Marinated Portobello Torta with Chipotle Mayonnaise

January 05, 2014 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes, Recipe, Sandwiches

Marinated Portobello Torta with Chipotle Mayonnaise

I’ve had this recipe on my “to do” list this summer and finally got around to trying it out. I’m glad I did. It was very easy to make and is really a unique play on a BBQ with southwestern flavors.

The recipe is pretty forgiving as I was missing some of the ingredients, including the chipotle pepper in adobo. Instead I used an adobo chili power and a dash of cayenne in the mayonnaise. And, instead of sliced jalapenos I used a hot jalapeno pickle relish which ultimately added a further depth of flavor.

Recipe: Marinated Portobello Torta with Chipotle Mayonnaise

Summary: A spicy vegan sandwich with bold flavors.

Ingredients

  • Marinated Portabellos
    • 3-4 small portobello mushrooms (Megabeth adjustment: I bought presliced portobello mushrooms to save some time.)
    • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • 3 tbsp tomato paste
    • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
    • 1 tsp dried oregano
    • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • Sandwich
    • 2/3 cup vegan mayonnaise
    • 2 chipotles in adobo sauce, seeds removed (Megabeth adjustment: use a dash cayenne and 1 teaspoon adobo chili power if you don’t have chipotles.)
    • 1 cup refried beans (Megabeth note: Check to make sure they are vegetarian.)
    • 1 ripe avocado, peeled, seeded and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
    • 4 pickled jalapeno peppers, sliced very thinly (Megabeth adjustment: I used 4 Tablespoons jalapeno pickle reslish)
    • 1 red onion, sliced into thin rings
    • 1/2 lb shredded romaine or iceberg lettuce
    • 4 crusty French or rustic-style sandwich rolls, or sandwich buns

Instructions

  • Prepare the mushrooms first. Whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, tomato paste, garlic, oregano and cumin.

Marinated Portobello Torta with Chipotle Mayonnaise

  • Coat the mushrooms with marinade and let stand for 20 minutes. Warm a skillet over medium-high heat and add the mushrooms, cooking for 5-7 minutes on each side. You can also cook these over a BBQ. Once cooked through, remove from heat.
  • To make the chipotle mayonnaise, pulse the vegan mayonnaise and chipotle peppers (or the seasoning if using) in a food processor until smooth. Warm the refried beans either in the microwave or on a stovetop, adding a little water if necessary to create a spreadable consistency. Have ready the tomatoes, avocado or guacamole, lettuce and red onion rings.

Marinated Portobello Torta with Chipotle Mayonnaise

  • Slice each sandwich roll in half horizontally, and, if desired, remove some of the bread inside to allow more room for the filling. Toast or grill each roll half until hot.
  • Assemble sandwich by spreading the inside of a roll with chipotle mayonnaise, then topping that with the refried beans. Stack on the bottom half a generous layer each of eggplant, tomato, avocado, shredded lettuce, jalapeno and some onions. Top with the upper half of the roll.

Preparation time: 30 minute(s)
Cooking time: 10 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 4

Vegetarian Tour of California: Chilled Avocado, Tomatillo and Cucumber Soup

May 14, 2011 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes, Other, Snacks/Appetizers, Vegetarian Tour of California

Chilled Avocado, Tomatillo and Cucumber Soup (1) Just to add a little more excitement for cycling fans in the month of May, the Tour of California now rides into the scene. (Yes, that’s right, for those following along at home, it goes on at the same time as the Giro d’Italia.) This eight day race takes us through some of the most scenic areas of the state, goes over some rigorous climbs and attracts some top-notch teams and riders.

California is truly a melting pot and its cuisine is influenced by a broad palate of flavors and styles.  Food in California is influenced by not only the immigrants that have settled in the state (Asian, Latin American, Italian, etc.) but also from the abundance of local foods that are easily accessible. Honestly, I’m always amazed at the wide-variety of fruits and vegetables that are available on the side of the road any time of the year.

Chefs from around the world have been attracted to the state and have created many popular fusion restaurants that highlight the local and international flavors. (Some places have a reservation wait list so long, you have to predict sometimes months, or a year, in advance to figure out when you’ll be free. Yeah, I’m looking at you French Laundry)

And, finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention all the health food and the general acceptance of the vegetarian and vegan lifestyle. Huzzah!

