Sunday, April 30, 2006

Tofu Korma, Golden Beets and Coconut, Puri, Fennel Urad Dal

Dinner 4/30

(deep-fried flat bread, for the dal)

Baked Tofu Korma
(onion, cardamom, clove, cinnamon, curry leaves, soy yogurt, chili powder, cumin, corriander, turmeric, water, salt and pepper, baked tofu)

Stuffed Baby Eggplants

Stir-Fried Golden Beets with Coconut
(from Maya Kaimal's "Savoring the Spice Coast of India" -- recipe here)

Fennel Urad Dal
(fennel seed, ginger, water, split urad dal, salt, chile pepper, cumin seed, tomato)

A couple of standby's (korma, stuffed baby eggplants, golden beets and coconut, puri) and a slighly different take on the urad dal (fennel seeds/ginger, plus the tomatoes) but all very satisfying.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Tempeh Strudel with Braised Endive, Carrots and Leeks

Dinner 4/29

Tempeh Strudel with Braised Endive

Braised Carrots

Braised Leeks

Tonight's Keyword: Braised ;)

We had a little bit of leftover phyllo from the other night and some endive from the catering gig, so this dish seemed a natural choice...

This is recipe is heavily adapted from a class we took with chef Michael Symon around 1999. The grape leaves keep the tempeh from drying out during the baking and add a nice additional flavor to these little phyllo strudels...

here's a few shots of how it's assembled...

For the tempeh: Cut into eight pieces, fill a small saute pan with water halfway up the side of the tempeh, and add a splash of tamari. cook over high heat until the liquid has evaporated. Heat oil to 375°F and deep fry the braised tempeh for about three minutes...

Assembling the strudel:

Rinse/drain eight grape leaves. place tempeh piece at the bottom...

...and roll up.

Take one phyllo sheet, fold in half like a book, and brush with a combo of olive oil and chopped rosemary.

Coat all exposed areas as you roll up the strudel.

Place on a sheet pan...

...and bake at 450°F for 8-10 minutes.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Baked Tofu, Potato and Tomatillo Stew, Oyster Mushroom Quesadilla, Black Beans, Grilled Ramps

Dinner 4/28

Baked Tofu, Potato and Tomatillo Stew
(smoked and broiled tomatillo, serrano chile, cilantro, salt, onion, garlic, fingering potatoes, baked tofu)

Smoked Oyster Mushroom Quesadilla

Refried Black Beans

Grilled Ramps

Allergy season is upon us, so if you see any blurry pictures in the next couple of weeks it'll be becasue I was sneezing -- when you live with a backyard that's basically a field, that'll happen ;)

...and I know we're beating the smoker box thing to death here, but both the tomatillos and oyster mushrooms really perked up with some mesquite chips.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Raw Food Wednesday Thursday: Caribbean Style

Raw Food Wednesday Thursday 4/27

because of the catering gig last night, RFW got pushed back a day... so, I'm going to live blog it today...

We're going with a Caribbean theme tonight, so first up this morning -- Jerk Burgers, which I'm sort of making up as we go along, so this'll be good documentation when it come time to make them again ;)

the ingredients: one very ripe plantain, one carrot, one shallot, half of a yellow bell pepper, one jalapeno, three key limes, two garlic cloves, one tsp. ginger -- along with 1/2 cup soaked sunflower seeds and 1/2 cup of soaked almonds (not shown) all about to thrown in the vita-mix with spice mixture (pinch each of annatto seed, clove, cumin seed, allspice, salt, pepper) plus one tbs. bragg's liquid amino.

here's the mixture after processing and shaped on the teflex sheet (ring mold alert)...

Right now (10:40am) they're dehydrating at 110F, and I'll check them around 1pm and flip them. It looks like some kind of a Mango chutney will go on top, because I can already tell these guys are going to be spicy...

1pm Update: Things are progressing nicely -- They look as if they'll need to go until at least 5pm.

for now, flip the burgers over and onto the regular rack and back into the dehydrator...

now to figure out the rest of the menu...

UPDATE: 5:30PM: into the home stretch... Liz gets home and we decide to go with a yellow tomato soup after it went over so well last night at the catering gig -- made Cascadilla Soup (gazpacho-ish) from Renee Underkoffler book -- yellow tomato, yellow bell pepper, cucumber, coconut water, garlic, cilantro, mint, corriander, cumin black pepper, lime juice, olive oil, salt

The young coconut gives up the juice

Liz starts on the Chutney (mango, red bell pepper, key lime juice, ginger, cilantro, salt and pepper)...

