I would almost have to say: It is a sin how good these are... Perfect for Sunday Brunch, next to a huge stack of pancakes. And don't even get me started on how amazing these are on whole wheat toast slathered with Veganaise, lettuce and tomato...
If you don't have Vegan Diner by Julie Hasson, run to your nearest bookstore and buy it!! I have this cookbook on my Nook Color, and I have to say, every recipe I've tried so far has been a winner! Google books just so happens to have a sneak peek of the Smoky Soy Curl recipe here, if you'd like to check it out.
So, Soy Curls...
The beauty of the soy curl is two-fold.
ONE: although they are technically a processed soy product, Soy curls are actually made from certified Non-GMO, WHOLE soybeans, grown without chemical pesticides. Many of the vegan "meat" products on the market today are made with “soy protein isolates”. These protein isolates are obtained through a rigorous chemical process, often using the chemical hexane, where the soy protein is actually separated from the fat of the soybean. Thankfully, soy curls leave this chemical bath behind when making their product
TWO: Soy curls have no FLAVOR, whatsoever. Which gives you, the cook, the power to impart any flavor your heart desires! The suggested method of re hydration from the Soy Curls website is plain ol' boiling water. I always thought that was a little pedestrian, considering there are so many broths and spices one could use to infuse flavor RIGHT into the curl! I'm thinking something more like veggie broth, a splash of soy or Bragg's, some sage, thyme or rosemary, onion powder, garlic powder...something!
That's what makes Julie's recipe so great. The curls are re hydrated in a mix of water, soy sauce and LIQUID SMOKE, the vegan equivalent of smoky, bacon-flavored goodness! These smoky curls can be whipped up, marinated, and sauteed to a crispy-sweet and smoky goodness in about 15 minutes. Julie's recipe, as written, makes an abundance of smoky curls!
I have about a third of them leftover, and am going to attempt a Pasta Carbonara. Will let you know how it goes! If I can pull it off, my meat-eating better half will be MINE foreverrrrr!! ^_^