Lazy ass pickling

So, I like to eat things pickled, pickled cucumbers, pickled asparagus, green beans, peaches, eggs.
Pickled things kick much ass. I started pickling last year.

This morning me and the lady went to the farmer's market and bought some jank. Pickling cucumbers, green beans, peaches, peppers, it was a bonanza.

So, I commenced to pickling when we got home. Before I first started pickling last year,
I did a lot of research. What I learned was it is a mother fuckload of work. Then, I found the fantastical world of refrigerator pickling. This is pickling that is just my style. Hours and hours of work? Pass. Clean jars, clean produce, and I am set.

Again, all produce needs to be washed.

Today I made pickled peaches, 2 different pickles, spicy garlicky green beans, and pepperoncini.

The peaches are pretty simple.

4 peaches, ripe, but not mushy.
1 c. water
1 c. vinegar
1/4 c. sugar
1 T sea salt.

Slice the peaches, put them in jar. combine vinegar, water, sugar and salt, whisk until
sugar and salt melt. Add to peaches, filling up the jar entirely. Seal jar, place in fridge.

I have made these before and only let them soak for 2 hours, and they were really good. I plan to let these go for about 3 days. They are great with goat cheese, great in a salad, served with brie.

The pickles are equally easy. Again, wash them thoroughly. Wash the jars thoroughly, if you must, run em in the dishwasher, it gets hot enough to sterilize.

This recipe made 2 quarts.

1 1/2 lbs pickling cucumbers, washed and cut in half lengthwise
1/4 c. sugar (you can use a lot more if you want bread and butter, I fucking hate bread and butter pickles, so I use very little)
2 c. water
2 c. vinegar

Here I split the recipe. For one jar I added 5 cloves of minced garlic (not a fine mince, kinda chunky mince), 4 sprigs of dill (from the backyard garden), 1 T. of salt, 1/4 c. thin sliced red onion and black pepper. Sadly I had no peppercorns, my shame is great. Fill bottom of jar with cucumbers, add all that junk I just listed, then fill to rim with water/vinegar solution.

For second jar, I added dill, 3 cloves of garlic and 1/2 of a seeded, sliced jalapeno. Then filled to rim with brine. Seal, refrigerate. I used this same recipe for green beans.

The pickles will be ready to eat in about 3-4 days. The longer you leave them in the fridge, the better they will get. I kept mine last year for about a month or so in the fridge, and they didn't go basd, I never got the poo poo's from them.

Pickle away my friends. It's easier than you think.


Vegan Apple Fritters- A sacrifice to Crom!

"Jason! What is best in life?"

"To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of their women. And also, apple fritters."

Yes, even Crom would agree that apple fritters are indeed one of the best things in life, and they are quite delicious after a day of raping, pillaging and fighting James Earl Jones' giant snake.

But I seriously doubt that Conan, Crom or Thulsa Doom know a damn thing about making an apple fritter, much less a vegan apple fritter.

A few years ago, while vacationing in Las Vegas, The better half discovered a donut shop run by a Vietnamese couple. It's called Ronald's Donuts, and it is the place where dreams come true. No less than 80% of the donuts at this establishment are vegan. And they are so goddamn delicious they will make even the king of the Barbarians cry. Boston cremes, raspberry filled, donut holes, it's like heaven.
But, they make an apple fritter that has made me get emotional. And they weigh like a pound each. And it's vegan. 

When I say that this fritter is good, what I mean is "This fritter should have a fucking religion started in it's honor!"

So, ever since sampling (that should read "gorging myself into a sugar induced stupor") this fritter, I have been chasing the dragon when it comes to apple fritters. Nothing has ever come close. 7-11 fritters, a joke. Starbucks apple fritters? More like Crapple Fritters.

Then, I decided that the only way to tame this monkey on my back was to go to Ronald's and hold him at gunpoint until he gave me the recipe. Then i remembered that I am scared to go to prison, because I am a delicate flower and I have soft skin. So, the only other option was to make my own.

