The Hunt For Kiev (Divan Intervention)
When it comes to food, I don’t miss much. As a vegetarian, you tend to forget about the meat products you used to eat. Plain and simple. Plus, for a lot of people, they never really liked meat to begin with. But to each their own. No judgment here, either way.
Now, to be clear… I don’t miss meat. But nothing excites me more than experimenting in the kitchen. And a lot of my creativity comes from products that already exist. Segue!
I recently saw Chicken Kiev in the freezer department of my local grocery store, and decided to give it a try.
Over the next little while, I’m going to experiment with new “Kiev-like” recipes that I create in this oft-twisted head of mine. The results will be posted here and, hopefully, we can decide on a winning Kiev recipe, together.
I’m going to try and get taste testers as well. Not that it’s hard to convince people to eat my delicious creations. I’m more concerned about saving portions because I’m a pig and will more than likely inhale these experiments within minutes of them being cooked.
Also, I’d like to note that I will in no way recreate Kiev. instead I am simply honing my skills by challenging myself to create a vegetarian dish that resembles what Kiev is supposed to be. Example: Kiev is typically garlic. I’m using a thick cheese roux and broccoli. Also, my first experiment looked like an egg roll. So, shut-upa-yo-mouth!
First up? Yuba Skins!
YUBA SKIN KIEV
I find it utterly shocking that I haven’t been able to find these pre-made…yet.
Yuba Skin is basically tofu skin.
To put it simply, simmer pure soy milk and pull off that top layer of skin that forms.
As I had no Yuba guy in the city (ROSS CORDER HELP ME OUT), I had to create them myself.
I simmered PURE Soy Milk (ingredients: Water/Soy Beans) and in 7 minutes, the skin started to appear.
I grazed a knife along the edge and peeled it out with two chopsticks on either end.
You can watch a tutorial online. But I’m not posting pictures because all of mine ended up looking like zombie skin (And let’s be honest, nobody needs to see that).
Once I had 5 or 6 skins laid out, I stacked them, dropped some filling inside, and Rolled it shut. Then breaded it lightly in breadcrumbs and fried in vegetable oil for 3 minutes a side. Voila!! DELICIOUS!
Now, I will be using the same filling for most/all of the experiments, and am posting it here for you now, so you can take notes. Yay!
BROCCOLI & CHEESE ROUX:
3 T, Butter (or marg)
1/4 C, Flour
2 C, Soy Milk.
1 C, Nutritional yeast
1 1/4 T, Turmeric
1 T, Paprika
1 t, Garlic
1 t, Mustard (fancy)
Cheese (unless you’re vegan)
1 stalk of broccoli, cut up into reasonably small chunks.
Heat butter in saucepan until melted.
Add spices to flour and mix - then add to butter and stir until a paste has formed.
Slowly add milk, whisking away. Once a decent texture has developed, add 1/2 C of Nutritional yeast and mustard. This may be enough for you. Taste it. Love it. Live it. If not, add the other 1/2 C of N.Yeast. It’s about cheesiness. You can also add 1/2 of real cheese (or daiya) if you want to bring out the real cheesy flavour. I did, but only because I’m trying to break the Guinness Record for most cheese consumed in a year without having MAJOR health problems. Not to boast, but i’m doing quite well.
Now, remove from heat and add in raw broccoli. This sauce should be super thick. The reason i say that is because we have to stuff it into some kind of food pocket later, and if it’s drippy, you’ll be tossing chairs around from frustration. RIP kitchen stool. Cool sauce in the fridge until needed. Also, if you need a late night snack and want to hit rock bottom? Grab a spoon. That should do the trick.
Here’s how the recipe turned out!
1) The texture was very tasty. The layers of Yuba were quite impressive and surprising on my pallet. because it was fried, the outer layer was nice and crispy, but there were still 5 layers underneath that were very chewy (in the best way possible).
2) The Roux. This thing is epic. It’s thicker than my uncle Joe’s Scottish accent, and went very well with the Yuba. Very complimentary and stayed inside until cut. Which is what you look for in a good roux.
3) Size. These things were the size of egg rolls. Great for a snack, or have a couple as a meal.
4) The work. Making Yuba is painstaking. Waiting for skin to form is like watching paint dry. HOWEVER, I am convinced I can find these sheets, and when I do, i’ll be making this again for sure.
5) Overall score. The work was tough, but the payout was worth it. I’m thinking 7.5/10. The amount of time it took to create the skin might be a bit too tedious for most people. But oh man, they were delicious.
What do you think? Oh, and if you have a suggestion, please feel free to let me know. As my recently imprisoned male role model once told me, “Don’t be be an asshole.” Wise words.
Next up? Seitan & Yuba.