Today is Friday. Payday! For, like, everyone but me apparently. My Client was too busy having his huge-o flat screen tv installed on his wall to have my check ready, so I will get it from him on Tuesday. That will also include the Thanksgiving cooking, which I haven’t been paid yet for. But it’s okay because I know My Client is a righteous gentile and will surely make good on his promise.
Just like I made good on mine. My Client requested “something special,” so this is what I made him:
*Tossed Salad/Vinaigrette Dressing
*Saffron Spinach Risotto
*Buckwheat and Vegetable Stuffed Peppers
*Stacked Eggplant con Crema di Piselli
Don’t be scared…it is just a shot of my steeped saffron with the flash on. Oops.
Before: These peppers were hard and empty. I stuffed them with seasoned cooked buckwheat and vegetables, but they still appeared raw and difficult to digest.
After: Only fourty minutes in the oven and these peppers were transformed from crunch to lunch! Melty soft peppers topped with oozy good organic mozzarrella makes My Client happy.
The eggplant was pan roasted then layered with a cream made from sweet peas, soaked nuts and ricotta cheese. The stacks were then topped with a few grape tomatoes and a teensy amount of fresh mozzarella.
Aerial shot of the Stacked Eggplant con Crema di Piselli
In between stirring the risotto I like to pretend like my head is rolling around on the workbench. This phenomena started after my husband and I recently watched A Tale of Two Cities. I have been traumatized ever since.
Doesn’t that risotto look good?
Coxinhas Encantadas…those are the cute pear looking things.
Okay, to make the Coxinhas Encantadas, I will relate to you my tweaked recipe which, sad to say, is not full of measurements. The cookbook I based the recipe on uses all metrics, which you know, might as well be Australian to me.
First let me explain what they are. They are just really cute stuffed potato dumplings. When I tasted it I thought “knish;” when My Client tasted it he declared, “tater tots!” No comment…other than these are pretty freaking fancy tater tots.
For the filling I sauteed half a peeled eggplant in olive oil and hing and then fork mashed it and threw in a bit of salt and fresh rosemary.
For the dough, I boiled 4 unpeeled potatoes, and then, well, peeled them. After that I mashed them. In a pot I combined 1 1/2 cups of milk, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup nutritional yeast, some Braggs (1/4 cup?), salt (2 tspn?), black pepper (3/4 tspn?), 1 c whole wheat flour and 2-3 tablespoons of butter. I turned up the heat and whisked it until the dough pulled away from the pan (kind of like khandvi but different….khandvi meets gravy making). Then you combine that with the potato mash for a nice potatoey dough.
Next, you need breadcrumbs. I didn’t have any so I put some puffed wheat in the food processor. Take a wad of dough (rounded tablespoon), flatten in your palm and put a teaspoon of filling in the middle. Seal it up and mold into pear shape, which if I can do, you most certainly can, too! Roll in breadcrumbs (or simulated breadcrumbs) and deep fry until golden in olive oil, turning ever so gently. Remove from oil and place dumplings in a paper towel lined colander. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary or sage.
They really are cute and would look lovely on a Christmas buffet or served as hors devours. I saved a couple for my kids (unstuffed) and think they will look just terrific served on their plastic monkey trays alongside the ever so sophisticated dish of “Pasta con Nutritional Yeast e Braggs.”