For those ready for a glass of wine, immigrants not only brought food influences, but also the beginnings of wine production in the state. In the 18th century, the Spanish brought the first grape vines and, well, the rest is history. Fast forward to the 21st century, and now California boasts over 90% of all wine production in the United States. Shall I also cite the 1976 blind taste test that vaulted California into the spotlight for producing decent wines to the Bottle Shock of France?

So, let’s get this California party started with a recipe from one of my most favorite vegan restaurants – Millennium in San Francisco. This recipe features many of the local ingredients found in California but specifically highlights the avocado. Avocados were introduced in California in 1871 by Judge R.B. Ord. (Yeah, that’s right, California history is so young that we even know the name of the guy that trotted across from Mexico with avocado trees and plopped them into Santa Barbara soil.) By the time the 1950’s rolled around there were almost 25 varieties of avocado being grown in the state.

This soup was divine – fresh, healthy and unique with the saffron-lime ice as an extra adornment. It went down smoothly on a warm spring day. It does make a lot (since there are only two of us in the house we had an enormous amount leftover). Note, avocado, by its nature, is very sensitive once it’s cut open so I wouldn’t sit on this soup for more than a day…or two.

Chilled Avocado, Tomatillo and Cucumber Soup
Millenium Restaurant – FabulousFoods.com

Saffron-Lime Ice:

  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, soaked in 1/4 cup warm water for 20 minutes
  • 1 teaspoon unrefined sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Hungarian or Spanish paprika, toasted
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt

Soup:

  • 1/2 yellow onion cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 jalapeño chile
  • 3 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 8 tomatillos, peeled
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled, halved and seeded
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, toasted
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 teaspoons light miso
  • 3 cups water
  • salt
  • cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted and very coarsely chopped for garnish

Instructions

To Make the Ice: Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl and pour into a 2 inch deep pan. Freeze for 3-4 hours until solid.

Saffron-Lime IceTo Make the Soup: Heat a large non-stick sauté pan over high heat. Add the onions, garlic and jalapeño. Dry toast, stirring frequently, for 7-10 minutes, until half the onions, garlic and jalapeño are charred. Remove from the pan and let cool to room temperature.

Chilled Avocado, Tomatillo and Cucumber Soup

Peel and seed the jalapeño. Place the avocado in a mixing bowl with the cooled onion, garlic and jalapeño. Add the tomatillos, cucumber, cilantro, oregano, nutmeg, black pepper, lime juice, miso and water.

Chilled Avocado, Tomatillo and Cucumber Soup

In a blender, or using a hand-held immersion blender, blend the ingredients in batches until smooth.

Chilled Avocado, Tomatillo and Cucumber Soup

Chilled Avocado, Tomatillo and Cucumber Soup

Add salt and cayenne pepper to taste. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until well chilled.

To Serve: Ladle the soup into 6 martini glasses. Sprinkle toasted almonds over the top of each. Scrape the saffron ice crystals off the pan with a fork, and place 2 teaspoons on each serving of soup. Serve immediately.

Chilled Avocado, Tomatillo and Cucumber Soup (2)

34 Simple (Vegetarian) Meals Ready in 10 Minutes or Less

October 05, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: Article, Main Dishes

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In 2007, the New York Times wrote an article called Summer Express: 101 Simple Meals Ready in 10 Minutes or Less. I’ve held on to the article (yes, from the actual newspaper) and just came across it again in a massive desk clean-up. So, rather than hiding it back into a deep dark drawer, I figured I’d list some of the ideas here.

In the original, the majority of the dishes included meat (mostly fish), but there were many on there that are vegetarian or vegan. I’ve also included several that were easy to substitute with a faux meat. Many of these dishes can be prepared if you are good about keeping the basics in your pantry. (For a refresher check out my list of what every vegetarian should have in their kitchen.)

So, without further ado, here are 34 simple vegetarian meals ready in 10 minutes or less.

