Tuesday, August 10, 2010

catching up

Last week was HECTIC as I put all my energy into the big vegan cocktail party I was catering in the Hamptons. The event celebrated the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and Alec Baldwin was the special guest. I would not have pegged him as a vegan and I suspect he was just being supportive and polite, but he did a great job of not only being gracious and charming, he even stopped by the kitchen to thank me and my staff.  The rest of the guests enjoyed the all-vegan hor's (as we call them in the bis) with many friendly faces popping in the kitchen door to say delish! So I was relieved and happy that the day was a success. 

Roast Vegetable Kebobs with a Miso Vinaigrette
I made the vinaigrette with pomegranate vinegar. I know it sounds weird with miso, but it was good. The salt from the miso balanced out with the sweet fruity tartness of the vinegar.

Green Olive Tapenade with Pimento
 This was a simple recipe, but had a lot of flavor. I wanted to punch things up so I added jalapenos and lots of lemon zest.

This is the before picture of Cherry Tomatoes Stuffed with Guacamole
It is kind of a crazy chore to carve out all those cherry tomatoes, but this is a nice little treat when it is done. The guacamole needs to be really smooth. I  make it in the food processor and then pipe it into the tomatoes. Yes, I would say it is time consuming.

I can't get enough of sunflowers these days. They are finally growing in my backyard from seeds that managed to escape the early spring bird's notice. And how nice to be able to stop for a moment and enjoy them. My garden is feeling very neglected. I can barely keep up with the watering. This year for the first time here in Queens, I attempted to grow some vegetables alongside my well established herb garden.  I was skeptical that I would have any success as I do not get real full sun anywhere in my yard, but hey, a girl can dream. With the guidance and a few gorgeous plants from my friends at Hook Mountain Growers I dove in.

This is my yield for this week. It is embarrassing. However, they are organic and the tomato is an heirloom and how cute is that purple tomatillo? I am making the best of it and feasting on my crop. I made myself an individual portion of salsa!

One last thing: Even though I had been cooking all week, I still had to feed the kids (so they told me). This recipe evolved from the experimenting I did with the artichoke fritters (which were a huge hit, btw). Pea Pancakes. My family looked at me like I was crazy, then tasted them and gave their full approval. This is a simple and fun way to get some vegetables into everybody. Enjoy!

Pea Pancakes
1 cup of frozen peas
1 cup flour
1 teas. baking powder
1/2 teas. salt
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
2 Tbs. butter

Defrost peas and mash then roughly in a bowl. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix to distribute evenly. Add the egg and enough milk to form a batter. Let batter sit for 10 minutes. Heat butter in a pan and drop spoonfuls of the pea batter into the hot pan. Press down a little bit with a spatula. let the pancakes cook for about 5 minutes on one side, till golden, then flip and cook another 3-4 minutes till golden on the second side. Serve immediately.

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