20-30 grams and you’ll get 18 to 20).

Dip the top of your challah in a bowl of water and inmediately dip in your favorite seed or seeds mixture (for these ones I used pumpkin and sesame seeds). Place your shaped challah or buns in a baking sheet lined with baking paper and let rest for a second time, to achieve the second rise (another hour or so, or until doubled in sized).

15 or 20 minutes before the second fermentation is over, start preheating your oven to 180ºC (350ºF).


Baking

Once your Vegan Challah is ready to be baked, place it in your preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes for the spiral round mini challoth or 20-25 the smaller buns. Baking time will vary if your oven lies to you.

Get the bread out of the oven, and transfer immediately to a cooling rack (if you can actually wait for them to cool down, lol, because they are so good straight out of the oven!!)

Ta-Da! You officially made handmade Vegan Challah! 😀 😀 Good job! Tap yourself on the back and enjoy yourself (and your homemade Vegan Challah!) for this accomplishment 🙂

If you have any question regarding this recipe let us know in the comments section below. Also, if you make changes, we want to hear from you! We love experiments!

Also, don’t be shy and show us your challoth and buns on instagram with the hashtag #kasheribbean. If you love this recipe don’t forget to follow on instagram and pinterest and share with your friends and family! It really means a lot to us!

Happy Baking! 😉

Spinach & Pumpkin Seeds Pesto {Vegan, Nut-Free}

Now that Pesach is over, we can indulge with this super green, easy and flavorful Spinach & Pumpkin Seeds Pesto. #Happyhametzweek 🙂

Looking for more pasta posts? Head over our Vegan Mushrooms Spinach Pasta, Avocado Pesto or the mega yummy Sweet Potato and Tomato Pasta Sauce!

I love pesto so much! Made with fresh basil and roasted pine nuts, pesto must be one of the easiest and yummiest sauces of the whole pasta world.

But, what happen if you run out of basil or you just don’t want to break the bank buying pine nuts?

Here it comes: Spinach & Pumpkin seeds Pesto

This is where Spinach and Pumpkin seeds come to play. This duo is awesome because with it you can make salads, rice, soups, sauces, snacks and, of course, pesto 🙂

It is also a great solution when you are traveling and need some greens boost in the form of lunch or dinner before heading to the airport 😀 Plus, it is satisfying, vegan and nut-free for those who have nut allergies.

Ready in no time

This Spinach & Pumpkin Seeds Pesto (or any pesto really) needs literally no work and is ready in no time. You just need to dumb a handful of ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the desired consistency.

Because all I have is a mini food processor I did this in 2 batches which was actually a good thing because I processed my roasted seeds separately and get some lovely texture at the end from the bits of roasted seeds. You can also do this with a traditional blender or immersion blender. Use what you have.

If for any reason you don’t like the flavor of pumpkin seeds, you can substitute with more or less roasted sunflower seeds (I find they have a more subtle flavor)

With this pasta we bring to a full circle another year of Pesach memories and say adeus to a wonderful Pesach in Portugal.

 

If you love this recipe don’t forget to share with your friends and family and tag us #kasheribbean on social media when you make it.

We love to see your creations. Don’t forget to follow on Instagram and Pinterest to keep up with other easy recipes we share just there. Have a wonderful week ahead.

Until next time! 🙂