Chef Roberto Martin wasn't vegan (but I definitely still like him) when he took the job of creating meals for Ellen and Portia. In fact, he was concerned that he wouldn't know how to please a vegan. But he did what every good omni chef should do: He took the same flavors he used in meat dishes and used them in vegan ones. He made real food, not hippie, healthy crap. Now he's sharing some of the ultimate power couple's favorite recipes in this full-color, hardback book.
On first flip-through, I knew I'd have a hard time deciding what to try first. The photos of Chick'n Pot Pie, Faux Pho, creamy Mac 'n' Cheese, Tofu Crab Cakes, and Beluga Lentil Caviar on Blini are absolutely drool-inducing. But when I stumbled upon the Southern Fried Chick'n, I knew what to do:
For one, it's Southern food, and y'all know that's my bag. But this vegan fried chicken is different from any other for one awesome reason — it has skin!! In a genius experiment, Martin tried rolling Gardein in rice paper spring roll wrappers to give the meat a skin similar to the skin on animal fried chicken. It's battered with a seasoned flour mixture and a Tabasco-laced cashew cream. And then it's fried in hot oil. Look inside:
Now it's been a very long time since I've eaten chicken skin (more than 17 years!), but this is how I remember it. This recipe truly would impress a carnivore, I'm sure. I also love how Martin uses Gardein in many of his recipes. While I love homemade seitan (and call for it in many of the recipes in my own cookbook), I also love recipes that come together in minutes. Martin's recipes are quick and easy, and they still feel gourmet.
On the side, I made Martin's Creamed Spinach:
It should really be called creamed spinach and peas since there's as much peas as spinach. But regardless of its name, this dish was delish. The veggies are whisked into a milk gravy. So good! I've never had dairy creamed spinach, but I'm sure this dish would impress omnis as well. Since Martin relies on simple preparations and universal flavors, these are perfect for