Well, I mean, here's Joel.........
Sorry about the lack of a blog. I spent my time focusing on cooking the food this weekend and not on the computer. I was a little rusty after such a long layoff. I am really looking forward to the VCSC on Tuesdays. For the record, the food came out great and I was very happy with all of the dishes. A big thanks to my friends Sam and Francis who helped me prep this weekend. I had such a better experience with some help (Joanna's note): I guess he meant besides me). Now the food...
We went with the tried and true classics on this section. The Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad needs no introduction. It has never missed a supper club. Mom's Insulted Tuna Salad is also back based on a few requests we received. The third snack is a new favorite of mine, the Sundried Tomato and Basil Dip. It used to be the old Sundried Tomato and Feta Dip until one day I was rightfully chided for not having enough vegan offerings. I replaced the feta in the recipe with extra roasted garlic and sundried tomatoes, added a splash of sherry vinegar and the new dip tastes better than the old. It reminds me of the classic Lebanese red pepper and walnut dip. It is delicious!
The Carrot Ginger Soup received a good amount of requests and is back. I also received requests to not mess it up this time. These requests were accompanied by pointed threats so I was very careful and this is one of the best versions we have ever produced. What can I say, I would hate to have my hands broken. Meredith, you can quit calling my mom now. You are scaring her.
We have been eating a lot of the Amy's Veggie Chile lately and it served as inspiration for our new soup. The Three Bean Chili with Sweet Potato and Corn makes it debut this week. It took some tinkering, but this is some good stuff. A combination of pinto, kidney, and white beans in a thick red chile stew (ancho, new mexico reds, and chipotles) with celery, onion, red pepper, sweet pot, corn, and lots of the chile boom pow rub. This is just a vegetarian middle finger to the chili purist who don't believe in beans in their chili. No meat. Three Beans. Vegan. I probably should not even call it chili, but our marketing and legal departments OK'd it.
Last we have the Cauliflower and Goat Cheese. Definitely not vegan but one of the richest and most delicious soups we make. I ate one cold and had no problem with it. Though it does taste better hot, it would still taste good served in a dirty sock. Creamy goodness.
Speaking of cauliflower, I over purchased cauliflower this week so it also makes an appearance as a side. The Oven Roasted Cauliflower and Sweet Peppers with Coriander, Lemon, and Chiles is a dish we used to serve at a high end catering company in Vail. The high heat of the oven carmelizes parts of the cauliflower and brings out new flavors in a vegetable that I used to avoid. This dish changed all of that and now I am a big fan of it.
I used to also dislike Brussel Sprouts as well until a hot oven changed all that. The Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Soy Dijon is our second side. I got shorted by the produce company on the Brussels so these will sell out fast. Sorry about that, I can do them again if need be next time around. We sat around last night when they came out of the oven snacking on the crispy leaves that had fallen off like they were potato chips. I am not sure if I have encountered a vegetable that doesn't like olive oil, salt, and a hot oven.
The SpagheThai is also on the menu. Whole Wheat Spaghetti in a garlicky sesame ginger sauce with scallions, sweet peppers, shredded carrots, and cilantro. There is some excess sauce, as in the dish is a little "saucy" (like my wife), but I'm pretty sure it won't go to waste. This stuff is addictive.
Red Quinoa with roma tomatoes, corn, roasted peppers, and lemon is the final side. This is a "good and good for you" dish. Plus it is so very pretty to look at as well. This is what I consider to be the summer quinoa and is fine served cold. As opposed to the white version that was served hot with the roasted criminis and carmelized onions. Yum.
Breaking News...Breaking News.....Joel mixed up one more dish, Whole Wheat Rotini and Roma Tomato Pasta Salad with Basil Almond Pesto, red peppers and parmesan. It's lovely.
Arugula with goat cheese, baby gold potatoes, french green beans, cannellini beans, sweet onion and a lemon mostaza vinaigrette. We made many different versions of this salad over the summer and I enjoyed it every time. Especially when I fried the potatoes in bacon (Joanna note: mmmmm bacon). But now that I am on freakin Zocor, the bacon has left the building and we have a much healthier version. You can even take off the goat cheese if you want to keep it vegan. This salad is a meal in itself and would taste great with a grilled piece of chicken or fish on top of it.
That's all for now. Thanks for being great friends of the VCSC and we will see you Tuesday 4-7:30.
Joanna's note: Joel really outdid himself this time. Every single dish hit's it with that crazy addictive taste that makes you keep eating even when you aren't hungry. Please come take a taste or two. Yeah!