Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Ryan's Birthday Feast

It was Ryan's birthday yesterday and he is firmly entrenched in his middle late 20's now (I am still in my late middle 20's). I want to start keeping track of the delicious meals we make, so I thought I would start with this one (although technically, I have entered recipes here before).

We had:

Garlic, Chick pea and Spinach Soup
Field Roast Grain Meat Co. Celebration Roast with onions and mushrooms
Tomatoes with tahini-yoghurt dressing

For the soup (From Vegetarian Flip Book for Cooks, edited by Martha Day, published by Hermes House, 2001):

30 ml/2 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves (more if desired...)
1 onion, roughly chopped
10 ml/2 tsp ground cumin
10ml/2tsp ground coriander
5 cups vegetable stock (I used Better Than Bouillion)
12 oz potatoes, peeled and finely chopped
1 tbsp cornstarch
2/3 cup of double cream (I couldn't find it so I used heavy whipping cream and Ryan & I took turns beating it until it was reasonably thick)
15 oz. can chick peas
2 tbsp tahini (I actually used more, I can't get enough of this stuff)
7 oz. shredded spinach
cayenne pepper
salt & fresh ground pepper.

I started by chopping everything and getting it all ready. Then the onions and garlic went into the soup pot with the olive oil. I got them nicely browned - the onions should be translucent and it should start to smell yummy. Next, I added the cumin and coriander. The instructions said to cook for 1 minute - I almost burned everything here, because I don't think I used enough olive oil to brown the onions and also get the spices in. No matter though, the brown stuff at the bottom is just flavour!
Next, I added 5 cups of water plus the Better Than Bouillon and the potatoes and let that boil for 10 minutes. This was followed by the chick peas. While that cooked, I mixed the tahini, cream, salt, pepper, cayenne and cornstarch. This involved whipping the cream a little bit. When the chick peas and potatoes were tender, I added this mixture plus the spinach.
This cooked for a bit, until it was ready to be eaten.

In retrospect, I would have added more cayenne and possibly would try the recipe sans cream if I made it again. Don't get me wrong - the cream was delicious and added nicely to the rest of the soup, I just prefer to not eat lots of cream, for several reasons.

Ryan was responsible for the roast, he cooked it in a bread pan with mushrooms and onions he cooked in a red wine reduction. All of these were basted in more Better Than Bouillon.

For something fresh, I sliced up some tomatoes and mixed tahini with yoghurt, minced garlic, salt and fresh ground pepper. It tasted delicious and was really creamy (something about mixing the yoghurt with the tahini produced a lovely texture) but next time I might try to make it less cream and more dressingy (read: pourable rather than spreadable).

Wine pairing: This meal would have gone quite nicely with a nice red wine, maybe a cab, however we had ginger beer instead.

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