1. Make six-minute eggs: Simmer gently, run under cold water until cool, then peel. Serve over steamed asparagus.
2. Toss a cup of chopped mixed herbs with a few tablespoons of olive oil in a hot pan. Serve over angel-hair pasta, diluting the sauce if necessary with pasta cooking water.
3. Make pesto: put a couple of cups of basil leaves, a garlic clove, salt, pepper and olive oil as necessary in a blender (walnuts and Parmesan are optional). Serve over pasta (dilute with oil or water as necessary).

IMG_89184. Gazpacho: Combine one pound tomatoes cut into chunks, a cucumber peeled and cut into chunks, two or three slices stale bread torn into pieces, a quarter-cup olive oil, two tablespoons sherry vinegar and a clove of garlic in a blender with one cup water and couple of ice cubes. Process until smooth, adding water if necessary. Season with salt and pepper, then serve or refrigerate, garnished with a little more olive oil.
5. Soak couscous in boiling water to cover until tender; top with tomatoes, parsley, olive oil and black pepper.
6. Chinese tomato and eggs: Cook minced garlic in peanut oil until blond; add chopped tomatoes then, a minute later, beaten eggs, along with salt and pepper. Scramble with a little soy sauce.
7. Cut eggplant into half-inch slices. Broil with lots of olive oil, turning once, until tender and browned. Top with crumbled goat or feta cheese and broil another 20 seconds.

IMG_35388. While pasta cooks, combine a couple cups chopped tomatoes, a teaspoon or more minced garlic, olive oil and 20 to 30 basil leaves. Toss with pasta, salt, pepper and Parmesan.

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9. Egg in a hole, glorified: Tear a hole in a piece of bread and fry in butter. Crack an egg into the hole. Deglaze pan with a little sherry vinegar mixed with water, and more butter; pour over egg.
10. Quesadilla: Use a combination of cheeses, like Fontina mixed with grated pecorino. Put on half of a large flour tortilla with pickled jalapenos, chopped onion, shallot or scallion, chopped tomatoes and grated radish. Fold tortilla over and brown on both sides in butter or oil, until cheese is melted.
11. Fast chile rellenos: Drained canned whole green chilies. Make a slit in each and insert a piece of cheese. Dredge in flour and fry in skillet slit side up, until cheese melts.
12. Saute 10 whole peeled garlic cloves in olive oil. Meanwhile, grate pecorino, grind lots of black pepper, chop parsley and cook pasta. Toss all together, along with crushed dried chili flakes and salt.
13. Cold soba with dipping sauce: Cook soba noodles, then rinse in cold water until cool. Serve with a sauce of soy sauce and minced ginger diluted with mirin and/or dry sake.

IMG_099514. Fried rice: Soften vegetables with oil in a skillet. Add cold take-out rice, chopped onion, garlic, ginger, peas and two beaten eggs. Toss until hot and cooked through. Season with soy sauce and sesame oil.
15. Taco salad: Toss together greens, chopped tomato, chopped red onion, sliced avocado, a small can of black beans and kernels from a couple of ears of corn. Toss with crumbled tortilla chips and grated cheese. Dress with olive oil, lime and chopped cilantro leaves.

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16. Migas, with egg: Saute chopped stale bread with olive oil, mushrooms, onions and spinach. Stir in a couple of eggs.
17. Saute shredded (or sliced) zucchini in olive oil, adding garlic and chopped herbs. Serve over pasta.

IMG_7905

18. Not takeout: Stir-fry onions with cut-up broccoli. Add cubed tofu along with a tablespoon each minced garlic and ginger. When almost done, add half cup of water, two tablespoons soy sauce and plenty of black pepper. Heat through and serve over fresh Chinese noodles.

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19. The Waldorf: Toast a handful of walnuts in a skillet. Chop an apple or pear; toss with greens, walnuts and a dressing made with olive oil, sherry vinegar, Dijon mustard and shallot. Top if you like, with crumbled goat or blue cheese.
20. Put a stick of butter and a handful of pine nuts in a skillet. Cook over medium heat until both are brown. Toss with cooked pasted, grated Parmesan and black pepper.
21. Put a tablespoon of cream and a slice of tomato in each of several small ramekins. Top with an egg, then salt, pepper, ad grated Parmesan. Bake at 350 degrees until the eggs set. Serve with toast.
22. Make a fast tomato sauce of olive oil, chopped tomatoes and garlic. Poach eggs in the sauce, then top with Parmesan.

