March 2023 COTM - Shannon Martinez Month

CHOC CHIP ROSEMARY COOKIES - Smith & Deli-cious, p. 157

I have made many a Shannon Martinez recipe, but never a sweet until now. I made these chocolate chip cookies and took them to a party today. Huge hit. I’m not going to go into prep, because you all know the basic way to make CCCs, right? You can find a link to the recipe online upthread. The twist with these cookies is that there is some rosemary added, a bit of olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt. I felt that the rosemary was subtle, but everyone said they could taste it, and while it may seem an odd addition, people loved it. Even a random child who was not part of our group, but kept coming up to our table and stealing cookies. Just a few notes on the cooking: The cook time in the recipe is 15-25 minutes. I went with 15, and got a cookie with a crisp bottom and a bit of chew in the center. Longer and I would have had a cookie crisp throughout. I would probably go a little shorter next next time. Also, the instructions tell you to form the dough into 10 balls, and the yield is supposed to be 10 cookies. Ok, if you want cookies the size of dinner plates. But if you want a normal cookie of 3" or so, you will get about 25 of them. Oh, and it should go without saying, but I adapted these to be gluten-free using King Arthur’s measure-for-measure flour mix, using the same quantity (by weight) as in the recipe. I used Bob’s Red Mill egg replacer for the No Egg.


I have made both shortbread and a cake with chocolate chunks and fresh rosemary, and can attest that the combo works.

BAKED COLCANNON - Vegan with Bite, p. 87

Celebrating St. Patrick’s day a week early at Casa de Mel. I already had a go-to colcannon recipe that I love (Ronnie Lundy’s from Victuals, which has mace in it). But I figured I should branch out and give this one a go. Shannon’s version has kale and no cabbage. You boil potatoes with a bay leaf, and then mash them. In a separate saucepan, you bring some plant milk to a simmer to which scallions have been added. Add the mash to that, mix in kale that has been blanched and finely chopped, vegan butter, white pepper, salt to taste. You could stop right there, but then Martinez transfers the whole thing to a baking dish, tops with bread crumbs and parm, and bakes. So you have a contrasting crunchy top for your colcannon. We liked this version very much. I did miss the mace that graces Lundy’s version, so I would add it next time.



I don’t have a picture of this one, even though I’ve made it several times. This is one I like to take to parties, and people either love it or… well, not so much. I happen to be in the love it camp. You start by sautéing some shallot with a pinch of salt. Deglaze with sherry vinegar, then add garlic, thyme, parsley, kalamata olives, and capers, and cook for a couple minutes. You then blend it all up. I like to add some orange zest to this at the blending stage. It is revealed in one of the later cookbooks that Shannon is not a fan of the chocolate/orange combination, but I am, so for this recipe it was a no-brainer to add it. BUT, be warned, a little orange zest goes a long a way, and the flavor of the zest becomes more pronounced as the tapenade sits, so use less than you think.

I have taken this to parties along with the forest mushroom pâté on the next page. People seem to feel strongly about favoring one or the other. This tapenade may not be for everyone, but the folks who like it REALLY love it.



Recipe is online, you can find the link upthread. As mentioned above, I like to take this to parties in combo with the tapenade. People who don’t like the tapenade love this pâté. People who love the tapenade also love this pâté. You simmer some tofu with stock and a bay leaf, then drain and dry. Meanwhile, you sauté some onion, then add garlic and pecans, and finally reconstituted porcini mushroom, fresh button mushrooms, and fresh thyme. Deglaze the pan with sherry. Add some of the mushroom soaking liquid and reduce. Season with S&P. Add all this to a blender with the tofu, plus some soy sauce, white truffle oil, and sherry vinegar, and blend until smooth. Put this in ramekins with melted (vegan) butter and a sprig of thyme on top, and refrigerate a couple hours to set.

This is just boozy enough, and savory, and truffly, and just great. Bad picture of this with a flight of hard ciders from our local orchard/cidery.


Wait, when do you add the chocolate? Is it melted?

(post deleted by author)

Sorry, I left that part out. Chocolate chips get added to the hot ingredients in the blender. That heat is sufficient to melt them.

1 Like

Turns out I did have a picture of the tapenade after all…


Better picture of the mushroom pâté:



I ran into a newly minted vegan at a party yesterday, and he asked me what was the hardest thing for me to give up. I had a hard time answering because it’s been 8 years. But it definitely wasn’t cheese. Upon reflection, it was certain seafood dishes, with ceviche high on the list. This recipe went a long way toward scratching the ceviche itch. Now, it calls for white beans, and while I have made this recipe many times now, not once have I included the beans. They just seem wrong here to me. So I’ll up the mushrooms a bit, include the optional avocado, and leave out the beans, and done that way, I just love this dish. You can find a link to an online version upthread. Try it!


