20 May 2006

Vegan Chef - Ken Bergeron

Chef Bergeron has been cooking professionally for more than 30 years. He was the first-ever gold medal winner for a vegan savory foods and pastry presentation at the Culinary Olympics in Germany, and he is the author of the award-winning Professional Vegetarian Cooking book packed with vegan recipes that are full of flavor and flair as well as tips on vegan cooking techniques. Visit for examples of some of his delicious Vegan recipes, including the one below which is scrumptious.

Hungarian-Style Braised Mushrooms

The paprika, Cashew Crème, and apple cider vinegar supply the flavor and feel of a typical Hungarian-style dish. A mixture of mushroom varieties would work well too.

1 lb. sweet onions, sliced
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 cups julienned sweet red peppers
2 lbs. baby bella or white button mushrooms
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp. paprika
Pinch of cayenne
5 Tbsp. flour
1/4 cup tomato paste
4 cups Mushroom Stock (see recipe below)
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 cup Cashew Crème (see recipe below)
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

• Sauté the onions in the olive oil over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and red peppers and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes.
• Stir in the salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne, and flour. Stir in the tomato paste and then slowly stir in the stock and soy sauce and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes and add the Cashew Crème and vinegar. Cook a few minutes longer. Season to taste.
• Serve with noodles, rice or some other grain.

For the Mushroom Stock:
1 cup dried mushrooms
1 1/4 qts. vegetable stock

• Simmer the dried mushrooms in the stock for 10 minutes. Remove the mushrooms with a slotted spoon and rinse if needed. Chop coarsely and set aside.
• Strain the stock through a fine sieve or coffee filter to remove any soil. Add the mushrooms back into the stock and keep warm until ready to add to the recipe.

For the Cashew Crème:
1/2 cup raw cashews*
3/4 cup water

• Place the cashews and water in a blender. Let sit 20 minutes. Using pulsing actions, blend until very smooth.

*Note: Roasted cashews may be used instead. If only salted cashews are available, reduce or eliminate the salt from the mushroom recipe.

Makes 6 to 8 servings



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