Monday, September 26, 2005

IMBB #19: Vegan Feast

Sam, from Becks & Posh, is hosting this month's IMBB and the theme is to make something Vegan! Now, I'm a carnivore so I was a little nervous about this theme. A whole vegan meal? The simplest thing would be to make a salad, but a salad without meat or cheese just seemed rather boring to me. Finally, I decided to forget about it completely. I've been pretty bad about blogging lately, and a show I'm working on began tech yesterday, so I certainly have enough excuses. But then today tech ended early, one of the ladies I live with was feeling ill and I really needed to buy groceries. So I decided to make us a vegan feast with two dishes: A Tofu and Tomato Stir-fry and a Cherry Tomato Salad with Rice Wine Vinaigrette. While shopping, I was very careful to read all the ingredients and buy only Vegan-allowed foods. The result? A simple and healthy dinner, but not one I would eat every night. So thanks, Sam, for opening my eyes to what a nice change this can be, but I think in general I prefer a steak.

Cherry Tomato Salad

40 Cherry Tomatoes, halved
Green and Black Olives, pitted
2 Scallions, minced
Salt and Cracked Black Pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and drizzle with a little Rice Wine Vinaigrette. Toss and serve.

Rice Wine Vinaigrette

1/3 cup Canola Oil
1/3 cup Rice Wine Vinegar
3 cloves Garlic, minced

Whisk together until well-combined. Perfect drizzled delicate vegetables, cooked or raw.

Tofu and Tomatoes

Canola Oil to grease pan
1 Plum Tomato, diced
5 cloves Garlic, minced
2-3 teaspoons Olive Oil
2 packs Extra-Firm Tofu, cubed
Trader Joe's 21-Seasoning Salute (or favorite spice blend)
1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
Salt and Cracked Black Pepper, to taste

Grease pan with Canola Oil. Saute Tomato and Garlic until Garlic is fully cooked and Tomato is soft. Remove from pan and reserve. Add Olive Oil to pan. Heat, then add Tofu Cubes. Saute until Tofu begins to color. Add 21-Seasoning Salute. Return Tomato mixture to pan. Add Soy Sauce and move tofu bits around so everything is well combined. Add Salt and Cracked Black Pepper to taste. Serve.

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Friday, September 09, 2005

Salade Grecque

Shortly before I left San Francisco, I was suffering from a surfeit of lemons. My first trip to the astounding Trader Joe's my second day in San Fran, I bought a gigantic bag of lemons. I had used one or two, but it was time to base my dinner around the remaining ones. I also wanted something light and easy to prepare, since we were leaving early the next morning to drive south to LA.

After searching online for something that met all my requirements, I stumbled upon a recipe from Elise, of Simply Recipes fame. It was her Dad's Greek Salad Recipe and it looked light and refreshing, not to mention the fact that it included lemon juice. So, I made it. The result? Fabulous. Here's how I made it, staying close to Elise's Dad's recipe, but of course making my own adjustments, as per usual.

Salade Grecque

3 tbsp Olive Oil
Juice of 1 Lemon
1 clove Garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon Cabernet Sauvignon Vinegar
1/4 teaspoon Dried Oregano
1 sprig Dill, chopped
Salt and Cracked Black Pepper
2 Plum Tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 small Zucchini, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 small Yellow Onion, peeled and chopped
1 small Red Bell Pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup pitted Kalamata Olives, chopped
Feta Cheese, crumbled, to taste (I used about 1/4 cup of Goat's Milk Feta)

Mix together Olive Oil, Lemon Juice, Garlic, Vinegar, Oregano and Dill until well combined. Season to taste with Salt and Black Pepper. Let rest while preparing Salad. Before serving, give Dressing a final mix before serving.

Toss Tomatoes, Zucchini, Onion, Pepper and Olives together in a bowl. Add dressing. Sprinkle with Feta Cheese and serve.

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Monday, September 05, 2005

Quesadillas d'aioli, tomates et mozzarella

Three beauties of one gender.
Put eggs in the blender--
Too much oil, we need a mender!
You can add another yolk,
You can make a joke.
You can sip a glass of Coke
Or call your folks
And give a poke.
Add some tomatoes and some cheese
And broil it in the oven, please.

And voila my Doctor Seuss parody which the crazy Cook Sister! requested for this month's EoMEoTE. Unfortunately, we didn't find a mender for my liquidy aioli, so we drizzled it on our tortillas instead of smearing it on like mayonnaise. They were still delicious!

Next time, I would use one lemon, instead of two and considerably less olive oil. I have included the recipe I believe would work perfectly.

Quesadillas d'aioli, tomates et mozzarella


3 Egg Yolks
1 cup Olive Oil
Juice of 1 Lemon
4 cloves Garlic, peeled
Salt and Cracked Black Pepper

Beat Egg Yolks in blender. If possible, depending on your blender, add Olive Oil while blender is on. If not, add it slowly, combining it and the Egg Yolks fully before adding more. When thick, add Lemon Juice and Garlic. Beat again, until Garlic is finely chopped. Season to taste with Salt and Pepper.

Quesadillas d'aioli, tomates et mozarella

8 Whole Wheat Tortillas
4 Roma Tomatoes, chopped
Generous amount Mozarella, broken into 20 hunks
Salt and Cracked Black Pepper

Pre-heat broiler. Spread 4 Tortillas with Aioli. Place Tomatoes on top, spreading around evenly. Add 5 pieces of Mozzarella to each Tortilla. Add Salt and Pepper to taste. Top each with another Tortilla. Broil for 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Serve warm.

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Saturday, September 03, 2005

Belated IMBB: Fried Eggplant with Avgolemono Sauce

I will not miss another blogging event. I will not miss another blogging event. My excuse? I moved. Again. This time to sunny Southern California and I won't be leaving, except to go to New York, until May. So this is the last time I can use that excuse for almost a year. Period.

The worst part is, I participated in At Our Table's IMBB (Summer's Flying, Let's Get Frying!) in San Francisco! Or, at least, I made a dish for it. It was ridiculously simple and quite good. I had read about using the Greek soup, Avgolemono, as a sauce for vegetables all over the internet and I was anxious to try it out myself. So I fried some eggplant and poured it on. It was creamy, refreshing and delicious. I'm sure the sauce would be just as good with other foods as well, such as artichokes or even chicken breasts.

Fried Eggplant with Avgolemono Sauce

Avgolemono Sauce

1 cup Chicken Stock
2/3 tablespoon Cornflour
3 Eggs
Juice of 1 Lemon

In a saucepan, bring Chicken Stock to a boil. Mix Cornflour in a cup with just enough Water to make it smooth. Add to Stock, stirring as it thickens.

In a bowl, beat Eggs until fluffy and mixture is all one color.

Add the Lemon Juice and boiling Chicken Stock. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly. Be sure it does not boil.

Prepare the Eggplant:

Fried Eggplant

1 Egg, beaten
Salt and Black Pepper
Oil for frying
1 Eggplant, sliced

Mix Egg in a bowl with Salt and Black Pepper to taste. Heat Oil in frying pan over high heat. Dip Eggplant slices in Egg mixture and fry in Oil until crispy.

To Assemble:

Place Fried Eggplant on plate and drizzle with Avgolemono Sauce.

Serves 2 as a side dish.

Update: Check out Linda's fabulous Round-up!

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