While working as a barista for several years before transitioning to full time government drone, I came to develop a borderline concerning obsession with bagels. I wanted them for every meal. While in New York last year, I didn’t once consider it unreasonable to wake up earlier than needed just so that I could catch the subway across Manhattan and wait in line for twenty minutes to get my morning bagels with Tofutti cream cheese and spring onions.
I’d only once ventured into the territory of making my own bagels, and it was a less than stellar experience. The end product was tough and generally unpleasant. They were thrown into my mother’s freezer, to be forgotten about. The recipes in Vegan Brunch, however, had so far proved to be almost guaranteed successes. So while alone one evening while Chadwiko worked late, I set to work on redeeming my bagel baking reputation.
Although these had a lot of the lumps and bumps and oddities that you would never find on a store-bought bagel, I was pleased with these. They’re dense, but not too tough, and super filling. Although the recipe is supposed to make twelve bagels, I made six big ones instead. One of these with Tofutti and chives is a decent and satisfying meal for me. The low cost of making these, since I already had most of the ingredients, will keep me making them in future rather than buying less… ahem, ‘rustic’ looking bagels from the supermarket.
For last night’s dinner I tackled a recipe that I can’t for the life of me figure out why I hadn’t tried yet.
It has beer! It has tofu! It has delicious, deep fried fat! And it’s about as perfect as all these things would seem to indicate. I was initially sceptical about using extra firm, pressed tofu, but the final texture after frying is so surprisingly similar to the fish I grew up eating. The beer batter itself is flawless, so light and delicious, and perfectly puffed after frying. The garlic roasted potatoes are a great, low effort side. And I used the leftover beer batter to make pineapple fritters, to bring the real fish and chip shop experience to our table.
This all came together so much quicker than I’d expected. It was satisfying, reasonably junky, and I got to drink the rest of that Cooper’s Sparkling. I couldn’t ask for much more from a Friday night dinner. This is definitely going into our regular rotation.
Vegan Brunch week has definitely been one of my favourites of the cookbook challenge. I’ve got one more dish up my sleeve before the week is over, but I don’t want it to end. Brunch-for-dinner might just have to become a common occurence in the Wiko home.