Sam is hosting a wonderful event to inspire us to “surprise” someone with a vegan meal. Given my appreciation of the creativity of vegan cooking I quickly used this opportunity to kick around one of my favorite fussy cookbooks, the Artful Vegan.
I’ve had fun springing tofu surprises on my co-workers (who now suspiciously eye anything edible I bring in…). When paired with a flavorful substance, tofu can be quite the trickster of cooking! This loki style cooking has warmed me up to the challenge of cooking vegan, though I’m feeling too lazy to lay a formal culinary trap. Sweets is beyond sneaking up on when it comes to sleights of hand like vegan cooking, however I think I kind of surprised him with this impromptu meal none-the-less.
Here’s the round up of our wonderful meal (recipes to come up later this weekend):
Calamari Oyster Mushrooms with Toasted Sesame Carrot Salad (from the Artful Vegan)
- these mushrooms fry up perfectly! Reminding me of the joys of frying… who says vegan cooking has to be skinny? Nutty, chewy, tasting like pop corn, these mushrooms go wonderfully with the toasted sesame carrot salad. This is a light dish that fulfills the definition of appetizer- I’m hungry for more!
Crispy Potato Cake topped with Caramlized Shallots with Horseradish Cream served on top of a Sherry Vinaigrette Salad of Beets, Apples and Walnuts (that was a mouthful!)
- this dish was largely inspired by an advertisement I’ve been pining over the last several months for the Bermuda Culinary Festifal in October (If any rich Brownie Points fans would like to give me a birthday present in the form of tickets, give me an email! Sorry, couldn’t hurt to ask…). This ad features a thick fried cake atop a salad of shredded carrots and topped with baby greens; Mmmm more fried goodness. I dressed my potato cakes up with caramelized shallots and caramelized onion dressing, then rolled the cakes in bread crumbs before frying. For the rest of the dish, play connect the dots with me: I love potatos with vinegar, I love vinegar with beets, I love beets with walnuts, I love walnuts with apples, I love apples with horseradish, and don’t'cha know these all go well together! The crisp crumb coating of the potato cake contrasts nicely with the apples, which positively sing paired with the horseradish tofu-cream. This dish reminds me yet again of the magic of walnuts paired with beets. Their earthy duet is reminiscent of the sesame in the preceding dish. The hint of sweetness from the apple reminds my taste buds that there is more to come!
Recipe now up!
Raspberry Cordial with Raspberry Chocolate Mousse Kiss
- not too sweet, but definitely flavorful and creamy. I fear I have gone on about this tofu based mousse too much in my blog, but the pairing of raspberry liqueur and chocolate is heaven. Served up in tiny cordial glasses, these dessert bites were just right! Oh, I did mention that there are two desserts, right?
Raspberry Chocolate Mousse with Vanilla Bean Cocoa Butter Creme Anglaise
- making this white creme anglais sauce was also inspired by the artful vegan. They make a mousse that is cocoa butter, soy milk and sweetner to top a key lime tart. This mousse also gets paired with peanut butter for a nutty mousse in chocolate cannolis. However, the notes preceding the recipe in the cookbook warn of the cocoa butter’s tempermental nature, and they are right! I tweaked the recipe and made a vanilla anglaise sauce of cocoa butter, tofu, maple and orange essence and floated upon it a kiss of raspberry chocolate mouse. The pairing of both types of chocolate completement each other well, building up together to form a larger flavor that blends in the mouth. The orange comes out to play with the fruitiness of the raspberry and is washed all down with a hint of alcohol. Both of these mousse desserts are a wonderful light end to a crisp and bright dinner.
Sweets summized my feelings exactly as he munched his way through the beet salad… This reminds me how good vegetables are!
Recipes to come later on.