Friday, February 26, 2010

Vegan Wedding

Ive been working on a vegan wedding for  J and B.  The wedding will be in October.  The following are the choices that will be offered to the couple at their tasting.  They will also get to taste a salad and two or three sides.  These are pictures of the practice entrees which could use a little tweaking.   The first picture is of the Butternut Squash Rotolo. This rotolo starts as a long piece of handmade sage pasta layed flat.  It is layered with a mild cashew cheese and roasted butternut squash, and then rolled up and boiled.  The finished roll is then cut crossways for individual servings.   It lays on a bed of wilted seasonal greens and is topped with grape tomatoes and fried sage.  This is a classic can't lose flavor combination.  When I crafted this one several months ago I just used plain flour to make the pasta (It was just for me and the old man).  Using semolina flour will give the pasta more bite and structure.  This rotolo was dee-licious though.
Next are the crepes.  These crepes are stuffed with a crazy assortment of exotic mushrooms (Beech, Maitake and Shitake) along with walnuts, spinach, ginger and sesame.  The sauce is a lemongrass kreem.  We will need to work on presentation.  I would like to see some nice plump goji berries on top of this and the crepes must be thinner.  Also, Lemongrass must be added to the crepe batter.   Nothing but the best.

And here is the puff pastry.  This is hand-rolled puff pastry. (Thanks Brittany of Sinfull Bakery) It's light and fluffy and speckled with rosemary.
The box is filled with artichoke bottoms, eggplant and tomato and topped with garden cilantro-basil pesto and a simple tomato sauce.  I will add cashew cheese to this recipe and more eggplant and tomato.  This box needs to be spilling over with veggies.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Vegan Superbowl

So happy to report that my cajun empanadas were just the good luck charm that the Saints needed to win the Superbowl yesterday. My (non-vegan)friends and I have a superbowl party each year. They know they can count on me for a few vegan options and this is this years fare. Above are the Geaux Saints Sweet Potato Maque Choux Empanadas (which came with a mango Chimmichuri) I'll give you the recipe below.

Next is the Annual Stadium cake made from My Sweet Vegan's Lemon Lime Sunshine Bundt recipe and my stadium mold.

And this is the grid of guac. It's a whole bunch of big beautiful Haas Avocados, mixed with pico de gallo, lime, salt and pepper and the yardlines measured out in Vegan Cream Cheese

Geaux Saints Empanada Recipe:
1 big ole Sweet Potato
1/2 Onion, diced

1 Stalk celery, diced
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 bag frozen corn or one can, drained (about 8 ounces frozen)
2 Tablespoons Canola Oil
1 teaspoon gumbo file
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon cracked red pepper
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 Tablespoon Vegan Cream Cheese
Empanada rounds (check the label) Also if you find the ones that say "para horno" that have no beef fat you're in business.

Preheat the oven to 350. Set your Empanada rounds (discos) out to thaw

Cut your sweet potato into cubes and place them in a large bowl. Add all the spices and the oil and toss the potatoes to evenly coat. Put the potatoes on a large sheet pan and toss them in the oven.

Chop your onion, celery and pepper. Drop them in that same bowl that you used for the potatoes and give them a little toss in the residual spice. After 10 minutes pull the potatoes out of the oven and toss the onion mix on top and replace in back in the oven. Cook for another 5 minutes.

When your done return the whole mix to the same big bowl and stir in the frozen corn and the Vegan Cream Cheese. Taste the mix and make sure it's good.

Lay all of your discos out on the table and scoop about two tablespoons full of mixture onto each disc.

Pick up one disc and fold it in half making a semi-circle and matching up the ends so that you have about a half an inch of seal.

Make a small fold or crimp in the empanada and smash it into place. In fact go ahead and make five crimps(or four like the picture).

Place the empandas on a well oiled sheet pan or a well oiled piece of
parchment on a sheetpan and cook for about 15 minutes or until golden bown.

Serve with Chimmichurri or Mango Chimmichuri:
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup cilantro
1/4 onion
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 Jalapeno (preferably red)
1/2 Tablespoon red bell pepper
1/4 tablespoon sea salt,
1/4 tablespoon paprika
Blend together in a food processor and serve. Add two tablespoons of fresh or frozen mango for mango salsa.

Watch as Matt takes them home from the party.