THE ANIMAL-FREE CHEF  © #3

AFC Vegan Ham And Egg Macaroni Salad – using May Wah vegan ham

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AFC VEGAN HAM AND EGG MACARONI SALAD

You can’t get much better than this. Lots of new techniques applied to an old-time favorite salad. Macaroni has a new place in the heirarchy of pasta salads. You don’t even need the dressing, in fact some of you will want to forego it. Or, half with dressing, half without. Either way it made it to the moon and back! 

Makes 14 cups solids and almost 2 cups dressing

Fried vegan ham:

2 T. light-colored, mild-flavored sesame oil – I used Roland brand

1/2 lb. May Wah Vegan Ham, thawed and cut into 3/8 inch cubes

1/2 t. salt

generous sprinkling garlic powder


Fried tofu:

1 T. sesame oil

1 c. diced red onion, about 3/8 inch squares

1/2 t. salt

1 T. liquid smoke

2 T. Balsamic vinegar

12.3 oz. pkg. Silken tofu, rinsed and cubed, 1/2 inch cubes

1/2 t. turmeric

1 t. garlic powder

1/2 t. salt

1/2 t. ground rosemary

1/4 t. red cayenne pepper

1/4 t. ground allspice

2 t. vegan yeast

2 T. light brown sugar

fresh grind black pepper


Dressing: makes almost 2 cups

12 oz. pkg. vegan sour cream – I used Tofutti brand

1/2 c. prepared yellow mustard

1 t. garlic powder

1 t. ground coriander

2 T. vegan yeast (nutritional yeast)

1 t. anchovy-free Worcestershire sauce, I used PAMPA brand

2 T. light brown sugar

1/2 t. malic acid

1 t. salt or to taste


Assembly ingredients:

2 c. froz. peas blanched for 2-3 minutes till peas thaw and plump, drained, shaken in wire mesh strainer and left to dry, then wrapped in several layers of paper towels or clean cloth towel and shaken to remove excess moisture – do not press only shake loosely

1 lb. dried elbow macaroni – boil in sufficiently salted water till tender, drain in colander, rinse under cold water till cool to touch, drain and shake and let set to dry in colander, then spread out evenly on parchment lined baking sheet or non-stick sheet and bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes – remove from oven and stir about the baking sheet, then cool to room temperature before adding to salad

3/4 c. diced green pepper, 3/8 inch cubes

1/3 c. finely diced raw yellow onion


Let’s make this salad!

Ham:

In large skillet, over medium heat, melt sesame oil.

Add vegan ham cubes and stir to coat then saute 1 minute to get a little char in some spots.

Add salt and garlic, stir to evenly disperse, then cook about 3 minutes, stirring often, then remove from skillet to bowl and set aside.


Tofu:

Use the same skillet you fried the ham in.

Over medium heat, melt 1 T. sesame oil.

Add red onion and salt, then saute till edges soften a little.

Add liquid smoke and vinegar. Stir well, then add tofu cubes. Stir to coat with liquid.

Add turmeric, garlic, salt, rosemary, red cayenne pepper, allspice, yeast and brown sugar. Stir well to moisten all surfaces and evenly disperse the yeast.

Add fresh grind black pepper as desired, then continue to cook over medium heat, stirring often, but gently, till all liquid evaporates from the pan and tofu is as dry as tofu can be, while still keeping its shape. When it begins to stick to the bottom of pan, scrape it up with a spatula and continue to cook till all surfaces are equally free of excess moisture.

Transfer to shallow bowl and refrigerate till cool.


Dressing:

Combine all dressing ingredients in bowl, stirring well after each ingredient. Cover and refrigerate till ready to use.


Assembly:

In extra-large bowl place cooled baked macaroni, fried vegan ham, fried tofu, peas, raw onion, green pepper. Toss well to evenly disperse all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate till ready to serve.

Look, raw ingredients always water down a dressing if left alone with it over a period of time. To prevent this from happening keep them separated till ready to serve. Then place in bowl however much salad solids you want, usually one cup per serving, then add dressing as much or as little as you like. Toss to evenly coat and serve.

For restaurant use, combine as many salad solids and dressing in large bowl as you think you’ll sell in one shift. You be the judge of that. When you run out, combine another batch, that way you won’t get the soggy salad syndrome.


Notes: We bake the macaroni to dry it out, so that the water doesn’t leak into the dressing. All those little elbows hold water and shake as you may, some water remains inside those elbows.

The partially baked macaroni dried in the oven presents a drier chew than when used straight out of the water. I think you’ll like the result.

If you bake the macaroni too long, it will dry too much and you’ll have to re-boil it, so use your timer and set it for 10 minutes, then look, feel and taste, if it needs more drying, then go another 5 minutes.

Drying the peas, at least to remove excess moisture, is done for the same reason.

Hey, nobody said this was going to be a ‘throw everything into the bowl at once’ salad. This is different. It’s special, so lets get it right the first time around. Everybody’s oven is a little different, so once you know how your’s dries the macaroni perfectly, then adjust future drying times.

We rinse thoroughly the pasta, after boiling it, to remove excess starch as well as to stop the cooking process. Baking it after it has dried somewhat in the colander does not inject more water, so it doesn’t make it mushy.

Vegan sour cream has about half the calories of vegan mayonnaise, and it’s thicker, so you can add more to it without watering it down too much. For that reason, at least in some salads, vegan sour cream has become my new ‘go to’ base for mayonnaise replacement.


A BONUS:

Ever put macaroni salad on a sandwich? This one you can. It works.

Mustard on one bread, veg mayo on the other.

Veggie bologna on top of the mustard, lettuce on top of the mayo.

Neatly packed ham and egg mac salad on top of the lettuce.

Close, cut and eat! What a treat!






 

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