I do believe that last night’s potluck was a success. After some well-timed tidying and a couple fabulously-easy make-ahead recipes I was ready for the night. Unfortunately for Mr. Crow, I was not as ready as I should have been and I had forgotten to pick up the ingredients for the raita that was to be served atop the samosa pie. Darn! So he very kindly stopped at Whole Foods on the way home from work to acquire the much needed ingredients.
My creepily punctual friends all arrived at EXCACTLY the same time (about 7:03 PM) and both my front and back doors were awash with hungry, and hello-ing faces bringing a multitude of delectable edibles to my abode. The M.s, who, amid contracting disasters and heaps of stress, very kindly made time for me and my extraterrestrial, meat-free shindig, brought Kalamata Olive tapenade and some incredible bread. The C.s brought a beautiful fruit platter with some kind of yogurt-y, delicious dip. An the Mc.s brought Indian spiced, julienned rutabaga and butternut squash with a balsamic reduction; both of these dishes kicked my ass with fabulousness.
Last Friday was Mrs. C.’s birthday so, knowing she was coming, I made her a special birthday treat: a tiramisu cheesecake! Mr. Crow found me ladyfingers and it came out pretty well, I’d say. A couple of them fell over into the cake but the taste was there even if the presentation was not :) Mr. M., who loves tiramisu, conspired with others in the party to hide the calorie-laden sweet all for themselves causing me to walk back and forth from the kitchen to the dining room with a confused expression looking for it, much tot he delight of all those present and making me feel l like I was more insane than usual.
As far as my dishes, they included two recipes from the most recent issue of Vegetarian times. First, my dinner offering:
Indian Samosa Casserole (annotated)
Everything you love about Indian samosas is here in one low-fat, easy-to-make pie. Serve with Cucumber Raita or Tofu Raita from vegetariantimes.com *This recipe can be made ahead and frozen for up to . . . well, a while. Skip to the end for heating instructions in that case. Also, don’t preheat our oven if you’re going to freeze this; that’s just silly.
1/2c all purpose flour
1/2c whole-wheat pastry flour
2T vegetable oil
1T black or yellow mustard seeds (I used yellow)
1t curry powder
1t ground ginger
1/2t ground cumin
1/8t red pepper flakes, optional (I left this out)
5 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered (Yukon gold, I left the skin)
1 1/2t vegetable oil
1 medium onion, dices (1 c)
1 medium carrot, diced (1/2 c)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1c frozen peas
1c low sodium vegetable broth (Better Than Bullion is the best!)
2t agave nectar or sugar (I forgot this)
2T soymilk (I used the cow-type because that’s what I had)
1. To make the crust: Preheat oven to 375*F. Whisk together flours and salt in a bowl. Stir in oil until clumps form. Add 6 to 10 T of cold water 1T at a time until dough holds together. Shape into a ball, cover with a damp towel, and set aside. (I used my food processor for this and it worked perfectly.)
2. To make the filling: Stir together mustard seeds, curry, ginger, cumin, and pepper flakes, if using, in a bowl; set aside.
3. Cook potatoes in boiling salted water 15 minutes or until tender. Drain, return to pot and mash, leaving small chunks.
4. Heat oil in a skillet (9” worked just fine) over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, and garlic and sauté 5 minutes, or until carrot is tender. Move to side of pan, and add mustard seed mixture in the center. Toast 30 seconds. Stir in peas and broth. Fold onion mixture into potato mixture: stir in agave nectar/sugar. Season with salt and pepper, if desired (I desired it). Spread filling into a 9” pie pan and set aside.
5. Roll out crust dough to 11” circle on floured work surface. Cover filling with dough, pressing down to make sure no air pockets remain. Trim away excess dough and crimp edges with fingers. Cut an X in the center to vent steam: brush with soymilk just before baking. Place pie on a baking sheet (oops), and bake 40-50 minutes, or until crust is golden. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
6. Frozen cooking instructions: Preheat oven to 375*F. Place casserole on baking sheet and bake 75-90 minutes or until filling bubbles and crust is golden. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Sadly, there were no leftovers of this for me to have for breakfast. Also a tragedy, I completely forgot to put out the raita that I sent Mr. Crow to get he ingredients for. . . merrr.
For dessert I made an incredibly easy, gluten free crisp:
Brown rice flour, vegan margarine, orange zest, and vanilla come together to make a crunchy-sweet, topping for a fruity winter dessert.
8 Oranges, plus 1t grated orangege zest (I just used the zest of 1 orange rather than measure)
2c dried apricots, thinly sliced
1/2c dried currants or raisins (raisins)
1/2c chopped candied ginger (Thanks General Electric)
1c brown rice flour
6T vegan margarine, softened (I used cow-butter, don’t judge me)
1. Preheat oven to 350*F Coat a 9’ square baking pan with cooking spray (uh, yeah, I used a 9x13 pan and it was fine)
2. cut ends from oranges. Stand 1 orange on cutting board, and slice away peel and pith. Cut orange into quarters; cut quarters into 1/2” thick slices. Repeat with remaining oranges, and transfer to bowl. Stir in apricots, currants, and candied ginger. Spread mixture into prepared baking pan.
3. Stir together brown rice flour, sugar, zest, and salt in a bowl. Rub margarine and vanilla into flour mixture with fingers until combined and mixture forms large crumbs. Spread crumb mixture over orange mixture.
4. Bake 30-40 minutes, or until top of crisp is golden brown. Cool 10 minutes: serve warm.
This recipe was surprisingly good. It seemed a little weird but the picture in the magazine looked SO GOOD I just had to try it out. Plus, I love apricots. So there. This is a really nice fruit dessert for when nothing else is in season and you’re sick of eating pears, apples, and bananas. . . which I am.
WHEW! Now that that’s out of the way I can say whet else we did.
Unfortunately, the Cs had to leave because Mr. C is a diligent, hard working individual who must get up at the butt-crack of dawn to crawl into small places and get dirty for money. Bu-hao! But we’re glad they could make it and share food at our table. Those of us left, the Mc.s and the M.s along with Mr. Crow and myself, of course, played a game called 7 Deadly Sins. This game is a hilarious cross between Trivial Pursuit and Truth Or Dare. Throughout the game we had to spank our own butts and say “I’m a dirty, filthy pig!”, crawl around on the floor like amorous slugs, and demonstrate our favorite sexual positions using chairs/pillows. One contestant even had to show everyone their underpants. . . oh, and we had to rub lotion on “all 4 cheeks”. . hopefully no one breaks out. A good time was had by all. The “sin-off” between me and Mr. M. was a decided victory in his favor. The M.s left then, leaving the Mc.s and us to play Wii Fit Plus and laugh uproariously until the wee hours of the morning. Joy!
And now it's Thursday. I slept all cozy-snuggly with my Sambot until noon (holy crap), ate left-over tiramisu cheesecake for breakfast, regretted it immediately, and sat down for a serious blog-session, obviously. So now, I must do dishes, sweep the floor and jump on the treadmill so I don’t feel too bad about my food-choices. Oh, and if you want me to post that cheesecake recipe let me know and I’ll do it another time. I’m sick of typing.
* Someday I’ll get the hang of taking pictures but, right now, our camera is in the shop for repairs and I have a hard time remembering to bust out my phone to take pictures. Sorry.