Friday, 17 August 2012

Food Porn Friday - August 17

Oh man. I need me some serious food porn today!

Yesterday I attended a full-day workshop for Accountants (I’m not an accountant, go figure) and the catering was disgraceful. Mercure Melbourne Treasury Gardens – SHAME ON YOU!!!
 
I had requested vegan catering, and had followed up with the event organiser that it was all organised without issue (it was). Morning tea rolls by, and not only had they run out of normal morning tea for everyone (scones without jam & cream!) but the venue had neglected my food request. So one of the wait staff ran out the back and produced a bowl with 3 cubes of rockmelon and a slice of watermelon (all unripe). Mmm tasty and fulfilling. NOT. I also had to ask for some soy milk so I could make myself a coffee (which tasted like dirty water). 

So my hopes for lunch were not high. They fared slightly better, but not much.

The venue had put together 3 individual platters of vegetarian food, and had labelled one of these platters as vegan, for me. However this platter had a cheesy frittata on it - the chef came out, and tried to convince me that it was vegan, and that the pesto in the roast vegetable wrap did not have parmesan in it (as the wait staff told me that it did…). Needless to say, I didn’t eat the frittata and I’m pretty sure that the pesto did have parmesan in it (btw, I’m allergic to cheese) but was starving at this point so ate it. 

Afternoon tea was more unripe fruit. However this time I got a squashed strawberry as well. 

I think it’s fair to say that once I got home, I scoffed some food down and I was so longer hangry. 

So here is today’s selection of food porn. 

SAVOURY
Vegetable summer rolls with spicy peanut sauce


I cannot wait for the weather to warm up so I can make these babies.

Ingredients
For the Spicy Peanut Sauce
2 tablespoons creamy organic or natural peanut butter
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 to 2 tablespoons water, to thin out the sauce, if necessary
For the noodle filling
1 1/2 ounces cellophane noodles (also called bean threads
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
Red pepper flakes
For the vegetable filling
1/3 seedless cucumber
1/2 medium carrot, peeled
1/2 red bell pepper
2 to 3 medium radishes
1 scallion, chopped
For the vegetable dressing
1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1/2 lime, juiced, about 1 tablespoon
To assemble the rolls
8 rice paper wrappers
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves
16 to 24 fresh mint leaves

Method
Make the spicy peanut sauce
Whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce until smooth and creamy, and set aside.

Make the rice noodle filling
If the cellophane noodles are very long, break them into smaller bits. Cook the cellophane noodles according to the package directions. We heated a medium saucepan full of water until almost boiling, then turned off the heat, added the noodles, and let them sit for about 10 minutes.
Drain the noodles, put them in a bowl, and toss with the sesame oil and a dash of red pepper flakes.

Make the vegetable filling
Use a mandolin or box grater to slice the cucumber, carrot, and red pepper into thin strips — or simply julienne by hand. If you are using large radishes, you can slice them on the mandolin or box grater. Or just slice into thin rounds by hand.
Whisk together the rice vinegar, sugar, fish sauce, and lime juice in a large bowl. Add the vegetables and the scallion, and toss to coat.

Soften the rice wrappers
Fill a round cake pan halfway with warm-hot water. (It should be quite warm, but cool enough to stick your fingers in it without getting burned. We let boiling water cool off for about 5 minutes.) For each wrapper, immerse it in the hot water bath until it softens, which takes about 30 seconds. Watch for it to begin curling, then immediately flip it over and continue flipping until it is just softened. Use both hands to pull it up out of the water, being careful so it doesn't collapse on itself, and spread it immediately on a plate.
Put filling in the centre of the wrapper: Fill the centre of the softened wrapper first by laying about 3 to 4 herb leaves down the centre. Then lay down about 1 to 2 tablespoons of noodles (you want to have enough for 8 rolls). Then, add 1/8 of the veggie mixture. Add a few sprigs of cilantro and 2 to 3 mint leaves, depending on how large they are.

Roll up the summer rolls
To roll up your roll, first fold the top and bottom edges of the wrapper over the filling, then fold in the edges towards the centre and continue rolling the filled wrapper until it's closed and snug.
Continue this process with each of the wrappers. You may need to change your hot water halfway through. As you finish each roll, place it on a cookie sheet and cover the rolls with a damp towel.

To serve, slice in half with a sharp knife and serve the peanut sauce on the side.

SWEET
Lime basil blueberry cobbler


How delicious is this? Excuse me whilst I wipe up the drool from my keyboard…

Ingredients

Blueberry Filling
4 cups of fresh picked, rinsed and dried blueberries
1/3 cup of freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tsp. of fresh lime zest
1/2 cup of local raw honey (or other favourite liquid sweetener)
6 large fresh sweet basil leaves, finely chopped and minced
1/3 cup of tapioca flour (or starch works too)
Cobbler Topping
1 1/4 cup of gluten-free oat flour
1/2 cup of gluten-free rolled oats
1 cup of sweet sorghum flour or other gluten-free flour mix
3 TB of coconut palm sugar or local maple syrup
1 tsp. of ground cinnamon
1 tsp. of baking powder
1/2 tsp. of sea salt
1/2 cup of melted organic coconut oil (or vegan butter sub)
1/2 cup of coconut milk beverage

Method
In a medium saucepan, put all of the filling ingredients except the tapioca flour in on a low to medium heat. Let the blueberries simmer and become a hot liquidy sauce.
After 5-10 minutes slowly stir in the tapioca flour and whisk and fold together until the blueberries and sauce become a tad thicker.
Take off heat and pour the blueberry and sauce mixture into a 9x13 Pyrex baking glass pan. Then mix up the following cobbler mix to put on top.
In a mixing bowl, mix all of the cobbler ingredients together well and then crumble or spread it over the blueberry filling in the Pyrex dish. You don't have to make it perfectly spread and it can have gaps in between the topping and the blueberries. When it bakes it will all come together.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes until the blueberries are bubbling and the topping is golden brown. Then pull from oven and let cool for at least 30 minutes before spooning into serving bowls. The reason for this is because the blueberry filling is super-HOT and liquidy and needs to cool down to thicken and make easier to enjoy. Serve warm with some coconut whipped cream or some of your favourite vegan ice cream.

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