a fancy meal of my own
Sometimes I get inspired and creative when I’m hungry, and think up meals I would like to have based on meals I’ve already eaten.
A month or two ago I was treated by the b-fri’s company to a high end meal at Mr. A’s…one of the fanciest restaurants in San Diego. It even has a dress code! Because it’s so high end, I knew they would be able to accommodate me, but I didn’t know they would go out of their way to treat me like the vegan princess I am…har har. Seriously though, they managed to make a really tasty meal for me that involved mini stuffed peppers and vegan pesto.
For some reason this made me think up an Indian influced meal:
Lentil curry stuffed bell peppers over curried mashed potatoes – with a drizzle of cilantro sauce.
Making the curry took a while, but the end results were SO worth the time. I’ve noticed that homemade Indian food (by non-Indians, at least) doesn’t seem to taste like the food you’d get at an Indian restaurant for the most part, but this curry did! So I have to thank Emma Maher for this recipe. As usual, I made some changes, like substituting red lentils for brown, and using only one tablespoon of curry paste (I used red thai curry paste) because otherwise it would have been too spicy for a wuss like me. I also couldn’t find any canned tomato puree in my local grocery, so I used a can of diced tomatoes instead. Oh, and the final touch…a couple handfuls of roasted pistachios (nutmeats!) for added texture, protein and scrumptiousness.
This meal really built up my cooking character because I actually managed to muti-task. While I was chopping up veggies I had 6 russet potatoes boiling for the mashers, to which I added, once cooked and drained, about a teaspoon of curry powder and a heaping teaspoon of turmeric, along with enough Earth Balance and soy creamer to make a creamy consistency. They also needed a bit more salt and some freshly ground pepper.
Once the curry was done, I washed and cored four red bell peppers (though I think this recipe could easily feed six). I then filled the peppers with curry and put them in a cake pan to bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.
While baking, I made a sauce which didn’t turn out quite the way I planned since I used too much oil. I took half a bunch of cilantro and blended it up with olive oil, a little bit of peanut oil (the flavor of which tends to overpower) half a juicy lime’s worth of juice and a light yellow chili.The lighter they are, the less spicy! I also seeded the chili completely, but I don’t think that was necessary. I’d leave some seeds in there next time. The best part about this sauce was the lime juice, since you couldn’t really taste the cilantro, so my suggestion: less oil, more lime! There is a ton of sauce left with which I’m planning to add a bunch of garlic to and use as a tofu marinade.
The meal was a big success! I even invited people over to share it who loved it, which is such a gratifying feeling. Each item tasted great on its own, but they banded together to form Super Meal! Now I’ve got to figure out a sequel…
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