...and quickly knocks it out

6PM: getting ready to plate -- the romaine lettuce is from Ohio -- called speckled romaine -- supple and tender

The finished plates

The Arugula Salad with Meyer Lemon Dressing -- Liz did this when I wasn't looking ;)

The Cascadilla Soup

The burgers are out of the dehydrator -- we decide to try a little of the cashew "cheese" that we love so much on top of some of the burgers -- sort of a "jerk cheeseburger" if you will -- the cheese offsets the heat from the burger perfectly.

Jerk Burger with Mango Chutney

* collapses *


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

New Zealand Wine Tasting at Riverside Wine and Imports

New Zealand Wine Tasting at Riverside Wines and Imports 4/26

Curried Quinoa On Endive
(quinoa, mango, cilantro, vegenaise, curry powder, salt, pepper)

Deep-fried Tempeh Rolls
(tempeh, scallion, wasabi, pickled ginger, carrot)

Vegetable Rolls
(avocado, carrot, scallion)

Yellow Tomato Gazpacho shooters
(yellow tomato, english cucumber, garlic, scallion, jalapeno, yuzu vinager, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, black pepper)

Porcini Stew
(same as the seitan bourguignon, but with porcini mushrooms and stock)

Roasted Parsnips and Fingerling Potatoes
(a.k.a. Neeps and Tatties)

The big surprise were the gazpacho shooters -- and they were raw (snuck that in even though we had to push RFW back a day). All in all a good tasting, no wasting of the food -- just enough leftovers for the staff at the end of the night except the sushi which disappeared as fast as I could replace it...

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

White Bean Cassoulet, Big Heart Artichokes

Dinner 4/25

White Bean Cassoulet over Rhombi Pasta
(cannellini beans, soyrizo, tomato, garlic, onion, smoked paprika, salt, pepper)

Big Heart Artichokes

simple pasta/stew combo with beautiful artichokes again -- melt-in-your mouth hearts and stems, and the leaves stay purple even after steaming...

Monday, April 24, 2006

Tart Cherry Glazed Tofu and Bolete Mushrooms wrapped in Phyllo, Braised Brussel Sprouts, Fingerling Potatoes

Dinner 4/24

Tart Cherry Glazed Tofu and Bolete Mushrooms wrapped in Phyllo
(see below)

Braised Brussel Sprouts

Fingerling Potatoes

more fun with step-by-step pictures ;)

Tart Cherry Sauce

3/4 cup dry red wine
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tbs cane sugar
1 tsp herbes de provence
1/2 cup smoked tart cherries (see below)
salt and pepper

Toss all the ingredients in a saucepan, bring to a boil and reduce until it begins to get syrupy. Remove from heat, and carefully put into the vita-mix/blender (cover with towel) and process until smooth. You can strain it if you'd like, but I don't mind the stray bits of cherry skin...

The tart dried cherries were soaked in an unfiltered/unfined red wine for an hour and were smoked along with the tofu over cherry wood (natch) for 20 minutes. Gilding the lily, yes...

Tart Cherry Glazed Tofu and Bolete Mushrooms wrapped in Phyllo

The phyllo is from Athens Foods in Cleveland

The extra firm tofu is cut into eight cutlets and pan-fried in canola oil over med-high heat until golden, reduce heat and add 1 tbs. or so of tamari/soy sauce for another minute or so. Then finished with 2 tbs. of the Tart Cherry Sauce to glaze.

The bolete mushrooms were reconstituted in water for 30 minutes, squeezed out and then pan-fried with olive oil, herbes de provence, salt, pepper and a little tamari for that umami hit ;)

(click on pix for larger versions)

01 -- Prepping the phyllo -- brush the right side of the phyllo, and fold over like a book, and brush again with olive oil.




02 -- Place the tofu and bolete mushrooms near the bottom of the phyllo.




03 -- Fold the right and left sides of the phyllo over the tofu, and brush the exposed pieces with olive oil.




04 -- Fold the phyllo up from the bottom, brushing with olive oil on each new exposed surface.




05 -- Continue to roll up, and finish with the seam side on the bottom.




06 -- Place on a sheet pan and cook at 400° F for 8-10 minutes until golden




07 -- Serve with tart cherry sauce on top




Sunday, April 23, 2006

Moussaka, Lentil Soup, Olive Bread, Mixed Greens Salad, Fava Beans

Dinner 4/23


Lentil Soup

Olive Bread

Mixed Greens Salad
(w/ Fig Vinaigrette and raw "feta" "cheese")

Fava Beans

So, Moussaka... rearranged. With a little too much free time on my hands yesterday I decided to make an individual portion of Moussaka... I've had this idea for a while (in the same vein as the inside/out Eggplant Parmesan from a while back). Just file this under "pictoral-evidence-if-we-ever-do-a-cookbook" ;)

You'll need about one cup of cooked rice pilaf. I added cinnamon, oregano, garlic, onion salt and pepper to the rice beforehand and mixed parsley, pine nuts and currants at the end.

