Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bad Blogger

I've been cooking (and eating, yay!) but not photographing. Oops. Here are some words about food, at least.

For a potluck dinner this past weekend, Omnivorous Boyfriend and I made Veganomicon's eggplant potato moussaka with pine nut cream. It was a huge hit. We both liked it and got lots of complements at the party - even after people knew it was vegan. The whole tray disappeared quickly.

We got all the vegetables that morning from the neighborhood farmer's market, which made it extra good. It's a lot more involved that my standard cooking - roasting tons of vegetables, making sauce, making the cream, then assembling and baking the casserole. I was very glad to have a sous-chef on hand and to be working in a nice big kitchen with lots of counter space. I wouldn't dare make this in my little kitchen. So lot's of effort involved in this one, but worth it, I'd say. It makes an impressive dish to share. The one issue was a lack of eggplant - we used a pound, as directed, but two pounds would be better to cover all the layers evenly.

Next up was Sunday brunch - Veganomicon's (again, I know!) banana walnut waffles. I gave OB a waffle iron for his birthday and am now reaping the rewards. These were fast and easy to put together using mostly stuff we had around. They came out very tasty, and I like that they're not major sugar bombs.

Sunday night dinner was a bit of a fiasco. I had bought some fresh black eyes peas from the farmer's market, intending to boil them and then stir-fry with sweet potatoes and broccoli. I didn't realize how quickly fresh beans spoil! I left them out on the counter and by Sunday night they smelled reallly funky. I ran to the corner store to replace them with the canned variety but the closest thing I could find was Cranberry beans. Whatever.

Trying to stick to the original plan, I diced up the sweet potatoes and roasted them in the oven for about 15 minutes. I toasted some cumin and black mustard seeds in a pot, along with a little ginger.

And then I made a mistake.

One stand at the farmer's market had three bins of hot peppers, with a sign labelling them hot-hotter-hottest. I took two little orange ones from the 'hotter' bin, figuring they'd be a medium-high heat. I've only cooked with jalapeno peppers before, and I've always found the heat level dissapointingly mild. I diced up the two little guys and threw them in the pot with the spices. After sauteeing for a few minutes I added the sweet potatoes, beans and some frozen broccoli.

Now, I like spicy food, but this was just painful. Numbingly, awfully hot. And sadly, the heat masked every other flavor. You could have been eating super-spicy oatmeal; the only sensation was HOT. As luck would have it we checked out My Oraganic Market on Sunday and I grabbed a big tub of Wildwoood plain unsweetened soy yogurt. OB and I doused the stir-fry with the yogurt and made it through dinner without having to resort to take-out. As an aside, Wildwood is very very good. The first soy yogurt I've had that has a tang to it and seems almost like 'real' yogurt.

Fortunately I was very careful when I cut the peppers up and didn't get any on my hands, but I must have been leaning too closely over the pot because the inside of my nose burned for hours. Sheesh! Next time I'll just stick to red pepper flakes.

1 comment:

jessy said...

no worries on no photos, Kate! it all sounds super good! that's awesome that Vcon's moussaka was such a hit. i still need to try that recipe out - good to know it takes a good bit of time! thanks for the heads up!

oh man - sadface on the blackeyed peas & the crazy hot peppers! eek! that's awesome that you were able to save the dish though - less food waste rocks! :D

i don't think it's a bad thing to be making lots 'o yummies from Vcon - it's one glorious cookbook with so many tasty ass recipes! yay!