Thursday, February 14, 2013

Silken Chocolate Corn Chip Pie

At  a recent potluck, the host (my lovely friend at Green Door Hospitality) requested all the guests bring a sweet dish. She provided the savory dishes.

My mother-in-law makes a silken tofu pie that's really delicious; made with just a few ingredients, it's surprisingly rich and satisfying. I've also had vegan chocolate pudding at a couple of potlucks, and liked it a lot.

I knew there would be at least one vegan at the party, so I wanted to make something she could eat. Then I remembered another friend is gluten-free, and I wanted to make something for her too.

So instead of my usual graham-cracker crust, I tried something new: a tortilla chip crust. I looked for recipes online, but didn't find any. So I ended up crushing up the chips finely in my food processor and adding sugar, coconut oil, and a bit of water to bind it. When the texture looked sandy, I pressed it into a pie plate and baked it until golden, about 15 minutes.

While it cooled, I made the chocolate filling. It's a deliciously creamy mixture of melted dark chocolate, silken tofu, vanilla extract, maple syrup, and salt.

The tofu really thickens the whole thing up and makes it very much like a chocolate-mousse pie.

I was surprised and really happy with how well it turned out. The salty corn chip crust went really well with the chocolate, and it didn't get bogged down by the mousse.

Definitely delicious.

Here's the recipe:

Chocolate Tortilla Chip pie
2 cups finely ground tortilla chips
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 tablespoon sugar

2 cups good-quality dark chocolate chips
One package silken tofu (my package was 16 oz, but many are smaller)
3 to 4 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 9-inch pie plate. Put all the ingredients for the crust into the food processor and pulse until well combined. Add water and pulse until the mixture just comes together. Press the mixture into the pie plate and bake for about 15 minutes, until slightly golden. Cool completely.

Wash the bowl of the food processor before making the filling. In a large glass bowl, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave in 30-second bursts on half-power, stirring after each burst. Put the tofu in the food processor and process until very smooth. Add the maple syrup, vanilla, and salt and pulse to combine. Add the melted chocolate and puree until smooth.

Pour the filling into the cooled crust. Chill in the fridge for 2 hours before serving.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Tacodeli Lunch

I eat a lot of tacos. Really, I love tortillas and hot sauce, so if I can have those, with some tasty fillings between them, I'm very happy.

Tacodeli, which now has 3 locations in Austin, is one of my absolute favorite places to get them.

I can't speak to the deliciousness of their meat tacos, but their vegetarian options are stellar. On weekends, they serve breakfast tacos all day, with lunch starting at 11. So on weekends, choosing only two (my usual portion) is not easy. They have tons of ingredients, and they're all very fresh and flavorful. It's tough to pick just a few.

Usually, I start with their excellent roasted portabellos, and go from there. Seriously, they're thick cut, juicy, and earthy. Their eggs are really good too. They're from Vital Farms, a sustainable, happy-chicken-raising operation, which I definitely like.

At lunch, there are two mushroom-based tacos: the Space Cowboy, with corn, peppers, fresh guacamole, and queso freso; and the Frontera Fundido Portabello, with onion-and-poblano rajas and Jack cheese. I love them both, but I go more often for the Space Cowboy.

Then there's the Heather, one of my favorite tacos served anywhere. It's got smooth black beans and crisp lettuce, fresh tomatoes, guacamole, and its crowning glory: a big slab of griddled queso fresco.

They don't mess around with the guacamole here, either. It's obviously fresh, and they pile on plenty.

The Papadulce is another frequent choice. It's got roasted sweet potatoes, corn, toasted pumpkin seeds, and a sweet-spicy sauce.

And everything is even better when topped with their Salsa Dona, a creamy jalapeno sauce that's pretty spicy, but super-flavorful.

We get Tacodeli for lunch or brunch once or twice a week, and if they were open for dinner, I'm sure we'd be there twice as often. The food is fresh, local when they can get local ingredients, and pretty cheap for two people to have lunch.