First, I had to find the right kind of recipe to start from. Many recipes were for those little, tiny beignet sized fritters. No my friends, I wanted a fritter that ate like a meal. I finally found one, and plagiarized it and adapted it to my own special needs (not "wearing a helmet" special needs). I think the original is on the King Arthur Flour website, so there jerks, you have been acknowledged, so don't come crying to me about recipe thievery. I kid, I am sure the people at King Arthur are really nice, why be mean when you are banking all that flour money (editor's note- King Arthur flour is made from ground unicorn horn, or at least it should be to justify the price).

I have a deep fryer here at the house, so that's what I used for these. Other options include filling a deep skillet with oil, heating a saucepan of oil. The saucepan of oil has a high degree of "Sweet fucking lord, I dumped 375 degree oil all over myself" difficulty. So I recommend a deep skillet. No, I recommend a deep fryer, they kick ass and I have fried a multitude of items in mine.

So, hear it is:

Yield: about 12 fritters, give or take. Depends on the magnitude of your spooning.


2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced into 1/4" pieces
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
11/2 Tablespoon Baking powder
11/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/4 c cranberry juice (original recipe called for apple cider, but I forgot to buy apple cider, because I am a moron. cranberry juice worked well)
3 eggs worth of egg replacer3 Tablespoons Earth Balance, melted

Oil for frying

2 cups confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup apple cider
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg


In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the cranberry juice, egg replacer, and butter.
Toss apple pieces into the dry ingredients, then stir in the wet ingredients until incorporated.
Heat oil in a deep skillet or sauce pan to 325˚ F, use a candy thermometer to get the temp, unless you live on the Planet Mercury, then just use your outdoor thermometer. Or, if you had a deep fryer like I told you to get, set it to 325˚ F. 
To portion, I used two of those deep spoony type spatula scrapers. You want the batter to be kind of flat when you drop it into the oil, otherwise you'll get a fritter ball. This dough puffs up a lot while it cooks, so, you have been warned.
Fry until dark golden brown, 2-3 minutes, use some sort of kitchen utensil to flip the fritter in the oil, fry for 2-3 more minutes.
Remove from oil, and place on a cooling rack placed over a baking pan (this will prevent the fritter from sitting in any oil that drains off it or the skimmer/spoon used to remove it from the oil).
Let them cool for about 5-10 minutes before glazing. Deviation from this will result in the glaze simply pouring off the fritter, or soaking into the fritter and making it soggy. Also, you will have to fight a giant hammer-wielding Wilt Chamberlain.
Whisk together all the glaze ingredients until smooth. Top each fritter with a couple tablespoons of glaze, and allow the glaze to set for 10 minutes before serving.

The final step is to eat these fritters. 

I am the lame

So, I see it has been almost 2 years since my last post. Nothing to report.

No, actually, much has changed. Back surgery. Moved to Northern Virginia (ask me how much I love it up here). Went to work for Whole Foods. Went to work for Jean George. Went back to work for Whole Foods. Content.

So, I went to work at JG Steakhouse at the W Hotel in DC. I know, a vegetarian working at a steakhouse, solid plan. First, let me say that I learned a ton while working there, it was high volume, high quality, not always things that go hand in hand. But, I always felt weird there. Not because I am a veg, cooking meat doesn't bother me.

It was more about principles, and feeling good about the food I was making. Knowing where it came from, and if it was animals, knowing that they were raised humanely and not stuck in little cages. I am aware of the inherent dichotomy of being a vegetarian and wanting animals that are ultimately going to slaughter to be treated well before their field trip to the abattoir. But I stopped the carne because I didn't feel healthy when I ate it, not for any moral consideration. But I do think animals raised for meat should be treated humanely, shouldn't have to suffer before they are killed.

So, a position opened at a Whole Foods nearby (it's all relative in the NoVa). And I jumped at the opportunity. Now, I am a store chef. I teach classes on cooking, I offer recipe advice, I do food demos. It is the coolest job I could possibly have. It's everything I want to do.

So, that kicks ass.

That's about it really, I am back, I am excited and I am ready to put some diggety damn recipes up on here. Keep your eyes peeled.



Buffalo Tofu Sandwiches

Buffalo Tofu Sandwiches. Frying the tofu in the oil may not be the healthiest thing in the world, but it's such a damn good sandwich, who cares.

