|Courgette "Cheese" and Vegan Mofo Day 17|
As courgettes can be quite bland especially when they are larger, I tried to give it a cheese like taste, tricking your taste buds! Now, I wouldn't say this was as successful as my broad bean cheese but it turned out OK. The cheesiness wasn't overpowering and when I make it again I would add more flavour. I based the flavour on my healthy mac 'n' cheese sauce, which also uses a pattypan for the base of the sauce. Vegetables in disguise!
The texture isn't like a hard cheese either, if I'm honest its more like a blancmange texture, so if you're fussy about textures this may not be for you. The recipe makes enough mixture to fill 2 ceramic blocks which hold 300ml of liquid each. The recipe could easily be halved or you could just fill one container. I filled two as I wanted to add another ingredient to the second container to see if it made much difference, and it did! See below for my notes.
The recipe could easily be adapted to suit other flavours or indeed other vegetables, give it a whirl and let me know about your tweaks and experiments.
500g Pattypan/Yellow courgette, diced
(weight after seeds have been removed)
3 Tbsp Nutritional yeast (heaped)
1 Tsp Mustard powder
½ Tsp Turmeric
¼ Tsp Herbamare
200ml Almond milk (unsweetened)
2 Tbsp Agar agar flakes
Add the pattypan squash or yellow courgette to a saucepan along with 100ml of water and cook for 10 minutes. You could use a steamer instead if you have one. Drain well and transfer to a blender
Add the nutritional yeast, mustard powder, turmeric, herbamare and cashews. Leave, do not try and process the mixture.
In a clean suacepan add the milk and sprinkle over 1 Tbsp of agar agar flakes. Slowly bring to a boil without stirring. Once the milk has reached boiling point stir and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes stirring every now and again until the agar agar flakes have dissolved.
Pour the milk mixture into the blender and blend at full power (remembering to put the lid on) for a couple of minutes making sure that everything has been incorporated and you have a smooth liquid.
Transfer back to the saucepan and sprinkle over the remaining agar agar flakes. Bring the mixture back to a boil and reduce the heat so the mixture is simmering. Stir to mix in the agar agar flakes and simmer for another 10 minutes or until the agar agar flakes have dissolved.
Pour into containers and leave to go cool before transferring to the fridge. Leave over night before turning out onto a board.
Before pouring the mixture into the second container I added 1 Tsp of garlic powder and ensured it was well incorporated. The taste completely changed and I think I preferred this version if I used the 'cheese' to top crackers.
I also think that chilli flakes would make a great addition and a clove of garlic instead of the garlic powder would work well too. The addition of porcini powder would also be nice and give the 'cheese' a little more depth. See, there are so many concoctions to try, go and have fun with it!
I'll definitely be making some more varieties and it is a healthy alternative for snacking on.
It added that creaminess of cheese to the pizza and I'll definitely be using it again for a pizza topping, I'm guessing its a lot less calorific than vegan cheese too as its based on vegetables. I can't wait to experiment further with this!