Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Passover, Post the Second

After I finished making everything I did on Friday, I pretty much fell into a coma and didn't wake up until around 6 PM Saturday and did nothing but eat and read for the rest of the day. Awesome. I got myself all rested up for the cookfest that was Sunday.

The first thing I realized was that I hadn't done anything with all those portobello mushrooms from Thursday night/Friday morning; they were still marinating. I grabbed them from the fridge, and at first I thought they'd frozen because the contents of the container was one solid block. Then I thought they went bad. Turned out the oil I used had solidified in the fridge. Whew! I stirred it all up a bit and it all broke up and was fine. Not realizing the Yellow Rose Recipes recipe makes way more marinade than the Veganomicon one does, I followed the Veganomicon instructions for roasting portobello mushrooms, doubling the cook time because the oven was set to 250 F and I couldn't change it. About halfway through, I realized I was being dumb and that the mushrooms would never really roast while sitting in the soup they were in. Maybe they'd boil, but not roast. So I ladled out about half the marinade, which improved things.

The texture of the mushrooms came out very good, but the taste was a little weird. Kind of sour. I love sour food, so that's fine. My parents tried them and decided to leave it all for me, though.

Next, I made the Broccoli Vinaigrette from The Jewish Vegetarian Year Cookbook. Here's the weird thing about this vinaigrette: there's no vinegar in it. There is, however, plenty of garlic and a huge portion of awesome. This is another one of those did-I-really-need-a-cookbook-to-tell-me-that sort of recipes. Super easy, yet, because it's me, full of fail. I didn't have a steamer basket for Passover, so I decided to try steaming my broccoli in a strainer. A plastic strainer. Well, I hope my mother likes her new abstract strainer sculpture. Even if she doesn't, she liked the broccoli, so that's OK. My father liked it so much he asked for seconds, even though he usually can't stand to look at the stuff. My brother had to be restrained so I'd have some left to photograph. Good stuff.

Here's a mushroom, the broccoli and the Green-Wa. A very nice meal:

I also made the Diner Home Fries from Veganomicon. Those were too good. They didn't even last until I was able to use my camera! The cooked pepper made my grandmother worry about her agita again, but it didn't bother her at all and again, my brother didn't eat around the green bits. The peppers and onions cook just long enough to be tender but still maintain some crunch, which is great when mixed in with the soft potatoes. I'd eat these every day if I wouldn't have to fight my family for them.

I really pulled out all the stops for dessert.

First, there were Tea-Poached Pears in Chocolate Sauce from Veganomicon. This is the perfect dessert to make if you're cooking for someone special and/or are serving a really heavy dinner. Most people I know are impressed by desserts that come with sauce poured on the plate. There's just something classy about it (unless it's a mess). If you have the skills to make designs around the edges, even better (I don't, but when I accidentally dripped, I decided to drip all around to make it look intentional). Also, it's nice and light. It's not really rich, or fudgy or a heavy cake. It's just fruit. Really, really good fruit. It takes a few steps to make, but it's not difficult (though whoever you make it for will probably think it is).

And I made The Conscious Kitchen's truffles. They're going to get another post all to themselves, so for now, just know they're lovely. Delicious, rich, impressive-looking and easy, though time consuming.

Don't worry, I'm not done with Passover yet!

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