Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Mixed Vegetable-Grain Pie with Coffee-Rubbed Asparagus Spears

I took my leftover leek-barley vegetable "stew" from the day before yesterday and totally reworked it into a new dish where my wife couldn't tell what it was till she looked carefully and saw the barley.

I used a prepared frozen spelt pie shell and filled it about halfway with most of the leftover stew. I added some marinated artichoke hearts and roasted tomatoes, as well as a little bit of tomato sauce (perhaps a half dozen dabs here and there of Newman's Own Sockarooni Sauce) and thin slices of eggplant that I had grilled for a few minutes in a little olive oil in a cast iron pan. I preheated my oven to 400°F and baked the pie for approximately 22 minutes, then served it with a little Eat in the Raw's Parma! vegan "Parmesan cheese" sprinkled on top.

I recently discovered a product called a java rub from Keuka Lake Coffee Roasters in the Finger Lakes region of New York. I purchased their "mocha java mole" (Brazilian coffee, cocoa, and ancho chili powder) and gave it a try. I grilled some asparagus in a little bit of olive oil in a cast iron pan for just a few minutes. I transferred the spears to an oven-safe plate, sprinkled the rub on top, and put the plate into the 400° oven for 2 or 3 minutes to stay warm and get the flavor into the asparagus.

Dinner was very good! The few additions to the stew gave the pie a significantly different flavor that would not make one think "stew" or "soup". It was hearty - I only ate a sliver of a slice after the initial quarter on my wife's urging.

The asparagus was quite good! The rub gave it a unique, earthy flavor. I am going to experiment with using the rub to create nice flavor tonalities, perhaps with tempeh or vegetables in a saute to caramelize the surface and keep the inside from drying out. I think it could work well to mix a little in to stews and soups, toss a little into a simple olive oil and garlic pasta, rub into thick slices of bread then drizzle with olive oil and broil, and to flavor rice.

I was glad today to see that VegNews magazine last week started their first blog, Café VegNews. It will be fun to see their tasty blog entries! (Congratulations to my friend Susan for the selection of her excellent Fatfree Vegan Kitchen as the favorite blog in the magazine's just announced 2007 awards! If you've not seen it, her search engine of vegetarian blogs - including mine - is a good tool.)

Here in North Carolina, we are starting to get some frost warnings - the weather was warm in the daytime but by the time I got out to vote in local elections when the sun was soon to set it was quite chilly. So I harvested my basil today and have two vases full of washed basil, ready to be made into pesto, and staying hydrated like cut flowers.


Post a Comment

<< Home