Monday, February 04, 2008

Cabbage Wraps and Sesame Greens

We finished off a gorgeously productive weekend with a feast in our new dining room (ok, dining alcove). The three dishes that came out of our ovenless kitchen were all well beyond the expectations that I had for myself - it was Sunday after all.

But, apparently, all I need was a little inspiration from my new cookbook: wild garlic, gooseberries...and me, and the embedded memories of a chinese restaurant in downtown manchester, where, according to K, I stole the cabbage leaf recipe from.

Cabbage Wraps

2 blocks of extra firm tofu - Diced
(my fu was frozen, so after some deliberation, it was decided that I would boil the tofu until it was soft enough to dice. The end result was actually better than I had hoped for)

2 spring onions - Diced

3 cloves of garlic - Smashed and Diced

1 red pepper - Diced

1/2 a zucchini - Diced

1 tub of mushrooms - Diced
(I think that this could be a mushroom-centric dish. I think a trip to the mushroom man on the market on Wednesday might illicit a tweak of this dish).

Olive Oil

I warmed the pan and added all of the ingredients at the same time. I also threw in a little Japanese rice vinegar and some organic soy sauce.

While this mixture was cooking through I tore apart a Boston lettuce I got from the market on Wednesday, nicking it from the kitchen gods but seconds before the brown goo set in. It was the inner, clam shell like leaves I was after.

I cooked the stuffing for about 20 minutes - stirring occasionally and served it in a bowl allowing for the self-serve option. I did this mainly because K loves to roll these bad boys.

The second dish - the one that was inspired from the culinary musings of Denis Cotter (you really need to buy this book if you are into narrative and food). I only made a few changes here and there, most of the yumminess should be contributed to Denis. Thank you Denis.

Sesame Greens

Bok Choi: I used a large Bok and pulled off all of the outer leaves, gave them a good wash, sliced the lower, tougher white bits and cut the actual leaves vertically down the centre.
Sesame Oil
4 garlic cloves - diced
3 spring onions - diced
1 thumb of ginger
soy sauce
sesame seeds
sea salt

This was dead easy - and probably the most delicious dish I have eaten in ages.

I warmed the pan, added my oil and threw in all of the ingredients. I covered it was a lid and let it sit/steam/cook for about 15 minutes. It was wicked. I imagine a squeeze of tangerine would be pretty good as well.

The night was capped off by the rice pudding I had made (using a rendition of a recipe from Robin Robertson's Vegan Planet). We (Kevin) crushed some cardamom pods and the fresh spice was added to the bubbling rice and soymilk. I also threw in a cinnamon stick, some fresh Iranian dates and enough soymilk to drown a small village. It worked as breakfast for us this morning, in addition to ending our weekend off with a sweet smile.

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