JALAPEÑO & CORN FRITTERS - Smith & Daughters, p. 57
and CORIANDER PESTO (same book, p. 151)

You can find this recipe linked upthread. Just look at these, and tell me you don’t want them. Now. They use a mix of frozen corn kernels, which are puréed with powdered egg replacer, sugar, and baking powder, and fresh kernels off the cob, which are added later and kept intact. Jalapeños and corn starch are also stirred in with the corn kernels. These are spooned into hot oil and fried. They are served with a pesto of cilantro, parsley, mint, jalapeño, garlic, capers, pepitas, and lime, which is worth making just for it’s own sake. The recipe headnote says these are “moreish as” and I can’t really put it any better than that.


YES please, I do want those - YUM!

THE BEST TOFU SCRAMBLE - Smith & Daughters, p. 34

I’d been cooking from this book for over a year before it occurred to me to make the tofu scramble. You see, almost every vegan book has a tofu scramble in it, and they almost all claim to be the best, and they are mostly fine, but usually not as good as what I come up with on my own. But one day I paused on this recipe and realized that it turns the typical tofu scramble on its head. Yes, this one is different. Shannon Martinez has come up with a tofu scramble for folks who liked their eggs soft and creamy.

She starts with something akin to a roux-based sauce. I had to adapt a bit here to keep it gluten-free, and I used sweet rice flour in a 1:1 substitution for the all-purpose wheat flour called for. You combine the flour with nutritional yeast, turmeric, paprika, and black salt (kala namak from the Indian market, which adds a sulfurous egginess). This all goes into a saucepan over medium heat, then you gradually stir in a plant milk until you get a sauce. Then whisk in a little butter and Dijon mustard.

Meanwhile, and you really need to have already gotten this going, on another burner you sauté onion with a pinch of salt, then add garlic and diced jalapeño. You then add tofu which has been roughly crumbled into big chunks. You need to sauté this for quite a while to get the moisture out of the tofu and get a little browning on it. It takes some time, so I highly recommend you actually do this BEFORE you make the sauce, because that sauce will seriously thicken up on you if you let it sit. If that happens you can thin it out with some more milk or some water, but you can avoid the problem altogether by doing the tofu first. Remember, tofu is NOT egg, and unlike egg, you don’t have to worry about it overcooking in the sauté pan. The tofu can hang out on the burner on low, whereas the sauce cannot.

So you add that sauce to your tofu, and gently fold it together, trying not to break up the tofu too much. Adjust seasoning to taste, and add a handful of your favorite herb or herbs to finish - usually a good dose of cilantro for me.

This is a bit fussy to make, but if you heed my advice and cook the tofu before you make the sauce, it will come together nicely. And it’s a very different sort of tofu scramble, and a nice alternative for when you want something more like a loose, creamy scramble. Only picture of this I have is in tacos, which is a fine way to eat it.


ENSALADA CON PATATAS BRAVAS - Smith & Daughters, p. 123

This recipe uses Spanish patatas bravas as the inspiration for a potato salad, and the result is phenomenal. You can find the recipe online, look for the link upthread. This one has become a staple for me to take to potlucks, especially when I don’t anticipate there being many dishes I can eat. The chickpeas in this salad make it hearty enough that it can stand on its own as a meal.

The recipe calls for kipfler potatoes. I like to go with a waxy red potato that will hold its shape. The recipe doesn’t mention cutting them, but I cut them into large-ish chunks. The potatoes are boiled, drained, and placed in a bowl. The other salad ingredients get added to bowl, and are cooked chickpeas, fresh tomatoes, sliced red onion, and parsley.

For the dressing, you blend ajvar, sherry vinegar, tomato, garlic, chile flakes, cuming, turmeric, oregano, and smoked paprika in a blender. Slowly pour in olive oil with the blender running. Add salt and pepper to taste. I guess I should talk about the ajvar. The author intends for you to buy jarred ajvar. I just make it at home, using this recipe from Robin Robertson. It differs from the jarred stuff and most other recipes in that it doesn’t contain eggplant, which I think for this application is a good thing. Anyway, once you make the dressing, you dress the potato salad. The author advises to use more dressing than you think you need, because the potatoes absorb quite a bit.

This is my all-time favorite potato salad, and it is well-received everywhere I take it. The version in this picture was taken last August when I had a ton of sungold tomatoes in the garden and cherry tomatoes from the CSA, so I used those instead of the large tomatoes called for.


