Monday, December 22, 2008

the dinner files, 12/21

as you will come to know, i am incredibly spoiled when it comes to food. between four and six nights a week, i come home to a beautiful homemade meal, prepared with love by my sweetie, w. after 6 years of such nonsense, i have never waned in my appreciation of this gesture. he enjoys being in the kitchen, and everything he makes is nothing short of awesome. i like to watch him go at it, and have always annoyed him by taking pictures to document his meals. i love reading vegan food blogs, and have always thought that if he wrote one, it would be my favorite. in the dinner files, i'd like to share pictures of his processes and finished products, along with the tips and explanations that he gives me, a relative idiot in the kitchen.

so last night! hoo boy. we've spent the last weeks combing our new city for a suitable asian market. we found a few we like, but the standout was mitsuwa market in the little tokyo shopping center. cheap produce, 50billion kinds of miso and the sweet black hair dye i haven't been able to find since i lived in cleveland. the great feast of 12/21 was courtesy of such finds (minus the hair dye.)

mr. w makes a mean stock a couple times a month, which is then used for quick lunch soups and batches of seitan. the seitan makes it into a number of meals, and this one was a crowd pleaser.

first, he floured the seitan squares up. he brushed one side with a vegan worchestershire we found at a mexican supermarket - the other side was melted earth balance. the squares were then breaded in panko crumbs and fried.

the seitan was served on a puddle of roasted red peppers puree, plain israeli couscous, and a balsamic chili jelly. it's touches like the jelly that crack me up - gourmet and special, but so fun and easy too! he basically reduced the vinegar and chili powder with agar, chilled it in the pot, and sliced it up, rather than just splashing it in with the rrp puree. it was fun to cut it up with each bite.

to boot, the dinner was served with the best greek style salad ever: cut up cukes, tomatoes, olives, parsley, & green onions. he had been experimenting with a faux feta, and i must say, succeeded. some whizzed tofu, more agar, lemon and spices. we both typically prefer to eat vegan food that does not resemble 'regular' foods that make us gag, but this 'feta' was perfect - it created the creamy, lumpy, salty salad-eating sensation that had long since been forgotten.

so there ya go, first installment of the dinner files! i kid you not, i am presented with a dinner like this most nights. thanks w!


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