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RECIPE: Coconut Vinegar–Cured Tofu Scallops with Lemongrass-Basil Cream Sauce and Cilantro-Garlic Coconut Rice

Published on January 22, 2011 by   ·   54 Comments Pin It
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Jenn Shagrin’s blog, “Veganize It…Don’t Criticize It”, is the ramblings of a comedienne and vegan cookbook author. Jenn’s recently released cookbook, “Veganize This!” published by Da Capo press is going to be your go-to cookbook for impressing your future in-laws.  The recipes are gourmet, healthy, and totally decadent.  Want it, own it, share it.

Veganize This!: From Surf & Turf to Ice-Cream Pie–200 Animal-Free Recipes for People Who Love to Eat by Jenn Shagrin, $11.18 @amazon.com

Jenn’s take on why veganism rules:  “As vegans, we not only stand to change for the better personally aka lower risk of cardiovascular disease, lower cholesterol, lower risks of certain types of diabetes and cancers, bone diseases, I could go on for ages but I might get verklempt and you’d have to talk amongst yourselves (hey, a little old Saturday Nigh Live Humor goes a long way). We also stand to have a lower Body Mass Index, higher energy levels, better breath (it’s true!), and live longer lives. In terms of changing the world in general, there are almost too many facts to begin naming (the verklempt thing again). For starters, growing plants takes up much fewer resources than growing animals. A vegan diet helps prevent the spread of E-Coli, Salmonella, Mad Cow Disease, etc. Also, feeding grains to animals means less food for people in under-developed countries. I sure hope the writers of that bad joke are starting to use their noggins a little more effectively at this point. Vegans also don’t have to worry about consuming hormones found in many meats that disrupt the natural balance of our own bodies hormones. These hormones fed to animals have even been found to cause tumors in humans. That’s right…say it like Arnold now…Oh no, “It’s not a tuumaahh!”. Well, that’s the facts right in front of your face. By being a vegan, you stand to not only benefit personally, but benefit the world at large.”

Try out this recipe from her book that’ll not only taste delicious, but help save the world, too.  (From Jenn; “If you like it, go buy my book! I’m a broke ass bitch.”)

Coconut Vinegar–Cured Tofu Scallops with Lemongrass-Basil Cream Sauce and Cilantro-Garlic Coconut Rice

Makes 4 large or 6 small servings

For the Scallops

  • 1 batch Tofu Scallops (page 17 of my book…hah! Now you have to buy it!)
  • 1⁄2 cup tightly packed cilantro sprigs, chopped finely
  • 1⁄3 cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 cup coconut vinegar (substitute brown rice vinegar if you can’t find it)
  • 1⁄4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Small handful of brown mustard seeds
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
  • A few grinds of mixed peppercorns
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons vegan margarine
  • Freshly cracked black pepper

For the Coconut Rice

  • 1⁄8 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped finely
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced 1
  • ⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 11⁄2 cups coconut milk
  • 2 cups filtered water

For The Sauce

  • 1⁄2 tablespoon vegan margarine
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
  • 1⁄3 cup vermouth
  • 1⁄3 cup lemongrass stalks, chopped finely and outer layers discarded
  • 1 cup fresh chiffonaded basil leaves (see tip)
  • 3⁄4 cup MimicCreme or soy creamer
  • 1⁄2 cup prepared Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base (or any No Chicken Broth
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • About 1⁄4 teaspoon salt Coarsely ground peppercorns

SHAGGY KITCHEN TIP: To “chiffonade” an herb or leafy green means to slice it into long, thin ribbons. This can be done simply by stacking the fresh leaves on top of each other, then rolling them up like a scroll (or joint, if that makes more sense). Once rolled up, use either a knife or pair of kitchen shears to slice the leaves into ribbons.

Directions

  1. Prepare the scallops: Place the scallops in a long, shallow container or plastic bag, and set aside.
  2. In a medium-size bowl, combine the cilantro, mint, coconut vinegar, lime juice, brown mustard seeds, salt, and pepper. Whisk well to combine.
    Pour the mixture over the scallops and place tightly covered in refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours, flipping the scallops after 11⁄2 hours.
  3. Carefully drain the scallops. In a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat, heat the margarine until fully melted. Place the scallops in the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Carefully sear the scallops on each side until golden brown, making sure to roll them around a bit on the curved sides as well.
  4. Remove the scallops from the pan and set aside, lowering the heat under the skillet to low.
  5. Prepare the rice: Place the rice, cilantro sprigs, garlic, and salt in your rice cooker. Add the coconut milk and water, and stir well with a wooden or plastic spoon.
  6. Place the lid on the rice cooker and set the device to “Cook” mode. Most rice cookers will take 20 to 30 minutes to finish the cooking process.
  7. After the “Cook” mode switches off, leave the rice cooker on “Warm” mode for about 10 minutes to finish the cooking process and obtain that great sticky quality.
  8. Alternatively, if you do not own a rice cooker, cook the rice on your stove top as directed by the package instructions, substituting the coconut milk for some of the recommended amount of water. Make sure you add the cilantro, garlic, and salt when you add the liquid prior to cooking.
  9. Prepare the sauce: Add the 1⁄2 tablespoon of margarine to the pan and let it melt—it’ll happen quickly, so keep your eye on it. Add the shallots and garlic to the skillet and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  10. Raise the heat to medium, add the vermouth, and allow it to deglaze the pan. Add the lemongrass, basil, MimicCreme, broth, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Cook over medium heat until reduced by about half. Taste for salt and pepper.
  11. Serve over the scallops and rice.

Lovely Jenn is a working actress (yes, they exist) in Los Angeles.  You’ve definitely seen her in a few things. In the kitchen, Jenn is best known around the Los Angeles area for baking the popular Vegan Twinkies for sale at various restaurants. She also does freelance Vegan Menu Design for local restaurants, most recently Fratelli’s Café on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood. She lives in West Hollywood, CA with her wife, Jane.

Cutie Jenn (on the right)

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