Showing posts with label vegetarian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vegetarian. Show all posts

Monday, July 6, 2009

Recipe: Feta, Roasted Pepper and Basil Muffins

Oops -- I've been so busy posting other stuff that I've forgotten to mention the superlative food we've had at the last few dinners.

These muffins, which I fixed on the fly two Thursdays ago, were a big hit. I found the recipe in one of my trusty Sur la Table cookbooks, although you can get it right here.

With feta in my fridge and basil growing in the backyard garden, I had all the ingredients already on hand -- except for the buttermilk, which I made myself, dumping a spoonful of vinegar (a squeeze of lemon juice will also do the job for you) into a glass of regular ol' two percent.

I also substituted a mini-muffin pan, and, using a cookie dough sized ice cream scoop, got nearly 36 muffins using just one batch of batter. Mmm, good!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Third Wednesday

After the wealth of mosquito bites I got last weekend, I was thrilled that I was able to get the grass cut a few hours before this week's dinner. Then Cassius decided to make it snow -- he took a down-filled pillow off the couch and took it to the back yard, then went nuts. Geese feathers everywhere, thousands of 'em, flying onto the patio, into the holes he'd already dug, and all over the grass. I spent a good hour raking and scooping, but the problem just wasn't going away. Then, at 6 p.m., the rains came, matting down the feathers, and soaking the patio furniture...

Fortunately, we had a smallish crowd for supper -- 9 adults and 4 almost-teens, who preferred the glow of the TV set to our company.

We had so many beautiful local ingredients: shitake mushrooms in nearly every dish, plus potatoes, herbs, tomatoes, and lettuces.

Justin and Amy went all-out, making yummy sausages out of potatoes, wheat gluten and mushrooms, then tucking them into whole wheat hot dog buns with a dab of sauerkraut. Tara made a beautiful green bean dish, topped with bread crumbs. Lori and Tim brought over a delicious cold pasta salad chock-full of tomatoes and herbs. Sue tossed together salad greens and a wonderful homemade blue cheese dressing. Lori, the farmer in our group, came armed with the CSA I didn't have time to pick up, as well as a bouquet of gorgeous sunflowers. I got together a pizza crust just in time, and made 2 pizzas topped with sauteed shitakes, just-picked herbs and feta cheese. And Kerri brought over Pancho's Cheese Dip and a big bottle of Prichard's Rum. Sure, she thought outside of the box, but she adhered to the local theory nonetheless -- and the Pancho's dip was the hit of the night!

Paul and Angela came by too, although they couldn't hang around for supper. But they did bring some good news and enough eggs from their backyard chicken coop for everyone to take a half-dozen home. (I borrowed the photo above from their blog, although the eggs in that shot were eaten long ago.)

Thank you, everyone, for such great food and company.

And don't forget that as of June 4, we're switching to Thursday nights. See you next week!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Southern Sliders

Last Wednesday, I wrote a story about sliders for the Commercial Appeal. While researching the article, I found out that May is designated "National Hamburger Month," and I road-tested some of the sliders around town. I interviewed local restaurateur/gourmand Karen Foster Carrier, a VP at Krystal, Bardog's owner, Huey's employee Ashley Boggs Williams, and OSOME participant Justin Burks, trying to uncover what makes a tiny burger great.

Then, a few weeks ago, I made my own sliders, with Kerri's help. No secret ingredients -- just good, high-quality grass fed beef from Mathis Farms. We grilled 'em over charcoal, topped 'em with farmers market arugula, and served 'em up for OSOME's inaugural meal. Go here for the slider story and recipes galore, including the recipe for my own burger, The Chubby Vegetarian's patented N'Awlins Veggie Slider with Remoulade Sauce, shrimp sliders from the Lee Bros., and more.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Second Wednesday

Well, I failed to remember to take any photos last week -- until after the dishwasher was loaded. Oops. If you were here, you know what a great meal we shared, and just how beautiful it all looked. If you missed it, well, you know to try to make it here soon.

Local components: Potatoes, greens, shitake mushrooms, eggs, strawberries, milk, and herbs galore. We were initially worried that we'd be eating nothing but salad this early in the season, but so far, we've had plenty of variety in our meal.

Justin has already blogged about his frittata, a fantastic so-called pinch hitter after his pizza crust debacle. Tara and Esther made an incredibly delicate asparagus and mushroom phyllo tart, using shitakes from Lorette Greene's mushroom block. John brought a caprese salad laid out on a beautiful platter and topped with just-grown basil leaves. Melissa and James showed up with a gorgeous bowl of vegetarian stir-fry with fresh, local kale. Sue, Henry and Doug came with a bowl of the best guacamole I've ever had, using Lorette's cilantro for extra flavor. Alan had a loaf of bread, freshly baked in Arkansas. I made my first ice cream of the season, combining strawberries from Lorette's CSA and Jones Orchard with Mennonite milk purchased at Easy Way.

There was plenty of food to go around, and I discovered that one of the best parts of hosting these weekly gatherings is the leftovers I get to enjoy the next day. Nothing like a cold slice of frittata followed by a forkful of mushroom tart. Mmm...

One more thing to mention: Lorette and Hattie brought a beautiful bouquet of flowers from Whitton Farms in a mason jar that looked perfect on the table. I had to toss most of 'em into the compost heap today, but I still have this stem to enjoy. None of the blooms in my own garden are ready to cut yet -- I have marigolds, phlox, a few leftover Lenten roses, and Sweet William going strong, but I prefer to leave those blossoms on the plants. Soon enough, I'll have flowers galore. What's getting ready to bloom in your garden? Anyone here have luck with Lady's Mantle? I had a nice chat with my friend Chanda this weekend, and she's got it in her Pacific NW beds, but I think it's too dry in the summer to grow it here...

Friday, May 15, 2009

Justin's BBQnoosh

Because The Chubby Vegetarian is always such a great source for meatless recipes -- and because I knew he'd just taught a roomful of Whole Foods clientele how to make veggie burgers -- I called on Justin earlier this week for an upcoming CA story on sliders.

Justin delivered with some great commentary and a fantastic recipe that will appear in the pages of the CA next Wednesday. He also hatched an idea for a savory BBQ eggplant slider, to accompany my Mathis Farm Black Angus beef sliders that I grilled for our inaugural OSOME meal.

Local component: Honey Slaw, which Justin created using cabbage and onions from Whitton Farms, and honey from Peace Bee Farm. The slaw topped caramelized eggplant doused in homemade smoky barbecue sauce and gouda cheese. For the recipe -- and to see Justin's professional shot of the sandwich -- go here.

To register for The Chubby Vegetarian's next cooking class, "The Vegetarian Grill," go here.