Virtual Vegan Potluck Update: We have reached (actually surpassed!) our goal of 100 Potluck participants! Yay! The sign-up form on the website will be closed at noon U.S. Mountain Time today – so there’s still a little time to get your blog added. Tomorrow I will be posting the final list of blogs – in the order they will appear in the Potluck. The list will be available tomorrow morning both on the VVP Page here and on the VVP website. More vital information is coming in the days ahead, but you can also visit the website now to get the lowdown on what you need to do to prepare for the Potluck. Time to get into the kitchen!
Now, let’s make some cheez…
Khatchapuri is a Georgian cheese bread – not unlike an American pizza or a Turkish pide – and it was my absolute favorite thing to eat during the year that I lived in Moscow. The key to a delicious khatchapuri is a good salty, pungent, tangy, creamy cheese. A bit of a problem for a vegan. When I was still eating the stuff, I’d use a combination of feta and cream cheese, both readily available items here in the States, while whatever cheese Georgians use for theirs is probably not.
I haven’t made khatchapuri since I went vegan well over a year ago, but VeganMoFo is demanding all the culinary shenanigans that I’ve got – so I decided to tackle one of my most-missed food items. I’ve seen recipes for khatchapuri that call for something called farmer cheese, which I guess has the requisite consistency and tart pungency. I considered making tofu feta, but the recipes I’ve seen call for a lot of olive oil and I’m just not going there. I went somewhere else completely. The resulting creamy, very salty (without salt), lemony cheez kinda blew off my socks. Tofu, once again, your versatility and chameleon-like abilities amaze me.
Tofu Farmer Cheez
Makes enough for 2 batches of khatchapuri
1 16 oz. carton extra firm tofu, pressed
1/4 cup cashews, soaked in water for a few hours, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup almond milk
juice of 1 lemon
zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp. soy sauce
1/4 cup white miso paste
1 clove garlic, minced or grated
1/2 tsp. dried onion flakes
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
ground black pepper, to taste
Combine 1/2 cup almond milk with half of the lemon juice, stir and set aside for a few minutes.
Cut off one-third of the block of tofu and crumble into a blender. Add the cashews, the milk mixture, the soy sauce and miso paste and process until smooth.
Crumble the remaining two-thirds of the tofu into a large bowl. Add the remaining lemon juice, the lemon zest, garlic, onion flakes, cilantro and black pepper. Stir in the tofu-miso mixture. Pour into an air-tight container and let sit for several hours in the refrigerator – or overnight. The mixture will firm up as it sets.
(This would make a super tasty pita filling – as is – no cooking/baking.)