Sunday, March 9, 2014

Southern Women's Show Cooking Demo

For four years now, I've been doing cooking demos on the Celebrity Cooking Stage at Memphis' annual Southern Women's Show. My company, Contemporary Media (which publishes the Memphis Flyer), makes sure I have a spot on the stage each year.

Year to year, the turnout varies greatly. Last year, I had a very small crowd, and the year before my audience was packed. My first year, when Stephanie and I did a demo together, we had exactly five people watching (and I worked with two of them). Unfortunately, that one year when I had a huge crowd, I forgot the tempeh for my tempeh BBQ. That demo was a disaster, and I had to talk about what I would do if actually had my ingredients. Thankfully, I didn't forget the pre-made samples that year.

This year, the crowd was wonderful! Most of the seats were full, and the audience was engaging and asked great questions. Keep in mind that most of these people are not vegan, yet they asked great questions about flax eggs and coconut oil. I'm finding that, when I do demos these days, I'm far less likely to get the old "Where do you get your protein?" questions. The world is changing. Finally, people get vegan.

I made the Blackeyed Pea Corn Cakes with Roasted Red Pepper Cream from Cookin' Crunk. It's a fried recipe, and I chose that because I wanted to show people that frying doesn't have to be super-duper-unhealthy. I pan-fried the fritters in coconut oil and used whole wheat pastry flour in the batter.

That set of shoulders beside me belongs to my friend Cassi of The Pretty In Pink Vegan. She and our friend Aisha joined me at the women's show, and Cassi was sweet enough to help me plate and hand out samples. Thanks Cassi!

Unlike with most demos, where the audience doesn't really get a good view of what I'm doing with my hands, the women's show stage is equipped with cameras above the stove and counter.

And here's a picture of the plated dish, taken when I made a practice batch at home before the show.

I promised the audience that I'd post the recipe online, so here ya go. 

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Black-Eyed Pea Corn Cakes with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Yields 8 corn cakes

Corn Cakes
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon ground flax seed + 2 tablespoons water
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 cup frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
1 cup canned black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
Coconut oil for frying (1/4 to 1/2 cup)
Extra corn and black-eyed peas, garnish

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
1 cup crumbled silk tofu
1 cup chopped, jarred roasted red peppers, patted dry with paper towels
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from one average-sized lemon)
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, and garlic powder in a large bowl.

Whisk the flax seed with the 2 tablespoons of water in medium bowl. Add the almond milk and whisk again. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry mixture and stir to incorporate. Gently stir in the corn and the black-eyed peas.

Coat the bottom of a large skillet with the oil and heat on medium for about 3 to 5 minutes. Scoop out 1/4 cup of the corn cake batter and carefully drop it into the hot oil. Repeat this process until you’ve fit as many cakes as possible into the pan, but make sure the sides of the cakes don’t touch one another. As the cakes cook, line a plate with several layers of paper towels.

Fry the corn cakes for 2 to 3 minutes or until brown on one side. Flip cakes and continue cooking until the other side is brown. Remove from the hot oil using a metal slotted spoon. Place onto the paper towel-lined plate and allow oil to drain for a minute or so. Add extra salt to taste if desired.

To make the sauce, place silk tofu, roasted red pepper, lemon juice, onion powder, cumin, and salt to a food processor. Process until smooth, stopping at least once to scrape down the sides of the processor.

Serve the corn cakes warm and top with a tablespoon or so of roasted red pepper sauce. If desired, garnish the sauce with a few teaspoons of corn and black-eyed peas.


Dana said...

YUM! that looks awesome

JL said...

Bianca! This is great! Love your recipe choices and love that the audience was so engaged. YOU ROCK!

aboles said...

The recipe says it makes 8 cakes. They look pretty small, so I wonder if that is accurate. From the list of ingredients, I would expect it to make more. How many would it serve as a main dish?

They look really good, and I want to make them!

Bianca said...

Hi aboles. It is correct-ish. :-) I retested the recipe last week making full-sized cakes (the ones at the demo were smaller sample sized ones) using 1/4th cup batter per cake. I actually ended up with enough batter for nine. But it really depends on how much batter you drop into the oil at one time. If you use rounded 1/4th cups, you'll probably get 8.

I typically eat two at a time with a salad or some other veggie side dish.