Sunday, April 08, 2007

Entertaining

We've had a busy weekend visiting with Darlene's family. On Friday her brother and his girlfriend came into town and we had them over for dinner. We did one of our standards, spring rolls and pad thai, and though I didn't take pictures it probably looked something like this.

Darlene's sister is also visiting and we spent the day with her and her husband on Saturday. After a cold but rewarding hike it was time for some comfort food. We started with onion rings, which we've written about before. Fried food... what more is there to say?

Next up was corn muffins and black bean soup with rice. For the muffins we used the Basic Vegan Skillet Corn Bread recipe from Peter Berley's The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen, but poured the batter into muffin tins instead of a single large skillet. We did this once before and actually I think we like the muffin variation a little better than the bread.

I made up my own recipe for the soup and though I don't remember it exactly, it went something like this: Sauté onion, carrot and celery in olive oil. Add garlic, paprika, cumin, fresh oregano and salt & pepper. Add a pound of dried black beans that had soaked for several hours, about 5 cups water, 1 veg. bouillon cube, a finely minced chipotle chili and a couple of bay leaves, and simmer an hour or more until the beans are tender. Towards the end of the cooking time I also added about a tablespoon of red wine vinegar and a couple teaspoons of agave. We served the soup with brown rice that was jazzed up just a bit with fresh cilantro and lemon juice.

Finally, this afternoon we went to Darlene's parents' for Easter dinner. There was turkey and white rice and instant potatoes galore but we brought our own pot pie, which we figured was a complete meal in a single pot. No picture of this one either (though it was kind of like this) but it was filled with seitan, potatoes, celery root, carrots, celery, onions and kale. And for us anyway it was sooo much better than anything else that was on the table.

12 comments:

springsandwells said...

fun stuff.
I have to say, you always manage to make the most phenomenal looking fried foods. Those onion rings are outrageously tempting. But I know that if I made them they would just turn out limp and greasy. That's my track record with frying anything. sigh! At least it keeps me from the fried food. :)

glad you enjoyed your pot pie

Chris said...

Thanks Amey. I think the key is having a thermometer and keeping your oil at the right temperature - 350-375 is best. Oh wait... maybe you didn't want to know that ;-)

bazu said...

We actually ventured into the world of deep-fried foods this weekend, as well, but your onion rings look better than what we made!
Oooh, and black bean soup and corn muffins- perfection after a cold hike. It's snowing outside, so perhaps I should follow your lead.

Twisted Cinderella said...

I love the idea of corn muffins out of the cornbread recipe. I may try that!

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

Love the rice dollop on the soup. Really classy.

laura jesser said...

I can usually stay strong against fried food, but I have a weakness for onion rings. I haven't had them in so long.... Those look so perfect right now.

aTxVegn said...

I love the way you prepared the black bean soup and rice. I always add a little red wine vinegar to my beans and think it's makes a world of delicious difference. The muffins look really good too!

trupti said...

Those onion rings and that black bean soup look delicious, I've tried the corn muffin version too....they go so well with such soups.

trupti

Chris said...

Thanks everyone!

"Classy" made me crack a smile Jess. I don't think of our food in those terms too often but thanks for the comment ;-)

Candice said...

That all looks delicious! I can't wait to try!

Christine said...

days later I am still drooling over the photo of your onion rings. sigh.

the black bean soup also looks delicious... I've been trying to replicate one I had in a restaurant where I used to live without any luck. Perhaps I'll try it your way.

elise said...

This black bean soup looks SO TASTY. It's just one of those perfect, simple vegan meals that seems to be so hard to pull off sometimes. The cilantro in the rice makes it look (and taste, i'm sure) really swanky and even more authentic. This blog inspires me to get in the kitchen every time I check it. Keep it up!

-Elise