Thursday, July 12, 2007

Smashed Yukon Gold Pesto Potatoes, Jerk Tempeh, Zesty Flame-Roasted Corn-off-the-Cob

It's great to be back to cooking and getting back to more normal eating after my wisdom teeth extraction. Late this afternoon, we got a call from a Servas traveler from New Orleans who was stuck and needed to come visit us early (we were expecting her next week); I had plans so my wife received her. I felt bad that she'd be eating late as I didn't get home till after 8p, but she was fun to meet and cheerful about dinner.

My gums are still a little sore, but I thought I might make some boiled potatoes. I used small organic (unpeeled) Yukon Gold potatoes and boiled them. When they were done (I let them go a little long to get them softer), I drained them and put them in a bowl and gently smashed each one with a fork (just to pierce the skins and press into the flesh a little). I added some prepared vegan pesto sauce, fresh oregano and diced basil from my garden, finely diced shallot, and a few capers.

While I was on a soft food diet of mashed potatoes and the like, I was fantasizing about sauteed tempeh. I made that today, but only took a few pieces and carefully ate them, being aware of their crispy and hard edges. I rubbed some Jamaican jerk seasoning onto both sides and, with the excess seasoning, mixed into the potatoes. I also served flame-roasted corn with Earth Balance vegan non-hydrogenated margarine, fresh squeezed organic lemon, and a little salt.

I was afraid that this would be a "below average" meal but we all enjoyed it. In fact, our Servas visitor had warned me that she didn't like corn but not only did she love all the side dishes, she said this corn was unlike any previous preparation she had, and she also loved it!!

I was up very late, and, starting at 4 a.m. (!!), I began assembling ingredients in my little slow cooker for dinner tomorrow. I had purchased a huge eggplant; I peeled it and cut half of it into small 1/4" cubes. I added them to the slow cooker, along with a medium Vidalia sweet onion, cut into inch-long 1/4" sticks; 4 cloves of garlic (grated with the Grill Friends' super grater - but it's difficult to hold on to the garlic at the end, so I chopped what I couldn't grate);one small delicious heirloom tomato, deseeded and cut into 1/4" cubes; 1/2 teaspoon or so of salt as well as of freshly ground pink peppercorns; 2 teaspoons of dried thyme; and 5 tablespoons of olive oil. I had some (about 10 tablespoons) of the liquid from Tuesday's tomato salad, and added that, as well. I was going to dice half of a yellow bell pepper, but the slow cooker was full! I am going to leave a note for my wife to start it cooking around 11a so that it will have 7 hours to cook on low by 6p; I'll then plan to quickly open it and throw in a teaspoon or so of fresh oregano, and let it cook for another half hour or so, then serve it over pasta.


At Thu Jul 12, 09:59:00 PM EDT, Blogger Tofu Mom (AKA Tofu-n-Sprouts) said...

So, I'm curious about the eggplant in the slowcooker?

The time(s) I've treid it in a slowcooker, the "bitter" taste of the eggplant came through very strong and I didn't enjoy the finished product.

Usually when I cook eggplant I roast it or salt and drain to get that bitter taste out... I'm just curious if your combination of ingredients did the trick? Or is this subtle bitterness not something that bothers you (I know many people don't notice - maybe I'm picky).

At Fri Jul 13, 01:06:00 AM EDT, Blogger Dilip said...

Thanks for the kind comment, tofu mom. The eggplant came out reasonably well; I'm about to create a blog entry about the meal. It wasn't bitter - well, maybe subtly so, but even my guest who doesn't like eggplant really enjoyed it.

At Sun Jul 15, 09:32:00 PM EDT, Blogger Tofu Mom (AKA Tofu-n-Sprouts) said...

Hmmmm, so I'm curious now. Can't decide if it's worth attempting or not... I do love ANYTHING I can do in the slow cooker, it saves dinner many a night for my family.

It looks good (in your other post) and sounds like everyone liked it. Very cool.

(Aren't the Field Roast sausages heavenly?)

At Sun Jul 15, 09:58:00 PM EDT, Blogger Dilip said...

Thanks, tofu mom. Yes, give it a try! You can try salting the eggplant first, as you indicated, and can try diluting the eggplant with more flavors, such as tomatoes and capers. Thanks for the kind comments. --Dilip


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