Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Bountiful Bowlful

One of my favorite things about cooking during the holidays is the leftovers! I'm a simple vegan+, really, usually subsisting on greens mixed with whatever is on hand, but a holiday dinner is special, featuring a few different dishes to go along with the old standbys. For Christmas dinner this year, to please my own culinarily motley crew along with a guest -- Wynne's friend, Yuval, here was the menu:

  • Sweet curried collards with mushrooms, carrots, onions and chick peas (inspired by a recipe from one of my favorite former blogs "{Plate+Simple}" --you may still be able to find the archives)
  • Roasted potatoes with onions, salt and pepper -- raw chopped potatoes, 450 degrees for half an hour.
  • Roasted Brussels sprouts with shallots, salt and pepper (I've seen some lovely maple- or agave-glazed roasted sprouts recipes, but I am not crazy about sweet sprouts, and since I am the boss of veggies around here, we had 'em simple -- quickly steamed sprouts (1 minute, then rinsed in cold water), then 425 degrees for 15 minutes. I have roasted them exactly like the potatoes before, but the outsides turned out burnt and the insides, still almost raw. The short steam at the beginning, with a slightly lower temp, and a shorter roast time is my preference.
  • Sesame ginger soba noodles -- These seem to come out a little different each time I make them since I don't measure, but the important ingredients are grated ginger (about a Tbsp.) oil, a little rice vinegar, a little shoyu, a couple shakes of red pepper flakes, a pinch of salt, scallions sliced on the diagonal -- lots of 'em, cooked soba noodles, a few drops of sesame oil at the end and a small handful of sesame seeds thrown in after it's all done. I like the black ones.
  • An organic chicken I roasted myself -- this was rough, I'm not gonna lie, since it did involve touching and manipulating a dead body. The worst part was that I assumed the inside of the carcass would be similar to turkeys I have roasted in the past (neat little packets of unmentionables), but it wasn't. I spent a few minutes trying to pull the neck from the cavity before realizing (!!!!!) it was still attached. Ugh. Horrible. They don't chop the necks off the organic ones (shudder). I said a prayer for the little birdy, choked back some bile and adjusted my martyr cloak. Then I poured a little Christmas martini and felt better. I had considered buying a pre-roasted rotisserie chicken, but I thought I would do something nice and take the hormones and antibiotics out of the family's poultry experience. I won't do it again.
Chicken necks aside, it was a lovely meal, and today's leftovers were amazing. The bowlful in the photo features poultry-free leftovers only! Stay tuned for the next reinvention of these delectable morsels.

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