Thursday, November 4, 2010
This week's menu
I was so inspired by Chef Tal Ronnen's presentation at the Boston Vegetarian Society Food Festival this weekend that I bought his cookbook, The Conscious Cook. Filled with "meatless recipes that will change your life," it too was inspiring. And you can't beat the beautiful color photos, layout, and overall design, which will immediately send you to your kitchen eager to attempt recreating the recipes at home. At least that's what it did to me.
This week my clients were treated to two recipes featured in Chef Tal's cookbook. I made some slight modifications based on my own personal tastes, and of course, my photos don't come near the artful presentations you'll see on those glossy pages. Nonetheless, I think they were still pretty delicious.
The first entree was Roasted Eggplant on Baked Polenta with Smoked Paprika Cashew Cream, Sauteed Greens, Shallots and Shiitake Mushroom. The cashew cream sauce recipe alone is worth buying the cookbook for, as it is the perfect balance of spicy sweet with a rich, velvety texture. This whole recipe was pretty smooth and creamy, which makes me think I should've caramelized the shallots to get a crunchy contrast on top. Still good, though.
The other Chef Tal inspired recipe was Agave Lime Tofu with Asian Slaw and Mashed Sweet Potatoes. I love the citrus in this dish, and the crunch of the slaw is the perfect contrast to the creamy sweet potatoes, which I kicked up a notch by mashing together with apple sauce and a little coconut oil. There were some great flavor combinations going on here as well.
For the last entree this week, I stuck with the Asian theme and made Indonesian Gado-Gado with Tempeh, Cauliflower, Stringbeans, Carrots and Brown Basmati Rice. Gado-Gado is a peanut based sauce spiced with chili powder and fresh ginger. I could eat this on just about anything, and if I died tomorrow, I'd have lived a full and satisfying life.