Monday, July 15, 2013

Vegan (!!!) mushroom mini quiche

Dear friends!

I have missed you. I didn't realize that some of you actually read the blog and actually noticed that it hasn't been updated in nearly a year. I have missed thinking about food that would be fun to share, writing new ideas for you and for myself, and just the joy of sharing food far beyond the dinner table.

I had some lovely friends over for brunch on Sunday and one of the dishes everyone loves are these crustless mini quiche. They are loaded with sweet caramelized onions, rich mushrooms, herbs and spices and are absolutely delicious. The surprise is that they contain no eggs and no dairy and instead rely on silken tofu. I adapted multiple recipes and it is certainly open to more interpretations, like adding different spices, sauteed spinach (squeezed of excess liquid) or zucchini, pieces of steamed asparagus would all be welcome.

Tofu mushroom mini quiche
1 large yellow onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced across
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 pound of crimini mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed, and caps sliced
1/2 pound of shiitake mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed, and caps sliced
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 sprigs of thyme and 1 sprig of rosemary, finely minced
1 package (12.3oz) of extra-firm silken tofu (I used Morinaga brand)
1/4 cup unsweetened soy milk
1 teaspoon corn starch or potato starch
Salt and pepper to taste, but do season generously
Chopped parsley and/or thinly sliced scallions optional

Heat 2 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium skillet (do not use non-stick) over medium-high heat and add the onions. Stir occasionally until onions start to brown. Turn the heat to medium-low and continue to cook, stirring more frequently to prevent burning until onions are copper brown and their smells becomes sweet. Add 1/2 teaspoon paprika and Aleppo pepper and cook for another minute. If the onions are burning, turn down the heat and add another splash of olive oil. Once onions are caramelized, season them with a bit of salt and pepper and remove from the skillet.

Rinse and dry the skillet and heat another tablespoon of olive oil over high heat. Add mushrooms in one layer and do not overcrowd them. Saute mushrooms, turning occasionally, until nicely brown. Add thyme and rosemary while cooking mushrooms. You may need to do this in batches, because cooking too many mushrooms at the same time can make them steam instead of sear. Season cooked mushrooms with a bit of salt and pepper. Combine mushrooms with onions in a medium bowl. This step can be done up to 2 days in advance and the mixture should be refrigerated.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray. I like Trader Joe's olive oil spray, but you can also brush the cups lightly with olive oil.

In a blender or a food processor combine tofu, soy milk, remaining 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, and corn starch. Blend on high for 2-3 minutes until well mixed. Add to mushroom-onion mixture, add parsley and scallions if desired, and thoroughly combine. Spoon heaping tablespoons of quiche mixture into muffin cups. You'll have 10 - 12 quiche. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes until set and light brown, then cool for 10-15 minutes. Gently ease the quiche out of the muffin tin using a thin knife or spatula (they are a little delicate) and serve warm.

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