You'll also need about 1 cup of bechamel sauce: 1 tbs soy marg, 1 1/2 tbs. flour cooked together for a few minutes to form a roux, then whisk in one cup of soy milk with 1/2 tsp of salt, until thickened. add white pepper and nutmeg to taste. Check for seasoning, keep warm.

For the Moussaka

Step one: Slice eggplant about 1/8" thick, salt the eggplant for about 30 minutes, rinse off/pat dry.

Step two: Put into smoker box for 10 minutes (I used cherry wood)

Step three: Brush the eggplant with olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste. Grill until almost cooked through (you'll be throwing it in the oven at the end)

Step four: Get a 4oz soup ladle and lay eggplant slices inside until inside surface is covered (3-4 pieces)

Step five: put rice pilaf mixture into ladle (don't overstuff), pushing down firmly

Step six: fold the flaps of the eggplant over, sealing the rice in.

Step seven: put a spatula on top of the ladle, invert, and transfer the eggplant to a sheet pan.

Step eight: Bake for 15 minutes at 350°F and serve with Bechamel sauce.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Grilled Ramps, Smoked Potato, Baked/Smoked Tofu Mini-Pizza

Dinner 4/22

Mini Pizza
(grilled ramps, smoked purple potatoes, baked/smoked tofu, soy cheese)


(same batch, different picture)

it's the springtime trifecta -- ramps are in season!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Fiddlehead Ferns, Baked Tofu, Polenta, Wilted Chard

Dinner 4/21

Baked Tofu
(tofu baked with a tamari and maple syrup marinade 350° F for one hour -- from the Millennium cookbook)


Wilted Chard and Beet Greens

Fiddlehead Ferns
(seared/steamed with tamari and pepper)


(from the Millennium cookbook)

again with the seasonal produce -- I only wish there had been more morel mushrooms to go along with the fiddleheads -- a perfect springtime match...

thanks to Nancy (pssst... go visit the blog) for reminding us about the Millennium cookbook -- the baked tofu and brownies were fabulous...

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Morel Mushrooms, Horseradish Mashed Potatoes, Grilled Asparagus

Dinner 4/20

Horseradish Mashed Potatoes

Grilled Asparagus

Morel Mushrooms

Celriac Salad


an earthy collection of food tonight for the first meal out on the deck this year...

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Raw Food Wednesday: Fennel Salad, Snap Peas. Zucchini Noodles and Gazpacho

Raw Food Wednesday 4/19

Shaved Fennel Salad
(fennel, olive oil, salt, pepper)

Snap Peas
(olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano, dehydrated for 4 hours at 110° F)

Zucchini Noodles, Dehydrated Cherry Tomatoes and Basil Marinara Sauce
(cherry tomato, soaked sun-dried tomato, chopped dates, salt, pepper, oregano, basil, olive oil, topped with "feta" "cheese" -- via Charlie Trotter/Roxanne Klein)

(tomato, cucumber, celery, garlic, salt, pepper, cayenne, ice cubes, olive oil, apple cider vinegar)

Coconut and Date Balls
(dried coconut, dates, agave syrup, vanilla extract, salt -- dehydrated for 6 hours at 110° F)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Rhombi Pasta with Tomato Sauce, Braised Fennel, Bistro Salad, Tomato Soup

Dinner 4/18

Rhombi Pasta with Homemade Tomato Sauce

Braised Fennel

Smoked Yellow Tomato and Potato Soup

Homemeade Cibatta

Bistro Salad

yep, it's the leftover soup and bread combo from Easter with the addition of the braised fennel and rhombi pasta with tomato sauce...

Monday, April 17, 2006

Pad Thai

Dinner 4/17

Pad Thai
(rice noodles, bean sprouts, red bell pepper, carrot, tofu, tamarind, sambal oelek, cilantro, roasted organic peanuts)

Pad Thai is good for what ails you -- even if you're feeling pretty good ;)

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter Dinner

Easter Dinner 4/16

First Course: Smoked Yellow Tomato and Petite Potato Soup

Main Course: Roasted Garlic and Thyme Stuffed Tofu, Braised Brussel Sprouts, Petite No. 1 Potatoes with Herbes de Provence, Homemade Ciabatta Bread


Bunny Cake

More fun with the smoker box, as the tomato and potato soup gets a makeover -- again taking something that was already fabulous and elevating the dish into orbit. Also, because the yellow tomatoes have a somewhat lower-acid content, the smoke adds a nice level of flavor to go with the lovely color...