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23. Peel and thinly slice raw beets; cook in butter or oil with garlic; do not overcook. Finish with parsley, lemon juice and coarse salt; serve over toast.
24. Rich vegetable soup: Cook asparagus tips and peeled stalks or most any other green vegetable in [vegetable] stock with a little tarragon until tender; reserve a few tips and puree the rest with a little butter (cream or yogurt, too, if you like) adding enough stock to thin the puree. Garnish with the reserved tips. Serve hot or cold.
25. Brush portobello caps with olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper and broil until tender. Briefly sweat chopped onions, then scramble eggs with them. Put eggs in mushrooms.
26. Near instant mezze: Combine hummus on plate with yogurt laced with chopped cucumbers and a bit of garlic, plus tomato, feta, white beans with olive oil and pita bread.
27. Sear corn kernels in olive oil with minced jalapenos and chopped onions; toss with cilantro, black beans, chopped tomatoes, chopped bell pepper and lime.

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28. Pit and chop a cup or more of mixed olives. Combine with olive oil, a little minced garlic, red pepper flakes and chopped basil or parsley. Serve over pasta.
29. Grated carrots topped with six-minute eggs (run under cold water until cool before peeling), olive oil and lemon juice.
30. Cut off the top of four big tomatoes; scoop out the interior and mix them with toasted stale baguette or pita, olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs (basil, tarragon, and/or parsley). Stuff into tomatoes and serve with salad.
31. Pasta frittata: Turn cooked pasta and a little garlic into an oiled or buttered skillet. Brown, pressing to create a cake. Flip, then top with three or four beaten eggs and loads of Parmesan. Brown other side and serve.
32. Ketchup-braised tofu: Dredge large tofu cubes in flour. [Megabeth note: press and drain tofu to get excess liquid out before using.] Brown in oil; remove from skillet and wipe skillet clean. Add a little more oil, then a tablespoon minced garlic; 30 seconds later, add one and a half cups ketchup and the tofu. Cook until sauce bubbles and tofu is hot.
33. Veggie burger: Drain and pour a 14-ounce can of beans into a food processor with an onion, half a cup of rolled oats, a tablespoon chili powder or other spice mix, an egg, salt and pepper. Process until mushy, then shape into burgers, adding a little liquid or oats as necessary. Cook in oil about three minutes a side and serve.
34. So-called Fettuccine Alfredo: Heat several tablespoons of butter and about half a cup of cream in a large skillet just until the cream starts to simmer. Add slightly undercooked fresh pasta to the skillets, along with plentuy of grated Parmesan. Cook over low heat, tossing, until pasta is tender and hot.

Restaurant Review – San Francisco Soup Company, San Francisco, California

May 26, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: Restaurant Review

The San Francisco Soup Company – why couldn’t this place be called Washington DC Soup Company? I would eat lunch here every day if it was located on the East Coast. As a vegetarian, it’s so refreshing to enter a restaurant and have items identified as vegan or vegetarian. This is even more refreshing when ordering soups because of ubiquitous chicken or beef stock in many soup recipes.

The San Francisco Soup Company boasts a long list of fresh soups that were vegetarian. The gentleman behind the counter gave me the  opportunity to sample a few soups. I had trouble deciding between a hot pea soup and  a cold avocado based southwestern soup. We also ordered a tomato bisque.  The menu changes daily but can be found easily on their website.

The tomato bisque had several complex flavors and depth. It was smoky and creamy. On a cool spring day, the soup was warming and filling.

San Francisco Soup Company - Tomato Soup

I finally decided on the cold avocado soup as it was refreshing and light. I added some hot sauce and sour cream and it became a fantastic mid-afternoon snack.

San Francisco Soup Company - Avocado Soup

There are 16 locations around San Francisco according to their website. I also just found out that there is a San Francisco Soup Company location in the SFO airport in Terminal 3. On my next layover, I definitely will be stopping by.

San Francisco Soup Company
Various Locations
San Francisco, California


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