All righty, here's the first recipe. Bear with me, because I don't do a lot of measuring when I cook, but it's something I am gonna work on. I am pretty good when it comes to baking, kinda need to measure so you don't get garbage outta the oven.

1 lb. Extra firm tofu (when I say extra firm, I mean super, hella mega firm tofu. If you have to weigh it down for a while to drain it, do it.) those that live in Hampton Roads area, try Twin Oaks tofu, very firm, very dry.

1/2 c. flour
1/4 c. corn flour
1-2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
3 TBSP corn starch, with the water added, as you would for thickening.
1/4 c. water

1/4 cup Texas Pete's Hot Sauce
1/4 c. Earth Balance margarine (pick whatever brand you want, I prefer Earth Balance.)
1 TBSP agave nectar (or honey, if you hate bees, I hate bees, so I use honey, but I don't wanna hear about from the bee's rights faction)
1 tsp. vinegar
(optional) 1/2 tsp. super hot sauce you may possess (I use Scorned Woman)

Stand the tofu up on it's side, cut into 4 pieces, so you have 4 pieces that are the same height and length as a full pound of tofu, but are one-fourth as thin. I know, it sounds like I am speaking to a child, but I just want it to be clear.

In a bowl, stir together the flour, corn flour, pepper and garlic powder. Stir in the corn starch/water mixture. SLOWLY add water. You want the batter to be thick, so it sticks big time to the tofu. If you have ever made muffins, that's about how thick you want the batter.

In a large frying pan (I use my cast iron frying pan) pour in about 1/2 inch of vegetable oil. Heat over medium high heat. After it's been heating for a bit, drop a bit of batter into the oil, it should start sizzling and browning, it's ready.

Dip each piece of tofu in the batter, making sure to fully coat the tofu in batter. Gently, so as to avoid ouchy oil burns, place the tofu in the pan. Fry for 3-4 minutes, then turn over and fry for another 2-3 minutes. Lay some paper towels on a plate. Remove tofu from pan and put on the paper towels, so it soaks up the excess oil.


In small saute pan, over medium-low heat, heat the hot sauce, add the margarine. Stir it so the margarine combines with the sauce. Add the vinegar and agave, give it all a really good stir so it's all incorporated. Let it simmer a bit so it reduces slightly. Remove from heat.

Once the sauce has cooled a for a few minutes, pour it into a medium sized mixing bowl. Using tongs, as breaded and fried tofu hold heat well, dip each piece in the sauce and completely coat it with the sauce.

You can serve it on a bun if you wish, I like mine on slightly toasted sourdough bread. I added Boston lettuce, avocado and vine ripened tomatoes. Feel free to use any excess sauce to drizzle on the tofu, only gonna make it tastier.

There's really no limit to the variations you can do with this recipe. Up the spice, up the sweet, add some liquid smoke. Think of all the sauces you have seen for wings. Cut the tofu into squares and have a bunch of little Buffalo tofu bites.



This is my first post on this blog, which is why you'll not find any other blog postings on this page, being as it's my first. As I mentioned.

At a Yo Gabba Gabba party last night, with some of the most unbelievable friends anybody could hope to have, my friend Tab suggested that I start a blog. A cooking blog. A place where I can post recipes, tips, crude remarks, point out incredible cookbooks, etc. So I did.

Hi. I'm Jason. I work in a cafe in Virginia Beach, VA (though not for long, as I am about to make a huge move from southeastern VA to northern VA). I am a vegetarian. I cook a ton of vegetarian food. My wife, Tanya, is a vegan. I cook a ton of vegan food. I love to cook. I love to bake.

I'm not a trained chef, which mostly means that I am not a douche bag. It also means that I won't post any recipes that call for liquid nitrogen, ingredients that are only found on Saturn, and I will not wear crocs in the kitchen (looking at you, Mario Fatali). I learned how to cook by being put in a kitchen and told to cook.

What I am is someone who loves cooking. And someone who has a lot of experience making vegan and vegetarian foods. I'll post recipes I have found, some I may have made up myself, and occasionally I'll have friends post on here for me, some of my friends are amazing cooks, friends who make me question how I make a living cooking food.

Hopefully I'll meet other people with the same passions.

So that's it. I hope you like it.