Sometimes an occasion (or a particularly dreary overcast day) requires a foodie focus from dawn to dusk. Yesterday was just such an occasion.
A visit from a medical student friend, a long weekend, a farmer's market...
Chili-toasted almonds with ripe pineapple (recipe below)
Lobster and Oyster mushroom bisque - The Millennium Cookbook
French Vermouth Potato Salad (recipe below)
with Grilled Ginger Tofu
and Cherry Tomatoes
Chocolate Mint Gluten-Freedom Cupcakes - Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World
It was a lot of work, but literally everything turned out well. The cupcakes were unspeakably delicious, which is nearly miraculous for the world of gluten-free vegan desserts...
The success of the mushroom bisque can be attributed to my luck with finding every ingredient the recipe called for. While I had to use re-hydrated lobster mushrooms, and both re-hydrated and canned chanterelles, I found very fresh oyster mushrooms (yellow ones and grey ones) at the monthly winter farmer's market.
While at the market, I also procured fresh shitake mushrooms and a tiny harvest of early morels. I've never cooked with morels before. This should be interesting - stay tuned.
1 cup unsalted raw almonds
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp granular salt
1/3 tsp Spanish paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/3 tsp ground rocoto (may substitute ground cayenne)
Stir together almonds, juice and spices in a bowl. Toast in a dry frying pan at medium-high heat for five minutes, or until fragrant and browned. Serve in small bowls alongside chunks of fresh pineapple or other tropical fruit.
French Vermouth Potato Salad
3 lbs new potatoes, diced
1 lb purple heirloom potatoes, diced
1 bulb garlic, minced
1.5 tsp coarse salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3 Tbsp olive oil
Vermouth Dressing (below)
1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Preheat oven to 400 F. Soak diced potatoes in a large bowl of cold water for 5-10 minutes, while preparing other ingredients. Drain and pat dry with a tea towel. Add garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil to potatoes, and stir together gently. Spread potatoe mixture evenly across two aluminum-foil lined baking pans. Bake for 40 minutes, turning once after 20 minutes.
Remove from oven, cool for 10 minutes, and keep warm under foil in a large salad bowl. Just before serving, toss with dressing, chives and cilantro.
2 large shallots, halved and separated into large pieces
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup dry white vermouth
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1/3 cup vegetable stock
4 Tbsp soy creamer, or thick soy milk
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
20 curry leaves (may use dried, although fresh or frozen are preferred)
fresh ground pepper
Fry shallots in oil and salt over medium heat until soft and slightly browned. Add vermouth to deglaze pan, and boil until reduced by half. Add mustard seeds, and continue cooking until most of the liquid has evaporated, and the seeds are very fragrant. Add stock and creamer, return to a boil, and cook for two minutes, stirring often.
Remove from heat, then whisk in mustard, mayonnaise, and curry leaves. Add pepper to taste.