Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A variation of mushroom walnut pâté that I have conveniently failed to photograph

No pictures.  Sorry, guys.  I do however have a very delicious pâté to share with you that started out based on the Veganomicon mushroom pâté recipe and then evolved into something very different.  Basically, I have nothing to show you so you'll just have to take my word for it.  Really I'm just blogging this now at nearly 2am because otherwise I'll forget so sorry for any brain malfunctions along the way.

You Will Need...
2 cups walnuts
2 T olive oil
1 pound cremini mushrooms (quartered)
1 medium red onion (chopped)
3 T fresh sage (chopped)
1/2 t salt
freshly ground pepper
balsamic vinegar

To Assemble...
Get out a really large pan over medium heat and dump the walnuts in.  Stir sort of frequently.  Whenever you remember, that is.  When some bits start getting black and you think "oh shit it's going to burn" dump it all in a food processor and pulse until it's the texture of uncooked polenta.  Yes, that is the first analogy that came to mind.

Now add the olive oil to the pan.  It should still be hot so just toss in the onion.  Sauté the onion until it's sort of translucent, then add the mushrooms and sage.  Cook the mushrooms until they stop releasing water.  Make sure all the water evaporates.  Somewhere along the way, add the salt.  It helps de-water the mushrooms.  Now dump the contents of your pan into the food processor.  You can turn off the stove now.

Turn on the food processor.  You know that bit in the lid that you can dump stuff through while it's still running?  Keep it open to avoid a steam explosion.  Your pâté should be roughly the texture of a pâté at this point.  Grind lots of pepper on it.  Drizzle the balsamic vinegar to taste.  I probably use about 3 tablespoons.  Mix again.  You can eat this immediately straight out of the food processor or you can refrigerate it a couple of hours in a pretty container to let the flavours meld a bit.

The End.  Good night.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Back From The Dead!

First of all, I'd like to apologise to choirqueer.  I was going to make the epic soup of epicness tonight but I have too many things to finish in my fridge and you can't take soup on a plane.

Now, I've got a huge backlog, but I don't really have the time or energy to post all of it.  I'm sorry.  Most of it is terribly unimpressive anyway since I've been buried under endless work.

A Seriously Belated Thanksgiving Post

When I first became a vegetarian, my family told me, "you're going to have to cook for yourself, you know.  We're not changing our lifestyle."  They ended up cooking for me anyway.  When I became a vegan, they said the same thing and meant it.  Then thanksgiving came along and it was suddenly "you poor dear, you're taking the red eye home from California, what can we make for you?"  I love my family.  Thank you for existing.

What ended up happening was that I had to sauté kale and bake only two pies while my parents produced cranberry chutney (which has been made vegan since I found out where gelatin comes from over 10 years ago), mashed potatoes with cayenne and cumin from Vegan Soul Kitchen, green beans with caramelised onions and toasted pine nuts, vegan sausage brown rice stuffing, and a chanterelle-filled masterpiece vaguely inspired by this recipe.  So without further unnecessary babbling from me, here's the food.

Kale.  We tossed this with a sesame ginger vinaigrette that my dad created some time last year.  I have to admit, I didn't really eat this because I eat kale all the time as it is, but the entire family loved it.

Potatoes which are always the highlight of my thanksgiving.  These were topped with vegan parmesan and then baked until browned.  I still have the leftovers in my dorm fridge.

Also visible in the potato picture, these are the green beans.  Nothing fancy.  Sautéed with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Always fabulous.

Everyone loves my mom's stuffing.  She made it a bit differently this year with brown rice and red quinoa instead of wild rice and sour cherries instead of craisins, but it was every bit as awesome as always.

Mom's amazing spiced ginger-cranberry-orange chutney.  If I could eat this with a spoon, I would.  And now on to the best part of my meal:

This was a complete surprise to me.  I provided the recipe, but I know my dad did a lot of tweaking.  The best bit was the chanterelles.  I've had Whole Foods gift cards a lot this term and I kept trying to get chanterelles for just one dinner, but they were always out.  Through some amazing turn of events, my mother found chanterelles at Costco, made the dish, and stuffed it in puff pastry shells.  I love them.

My loaded plate pictured with the caramelised onion-miso gravy I improvised that day.  Now, on to the desserts!

Cosmos Apple Pie from the new pie book.  I have to admit, I am probably the only astronomy student ever not to have seen or read Sagan.  I should probably remedy this.  Anyway, this pie was awesome despite being pulled out of the oven and then rebaked a million times throughout the day (omnis don't really need to eat, right?).

This pumpkin pie was not as much of a success.  Unfortunately, my dad for the first time in 5 years decided to read the manual for our oven and got it into his head that pies are supposed to be baked on some weird setting called intensive.  The result?  The top was done and the bottom was liquid.  I ended up scraping the filling out and turning it into a smoothie (in which I rediscovered how much I hate bananas and threw it out).  Oh well.  I'm blaming dad.

My aunt's pears poached in red wine.  I actually don't eat these because I'm the only one in my family who doesn't like them.  However, they are beautiful and photogenic.

So thanksgiving's over and I'm going home for break in less than a week.  You know what that means?  It's almost Christmas!  You know what that means? Doctor Who Christmas Special and Neil Gaiman on Wait Wait Don't Tell Me!  I should be posting a lot more in the next few weeks trying to perfect brownies for presents.  If I don't post, slap me.