You can call me Edith (weizenwind) wrote in vegancooking,
You can call me Edith
weizenwind
vegancooking

Fancy dinner inspired by the American South

This spring a dear friend graduated from her master's program, and this weekend she took me up on my gift of a dinner for her.

This is my favorite time of the year for produce, so I had lots of good things to use for inspiration at the farmers markets. Every single ingredient used was organic, and almost all of it was grown in Washington State. And, well, not the beer.



What you see above is quinoa-corn griddle cakes topped with chipotle-seasoned black-eyed peas and garlicky kale. Garnish was shredded gold beets tossed with an orange-chive dressing also made with champagne vinegar and then topped with some julienned red beets.

After a busy round at the farmers market and a quick run to Whole Foods for oranges and dessert ingredients I started with the prep work.



(In the foreground are slivered red onions, tossed with oil and golden balsamic vinegar, then broiled--these were added to the black-eyed peas toward the end of cooking. This is a wonderful way to make incredibly delicious things and a fantastic-smelling kitchen. You should find an excuse to make these onions every day. In the background, finely shredded golden beets after they were sauteed but before being dressed, and julienned red beets, also sauteed.)

After cooking the black-eyed peas in water I added them to a panful of sauteing garlic, then added these seasonings: powdered chipotle, dried oregano, ground cumin, and salt. Later I added about a cup of chopped black plum tomatoes and a couple tablespoons of red-wine vinegar. Onions were added in the last 5 minutes of cooking (or they should have been. Some timing issues meant that they were in there longer than I wanted and lost some of their visual appeal).

Kale was very simple: lacinto kale was destemmed, then cut into short ribbons. Sauteed a few cloves of coarsely chopped garlic in olive oil, added kale, finished with salt and a splash of red-wine vinegar:



Beet dressing was champagne vinegar, freshly squeezed orange juice, a bit of orange zest, salt, sugar, and lots of fresh chives, minced. I thickened it slightly with cornstarch and added some oil to help distribute the flavor and improve the gloss.

Griddle cakes I cooked when my friend arrived. 1 ear of corn, cut off the cob and nuked until just tender. Maybe half a cup of cooked quinoa. Lots of minced chives. Maybe a quarter cup, packed? I folded all that into a basic batter of about 1/2 cup white flour, 1/3 cup corn masa, 1/8 tsp. salt, 3/4 tsp. baking powder, and enough soy milk to pull it all into a slightly thick but moist batter. Fry the cakes small over medium heat. Oh, I think there was some chili powder and onion powder in the batter, too. And some Italian seasonings.

Then there was dessert. Peaches peeled and sliced into small, thin pieces. Tossed with a couple tablespoons of orange juice mixed with cornstarch. Put those into ramekins, then top with a crumble topping of flour, margarine, oats, grated fresh orange zest, pecans and candied ginger (coarsely chopped), and moistened with a little agave nectar and soy milk. Mine turned out pretty dry, so I guess I should have stepped up the margarine and agave nectar. Tasted good, though, and look how pretty the ingredients looked as I got them ready!



Finished crumbles:

Tags: beans-black eyed peas, breads-flatbreads, condiments-relish, desserts-cobblers/crumbles, ethnic food-soul food, fruits-peaches, gourmet meals, grains-corn & polenta etc, grains-quinoa, greens-kale, vegetables-kale
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