PENANG CHAR KWAY TEOW - Vegan with Bite, P. 66
(Also, linked above)

This simple Malaysian classic is the first thing that caught my eye in the newest book. A succession of stir-fry veggies goes into a smoking hot wok: mushrooms, garlic shoots (I sub-ed green garlic and garlic chives), minced garlic, chilli paste, Napa cabbage, and spring onions. PSA from Mr. Ramone: a tablespoon of minced fresh ginger will greatly enhance this dish! (Okay, it did).

The vegetables are joined in the wok by soaked wide rice noodles and bean sprouts. Next, an ‘egg’ mix of blended tofu, cornstarch, soy (or other) milk, ground turmeric, and - here’s the genius part - pinch of black salt goes in. Since I first saw this use of the ingredient in Martinez’ first book, I’ve always marveled at how closely the sulphurous aroma of the black salt resembles cooked eggs. After the scrambled tofu has coated the noodles, they are tossed with a mixture of dark soy sauce, Maggi (I used light soy sauce), kecap manis, oyster-flavored sauce, fish sauce, and sugar to taste. I also threw in a dash of hoisin sauce. This was my first Asian dish from Martinez, and I must say, we are impressed. Exciting to see her branching out in this direction.


Nomination time is here! Find the thread for April here:


The base of these was simple and worked as advertized. Vegan butter is creamed with confectioners sugar, then you add flour (a GF blend for me), salt, and black pepper. This is pressed into a baking pan, and blind baked for 20 minutes. The filling was more problematic. Silken tofu is blended with sugar, then you add in grapefruit juice and zest, and a small amount of flour and cornstarch. The grapefruit juice is where I ran into a little trouble. The recipe calls for 2/3 cup, about the yield from one grapefruit. I tasted the filling mixture after adding the juice, and it just didn’t taste very grapefruit-y, plus I could still taste some beany-ness from the tofu. So I ended up adding the juice from a whole other grapefruit - a lot more than called for. This got the flavor more on point, but the color of the mixture was a pale beige, a far cry from the pink in the photo. I had to resort to some food coloring, a little bit of red and just a tiny bit of yellow, to get the color right. You pour this filling onto the base and bake. The filling set up well, even with the extra liquid from the juice. It did have some bubbles from the Vitamix, so I didn’t get the smooth top in the photo. With the extra juice, these were pretty tasty, although I would still like more grapefruit. Maybe extract is needed. These were a bit on the sweet side for my taste, but I somehow still managed to scarf them down. The black pepper in the base is subtle - too subtle, I’d say. I think I’d actually like some rosemary or thyme in these.


OKONOMIYAKI - Vegan with Bite, p. 26

Okonomiyaki - VWB

Okonomiyaki was a frequent nominee, but never selected, for DOTM back in the Chowhound days. The idea of veganizing it appealed to me then, but I never got around to it. Now I don’t have to, as the work has been done for me. The recipe calls for a mix of chickpea and all-purpose flour. I used my bread flour formula as the gluten-free substitute for the all-purpose flour. You start off by making a simple dashi of kombu and water. You then blend the flours with the dashi, along with some nutritional yeast, regular and black salt (for the eggy taste), baking powder, and shichimi togarashi. Into the resulting batter, you will fold some shredded cabbage that has been salted, then tossed with rice flour, plus some scallions and pickled ginger.

The pancakes get fried in a skillet on both sides. I made a half recipe of this for two people, and just made two large pancakes. After turning the pancakes out onto a plate, garnish with mayo, tonkatsu sauce (recipe included), and more scallion and pickled ginger.

We really liked these! They cooked up perfectly. I am so happy I have finally made this dish. My CSA will be starting up in a couple weeks, and we always have cabbage in the early boxes. I will definitely make these okonomiyaki again.



I like a big, hearty breakfast, and I prefer for it to be savory. So this recipe had lots of appeal. You start by making the egg mixture, which is the same as what Rainy described upthread. You cook that and set aside. You then do a stir-fry starting with scallion and mushrooms, then adding red chile, garlic, and sausage. A couple big handfuls of greens go in, then you season with salt and white pepper. Day-old cooked rice is added and tossed with everything then seasoned with soy sauce or Maggi. You push all that to one side and add the “egg” back in, break it up with your spatula, then toss with the rice.

This was a great stick-to-your-ribs kind of breakfast, and it made enough that I was able to have it for a few days. Would definitely make again as an alternative to my usual grits and tofu scramble.