In last week’s Who Cooked It Better?, Giada De Laurentiis put some serious smackdown on Rachael Ray. With more than 340 of you weighing in, Giada’s prosciutto-wrapped scallops are preferred to Rachael Ray’s by a whopping 86% to 14% margin.
Speaking of RayRay, she may be on the market for a new nemesis, because her frequent sparing partner, Mr. Anthony Bourdain, has a powerful new enemy.
You may remember that Bourdain earned the ire of the vegetarian/vegan community with this quote:
“Vegetarians, and their Hezbollah-like splinter faction, the vegans, are a persistent irritant to any chef worth a damn. To me, life without veal stock, pork fat, sausage, organ meat, demi-glace, or even stinky cheese is a life not worth living. Vegetarians are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit, and an affront to all I stand for, the pure enjoyment of food.”
Well the folks over at the new Hezbollah Tofu blog are putting their money where their morals are. They’re cooking their way through Bourdain’s classic Les Halles Cookbook, in an attempt to prove that his fatty, meat-y, extra cheesy recipes can be just as tasty sans the animal products. Hezbollah Tofu’s first challenge is one of the Les Halles mainstays: French onion soup.
Bourdain’s version, on the left, starts with a meat-heavy broth that calls for both chicken stock and bacon. Complicating life for the vegans is a whopping six ounces of butter. This delectable mess is topped with crispy baguette croutons and grated Gruyere cheese. (Real, imported, Gruyere, obv.) If that’s not enough food snobbery for you, the recipe calls for a Bouquet Garni (that’s chef-speak for parsley, thyme and bay leaf). Complete recipe here.
It obviously won’t be easy for Hezbollah Tofu to top Tony B’s gooey bowl of goodness, but she gets downright creative on Bourdain’s ass, losing the bacon and subbing in black trumpet mushrooms blanched in a sherry/vegetable stock mixture. And this is no bland, tofu-based fake cheese – tahini, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and more go into this delicate un-cheese. In a final attempt to out-fancy Bourdian, the vegan FOS is topped with toasted almonds. Complete recipe here.
So, dear readers…
Photos: Chowhound, Hezbollah Tofu.